The Captain with Attitude

And I am still packing! Who snuck in during the night and scattered more stuff to pack? Bathroom, under the kitchen sink, and the top shelf of the spare room closet. Bottom of the office closet. Will it ever end? Stuff I forgot I even had.  Chuck it, maybe.

The Captain is settled in his new home with lots of woods to roam around and someone to care for him and put up with his male ego attitude! But, I sure miss him. No one to greet me when I pull into the carport. No one waiting to be fed in the morning and afternoon. Time to move onto new adventures! Farmville, here I come!


Not One Room is Completely Packed

family tree wall before removal

How does this happen? How does one person who lives simply, without a lot of tchotchke, have a small house, yet so much to pack up? I’ve been at it every day, sweating like Ali in a boxing match, and still each room has something unpacked. Not one room is completely emptied. My kitchen looks like a pathway between canyon walls with piles of boxes representing the canyons. Yet I donated all my pots, pans, baking and serving trays when I realized I could make this transition to an apartment. I downsized to only 6 plates and no bowls a year ago, using soup mugs for salads, dessert, and duh, soup.. Most serving pieces and fancy dishes are long gone. I no longer entertain, so why keep all of it. I am determined to live simply without all the trappings.

I think the house is cleared of books now that I have taken the last 4 bags to Goodwill on Saturday,  unless one pops out from a hiding place. You never know about books. They creep into my life. I do have 2 small piles to be hand delivered to an individual who collects War Between the States books. Mine are from the Army of the North so I’m not sure about handing these over to a Southerner. It is my belief that it is important to know both sides to fully understand the war. I hope he will not destroy them. I don’t think he will.

I am seeing bare walls with little nails sticking out or band-aid looking strips of white that kept my pictures and paintings on the walls. Looks weird. Days are counting down. My goal today is to empty 4 drawers of miscellany that just collected. Wish me luck.

art, Ten Things of Thankful

Ten Things I’m Thankful

Dr. Don Arnold & Ernie Fleming of Oakley Hall A & A. will find new homes for .. . .
  1. Today I learned that the manager of Goodwill in South Hill VA area is very fond of Jane Austen. I feel so much better for donating my treasured set of 8 or 9 Stephanie Barron well-written books featuring Jane Austen as a sleuth.
  2. Plus I am content with so many of my other Jane Austen books have gone to the right place to be bought by others. I enjoyed/loved them, now others will.
  3. So grateful for my physical strength and good health to complete packing up my house for the big migration to Poplar Forest II in Farmville VA. It has been a daunting task and nearly complete.
  4. My moving date has been moved up by 1 day to the 18th. Zowie! This time next week I will be in my new home…..unpacking.
  5. Thanks to the person who developed duct tape. Man or woman.
  6. Huge thanks to my dearest friends nearby who have nurtured me.
  7. Thank you to Don and Ernie at Oakley Hall Antiques & Art who will finding loving homes for some of my art work.
  8. Thanks to my NJ friends who filled in the empty spaces of information on some of the artists of that artwork. It’s nice to have some back story to a piece of art.
  9. Big time Thanks for all the love in my life.

10. One of the purposes in my life that I am thankful for, is the making of memories that can be relived again and again.


Still Packing

grandmother’s dishes

Time is slipping away and I have far to go. I’ve packed 6 boxes in the kitchen, tossed out lots of stuff I haven’t used in a couple years and haven’t opened a drawer yet. Do I take Grandmother’s dishes? Just these few as keepsakes. The rest were donated.

The moving man cannot do the 19th! OMG! He can do the 22nd and that is my settlement date. Won’t work. We talk some more and he can do the 18th. He is a very busy man. All is well. The apartment manager says, yes, the 18th will work. Phew! Close call.

After a fabulous lunch at 313 Franklin Street with my Soul Tribe sharing stories and food, I come home and look around. Time is getting shorter. Will I make it? Back to boxing more stuff and trying to stay calm. Next comes the battle with the Captain. Time for him to go to a new home.


