Monday, October 31, 2016

Mama Wasn't Always Right

My mind has wandered into the vast lands of Joy and Blessings. Two weeks away from the move and the upcoming holidays which are my favorite times of the year. In the midst of the purging and packing I got a laugh out of how I do things. Some people would just pack and not bother to clean things first. I clean things before packing and since I don't use newsprint for the breakables I can just unpack without cleaning. Some people don't clean things either before or after. I guess they figure it was cleaned at some point and that is enough.

I will admit that all this purging and packing has been creating sore muscles and this morning there was a difficulty getting my knees to bend without complaint. It's a lot of work that I don't normally do so I expect these temporary issues. I also was comparing my endeavors to that of my Mom when she found it necessary to move when she was my age.

In 1996 my Mom's husband died and she found it necessary financially to move into a subsidized senior apartment. She asked for help which all of us provided. The problem was, she didn't do a single thing herself. She and her husband were living in a two bedroom apartment with attic space and frankly she wasn't the best of housekeepers. Things were usually just shoved into places where they were promptly forgotten and this was a smoker's home.

My uncle, his wife, their 2 kids and myself worked in this apartment daily to clean and pack for her move. Every week my Uncle would go over and cart bags of trash down a flight of stairs to the street. While all this was going on my Mom sat in the kitchen reading a book, twirling her hair around her fingers as was her habit and smoking cigarette after cigarette.

Everything we packed was marked keep or give on the boxes. We asked her to look at everything after we left to see if we had it right. Every day she would tell us it was fine. We took 10 huge boxes of clothes, after we washed them, to the Salvation Army. After we packed what she wanted to keep, we found on moving day that we had discarded 150 bags of trash. Not all in one day, but over a 5 week time frame.

Now, we worked like dogs to get her ready to move and after she moved we heard how we lost things she wanted to keep. The day of the move some things disappeared into the home of one of her step-daughter's but that wasn't our fault. They were returned when mentioned as missing with one of those oops, we took the wrong box home with us excuses. No real harm there unless she hadn't asked them to check if they had it by accident.

All the work we did and all she did was be lazy, complain about our efforts and blame us for the attempted theft. I finally lost my temper with her one day and told her that had she gotten off her lazy ass and done something she wouldn't have anything to complain about but since she chose to sit on her ass while the rest of us sweated ours off she could suck it up and shut the hell up.

This tirade on my part got me the usual "I don't understand how hard it is to suffer with so much pain" lecture. I'd find out when I got to be her age how little of the things I used to do would be something I could still do.

I am exactly the same age now as she was then. I have a hip that will need replacing eventually and a look at my spinal xrays show that I have chalk instead of that lovely healthy looking translucent appearing bone. I'm also 30 pounds heavier than she was then. I am cleaning, purging and packing all my things with no help at all and little damage beyond the soreness and stiffness of age. What a con artist she was! I've been giggling at this for 2 days now and it's making me silly.

I now know how lazy she really was since there were times that I felt sorry for her with all her pain. I have found that the more you carefully do, the less overall pain you have. And, since I do all the time instead of just when I need to in order to move, I won't have 150 bags of trash. I've managed this with only 1 extra bag of trash a week. Mostly my husband's clothes that no longer qualify as gently used.

Life really is what you make of it. When you actually do something to make your surroundings something to be enjoyed, you are moving enough to alleviate some problems that will eventually lead to more pain. And constant whining about how hard life is. Quite the opposite of Joy and Blessings I should think?

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

We Can Do This

I keep pinching myself to make sure I'm awake. Packing for the move begins in earnest tomorrow. In addition to that I will have to buy drapes for 5 rooms, lamps, end tables and something to display my knick knacks on. I checked the price of curio cabinets and darn near fell out of my chair. We have overhead lighting here so we don't have more than 2 lamps. There is no overhead lighting there so in order to see anything I'm going to need to spend money.

I will have to go over there to vacuum and mop floors. With all the guys tracking in and out to get things done the floors got filthy. I just realized I'm going to need shelving paper for the kitchen cabinets. We hope to move in by November 5. I'm not wonder woman so if I manage to get everything done and moved by at least the week before Thanksgiving, I'll be happy. Working by myself here and I am 67 years old.

I will have help carrying most things but I did buy 2 smaller plastic totes that I can handle when I pack them. I figure I can use them for clothing, sheets, towels and some of the kitchen items I will want to put away. And I am still going to keep downsizing. I don't believe there's anything in the kitchen that I will get rid of since I did that after Christmas and haven't purchased anything since.

I just remembered we are going to have to buy a water cooler. The well hasn't been used in 2 years. After peering down in it my husband decided to shock it. The water will be fine for washing up in and doing laundry but without spending the money to have it tested, we are leery about drinking it. Besides, I like the taste of filtered water better anyway, especially when it's cold. I need to find out where Youngest buys his water. He has the same issue with his well that we have with ours.

