A Bar to Remember

Not that sort. Sorry, folks. This kind:

refrigerator door bar

refrigerator door bar

It’s a bar that goes on the inside of a refrigerator door. It sits in front of a built-in narrow shelf to restrain items like condiments, small bottles or containers.

When I moved in, that bar was already misshapen by stress. Bulging in the middle from restraining items too big for its capacity. So it was only a matter of time until it … yes … snapped! Who among us couldn’t say the same for ourselves?! 😉 It broke smack in the middle.

So, to repair, I rejoined the broken ends with strapping tape. It worked.

A conundrum arose when I was learned I must move. The bar. And not the fun type with whiskey and beers, laughter and tears!

In short — eight words to be exact: My property management company’s not to be trusted.

Its reputation for fining tenants for even the slightest repair, like a nail hole, and withholding deposits by the chunks if not entirety precedes them. I’d tell you its name so you can read one bad Yelp review after another after another but I wanna take no chances! Especially since I’m very soon to move and NEED that deposit!

Soooooo, I removed the strapping tape and tried to repair it. First with epoxy. Didn’t hold. Tried Superglue. Ditto.

That left one option. Buy a new bar.

Not as simple as it sounds. Fortunately the label on the fridge back is intact, enabling me to get the model number. With that, I was then able to identify the part number from a schematics map — thank you Internet! Schmematics with so many parts listed and labeled that it looked to be for a rocketship instead of a refrigerator!

After calling around locally for a used part and getting zilch, I succumbed to the only remaining option: Buy the replacement part: new. Not as easy as it sounds!

Evidently this part is no longer widely available. The only place that had it for a “decent” price was ApplianceZone.com.

So it appeared.

After ordering and waiting and waiting for a part that never arrived, I contacted them. Via a live chat. They don’t have a telephone option. Everything’s email or chat. That shoulda been my first clue.

When I asked when I’d be receiving the order, ApplianceZone.com couldn’t answer. Save with: “It’s on back order.”

“What?! I wasn’t told that when I ordered.” Sidenote: I need that bar. Because I’m moving.

Her response in short: “You didn’t ask.”

“WHATT?!? It’s up to the CUSTOMER to ask about whether a product is backordered?!?”

“Yes. To check whether we have it in stock.”

Were that I could reach my hand through the computer screen and bop her head on her desk hard a dozen times!

And I’m being civil!

“The manufacturer gives an estimated delivery date of July 27.” Or some such. Estimated. Translation: no idea when it’ll arrive.

After not one but two glorious {cough cough} live chats with two different ApplianceZone.com women, I decided: This is ridiculous! Enough! Immediately cancelled my order. Requested a refund. Washed my hands of ApplianceZone for infinity and pledged to spread the word by blog or by mouth!

So after all the less-than-impressive-something-smells-shoddy dealings with ApplianceZone, how’d I come to get a bar?

Sears. Good ol’ Sears.

They carry the Magic Chef fridge. And parts. The same part through Sears is about double the price at ApplianceZone. OUCH!

BUUUT! They could get the part. Ship it at no cost, as a courtesy said the very nice and helpful Sears lady. ON THE PHONE! No live chat!

And deliver the part within a week. So she said.

And so it is. The bar arrived this morning. Well-protected in its big box and the right size.

The punchline? The price. The bar’s about 19 inches wide, 2 inches wide and made of cheap clear plastic (no doubt made in China). Whaddya think this cost?

Magic Chef fridge door bar

Magic Chef fridge door bar


Answer: About $40. Or 53 Canadian dollars. Yessirree, Bob!

But! Though it cost a small fortune for what it actually is — a slice of easy-to-break cheap plastic — I consider it a steal. My landlord would’ve charged two or three times that to replace the taped-up broken bar! Assuming, that is, that they would’ve.

Many things, you just can’t attach a price tag. This fridge bar’s one. What I lost — my patience with and regard for ApplianceZone.com for starters … also pushing forward through the aggravations and major hassle of simply identifying and locating the part! … I gained in peace of mind, thanks to strength of foresight. My landlord can’t screw me over on this one!

And THAT deserves a toast. At a real bar!


No tasty dishes on this Moving Menu

Been looking for a new living space for a month.

