Identify what is most important )0( Eliminate everything else
The idea that some lives matter less is the root of all that is wrong with the world. Dr. Paul Farmer
The suffering of others is not alleviated when no one knows about it.
There is no one right way to live. Daniel Quinn Ishmael
The only thing that you need to start an asylum is an empty room and the right sort of people.
We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be. Kurt Vonnegut

Sunday, September 30, 2012

doing nothing

Well,not much of anything. Reading, watching a couple of DVDs, maybe having a nap. Not much, and clean big-girl panties will have to wait until I go to the laundromat after tomorrow's afternoon meeting. Technology comes and becomes handier this week when I regain internet service. Yay! Reading is White Horse ,a post apocalyptic story that is intriguing if only because the tale is being revealed in obscure references; cannot really even call them hints. Maybe have cake, too.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Lots of forward movement

So.  I pretty much have whatever I need to live now.  A bit of money in the bank, which also provided me the opportunity to buy some things that I really needed.  Now, I have experienced loss nearly every day since the last big move, and all because of the stuff I needed to leave behind.

Sure, I can live without those things.  I know that because I was certain that getting rid of them in those moments would not kill me and there really was not any alternative to simply giving and throwing away all that stuff.

Frankly, if you have that much stuff, well, you have too much stuff.

That said, I miss my oils and all the equipment that goes along with doing aromatherapy.  All of it went into the trash on the last evening I was able to be in the house.  It could have been donated, but I kept hoping to find a place to live and that I would be able to haul some of that stuff around with me in the car for a few days or weeks or something.  I had rented a storage unit, but it was small and already full of other stuff.

Had I not been able to find an apartment the heat in the storage unit would have ruined the oils and tools anyway, so into the trash they went.

I left lots of things for the new owners.  They were surprised and thrilled and that makes me happy.  I do miss my folding stool, a small cart and gardening tools.  Too bad, I guess.  Same goes for all of the kitchen things I gave to other people, mostly those that I met when I was living in the shelter.  That is kind of nice.  Was then and I still feel that way now.

Mostly it bothers me that I miss and mourn all of those things.  It bothers me a lot.

I have to admit that I am feeling much better since using some of the trust account money to replace my iron (yippee!!!!), the lost sewing machine (two were lost somehow in all of the moving, bought only one stunningly inexpensive one, and it has not blown up or anything yet), some kitchen stuff (muffin pans, food processor...which I never had before and I love it..., toaster, a couple of utensils, stuff like that), some put-together-yourself shelving for my work/sewing/studio room (had absolutely no room to store the old shelving and it all went to the metal recycler) but my best purchase was sisal to make CoolCat a decent scratching post.  I did not buy any wood for the frame, but am using the end/arm section from the old futon (tossed) that I used in the storage unit to keep my mattresses off of the floor.

I started it yesterday and CoolCat, well, he is just a cat, but he was so excited when I unwrapped and unwound the sisal rope.  Like, he went momentarily insane with happiness.  I know that really happened, because I have experienced three...count 'em, three!!!...moments of happiness myself in the past few weeks, something that has not been a part of my life for a very long time.  Pure, unadulterated happiness.

So, both of us are thrilled with making the scratching post thing and I am kind of loving how excited and happy we are.  There were moments yesterday when I was awash in such wonderful and happy feelings that I had to stop and simply enjoy them.  I want more.  I know I will have more, probably too many to count or keep track of.  I am looking forward to that, but I know that I will never, never, ever, ever, ever take these moments for granted.

Ever.  Each one will be a brand-new affirmation of the amazing life I now have.  I could not envision having any kind of a life before, much less one where I would be safe and have my art around me and be comfortable and make my own decisions and be just plain safe, which is the foundation on which this new life is being constructed.

It is my most fervent desire to not buy anything more, not one, single thing, and I think that is a reasonable expectation.  I can go back to my budget and still buy some of the Wedgwood blue yarn I need to make a couple of face washers for a friend's newly remodeled bathroom.  I already have yarn to make hats for the grandbabies, who have not been actual babies for a very long time, but they are my sweet babies and so that is what I call them, and will continue to do until they ask me to stop calling them my sweet babies, which I hope will be never, or at least a really long time.

Oh, and I am going to try to be a vegan again, although I realistically do not hold much hope of achieving that, but I think that I might be able to handle ovo-vegetarianism.

Does that come with bacon?

Monday, September 24, 2012

I-I -I am a material girrrrrrrrrrrrrrl :

Yes, I am.

