That House Tho

If anyone has wondered where I’ve been, my time has been mostly consumed with working on my new house. The previous owners clearly didn’t think anyone was ever going to remodel that place, as evidenced by how excessively secure they made every bit of flooring, every cabinet, every shelving unit, etc. They even hardwired all their appliances. My body reminds me daily that I’m getting too old for this shit and I’ve had to power through some major soreness, including a sprained elbow, to keep laying down hardwood flooring. Luckily I’ve had some help.

In addition to the house stress my brother was in a car accident, he got hit by a girl who blew through a stop sign going 50mph. Everyone is fine but the car was totaled. The car happened to be my mother’s and so she was out a vehicle. Dealing with insurance companies is a headache. They cut her a check but it doesn’t cover the full cost to actually replace the model of car with the features she had.

There have been several extended family/friends dramatic events. Not to mention the shit show that is the president and all the fights he starts. Climate change documents with warnings that too many people ignore. Getting misinformed about my move out date at the apartment and having to cancel truck reservations. Having weird things keep happening. Being told my dead ex husband ordered a disconnect of my internet service. Not being able to get bids back on projects/repairs to my house from SO MANY companies. You know, life stuff, it tends to keep me away from all this.

 

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Coming Soon

I close on a house in one week. At which point massive remodeling projects begin. I’m simultaneously excited and apprehensive at the extent of work I’m about to take on.

Considering just how expensive it’s become to have anyone do any work on your house, my plan is to put a LOT of sweat equity into it. This means I’m pulling up all existing floors everywhere except 2 out of the 3 bathrooms. I’m gutting and expanding the master bath. I’m gutting the kitchen. I’m removing walls to open up the living spaces. I’m expanding one bedroom and turning the other into a laundry room, which means framing out a new bedroom in the basement to make up for the one I’m losing on the main.

I will not run my own new plumbing/electrical/venting, however. I’m still waiting for my bids to come back but I suspect that it will cost me roughly the same amount to have a licensed “pro” do those runs as the entire two levels of flooring plus the tile for the bathroom will cost me, and that’s just sad. When I showed the first guy the bathroom and told him what I wanted to do he was throwing numbers like $25k at me and I just stared at him. Like I would ever pay anyone that much to run some plumbing, get real.

Luckily, thanks to the Blair house, I know how to lay hardwood floor, how to install kitchen cabinets, how to frame and drywall. I also know how to tile and replace fixtures both plumbing and electrical. I can do all this work but I’m pretty sure I’ll be kicking myself mid way though.

When I’m done the place is going to look so different and it will be all my designs this time. I will finally have a house that I worked hard to create that doesn’t also have so many traumatic memories. I hope I can finally feel like I’m home and enjoy where I’m living. It’s been so long since I felt like I was home anywhere (minus some fleeting moments in embraces with a person I loved dearly) that it would be a relief to finally settle in somewhere.

What Will It Take?

What will it take to decide enough is enough? What will it take to inspire people to collaborate for the benefit of all, not just themselves? What will it take to show the dangers of desensitization? What will it take to stop the excessive hypocrisy?

I really want to know.

I want to know how to have a meaningful conversation with people so full of fear and hate that they have lost their compassion, their decency, their empathy.

I want to know what drives a person to look past cruel and vicious natures and legitimize actions that purposely hurt others.

How insecure must our nation be, to allow this circus to thrive?

Unacceptable

Trump denying the high death toll of Puerto Ricans after the hurricanes just further reminds me of Hitler initially denying the climbing death toll of Jews during the war.

For anyone who hadn’t experienced Nazi Germany and wondered how Hitler ever came to power, they need only look to what has and continues to happen in the United States right now.

I’ve had people vehemently deny that Trump is anything like Hitler but at this point there’s enough evidence that I think it’s safe to say there’s far too many similarities to refute the comparison.

Not OK

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Why am I posting a picture of a phone number on my blog you may ask. It’s because this torn off sheet of notebook paper is evidence. Evidence that no matter how much you may have,or still do, love someone, if they are being continually cruel and abusive to you, you’re not obligated to just accept it.

I had been in an emotionally and verbally abusive marriage for years. I tried everything to make the relationship work but I was the only one putting in the work. Eventually he did something I couldn’t look past and I filed for divorce. Years later I met a man I thought shared my values and I could build a future with and he too decided it was perfectly ok to blame me for his own insecurities and to lash out at me.