Here’s what I’ve seen so far:

1. A small 1-bedroom apartment in a large old house converted into apartments.

What stood out:

Slanted carpeted floors. Cozy kitchen. Small bathroom with narrow shower, no tub and no place to use my makeshift tub (stock tank). Zero storage space — merely one or two coat closets. Cracked living room window. All white walls = colorless, bland. Few windows / minimum light. So-so upkeep.

Verdict: Good neighborhood but dark, depressing, overpriced, no storage.

2. Stand-alone studio in back of a house.

What stood out: Suuuuper-tiny. Claustrophobic. No closet; only a hanging wooden rod and generic do-it-yourself wardrobe unit. Shower only, no tub. Zero storage space. Space enough for a bed, dresser, small couch, table. Okay light through small windows

Verdict: Overpriced but good neighborhood, stand-alone so no shared walls (yes!), super claustrophobic. Endurable for a year max.

3. Small 1-bedroom two blocks from current residence.

What stood out: Modern construction. Low ceilings, boxy, no character. Bedroom big enough for a king-sized bed & dresser. Ehhh closet space; separate self-storage unit would be required. Small living room. Okay kitchen w/ newish fridge and adequate cabinetry. Private back patio enclosed by plastic roof, creating a hothouse effect (done by a prior tenant perhaps?)

Verdict: Suffocating. Too close to neighbors for comfort. Great neighborhood. Quickly overpriced with utilities.

4. A 2-bedroom, recently redone, with 1 full & -1/2 bathrooms.

What stood out: Tile floors throughout – easy to keep clean but echo-y. Cold — both physical & in lack of personality. Kitchen unmemorable. Dining room converted into second bedroom (hence advertised as a 2-bedroom) with Home Depot-type do-it-yourself storage unit as only closet in that room. Horrible storage throughout! NOISY. Smack on one of town’s busiest roads.

Verdict: Don’t recall the rent but no matter. An instant no for all those reasons.

5. 2-bedroom in a complex tucked back toward end of road.

Stumbled across this when responding to a moving sale sign. (Checking out yard sales is a good way to find out who’s moving soon, hence giving you a jumpstart.)

Characterless apartment in the ubiquitous 1970s style of carpet, small rooms, low ceilings. Nice kitchen recently redone, beaucoup cabinetry. Large walk-in closets in each bedroom. Bathtub – yes!

Still occupied so got skinny from current resident. Especially about sounds from tenants below & next door (noise being the burning issue/true reason for my impending move). “Sometimes I can hear so-and-so talking on the phone in the apartment below … sometimes I can hear the next-door neighbor chopping vegetables.”

Verdict: Tight quarters, nondescript interior, made more constrictive by neighbor sounds/thin walls & floors. Great area, woodsy, convenient. More space than I need though and more rent than I can afford. On plus side, a month-to-month lease; keep in mind for short-term if I get desperate.

6. Basement studio.

Officially advertised as a 1-bedroom because of the interior door but really still just a studio. Recently renovated. Tile floors. Okay kitchen w/ so-so storage. Minuscule storage throughout. Small windows, minimum light. No charm or warmth. Utilities included.

Verdict: Location location location. Sits exactly on another very busy noisy street — with bedroom literally facing the noise. Rent too high even with utilities included. Knew it was a no within 5 seconds — a record setter!

7. Studio built around 1927.

Good neighborhood but smaa-hall! Two narrow short closets = no storage. Okay kitchen with okay cabinetry. Kitchen window opens onto beige wall of next building and is so close, you could extend an arm out the window and touch it. Small windows, very poor light. Certain old-style charms like arched interior wall and bathtub.

Verdict: Moderate rent that quickly escalates with utilities. Putting zero storage aside, the place was depressing. It’s in the lack of light, it’s in the air. Even as some 8 viewers stood around inside chatting, I needed to get outta there. Just didn’t feel right or good. Wouldn’t surprise if the place is haunted. Has bad juju. Or something.

As you can tell, nothing’s rang the bell … stirred the heart … shouted or whispered “YES!”

There’s been a dearth of supply: that must be acknowledged. Also to be acknowledged: for every one rental that appears, 10 to 20 people or more show up and/or apply! Translation: competition is severe.

BUT! I keep truckin’ on. Scour craigslist and the rental property web sites diligently up to 15-20 times a day. Drive up and down known and random roads seeking “For Rent” signs. I tell friends, acquaintances and strangers that I’m looking.

In short, I am doing everything that any human being could do — and then some!

In reviewing the spaces seen and the lack of success thus far, I think what’s needed lies outside the human sphere!

