Shutting the door on studio #9

Random musings on a day before I close the door and turn in the keys to studio #9.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

If I’m such a good tenant as you {landlord} said and a tenant who will be missed, why did you not stand up for me when it mattered? Speak up on my behalf to the complaining tenants and difficult owner?

It would’ve changed the outcome. Actions speak louder than words.

So while I appreciate, value and respect your sentiments — I do — let’s get real. You didn’t at any point put in a good word for me and tell the complainers and bullies to back off.

Would’ve changed the outcome.

That you didn’t matters. Matters to me.

Best that I be moving on.

Won’t Be Long Now

Tomorrow, Nov. 30, I vacate studio #9. About 99.99% of my belongings are moved into the new place.

Though tedious in its way, moving in increments with the Subaru over five days has been pleasant and reasonably gentle on my injured shoulder/neck/back. That the two residences are a short 1/2-mile apart made it doable. Wouldn’t have so keen on increments if it meant 15 roundtrips across town! So it worked out nicely.

Meet Ms. Clean

That’d be me. The deep-cleaning of the new place proceeds. Slowly, meticulously.

Yesterday, I not only completed rubber-gloved scrubbing of abundant shelves and cupboards in kitchen and bedroom, I got started on the walls. The floors await. They’ll be a lotta work, plenty of elbow grease and be the climactic accomplishment. Soon.

“New Net”

The Internet. Not new obviously, just newly hooked up in the next place. The Cable One guy showed up in the promised time frame of 1-3 p.m. That was nice.

Had plenty to clean to keep me busy while I waited. The building’s already wired so it was a simple transfer, a matter of him connecting my modem and router and doing his thang with his electronics gadgets. Easy-breezy. Tested it out before he took off. Everything looked good.

Once the Internet’s disconnected from a residence, you know it’s curtains. πŸ™‚

This post comes to you courtesy of the free Internet in my soon-to-be former apartment building. The ridiculously SLOW Internet! The 1 Mbps max speed Internet — aka dial-up speed circa 1999, thank you insufferable ISP Bolt {barf}. Glad it’s here as I close up shop; glad I don’t gotta live with it!

Don’t Open the Fridge!

It’s a sad sight. A can of coffee and pint-sized carton of half-and-half for the morning java.

No eggs. No veggies for smoothies. No beer. Freezer empty too. Once again, curtains come to mind.

Better Bath It Up, Baby!

Tomorrow I lose my bathtub. The new place doesn’t have one.

The lack of a tub has dampened (no pun intended) my enthusiasm about getting moved into the new place. Studio #9’s fantastic tub is the reason I haven’t bolted (no relation to crap ISP Bolt) outta this building with its oppressive toxic environment ‘n’ all.

I haven’t a fix for a makeshift tub in the new place, only ideas churning, churning, like frothy water in a jacuzzi. Lordy I’ll miss this bathtub and good long soaks!

Normally lack of a tub would be a deal-breaker. However, perks and pros of the new place outweighed the con of no tub.

Still. I respect my need for water (my element) and will keep churning out ideas and possibilities for a McGyver tub.

S’long studio #9. In some 24 hours.


Reflections at the exit door

“It breaks my heart to see you go,” said the landlord today.

“You’re a good tenant,” he said another time. “I’ll miss you.”

All well and good and no doubt he’s sincere. The landlord isn’t a bad man. Had things gone differently, we could’ve become friends as landlord-tenant.

Yet, on the cusp of my departure, one that he helped orchestrate in significant measure, he’s speaking as if it wasn’t his doing or choice.

I know others were involved in pushing me out. A few residents who are chronic complainers, who have long tenancies and/or longstanding ties and friendships with the landlord who lives on site.

I know too that the owner, a nameless and faceless person to me, had an enormous if not final say in getting me out.

I know nothing about the owner except what I’ve been told by the landlord and one tenant. “She’s difficult to work with. She knows people in town. She’s very well connected.”

I get the sense in conversations with others that she has no interest in her tenants, fairness or justness. That her chief concern is a hand’s-off property ownership, smooth operations while she’s away (which is most of the time) and an income that’s steady and reliable.

She’s not hurting for money. Based on one story the landlord told me, she screwed him over a bit I think. My sense is she’s neither warm nor fuzzy. All things heard, “difficult” seems the word for her; I might add “stingy” but that’s based purely on hearsay and impressions.

Where does that leave me as I prepare for departure in three days?

