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It’s been a while…

August 25th, 2021 No comments
4 unfinished paintings
Just unfinished tings. That Confederate Flag is gonna be burning when I’m finished with it. That’s the extent of the concept. Burn it down.

Holy shit. Almost ten months to the day. It’s been…it’s been rough, y’all. I’m not even sure how we made it through. Maybe we haven’t. Maybe there’s more to come. Who knows?

ANYway…

HI! How are you?

No, really. How are you? It’s been one motherfucker of a couple years, huh? Who’da thought that when Trump lost, a bunch of domestic terrorists would attack the capitol and try to keep the vote from being certified?

I feel like we’re sitting on a powder keg. November 3 is the match. And to be frank, I’m not sure the outcome actually matters. It’s going off either way.
Oh wait…I did.

Tbh, I’m kinda shocked that nothing happened earlier this month when he wasn’t reinstated. I wonder if he’s finally losing supporters. But I’m not naive enough to think he’s the worst we have to fear. Republicans have shown us who they are. I think it only gets worse from here.

Christians sure do like to control the people around them, eh? The Bible talks about testifying and witnessing, but at least after the crucifixion, there’s a distinct commitment to free will and minding our own business. I guess that part isn’t important.

I am not Christian. I was. That was a long time ago. I studied the Bible for 3 years (my fave of the responses I’ve received to that so far has been, “why would you need to study it for 3 years? Do you suck at reading?”), and I realized the god mentioned in that book is just not a deity I want to follow. If I’m wrong, at least I’ll be in Hell with all my people.

I don’t really want to talk about COVID except to say that I’ve come to the conclusion that Earth has had enough of our shit. Climate change and COVID are her way of course correcting and controlling the population. We are smart enough to stop them, but to do that, we have to change who we are as a society. I would love to say I can see that happening, but it doesn’t look likely. Everybody thinks they’re right and everybody else is wrong and nobody is interested in changing.

Learn to swim. See you down in Arizona Bay.

Or wear a mask, get vaccinated, recycle or reuse, and do what you can to leave every place you visit better than it was when you got there.

I prefer the latter. I know how to swim, but I’m not really a beach gal. I like the woods and the mountains.

Speaking of which, we’ve moved to the woods in the mountains. Literally. We got pizza one of our first nights here, and the fella who owns the place told us the closest liquor store was around the mountain.

cabin in the woods
I forget when I’m sitting inside that this is what my house looks like now.
I’m obsessed.

“Don’t let that deter ya,” he goes. “Round the mountain is literally a five minute drive. They should be open for another hour at least.”

But it was raining cats and dogs (no, not literally), and we were exhausted, and it was starting to get dark, and we’d never even visited the area we live in now, so we passed on taking a drive round the mountain until we were in a better mental and physical state and the outside was behaving better.

The move was stressful as fuck.

Neither of us is really in good shape physically. 2020 fucked us up like it fucked up everybody, and we stopped going for walks, hiking…pretty much all of the things we love to do. Not just because of COVID, though that was a factor. Also because we were both stewing in our own shit, and when we do that, we just kind of lock ourselves away and pretend the rest of the world doesn’t exist.

Then the car starting breaking. We’ve emptied M’s retirement account twice in the last two years to pay for car repairs. We eventually had to borrow money from my mother (which I absolutely hate doing) because we were trying to move and the whole front suspension went, and then the tires went, and we blew a radiator hose, and the brakes were completely shot, and now there’s a new problem in the front end, which is so frustrating because we just replaced damn near the entire front end. Obviously, we missed a part or two.

Bleh.

We didn’t move because we wanted to. We were considering buying that place, despite the fact that that was definitely not where I wanted our forever home to be.

We lived on a literal highway and our front door wasn’t that far from the road. It was super dangerous. Any time we left the house out the front door, I panicked the entire time we were gone because I once watched my neighbor’s dog get hit by a van in front of that house, and I would convince myself that somehow Bash (always Bash…probably because Priss never tries to get out of the house) found a way outside when we were leaving and got hit by a car while we were gone.

THAT’s fun.

I also hated the walnut trees, and wasn’t stoked about living next to a restaurant/motel. Especially in a red district in the times of COVID.

Don’t get me wrong. We loved the time we had there, and we’re still grateful for the opportunity. But what I really want is a secluded cabin in the woods. And right now, we’re as close as we can afford to having that. I can’t wait to light up the wood burning stove this fall. A real one this time. Not propane. We’ve already got a cord of wood in the wood shed.

We have a wood shed.

We moved from the longest coast-to-coast US highway to a one mile road. Our “neighborhood,” if you can call it that, consists of artists and homesteads.