The mortal way hasn’t been fruitful.

I need divine intervention. Help from forces unseen and “from afar.”

Because for all these places seen and all efforts being made, one truth remains:

I must move. Not later; the landlord won’t grant an extension; I asked.

I’m already in Moving Mode in thought and in action. I need the space.

I need the blessing of the angels above!

I need the universe to show me where the space is and to open the door so that I can accomplish what is required and get on with things.

So to those higher forces above and around, I beseech you prayerfully: Please lead the way to my new front door. My new space is needed. It is required. It is to be and must be. The clock is ticking. {ticktickticktick}

In the meantime, it’s been fun looking at all these spaces (“rejects”). Always fun to see how and where others have lived, live or will live!

My turn must come. Please provide me that blessed home. That one that speaks: “Yes!” The one that is for me.

Thank you prayerfully,

“How to Stay Put. For 20 Minutes.” Not on Amazon. Yet.

Part Boy Scout and part paramedic.

I live in a constant state of preparedness to move. And move immediately. And without assistance.

I’m moving within a month. Dunno where; still looking. But moving I am, hence preparations are underway.

At any given time — even without impending relocation — I’m already 10 steps ahead of the game. Examples:

* I’m an anti-clutter nazi. I often and regularly go through files, papers, personal belongings no longer wanted or needed for disposal or donations.

* I’m über clean, tidy and organized. People’ve long called me a neat freak. I disagree. I see nothing freakish about my meticulous cleanliness! *Others* are the freaks for their sloth or slovenly ways! haha.

Point is, I clean EVERY SQUARE INCH of any place when I move in. The old-fashioned way: on hands and knees and with a toothbrush into spaces where rags or brushes can’t fit.

Meticulous is my middle name. Often even my first!

Moreover, such fastidious isn’t a one-time deal. I maintain the whole of my place like that. Spotless or pretty damn close! Down into the crevices in the rubber trim of freezer and refrigerator doors.

It’s who I am. Fastidiously clean and tidy.

Hence when moving time comes, I’m waaaay ahead of the crowd. No deep cleaning’s required. I could almost just pack up and walk out the door. Almost.

* I live outta boxes. A sad statement indeed — especially at my age (58) — but true.

Which isn’t to say that EVERY item’s in a box. I hang my clothes. I put kitchen tools in a drawer. Bath towels are hung on a rack and books are put on a shelf — presuming I’ve got one.

If I don’t, then they’re kept in a box and only a select few are put out onto a table. IF I’ve got a table, that is. Many are the times when I’ve had no furniture, only boxes as substitutes. Costco boxes are the BEST as furniture!!

Hence when it comes to moving, with a good 90-95% of what I own already boxed, I’m already halfway there!

What’s wrong with me you wonder! Fair question.

Ain’t enough time — or space in a blog — to tell that life story. Suffice it to say that about half of my moves were not desired but forced by circumstances or some truly nutty roommates. Some were even certifiable!

Like the woman who suddenly changed the locks on me. For NO reason. In a blizzard. Leaving me homeless. On the night before I was to begin a new job. There’s a story of insanity (hers!) I’ve never written.

Anyhow. I’ve lost count of the number of moves. This upcoming one might be #54. (So many moves, no relation to the military; everyone asks.)

So yeah, with such uncommon instability and unfairness dished out by others, ya learn to live On the Go.

And outta boxes. Knowing full well that at any moment, your insane roommate will kick you out or change the locks or some jerk landlord will say bye. Life isn’t safe. Or predictable. It just isn’t.

So here’s the short of it when it comes to moving. I live outta boxes. I run a meticulously clean and tidy and organized space. Also, I’m highly intelligent and think ahead.

*Hence the three venetian blinds — the bland everyday cheap versions from some big-box store — have been dusted.

* All shelving and drawers in kitchen and bathroom have been wiped down. Yes, there’s still stuff in there to pack, once I’ve got the new place secured. But come actual moving time, it’s Pack, Another Quick Wipe and Go.

* Freezer is wiped clean. The more actively-used refrigerator will wait until final moment.

* Microwave also cleaned. Including the inside ceiling. So another easy wipe upon final exit.

Essentially, I’m a powerhouse of cleaning. I’m three professional cleaners rolled into one. Nothing gets by me. N-O-T-H-I-N-G.

And I mean N-O-T-H-I-N-G!

Others would be lucky to have half my attention to detail!

