Closer Still

I apologize again for the delays in my updates to this blog, it seems that the closer I get to my departure date the more I find that I need to do. That’s not to say that I haven’t made progress. Au contraire mon ami! I have been kicking task butt! Check this out:

• Completed sodding my backyard: This was a big pain because the place where I was buying the sod ran out and it was a week before they got more.
• Planted viburnums in the backyard: I was looking to add a little something to the backyard, which tends to stay moist even without watering. And part of the yard gets about 5 hours of direct sunlight while another part is in perpetual shade. I planted ferns in the shady part and they took off. The viburnum should do well in the sunny part. (All of this in a yard the size of a postage stamp!)
• I got a company to manage my house: Was gonna get my good friend Brian to manage the house while I’m away, but I didn’t take into account all that “management” entails, so I decided to go with a professional management company and ask Brian to be my local point of contact. Good company too! They took care of advertising, vetting potential renters, showing the house and more. Which bring me to the next bullet.
• Got a renter!!! This happened a lot faster than I anticipated. My house went on the market on a Monday, by Friday I had 3 potential renters! The renter I decided was recommended by the management company. A huge relief!!!
• Made significant headway in clearing out the final “Catch All” room: One of the small bedrooms I used as an office, sound studio for voice work, and a place to put stuff that I needed to look at, but tended to forget about…which usually meant that stuff accumulated… a lot. Making any progress in reducing the stuff in that room is goodness. Still lots to do there, but progress is progress.
• Sold off most of my furniture: This was big! Everything went to good homes or, as is the case for the small bedroom set because my new tenant asked for it, is staying where it is under new ownership. Really did work out well.
• Bought a travel camera: Sold my Canon 7D and am lending the use of my other equipment while I’m gone. I didn’t want to lug around a big camera, but I needed something more than what my iPhone can give me. Settled on a Canon G7X. Pocketable, big (1″) sensor for great lowlight shots, 5x optical zoom, wifi connected, the works all in a neat little package.
• Terminating services: Water, electrics, wifi, and mobile all terminated on April 1. That last one, mobile, posed a bit of a problem because I wanted to keep my mobile number. Terminating service can cause you to lose your number. After some investigating I found a nice solution. Transfer my number to a prepaid plan and don’t use it. AT&T offers such plans (as do other carriers I imagine) and I can keep the plan and number tied to a SIM while I’m away. (My phone is unlocked)

There’s more, but I won’t bore you with it. Needless to say, however, I have been busy.

The last bit of good news is that I got my plan from the Peace Corps last Friday. It looks like I’ll be flying from Philadelphia to Johannesburg, South Africa, then to Windhoek, Namibia on April 9, arriving on April 11. That’s gonna be a looooong flight.

Stay tuned!

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