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. šŸ™‚

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!


how sweet the scent of peace!

You know when you’re facing a challenging situation? And it’s got you down or angry or confused or all of the above.

And the resolution’s unknown or unclear or out of reach, adding to the weightiness of the situation.

And then something inside pops. Like a bulb goes off. All the contemplations, reflections and ponderings suddenly come together, like bones realigning in a chiropractic treatment.

And the situation’s resolved because you’ve found the answer or it found you or you found each other. You’ve arrived at it and just like that the challenging situation is no longer a challenge.

You’re awash with clarity and relief and restored to center and balance and peace.

Then and only then you think: “I passed the test.” Even though in the midst of the challenging situation you weren’t thinking “test” or that you were being tested.

I had my aha! moment this morning. She entered through the back door. I didn’t see or hear her coming. What relief and sense of achievement toward inner peace!

I’ve been having domestic issues. They include the landlord coming to my apartment a couple weeks ago to inform me that the lease bans burning incense.

The smoke from a stick in my apartment had wafted into the hallway and was bothering a passing resident with respiratory issue, I was told.

I immediately quit the incense.

I adopted an oil diffuser as an alternative — where water in a small bowl scented with essential oil is heated, releasing the fragrance. It’s smokeless and leaves no residue on walls, ceilings or carpet; it resembles this:

Because I know people and how unsafe and irrational they can be, in my seeming paranoia, I took the extreme precaution of pseudo-hotboxing my studio while using the diffuser by placing a rolled-up towel along the narrow crack beneath the door.

By the looks of it, you’d think I was in there tokin’ a doobie when in reality it was just a simple diffuser from the dollar store!


Last night I came home to a note slid under the door stating that there have been complaints about burning incense and scented candles. Consider this the second and final warning.

I’ve not been burning incense or scented candles.

I put my morning coffee on the back burner — speaking of burning! — and went to the manager’s office first thing to discuss.

In short, I assured him I’d taken immediate heed of his previous incense warning and not burned it since, neither was I burning scented candles.

The only possible source of scent was the diffuser. Since he didn’t know what one is, I had him pull up an image online toward allaying his excessive concern that by its design it leaves no residue on walls, ceilings or carpet it.

He didn’t believe me.

He also didn’t believe that my studio was not the source of a scent he detected yesterday that he’s convinced is my incense.

I wasn’t home and my diffuser wasn’t burning.

The landlord, while a nice enough fellow, is not the room’s brightest bulb, leading to an exchange increasingly heated, emotional and irrational. He wasn’t listening to logic, reason or intelligence.

I threw in the towel. Not that rolled-up towel by the door. šŸ˜‰

I said there would be no more diffuser use. I’m packing it up and the oils.

It’s not worth the grief it’s bringing to the passerby residents — four, including himself, he ticked off with his fingers — who are disturbed by the negligible, truly, scent.

It’s not worth the grief that it’s bringing me.

It’s not worth the aggravation. It’s not worth my enduring and conforming to excessive nitpicking complaining and intolerance from fellow residents and landlord.

It’s not worth my testing out drop by drop how many drops in a diffuser are acceptable until someone complains. Is it 3, 4, 1?

I know people and I know someone will find fault, someone will display intolerance, someone will go to the manager and complain that passing my door triggered a respiratory attack with only 1 drop of oil.

Or as likely the manager, with sinus issues, himself will complain.

It’s not worth the pettiness and nitpicking. It’s not worth the battle, even with right and reason and community tolerance on my side.

It’s just not.

I let it all go.

When I told the landlord that the diffuser is gone, packed up, it’s finished, I meant it. Not from a petty or angry or self-punitive or self-victimizing or passive-aggressive place.

I meant it from a place of peace.

I want to be the one who brings peace to my self and to the residents. I don’t want to be the cause of trouble and aggravation.

In a time of irrational and unreasonable conflict, I chose peace because I need it and because I want the residents to have it.

As someone so accustomed to warfare (childhood environment) and battling matters out to the bloody if not fatal end, I almost didn’t recognize this inner peacemaker who suddenly appeared on the stage!

A genuine and sincere peacemaker.

As I made my exit up the steep stairs of the landlord’s office, his various argumentative and accusatory and statements trailing me, I went in peace.