Anyhow, back to the beginning. Part Boy Scout and part paramedic. I’m prepared to respond to any domestic situation and crisis in a heartbeat.

Live Clean. Simply. Minimally.

Live Out of Boxes.

I have gifts. I could write a how-to book but that’d bore me silly. P.S. I’m not called the Moving Queen for nuthin’!

The book I need to learn to write: “How to Stay Put. For 20 Minutes.”

Look for it on Amazon one of these days. When I can dedicate free time to full-on writing rather than chronic cleaning and packing! 🙂

A case of Tylenol can’t cure this ailment!

How to describe it …

Okay. Pray to God you never experience this but you’re driving along one day on a stretch of country road and the fan belt breaks.

You gotta keep driving. Cousin Ellie Mae’s gettin’ married to your best friend Jimmy and you’ve got his ring.

So for the next hour-and-a-half, you listen to the split fan belt go thwack thwack thwack thwack thwack as it strikes metal of the bonnet.

Thwack thwack thwack thwack thwack thwack. Like a duck with a speech impediment.

You arrive at the wedding safely on time despite the rapping knocking of the fan belt. Everything’s swell.

Until you gotta leave. Get back in your car. And have to listen to thwack thwack thwack thwack thwack for the next five hours straight. Rap music without lyrics or melody. Only the rhythm of a persistent flat monotone.

Thwack thwack thwack. A fan belt striking metal only reminding of a costly repair ahead upon your return.

In other words, my landlord hasn’t done squat about the thumping swamp cooler of Unit A above.

It’s massive! Nearly the size of a PT Cruiser — speaking of cars! It’s been thwacking, thumping and knocking — oh my! — since Day 1 when the neighbors turned it on.

A month ago.

I submitted a maintenance request. I knew the neighbors wouldn’t. I doubt they care — or even hear it inside their cushy nice cool digs.

The world around them certainly can hear it! Whether we want to or not. I hear it the loudest because it sits directly above my studio. I hear it whether I’m inside or on my small patio.

I hear it too because the thwackings bounce off the walls of the next building. The driving obnoxious intrusive sound made all the more so by an amplifying echo.

The landlord doesn’t give a you-know-what.

“We’re aware of the issue,” emailed Holly at the landlord’s office when I wrote a follow-up. “The servicemen are very busy.” Summer ‘n’ all. “They’ll get to it when they can.”

I knew straightaway: “They’re never comin’.”

A year from now, I could swing by this space and the damn thing’ll still be knocking.

This space has been fraught with noise issues from Day One. Literally Day One. That’s when I discovered that this studio’s not the haven of peace and serenity it appeared to be when I first viewed it.

No one above was home at the time. In fact, Apartment A had been vacant and was awaiting its new occupants. Who moved in the same time I did. Literally.

Everything went south. Noise. Noise noise noise noise noise and more noise. Don’t need or care to revisit that nightmare. But it drove me nuts!!

The nightmare’s soon to end. Within a month, I’ll be moving. Still don’t have the new place.

Point is: I’m moving.

So’s the neighbor’s swamp cooler. Thwack thwack thwack, sounds like a belt needing replacement.

Thwack thwack thwack. The sound of hard slappings of my hand on the landlord’s head in my imaginary world.

“Get the damn thing fixed! Respect your tenants! And the need for peace! You’re *paid* to maintain properties! So do it! Do what’s right!”

Thwack thwack thwack directly above. Bouncing off the walls.

Thwack thwack thwack. Filling my space inside and outside. Day, afternoon and/or night.

Thwack thwack thwack thwack thwack. No volume of music from my fine stereo can overcome it. Not even close.

Thwack thwack thwack thwack. Boring a hole into my head. Producing serious headaches.

Forcing me to leave the place I don’t call home. Not really.

Tha-tha-that’s all, folks! Off now to the library for some quiet.

Plus I need a new book.

At the top of my Wanna-Read list:

“Easy Cooler Care: A Self Help Guide to Servicing and Repairing Your Evaporative Cooler”

A dollar earned is leisure relished

There’s something truly satisfying about working … contributing … making an honest dollar.

And something satisfying about a day off. 🙂

I just began a new job, as you may know. Though I’m not ready to reveal it — saying only that, at 58, I’m doing the job of a 16-year-old — I shall say that I’ve got today and tomorrow off after three half-days of working.

