Unexpected Problems

14 04 2017

These last several days have been very busy for my spouse. We had a considerable problem that had to be tended to quickly, which it was. Last week half the roof on the building we’re living in literally lifted up and folded back on itself during the afternoon which wasn’t really all that windy. It sounded like someone fell down the interior stairwell, except no one did – I looked all around the building to see what caused the noise, found nothing. I did tell my spouse about it. There was another search and again nothing to see. Later in the day we had rain, not as much thunder and lightning as forecast but plenty of rain, steady, soaking rain. Around 1700 hrs. we heard a steady drip which was quickly located in the bathroom and a trip up to see the upstairs neighbor by my spouse. We found it odd that it was dripping on the second floor but not the third which is right under the roof, accompanied by a comment that it was probably a pipe and would be a pain to fix because it would mean tearing out a wall or ceiling. About 1815 hrs. the other neighbor on the same floor came over to say they were getting water dripping in their apartment which information I relayed to my spouse, and which elicited another groan. There was a visit to the neighbor and my spouse again went up to see the third floor neighbor who was not home at that point. A knock on the door at 1900 hrs. was the third floor neighbor asking me to come up and see the drips, I went up and it was more than drips, it was a stream of water coming out of the living room ceiling. Spouse came up only minutes later and the mops, buckets and long night of emptying buckets, pots and plastic garbage cans was started, on all three floors on one side of the building.

The next day my spouse got the ladder up to the third floor porch and opened the scuttle to the roof. We had talked about it and figured the patch that had recently been put on a small leak had failed. I was told a short while later that it was far more than a failed patch. The northeast corner of the roof had just pulled up, folded back on itself and basically left about a quarter of the building with no protection from the rain. Spouse and helper were off to get the necessary materials to fix the problem. It did stop raining before they were up there to see the damage, at least the easily visible damage. The third floor neighbor had gone out around noon and I was working on the computer when there was a loud WHUMP!!! and the building shook. I called my spouse who called the building owner and third floor neighbor, both on their way here. Most of the ceiling had come down in the bedroom and some in the living room. So the clean-up was started.

Materials came and the roof was fixed over the following couple days. I was told the contractor who did the job about 4-5 years ago had chintzed on materials, used nails far too short, not overlapped the roofing material properly and the whole works was like someone had only used thumbtacks instead of nails to hold the roofing material down. There was a lot of upset for the owner, who is very good about seeing to maintenance and repairs.

Yesterday there was the removal of the remaining ceiling in that apartment and I was told the insulation was still just sodden. The mess cleared up and the replacement of the ceiling and upper part of two walls taken in hand, they will probably have the drywall up and ready for primer by the end of the day today.

This last week or so was one of lots of extra work, unexpected expense and some aggravation for both the owner and upstairs neighbor. Both, however, are aware of the fact that no matter how well you take care of sometimes unexpected problems can occur. Hopefully by the end of tomorrow things will be back to a more normal footing around here.





Middle of March

15 03 2017

Somehow it’s the middle of March. We have snow, enough to prevent getting out of the driveway and down the hill, it’s too slippery. We watched a car from further up the hill slide and almost slide into the big condo building. There is melting where the sun hits and things should be passable tomorrow, which with warmer temperatures will increase the melting. We do have the beginnings of the “glacier” on the front sidewalk again. Wherever the water is coming from it comes up over the edge of the sidewalk and flows across it, which when cold enough grows the sheet of ice that turns into the “glacier”.

I am looking forward to spring.





7 Years

31 01 2017

It hardly seems possible 7 years have slipped by since I started blogging but WordPress has sent me a notice to that effect. I have found friends in this blogging community, people who have taught me many things and people who have read my words.

Thank you all. Thank you WordPress for offering a place for us to share our words, photos and lives.





Good Riddance 2016!!!!

