Rain and Pain...ting

Last Friday:
Rain, rain and more rain! After three months of dry.. dry.. hot.. bushfires.. dry and hot, we have suddenly been er, surprised, with double the average January rainfall in twenty four hours. Are we complaining? No. Except for the areas of Tasmania which are still on fire, having missed the deluge. They are pretty stroppy, as you can imagine. This is the tail end of a crazy low-pressure trough that arrived from the opposite direction to most of our weather. We had to run and shut windows on the side of the house that never gets rain blowing in. Then we all sat in a row at the front windows enjoying the lightning and thunder and fell asleep to the comfortable sound of rain drumming on the roof. Folk to the south of us, including my parents and friend Cindy had their vegie gardens shattered by huge hail stones. Weather. The great random roll of the dice..

This week has been all about Getting Rid of Things. Whether we move or not this is always a cathartic exercise. There is a new rule at our place - anyone who visits musts take something away with them. During the week we had a farewell party for The Girl and I did a quick sweep through the kitchen, piled all my excess-to-requirements kitchen equipment on the table and forbade the guests to leave until the table was empty. I must say they were all very accommodating, and I was left with only one ring pan which went into the op-shop bag. This week I took six bags of books and three bags of clothes to the op-shop, and sent mum home with two boxes of jigsaw puzzles for their local nursing home (mum has only lived here for three months, but already she is visiting old ladies at the nursing home. That's my mum for you).

Today (being Thursday): 
Absolutely exhausted. Started work this week, but also started painting Posy's room, which was atrocious, as first we had to move out fifteen years' worth of junk, priceless treasures, as her room has been the children's bedroom since the first day we moved in here in late 1999.

Somewhere I have a photo of Rosy at age one, 'helping' The Man build these bunk beds, and last weekend she actually really helped me to unbuild them, so we could paint the walls. We are donating the bunk beds to friends who have recently returned from far, far away. It is wonderful to see old friends and favourite old furniture get together.

I hate painting. It is a vile and beastly way to spend a weekend, but I am afraid it will eat up this weekend as well. Unless I think of something more fun to do.

In between working and painting I have been cleaning and tidying madly and showing diverse real estate agents through the house, which has never been so clean.. I keep stuffing items into cupboards and then losing them. There was a bit of a panic when I lost Posy's new school shirts the night before school started, and then, after working out how to set up an account on Gumtree and posting a portable CD player on there for sale, we had another panic when a buyer rang and said, "I'll be there in ten minutes," and I said doubtfully, "Well, I hope we will have it here for you. I am almost sure I remember where I put it.." Luckily Posy remembered where she had seen it because I would never have guessed that I would have stored it for safekeeping in a crate under the desk in the downstairs bedroom.. I am clearly losing my mind.

I have been again to inspect the tiny house we are interested in already passionately attached to, and then I went to the bank to see if they can let us have some money so we can buy the lovely small house before we sell our big house, because otherwise we will have nowhere to live.. Fingers crossed. I have assets but very little income. I will need to wait until next week for an answer.

As you can imagine, it has been a rather overwhelming week. In between everything else happening, the girls started their new year at school, and I started back at work as well. Last night I was so tired I fell asleep on the couch after dinner, at a quarter to seven.

On the one hand I am exhausted and overwhelmed and mightily stressed, but on the other hand I am well proud of myself. As someone who has habitually left all of this scary stuff to The Man of the House, I have outdone myself, talking to real estate agents and actually walking into the bank to negotiate a loan. I feel like quite the grown-up (although I would absolutely prefer to go to sleep now and wake up in six months in a new house with everything magically all sorted while I was asleep. Plus, I had a doctor's appointment this afternoon that I completely forgot to turn up to due to the press of other engagements. I am still working on the full 'grown-up, having-it-all-together' package..).

Tell me about your week. Tell me something small and soothing I can do to become calm and zen amid the wild welter..


narf7 said…
Oops. Sorry I dropped off that pot of seedlings. My timing is always off. Send them off with your mum to babysit till you move. Moving house is always up there with the biggest stresses but once you manage to sell (won't take long, you are in numero uno ville for desirability in Launceston) and move your life, and your new space, will be your own.
Anonymous said…
Well, I'm no good as a friend, leaving stuff with you but point blank refusing to take stuff. Even books that I love but know will sit on my shelves. (Why I desire sets of children's books that I am not really going to read, I don't know.)

I am exhausted reading your busyness. Hope the doctor's appointment is not for something dire.

As to small calming activities, I always find a bath so calming. And now you've had rain, maybe you won't feel guilty. And you could always empty the water into the garden. And then there's lying (God is it laying or some other verb thing, I never get this right) on a blanket under a tree in the sun and just listening to the sounds around. Or inside with so soft music. I bought a CD of soft guitar music while in Tassie. Almost music like you hear in a spa or massage place but less rainforesty. It is so calming having it play softly in the background. Conversely I always find watching a favourite comedy show relaxing. The laughing takes me out of my current situation and frees my mind of all the worries.

Gold star to you for becoming a grown up!!!
Pam in Virginia said…
Hi, Jo!