It’s been almost exactly a year since I last had a job of 24-28 hours a week. (Because of the disastrously *ruinous* Obamacare, most employers now limit employee hours to 29 or fewer hours/week.)

Life assumes a different structure, tone and flow when one’s working. One must organize one’s time. Identify priorities. Make time for those priorities.

To live healthfully yet simply, one must eat mindfully and well … create time for sleep … exercise … work (or be of service through volunteering or what-not) … and make time for one’s self. That personal time can be used for reflection, creativity, simply sitting outside and drinking in the moment, the sunset, the passersby.


I’m guilty of living a highly-unbalanced lifestyle. Those seeds were planted in my earliest childhood and — surprise, surprise! — the tree sprung from those seeds is hardly a manifestation of health and balance

BUT! I’m learning! The hard way.

I didn’t have a childhood. I had a workhood and a slavehood (my word inventions). Both were brutal. I suffered for this, not strictly in the physical sense but psychologically.

I’m still no master at simply enjoying life! Not even close! At 58, I’m still teaching myself that life can be more than the life motto cultivated in childhood: “You’re born. You suffer. You die.”

Point is: Coming from a starting point of negative 200, I’m greatly disadvantaged and have much to learn about life in its goodness and balance.

What’s this got to do with my first two days off since the new job began?!

Actually a lot. Much more than I could or would post.

I find my leisure time more enjoyable and satisfying when I’m working.

I find my work more enjoyable if I haven’t been working enough.

I find self-generated income more satisfying and FAR more gratifying than income doled out by the government!

I know no lazy-ass Entitler modern American will (or desires to) understand a word of that. Nonetheless, truth is truth: Man is born to be autonomous and contribute, not be a ward of the state.

It’s all about learning balance. Balance between work, leisure time, exercise, play* and reflective/creative time.

(*I’m very poor at this; again, childhood stuff …)

Sooo, today’s my Saturday … tomorrow my Sunday … a workweek begins anew Saturday.

I know this job isn’t forever.

I know this job is meant to keep me busy … give me something to do with my time … bring in some income … keep me from going insanely stir-crazy and becoming deeply depressed — both of which I do when I’m not working.

{Gasp! Strange, riiiight?!? Yes, sadly, in this day and age.}

I know, with some exceptions, that I’m better off working than not working … and that leisure time, such as I have today, is sweetened BY my working, not in spite of it or for lack of it.

Because I’ve such an extraordinarily powerful need to work and hold such profoundly deep ethics and principles around work and contributing, I don’t know that I’ll ever truly come to enjoy life.

I may never truly learn to play (my father was even worse at it than I! And though he improved later in life, one would never call him a model of play, lightness and joviality!)

On my deathbed, I’d rather close my eyes and shut off the lights knowing and go knowing I’d put in a really good day at work rather than took time to enjoy a sunset.

Is that wrong?




The pleasures of life matter too. It’s not just about and ALL about work and self-sacrifice.

And that, too, is part of my teaching and my reaching: for balance.

Not New Balance, just to be clear. 😉

New Balance shoes: great for wide feet

New Balance shoes: great for wide feet

I’m doing the job of a teenager. My knees, however, aren’t.

Old lady knees, that’s what I’ve got.

And a job that has me on my feet reminds me of it!

At 58, I’m no spring chicken, ’tis true. For my age, I’m in good shape. Not overweight. Agile, flexible, strong, ‘specially for my petite size. Swim regularly but I enjoy other sports too. To my overall fitness I attribute a lifetime of being a quite active tomboy. I’ve neither a couch potato mindset no gene in me!

Still, life happens. Things wear out even if given the best of care or attention. And as any Not-Spring-Chicken person’ll tell ya, the joints are one of the first in the human body to the show wear-and-tear of the years.

So it is that I’m on my feet at my new job — Day 1 yesterday. Still not ready to reveal what that job is (see prior post). Embarrassment ‘n’ shame ‘n’ all that.

Clearly what it *isn’t* is an office job where I’m seated in front of a computer all day! Obvious clue: being on the feet.

So after four hours, my feet were hurting. Tired. Fatigued. But it was the knees that were really feeling the heat and pressure. Not exactly buckling … but given another hour or two, they woulda been!

I kept flexing & bending slightly at the knees as I stood doing my task to relieve the pressure and discomfort. Nothing really worked — except the end to the work day!

