Saturday, October 17, 2009

A night at the opera

Yes, I'm still here. Life's just been a little busy lately. The frantic, annoying kind of busy, not the kind of busy you want to run home and blog about.

My elderly aunt has made her decision. She's going to clean out, pack up, move and sell the house.

Correction. I'm going to pack her up, get her moved, impose on the kindness of my friends as many friends as I can find to help me empty out the mouse nest she's lived in for the last quarter century, and then list and sell the house.

Did I mention it had to be by the end of the year?

So I'm not exactly breathing right now.

Plus work has been horrendously busy, especially because we're going on vacation Tuesday and of course you have to pay for a vacation before and after, and that's not counting the credit card bill. I haven't taken lunch in a week, and it's beginning to wear on me. Not that I've stopped eating; when you don't leave the building, you tend to eat junk. Which does not make me feel any better.

On the plus side, Mario got us tickets for Madama Butterfly at the Academy of Music last night. It was a hard ticket to get, and culture always costs too much, so we had nosebleed "obstructed view" seats behind a lovely pole. However, no one apparently bought the nosebleed unobstructed seats to our right, so once the lights went down we moved over and got to see everything.

I didn't take any pictures during the performance. It's not permitted, and I was already sitting in the wrong seat, so I decided not to push my luck. But I got a few nice ones of the curtain, which was covered in kimonos which looked like semaphore flags. Interesting concept. And all those diagonal stripes are making my stripe love wake up and think.

The show was good - no standout performances to me, but overall very well done - but Butterfly gets me the same way Romeo and Juliet does. I just want to reach out and smack some sense into those characters. Do you really want to die because he doesn't love you anymore? Really? And you, second Mrs. Pinkerton, take a good hard look at this guy you married. Sure you want him?

I can be a romantic, but only so far. After that, I want to whack people.

Today I'm still in cleaning mode. I don't want to come home to a messy house, so I'm wearing myself out in advance of vacation making it tidy. I also went out back, braving the cold rain, and brought in about 6 lbs. of green tomatoes. Not all that's left, but all the bigger ones. It was my first attempt at canning and we made green tomato chutney with onion, ginger, garlic, a little cayenne and other random stuff I had around. I felt so accomplished when I heard the lids go "ping!" when they sealed. So hopefully I won't give anybody botulism with their chutney.

I'd like to do more, but tomorrow I'm spending with my aunt to finish some paperwork and give her a list of what she needs to deal with first. I'm focusing on 3 piles - keep, donate and trash. All I want her to think about is the "keep" pile; I'll figure out the rest from what's left behind.

So as I said, vacation is Tuesday. We're off to Florence. Vacation wasn't really in the budget this year, but we managed to wedge it in. We're only going for 5 days, which was the compromise between going for a full 10 days or not going at all. If we wait until we have the money to do it properly, we could be too old to travel. I'd rather have a short vacation when I need one than wait for the perfect trip to happen.

Now if I could just slow down and relax and start looking forward to the trip, instead of looking forward to my escape.

So that's where I've been and what I've been up to.

Sorry about the wine, folks. Wish I had some cheese to offer to go with it.


Schaz said...

LOL! I thought the photos were of your aunt's house, until I got halfway through the post! said...

keep breathing, you'll be fine.

enjoy florence. one day i will travel, too.

wendy said...

I can be a romantic, but only so far. After that, I want to whack people.

HA! Oh dear, I think you need a post a warning before that sentence, I almost choked on my coffee because I started cracking up. ;-) me too.

Anonymous said...

BF gets major gold stars for whisking you away to the opera. You definitely needed the break!

meredithp said...

It's great that you got the opera interlude.

Could you send the cats in after your Aunt's house is vacated to give it the feline clean sweep for small varmits?

That's a lot of work to accomplish before the end of the year. I can't even do my own clean up, let alone someone else's.

Lisette M said...

I'm with Wendy...My first impulse is to slap them and say "wake up!get a life!"
Anyways, have a wonderful vacation.

Rose said...

Have a great, well-deserved trip! You'll enjoy coming back to a clean house. (We all have to do that once in a while.) There are a lot of people in plays and in life that I'd like to give a big "whack". You definitely are funny "romantic".

Gretchen the Household Deity said...

Oooh, have fun in Florence! Good luck with the Aunt's house. It sounds like quite a chore but maybe it will be a little like a treasure hunt?

mimi jackson said...

Wow. To all of it. The trip to Florence (I WISH!!!), the moving of the Aunt and her stuff, the opera, and the tomatoes!!!! I just discovered that I love fried green tomatoes last week, and my fall appetite is kicking in, so I am just in vegetable/fruit heaven these days...

Kathi Rank said...

Have a great time in Italy and enjoy your clean house when you return.

A green tomatoe tip from my aunt who lived in Chicago ... don't know if it works since I live in a much milder climate....she would rescue all the green tomatoes when the weather turned cold and wrap them individually in newspaper and store in a laundry basket in a cool closet. Each week she would haul them out and check for ripeness and she claimed that eventually all of them would ripen.

fairmount said...

So many items to respond to but I have to say I am most interested in
reading about what fabric you will purchase in Florence.