Not Sure

I am not sure about some things– whether or not I should wear pink, if microwaving counts as cooking and where I’m going to be this time next year.

The house where I live has overdue taxes I can’t pay. It will go to the county and be auctioned off. There is no clear owner, none of my family wants the place since they all have homes and the house needs a lot of work. Unless I win the lottery that’s about it.

I’m not sure how I feel about it either. A variety of emotions are floating around inside, colliding with each other. Right now I’m a little numb, and dreading the packing.

It’s not the first time I’ve had to do this. After Jerry passed away I had to leave the old apartment. I couldn’t afford the rent and I didn’t want to be there even if I could. That’s how I ended up here. Even then I knew it was temporary but that was 3 years ago. Because of that I still haven’t unpacked all my stuff. Good thing apparently.

I told Cho and she listened. She seems okay with it, as long as she has treats and I keep her box scooped out the rest is unimportant. The occasional belly rub too.

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I have considered trying to stay but I can’t afford the repairs and taxes, I’m not eligible for loans, which I really don’t want to take out. I admit I’m not that emotionally attached to it, which surprised me. If it goes I know I’ll survive, I have before. It may suck rocks but it’s not the worst thing that ever happened to me. Being a widow and being old gives you that assurance.

One thing I will miss will be these guys.

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Before/After

I spent the weekend tiling my little bathroom. That is a day and half longer than I planned. I told myself “I can do this in a day, maybe half a day.” I should know better.

I streamed Ultra, raved as I worked. My birthday was Saturday, when I did most of the work. I finished, or gave up, this evening.

I bought the tile at the Habitat for Humanity Re-store, they accept and sell used building supplies. It’s a thrift store. My tile was 8.99 for a box of 20, cheaper than Home Depot and Lowe’s. I started Friday, pulling up the carpet. Cho Chang was fascinated by the giant mystery stain. Tools, primer and the horrors I found, this was my life this weekend. The roller was my favorite thing, most of the other stuff I already had.

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Definitely an amateur effort, this is the first time I’ve done this. I learned I can’t cut a straight line to save my life, but no one will see the ragged edges under the trim. Old rusty nailheads will break off, scissors are better than a utility knife and taking breaks to watch hockey will save your sanity. If in the future I ever hire anybody to lay tile I will not complain about the cost. It will be worth it.

Saturday

I did the long walk again today. It was better than last week, probably because of the weather, cold and windy.

It was also the day of the Pad Test. I wore a sanitary pad because I have an old and fussy bladder. I try to empty it but there are secret pockets somewhere in my bladder that appear and act up at the most inconvenient places. This is probably more than anyone needs (or wants) to know but it’s a fact of getting older and pain in the butt. I can find a spot along the trail where I can do my business but today that didn’t happen. There were more runners than usual out today, ironically the running club was on the same path as me. I couldn’t pull over because I’d be exposed and nobody wants that. So I tested the stamina of the pad. It held up but alas it had its limits and I found them. Found and exceeded them. It was not pleasant.

I also learned the value of black or dark colored pants, they camouflage a lot of shame. Polyester and lycra are your friends, they dry faster. Not necessarily the lessons I wanted to learn but sometimes knowledge is not pretty.

The walk was good. I took a few pictures. After I went home, showered and felt presentable I had a wonderful plate of bliss, wild onions, then went to Sally Ann. Everything was half price for St Patrick’s day.

By this time I got my phone out they’were flying

Wild onions

Sheet set

Resting. My feet are sore.

Receipt. Two bucks, half off

A very long walk

I did this yesterday. My intention was to do, to try walking 10 miles. The running club had a training run of 10 miles for the half marathon runners, 20 for the full marathon. I couldn’t make their scheduled run so did my own. I did the 10, did more and surprised the heck out of myself. This is the longest walk I’ve done, outside of the actual half marathon. I’m not bragging, but admit impressed by my short stubby legs.

I am very slow, this took me 3 hours and 34 minutes. I want to transition from walking to running but right now distance is more important than speed. The race I’m training for is next month and I just want to be able to do it without feeling like I’m going to die. The way I felt the first time I did it. My entire body hurt and my legs ached. I’m glad to say only my feet hurt this time around. My legs complained but we’re still friends.

I know there are people who will finish the complete marathon before I can finish the half. I’m trying to not feel badly, I remind myself I’m a non-athletic person who hated PE and never played sports in school because I was chubby and awkward. I’m also going to be 53 years old when I do the race and there are lots of people my age who wish they could do the same but can’t. I’m going to be one of the few brown people out there. So I try to remember all this when I don’t feel like walking or that it doesn’t matter.