I RUSHED to the pool — just enough time remaining to get a swim in before it closed! I flew outta those shoes and dashed across the parking lot and into the YMCA barefoot so fast that I could’ve been mistaken for an Olympic sprinter!

Well, maybe that’s a stretch.

Point is, I wanted OUTTA those shoes and OFF my feet and the gentle soothing waters that awaited were a perfect antidote!


When I got home, I was starving so hastened up a dinner. My knees were reluctant to participate. They wanted rest. They wanted NOT to be standing at a kitchen counter while I patted hamburger, chopped onion and stirred black-eyed peas and mustard greens in a saucepan. They yearned to rest and recover stretched out on a bed.

Still, they obliged me in my need for nourishment.

Speaking of food, I learned something interesting at Day One at the job.

Work 4 hours, get a 10-minute break.

Work 8 hours, get another 10 minute break.

It’s not until you work 12 … yes, *12* … hours that you get a 30-minute food break!


That’s not gonna be me, I’ll tell ya right now!

Anyways, back to the knees.

They ached.

They possibly swelled somewhat from the stress.

They complained humbly, reminding: “We’re no spring chicken and neither are you!”

They lavished in the single short break before exclaiming: “Wait, 10 minutes is over already?!? That went FAST!”

I wrote in yesterday’s post that I’m doing the job of a teenager.

And it’s true.

And when I wrote that, I wasn’t even thinking of my old lady’s knees! They’re no longer 16 … 26 or even 36!

So I’m gonna modify that statement.

I’m doing the job of a 16-year-old. My knees, however, are not.

It’s a job. A mystery — but not on the bookshelves

I begin a new job today.

You’ll understand if I’m exuberantly jumping 10 feet into the air … hootin’ ‘n’ hollerin’ ‘n’ paintin’ the town read … beside myself with glee … or buyin’ all blog visitors a round of drinks!

Embarrassment and degrees of shame prevent me from revealing the job. At this time. I may eventually. For one reason and one reason alone: It’s fodder for blogging.

I can tell you what it’s *not.* It’s not:

* graveyard maintenance
* kennel assistant/upkeeper or other animals-related position
* mortuary attendant
* Costco employee
* bartender
* server in a finer establishment
* mystery shopping

Any of these, I’d be buyin’ y’all that round! Even two!

I can tell you again what it’s not:

* high-paying
* career-related in any sense, no matter how I spin it
* dream-job related in any sense, no matter how I spin it

I *am* willing to tell you:

* it’s minimum wage
* it’s service-industry
* it requires scant brain power
* it’s a job that I never had in my teens but MANY do

Period. For now.

{Sorry, guys, trying as I am, I just can’t bring myself to announce it. Embarrassment. Shame. Painful reminders of my dark past and traumas unresolved impede.}

So …

I *can* say this:

* it could be worse and has been
* it’s a throwaway; when something better surfaces, I’ve no qualms about letting this go
* it’s very mentally unchallenging; that’s not a desirable but the tradeoff is I’m not working in isolation that destroys me

The plusses … there are a few:

* it enables me to keep my radio job — on that I’m unyielding — AND maintain the late-shifts work- and lifestyles

* it allows me sooome say in my schedule so that I can protect not only my PT radio job but other commitments through the week

* it’s close to home. Ironic since now I have to move! Point is: If I’m making only minimum wage, I’m gonna need to draw a line at commute distances / gas costs & wear-and-tear. Ain’t gonna drive 40 miles a day for a job paying 8 bucks an hour!

* it’s not motel cleaning

Well, if this job mystery doesn’t compel you to stay tuned, I don’t know what more to say!

With some 45 until the start time, I see that only way I’ll be able to spill the beans … perhaps … eventually … is to make light of the situation. To see it for its value:

* It’s better than not working — and girl needs to work!

* It’s not the shittiest job I’ve ever taken; neither is it the best by any distortion of truth or stretch of imagination!

* It occupies some of my time and relieves boredom

* I may meet nice people. I’ll meet jerks for sure. They’re everywhere. But nice people, they’re gems in a world of coal!

* I *may* make casual acquaintances; I may even make a friend or two. Time will tell.

* I may even encounter someone who’ll tell me of an opportunity better aligned to my path, purpose and calling. Ya never know when an opportunity’ll fall from the sky into your lap!

* Even if that doesn’t occur, having an income, peanuts though it be and trust me, peanuts it is! — beats a figure of zero.

My challenge:

* stay optimistic.