We eventually broke up because his insecurities were stronger than his proclaimed love for me. I had finally started to come to terms with the loss of our future together (any sane person should’ve been glad they got out of a bad situation but my stupid heart still loved him) when he finally started being civil towards me again. He enticed me into hanging out again doing shared activities he knew I loved. Then the whole reason for his insecurities reared its head again. Didn’t matter that I hadn’t “betrayed” him. Didn’t matter that I wasn’t trying to defend anything or argue against his bs accusations. He spent two days in a row subjecting me to emotional trauma and abuse…at work. On the third day I refused to acknowledge or engage. I even asked to leave work so I wouldn’t have to interact with him. After several more emails where he was threatening legal action against me for supposedly refusing to immediately provide him with a Bluetooth headset he’d attached to my motorcycle helmet, I told him in no uncertain terms that he had been traumatizing me, treating me like shit, I didn’t condone his behavior towards me and that if he wanted his headset he could arrange a time to come get it. He immediately just came to my place of residence. He refused to use the intercom system to be let in, wanted me to come down and open the door for him. When I insisted he use the intercom system he called the cops. I went down to talk to the officer. After the officer had settled everything and he’d gotten his headset back and left she turned to me and offered support and the number to a group that helps women dealing with abuse.

When the cops are called on you and they leave offering you help with filing a no contact order you know that you didn’t fail, you weren’t the reason your relationship didn’t work out, you don’t deserve to be spoken to or treated with such disrespect.

The Struggle is Real

Getting real tired of opening social media, turning on the tv, or any other type of news gathering option, just to see that the POTUS has once again tweeted some bullshit immature spout off instead of acting in a manner befitting his office. I’m sick of seeing the arguments and reactions it causes. I’m sick of the embarrassment (at best) and horror (at worst) I feel in response to the actions of the government I had very little say in electing. Made the mistake of watching a Netflix documentary called “What The Health” and that made me so fucking sad. Combine that with the very real effects climate change is causing all around me and it’s making it way too easy to want to give in to apathy and depression.

It’s a constant battle every day. Trying to motivate myself to not give in to despair. To rally and find causes worth putting effort into. Clinging to hope in the face of cold logic. Reminding myself to appreciate the little moments of joy I am privileged to experience daily. It’s a struggle, and I’m sure I’m not alone in it. Thank goodness for support networks. Thank goodness for the people who love me and the people who let me love them. For asshole cats who hug back. For the power of music and the feel of a hand holding mine. For that first bite of something delicious made with care. For humor in the face of fear. For hot baths and good books to get lost in. Thank goodness for the little things that allow me to keep going despite the raging swell of negativity that surrounds me. Some days tho…it’s all I can do to get out of bed.

Merry Christmas

Every one deals with existential crisis at some point in their lives. Why are we here? What’s the point of life? What could my purpose possibly be?

Everyone has a different answer.

Christmas time is supposed to be a magical time where you can reconnect to that innocent spirit and remember your belief in magic, in miracles, in the basic decency of humans. Unless you live on Earth in the year 2017.

There is so much devisiveness, so many people and media outlets trying to convince people to pick a side. Hatred and fear infiltrating societies around the globe. Life sustainability threatened on a global scale. Planet that supports human life on the decline. Species going extinct at record rates. Crops and livestock suffering casualties daily. People attacking people every second. Peace on Earth…the most foreign of concepts that no one is willing to embrace anymore.

Is this the end times? Do we stand here and watch as people around the globe do one of three things? Do we watch as they ignore the problems humans have created? Do we watch as people kill one another and the planet we depend on? Do we help assist in the mass genocide of all living things on the planet? Or maybe we chose a fourth option. Maybe we stand and we look fear in the eyes and we say “No, not today, today we elevate and become what we’re capable of. We don’t give in to fear, to hate, to insecurity, and to destruction. Today we recognize that humanity and this planet are worth fighting for. We recognize that money is an arbitrary concept, that we are stronger together. We resolve to put in the effort, to be vulnerable, to choose creation instead of destruction. Today we can embrace the magic of the season and we can make a choice.

Choose life, or choose fear. Up to you, but think hard and think long. Because really it’s on all of us.