I've been wondering how you were holding up! Just barely, eh? Glad for the rain, but sorry for the folks whose gardens got pummelled by hail.

Love your rule: anyone who visits must take something away with them! I always try to make it be food, but I could easily "re-gift" a lot of my things. Good luck with your loan, and with getting the wee house. Is it anywhere near your parents? Are all of you much attached to the house that you are in now? Hard not to be as it sounds like you've been there a long time (15 years?). At least gardens can always be started again. Have you scoped out garden spots at the wee house?

All of this "busy" is a good thing for you right now, what with The Girl going off, and all. In my week: We are organizing the house, especially the basement and doing some early spring cleaning. Nothing on your scale, however. I've planted some lettuce seeds in pots indoors and are testing for viability other seeds saved. I love to watch a favorite comedy show, even for 5 or 10 minutes, just like Lucinda does, to relax me. Even on Youtube!

Pam in Virginia said…

Or read a bit out of one of the 1930s/1940s girls' mystery series that I saved from when I was a girl (No, I was not a girl in the 1930s/1940s! I was born in 1957). Fun!

Anonymous said…
Calming: toasted cheese sandwich with mustard, a cup of tea and the latest Agatha Raisin book, read in bed.

Gah, painting, how I hate it. You are doing so well!! My daughter nagged me again this morning to paint her bedroom. i've put it off for 3 years, but if I put it off for 3 more she will have left home:-)

Isn't the rain wonderful!! We saw the smoke from your awful bushfires all the way across the sea. Ghastly.

Good luck with clearing out your house/buying a new one. If I lived closer I would offer to help, love doing that sort of thing.

Bek said…
I am sorry to say this, but I quite like painting. I find it quite easy as long as there is enough drop sheets and masking tape. But then I am a weirdo.
Well done you on being an adult. I'm still scared by banks and would hate to have to deal with real estate agents. Good luck on the tiny house.
Jo said…
Fran, no, thank you for the seedlings, they are perfect.. and will look fab in my new garden... rapping wood here xx

Lucinda, of course not! I always admire a person who can say 'no' to stuff thy don't need!

Pam, yes, barely holding up, and The Girl counting down the days until she leaves:( And old favourite children's book series, YES! The most comforting thing of all:)

Loretta, it would be wonderful to have you come over and sort me out:)

Bek, please come over and paint! Blog friends house party:)

jj said…
Hi Jo & all the wonderful readers & commenters: I am so in awe of all the wonderful wordsmiths floating in the blogisphere, so I provide a link below (sorry Jo if you don't like/want links pl feel free to delete) that so says what I feel about Living Simply! I love your words Jo, here & at JMG's blog, & others such as at the Milkwood site, it inspires me to take the action needed in the real world :)

You are doing a great job with it all Jo. Give yourself a pat on the back for how things are panning out for you now. Best of luck with the wee house. cheers Wendy
Fernglade Farm said…
Hi Jo,

Yes, that rain came down from the north east and I'm really glad for you that you received a solid dose of rain. Your part of the world has been doing it tough this summer.

Hope the financing goes well and you can enjoy your new smaller home. Fingers crossed.

Nice work with the painting too, and a good choice of colour. Very vibrant!


i have so much to catch up! you're moving! you're selling! you're painting (I hate it, too). a child is moving out? my head is spinning. I hope it all goes well!
we didn't get as much rain down here in Hobart as up north did, and sadly, now you can't even tell we had any at all. it's been a terrible season.
now, reading back over a few months' missed posts...
Jo said…
jj, it took me a while, but I finally read that post, and yes, it is such a lovely testament to the importance of simple living. Thank you:)

Wendy, thanks, I love coming here and finding encouragement from all my interweb friends:)

Chris, actually we are painting the room white. It has been orange for about fourteen years now, but needed to be patched and painted after fifteen years of being home to all the Blueday children!

e, I did plan to have a boring year in 2016 but so far I am not doing very well with that resolution.. more dreadful smoke yesterday and today. I can't believe there is anything left of Tas to burn..

Meg said…
Hi, Jo. I'm writing a reply in my study...the floor of which is somewhat covered in "piles" as I am sorting out 20years worth of teaching stuff. I took a few boxes up to a friend the other day and it appears to have had no impact!

Something small and calming...my tiny native bees are very small and when I stand still and watch them come and go from their tiny hive entrances, it's a very calming thing. So, I think that means...stand still and watch a bee!
gretchenjoanna said…
I did read your post a week ago but my week wasn't anything I cared to tell about at the time. I always admire your spunk, not least when you are exhausted. I hope you didn't drown in a paint bucket or get hit by a hailstone, but are merely waiting to hear about your real estate business so that you can share that news with us.

It's wonderful that the girls can help you as much as they do.
Jo said…
Meg, small and calming - you are right, bees are both those things to perfection!

GJ, haven't drowned in a paint bucket, but you know all about the weeks of stress and strain where writing doesn't come easy.. we will all keep putting one foot in front of the other!
Fernglade Farm said…
Hi Jo,

Oh yeah! So obvious from hindsight. :-)! Most people expect white walls in a house, so it is a good call. Best of luck with the sale.



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