... whether you're having fun or not.
So far today has been a complete waste of clean underwear.
The job search, of course, continues. I'm not finding many jobs to apply for, but I keep looking. One that I did apply for last week - a reception/customer service position - actually came through with an interview, for which I dutifully coloured my hair and shaved my legs last night. The interview was today, and I had fairly high hopes going in; everything listed in the posting was stuff I can almost do in my sleep. They seemed quite impressed with my resume, and it sounded like a job I'd want, and it was fairly close to home - ten minutes by car, just under half an hour by public transit. All in all, pretty much exactly what I've been looking for. Until they mentioned that the salary is $11 per hour. I was polite and didn't actually say out loud what I was thinking: Are you freakin' serious? I'm getting more than that from EI! I thanked them nicely for seeing me, indicated that I'd wait to hear from them, and came home hoping I don't. Hear from them, that is.
Upward (with luck) and onward, as they say. I'll keep looking.
It took three weeks, but I finally got through to a real human on the phone at EI. Yes, they do have programs for women over 55, for retraining and assistance getting back into the workforce. No, I can't come in and see someone about the programs, I need a referral. Yes, the local Employment Resource Centre can give me that referral. So I called the Centre. "Yes, we can give you that referral, but first you need to do at least one session with one of our counselors. No, you can't just come in, you need an appointment. Yes, we are taking appointments now - yours will be for Monday, February 6th." So now I have to hope that the time limit between applying for benefits and applying for the special programs doesn't run out before I can actually take my referral to the EI office, where I will no doubt have to make another appointment some time in the nebulous future. So far, the only saving grace is that both offices are within walking distance of home.
J moves on Friday, so tomorrow I'm off to the liquor store for as many boxes as I can cram into the car; I might make two or three trips. I'd rather have too many boxes than not enough! If there are any left over, well, that's what our recycling boxes are for. I still have the tape gun and some rolls of both tape and bubble wrap from when we moved here, so there's no need for her to buy any of the supplies U-Haul keeps trying to talk us into. Thursday will be for finishing the packing, and staging everything so that once her friends/helpers arrive on Friday it will all be ready to go into the truck. The truck will be here around 9 a.m. (I set up the rental for her last week, and she'll be paying cash when we return the truck) and her friends will start arriving around 10 a.m. or so.
We will miss her dreadfully, of course - she's the last one to leave home, and the place is going to seem pretty quiet for a while. But at the same time, she's almost 27 - it's time to empty the damn nest already. And as previously mentioned in other posts, I have plans for that room - and this one! I have the action plan all mapped out in my "Projects" notebook, the primer and paint are in the basement, and all that's left to do is draw a scale plan of the room and decide where the furniture etc will go.
An unforeseen consequence of having so much of her stuff staged in the living room already is that I have no flat surface left anywhere that's big enough to lay out the pieces of the green shell so I can sew them together. So I've modified my original resolution accordingly; I've started another sweater and will sew them both together as soon as there's space to set up my layout table. The new sweater is a classic vee-necked pullover with elbow-length sleeves, in a lovely soft caramel colour. I did break down and buy the yarn - for $4 at the thrift store. I was there to drop off a box of donations, but when I saw that yarn and realized there was enough to actually do something nice with, well, I just couldn't resist. The pattern is very plain, so it knits up fast; and I've used it before, so I know it will fit well and look good. The pattern is also old enough that it gives yarn amounts in ounces and needle sizes in the old British range! It calls for #9 and #11 needles; after some swatching I find that 3.25 mm and 3.75 mm are the ones I'll be using.
I've come to the conclusion that one of the really difficult things about J moving out will be getting Big Guy to scale back on the amount of food he cooks for every meal. We both hate waste, and I pointed out to him yesterday that I'd just had to throw two week-old baked potatoes in the compost. He cooked too many, the two left over got shoved to the back of the fridge and forgotten ... I can see that kind of thing happening more and more often if I don't find a way to stop it. In a way the potatoes aren't a total waste - we do use the compost in the vegetable garden - but it's the habit of cooking too much and then tossing it that I want to eliminate. There will just be the two of us from now on; there's no reason to cook six pork chops, or bake four or five potatoes, or open two cans of corn.
So the short- and long-term goals are:
Get J moved, which will basically be finished by Saturday.
Relax after the move by setting up my layout table and sewing together the pink sweater that's been ready for a while, the green shell I finished last week, and - if it's finished - the brown pullover I'm currently knitting. Sans interruptions, I should have at least the first two done by Monday.
Turn her old bedroom into my new workroom, turn my old workroom into a den/guest room. I think I'm looking at about a month, maybe two. Both rooms must be finished before mid-April, as that's when my good friend S arrives from Indiana for a two-week visit.
Persuade Big Guy to cook less and thus waste less food. I foresee an ongoing struggle with this - could take years. I'll keep you posted ...
This week's food waste tally so far: two smallish potatoes, six olives (they're not supposed to be hairy, right?) and a baby dill pickle that was turning blue.