Apartment Application

Outside my apartment window

I waited until Friday, the day after the apartment manager returned from his vacation to call. He gave me an appointment to fill out the application on Tues. Whew. My confidence was seeping back in. He filled out the form online that I had trouble connecting, after showing the ground level apartment to me.

I love it! It is much bigger than I anticipated and thickly carpeted. Maybe I won’t have to unpack some of the boxes of books after all. It has a kitchen, pantry, laundry room, dining room, living room with electric fireplace (reminds me of my old book shop), gorgeous bath, a bedroom with walk-in closet and a small alcove room. Wow. This is not the retirement community I thought, it is a family apartment complex filled with mostly adults. My windows overlook the woods and a pond. A walking path meanders along. Tremendous good luck has dropped in while i was doing all that sweating over being homeless. Ha ha. Overlooking the woods. There is no view. I’ve been missing that.

By the time I drove home, my application was accepted! I’m so excited. The little bit I learn about my neighbor tells me we are going to be good friends. I can move in on the 19th of August and settlement is on the 22. Perfect!

Now it is time to pack up most of the kitchen. Again, not as easy as my mind told me it would be. Why is that? I pictured zipping around the kitchen and putting everything into 4 boxes and done! Whoa! I just packed 4 boxes and desperately need this break! I’m soaking wet from perspiration, panting, and there are several more boxes to go. The appraiser is coming at noon and my bed isn’t even made yet. Zowie!


Moving, Moving

Partial wall of paintings

Onward to find a place to live. I looked at another senior living and apartment complex online that seemed even better. I drove there to see for myself. Oh, wow! Really nice. Nothing available. Oh, no!  I’m beginning to panic! I don’t want to be homeless at my ancient age! Deep breathing calms me. Remembering my message from my spirit guide-this move is meant to be. Yet the down still sets in.

I talked to the manager. Then I talked some more. He emanates confidence, intelligence, and competence. A people person. Perfect for his position. Even that is a positive for me. Finally, as he goes through his papers, there may be a one bedroom coming available. He will let me know. Maybe.

The next day I drove the nearly 1 ½ hours back again. The telephone just doesn’t do it for me. It looks like an apartment will be available after all. I’m back up to a high.

At home I continue as if I was certain all was going well. Don and Ernie came and treated me to a wonderful lunch at the 313 Restaurant. My choice was Chicken Salad and Sweet Potato Fries. Yum. Conversation with them is always interesting. Before lunch they went over my collection of art work. I will not have room to hang all of it. I know this even though I haven’t seen the apartment yet. They select a dozen to sell in their Oakley Hall Antiques & Art Store in Warrenton (NC). I am content to let these beautiful pieces go to bring someone else the joy of looking at them each day. I can bring them to mind by just thinking of them and the memories of how they came to hang in my homes. I am flying high again!

More to go . . . not in yet!

art, Cats

Reverse Painting of Cat Lizzie

This is not the painting….just a picture of Lizzie. The painting may be found at Oakley Hall Antiques & Art in Warrenton (NC)

Emily Eve Weinstein

Back when my new, used and rare book shop was in full swing in Bordentown (NJ) many authors and artists came to introduce their books and work. Emily Eve Weinstein, on her way from Durham (NC) where she taught, to visit her parents in NYC would stop and spend the night at Exit 7 on the NJ Turnpike.  She ventured into town and drew many fans from the area excited to see her newest book. Emily always gave some kind of art presentation. The year of the Cat Book, she showed how to do a ‘reverse painting’ by painting on glass then placing art paper on the wet painting and voila`. An original painting resulted. This painting that she did of my cat Lizzie (named for Elizabeth Bennet of Pride & Prejudice) was the result of her visit that year. She captured Lizzie’s expression perfectly! I purchased prints of each picture in the book for resale, but she gifted the one of Lizzie and I kept it these 20+ years for my own pleasure.

​​​​C​at Book started out simply enough. Emily Weinstein set out to create a series of monoprints of cats she knew personally. As she explored her subjects, she saw that each cat had a story. So she wrote the stories down, and began hearing of fascinating cats farther afield. The trail led from North Carolina up the East Coast to New York City, where she was able to paint the much-heralded Brooklyn heroine cat, Scarlett, who rescued her five kittens from a ravaging fire. Other cats depicted include Snappy, who has sailed around the world; Wild Boy, feral in the High Sierras; the talking feline Regis, and Max, who has learned to box. It’s all great fun….and wonderful art!

