Check that off the list

Sunshine finished the fireplace.

It took 3 days.

It is exactly as big and overwhelming as I feared it would be, and I’m ok with it because at least it’s beautiful.

Rude Ass got my chicken shelf on the wall in the bathroom.

We also got the primitive medicine cabinet recessed into the walls, but had to remove it until after the tile goes on the walls.

It’s all so overwhelming that I have retreated into crochet and other creative projects in my spare time, which means I’m stash-busting like a motherfucker. I’m not allowing myself any new yarn until I’ve cleared out a significant portion of my stash, because I do not want to appear on “hoarders: buried alive”, and the repetition of crochet is as soothing to me as praying the rosary might be to a devout Catholic.



Yesterday, we went shopping for rocks.

They had some seriously awesome giant rocks that I wanted to take home and make into some kind of….. well, I never got that far since Sunshine wasn’t having it. Party pooper.

More specifically, we went shopping for the stone to finish the fireplace. We went to a fairly large, really well organized stone yard. There were aisles and everything, making this seem like the Walmart of rocks.

We had a specific fireplace design in mind.

They took us to the rocks that were closest to the picture. I didn’t think they were dark enough, but this fireplace is a monument to Sunshine’s ego Sunshine’s baby, so I kept my mouth (mostly) shut.

In the background, you can see the rocks I liked. The mix with a wide range of really dark to really light colors. In the foreground, you can see some seriously giant slabs of rock that Sunshine wanted to use for the mantel; but he really didn’t want to deal with the logistical headache of getting that fucker in the air to mount it, so he moved on to something more reasonably sized (I think you can actually see them in the middle distance, but I’m not sure).

They weighed the rocks, which was kind of cool to ponder. These rocks are sold by the ton, except when they’re sold by the piece; that started cooking my noodle so I just watched the really cool Toyota forklifts driving down the aisles of this Walmart of rocks.

Even though it looked like a small load, we definitely felt the weight of the rocks as we transported them home. We were grateful that the trailer brakes worked well, because that trailer with those little stacks of rocks is way heavier than it looks.

While I definitely wanted darker rocks for the fireplace, I can say that the ones Sunshine picked will go well with the tan and chocolate on the walls inside our house, so I’m most decidedly not mad at them.

I especially like the dark-ish ones he chose to top the hearth.

I think he and Biff will be starting on the fireplace tomorrow. Today, Biff is coating the bathroom in redguard waterproofing to make it a wet room. We’re going to be picking the tile for all that soon, and we’re going to see if Biff can set tile as well as he says he can. His knees are 11 years younger than Sunshine’s, so we’re hoping his ass can cash the checks his mouth has been writing.

I’ll have another photo dump soon, because things are happening fast (at the moment, anyway). Rude Ass has gotten more lights hung, he’s taken down the lights he previously hung and made decorative ceiling medallions to fully cover the holes the electrical lines pass through, he’s working on the trim around the ceiling…

We’re definitely getting into the fun parts of this build, so I’m hopeful we’ll be in the new house before summer sets in properly. I can’t handle much more temperature extreme (of any persuasion) in this RV.

Signs of life

I finally feel like maybe I’ve been through the worst of the flu. I still feel like shit and didn’t work today, but at least now I feel like I might live.

There are signs of life inside our little house, too.

Rude Ass got the trim finished around the blue glass panels.

He also finished the sliding door.

He got the hardware attached

To actually make it a sliding door

The durock is installed in the bathroom.

Now it just needs a coat of redguard waterproofing, then it will be ready for tile.

Sunshine has started finishing the interior walls.

It’s actually starting to look like there is an end in sight, and I can’t wait to get moved in.

Monthly preview update

I’ve managed to both feel disgustingly productive AND get some rest this week. I’ve tackled multiple projects from the comfort of my corner of the couch.

  • I’ve made two hats out of the secret Santa yarn, although I still haven’t made one for myself.
  • The Christmas decorations are packed away and I’ve bought next year’s wrapping paper. After Christmas clearance is the best time to buy Christmas cards, wrapping paper, ornaments, and etcetera so I did just that. 😁
  • I have done my 1st workout with my tai-chi DVD. It was brief, because I realized I was going to have to write programs in my brain and create muscle memory in order to not get frustrated that I was struggling to actually do the forms
  • Season 2 of “Travelers” has been binge watched, as has the rest of the available seasons of “Fear the Walking Dead”

I’ve also managed to deal with a backlog of things on my “want to do” list.