Angry at the residents. Angry at the landlord. And angry at a faceless nameless owner whose say in this matter may have been final; however, just and fair it was not.

People here talked behind my back. They spoke ill of me without ever having met me. Complaints were issued, to their friend the landlord, possibly if not probably phoned into the owner.

The whole thing, the way this went down, stinks of a network of others’ connections in which I had no say, voice or input.

When issues came to a head, I cited a laundry list my immediate corrective actions to any problem and requested that the landlord speak to the owner on my behalf to delay or rescind the moving orders.

He didn’t.

When he didn’t, I requested the owner’s number so that I may speak with her. Tell her my side of the story and my experience. I knew she wasn’t getting it. I knew she was getting news colored and slanted by chronic complainers and a landlord who can be really unreasonable and irrational.

He refused.

Not a single person stepped forward on my behalf and when I tried to, the door was slammed in my face.

So this “I’m sorry to see you go, you’re a good tenant” tune rings on some levels false — or at least sour. The landlord COULD have stopped this. He could have acted differently, could have chosen another path. He could’ve fixed this.

But he didn’t.

Like each of us, he too is a person with limitations. His perceptions are colored by his own past and experiences. He too has his blind spots; perhaps they’re bigger than most.

That doesn’t make what he (or his clique of residents) right. Doesn’t quote-unquote let him off the hook in the high court of justice and fairness.

I got the short end of the stick — if indeed a stick was even offered. I have my doubts.

I’m still niggled by this whole thing. Still processing. Still angry and even though I know I need to JUST LET IT GO, learn and move on, it still gets my craw.

If I could leave anything with the landlord, it’d be to leave with goodwill and good wishes for him as a landlord in a job he loves — kudos for that! — and wishes for illumination and greater tolerance as a person.

He DIDN’T make the choices that could’ve extended my stay and put all this to rest. And while I bear the brunt of his choices and blind spots and overriding unjustness of it all, truth is, as things were and other players in this story unchanging, I had no place here. The residents (chronic complainers) aren’t my milieu. They’re not my tribe (nowhere near).

Good or bad, people are who they are. Through it all and despite it all, I choose to learn and grow, which eventually, in one way or another, would’ve sounded the death knell for me here in the building. They did me a favor; a part of me truly recognizes that.

So yes, he’s sad and sorry to see me go. Yes, others, fairly or unfairly, deservedly or undeservedly, had a hand and say in the matter. And yes, he could’ve chosen differently and spared me the hassle and work of moving at this time.

But good came of it too. I learned more about myself, felt my lifelong unresolved and painful domestic issues even more acutely. I leave more illuminated and more knowing and wiser to my needs and issues than three months ago when I moved in.

Making this, all told, a bittersweet story with a positive ending because I choose it to be so.

And I’d wish likewise for the tenants (especially the chronic complainers and bullies) and the landlord.

Three days — not even — and counting until I’m fully in my new place behind the library on the hill!

I’m the cleaner. (No relation to the mafia.)

I’ve got my work cut out for me.

Work on the hands and knees with a scrub pad a bucket of cleanser — not to mention a whole lotta time and patience!

The kitchen linoleum floor in the new place is, what’s the word? Hideous. Years of ground in from the soles of only the lord knows how many tenants have discolored the floor’s color. It’s presently a baked eggshell shade. Its true color is to be revealed! Expect pics down the road.

Yesterday I spent a couple hours scrubbing and wiping all surfaces and inside cupboards and drawers at the new place. Their numbers are impressive for a small studio. I hardly know what I’m gonna do with all the space! Guess I’m gonna need to take college courses on how to collect clutter! hahah

When I clean, I clean. I remove all drawers to scrub their insides and sides.

Cupboards, ditto. With the corner of a sponge or rag and a fingernail, I get dust, dirt or gunk outta the corners and any decorative carvings. No surface goes untouched by my hand.

Ditto on, around and under knobs and handles; the undersides of metal handles where hands grip are especially susceptible to buildup and neglected, if not indeed entirely ignored, in cleanings by both tenants and professional teams.

So even a small kitchen, if loaded with cupboards and drawers, can be rather time-consuming to deep-clean. The clean team did an unimpressive mediocre job at best, so there’s plenty for me to do.

Fortunately, they did an OK job inside the fridge and microwave, sparing me from that tedium of removing every shelf and drawer and carving gunk or frozen spills outta the freezer crevices with a fingernail, toothpick or pocketknife.

Been there done that, believe me!