* don’t get caught up in the pessimism or delusion that this is all that life will ever offer and all I can ever be

* keep doing my writing, my art therapy and working with The Artist’s Way for Work book

* keep doing my gratitude list every day

* keep exercising … swim! swim! swim!

* eat well, eat *regularly* {forever a challenge!} and drink beaucoup water

* Last but not least, do NOT take on the work of others. If they’re lazy, let them be lazy. Do *not* allow my strong working nature and impeccable work ethics DO the job that others are PAID TO DO.

If they fuck up, let them fuck up. If they’re stupid or inadequate, let them be stupid or inadequate. DO NOT FIX WHAT OTHER PEOPLE ARE INCAPABLE OF OR SIMPLY TOO LAZY TO DO.

Boy do I need that glorious reminder!!!

Off I go to Day 1 at the mystery job. I wish myself ease … lightness … fun … humor … and kindnesses.

Until next time, later, gators.

To quote a rocker dude-lady, dream on!

It’s here!

Been waiting for this day specifically for a month or more!

What makes this day, July 15, special? Why, it’s the new moon!

In Cancer.

New moons are great times to create vision boards. Y’all know what a vision board is, n’est pas? A collage of words and images pasted onto a poster board (typically) that express what you’d like to create or have in your life.

I’m big on vision boards for a number of reasons. They’re living, breathing entitities. I don’t do one with each monthly new moon. (They’re done at new moons is because that’s the time of planting seeds that you desire to see harvested down the road.)

However, I’m ensuring that one is created with this new moon — at 20 degrees Cancer — because it’s so harmonious and compatible with the planetary arrangements in my birth chart. (Heavy in Pisces & Virgo for anyone astro-knowledgeable.)

More than a Cancer new moon that’s got me revved up! Mercury and Mars and the Sun (of course — sun & moon always conjunct in same sign during a new moon) are too in Cancer … for the record, 13, 14 and 23 degrees, respectively.

A veritable stellium that speaks of push push push — Mars is action — and favorable developments can follow.

That Mars is traveling through my first house (the traditional solar house of Aries — again, action / initiate) and in my chart ruled by Cancer lends that ooooompf! I’m needing to make things happen.

What things?

Home & work/employment. Survival. The basics of life!

As it happens, the Chaos on Crack that is Corporate Kroger (parent of Fry’s supermarkets) has floated my way again. Loooong story short (portions are posted prior), I may end up working there after all. As a courtesy clerk. A fancy word for bagger.

Go in tomorrow to meet the two “in charge.” Deservedly put in quotes because no one’s in charge at Krogers anymore than amid the bumbling Three Stooges!

That’s neither here nor there for the purposes of this post. If it happens, it’s a job, nothing more than a job and a means of income and something to do that ISN’T motel cleaning — banish those words from my brain! It’s not a career. No f-in’ way!

Where my focus lies with this vision board is home. Securing a new residence by the vacate date. It’s been hell, this search! A trip designed by the masters of purgatory themselves! So little on the market. Overwhelming demand due to the annual moving season AND return of students at the universities — with an “s.”

I’m trying to buck up and stay bucked up but deep down, I’m in panic, fear, terror. What if I don’t find a place? What then?

{breathe. breathe. breathe}

Due to the extraordinary pressure of housing, I’m doing my vision board a little differently this new moon.

I’m creating two!

One exclusively for housing, the other for other key areas of my life.

Spent an entire afternoon yesterday surveying, downloading and printing images from the Net that capture my divine requests and desires.

Then I shall cut them out, arrange and glue them to my divine satisfaction and pleasure upon the poster boards.

Now’s the time … the window of opportunity with the new moon striking precisely at 6:24 p.m. (Pacific Time) … and also the afternoon stomping above my apartment temporarily ceased with the neighbor back now at work. (She takes the longest lunch hours I’ve ever had the displeasure of experiencing!)

So I’m going to do as I always do in creating a vision board. Light a candle. Burn sage to cleanse the energy / space. Sit myself on the floor and get to work!

It’s a good work — indeed the best work! Because it’s creative and flawy and inspiring. (Long as I don’t let my internal critic / punisher obstruct or take over with messages of everything I haven’t done and achieved and how down deep I’m just the POS that my mother told me I am … see, there I go!!)

Cancel that.

I’m off! Happy New Mooning!