  • I canned some more hot sauce using the recipe The Ecofeminist pointed me to
  • I got caught up on laundry. For now, at least, since I’m sure Sunshine will be coming home thus weekend with a literal metric fucktonne of dirty work clothes that have to be washed and dried right fucking now because they’ll be going back out of town with him Sunday evening.
  • I cleaned out my truck somewhat, but have yet to work up the nerve to go dig that rotty cantaloupe out of the bed. I’m very afraid of it.
  • I’ve culled a few garments I know I won’t wear, and moved a few more to my holding zone to see if I miss them or can donate them.
  • I also bought new (to me) pants.
  • I gathered hickory nuts from the backyard. It’s free food, and nuts are good for the health goals my doctor has encouraged me to strive for.
  • I started clearing out my future kitchen. The guy who’s building our custom cabinets is scheduled to come this weekend, so I have to make room to move appliances into place. I also had to clear the floor so we could map out the footprint and take measurements and all that shit.
  • We made a list of things for Rude Ass to do and got him moving forward on those projects. We even made a plan to get it warm in the house, since Rude Ass said it can’t be cold in there for the application of the top coat for my reclaimed wood walls.
  • I obtained a pair of giant square pillows to stuff inside the pillow covers I’ve asked Tia to make for me. I got a killer deal on them at this little local place Mr B turned me on to

All in all, it’s been a more productive month than I expected, and we’re not even halfway through yet.

I’ve surprised myself at my ability to continue making decisions about…. Well, everything. Without running into decision fatigue. Hopefully, that continues throughout this weekend and my consult with the cabinet guy. Thank heaven, the cabinet guy is also a dear friend. He won’t get frustrated with me if I do stall out mid-decision, and he is someone I trust enough to listen to when I get indecisive.

Now, I’m off to get dressed and get some shit accomplished before I have to work tomorrow. Hope you wonderful people have a beautiful day!

Thanks mom!

For Christmas, my mom gave us some money. Sunshine and I decided to use it toward a kitchen sink. We need it so the cabinet guy can build our custom cabinets.

We went on new years eve, in the snow, and hoped the big box home improvement store had something I liked.

We brought Miss Mollie with us so she could help us pick a good sink.

She wore her “still living with my parents” hoodie to let everybody know she was the boss of us (as you can tell by the way she sat in the buggy and waited for us to push her through the store).

We were about to leave, because I didn’t see what I wanted (36″ stainless steel single basin apron sink with only one faucet hole) on display. An employee stopped to chat with us, and while we were discussing sinks with her, I saw it on a sign.

At 33″, it was close enough for me.

The box almost completely filled the bed of my weird little truck.

That’s how small my truck is.

It is sitting in the house, waiting for the cabinet guy to come take measurements this coming weekend.

A huge thank you to my mom for covering half the cost of my sink. Thank you to my auntie for the gift card that covered the sales taxes on it. And thank you Sunshine, for not freaking out about cost and instead just telling me to find what I liked.

Year in review

I’ve been seeing a lot of “year in review” posts, and posts about 2018 goals. I think those are both wonderful types of posts. I’m not usually one to do that sort of thing; not here, not on Twitter, and not in real life.

Why not?

Well, I’m a recovering addict who is sick of all of the broken promises I’ve made to myself over the years. 

That doesn’t mean that I don’t have goals and plans and dreams. It just means that I get with my sponsor and we figure out how the steps apply to the problems I’m having and the things I want to accomplish. The steps are effective on more than just my drug problem, which is good; dope was only 5% of my problem. The other 95% of my problem is sitting here typing about how the steps apply to that 95% as much as they apply to the dope.

Recovery with the 12 steps involves a constant review of my actions, my thoughts, my spiritual condition. It involves my sponsor and her perspective on my actions, my thoughts, and my spiritual condition.

Side note: it’s really hard to spot self-deception all by myself. My sponsor is crucial to my continued recovery and survival.