But back to the floor. It’s hideous. Along with the dirt in the floor and its decorative details, the baseboards and corners too are in a sad state of neglect. Scrubbing those surfaces and narrow tops is an estimated day’s work.

Plus all walls need a good wipedown.

Again, my work’s cut out for me.

But here’s the thing.

First, I’m the person to do it. When any living space — be it mine or another’s — needs attention, meticulous and detailed attention — I’m the girl! It’s not only because I’m unafraid of very hard work, I’m also unbelievably patient in home cleanings, particularly projects rich with detail and requiring finesse.

I’ve long said that had I become a doctor, I would’ve been a heart surgeon because I not only LOOOOOOOOOVE those tiny details that require a laser focus and steady hand but I’m at my best in that type of work. It’s my Virgo moon. πŸ™‚

Well, I’m a surgeon of sorts. Not in a hospital but in homes. Because a lot of my deep cleaning isn’t just about the obvious (cleaning), it’s about healing a place.

Spaces and places, it’s what I do best. I like ’em better than I like people for sure! And I’m so highly sensitive and attuned to spaces and places that cleaning is holistically therapeutic. Therapeutic for me and therapeutic for the place.

Also, spaces communicate to me. They talk and I listen and act accordingly. My new studio is a sad space. At the moment. No doubt once I start living there, it’ll reveal itself, tell me its stories. For now, however, its sadness and feeling of neglect is all I need to know. It needs nourishment and appreciation, just as I do. The new apartment and I are in sync after all!

Anyways, I diverge into esoterics. The deep-cleaning is underway and I’m saving – quote – the best for last – unquote. For one simple reason: I simply don’t have the time or energy at the moment to do the work required by the floor.

But soon, oh so soon! Like perhaps Monday, when full-on residency begins.

I sometimes quip that landlords should be paying me for my work! I always leave a place cleaner than when I moved in AND in such pristine condition that their cleaners have got nothing to do after I depart!

That’s who I am and how I roll. I wouldn’t know how to be or do any differently.

For now, on this eve of Thanksgiving, I’ve got things to do while I let that dirty floor wait. Today, I plan to complete all the heavy lifting remaining with my current apartment and get nearly everything out so I may relax and enjoy tomorrow’s holiday festivities.

On that note, I bid ye adieu until we meet again. Prob’ly in the morrow with a bounty of Thanksgiving wishes & gratitude in hand. Perhaps a turkey drumstick too. πŸ™‚

B is for buddies, bed, beer & blessings

It’s done. I’m in. Well, one foot anyhow.

The studio behind the library on the hill is mine as of 3:30 p.m. yesterday. I wasted no time in beginning the move-in, going straight from their office to the new abode to drop off a small load already in the car (!), then a quick shot to meet my brewery buddy to move the bed.

Bedtime, Bill!

You can tell your friends by who helps you move. As planned, I called Bill, another pub buddy who’d offered to help move the bed, to let him know we’re ready to roll.

Ring ring ring ring ring. No answer. Voice mail. Shit.

So much for help from Bill. He not only bailed on helping as he’d repeatedly promised but he never called back with an explanation or apology. He’s not a bad guy but he’s clearly not to be trusted to keep his word or show up.

Spirit Shows Up

However, Spirit provides. Not only did Justin show up with his truck as promised, he unexpectedly brought along his brother, saying: “Thought we could use another strong young back!”

YES! Thank you, Lord!

The brothers got that heavy dense foam mattress loaded and moved into the new place with nary a blink of an eye!

That’s a load off ! — my only and heaviest piece of furniture cleared out. The rest I can handle myself, carefully and mindful of shoulder-neck-back injuries.

And yes, I absolutely believe that Spirit / God / Universe provided the help required in the form of Justin’s brother when Bill bailed. Thank you thank you thank you helpers above!

Bring on the Beer!

A busy moving day required celebration and chill time. Gotta keep those muscles loaded with the carbs! And what better than dark beer and a loaded baked potato over at the brewery!?

Fueled up, I was ready for one more load up to the new place before calling it a night.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Bugs)

I discovered a few things in the new place through the course of the day.
Beginning with yuck. Like whoever did the cleaning did a less-than-bang-up job.

Now, I don’t expect the identical meticulous attention to details that I give. That’s why upon moving in I always clean a place that’s been allegedly cleaned. Because it never is. I ALWAYS find somethings. So even before I unpack, I get in there on hands and knees and work to the bone scrubbing into every nook, cranny and crevice. Then I keep it that way.