I finally received my share of the trust account from the divorce.  It is mostly from the proceeds of the house sale, which is not much because it was only me to fix it all up and get it ready for sale.  Well, that is not exactly accurate true. because I had two half days help, one from my daughter and the second from a friend, as well as hiring five amazing men to haul all of the hoarding stuff from someone who is not me.

But, for nearly two months, I fixed, cleaned and tidied that house and property.  It was stunningly difficult work, doing it alone, even though I was accustomed to doing most of the household maintenance.

But...but...but, now I do not have to worry about paying the rent or, really, just about anything that requires cold, hard cash.

So, I went shopping.

Some kitchen stuff, muffin pans, parchment paper, little things
Drying rack for whenever I build the courage to use the 'toy-sized' clothes washing machine I bought a month ago.  Well.
Groceries.  Meat that is not cheap and disgusting.  Vegetables.  Oils.  Staples like cereals, flours and stuff like that.
Food processor.  Yippee!

I spent just over $200.00 and it felt so good. 

I will be going shopping again this afternoon for materials to make CoolCat a warm bed, because I am going to use the furnace as little as possible until I see what it costs to keep a reasonable temperature here.  I am also buying materials to make him a kick-paw scratching post, like the one we had at the house.

I am buying crafting supplies and going to the post office and maybe even having a late lunch or early dinner out. 

This totally rocks, especially since many of the things I have been missing like crazy, well, it seems as though I can continue to still miss them but not have to replace them.

This totally rocks.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

catching up on what may pass for my newlife

I should be doing something useful, but my afternoon client cancelled and there have not been any walk-ins.  So, I am watching SNL skits on MSN.  OK.

Lots of things happening, but I have decided to stop complaining about every damn thing and focus on the positive.  I am not sure what positive is going to ultimately mean, and complaining is one of my core characteristics; just hoping for the best.

Where to begin.

I have adjusted CoolCat's feeding schedule and he is tossing his kibble much less.  Might even be in danger of losing his King of Vomitus title.  The Emir of Emesis.  The Sovereign of Spew.  Might have to heave out for someone more prolific at purging.

My Saturday morning coffee friends are coming to my house for breakfast guessed it...Saturday.  They all want to bring things, kind of stuck on my limited resources, but I just gotta love them for it. 

I am making muffins, orange, pineapple and chocolate.  If I thought I could squeeze some dried cranberries in there I would. 

Bacon.  Lots.  At least two pounds, 'cuz these babes sure do love their bacon.  Like insanely.  So, lots of crispy pig slices. 

Smoothies.  Just banana, strawberry and vanilla.  Nothing fancy and no special orders.

Eggs, which can be to order and which should also be interesting in the kitchen, which is the size of most bathrooms.

Bread, freshly made late on Friday night, or maybe I will save the last rise for Saturday morning and then bake.  I am making the muffins on Friday, because they taste better the next day, so that could work, bread-wise.

Coffee.  I have only a five-cup drip pot, so someone is bringing another, larger pot/machine, because this group was drawn together by their love of coffee.  I do have tons of grounds, though, and lots of nice water.

I have no idea what everyone else is bringing, but it will surely be interesting and plentiful.

I am still waiting for some money from the trust account.  Someone who is not me is holding things up as much as possible.  Who knows when all of this will finally end, the account, the dividing of the investments, all of it.  Frugal me can make it on very little, but my landlord would like very much to have the rent on time.  I sat down with my stuff yesterday and I can make the rent, gas for the car and groceries, but...depending on when it arrives...the utility bill might make for an interesting day or two.  Not going to worry, though, as everything seems to be working out just fine.

I am trying to make my second volunteer gig for helping people job-wise be a good fit.  If you volunteer in any kind of a business setting you will know that having a person who is volunteering her/his time makes some of the current, paid employees a bit nervous.  Despite all explanations and disclaimers to the contrary, there are always a few people who think that you are there to work your way into a paid position.  I am trying to be bright and breezy and be clear that I am not looking for a job, with uneven success.

It does not help that last week I served a client who began our session with racist remarks.  I shared my customary position that prejudicial, biased, bigoted and stereotypical comments are not permitted and that that sort of behavior is essential to the work we will be doing, that we will not be working together.  Said just like that and in a calm and pleasant voice and demeanor. 

I know that the world, heck my neighborhood and city are chock full of people who are holding on to and expressing racism all over the place.  And, let us not even address family members, one of whom is not speaking to me because I said pretty much the same as above when some really disgusting comments were made in front of my grandsons.   The guy and his siblings were having great fun at the expense of African Americans and gay people, in the same conversation.  I was so uncomfortable that I said what I needed to say and then left a very important, to me, birthday party, not mine, on Saturday afternoon.  I am not a prig, nor am I dedicated to always speaking up or commenting, much less making a big deal of this stuff, but it is not in anyone's best interest for me to stick around and just listen to that crap. 

