The kind of problems I don’t mind having

Right now, my truck is out of commission. We know the alternator is bad (brand new remanufactured), and I hope that is all that’s wrong.

If that isn’t all that’s wrong, is it going to suck? Yep, it’s going to suck really bad.

However, it’s a problem that money can solve. Pay Ride Ass to change out the alternator and make sure nothing else is wrong. That’s the kind of problems I don’t mind having.

Imagine, if you will, that two men have young sons with a terminal disease that has no cure or treatment. One of the men is very wealthy, the other is very poor. Both of these men are equally unable to solve this problem.

Now, imagine those same two men and their sons being stranded on the side of the road because their vehicle broke down. That’s a problem that money can solve, so one guy easily gets home & gets the car repaired while the other is just stranded and probably loses his job because he can’t get to work.

I don’t mind having the kind of problems that money can solve. There’s generally opportunity to come up with the money some way or another: paycheck, sell one of our spare vehicles, etcetera.

Side note: yes, I totally understand that it is easy for me to say some shit like that. White privilege makes it easy for people that look like me to go get some money. Even Sunshine enjoys white privilege, because his blue eyes and winter pale skin means he passes for white even though he’s a card carrying citizen of a First Americans tribe. White privilege does make it easier for us; however, that’s a discussion for another day and its own post.

As frustrating as it was to be stranded outside the bank two days ago because my truck wouldn’t crank, Sunshine was out of town, Mr B was unavailable, & I don’t have roadside assistance…. Well, it’s still a problem that money can solve therefore I don’t mind having that problem.

The problems I don’t like having are the struggle to repair my relationship with my brother and sister, the knowledge that my mother is mortal and won’t be with us forever, the rain that delayed repairs to my truck…

I can’t control any of those things. I can’t even control my internal emotions and thoughts about those things. I can only control my reactions and responses to those things, and I can’t even do that sometimes. Hey, I’m fighting my own biology. Addiction, my scorch-the-earth temper, depression, anxiety; these are all genetically encoded into me and I can’t get rid of them. I can only try and learn skills that help me be a decent human being in spite of them.

So today, instead of being pissed off or depressed that my truck is dead, I’m just grateful that this is a problem we can solve with money.

Final note: I’m also grateful for Rude Ass who left work to come rescue me. He jump started my truck, then followed me home because he knew it was going to die before I made it home. It did, and he was there to rescue me again. Thank you, Rude Ass for being so decent.

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Famous last words…

“I’ll deal with that tomorrow.”

Except I never do. Between work, building a house, and chronic illness? I’ve been putting off a lot of shit because I don’t have the time or energy to deal with it.

I’m looking around this morning, and I’m seeing how that’s worked out for me. Hint: not very well at all.

So today, I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed. I strained some muscles yesterday at work, I’ve got some of Sunshine’s work pants that need a button sewn on them (although, seeing as how this is the 3rd or 4th time for this particular pair of pants it’s probably time to retire them), 

a pair of Sunshine’s pajamas to replace the drawstring in, 

a truck bed full of rotting pumpkins to add to the compost heap plus mums to transplant,

laundry to do, 

a house to clean, 

dinner to plan and cook, Christmas gifts to start making,

and a whole host of other things I’m sure I’m forgetting about. 

I guess the moral of this story is that procrastination is a silent killer. 

Final note: Sunshine just spontaneously announced that he probably needs to go buy some work pants, and that new pajamas were probably a good idea too. Maybe it DID pay to procrastinate?

Pieces Parts

We’re using a lot of freegan (and otherwise sustainable) pieces parts in our little house. The giant foam blocks (that will provide amazing insulation) we are using came from a marina that was being refurbished nearby. The exterior doors came from the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store. A lot of the wood cladding we will be using inside is freegan cedar and reclaimed pallet wood.

We had planned to use some plate glass doors as windows on the eastern side of our house. We were going to turn them from a portrait orientation to a landscape, and place them near the ceiling on that side of the house. However, the frames weren’t in good condition, causing the seal to give up and condensation to form between the two layers of glass.

side note: We want to let lots of natural light in, yet keep the heat out. We aren’t too worried about things like passive solar heating since this is Texas and it stays hellishly hot throughout most of the year; therefore, there won’t be a southern exposure to keep us warm in the winter. We don’t get much winter, so it would wind up causing us to get too much sun-baking during the summer.

A friend of Sunshine’s over in Shreveport had come into possession of some large, tinted plate-glass windows (probably from some skyscraper project somewhere), and told us we could have some of them for our house. Since I had several reasons to be in Shreveport anyway on Tuesday, I picked up three of them while I was there.

Sadly, one of them didn’t survive my driving intact, so Sunshine will have to go get some more of them. I think he has some reason to go to Shreveport anyway, so it isn’t necessarily a special trip. It still sucks that I broke one, but at least he took it far better than I might have if I were him. His unbelievable patience with people is one of the reasons I love him so.

final note: I’ll be back tomorrow to tell you about the new (to me) truck you can get a sneak peak at in the pictures.

Interesting

I’m still on the couch trying to heal my back and hips, and it’s boring as shit. Sunshine has been traveling to various movie theatres promoting the documentary he’s in, so I’ve mostly been home alone.

Mollie and I decided to take a little walkie and enjoy the nice weather. While we were strolling around, I happened upon this.

