Moving Sale – June 17 & 18


I worked all day today on clearing out my shed of items to sell on Friday and Saturday. I can’t believe how much stuff I have collected. I think I have every piece of artwork Madelyn ever created! I have to ask her if she wants any of it, but she is not as sentimental as I am. My shed leaks as well, so a lot of my stuff was ruined; a good reason not to save so much.

So I am having this Super Duper Moving Sale this Friday and Saturday from 9-5 each day. My goal is to sell everything, but I’m sure I will be making some Goodwill runs as well. I would love to see my local FB friends over the weekend, even if you aren’t planning on buying anything – just to see you before I leave. My address is:  631 N. Birch St., Canby 97013.  For my Canby friends, I’m near Eccles school.

I think I had the most energy today that I’ve had in a long time. The reality of this move is sinking in, and the lack of space in our New York apartment is fueling my efforts. I’m ready to downsize and live with just what really means something to me.

Hope to see you Saturday!


Time To Get Serious About Packing


My estimated date of departure from Oregon is July 6th. So I think I need to get going on packing. We are going to be living in a very small apartment in NYC, and I know I can’t take all my “stuff.” You know, the great garage sale items bought with creative ideas in mind. Or the furniture I was going to redo. What about all those chatchkas I just couldn’t pass up? So, I emptied my storage unit into my living room, and am moving everything I don’t want to take, into my kitchen……for a stupendous moving sale next weekend! I’m giving up things like amazing tile I bought for a steal, and a beautiful antique library table.  Well, no point rehashing it all in my head; downsizing it is. I’m becoming less attached to things as time goes on, anyway. I remember how much stuff my mother and dad had, and how my brothers and I struggled with what to do with it all.  I realize that people are what I want to hold on to – not things. I’ve made many good friends here in Oregon, and it is they who I wish I could take with me, not my stuff.

What the….?


I have been driving since I am 17yrs old, and believe me, that is a long time. I have never been in an accident……until today that is. There I am, innocently driving up I-5 to a medical appointment at OHSU, when out of nowhere (it seemed) I heard and felt something banging into me on the driver’s side of the car. I held onto the wheel while the car started spinning around – right there in the middle of the highway! I could smell the rubber burning. Somehow I steered the car to the left side of the highway and stopped – well, actually stalled. I sat there for a few minutes just not believing what had happened, and that I was still alive.

What banged into me was a long flatbed truck. There was a witness who said the truck appeared to be changing lanes and didn’t see me. The truck driver said “I dunno what happened?” The entire left side of my car, each panel, has damage to it, and what is infuriating to me is that my mechanic has offered to buy the car when I leave.

This is definitely the freakiest thing that has ever happened to me. It is amazing to be in the throes of it – I remember thinking, “I’m moving to New York, I can’t die!” What is the most amazing thing is that while I was spinning, no one got even close enough to hit me. Wow!!



Will the real Carole Penner please stand up? Because the person I knew hasn’t been around for awhile.  Am I the only person to have had surgery and feel as if an alien has inhabited my body? I so wish I would have thought about knee surgery last year, not now when I’m trying to get ready for a life-changing event. I think moving ranks number one on the list of stressful events, and then to combine it with what my physical therapist calls, “a brutal surgery,” is pushing my ability to multitask.

I think it must be the meds that are still causing me to feel so alien. Even though I stopped taking them, I’ve been told they may stay in my system for a few weeks. No amount of caffeine seems to be able to shake me out of this funk.  I have to make a decision though, about when I am leaving Oregon. Like, buy a plane ticket and pack up the house. Can’t kick myself in the pants, so I think baby steps is the answer. This morning I made a Goodwill run; that’s a start. I think packing all the chachkas in the living room hutch would be a good start too. I’m thinking of having a packing and loading party in a couple of weeks.  Any takers out there? I’m buying the pizza.