Our new landlords are artists whose political beliefs align with our own.

We asked L if there was a pizza place in town, and he said, “there’s an ice cream shop that serves some food, but we don’t go there. They’re Trumpers.”

The relief I felt…y’all.

Maybe it’s stupid, but I was so scared we were going to end up paying rent to Trumpers. I know I spend money with them somewhere, because it’s almost impossible not to (and not everyone makes their political affiliation known to the world), but the idea of knowingly adding to the wealth of someone who supports that whole “movement” on a person-to-person level makes me sick to my stomach.

He was talking about the other candidates who looked at the house, and said, “one car pulled in with a Confederate Flag on the back, and I thought to myself, ‘come on, man. I’m not gonna rent to you with that on your car. I’d be stupid to do that.'”

They support BLM and the LGBTQ+ community. It’s really nice to be renting from people without having to worry that that money is going to support things I find morally repugnant.

Not that we had to worry about that with our last landlord. He’s pretty much on our level politically, too. But previous landlords for sure are Trump supporters now. For sure. And neither of us really wanted to end up with a landlord like that this time around.

We were rebuilding our credit and pulling ourselves out of debt slowly, and when our friend told us he needs to sell the house, we started to try to kick that into high gear, thinking maybe we could work something out, find some way to make the purchase work. But then, like I said, the car kept breaking, and it became abundantly clear that our only option was to find another place to live.

I spiraled about it for a while because if I had a job, we might be in a better financial position, but M really does not want me to work a normal job.

And it’ll cost a good amount of money for me to be able to work, anyway. At the last place, we were far enough away from everything that I needed a license so I could drive myself to and from work. M can’t really take time off twice a day, every day, to drive me back and forth. He doesn’t have time for that. That means I have to get my permit so I can legally practice driving since I haven’t done it in 20 years. M doesn’t want me driving a car that keeps breaking, so until it’s fixed to his satisfaction, getting my permit is pointless. But after my permit, there’s the five-hour course, and the driving test, and the license fees, and the increase in insurance which is likely to be substantial.

If I were in better shape, I could probably walk to work here. There are a couple shops in town and they’re hiring. But right now? I’d get to work and need an hour break and a change of clothes before I even started because it’s two and a half miles in the mountains. If it was flat, I’d probably be okay. Mostly.

So now, all the progress we’d made on our debt and our credit scores is reversed. I’m a little sad about that, but in the end, we can rebuild our credit again, and I love our new place.

the view from our front porch
I mean, come on.
(We were still organizing.)

It’s a two bedroom with a tiny kitchen, even tinier living room, and a giant finished (but not insulated) porch that is at least 4 times the size of the living room.

We hate the bathroom, and will be doing some renovating in 2022 if we’re still here. We should be. The landlords were specifically looking for people who were planning to live here for a while. C said, “we’re looking for longevity,” when we met for the first time. I said, “us too!” We’re so tired of moving.

In the meantime, I’m going to replace the drain plate in the tub, and recaulk everything. It definitely needs it.

Our bedroom is a loft with no door. I love it. I thought I would hate it. Mostly because the ceiling is sloped, and I was never a fan of sleeping under sloped ceilings. Probably because I always cut my knuckles on the popcorn ceiling in my high school bedroom. But this one is smooth, blue washed wood, and I adore it.

The office is the literal size of a king size bed. Our desks fit inside and that’s about it. But this view though…

Finding this house was so painful. We searched for months, in various publications and websites, before we found a landlord who would let us bring both cats and didn’t want to do a credit check.

It was the weirdest thing. Call it manifestation, or coincidence. Whatever works for your worldview.

We were getting desperate. We didn’t know how long we had before our friend was putting the house on the market. And the rental market was BARE. When I say bare, I mean there was nothing on Craigslist, multiple local papers had 0 listings in their classifieds, and the handful of listings in our price range on Zillow and apartments.com and such wanted people with good credit, a ridiculously high salary, and no pets.

I was in a straight panic because I was having nightmares about losing the cats. And we were talking about how we almost bought the house we were living in, and I said I was really glad we didn’t because I didn’t want to live there forever. And sure, we could sell it and buy another house, or rent it out for extra income, or whatever, but we wouldn’t. We’d buy it and just stay forever, because once M’s comfortable, that’s how things go.

And I said, “I don’t want to live in a place like this. I want a cabin in the woods a little away from the road so I have time to grab Bash before he does something stupid. Somewhere smaller, that takes less cleaning, and has lots of space between us and the neighbors. And no motels.”