And if you’d like to create a vision board at this opportune time (into a day or two post-new moon), just gather up some old magazines and/or images printed off the Net that speak to your visions … scissors and glue and poster board … even a piece of cardboard will do if you need to McGyver it … and go wild!

Or in the words of Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler, Dream On!

W is for worry and what if …

I keep telling myself that it’ll be okay. That things’ll work out. That I’ll not only find a new place to live but it’ll be better than the current place … which is better than the place before … and the place before that …

And I keep turning it over to angels, guides, divine protectors, powers unseen, powers greater than me.

Still, it ain’t easy!

About halfway into July and the rental market’s tighter than Scrooge’s coin purse! Available properties are low and number and interested parties high. The first place I viewed (no great shakes) drew like 15 people on its first showing! The property management guy said it’s been likewise with all their rentals. So many people on the move this time of year plus so many people relocating to this area.

I check all local rental sites and craigslist diligently and daily at least half a dozen times. I’ve been driving up and down streets and through various neighborhoods looking for For Rent signs. I’ve been spreading the word in my social circle AND either writing or mentally affirming my mantra for y new place through the day.

I’m trying uber-hard not to let stress, panic or worry cloud my thoughts or depress me.

How do you stay affirming of the necessary / desired outcome amid facts and/or realities that tell you otherwise?

How do you stay believing that there’s a needle to be found in the haystack if you don’t even know whether there’s actually a needle in there to be found?

My fear of finding nothing or only something barely tolerable and not at all what I desire or need is not groundless or without merit. I’ve endured real doozies of living quarters and/or roommates. Including some who are certifiably insane, hurtful, vicious, toxic and dangerous!

I can’t simply forget my past — and intense it is! — and trust that this move is going to be OK. Not only OK but even better than the numerous recent moves before it.

I can’t trust that things are going to be OK because I’ve seen them NOT be OK. I can’t trust that someone up theres’s really watching out for me because I’ve experienced very dark times of no help from on high or anyone human.

I can’t trust that anyone divine or earthly has my best interests at heart because I’ve lived through too much of no one doing so.

How do you go from unbelief formed through experience to belief in a benefic power or force?

How do you trust life or God or Spirit or the universe or anything else greater than and outside yourself when they’ve disappointed, failed and/or abandoned you?

Not only once but for years even decades?

I’ve no answers, only questions. And this plate of worry before me. What if I don’t find a place to live by my assigned move-out date? What then?

What then?

What then?

What then?

Kind of a downer post I know but honest …

Trying to Trust. Trust What?

Income, livelihood, survival. And shelter.

It gets no more basic than that.

And both are once again “under assault.” Up for revision — and vision. Forced into upheaval, in terms of home, through no fault of my own and by forces greater than I. Others’ dictates yet again directing my life!

I’m so damn sick of it, I can’t even find the words!

Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.

I’m deeply worried about work. I am. A job opportunity {such as it was} — poof! — went away. On the first day that I was to train. Hell, I didn’t even get the apron on! The story’s not worth revisiting. Boils down to Corporate at its worst.

Still. It’s the only job offer in 11 months of dedicated looking & applying. Such the disaster, the American economy as destroyed by Obama & his Socialist-Marxist-liberal minions.

Home Sweet Changing Home

It’s old news that my lease wasn’t renewed. I don’t know why (though have my suspicions). And in Arizona, owners and landlords aren’t required to inform. They can kick you out if they don’t like the way you dress! Long as they give the required notice, you have no recourse.

I’m ticked off because I’m such a good tenant. Responsible, conscientious, verrrry clean and considerate of others. I treat any space as if it were my own with highest regard and respect.

On the other hand, I’m also thrilled to be leaving the neighbors above. The whole sounds situation has been hell for me from Day One, literally. For that reason, I’ve never *lived* here. But I’ve fled from here many many a time! 🙂

So What’s Next?

Who can say?! I’m focusing on what I want, not what I don’t want. This applies particularly to the next residence but employment as well.

I’ve a few key words / concepts that are my mantra for this next residence. I’ll be thrilled — joyful — if they come to pass! Time will tell and soon. I’m viewing a place tomorrow that comes available at the end of August — which coincides with when I need to be out.

I’m trying to trust. It’s not something I do (or do well). An exercise greater than any I’d find at the gym! Question is: When you’re trying to trust, what are you trusting? The universe? Spiritual forces of good? I dunno.

My simple prayer for today: May I move forward in grace and in the highest good for myself and all. Amen.