 

 

Book Sale

The library booksale is the last weekend in February. I’ve gone nearly every year for the past 20 years. Jerry called it my Superbowl.

In the past I’ve gone a little nuts, filling several bags and suitcases with stuff. This year was a little different. I still bought but only those things I felt I wouldn’t find again, or not easily find. Those that I really, really wanted, needed. I picked up a lot but put most of it back. I tried to imagine where I’d put it and that’s why I left the 2 volume set of the shorter Oxford dictionary,priced at six bucks, behind. I’m sure it will find a good home.

I even bought a few things for Bear. My son is a discerning reader and it relieves me that he likes to read. My family valued education, at least they told me they did but I never saw anyone read for pleasure. My mom took me to the library but never showed interest in books. When, if they read it was magazines or the newspaper. They didn’t discourage my reading habit but didn’t really encourage it much. Going to bookstores wasn’t something we did. I was odd and shy, bookish and they weren’t sure why, what was wrong with me. Why I’d rather read than go play. My mom said once at one of my birthday parties the other kids were playing and I was in a corner reading a book. She felt this wasn’t right. But even now I’d rather be reading than interacting with people, most of the time.

Booksale is my happy place. I am glad to be surrounded by so many fellow readers, fellow misfits. But it isn’t all bliss. Some people have bad hygiene, BO. Occasionally someone passes gas. Hopefully it’s a toddler but usually an adult. Talking to oneself, singing, behaviors that keep people at a distance don’t work here. There are too many people crowded in a room, around tables searching. Most are polite and apologize for bumping you or trying to get past. It’s not for the easily discouraged, but it’s worth powering through. When you find that book, record or whatever thrills you, it is worth it.

Lunar New Year

Or Tet, year of the dog. Not a major holiday here, but a few people turned out and we were very lucky and cold.

Creepy looking playhouse in the gardens

She was almost finished when I got there

Watched her flip her husband twice

We could hear the drums before they entered

Mongolian fan dancers. Most people left after the lion dance and missed this

I left after their performance, missed the rest.

The advantages of being alone

This was tonight’s dinner

With Valentines Day coming up there are ads, pictures, and stories about how glorious it is to be part of a couple. There are also the rebuttals, defending the right to be single and the glories of singleness. This isn’t exactly rebuttal, if you are with someone, good for you. I was married myself for years so being alone and single is something I’m still getting used to after 3 years.

Being single in your 20’s and 30’s is different from being single when you are 50. Most examples of older women are sad: about a lonely widow, a sad childless single woman, women struggling on limited incomes and the stereotypical cat lady. There is the rare happy older woman, usually eccentric but still pitied and looked at with condescension.

So as an old broad who is alone, single, without a partner I’ve made a list of the good things about my status.

1. Less laundry. I do my laundry once a week, one load. No last minute surprises, no extra work. Sorting and folding take a few minutes.

2. Toilet paper lasts longer. Also the bathroom, especially the floor, stays cleaner longer. This should probably be #1.

3. I can change plans without having to check with someone else, or worry that he will be inconvenienced or it will cause any conflicts.

4. I don’t have to go to events I don’t want to attend either, to appease a partner.

5. I can have the TV on late at night and read in bed late if I want to, without guilt. Also I can turn off the TV and have quiet if I want.

6. Freedom to watch what TV shows I want and if I get netflix again, to binge watch if I want when I want.

7. I can buy groceries early in the morning, run errands on my own schedule. Don’t have to wait on another person.

8. Since it’s just me I don’t have to cook every day or make complete meals. Tonight I had a bowl of cereal for dinner. All I have to clean up is a bowl and spoon. Brilliant.

9. I do live with a cat, do not need to worry about another person’s possible allergies, dislike of cats, whether their pet gets along with mine or other problems.

10. No drama. I don’t worry if my partner is faithful, about his ex-wife, ex-girlfriend, gambling debts, drug addiction or anything unexpected. My husband was a no drama guy, so I was very fortunate but know some women aren’t.

11. I can keep the thermostat on 70 degrees if I want. No complaints that it’s too hot.

12. I can spend money without consulting another person. As long as the bills are paid, there is food in the fridge and gas in the car I can buy a concert ticket, pair of shoes or go on a thrift store shopping spree with no worry and a clear conscience.