With all that said, here is my year in review:

  • Sunshine and I celebrated our first anniversary. That’s huge, because it’s the third marriage for each of us and we both swore there would never be a third marriage. I don’t regret one moment I’ve spent with him.
  • We’ve made tremendous progress on our little house. In spite of my frustration with the unfinished house, I have to admit that we’re getting somewhere with it.
  • I finally feel connected to my nuclear family again. I don’t know what changed (me or them or both), but my sister’s wedding & our Christmas dinner were good. They were really good, and I’m grateful.
  • I learned to can things: jams, pickles, tomatoes, peppers. This is a new skill, and it meshes really well with my desire to live more simply, smaller, with more connection to the world around me.
  • I got some help with my anxiety. I’m not under treatment by the mental health practitioner yet (this is an indictment of our heartless health care system), but my primary practioner is willing to prescribe until she can hand that part of my care off to them. Gratitude is an inadequate word for what I feel
  • I know there’s more, but I don’t want to get too wordy and bore you to death.

For 2018, I want to:

  • Keep Sunshine around. This involves working my recovery program so he wants to stick around, it involves the words “What can I do to help you with that?”, it involves autonomy (like letting him go hunting as often as he desires without giving him a lot of shit about it), it involves communication (which is an area where I can always use some improvements).
  • Drop some weight. About 30 to 35 pounds. I intend to do this through lifestyle changes instead of hopping on the fad-diet de jour. 
  • Get my blood pressure and cholesterol under control. The weight loss would help, certainly. I’ve reached a point of desperation with my physical health very much like the desperation that drove me to get clean. I want to get healthier.
  • Finish our house. I’m sick to death of wintering in an RV. I’m also sick to death of the never-ending game of tetris my life has become in said RV; knowing that so much fucking space is available to me a short walk down the hill AND I CAN’T FUCKING USE IT is making me ratuck crazy.
  • Explore new ideas for generating income/revenue, both for myself and this fledgling intentional community here. My body can’t take another firewood season at work, no matter how much I love my job and my boss.
  • Continue attempting to develop strong bonds with my mom and my brother and my sister. I say attempting because I can’t control whether or not they reciprocate the attempts. As long as I do my part to try, I can be OK with myself and the universe.
  • There’s a lot more, but that could bore you to tears and I think this list is a very good starting point.

I don’t normally do this sort of thing, because I’m so tired of the broken promises to myself; however, it’s hard to spot self-deception by myself. Maybe just putting it out here on the internet, where nothing ever really goes away, will help me stay focused; and maybe you guys will call me on my shit when I get distracted or forget to be grateful.

Thank you all for your company over this past year. I enjoy having you follow along with my journey, and I thoroughly enjoy following you on yours. My wish for you and yours can be summed up by this Irish blessing:

May you have . . .
enough happiness to keep you sweet,
enough trials to keep you strong,
enough sorrow to keep you human,
enough hope to keep you happy,
enough failure to keep you humble,
enough success to keep you eager,
enough wealth to meet your needs,
enough enthusiasm to look forward,
enough friends to give you comfort,
enough faith to banish depression,
enough determination to make each day
better than yesterday

Lights are on but nobody’s home

Rude Ass got some of the lights up and functioning. A few fixtures have to wait until Sunshine gets done with the finish on the walls so that he doesn’t splatter them with medicated goo or monkey snot while he’s working.

Side note: medicated goo and monkey snot are the highly technical terms for some of the ingredients in the product he will be using. I don’t ask how these products got these names; I just roll with it because it’s fun to say medicated goo and monkey snot.

I like how the white is going to really stand out amongst all of the dark colors that we’ll be using. There are going to be a lot of dark finishes in our house, with some carefullythought out details to sort of counterbalance the darkness. My floors will be dark grey; cabinets will be stained black; walls will be tan (except for the outside of the storm closet, which will be chocolate); the reclaimed wood has a lot of darker tones; a lot of the soft goods will be dark (comforters, towels, throw pillows); tinted windows to keep the Texas sun from brutalizing us most of the year; much of the furniture will be darker wood tones. To keep it on the cozy side, instead of the cave side: white light fixtures and switchplates; light stone fireplace and chimney; either polished stone or stainless steel countertops; the wood on the ceiling will remain it’s natural golden color; stainless steel appliances; the tile backsplash has an iridescent finish; the fireplace will add warm light when it’s in use; and lots of LED lighting.

Here’s a taste of just how much LED lighting:

These were taken on a very cloudy day, while the windows are still covered so that we don’t get medicated goo and monkey snot on them. Once the windows are uncovered, it will get brighter in there.

Side note: it really is fun to say medicated goo and monkey snot. You should try it sometime.

I’m ready to get moved in and be done with all of the endless decision making and DIY for a while.