31 12 2016

I, for one, am relieved to have 2016 at an end. I have learned a lot, some of it interesting (mostly the genealogy progress), but most of it unpleasant at the very least. I learned that I can not even turn to my blood relatives, family, for aid. I was not asking for more than a small loan, a hand up to get myself a way to earn some kind of income. I was told, basically, to go away, get on public aid and leave them alone. Why anyone would want to sell themselves in that particular slavery I don’t know. I had to deal with it while the step kids were growing up and it was a misery every minute we were on it. I succeeded in removing myself from that and had hoped to make a passable living, I didn’t expect to get rich, just have what I needed to have my home and the other necessities of life. The response was cold, lecturing me to be “responsible”, something that anyone who really knows me would find odd as I have been told on more than one occasion that I am responsible to a fault, and walk away from everything that means something to me because it costs money. Well, the logical argument then becomes, if it costs money, then pretty much everything is not worth anyone’s bother. Evidently the money part is what hits them hardest. I was not asking for a gift, I was requesting a small loan ($1,000.00). I explained my thinking and plan but was told that it would be “too hard”. I almost decided to copy that missive from the great and powerful family but changed my mind. Am I angry? You better f**king believe it! Am I hurt? Damned right I am!

Do any of you have items from your ancestors that are precious? Things, physical objects that are irreplaceable? Well, I do and I certainly have no intention of walking away and losing them if I can find a way to prevent that. I found something that I am physically capable of doing, I was asking for help to get what I needed to start, a hand up, a way to earn a living. Would it be “hard”, of course, on some days very hard on others not at all, but most jobs fall into that kind of sphere. Do I have the right to ask blood relatives for assistance? I thought so, evidently not. The response was so cold, so dismissive, like I was the most embarrassing thing to them that they could imagine. The thought that they might have to face a reality other than their own insular little place must have been too much for them. Strange, after all the help, of all kinds, provided by my parents and myself to them when they were in need. I wasn’t asking to be supported for any space of time, wasn’t asking to move in with any of them (a thought that nauseates me), wasn’t asking to have any long term commitment from them. I’m just disgusted by them all. I’ve researched the ancestors, read of the way they helped and supported each other, physically, emotionally and financially, taking in aunts or uncles, children from family members who were too ill to care for them, the things families used to do without much discussion. It was family, that was enough.

I suppose that I should not post this, however, I promised myself to be honest here on the blog. I don’t name names, I write under a pseudonym because my spouse insisted. But the facts are the truth, my response is honest. Maybe my rants will help someone else along the way, they certainly help me. I’ve had more loving, caring response from my fellow bloggers than from my own family, for which I am grateful beyond words, for their kindness and moral support.

I want to support myself, I want to keep what’s mine, those irreplaceable physical items that mean so much, the ones that remind me of the person every time I see or touch them, the ones that carry the love they bore me. I suppose in some ways I’m tied to the physical in ways that many people can’t understand, but that is how I am. It gives me great joy to hold or touch an object my mother used almost daily in the kitchen, or a tool my father used in his work, a small table of my maternal grandmother’s, nothing great and expensive, simple daily items I’ve lived with all my life that keep the spirit of those people closest to me near by.

I am hoping and praying that 2017 will be the complete opposite of this past wretched year and I don’t even include any of the more obvious events in the world in that wretched.

I wish all of you, my readers, a Most Wonderful New Year, filled with health, prosperity, blessings, joy and hope.





Merry Christmas

21 12 2016

To all who stop by – Merry Christmas!!
I hope the holiday season will bring each of you something wonderful.

Mine will likely not do that. After all the pain of earlier this year, it looks like the new year is going to start off even more painful. I do not have the necessary funds to pay for the storage of my possessions. Everything that means anything to me is in the two storage units. Being in very small temporary quarters there’s no place to bring anything and the ice, steep alley and driveway/parking area has left even using the car impossible. We are looking at a thaw and I am going to try to get what little I can out. The family heirlooms, furniture, bedding, other household goods, clothes, tools, books, research materials, manuscripts, genealogical documents, family photographs, pedal clavichord and more are probably going to be taken from me when they auction off the contents for nonpayment of the rent. It’s just too damn much loss.

