breast cancer · change · finances · home · Jolene · kitty · Michele · moving · Portland · transition


I know, you missed me. Now you can rejoice, because I won’t go away again–I promise! Lots has changed since I last posted, including location, obviously.

The last few months have been a time of many changes in my life, and the changes just keep on coming. (I feel like a David Bowie song…) A psychologist I spoke  with ( I’m seeing a psychologist. Big surprise there.) said that I’m in a “time of transition.”

Transition. Oh, yeah. BIG TIME.

In March, about two weeks before my 44th birthday, I left the relationship I’d been in since 2009, and moved from Vancouver back to Portland. It was a very difficult thing to do, but one that had been a long time coming. Making that decision set me free, in many ways; don’t misunderstand me, I wasn’t being help prisoner or anything, but emotionally, I felt trapped. And financially, there was no way out. So I’m back in my parents house, where my money is mine, and I have my freedom while I’m waiting for my disability appeal hearing. That part of my life is up in the air: I don’t know how long it’ll be until the hearing, or what they’ll decide. So my life is definitely in transition.

The largest change was also the worst, and has knocked me off my feet, broken my heart. On April 12, my best friend, Michele Miller Mahmood, died. The breast cancer she’d been fighting took her, and the world lost one of the best people ever created.  I’ll write more about this later, because Shel deserves an entire post, and entire blog, all her own.

I’m struggling to find my way in this new world, to transition into a life where I am on my own. I’ve always treasured my family, but suddenly, they seem so much more precious. My sister, Jolene, is going through her own transitions, yet has given her time to help me when ever I need her. She’s wonderful, and I am so thankful for her.

People keep asking what I’m going to do now. That’s the million dollar question, folks! Let’s figure it out together, shall we?

books · crap · crowded · epiphany · finances · hoarders · home · moving · rummage sale · selfish · Steven · stuff · tears · tiny flat · tools · understanding

This Isn’t a Home, It’s A Rummage Sale!

In the last month my entire life has shifted, not just physically, but in a rather spooky spiritual sense. Some background: it’s been a very rough year for us, as the gods of finances seem to be conspiring against us. Steven lost his job, and my itsy-bitsy monthly disability stipend just barely covers the rent. We decided to move to a smaller apartment in the same building in order to have enough to cover utilities, too.

Over Thanksgiving weekend, and a few days after, we moved the contents of our two-bedroom flat into a one-bedroom down the hall. a few things went into storage at my parents place, and more will go there eventually, I hope. More things must go. This place is tiny, and every bit of space is taken up with stuff–his desks & computer stuff, the amazing television & the sofa Dad gave us, my bookshelves & books, his tools, and boxes of stuff neither of us has been wiling to sort through or part with yet.

As we moved, I discovered three drawers full of my clothes that I’d forgotten about in the dresser I couldn’t get to in the closet. Now these are piled in the bedroom, waiting to be sorted. I must sort, because until I do, I cannot get to the other clothes! I was so angry at Steven when we moved, simply because I stood in the center of all this stuff, feeling like one of those people on “Hoarders.” All I could see were these endless stacks of crap, and I would start to cry & whine. Scared that I’d get crushed under a pile of old magazines & Philips head screwdrivers, I was tearful & not very nice to him. Looking back, I was being incredibly selfish, especially since he did 80% of the work for our move, including moving full bookshelves all by himself !

Fortunately, he is not only eternally understanding, he didn’t like the mess, either. After a day of rest, he began putting up shelves, and finding places for things, just so I’d be happy. We’re slowly settling in, and sorting out. I have to remind myself that it doesn’t matter where we are, as long as were together; I also have to remind him of that, since he’s not real thrilled with many things right now.

The whole purpose of this move was to save money, and that isn’t going to happen. Yes, our landlord screwed us with extra fees and took all but three dollars of our damage deposit! So even though I’m happy here in our rummage sale home, I’m pretty ticked off. And crowded. But happy. And home. Oh, and as for my big spiritual epiphany, there wasn’t one. But it sure got ya reading, didn’t it?

idiocy · money · moving · Steven · unemployment

Darkest Before the Dawn

Well this sucks.

Steven, my amazing boyfriend, has been out of work since about this time last year, when he injured his knee on the job. After months of medical leave & workman’s comp, and battling with the insurance companies, his time ran out, the hospital gave his job away, and he had to file for unemployment. They, of course, denied him. His appeal was denied today. For some reason, the morons over there seem to believe he quit his job voluntarily, even though he has given them proof of his injury, the paperwork from the hospital, everything, they turned him down.
For months he has been looking for work every day, and these stupid people tell him to go back to the old job for 7 weeks (or months, I was so annoyed I stopped listening), and then he’ll be eligible!
What the FUCK?!?!
Aside from just being incredibly stupid, amazingly annoying and downright idiotic, this throws our finances even farther into a black hole than they already are. The rent is covered, but paying the power & cable bill, not to mention putting gas in the car?! Forget it!
We’ll be moving soon from our palatial two-bedroom apartment to a luxurious one-bedroom. We’re lucky that the one-bedroom is just down the hall, so we won’t have to pack everything up. Of course, a big chunk of our things will need to be boxed and trundled over to my parents house, so my dad can complain about how there’s too much stuff in his garage already! Thank God for my folks.
The worst part of all of this is not that we have no money, or that we are being forced to move from the only home we’ve known as a couple. It’s the toll all of this is taking on Steven. Every day I see him sinking lower, and it breaks my heart. He is such a good man, a wonderful person, and he does not deserve this! Yet he feels that all of this is his fault, that he’s failed me. All I can tell him is that he has in no way let me down. In fact, he’s my hero. His desire to work & support our little family makes me so proud it brings tears to my eyes! I see his many talents, and I am amazed, and I wonder why he chose me. Money isn’t everything; love is.
This is why I know that though things are dark right now, the sun come out. Because we have each other, and love.