But it’d be nice if they could’ve at least checked the window sills! Lying inside metal tracks is a veritable graveyard of insects! And the dead fly that’s resting, well, dead center on the sill, gross! And totally obvious.

The painted surfaces of drawers and cupboards need attention. I’ll find more as I dig into a deep cleaning.

There’s no drip pan for one stove burner. And the extra oversized one they left resting on the counter, useless. Again, sloppy work. Like cleaning was a hurried or an afterthought.

And the screen on the bedroom window doesn’t fit. Too small. Obviously not the right style. Obviously a on-the-go purchase from a hardware store.

I discovered this when I opened the window to air out the place and returned to a screen half hanging out the window, pushed out by the breezes. That won’t do.

I’ve got cleaning work cut out for me and they their repairs and fixes, definitely.

There were pleasant finds too. Like a good-sized pantry behind the furnace. For a studio, the kitchen storage space is impressive.

And behind the bedroom door lay another happy discovery — cupboards! Which eradicates the need for a dresser or other McGyver makeshift means — read: boxes — of storing my clothes!

Remember, I’ve been without furniture, not even a bed, for 3+ years. Boxes have been my friend! I’m extraordinarily practical and inventive with ’em too. Definitely a think-outside-the-box girl! Or inside-the-box as the situation warrants. πŸ™‚

So I’m looking forward to getting the place clean and at least some belongings outta boxes and into proper cupboards!

All Told …

Well, perhaps not ALL πŸ˜‰ … but certainly the headline news. I’ve got my new space, the studio behind the library on the hill — officially completing Move #52, give or take.

For the coming five days, I’ll be bouncing between two residences, cleaning there, sleeping here, packing up and lifing boxes here, putting ’em down there a short 1/2 mile away.

In closing, it’s an exciting time, finishing up 2014 with a significant change and fresh start. I just know things’ll only continue improving and that good stuff’s in store in 2015.

I’m blessed and grateful for the good that’s been bestowed upon me in the (short) eight months I’ve lived in this town. A fine time it is too to make this move, on the cusp of Thanksgiving. And lest I don’t forget, thanks and praises to all above who helped this happen! I am grateful.

a new lease on (apartment) life begins today

Well, it’s here. The day: lease-signing. The place: the studio behind the library on the hill.

On the one hand, the time and wait between the first viewing the place, what, a couple weeks ago and today’s signing have moved quickly.

On the other hand, the time between when I was informed by the landlord around Halloween that my current lease wouldn’t be renewed and the search for a new place thus undertaken seems long and weighty. Looking for a new place to live is always hard work, especially in a town renewed for housing challenges and rents generally far outside my budget.

So I did well. I walked the walk. I kept my eye on the ball. I was clear about what I wanted and didn’t want. I was realistic about my budget and key needs at this time. I was willing to make certain compromises but not concede to a slum place or place of desperate. And swear to God, I REALLY DID NOT want to return to roommates!!! Been battered and bruised much too much to want any of that crap continued in my life.

I like living alone. Flying solo. It’s healthy and necessary for me. Even though my current apartment complex is toxic and oppressive and best to leave behind in the category of Learning Experiences Not to be Repeated, I wasn’t deterred in efforts to continue solo living.

In a few hours, I’ll sit down with the property management lady and go over a lease approximately 10 pages long.

As mentioned in a prior post, the lease spells out in no uncertain terms the rules, conditions and terms of occupancy. Every i’s dotted and t crossed, that’s for certain! I’ve read it from cover to cover; there’s certainly no harm in going over it item by item in the office today, in no small part because the $ penalty for a violation is steep. These folks don’t mess around! Going in with eyes open is the way to go.

Once keys are in my hand, it’s move’s on! This evening, two buddies from the pubs have kindly volunteered a pickup truck and muscles to move a queen-sized dense memory foam mattress. A bed that weighs some 100+ pounds!

The bed (no box springs or frame) is my sole item that I can’t move on my own. It requires 2-3 people to move, it’s just that danged dead-weighty!
I’m sooooo soooo grateful for their offers to help. People normally don’t do that for me!

It’s location location location. Finally, after a lifetime of nomadic travel and homelessness, I’ve found the right town and community and state! They resonate with me and I them. I feel so blessed and grateful to live in a place I love and that loves me back! (I’ve lived in places of unrequited love and know of what I write.)

Once the bed’s out tonight, the rest becomes an arduous solo task of incremental moves with my car over the next five days or so. It’ll be work. It’s not the hard labor I fear (wtf, I grew up hard-laboring as a slave!), it’s the tremendous strain and risk to my injured shoulder, neck & back. We’ll see how it goes. I intend to go gingerly and gently into that good move.