The power is turned on there, the fuel tank has to be installed. We will need to insure we have the money to have that filled. My husband thought the new furnace was propane but it's kerosene. With the much better insulation in newer manufactured homes plus the energy efficient furnace and fewer windows, we are going to delay putting in the woodstove. If for any reason the power goes out during the winter, we have a propane heater that we can use to stay warm. Also, since we actually own this home and the land, we can get a generator as well.

The big deal for us is the reduction in monthly expenses this move will create. Here I pay a lease for the land of $325 a month. There I will only have taxes which will cost us around $100 a month. Maybe less when we sign up for the STAR Program next year. Heat should cost us more but not enough to be concerned over and that can be reduced if we install the woodstove next year. Electric will run close to what I'm paying now because all appliances are energy efficient and TV and Internet will be cut in half with the ability to sign up for cable. Even if that goes up in a year it still won't cost any more than I'm paying now.

For the third time in my life I'm going to be a home owner and this time I won't lose it due to catastrophic illness or a change in finances. My income is fixed and we have good Medicare  supplements. We're working hard to stay healthy which helps. With the expense reduction we will have time to rebuild what we spent which will give us a little nest egg in our older age. Now I just have to survive the move.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Ups And Downs

One of the changes due to moving that I am looking forward to is being able to change my ISP from satellite to cable. I pay almost $80 per month for speeds less than 8 megabits which is considered slow. My upload speed, according to Speedtest(dot)net is .7 and my download speed is .5. I can get better speeds than that from cable for $35 per month.

Due to the change of the home on our property I will have to pay for installation. Don't know how much money we'll have left and haven't spoken to Time Warner to find out what it will cost so we might have to wait awhile but I don't think so. Life has those glitches that gets thrown at us now and again so I can't guarantee anything.

I need to get lamps for all the rooms since there are no overhead lights. Tables to put the lamps on. Drapes, and since we won't be having the computer desks in the living room our only seating will be the couch so we need a chair. I need a break from some of the contentious people we meet online anyway.

Have you ever watched a situation unfold that you knew was going to end badly? I admit it ended in a way that I didn't see coming. There was a betrayal of trust that resulted in someone leaving the site. The remaining party that had more than his fair share of the responsibility didn't have sense enough to keep his mouth shut and started making demands that the admins quit. He made an absolute ass out of himself and being me I couldn't keep my mouth shut. Well, I couldn't keep my fingers off the keyboard. Way too much shadenfreude on my part.

I didn't call him any names, I just told the truth that he spent hours demanding that the other person prove her statement and when she did, he started crying like the baby he is. He baited and bullied her and when it all blew up in his face, he started crying to anyone who would listen. He played with fire, he got burned and he whined like the coward he is.

He was all over the place with his accusations and threats. I stayed on my own blog until he took a paragraph of my post to someone else's comments. Then I took the rest of the salient points there as well. I did pretty much tell him as did the admins that he is stupid, dense and that we were laughing at him. He's hired a lawyer. I'm still laughing at him because he and his friends hung themselves with some comments they made.

They complained that I stuck my nose into it and got told I did it on my blog which I am entitled to. It seems that this worshipped freedom of speech applies only to those that agree with them. And there was also a threat to gang up and dogpile me.

I had no intention of saying anything until I saw a comment he made that we were not safe there. Excuse me. None of us are safe from his bullying. He does things like present polls to declare who the Village Idiot is, he blocks people from his blog and then tries picking arguments  with those he's blocked.  I spoke out. I did so with kindness but I did make it clear he was responsible for his own grief and it was time for him to own it. He's not going to and I seriously doubt he'll be there a lot longer. He's got a banhammer hanging over his head and he doesn't have sense enough to shut up until it gets withdrawn.

When I disconnect for the move, I can promise I won't miss him a bit and maybe when I get back online he'll have shot his mouth off and had that hammer dropped on his head. Although with all the grief he's given me, I'd like to see it happen. I guess I can't have everything but it sure doesn't stop me from wishing I can.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

This And That

How do you write something when you have nothing to say? Scratch that. Maybe I should ask how do I have nothing to say when there's so much going on? I've been sitting here for the past half hour thinking that I want but can't put my finger on what it is I want. At the same time I'm content to sit here with a smile on my face, doing nothing.

I don't want to paint and I have to since I need to fill an order before I pack away everything for the move. My head is full of all the new things I'm going to need for my new home. I want to go shopping and yet I don't want to leave the house right now. Maybe tomorrow, maybe I better fill that order, maybe I should pack more things?

I will need lamps, drapes, an easy chair and a water cooler. There is no overhead lighting except in the kitchen and I don't have end tables so I'll need floor lamps for the time being. The computer chairs we use here in the living room will be in the office which leaves me without seating except for the sofa. My treasures will have to stay packed until we can find something suitable to display them on. Here I have built in shelves, there I have nothing.