I don’t even know what to say. 

I guess Fred Sanford moved in while I wasn’t looking.

Final note: there is also a ninja blender on the ground behind the TV.

Physical Therapy

I decided to pick up my longbow not too long ago, and get out there with Sunshine and shoot arrows at shit. That led to him dragging me to the pawn shop to buy m a compound bow.

Sadly, I can’t even draw that bow he bought me. And he won’t adjust it so that it takes less effort. Well, he offered but I could tell he wasn’t real thrilled with the idea.

I’ve been lifting the dumbbells every day. Well, except for the last several days when we had so much digging going on because they dug up pretty much all of the yard because the septic system was leaking and they decided it was the perfect time to do almost every single digging project we could think up. I’ve been busy with a shovel, and I’ve been busy with laundry. Because everything has to be washed, and washed real good, after one has been digging in poo tainted mud.

Well, yesterday I finally got back around to the dumbbells.

It’s frustrating. My right side has no trouble with the basic exercises, and it has full range of motion. The left side? Not so much. I’m basically having to rebuild my left shoulder, arm, and the left side of my torso. And it hurts. I’ve got shortened tendons throughout my arm and shoulder from where I’ve favored that side of my body since around the turn of the millennium. It’s disheartening to know that the right side can do all sorts of things, but the left side has trouble holding a can of soup straight out to the side at shoulder height. It’s gotten to the point where I have to put on some edgy music to stay motivated to do the exercises that are more like physical therapy.

It makes me want to cry, because I realize just how far I have to go before I have any hope of actually being able to draw that bow.

I won’t give up, though. I really want to shoot shit with arrows. It makes less noise than a firearm, so it’s perfect for killing zombies and shit. I’ll also benefit greatly from the physical therapy that is slowly rebuilding my left side.

I just may cry a lot before I get there.

It’s not a good omen when the day begins with an emergency

I woke up to some north wind causing a ruckus outside. I could hear the shade sails popping each time a gust blew. Annoying, but not anything I’m not used to hearing. I could tell by the motion of the magic bus that the wind had shifted around and was now blowing from the north; the pink house was no longer shielding us from it and I could feel it causing the RV to sway lightly. Again, annoying, but nothing I’m not used to feeling.

As I sat on the couch sipping my morning coffee, I heard creaking. The wind was hitting the slide-out and causing it to creak as it torqued against the side of the bus. Annoying, but not anything that actually caused me concern. It’s an RV, after all; and RVs are designed to travel down the highway at highway speeds, so a little 15-20 mile an hour wind? Is a lot of ain’t shitness to my magic bus.

I hadn’t had near enough coffee to be ready forĀ  a normal day when I realized that “Houston, we have a problem”. I could hear the corner of the shade sail sliding across the roof of the bus. I ran outside to look and see what I could see…

And both shade sails had torn at the corners on the north side. It gets better. Sunshine was at the clinic in Ada for some regularly scheduled appointment for his pedicure in the diabetic foot care clinic or something, so I was on my own. I was going to just let the shade sails flop around until Sunshine returned; then I noticed that the power line that feeds the pink house and the internet cable that provides service to the family B were both in danger of being smacked loose from their moorings by the flopping shade sails.

The contractor that is doing some work inside the pink house was nice enough to come out and look at it for me, and grabbed a ladder so we could fix the problem somehow. But Sunshine was telling us we could not do the one thing that needed to be done to prevent any serious damage to critical services (specifically, take the shade sails down altogether). The nice contractor did the only thing he could do at that point–he went back inside and went back to work.

I grabbed the one thing that I know to solve many problems, gaffer’s tape, and proceeded to start climbing up to the roof. Apparently, Sunshine had alerted Mr B to the nature of the emergency (I didn’t even know Mr B was home or I would have begged for help my damn self).

Mr B and I actually agreed on the best course of action and proceeded to take the shade sails down completely. Sorry Sunshine, but it really did need to be done. They were just going to keep ripping and flopping around and fucking shit up until somebody did take them down, so we did it sooner rather than later. We kind of like having modern conveniences like electricity and internet.

It’s never a good omen when the day starts off with an emergency. With any luck, there won’t be any escalation and it will just be cleaning up messes caused by this wind. I guess we’re going to have to file the shade sails under the “things that didn’t work” tag. Now we have to find somebody who does repairs to tarps/sails/heavy duty fabrics, and get them to reinforce the shade sails for us so this doesn’t happen as often in the future. Or find a new solution altogether.

Back to the drawing board, I guess.

At least this time, the grommets and other hardware didn’t smash the shit out of any of the windows. Which reminds me, I need to find a solution for that cracked-to-hell windshield from the last time this shit happened.

Yeah, file the shade sails under #thingsthatdidntwork.

final note: not a good time for me to be having to climb on top of the magic bus and fight to take these shade sails down in a steady north wind. My sinuses have been congested, and it is starting to affect my ears, giving me an increased likelihood of experiencing vertigo. It doesn’t end there, though. My TMJ has been acting up, which inevitably causes an earache. All of this means that the last place for me to be this morning was on top of the magic bus in a steady wind and I damn sure shouldn’t have been trying to hold down giant sails while I was up there.

All’s well that ends well, I guess.

Now, I’m going to go see if I can get this vertigo and dizziness to settle down.