The business I bought in 2006 was forced to close in April of 2009 (I did all the right things, was complimented by my CPA for keeping things honest, above-board and legal, it was the loss of our customer base, too many people lost their jobs and weren’t buying what we were selling), the commercial building that was part of that purchase was also lost, the car was lost (no job to bring in the necessary funds to pay anything), the house was taken this March after living there 46 1/2 years. I damn near killed myself getting as much as I could packed up and the spouse and friend got it into two storage units. They didn’t, however do more than get things in, the did not listen to my requests to have certain marked items kept to the front so they could be gotten out and sold – just in case – but are buried in those units, somewhere. I expended what savings I had to keep the rent paid while doing everything I could to generate an income, land a job, create something online, sell stuff on eBay, Craig’s List, etc.
I’ve tried very hard to have a positive attitude, be grateful for everything I have, the wonderful blessings each day holds, and believed things would get better. They haven’t. In the process of getting everything out of the house, I gave my already messed up knees and back enough stress that they just don’t work right now. I couldn’t get down that icy alley unless I crawled. The front sidewalk is a glacier from a water leak uphill which has created a dangerous situation for anyone trying to walk on the hill.
I’m still applying for jobs, getting out will be interesting beyond belief but if I have to crawl down the alley with more presentable clothes in a bag and find someplace to change I guess that’s what I’ll do. A remote position would be perfect but so many of those are nothing but scams (ask me how I know) and it just makes it that much more difficult for people who want to work and can’t get out of their homes to do so.
All this is so painful there are really no words to describe it. The small table my father made as a final shop project in 8th grade and gave to his mother, the desk he made me, the Japanese import china my mother got for $100.00 just after World War II that is a service for 12 of fine bone china, my great-grandfather’s shaving mug, great-grandmother’s sugar and creamer, my library all packed in boxes and inaccessible. The manuscripts I’ve written, the research materials that were carefully gathered and preserved, the family photos, documents, and other genealogical materials for both my family and my spouse’s. The gifts from my parents, spouse, aunts, uncles, grandparents, friends, touchstones that bring them all close even though all are long dead, connections to people who loved me and who I love yet.
This is my coming reality for 2017 – unless there is some kind of miracle, God knows, I’ve been doing everything I could to help myself. I want more than I can express to not have this happen. I know I probably shouldn’t post this, probably shouldn’t even write it, but I need to get it out of my head and hope that maybe someone can offer some help.





For Now

16 10 2016

First, the corn – there were about 12 to 14 ears total and only two that were full ears of kernels, the rest had only a few scattered along the cob. I wasn’t really expecting any so it was fun to have something. Lots of different colors on the kernels, blue-black, red, white striped red, white, yellow, typical Indian corn. The chipmunk that lives under the stairs has enjoyed raiding the drying cobs which was probably just as well as there wasn’t enough to do anything with otherwise.

Sage Green Shawl

Sage Green Shawl

Second, a shawl – I finished a soft, sage green shawl just like the other one. It is for sale (if anyone is interested please feel free to email me for details).

Lavender Shawl for dayphoto.

Lavender Shawl for dayphoto.

I’ve started the lavender shawl for dayphoto. Not the greatest photo, but it’s only 26 rows in.

White Shawl in progress.

White Shawl in progress.

I have a white one close to finishing. It’s lovely, soft yarn, acrylic so easy care and will be for sale soon.

Busy hands and paying attention to the patterns is a good thing right now.

Third, I’m still trying to find a job. It would be wonderful to have one, an income certainly would be welcome as things have been beyond tight around here for quite a long time. I can but try, it’s just very discouraging to keep being told I’m “over-qualified” and that the assumption that I would be bored and not do the work is very insulting to me. It would simply be an incentive for me to find a way to do the job better or take on more responsibility. It also would ensure that the job given me would not have to be worried about, it would be done by a person who is genuinely interested in giving the effort for the pay received even if the job is deadly dull, I don’t have to like it, I don’t have to have tons of fun doing it, but do it I would and take my enjoyment after I finish the task that I did the best of it I could.

 





Corn

27 08 2016

The corn in the pot is doing well, lots of rain, more rain forecast in the coming week, and the corn is using every drop. This is Indian corn, I think. The kernels were all different colors and I have quite a bit of it left. Spouse is muttering about making tortillas from it after it’s dried.

One of the ears.

One of the ears. Taken Saturday, 20 August 2016.

The same ear a week later on Saturday, 27 August 2016.

The same ear a week later on Saturday, 27 August 2016.

The Pot of Corn - Thursday, 04August 2016

The Pot of Corn – Thursday, 04 August 2016.

It has been interesting watching the corn and talking to the neighbors about it, there have been lots of comments and questions since the pot was moved further from the building.

Otherwise, things have been quiet. We’re in the process of moving to the apartment below the one we’re in now. The fun of temporary quarters. I am very grateful to have them even if it means a big disruption, but we gain a bit more room and no stairs.