All told and all still to do, today marks the beginning of the next chapter.

I’m so grateful to have found a place that I can afford that’s still within walking distance of historic downtown AND behind the library — jackpot!

I’m grateful that I can continue living alone. I was grateful for it in August when I returned to solo living after years of roommates (and traumas) and I’m grateful for it now.

I’m grateful that the place is clean and maintained and managed by not-slumlords.

I’m grateful for the offers of help from two buddies to move the bed. I need the help. I could’ve found a couple dudes with a truck on craigslist, sure.

But there’s something special, personal and comforting about someone you know offering to assist. This is new for me. Offers of help. And learning to accept help. HUGE lifetime lesson and theme. I truly seek and want to grow in that capacity and put the cruelty of EXTREME and death-defying self-reliance & independence that were shoved down my throat behind me. I’m excited and grateful to be changing and growing.

I’m grateful that I HAVE a bed to move! Truly. My bed’s a mere few months old. For three years, I had no bed so having one to move is a big deal! Even though it is friggin’ heavy. πŸ™‚

I’m grateful to have secured a place before winter’s onset. And I’m grateful to have secured a place in this season of Thanksgiving (officially Thursday). I’ve much to be thankful for and I am.

Now, let the let the lease be signed, the keys exchanged, the truck’s engine turn and the moving begin!

breathing. blocked.

Horse pills, my Vitamin C. Two back to back down the gullet. A mere two of some 20 vitamins and supplements. I do this every day.

“Water will help.” The two horse pills are lodged in my throat. “Drink water.” I quickly down an entire cup.

“They’re not moving. Is this really happening?”

I gulp a second cup of water.

Will the pills go down? Am I really not able to breathe? Or is it my imagination?

I reach for a breath, gasping. No air is flowing. It’s really happening. There’s no air passing through my throat. INHALE. INHALE. I try. The airway is obstructed.

Don’t panic.

It’s really happening. This is real. I can’t breathe. I walk into my bedroom, for what I don’t remember, lightheaded and woozy. Facing squarely: no breathing. “Am I dying? Is this how I’m going to die? Fallen into sleep from choking? Found dead and alone in a studio apartment?”

Fear. INHALE. INHALE. Still no air. Still no breath. Gasping.

Don’t panic. Do what’s necessary.

Fear. I can’t breathe. This is REAL. Elemental. What do I do? I live alone. The world around me recedes and compresses. Compresses into a singular need: for breath.

This is serious.

I go into the kitchen. Not for more water. Didn’t help. I’m trying to fix the problem myself. Involve no one else. Burden no one else. Childhood haunting even now. The disadvantage of living alone. Everything I have to do on my own. If I can’t get breathing, if I drop into terror and crisis, I’ll go next door. She’s always been nice to me. The only tenant here who has been. She’ll help. The others, I wouldn’t trust them to help or care

I know she’s home. I’ll indicate I’m choking. Have her wrap her arms around from behind and thrust. Hurry hurry hurry.

I read that if you’re ever alone and choking, lean the stomach against an edge of a counter or chair and push. The self-induced Heimlich move.

I press my body against the edge of the kitchen sink. Still not breathing. Still no air. The world outside fading. Control the panic. The fear is REAL. The situation REAL. I can’t breathe! I can’t breathe!

I lean hard over the sink. Coughing coughing coughing. Hard coughing. Like retching. All-consuming coughing. Unconscious coughing. The body giving its all to dislodge an obstruction.

They’re still stuck. The pills aren’t moving. How much time have I got let until I have to involve the neighbor? How many moments? Each moment not breathing is a moment of greater urgency.

I remain angled over the stainless-steel kitchen sink, belly pressing hard. Body in full-on all-out effort to move the blockage.


I don’t panic. I’m QUITE aware I’ve got a problem. A serious one. A part of me stays clear-headed and problem-solving.

But this fear is real. The REALITY of not breathing: real. COUGH COUGH COUGHing.

Suddenly: POP! Two horse pills fly out. Like miniature balls shot from a cannon. They land unceremoniously on the counter. Attached to each other along their oblong sides. Like Siamese twins. They’re not dissolved at all. They’re hard, firm, thick and somehow got joined at the hip in the journey down the throat.

I pry them apart. Cough and cough more. The body clearing out the mucus and saliva trapped around the obstruction. The body restoring itself with no instruction or thought on my part.

