notes to self

If wishes were pennies and I could fly, I'd be very rich I'd be very high

Jun 30, 2007

Erin is a great:


Jun 28, 2007

Demolition: the disturbing reality

Imagine my surprise when I went over to the house June 22 and saw this. On the left here is actually looking into our bedroom from what was once our kitchen built-in cabinet. The kitchen was this bad as well when I arrived, but I was too stunned to take any photos before the fellow had shoveled most of it out. The photo on the right is looking into the kitchen, and through the wall into the bedroom, from the back deck.

Guess we don't have to question if the wall between the kitchen and dining room will have any problems associated with the rat infestation I battled in there a year or two ago because it is gone!

This is what our exterior looks like all the way around. As Stephen says, "A tarpaper shack." I reminded him this is my castle. I imagine this must be equally (or nearly equally) horrifying to our neighbors.

To keep my chin up, I think about what it will look like in about 8 months or around this time next year. I try not to worry. I've been researching kitchen and bathroom possibilities. I have noticed, no matter how much money we throw at this, no matter how much negotiating we do, I can always find something to be disappointed about, something to not like. I want to focus on happiness, so I am choosing to feel really good about this. At the same time, I am watching everything, hoping, learning. I remind myself daily that so many people wish they had a home, or even a meal. So my troubled mind is a symptom of being terribly spoiled! Really now, I mustn't take this for granted.


Jun 13, 2007

moving, etc.

I am not fond of moving. This has been a rough week or two for us. Really brought out the ogre in me. I didn't even know there was an ogre in me. The new house is about the same size with a few differences in the layout. The problem is the woman who lived here for 60 years, smoked, and according to the neighbors, about 3 - 4 packs a day. Poor dear. So I've been cleaning and painting like mad, in addition to moving, on top of making uncomfortable decisions about our remodel. Erin and I both woke several mornings with swollen eyes and red faces and stuffy noses - allergic to the smell. The decisions are uncomfortable because we have had to make several very expensive concessions for the permits.

The Kales Avenue yard amazes me because I have really trashed it, removing most of the plants from around the house, putting many of the succulents in pots at the back of the lawn. The roses really took a hit and died back hard when we potted them. But what is amazing is without planting anything new this year, no fertilizer or anything, many flowers are blooming, the bean vines are abundant, the weeds are behaving best they can, the pear and fig are covered with large fruit.

At 63rd Street, the front yard is black plastic beneath gravel. I put a cement pot of grass (now completely broken, but it looks like something from an excavation), a 1/2 barrel of bamboo, and that big cement goldfish to give it some oxygen. The back yard is hardpan with only the hardiest of weeds, mostly that arrowhead seed that sticks in your socks. I brought in two 1/2 barrels with soil and planted zucchinis, cucumbers, pumpkins, tomatoes, petunias, marigolds, parsley, basil, and onions and chives, and I am trying to sprout some sunflowers. Just to see what will grow. It is definitely full sun, so we should get something. I don't want to put much in here, effort or money, obviously. We have been grilling and eating out there with our little table and wicker chairs. The neighborhood is quiet, only 10 blocks or so from the other house, so similar.

Petunia really freaked at first. She's always been a little testy. There is no kitty door here, so she's taken to jumping out the windows, which will make your heart skip a beat, but she seems ok with it, and she can jump back in. Funny enough, at first she didn't know what to do with the cat box, but now, even if she's been hiding outside all day, she jumps inside to use it.

My semester at school ended on a harsh note. As she was scouting groundcovers and vines for our final, just blocks from our Kales Avenue house, our teacher was mugged and beaten up really badly, just for her purse. 2 pm on a Tuesday, lots of people around, traffic, and a crew of painters working on the house she was attacked in front of. She has a great attitude about it, but I am quite shaken. Erin and I frequently walk in that area to go to Walgreens. Our friend and neighbor, Paula, has taken the issue up with the Oakland Police Dept. and our City Counsel representative, because the followup is so nothing. Witnesses got the license plate of the get away car, several checks were forged, and the credit cards were used. It may be too late to use these clues now to catch the perpetrators, but Paula's point is let's put into place some process to catch all these criminals, and make our streets safer. I know violent crimes frequently happened in San Francisco, but, for some reason, it seems more pointed here. Maybe we're just hearing about them more. They definitely are hitting closer to home.

So, I'm producing a Photo Salon tomorrow night, then we go into a couple weeks of the LGBT Film Festival, and then into July. Activities haven't actually started over at Kales Avenue just yet, waiting to finalize the plans, and sign on the dotted line. And then, supposedly, comes the demolition part, which people warn me about as being emotionally trying. (After this, more?) Erin and I look at each other and swear we can get thru this. I am trying to get more rest now, so I can support her, because as usual, her job is terribly demanding.

So, that's the wrap up. I am so glad the weather is glorious. My heart is always lighter when the sun is shining and the birds are singing.