A few days later, a friend of ours said, “well, I just paid off the mortgage on my uncle’s house. You can move in there. It just needs cleaning and repairs. But he was a hoarder. Do not underestimate what that means.”

The day before we went to look at her uncle’s house, a new listing popped up on Zillow that was exactly what I’d said I wanted. To the letter. So I scheduled a viewing.

We didn’t underestimate what our friend meant, and were fully ready to take on the job of her uncle’s house, but when we got there, we realized she really had no idea how much repairs it would need. There were ceilings caving in, clearly from a leaky roof, and she had no idea if the roof had been repaired. The mattress her uncle died on was still there. The bathrooms were so hoarded there was no way to know if they worked. The fridge, stove, and dishwasher were literally from the 70s.

It has a brand new furnace and hot water heater. It was obviously once a beautiful building, and could be beautiful again once it was fixed. But we didn’t know how much time we had, and we couldn’t afford to pay rent at both places, and then do repairs on top of that, and we couldn’t get a clear indication of what she was going to cover and what we had to pay for.

We decided to go see the Zillow house and make a decision after that.

The landlord said he’d always used Craigslist or the newspaper to rent the cabin out, but the day before he put the house up, he got an email from Zillow offering him a free first time listing on their site, so he gave it a shot. And the rest, as they say, is history.

There’s been other weird shit since we moved here, and it’s just a feather in the cap of weird shit that has happened to me my whole life, but I like to pretend that y’all think I’m sane, despite how hard I’ve worked to impress upon you that I am not, so I’m not going to go into that. Right now. Maybe another day. But I’m pretty sure this is where we’re meant to be.

Our new place is really close to the Massachusetts border, which is almost completely on the other side of the state from where we used to live. We do all our shopping in Massachusetts because that’s where the closest full grocery store is. It has a liquor store inside. We get discounts on Jack Daniels and Captain Morgan and our favorite wines through our loyalty card.

BTW, I learned it’s illegal in Mass to have loyalty programs for recreational cannabis, but it’s not illegal to add liquor to your loyalty sales program. A little hypocritical, if you ask me, but what do I know?

The closest dispensary is about 15 minutes away, which has made microdosing to control anxiety possible and incredibly affordable. And we’ve pretty much decided that if we can’t find another house in the town we live in now if/when we have to move again, our next move will be into Massachusetts. Probably not far from where we live now. We’re really into this area.

It’s a funny thing when you’re stuck in the house for over a year with another human who is so buried in work that he doesn’t have the brain power to interact with you past a good fuck and sitting next to you with the TV on. You eventually run out of ways to distract yourself from your loneliness. Your brain starts to feed on itself. You start to dissect all the things you’ve done, and why. And if you’re really lucky, you start to accept yourself for who you are, and find ways to forgive yourself for the things you’ve done.

I’ve finally allowed myself to face the ways I’ve been affected by the abuse I’ve suffered. I’ve stopped protecting my abusers. And I’ve stopped allowing myself to blame everyone else for everything I’ve been through. I definitely played a role in my trauma. And I allowed my trauma to make me the cause of other people’s pain. And that’s not okay.

But the thing about facing your darkness is you can better see your light. I made some pretty big mistakes. I lost some really special things because of them. But I’m not that person anymore. I strive every day to be better than I was then. I still have some rough edges that might never smooth out, but I am beautiful, and I am kind, and I am deserving of happiness and love. The pieces are on the floor and in some cases, it’s been decades. There’s no putting them back together. It’s long past time I leave them there and solve the puzzle of my happiness.

So that’s where I’m at.

But enough about me. Tell me about you. How are you doing? Really.

The State of the Move

September 7th, 2016 3 comments

The view from our bedroom.

The view from our bedroom.

So today makes a week.

Last Wednesday, we were breaking our backs loading the U-Haul, trying to calm yowling cats on the ride in the U-Haul, unloading the U-Haul, and then dying.

Okay, so we didn’t die. But for a minute, it felt like we were going to.

My knees seem to be healing up nicely. After carrying boxes and furniture up a ramp, down a ramp, and up stairs, they felt like they were just going to snap. But they didn’t. And now, though the bad one (that has been “the bad one” since I woke up on the day of my 6th birthday skating party and couldn’t put any weight on it) is rather creaky, they’re mostly back to normal.

My hands, however, are not. The tips of my fingers have been pins and needles pretty much every minute since moving day. They start to feel normal if I just let them hang by my sides for an hour, but who has time for that? Definitely not this little gray duck. I mean, I live in this big, beautiful house, now, and it just demands that I clean it constantly because it would be a damn shame to let it get messy and be less beautiful.

I’ve never felt that way about a house before. Read more…

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