Cough coughing coughing and breathing in air, gulping in air, swallowing in air, restoring air back down the throat and into the lungs.

All outside my control or directives. All at the command of Mother Nature and the life force. Deep breaths, drawn in, the throat clearing out the mucus.

The crisis calms. Now, my consciousness returning, I feel it, an acute rawness and pain in the throat. I feel it, the adrenalin and fear. Or perhaps it’s simply registering in a way it couldn’t when the obstruction happened.

My body trembles. Shivers. Shakes. Like immediate scars of terror when the breath is taken and the primal fight to restore it begun. The beautiful fight for life.

the bounce-between because of a bathtub

Six days of schizophrenic living lie ahead.

Come Monday, when I get the keys, I’ll be bouncing between my current place and the new one.

The reason has more to do with a bathtub than peculiarities of this move: repeated Subaru-loads of boxes.

Since the new place is only a half-mile away and I’m currently without a day job, I decided it’s easier and cheaper to (again) do the move myself in increments rather than one fell swoop with hired hand and pickup truck.

Don’t misunderstand. I do need the help. I’ve got a queen-sized dense memory foam bed that weighs a ton! I exaggerate. It’s friggin’ heavy and a 2-man job to move. Three men if they’re scrawny wimps. All that’s another post.

I also need to make this move very gingerly and carefully due to shoulder, neck and back injuries. Ongoing healing treatments are effective though slow (understandable due to the extent and severity of the damage).

A misstep or misturn or simply too much weight for, say, the damaged shoulder could produce a huge setback or, worse, further injury.

There’s a part of me that wishes I could hand the entire move over to a couple responsible hardworking guys for one reason alone: to preserve the integrity of healing that’s taken place.

On the other hand, I’m just too damn independent … programmed too deeply to need no help and do EVERYTHING on my own (father issues) … too pragmatic as in “I can do it on my own, even if it’s painful, I literally can still do it” … and last but not least too accomplished at doing it on my own.

Which is to say I’ve made dozens of moves with little to usually no help from anyone. All that heavy lifting and overloads, it’s what I do and have done since childhood. My father was a slavedriver and quite cruel with no concept of the weights and burdens appropriate to a small girl (pint-sized stature and weight).

Those deep unresolved painful father issues are still with me, making me both the incredibly strong and fiercely independent girl that I am AND the injured girl that I am today. Truly is his harsh relentless training/programming that laid the groundwork for a lifetime of needing no help and refusing help and being forced to do EVERYTHING on my own.
Some 57 years later, I see it in the way I move — physically, with damaged bones, the very structure and foundation of the human body, and in relocating.

But I digress.

Six days of schizophrenic living.

Since I’m paid up at my current place to Nov. 30 and in the new place Monday (the double-rent thang), I’ve got six days to clear out bed and boxes. Six days for a move in increments. Six days of duo residences. Six days of transition. Six days for nice hot baths.

The next place, you see, doesn’t have a bathtub. And I’m a huuuuuuuuuuuuuge baths person. Huuuge. They’re as fundamental to my health, healing and rejuvenation as water and air.

My inner Ms. McGyver is already on it to create a baths apparatus in the next place. In the meantime, I’ll continue my long hot soaks in my current wonderful porcelain tub for long as I’ve got access. Come Nov. 30, bye-bye tub.

I can see it now. An emptied apartment. Everything sparkly cleaned. There’s just that ooooone thing I can’t give up, that oooonnnne thing I love and cling to and will miss dearly: an amazing tub.

So yep, six days of schizophrenic living, bouncing and perhaps sleeping between two residences, all because of a bathtub!

on candles, complainers and cooperation

A lotta bucks flew past me yesterday.

And I don’t mean the four-legged sort. Rather, the sort in the bank.

The deposit for the studio on the hill behind the library is in, which both holds the place until the lease is signed and removes it from the rental market. A considerable sum it is too. Ouch. Moving into apartments is not cheap, what with the deposit and non-refundable cleaning and administrative fees.

Speaking of cleaning, this property management company does something new to my ears. The clean team employs a black light in cleaning carpets between tenants. I first thought: “Wow, that’s intense and exacting cleaning.”

Then the reason came clear upon reading the lease. “Extra charges may be assessed for stains, wax removal, pet odors, etc. upon vacating.”


Best not spill any coffee or wine there! And since the place is carpeted, save for the kitchen & bathroom, I’d best designate the kitchen with its linoleum floor the room of activity!