Their untruths neither hurt me nor pierced my shield of peace. That’s when I knew I’d passed the test — a test I was unaware I’d been given and was undergoing.

Reckon it happens like that more than we think. That in this Classroom of Life that if Spirit hands us a test saying: “This is a biggie, see if you can pass it,” we’ll freeze or wither in defeat before it’s begun or in our intimidation or fear of making mistakes or failure not even try — the latter especially holding true for me.

Sometimes it’s best just to take the test with one eye closed. Or both. Then when you wake up to the notification that you’ve passed, your day is made and you’ve grown just a little more!

No more diffuser. No more towel rolled up at the door. No more worrying about attacks and complaints from the landlord or residents about a barely-detectable scent of lemongrass and eucalyptus.

I will not be the bearer or creator of discord. I passed my test. I choose peace.


a page from the flow

The past few days haven’t been easy.

For starters, I’ve still not secured a room to rent after one week of looking. (This trip, in fact, is dedicated to that sole purpose.)

I’m using craigslist, which for better and worse is the primary, in most cases only, way to find rental spaces/roommates anymore. In the big picture, I’ve encountered people who’ve responded (in mails), then seemingly dropped off the face of the earth … people who haven’t responded at all … people who’ve promised they’ll respond then don’t … people who say they want to meet you and are a step away from inviting you over, then disappearing … peopleĀ  who change their minds (like the guy who emailed me when I was en route saying “don’t bother coming over, I’ve decided to move”). People who make promises and don’t deliver. People who fail to carry through on their words. People who just don’t bother to show up.

In case ya wondered why I’m a misanthrope!

But the worst of them all, the very worst, I cannot write about. I will not write about it. No. I cannot. The encounter and experience (both by email, not in person, THANK GOODNESS!) have deeply disturbed me. Truly. It’s not only because it’s the first time I’ve encountered and dealt with a person … of this nature, shall we shall. I’m an old, old, old soul who’s lived through a LOT in this single lifetime alone. I’ve dealt with ***all kinds of people.***

This one, however, is different. (Not in a good way whatsoever.) S/he is a deeply disturbed, twisted and sick individual. And I had the misfortune of encountering it, albeit at a distance. Though the encounter is passed and never to be again, it leaves me on me this profound need to take a shower.

Not only a water shower. A light shower.

By writing this, I see now that that is exactly what I need to do, should do and will do. The seductive sickness of this individual, the disease of his/her mind and the not-close encounter (fortunately) are startling. And, again, deeply disturbing.

How I did not see it from Moment 1 bothers me; I’m not lacking in astute observation and perception by a long shot! I did, however, come to see it quickly — quickly enough, certainly — by Moment 3. So my radar remains alert and fully functioning.

There are individuals who are so twisted and that adept, slick and immersed in their sick twisted games that one, they’ve no idea of what honest relating is or how to do it. Moreover, they inflict their damage and ruin on others — sometimes to such an extreme extent and depth that the victim does not or cannot recover.

I was nowhere near that degree of risk. What bothers me is that I got pulled in even an inkling and only for a few moments. “I should’ve known better.” Yet how?! I did nothing wrong. The red flags sprang forth into conscious awareness rapidly. So why am I getting down on myself rather than cleansing myself of the natural revulsion that this individual rightfully and justifiably elicits?

I’m reminded of a recent experience, also via writing/email, with a BlogTalkRadio host that required intervention by BlogTalkRadio. While the experiences themselves are quite different, what they share is this sense of violation of goodwill. My goodwill. My “trust” {NOT the right word} that these two individuals, though I knew them only through cyberspace exchanges, were not out to do harm.

But each was. Each had intent, in some form or another, to do harm. To violate if not the sanctity of another’s personhood directly, then to satisfy his/her own sick (might I say also sadistic) needs.

That kind of person repels me. And frightens me to the extent that I don’t understand it. I do not understand the diseased sick twisted mind of a game-player. A Sick and Twisted Siren, assuming the individual is in fact female. I can’t wrap my mind around the motivation of an individual whose purpose and intent are to damage and do harm for personal gratification. I do not get it.

Clearly I need to process out this experience with this individual and cleanse myself of its residue with a shower of water and shower of light. I am grateful not to be of a sick and twisted mind. I am grateful not to be so deranged (or at least not in that way, haha, moment of levity) as to want or need to pull others into that self-created pit. I am grateful for my clarity of thought, my sound reasoning of mind and my intelligence.

