Sunday, May 29, 2011

To Do or Not To Do (where Not is not an option)

I realize that it’s been a while since I have written anything.  Mostly, that is because everything that I have been doing is tedious stuff to prepare for my departure to South Africa.  I didn’t really think that anyone would want to hear about the day or two it took to thoroughly clean the tile grout in the shower of the guest bathroom.  Or the three days I spent sorting and tagging a garage full of items for the yard sale.  Yet, a lot of people continue to ask what I’m doing these days,  so I thought I share a bit of the to-do list that John and I consult multiple times each day.  To be noted is that this to-do list has a life of its own as it shrinks and expands daily.

Items marked with asterisk (*) are items that we have paid someone else to do (writing the checks for payment is still a lot of work).  All of the rest are things that John and I have done with John doing 99% of the actual work and me being the person who cheers him on, keeps the food coming, and tries hard to not complain too much when I’m required to stand around with him while he works on the off-chance that he might need me to hand him a hammer/screwdriver/paint brush/wet towel, etc.

Cancel magazine subscriptions (5 checked off, 2 we’ll do a change of address later to SA)
Obtain a Post Office box
Secure a lock box at bank
Reserve a storage unit for home furnishings, etc.
Schedule a date for movers to haul furniture, etc. to storage unit
Arrange auto-pay for numerous expenses (e.g., utilities, credit cards)
Renew driver’s license so expiration will not occur while out of country
Renew credit cards for ones that will expire within next 27 or so months
Apply for credit card to replace the one that won’t allow for renewal until time is up (shame on you AAA Visa!)
*Replaster walls/ceiling in living room
Paint kitchen, living room, woodwork in foyer and hall
*Repaper walls in foyer
Repair ceiling in kitchen
Repair ceiling in master bathroom
Replace garage door opener
*Replace upstairs air-conditioner
*Replace roof
*Paint house trim (woodwork)
*Repair front sidewalk where tree roots are winning in the battle with sidewalk stones
Arrange for critter control to deal with pesky moles that have turned the yard to mush. (Turns out it was just ONE mole. Interesting fact:  one mole can dig ~12-15 feet/hour!)
Remove chips of old glaze on guest bathroom bathtub
*Re-glaze guest bathroom tub
Re-grout parts of kitchen counter and parts of bathroom shower stall 
*Repair leaded glass on door to front porch
*Repair leaded glass on front door
Replace front door since repair (see above) went awry and entire sheet of glass broke during repair.
Label all three circuit boxes
Sort through everything in house to collect items for yard sale
Prepare/conduct yard sale
Make multiple trips to thrift stores to deliver items that didn’t sell at yard sale
Replace and install new smoke/CO-2 alarms
Clean chandelier and all other ceiling fixtures
Wash windows inside and out

OK, enough.  The above is a very partial accounting of the REAL list that we are working from.  Almost every item has taken 2-5 times the length of time originally estimated to complete.  Who knew???  There’s really a lot more to be done and this doesn’t even account for the very specific and growing to-do list for what needs to be gathered and done relative to preparing and packing for our time in South Africa.  More on that later!