A buddy rents from the same property manager, that’s how I found out about them during my search. He’d said that they’re very strict and the fees quick and high for late rent payment, violations and such.

My experience to date confirms that. They don’t mess around. The paperwork, including the lease that I’ve reviewed (but not yet signed), spells out everything clearly. I’s are dotted and t’s crossed, that’s for certain.

Not complaining. It’s how it should be and I like that the conditions and terms are clearly defined and documented, likewise the consequences of violations. You can tell this large property management company has been doing this a long time and likely is no stranger to attempted lawsuits. The handiwork of lawyers is evident in all the documentation.

What isn’t on the lease — which is as equally important as what is — is a ban on candles. I actually checked on that before I committed to the space.

My current lease bans, in addition to smoking, “incense and candles and anything else that could damage carpets or walls.”

Incense I can understand; the odors can be very hard to remove from walls or carpet.

Candles on the other hand …

I’m intelligent enough to know not to place a burning candle beside a wall. Intelligent enough to know not to leave a candle burning unattended.

Early in my tenancy, I got rapped for burning candles. These were the tealights inside votive glass holders set on a window sill. They were neither near a wall nor carpet, therefore endangering neither, and therefore did not truly violate the lease.

However, in the eyes of the landlord and subset of tenants with whom he has friendly and/or long ties, I was already being branded an uncooperative troublemaker.

The truth contrary was irrelevant. My immediate and cooperative corrective action to any admonition or information from the landlord (i.e., no candles allowed including tiny ones inside votive glass, after which I immediately switched fully to LEDs) was not regarded or appreciated.

Perception is everything, they say, even when it’s a lie or untruth. The landlord and few tenants had it in their mind that I was an uncooperative troublemaker.

Outside the landlord, not one knew me.

Not one had met me.

Not one approached me for my side of the story.

Not one stepped forward on my behalf. Not one — namely the landlord who did have the power to change the course of events — put in a good word for me to the absentee owner who no doubt heard nothing but complaints about me.

When I requested the owner’s phone number so that I could share my experience and side of the story, essentially speaking up on my behalf, I was denied.

That’s when I knew that the only solution was to proceed with the move.

Legally I could’ve fought it. When I asked the landlord several times on what grounds my monthly lease (leases here are month-to-month) was not being renewed, he had no answer. Merely repeated: “We’re not renewing your lease.”

It was personal. I knew it was personal. He knew it was personal. And personal doesn’t stand up in court.

But why take on that legal battle?

Why take on that stress and high costs? Even with law and right on my side, why invest in a battle to extend my stay in an unfair and unwelcoming environment with chronic complainers who’ve displayed no interest in meeting in the middle and genuine problem-solving? Tenants & to great extent a landlord who’ve displayed zero recognition or appreciation for my character and immediate responses to ANY problem or complaint?

I don’t belong here. Don’t want to be in this climate. Don’t feel it’ll ever support me, listen or care to hear what I have to say.

Groups — even small groups of two or three — are more powerful than one individual. That can be good when the cause is positive and bad when used for ill or directed against another(s).

Guess that’s all I have to say on that today.

On a positive note, I’m moving in a matter of days. I’m anxious because I’ve been stung and somewhat traumatized here. I’m anxious because of the unrealness of this residence. Even my writer’s imagination wouldn’t have come up with this!

However, the next setting IS a better one. For starters, it’s a triplex rather than an enclosed complex of 18 residents and each tenant’s door opens into the outdoors rather than shared hallway. Better setup from the get-go and hopefully bodes well for positive tenancy.

This writing reminds me that I need to keep letting go and to keep forgiving these tenants, the landlord, myself and this situation. Better lies ahead. I just know it. I just need to clear the inner space and prepare to receive the good that awaits and is promised with this move. In four days and counting! πŸ™‚

Tick tick tick ’til the key

Won’t be long now. Five days and counting.

Including today and assuming all goes well, five days ’til I’ve got the keys in my hand to the new place. The lil’ apartment B on the hill behind the library.

I feel blessed to have found an affordable studio that allows me to continue living solo. I verily dreaded the idea of destroying my life once again through roommates! Not every roommate situation has been toxic BUT enough of them have been — especially those with females — that my interest in revisiting that path: an obese zero!

I feel blessed to have found a studio at that location. Right behind the library! How cool is that?! Too, thankfully, from there I’m still able to walk to Whiskey Row / historic downtown, the heart of Prescott, to my hangouts, to my friends and buddies who work there.

