stress update

Short version: much calmer. What felt like overload a few weeks ago is suddenly very manageable. Nothing like total overload to change your perspective on your burdens!

  • Dogs. We have a new dogwalker, and she's also house- and dog-sitting while we're in New Mexico. She has a lot of experience with dogs and good references, and seems like a good find. Fingers crossed.

  • Flood. Renovation hasn't started on the basement. This is actually good, as every time it rains, we can check for leaks. Everything is stripped bare - paneling and drywall removed, floor down to the concrete. If everything stays dry until the reno begins, we'll be happy to stay in this house and not have to move.

    It's very inconvenient not having the basement, especially for Allan, who has lost his wonderful office and lair.

    I'm considering asking for a break on the rent, but I'm also reluctant. We've lost one-third of our living area, and I do think we deserve something off one month.

    But our landlord has a lot on his plate right now; his own residence flooded, too. He's not a big management company; this is his only rental property, and he does take good care of it. I don't want to create bad feelings. So I'm still mulling it over.

  • RSI. Physio and exercise for my repetitive stress injuries seem to be going well, although I have a long way to go. My employer is not bothering me about it, and there's plenty of other work without doing the tasks that were causing me problems.

  • Travel. With the flood and dog crises fading, I'm actually starting to relax enough to look forward to our trip. During three days of family gatherings - rehearsal dinner, wedding, brunch - we'll also have some time to see some of Santa Fe. Then we have three and a half days in New Mexico.

    We'll probably focus on the north and northwest part of the state, which seems to be rich with ancient Native American sites and other things that interest us. Bandelier National Monument and Chaco Culture National Historic Site are good possibilities. There are also several scenic by-ways to choose from in that area. I must go horseback riding. I love it and haven't been in a very long time.

    I've ruled out Carlsbad Caverns, a National Park in the southeast corner of the state. I'd love to go there, but it's too far away given the limited time we have. This frees us for more fun stuff closer to Santa Fe.

  • Me. I feel sad about having to pull back from the Campaign. I am deeply committed to seeing this fight through to the end, and once I get settled in a new routine, I hope I can still contribute. But at least for September, my contribution will be limited to blogging.

    I considered putting off school until the Campaign ends - that is, until we win - but the school has only September enrolment, and I don't want to wait a full year to get started on a multi-year project.

    My class and work schedule has fallen into place. I had a major concern about getting the class sections I needed in order to make my busy schedule work. I was waitlisted for everything, and I got them all. Big relief!

    The only thing not yet in place is a small part-time job with the Mississauga Library System. I need more income, and since I hope eventually to be a librarian in Mississauga, a job there makes sense. Plus they have very part-time jobs, for only a handful of hours a week. I don't know yet if the Library will work around my crowded schedule.

    Amy said...

    Glad to hear things are feeling more under control. I think you are right to weigh the possible costs against the possible benefits of asking the LL for a reduction of rent. Does your lease say anything pertinent about this issue?

    I am also glad the new dog sitter seems to be working out. That must be a HUGE relief.

    L-girl said...

    Thank you, Amy. I haven't looked at the lease yet. I want to know how I feel about it first. :)

    The thing about the dogwalker is that she's only been there this weekend so far. J had been with us since January. D (the disappeared) was with us even longer before she f*cked up. It's made me really gun-shy.

    But absolutely, it's a HUGE relief to have someone. I'm glad she was still available.

    Amy said...

    Yes, one weekend is not a long term guarantee, but it's a start...and is there ever a long term guarantee?

    We have been incredibly fortunate to have had one dog/cat sitter for almost 25 years. She has occasionally be unavailable, and we always feel anxious with whoever fills in. When we decided to move, one of the big questions was whether Maggie would still come take care of our pets. (She lives on our old street, three houses down, which is now about 5 miles from our new place. Not a far distance, but obviously she can no longer just walk over several times a day to check on things.) Fortunately, she said she would never abandon Cassie and the cats! I hope she still feels the same way once we have actually moved in.

    L-girl said...

    Nope, no long-term guarantee, ever. I'm fine with that. But you can understand why I'm nervous under these circumstances. It's going to be a while before I lose that!

    That's great you've had someone for so long. I sure hope she follows you through the move.

    In NYC we had one guy for almost 10 years, which was brilliant. Then after his life changed and he stopped house-sitting, our weekend dogwalker started house-sitting for us.

    That was very important because Buster required a lot of special understanding and handling.

    Since moving to Canada, we've had some very good dogwalkers, but 8 or 9 months has been the longest tenure so far.

    Amy said...

    I definitely understand your anxiety. Although we have had only one bad experience (one sub who forgot to show up on Friday, thinking she did not need to come until Saturday), we are still always nervous leaving the animals with the subs. We have been so truly lucky with Maggie. I am not sure what we would have done without her all these years. I hope your new person can be your "Maggie."

    L-girl said...

    Thank you Amy. Wouldn't that be wonderful.

    Ferdzy said...

    Hi L-Girl;

    I'd bring up the topic of a possible rent reduction with your land-lord. In particular, if he is ensured as a landlord - which admittedly he might not be since he just has the one house - he should also be insured for loss of rental income due to this kind of thing. In other words, by giving you a break on the rent while work is ongoing, he might not actually end up being out any money if his insurance covers it. It depends what kind of insurance he has, as I said. It's worth asking about though, I would think.

    Sorry to hear life is so stressful. Hope you have a relaxing trip and leave all the worry at home.

    impudent strumpet said...

    I'd bring up the rent reduction casually and in passing. "Hey, any chance we could get a break on the rent for this month because of this?" sort of thing.

    L-girl said...

    Hi Ferdzy, thanks for the tip and good wishes.

    He is insured, but as you say, perhaps not officially as a landlord. That part I don't know.

    If you, as a landlord yourself, think it's ok to ask about the rent, that gives me more courage to do so. Thanks.

    L-girl said...

    Thanks, Imp. I'm wondering where this fits in re Entitlement.

    Dharma Seeker said...

    Hi Laura
    He can have the dwelling insured as a rented dwelling on his own policy and he will be covered for lost rental income. He neededn't be a professional landlord with a commercial lines policy for rentals. As long as this dwelling has been classified properly to the insurer he will have the coverage, plus he'll have been paying premium on it for some time! Definitely ask.

    L-girl said...

    Thanks DS! Would it matter that the insurance adjuster has already been in, the claim already filed?

    David Cho said...

    Excellent. I'd walk your dogs for free if I lived closer :).