Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Well, as of 7:15 last evening, Thrums End is no longer and I am in the new space. I was absolutely exhausted by the end of that grueling day- and the end of a horrible, long process. But, my new neighbors had other ideas- there was someone cleaning the sidewalk across the street with a power washer & generator until 10:30 at night... The light coming into the apartment from the street lights was terrible and also kept me up (today, I need to get louvered blinds for all the street-front windows,) and the former tenants left cat smells untreated... I was not happy. I need to take many actions today for my own comfort and serenity. One of them was having the computer, cable and telephone all hooked up- yippee!!!! A good go-round with an enzymatic cat-odor remover has been done.

The installation took the entire morning so now I need to go out and get my errands run- then I need to take a good nap.

I meant to take pictures of the remains of Thrums End but my camera's battery was dead... perhaps the message is that I need to just move forward.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Last Hours

I am waiting for the next contingent of moving help to arrive so I am taking a breather. The professional movers were here this morning and 80% of the stuff is out of the house and studio, the furniture is out of the storage unit. The mover has a temper and accused me at one point of purposely deceiving him about the amount of stuff in the unit that needed to be moved. I don't think I was unclear but I also am not thinking terribly clearly right now. (Thank heavens for spell-check) I did not sleep last night- the combination of anxiety, sadness, and the horrible humidity added up to fitful and brief spells of unrestful sleep.

So, one truckload of stuff was loaded and moved, leaving me with lots of boxes, the remainder of my artwork, and some small furniture still to move. Oh, and my poor cat, Bundle, who has been locked in a small room all day and is making his misery known to all in the vicinity. I will give him a big dose of catnip at the new place and I hope that will dope him out and help him adjust to his new life as an indoor cat.

I again called on friends and Jeff came with his truck and we pretty much cleared the studio- bless you, Jeff. But those stairs are a climb and I couldn't ask him to do more.

Another friend gave me the name and number of someone with a van-for-hire and while I would rather not have to spend the money, I am buying peace of mind and a respite from carrying at least 1/2 the stuff up the stairs. He will be by in a bit. Then I have a run to the storage unit to drop off a few bits and that should be it.

The painters are here and they usually knock-off at 5 so I will have a chance to walk around and properly say goodbye to Thrums End without an audience. I am keeping myself in denial by staying busy, but soon it will all be quiet, I will be in a new, unfamiliar place and there will be nothing to distract me. I need to just accept that grief when it comes and hope it also brings some healing.

Tomorrow, I start building my new life and picking up some of the dropped threads the foreclosure unraveled.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Last Days

I have been hard at work today, shuttling between the new place and the old with my little Saab packed to the gills with belongings. The mover is coming at 7:30 tomorrow morning to do the final move but I wanted to move my artwork, pantry, clothing, and things like my printer and scanner myself. Unfortunately, it is also the most miserable weather we have had all summer- in the 80's but with the beastly humidity, thank you Ike, it feels like the mid 90's. Rivulets of sweat, soaked clothes, and 2 flights of narrow stairs...

I thought I was okay- looking forward, seeing the positive side. Then, my neighbor comes over to say goodbye and suddenly I am devastated.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Common Wisdom

"The hurrier I go, the behinder I get." I remember that well from my childhood. It is an Old Dutch (Amish) adage and is apropos to the past two days. I had asked in an earlier post to have an easy couple of days so instead I have thrown up one obstacle after another for myself with my impatience and fretting. Any small glitch- a trip to the copy center but the image was in the incorrect format, I had cut the frame pieces for the three newest Word Project words too long and the saw is not here to fix them- that could happen, did happen. And they happened mostly because I was not paying attention or rushing. Another adage from my cabinetmaker father: "Measure once, cut twice; measure twice, cut once."

Also, a skunk let loose at about 3:40am somewhere nearby. I ended up smearing Tiger Balm around my nose to counteract the smell so I could get back to sleep. Now my nose is nice and moisturized, if a little out of joint.

My opening is this afternoon, here are the 3 Words that will not be in the show because their frames don't fit:

(Lypemania- excessively mournful; frumentarious- relating to corn; and junters- in a sulk)

Thursday, September 11, 2008


I have just finished burning reciepts, checks and other tax documents from the years 1983-2000. In the course of cleaning out the attic I had found many shoe boxes full of this stuff as well as one large box filled with the documents that I had apparently brought with me from Brooklyn in 1994. I was glancing through the cancelled checks and was able to trace my journey from the upper west side of Manhattan, to Carroll Gardens in Brooklyn and then to here. By chance (?) I happened upon the checks I had signed and handed over at the closing on this house. I set those aside while I finished the burning. All told it took over an hour and a half to destroy that paper trail- old credit card receipts for a card I no longer have but from a time when the full number of the account was on the receipt, many many receipts from bookstores and yarn stores, a thick stack of bus ticket stubs from when I was newly moved up here but had to return to NYC every week to sign the checks for the Graphic Artists Guild, bank statements for accounts long closed, checks from past lives with new addresses inked on them, even the cancelled checks from my divorce- all gone, all reduced to slivers of carbon.

As a last step, I put the house-closing checks on the embers one by one and watched them burn up. A few tears were shed but not as many as I was expecting. I am perhaps already one foot out the door, tired of this dragged-out process yet fully aware that I am the one who dragged it out. I could have called a mover weeks ago, I could have finished this move much earlier- indeed, I kept saying I wanted this to be over, and I do. But... But... But there is still this reluctance to take the actions. "Isn't there someone out there who will do this for me," I hear a small voice say in my mind. No, I have to do this myself.

I have been wonderfully supported by friends through this but they have lives of their own to lead, and they are friends, not parents. And I want to be their friend, not some ever-needy child they need to take care of.