I am grateful to be me, washed over, cleansed and protected by the Light, and safe from the seductive and skillful lure of that sick twisted personality. I am grateful to be me, in touch with reality, kind and good and giving of compassion to others and to my self.

There it is … a page of reflection, of processing, a page from the flow …

About Rooms and Space

The big push to get into Prescott and complete an overdue departure from Kingman by month’s end is on.

The first and foremost requirement is lodgings, a short-term and temporary landing pad — hence to craigslist for a rental room. Preferably one furnished since I have no furniture, not even a bed. I’ve not had a bed since 2011. There’s an intriguing teaser and wealth of stories waiting!

A Strange Nomad: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Get A Bed.

Anyways, craigslist is a loaded topic. So overloaded and fraught with painful history and people’s failures, primarily in the employment section but not limited to, that I dare not — and I do mean dare not — poke that gargantuan nest of raging wasps with even a toothpick. Not today.

This day (Th/1-23) I’m in Prescott, day 5 of a trip made specifically for this lodging purpose, “guesting it” in a buddy’s home, caring for his talkative and bossy part-Siamese cat named Simon while he’s out of town, salivating like Pavlov’s dog in anticipation of the fruits of my labors.

Finally, today, I get to view the first available room. A second was on the day’s agenda; something came up at work, she emailed me, so that’s canceled, requiring a rescheduling — and hopefully promptly since I need to get back to Kingman pretty quickly.

Tomorrow’s another viewing! My hunch is that these two or three rooms won’t be equal, that they may fall into their own 1-2-3 list of preferences organically. Where I’ll end up is the surprise in store!

I think most people would be extremely unnerved knowing they’re moving in a week but not knowing where! Those feathers of mine aren’t ruffled — for better or worse, I’m just so damn practiced at living in uncertainty and with shelter ever and constantly in flux.

My problem is that I mentally set these deadlines about when X should happen (i.e., finding a room). Sometimes it happens in my time and sometimes it doesn’t. And when it doesn’t, I panic. I lose trust or faith (admittedly the little I have). I get fearful that I truly am abandoned, that there’s no higher power or force or benevolent presence seeing me, never mind seeing my most basic needs (a safe shelter, food, water).

Talk about poking the wasp nest! These issues are soooo loaded with history, trauma, baggage and childhood experience, simply put, they’re not for public domain.

So it’s funny how I don’t really fret and turn emotional circles about where I’ll be living in a week — while being fully aware that I’m vacating my current premises at that time. Living by the seat of my pants is old habit and overpracticed skill. Not securing lodgings by a certain date — a self-created deadline — THAT bothers me. Is freak-out material.

Trust. Faith. Learning to believe — because it’s *very much* a learning process … this current journey for shelter reminds me of these ongoing (life) lessons. Reminds me that I need to let go … surrender … trust a process and a space, as in universe, that I cannot see, touch, smell or hear (very tough for this Show-Me Missouri-type gal!) … and most of all, and hardest of all, come to believe that I am seen by those above. That I won’t be forgotten. I won’t be abandoned. I won’t be forever invisible.




where thee (me) be in feb-ru-ary?

How exciting and unnerving to know not where I’ll be a month from today.

Exciting for the traveler in me, unnerving for the practical, pragmatic living-in-real-time me.

Change is afoot. How often have the people who know me heard that! Everyone — everyone! — knows: “Write her address in pencil. It’ll change in 10 minutes.”

Thing is, with this move coming up, a move whose timing is unclear but the sooner the better, I’m a horse chomping at the bit. A kid waiting for Christmas. To pilfer from “Rocky Horror Picture Show”: antici … pation!

Last time I made a move that really got my gears churning was July 4, 2011. The Great Escape from grim, dreary and suicidally-gray Washington state / the Pacific Northwest to Colorado. But oooooh, that move was so much more than that. It. Was. To. Save. My. Life. I’ll say no more. The chapter haunts me still.

