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Jan. 6th, 2015

Happy birthday to rrrosa! I miss you, girl.
Chilly, gray, rainy day, third in a row. It's actually pleasant in a way; it's relaxing. Sunny days make me feel like I should be OUTSIDE. Winter makes me want to stay inside. The biggest inside-thing going on right now is painting all the rooms in my house. It's time to get rid of the renter's-special boring ecru and pick my own colors. I'm finally starting to feel like this is MY house, not just another place I'll be living in for a while. It isn't the "perfect" house, but it's comfortable, it's in a good location, and it isn't more house or more yard than I can handle caring for. I may not live here for the rest of my life, but if I do, that'll be all right.

This will be a Year of Austerity for me, alas. My personal finances have taken some hits recently. I had to replace the heat pump last spring. The roof needed repairing, some trees needed trimming, the gutters needed cleaning, and some other small things needed done. And, since I finally found a handyman who seems to know what the heck he's doing, there are more projects lined up for spring that I'll need money for: painting the wood trim on the outside of the house, replacing the rotting frame around the patio window, and screening in the porch to keep the cat from escaping.

Besides the house, there are other reasons why I need to be putting less money in the Personal Fun part of the budget. I went to England for two weeks and ended up putting more of that trip on credit than I'd planned to. I flew across the country to see a movie with one of my best friends (Yes, I really did.) and that plane ticket went on credit because it was a spur-of-the-moment thing. And, I'm still paying for my braces and my car. I really want to get it all paid off this year. Well, probably next year for the car. I don't like carrying debt, and my savings is almost gone.

So this year there will be far less buying stuff, and more selling stuff! Good grief, I have too much stuff. There will be less eating out and more cooking (ugh). The cats will get fewer treats. (Maybe.) There will be more "freelance" work than I took on last year - I was just sick of working so much and needed a break from it, but I'm glad to have it. I'm considering getting rid of cable, but the biggest part of that bill is the high-speed Internet, and I need that for work anyway. I've already stopped hiring cleaners, and boy, does my house show it; I am a lazy slob of a housekeeper. The only thing that gets cleaned every day is the catbox. My reward for paying off the debt will be hiring cleaners again!

In the past, when I had debts, I would be mad at myself and feel helpless and exhausted at the burden of it. Now, I feel energized. I know I have the ability, with a little work and some concentration on the goal, to pay them off, and do it relatively quickly. I don't know when this change happened to me, but I'm not caught helplessly in the riptide of my life anymore. As much as anyone can be, I'm in charge of how things go for me. Even if I lost my job, I'd find another one; I'd find ways to make money and live. My house will be paid off in a few years (thank you for that inheritance, mom) and I'm not going to lose it. I'll never again be homeless, dependent on another's good graces for a space to live in, paying rent, on the edge of getting kicked out. Twice in life is enough to lose one's home, to have to put everything that's left in storage and find someone to give you shelter while you put your life back together. I have a stable life now; I'm no longer in fear of losing everything again. Maybe that's why I'm able to come out of this protective huddle I've been in, and extend myself into my living space. I don't have to fit myself into the spaces I'm given, or stay small and not take up too much space. I can make the spaces mine, and change them as I want to. It's such a relief, to not be afraid anymore.

My tweets

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My tweets

  • Sun, 14:21: RT @edshow: As Hurricane #Sandy approaches, remember that under Romney, there'd be no federal relief for natural disasters. #edshow http ...
  • Sun, 14:22: RT @Obama2012Mclean: VA voters affected by Hurricane Sandy can vote absentee in-person at local registrar's office before Nov. 6: http:/ ...
  • Sun, 14:36: RT @WilliamAder: Before Twitter we used to call this "talking to yourself."
  • Sun, 14:41: RT @TornadoTitans: Major earthquake off the west coast, #FrankenStorm off the east coast. Dang #mayans better not ruin the 2013 chase se ...
  • Sun, 14:45: Cell phones charging. Laptop charged. Phone charger in car. Full tank of gas. Lantern located. Tuna, crackers, batteries, cat food. Bring it
  • Sun, 14:45: I guess I should vacuum while I still have power. Because when a hurricane hits, you really want to have clean floors.
  • Sun, 15:20: Watching Weather Channel radar, as the green blob that is Sandy creeps ever nearer.
  • Sun, 15:23: Better run the dishwasher now, lest the power cut out in the middle of a cycle like last time. ugh that was gross
  • Sun, 15:28: At the Elks' lodge they've been having horseback riding today. I've only seen one horse, carrying people in the same dull circle all day.
  • Sun, 15:45: RT @RebeccaSkloot: Follow #SandyPets for info on pet preparedness, pet friendly shelters in #sandy's path, etc. Don't leave them at home ...
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18,301

Battening down the hatches for arrival of the outer edge of Hurricane Sandy. They're predicting a massive storm covering all of the northeastern US coast. At least if the power goes out, it won't be in 95 degree heat like last summer. The wind isn't predicted to be strong enough to damage my house or my trees. I have a stocked pantry, flashlights, batteries, and books. I'll be fine.