So, I need to remember the wisdom of Eleanor Roosevelt: "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, all we have is today- which is why it is called the present."

My move is scheduled to begin Monday morning at 7:30am.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Hanging In There

I drove up to Albany today to hang the show and it looks good- there are just under 100 pieces and it is always a puzzle as to how to hang it as each space is different not only in size but also layout. But it got done in pretty good time- 4 1/2 hours but I did not break a sweat. I needed to adjust some of the placards and other text accompaniments to reflect pieces sold and the many changes in my life since the last time it was shown. I got home in plenty of time to do that. I will adjust the lights and tweak the show on Friday before the opening. These last-minute tasks will give me something to do with my fidgets before the show opens- that time period when I am sure no one will show up..... I promise to bring my camera and take some images....

While I was hanging the show, I kept thinking about 9/11. The weather today was quite like the weather on that fateful day- clear, dry, cool and breezy, the best of the season. I had been preparing to go into NYC on 9/11 but the weather was so glorious I decided to stay home and spend time outside in the garden. Instead I spent the day inside listening to NPR on the radio while simultaneously watching the muted TV. (I would not have been in the area of the WTC and most likely the bus would have been turned away and sent back upstate, not even allowed into the city as the attacks occurred during the trip time- so it was in no way one of those "eerie coincidences" one hears about.) It was an odd thing to be thinking about nonetheless.

Working on the text pieces was a welcome diversion. The painters were here, blocking the driveway, playing loud country-pop music; I was glad to have to be in the studio until they were done for the day. Tomorrow the mover is coming to see what we are both in for. Looking around the place there is not that much but then I remember the furniture in the storage unit- but all in all, much less than my last move, from Brooklyn to here. There is a small bit of satisfaction in that, I must admit.

I was so fussed on Monday and Tuesday about the move and the show, I feared nothing would come together in time, it was all going to be a big rancid mess. I am relieved to say that so far my fears were unfounded, I can only ask that events continue to unfold easily and well; but if they don't that I can handle any problems. I have to have a bit more faith- perhaps the glass is just even right now and that is good enough for today.

Monday, September 8, 2008

I Have No Clever Title For This Post...

I am just too tired and addlepated right now. I spent the first half of the day driving up to Albany to hang a show of my Word Project, got there and discovered that there was still art hanging in the gallery and that the show was slated to be up until Wednesday... despite emails alerting the director of the gallery that I was planning to come up and hang the show today, the space wasn't ready and he did not tell me this. The morning was redeemed, however, by a stop over at WAMC, the public radio station for our area, where I was able to promote the show to the station's vast audience. Who knows, one or two of them may actually come to see it. Many thanks to Joe and Sarah, the Roundtable hosts, for letting me share their air time.

When I got home there was a message from the director saying I could now come and hang the show, the gallery was cleared. Well, despite gas being so cheap and all (ahem...), I decided to hang the show on Wednesday and dedicate the rest of the day to moving. Good intentions but I don't know how much I actually accomplished. I moved several loads of boxes, but my car doesn't hold much and I could see this was not going to be an effective use of my time and energy. So, I need to hire a mover. Thankfully, I won't need one of those gigantic vans, but it would be lovely to not have to wrestle the
remaining boxes and furniture up those 2 flights of stairs. So first thing tomorrow, I call movers.

I am feeling very betwixt and between- not at home anymore here but not able to settle in yet at the new place. I have started to paint- the floor of what will be my workroom is no longer the bilious yellow the former tenant had painted it. It is now a calm off-white. I know, I know you are saying- "off-white! has she gone all Martha on us?" No, but for now I need to get moved in, I will probably embellish it later, but who knows... I have primed the walls of what will be the bedroom- they had been another primary color- and I loathe primary colors, its tertiary and sub-tertiary all the way for me. But the actual painting will have to wait- that is what winters are for- sipping tea, listening to the radio and painting.

So I need to just float with this feeling- as the man in the story says, "go up when the water goes up, and go down when the water goes down." Fighting the current will just exhaust me and not get me any further toward my goal. And for the next couple of days, my goals are to have a successful hanging and opening for The Word Project on Friday; and to get all moved before my deadline so I can walk away from here, probably crying my eyes out, but headed toward the future.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Steps Forward in Several Directions

I worked all Labor Day Weekend at the nursery and the former tenants of my new home were moving out so I did little over the weekend to prepare for my own move. I also had to take some time to finish a piece for another show coming up (it was a bit chaotic as I had packed some of the tools I needed and had to dig through to find them, but I did finish the piece.) I had made arrangements for utilities for the new place in the past week, a task I was dreading that did mean several hours spent on hold on the phone, but that is done.

But the weekend is over and it's time to start moving. I will be seeing the new place empty for the first time this afternoon. I will bring paint chips to tape on the walls, a measuring tape and pad to make lists. I am talking with friends- friends with trucks- about moving and trying to figure out the best time to do all this. It seems rather daunting despite all the stuff that I have jetissonned but I just have to take one step after the other- not assume that I can or need to move it all at one time.

Also this afternoon, I will be submitting the altered book and the piece I finished over the weekend to their respective shows at the WAAM. The piece I just finished is for a Works-On-Paper show and depicts several themes I have been exploring over the past 2 years or so- Hiesenberg's Uncertainty Principle, my autobiographical bird-doll-girl, entropy, and recently, deracination. When you stop the wave-form bird-doll-girl and, by observing, force her to be a particle, what happens? Quite a burden for one small composition of paper, paint, glassine and a button.

How am I feeling? My feelings are currently wave-forms, I do not want them to be particles that will spill down my cheeks, so I am letting them pass through me, unremarked, for now.