We should be on track to move in by December 1. Would like to do it earlier but the electrical inspector says the overhead wires, which the power company needs to do something about, are bare. This is not anything we have to pay for but it may delay getting the power turned on in a timely manner. If it weren't for that I could have the power on by next week. Which would have meant we could start moving November 1. We still might be able to but I'm not counting on that.

Every day we are closer to making this move and that is all that matters. Well, that and being ready to move which is another thing entirely.

Friday, October 7, 2016

The Art Of Living Kayfabe

Somewhere around 2002 to 2003 I stopped watching wrestling matches on TV. As a 3rd Generation fan of wrestling, I always knew it was fake, but it was entertaining in a mindless sort of way and like many people I needed entertaining.

I was introduced to the entertaining aspects of it at the knee of my paternal grandmother back in the days when the superstars were Gorgeous George, Verne Gagne and Mean George Steele. I mean really, what 6 year old isn't going to get a Saturday noon giggle over watching an overweight adult chewing up a leather turnbuckle?

Prior to cable TV, all you got to see of it in the comfort of our homes was those half hour telecasts of adults behaving badly in some high school gym somewhere in the Northeastern United States. Once cable happened, it opened up the genre to new and exciting programming. Provided one was allowed to stay up that late on Saturday night, that is. Saturday nights belonged to McMahon Sr and his WWF wrestling promotion. If we had cable, we could be exposed to the Southern promotions like the NWA and the WCW on Sunday afternoons. As more homes got cable, wrestling became a go to cheaply produced program like reality TV is today.

"Watcha gonna do when Hulkamania runs wild on you?" I don't know how anyone else handled that, I simply ignored it and settled in with Rowdy Roddy Piper and Macho Man. Then Vince Jr bought out Daddy McMahon and promptly changed the entire game. Kayfabe got broken when he admitted he presented "sports entertainment". We knew it was scripted, but it still was fun trying to figure out who was supposed to win. Besides, where else could you get to watch an angry employee dump a ton of concrete into the bosses $50,000 Corvette? I sit here laughing at the memory of that. Yes, it was kayfabe but probably one of the most satisfying "take this job and shove it" action that I ever saw in my life.

For those who don't know what kayfabe means, it's an old carny word that means to present a work of fiction as true or real. Vince McMahon Jr used to know exactly how to do that and make billions from it. At about the time I got disgusted with the direction of those works of fiction, Vince seems to have become more and more enamored of degrading and taking a direction that physically damaged his talent. It wasn't fun anymore and I walked away without ever looking back.

The younger members of my family still are avid fans and watch it regularly. They tell me what's going on and who the new superstars are and what they're all about. In Facebook I follow Mick Foley, Steve Austin and Chris Jericho so I am reminded of the fun it used to be via their posts. In the midst of this election cycle, one of them posted about Donald Trump's induction into the Wrestling Hall of Fame. He's a friend of Vince McMahon's. The light dawned.

I have spent years trying to figure out how our entire political system became so broken. It becomes a little clearer when you begin to compare society and the individual's understanding of political science to the sort of mindless entertainment we've been enjoying for decades. Too many of us stopped needing to find the truth, to believe in the real. Too many of us embraced kayfabe because it's easier to do so. After all, if we don't like the current story line, a click of our remote button or our mouse or a swipe on our smartphone screen and we can change the world as we know it.

"But where are the clowns? Send in the clowns. Don't bother they're here."

I will not vote in this Presidential election cycle. Too many clowns.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Home Sweet Home

Got some pictures from inside my new home. It's been delivered to our land and leveled. This week they'll install the tie downs. Then all we have to do is extend the plumbing, connect the electric, and skirt it up.

It's 3 bedroom, 2 baths and I love the kitchen.

The stove slid away from the wall a full 2 feet during the move. We hadn't put it back when I took the pictures.

The living room.

There was a room I stepped into that made me smile. Someone who lived there was very creative with the decor and that will be the room I sit and paint in. I took a picture of a detail on the wall. It's only in one place although the wallpaper chair rail extends around the room.

My husband is going to put in place an area of patio blocks for the propane tanks we need for the furnace. He went under the home to see which direction the pipe extended. While under there he found that the original stove in the home wasn't an electric stove. They simply cut the pipe off and left the pipe open which means that this remodel of the kitchen didn't happen until spring of this year. Had it happened during the winter, the uncapped pipe would have allowed the propane to be released under the home and in the kitchen. 

I would say the remodel was entirely to add value to the home for the purpose of trade in on the double wide they bought. They spent $12,000 on just the kitchen plus all the windows are new. We bought the home from the dealer for $11,000. I guess they lost money, and we gained a perfect home for us.