Super Woman says Sayonara


I’m going to have to pack my cape away for awhile; no more Super Woman for me until my body is healed. That means learning the meaning of the words “relax,” “do nothing,” “ask for help,” and “sorry, I can’t.”  It also will include going to a part-time work schedule at school on M,W, and F. My HR person actually suggested it, saying that I probably came back to work too soon.  But what was I supposed to do at home anyway? I’ve been reading like a mad woman, I think I’ve been winning the prize for taking the most cookbooks out of the library, and today I even borrowed the book, LOST – The Encyclopedia!!  Forget picking weeds – thank goodness the house is spotless. But I do have to start packing up the things I’ll be shipping to New York. If I were in my 20’s, I’d sell absolutely everything and start completely over – sleep on a mattress on the floor, use crates for my clothes, but I’ve had a life that I can’t ignore.  So, maybe on Tuesdays and Thursdays when I’m home relaxing my knee, I can slowly but surely start wrapping up the Tiffany wine glasses I received in 1974 when I married my first husband, and all the Jewish collectibles that my mother passed on to me – and possibly reassess the rest of what I think I “must” hold on to.

I have to admit that I am in a lot of pain on a daily basis; even when I sleep (which I don’t understand at all). Another way for me to look at this is that I’ve been working at some job or another since my senior year in high school – non-stop. Maybe I deserve this little respite before embarking on the next phase of my life. Perhaps the pain is needed for me to be able to gather up my thoughts, have plenty of time to send out letters and resumes for jobs, and to reflect.

Learning To Walk Again


What a humbling experience – learning to walk again. That is exactly what I have had to do since my knee replacement. I actually practice walking properly at physical therapy (among more grueling exercises). I’m also learning to not take simple things for granted, like being able to lie down when I need to, naps,  elevating my leg, and most of all, getting up at 5:45, dressing, getting in the car and driving 40 minutes to work and making it through to 3:25.

I’m thinking that perhaps I should be doing 1/2 days this first week back. I am very tired by the end of the day, and in a lot of pain. I came home today and took a nap for four hours! But it is so good to see my students and be back in the loop, that I will probably deal with it for the rest of the week.

My house is going to be very empty after this weekend. Both the kitchen and Madelyn’s bedroom furniture will be sold – the echo will get louder. I’ve been applying for teaching positions – there are still Special Ed. positions available, even though the City of New York is laying off 4000 teachers, at last count. One of the positions is actually at a middle school called Theatre Arts Production Company School!  Now, they still value the Arts…I’m talking to you, Canby!

There may be hope for Wendy and Simba; the Humane Society has them on their list (which make take a few months), but they didn’t say “no.” I could advertise on Craigslist, but I wouldn’t want some weirdo taking them. I might try that though, and say there will be an adoption fee. Hopefully, that would weed them out.

Back To the Present


So I’m going back to work on Monday.  I got the OK from my doctor, and I’ve been practicing driving.  It is true that when a person has this kind of surgery, they have to learn to walk all over again. Where did the month go? I am so fortunate to have had 651 hours of accumulated sick time, so I could stay home and recuperate without feeling panic about my job.  I’m very excited to see my students and co-workers, and hope they missed me as well!

This has been a productive time for me too, as far as thinking through my plans and figuring out the whole house/moving issue. I actually thought more about leg pain than the house, but love the fact that I have been able to make some important decisions just by using plain, ordinary mental power. I’m no longer stuck on looking only for high school teaching positions; what was I thinking? Do I really have that much of a choice? I found some very cool positions on the NYC Ed. web site today in an elementary school and a middle school that focuses on the arts. Anyway, it seems that high schools in New York are looking for SPED teachers who are certified in a core subject area – that’s not me.

My ex and I have worked out the house issue, and when I leave Oregon, I won’t have any ties to the house; another good thing. The only issue that remains is what to do about our elderly cats. My neighbor Timothy is thinking about my offer to give him a sort of stipend so he could take care of Wendy till her demise. Simba is another issue – he has a “peeing outside of the box” problem, and at 17 yrs old and that issue, I don’t know of anyone who would want to adopt him.  However, I do believe that things work out, one way or another. Well, I’m actually tired of using that phrase; I would really like to know how things are going to work out, right now!

Having Madelyn stay with me for two weeks was a real blessing. We got along so well, and we agreed that living together seems like it will work out well.  I appreciate her very much, and am proud of the terrific woman she has turned into.