I figured out there are (at least) 8 things that need to happen by February, 2010 for me to start my thru AT hike. They are:
Get a job making enough money to finance everything
Pay off all non-mortgage debt
Fix up the house so I can sell it
Put at least $10K in hiking fund
Put at least $10K in fund to pay for things here while I'm gone
Put at least $10K in fund to live on after the hike
Get myself into better physical shape
Those are the basics. Pretty much all but the getting into better shape depend on a job making good money. I now have that. So, a large part of my effort towards my hike will be spent on doing well in this job.
The main issue that has had me tied up in knots about taking this job is what do I do about the cat? I really, really like my cat. I really, really don't want to get rid of him. I even basically hung up on my Mom when the day after I took the new job she asked brightly if I'd found a home for the cat. Traveling for 3 weeks out at a time wouldn't work well with keeping the cat.
The answer came yesterday. I have a house sitter, someone who will not be here a lot, but will be here often enough to take care of the place and take care of the cat. He moved into the spare room yesterday. Well, he moved in after I cleared it out. Now I need to spend a lot of time/effort to find a place for all the junk, err stuff that I moved out of that room. I can keep the cat. I am happy.
Now I really need that week off between jobs to get organized around here. And, I need to get rid of A LOT of stuff.
I typed that the other day, but lost my internet connection before it posted. My connection here at the house is iffy sometimes. The housemate moved in, slept a few hours and went to work. Then he went back to KY for his days off with his family. I knew he was due back in town sometime today/tonight.
Around 4am I hear noises like someone is moving things around. This is an odd time, since he works midnights. Then I hear the unmistakable sound of something largish eating the cat's food in the kitchen. This seems odd even for this housemate. I gingerly turn on some lights and peae into the kitchen and see a tail dissappear behind the trash can. I call the housemate at work and ask if he, perhaps, brought a small animal into the house earlier? He says no. As we talked he suggested that I probably had a possum in the house.
I closed myself and the cat into my bedroom and tried to go back to sleep after assurances from said housemate that he would dispatch the possum when he got home this afternoon. I guess men are useful after all. Someone Else would take care of this intruder. The crunching sound began again. Sigh. I got up, put on shoes and peeked into the kitchen again, having left the lights on. Yes, a possum. In my kitchen. Eating out of my cat's bowl. I called the housemate again. His work partner suggested a broom and screaming. I swore under my breath. The broom was next to the possum.
So, I shut the cat up in the bedroom and when the possum hid behind the trash can again I got the broom. I opened the back door and slowly made my advance. Moving the trashcan out of the way, I looked at the largish (ok, it's 4am, anything is largish at that hour) possum cowering in the corner. I gingerly prodded it with the broom, housemate on the phone in my ear waiting for me to scream. It ran, but not out the door. It ran instead towards the housemate's bedroom, then veered into the other junk-filled bedroom next to it. I closed the door to that room and told the housemate where he could find the possum when he got home.
Of course, now it's close to 5am, and I can't sleep again. But, at least the cat can come out and I don't have to worry about rounding a corner and being surprised by the intruder. I washed the cat's food and water bowls, and cleaned the floor with bleach cleaner, just in case the animal has health issues. The idea of my cat and the possum tangling was actually my main worry. The cat wasn't at all concerned about the intruder, though. I'm wondering just how long the thing has been here...