From her website: Emily Eve Weinstein is a muralist, portraitist, and teaching artist, While creating murals in various towns over the years, Emily realized that many of the youth were drifting about and getting into trouble. In response to this, Emily would hand them a brush and send them up the scaffolding to help. Recognizing their value to the community, Emily taught the youth important skills which enhanced their self-esteem.  As a result of encompassing the youth into her work, Emily’s murals soon began to foster a new and intrinsic community value.

Her murals may be seen in Durham and Carrboro (NC) and Long Island (NY)

Arlene S. Bice

Moving Away

More on Moving Away

Half the Collection About Women

I sank even deeper from frantically boxing up books I wanted to keep and carrying the heavy boxes into the spare room, lining them along the wall. I could not possibly take 500+ books with me. I bagged up most of them to donate to the Shepard’s Inn and Goodwill. Each day I was soaked with perspiration and exhaustion. I couldn’t accept the help offered because I had to choose which books to keep.

I woke at midnight with pounding heart palpitations. Message: no more carrying super heavy boxes of books. I adjusted my routine and carried piles of books into the room, over and over again, then boxed them.

The following midnight my guide came to me with a message. ‘Stay calm. This move is meant to be. All will be well.’

For 2 years I looked in the South Hill area for an apartment to rent. The only one I found had 40 other applicants waiting in line ahead of me. House maintenance dragged me deeper and deeper. I just couldn’t keep up with taking care of all the little things than need attention. I loved my home but could not manage the work involved to upkeep it any more. The City even sent a notice to me-cut your grass or we will cut it for you. Not beneficial to me, I knew.  Thankfully, I found someone to take care of cutting the grass regularly. That was one less job to drain my energy. That brought me super high again.

The buyers came with the inspector. I liked them immediately! This house needs young people to fill it, but more than that, a joyful energy came in the door with them.  I couldn’t have chosen a better fit for the house if I had hand-picked them. As we chatted a little bit, I was even more impressed and pleased. I liked meeting who was moving in to take over the house. The house is more than sticks and stone, it deserves good people. Another high.

The Captain and I returned to our normal routine but it took him nearly a week to trust me again. Then his desire to be stroked and petted overcame him and he leapt up onto my lap nuzzling me with his face. He even climbs around my neck and rests on my shoulder.

It continues. . . . . .

Moving Away

Today, the Reality of Re-locating Set In

Before the Packing. . .

When I came out from my bedroom early this morning, it hit me! My walls are naked of my cherished paintings and hangings. My several bookcases are empty of the books I hauled around for the last 20 years, some even longer. It must be true! I am moving away! For the last couple of weeks my life has been a Coney Island Roller Coaster-the biggest one from the good ole days.

I’ve gone from super high when my house sold for more than the asking price to the deepest pits when I learned that the senior apartment a found had overnight changed from one that fit my budget to one that didn’t. I love the area of Farmville, Virginia. Now, oh, my! Was I going to be homeless because, according to statistics, I have a low income? Near panic set in! I knew I could bunk with one of my friends, but why chance losing a friendship? It would only be a band-aid answer to an open wound situation anyway.

To make matters better, I found the perfect home for the Captain with a friend who would bond with him and I was sure, vice-verse. Then I tried putting him in the cat carrier after my friend Charlene talked to him, explaining about my move and being unable to take him with me. He understood and noticed the changes in the house i.e. boxes beginning to pile up. That made matters worse. He fought me, paws swinging out, yowling at me. He got away and ran away only to return at suppertime. He only came to the bowl when I was out of reach. I waited a few days, this time I closed the sun room door and scooped him up in a beach towel. Since he wouldn’t fit in the carrier I slipped him into a box on the front seat of the car. Got his food bowl and popped the trunk to put it in, and the Captain popped out! And ran away. Whew! I gave up. Put this business on the back burner and returned to packing up my books.

More to come. . . .or as long as my sanity holds out!