My tweets

  • Sat, 16:38: Today I have been alive for 18,300 days! I've been conscious and sober for most of them.
  • Sat, 16:44: RT @Losephine: CUSTODIAL STAFF/DAN. Have a good one. ME. Make love to the night, motherfucker. Make love to the night.
  • Sat, 17:00: RT @howardtayler: The Polish word for the at-sign (@) is "małpa" (monkey.) I could say my Twitter handle as "monkey HowardTayler." #MOVI ...
  • Sat, 17:04: RT @pourmecoffee: Having trouble obsessing over both the election and hurricane? I visited with my mom today and got some tips. http://t ...
  • Sat, 17:08: RT @twhiddleston: Make sure you tell the people you love that you love them. Loudly and often. You never know when it might be too late. ...
  • Sat, 17:32: I wish Virginia had #earlyvoting . I'd like to get it done.
  • Sat, 17:44: All right. Girding my loins to brave the grocery store.

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Today is day #18,300

Today I have been alive for 18,300 days! I've been conscious and sober for most of them.

My latest project is learning how to dye leather and suede. You know, properly, without screwing it up. I have a bunch of cute boots and shoes and handbags that are brown - I went through a brief "brown" phase - but almost all my clothes are black or grey or some color that doesn't look good with brown or tan or beige. After spending a recent evening rooting through my closets, I discovered that I have a lot of stuff I'd forgotten about, and instead giving them to Goodwill, if it's something I like that just needs a little change to make it perfect, instead of spending more money on more stuff, why not work with what I've already got? Yes, I know, major revelation, right? But you see, I grew up kind of what you might call poor, and once I got enough of a salary to buy pretty much what I wanted, well, that's what I did, for a long time. And I've never thought of myself as "crafty" or very DIY; I tend to screw things up. But now I have a mortgage and a car payment and I want to travel, and I'm re-evaluating my habits. I'm not going back to the Depression-era "there'll never be enough, there'll never be more" kind of thinking that I grew up with, because it's soul-crushing and also unnecessary, but the idea of making something better with what I already have has become an exciting, empowering idea, instead of a misery and a burden with no options. So, yeah. Also thinking about dyeing clothes, preferably with vegetable dyes. I've discovered I also have some great clothes in some truly heinous colors. (What was I thinking, buying khaki and olive? I'm a Winter, for fuck's sake, I can't wear that shit.) I don't know how different dyes work on different materials, so that'll be exciting. And if I ruin something, well, I wasn't wearing it anyway.

My tweets

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My tweets

  • Thu, 13:17: I hold in my hand an object that is ILLEGAL in New York City! *slurp* MUAHAHA SOON METROPOLIS WILL BE MINE! *slurp*
  • Thu, 13:36: Related to my illegally huge soda, go read this article: http://t.co/lwJVXCC6
  • Thu, 15:21: There's a Polish idiom meaning "not my problem" that translates as "not my circus, not my monkeys". Everyone begin using this immediately!
  • Thu, 15:21: RT @howardtayler: Via @daniel_bart & @mariadb: The Chinese for "so-so" is 马马虎虎 (ma ma hu hu), literally "horse horse tiger tiger".
  • Thu, 15:21: RT @howardtayler: Combining Chinese and Polish idioms, "whatever, it's not my problem" becomes "horse, horse, tiger, tiger, not my circus, not my monkey".
  • Thu, 15:29: I'm interested in watching Hunted, but I'm not subscribing to CineMax just for one show. I'll wait for it to hit Netflix.
  • Thu, 16:27: One 24-ounce cup of soda with ice will give you less soda than two 12-ounce cans. The ice displaces and dilutes the soda as it melts. PSA
  • Thu, 16:27: RT @GhettoHikesBack: "And on the 8th day, God drug his hand along the ground and made this deep-ass canyon."
  • Thu, 16:31: RT @Disalmanac: UPDATE: Yes, America is arguing about what rape is, because apparently it's the year 1150 or some shit.
  • Thu, 17:54: Iron Man tshirt! http://t.co/Wj4Jv529
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