Point is, that move from dark Washington state to Colorado, where the sun shines 300+ days a year, was a huge step in the right direct. The years there were cut short by various things, chief among them Colorado turning blue. Buh-bye conservatism, red state and the Old Wild West. Hello, influx of California and libs from both coasts, a Bloomberg-wannabe socialist Gov. Hickenlooper and, most recently, dope, legalized pot. The beginning of the end to Colorado.

Long story and thousands of miles short, here I am in Arizona. Which I just love!!!! This is the state for me, Phoenix excepted.

And this impending move is unique. First, it’s in-state instead of out-of-state. Big difference in transitioning only 150 miles instead of 1,000 miles, which is my norm.

Second, it’s a place I’ve been to before — also unique; I’ve almost always moved to places I’ve never been to (or just barely)Ā  before. I’m the rare cat who fearlessly jumps into the unknown with both feet as a matter of course and routine. “Flying by the seat of one’s pants” was invented for me.

At this age, with Obama’s designed economic ruinationĀ  as it isĀ  plus some 49 moves under my belt — I’ve lost count — the era of picking up and going and easily securing temp work are over. O-V-E-R.

I’m familiar with my next destination, 2-1/2 hours away by car. That’s different. I’m excited to be there. I want to be there. There an nowhere else. It’s good to be there. Positives and growth will come from being there.

Question is: When? In a few days, I’ll be taking another trip to Prescott to look for and hopefully secure an affordable rental room in someone’s home. That needs to happen by the end of January.

If it doesn’t, then it’s to Plan B: Traveling to California (yech!) and maybe Utah (OK) to see old friends (yeah!). A month on the road.Ā  Less than the last recent round of three months on the road, homeless. And a bit unnerving. Means having no home to return to when it’s over.

question-markAh well. Thinking aloud because what happens (or doesn’t happen) in the next week or two dictates where I’ll be — or not be — come February. Good thing I was born to travel. This constant and intense upheavel and unrootedness and absence of home would require serious sedation in normal folk.

surviving to soaring: one of life’s stretching exercises

Knowing that it’s time to give up is — and continues to be — one of the hardest lessons in my lifetime.

It doesn’t come naturally. In fact, it comes not at all, which is why it’s so damn difficult to learn and to do. I wish it were easier; it’d be to my benefit and to others, to a degree.

I’m a fighter. And a survivor, because I’ve had to be. It is what it is: life and trauma and abuse and losses and many bad things you wouldn’t wish on an enemy. Or maybe you would. You wouldn’t wish them on your child then. Hopefully. No shortage of bad people who are parents.

Anyways, fighting, in a way, my own nature to Hang In There or Die — struggles intimately familiar and real since infancy — is not easy growth.

But it’s necessary growth. Because the downside to not giving up when I should is pretty black-and-blue material, in every sense of the phrase.

This ongoing teaching about giving up (a word that makes me shiver and cringe) and letting go (yikes!) is brought to forefront by current conditions at the job, in the town where I reside and, increasingly, in the residence where I rent a room.

All signs from all angles and levels say it’s time to move on. And, truthfully, I’m more than excited to do so. Joyful even.

So why is it still hard?

That’s a loaded answer. Childhood training. My nature. Suprahuman endurance and highly-honed survival mechanisms.

I notice that “fear” is not on the list. Why is that?

Because, upon immediate reflection, fear as a whole does not impede my inclinations to plunge onward. (Hey, one of my dearest friends nicknamed me “kamikaze” for good reasons!)

No. Stubbornness, digging in my heels — a surefire means of survival — resistance and/or refusal to Just. Let. Go. Ā interfere and impede.

Does being aware of that make it any easier? Not really. But as with muscles and weights at the gym, “no pain no gain.”

This opportunity to REALLY let go of EVERYTHING in my current situation that truly needs to be let go of and is right to let go of (i.e., by divine timing) faces me now … yesterday … and tomorrow.

What, I wonder, is the key to truly letting go? Because awareness alone isn’t enough.

It’s the doing. It’s the opening of the hands, the exposure of the palms to the sky … and some sort of belief, trust and/or faith that by doing what is necessary and “ordained” to do by God, Spirit, Universe, Powers That Be, Divine Intelligence that one will be guided, protected … and arrive at the destination intended by said power.

Uhh … letting go is hard … and trusting in an unseen power, in life, that’s the hardest of all.

From surviving to soaring … it’s a stretching exercise in life that never stops, really.