Truthfully, if it had been just me to whom they were speaking, I would have the same response.  Seriously, none of these people just met me and I find it fascinating that they think that it is safe to spew hatred in front of me. 

Milwaukee, which is not too far from here, recently had an attack on a religious facility, where several people were killed, some were injured, including one of the police offers who responded to the attack.  Whilst I am not surprised that this inspired a whole shit load of negative chatter about that particular ethnic group, I am more than a bit surprised and completely heartened at how that local community, Milwaukee and individuals of all kinds have become insistently vocal in their support of the members of that religion and vehemently assertive with those who would take this as an opportunity to broadcast their poisonous agenda.

 Despite this, and the loving and supportive attitudes and behaviors of the people I know, and now the people of Milwaukee, is one of the things that gives me hope of all kinds.

I remember when the attacks of 9/11 happened, and that there was so much anger towards the ethnic group(s) held responsible for all of those terrible events.  I think that, maybe, good people were stunned into silence when all of the hatred and anger was turned towards the entirety of Muslim and Mid-Eastern people.  Maybe what happened in the Milwaukee area is a sign of how far we have come in accepting those who are different from ourselves, and maybe the events of 9/11 was in some way the catalyst for people of integrity and good intention to eventually stop keeping silent when hatred is expressed.

How did I get on this subject?!! Oh, yeah, the couple of idiotic, bigoted people I have had as clients.  It is not like I expect everyone to be color-blind, as I think that eliminates opportunity to learn about people who are different from me, religion, culture, origin, even preferences.

You know, it is a huge cliché, but our world is increasing small all the time.  You can try to deny it, but media, technology and travel are opening up every part of the world for anyone who wants, or just happens, to learn about it, and in ways that no one could have ever imagined.  We do not have to like it, frankly, even though that does not serve us very well, but the truth is that we live in this particular world space.  And, I do not think that life is going to be any easier when things start to go all wonky...and they will/are...if your experience and vision and perspective is clouded by prejudice and the lack of acceptance of anyone who is different.

So, not so much complaining, but it is clear that ranting is willing to take its place.  Rants are not complaining.  Really.  I think.

Hopefully next week will find me with great financial resources, or if not, a brighter attitude and fewer small-minded people.  Yes, that is a total and complete judgement.  Yep.

Oh, sewing machines.  I found my serger, but the basic machines seems to have been lost in the moving all over the damn place.  I researched and drooled and even went to look at machines at a store where I trust the owners as ethical people.  I settled on a mid-range machine, but wanted to take overnight to think about that kind of purchase, especially when I did not have the actual cash to buy it and would have had to put it on my credit card.  I am accustomed to paying that card bill in full each month, but I have missed sewing so much.  Several times a week I either need to fix something or just plain need to sew dammit. 

I knew I was in trouble when I started becoming all emotional about it.  Like crying, for crying out loud.  I was a mess.  I needed to sew.  It is meditative and, gosh, I think that it is close to a spiritual experience for me.  I missed it so much, not having been able to sew for, gosh, months.

But, I could not bring myself to spend the money on a machine, not when I really need dental care, like desperately.  So, I did not buy it.  So sad.  Really.  If you were really frugal and needed something and were accustomed to making it yourself, this is really sad.

So, on Saturday, after coffee, I went to a fabric store to look at less expensive machines, and whilst they were half the price of the one I longed/drooled for, I still could not buy one.  After buying some ever-so-cute fabric for this bookmark swap thing, I walked down the strip mall to a store where one of the coffee chicks works.  A friend and I wandered around there and as we were thinking about leaving and looking for some lunch, my friend who works there said that they had a machine there and it was on sale.

It is a Singer, an older model.  Sale price plus extra sale day discount and I bought the machine for about $70.00/US, including tax.  About 10% the cost of the machine over which I drooled.  So far I have only sewn the two bookmarks, but on Sunday I will be dedicating the entire day to making an every-day throw for the sofa, one for the chair; a nice, big, comfy bed for CoolCat; a bread bag.  If there is time or energy, maybe I will get a tote bag for work out of it, maybe some napkins.

Oh, it might be nice to have the napkins for Saturday.  There must be some fabric around that I could use.

Well, there you go.  All happy and positive again.

Speaking of happiness, I experienced it twice recently.  In maybe a decade or three, those were the first times that I experienced real happiness and contentment.  More about them another day, but they were over simple things.  Fucking amazing.  Ah, guess I have not given up cursing.  Curses!!!!