While I was willing (and half expecting) to move to an abode needing a drive to downtown, my heart really really wanted to stay within walking distance and maintain that downtown connection. It’s good for my heart, good for my soul.

Rent, location, apartment size, timing … all things considered, I’m either very lucky or blessed or both to have secured a space that suits my current needs and conditions. And in, what, about a month’s time too! Quite an accomplishment in a town renowned for housing challenges.

There really is something to “right timing.”

Certainly the forces were with me, including the season. The lack of competition from students seeking housing made a HUUUUUUUUUUUGE difference. Having looked for a place to live in spring (when school starts) and in autumn/winter’s cusp … I can confirm the difference is day and night — literally!

Also, I maintained a positive attitude even during the dry spell with no places to view and disappointments from the no-shows.

How’d I accomplish that?

I just knew moving was right. Despite having lived here only a short couple months; despite my positive actions and attitude of problem-solving and cooperation with chronic complainer tenants. I came to know that it was an untenable and toxic situation and it’s continue to be one thing after another.

Things COULD’VE gone differently but it would’ve required different choices and actions by others and they weren’t able or willing to listen or truly meet in the middle. A classic case of “my way or the highway.”

I neither need nor want people like that in my life and certainly not my home life. Been there done that lived that got the T-shirt; it’s high time to have a space & life for ME and to be freed of the chains, controls and oppressive / suffocating dictates of others.

Anyways, things are in motion. Today I submit a deposit for the new place; in five days, I pay prorated rent, sign the lease and receive the keys.

A pub buddy with a truck has offered help with the bed. Everything else I can move by myself with repeated car trips — though to be honest, and departing from my usual style, I REALLY want and could use help with this move because of my injured shoulder/neck/back.

It’s an exciting time — not to mention stunning in terms of the swiftness and overall ease of this move #52 (give or take). It’s about flow. And things are flowing. Five days ’til the key to the new place. Tick tick tick goes the mover’s clock.

Door closing in Adventures in Moving #52

I’m in!

The studio behind the library’s a go! Got the call from the property management lady this morning announcing that the references checked out, everything’s good to roll.

Now it’s all about the money, paperwork and signing on dotted lines. Lease to be signed Monday 3 p.m.

In these next couple days, it’s a mater of getting the deposit in, which’ll remove the rental from the market, and toe-tapping as I wait for Monday to arrive!

I’m so ready to roll! Since I live out of boxes and in perpetual readiness to move, packing is minimal and manageable. Plus I’m moving only 1/2 mile from my current location, making my customary super-air tight and uber-organized packing unnecessary.

If I could simply lift everything as it is onto a magic carpet and have it land in the new space and bypass the packing, I would!

I keep “trying” to feel really bad about leaving this space but it ain’t happening. I feel deeply sad and angry about the unjustness and unfairness and unneighborliness in the coalition of landlord and marginal subset of tenants that drove me out.

I feel stung by the experience and unhealed. I definitely need to continue forgiving them, the situation and myself; therein lies my release and freedom.

Anyhow, I’m out and movin’ onwards and upwards! Literally. I know I’m gonna love being atop a hill — think small hill in residential area, not soaring hill or bluff. It’s hill enough to offer an overlook of my town to the northwest. This’ll help create a sense of space in an apartment that’s small and kinda cramped.

There’s a kitchen window with a view into the distance, sky and treetops. It’s perfect for a tall bistro table, laptop and morning coffee! I’ve already started looking around but haven’t found anything within my budget.

Once again, it’s one of those occasions where having no furniture except a bed and patio chair works in my favor. Any furnishings I do get can be chosen to accommodate the peculiarities and particulars of the new place.

A tall bistro table is a priority and a must for greatest enjoyment of the view the space affords. A regular table ain’t gonna cut it.

I’m excited. And nervous too. I don’t know who my neighbors above and in the single apartment beside me are. I recognize that a good measure of the anxiety is due to my current situation (bad neighbors, complainers about every little thing, petty & uncooperative sorts). Yeah, I’ve been stung and it still smarts. That I’m leaving doesn’t alleviate that, only removes it from my life, which is greatly welcomed. Yes, gotta keep doing the forgiveness; it’s truly the best and only way out.

On that note in closing, the daily prayer/reflection I receive by email is particularly poignant and fitting:

A Time to Think

God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say “thank you”? –William A. Ward, author

Thank you God, Spirit, universe, all etheric helpers and beings for bringing me to my new place and answering my prayers! Thank you thank you thank you!