First written July 15…

Lord, forgive me for my negative attitude. Just when I think I’m behaving rather well my flesh takes over and grumbles about what I don’t have…or rather, what I used to have but had to give up.

It all started with me trying to pull into my driveway today only to find someone parked halfway up it and to the far left leaving me barely any room to squeeeeze into my space. Was incredibly annoyed because this has happened more than once. My mistake was not realizing the driver was still in the car as I pulled in complaining OUT LOUD…. Bet she heard me asking if they were retarded because, as I walked to my door, she was nothing but apologies about how she was “Just dropping him off.” I knew I had done a bad thing and told her to not mind me because I was hot. Duh. I should’ve just told her that I’m an ass for allowing myself to be so easily irritated and then I could’ve politely asked her to make a point of parking farther to the right next time.

But instead, the second  I was behind closed doors, I vented out,”Just dropping him off?!? Just pull up! Just pull up! Just pull up!” Which lead myself into complaining about how much I miss having my house to myself. How I hate that I had to give up 75% of my house to renters so we wouldn’t lose said house. I miss my kitchen, my dishwasher, my backyard, my bathtub, and most importantly, MY LAUNDRY ROOM which contained my very own washer and dryer. My tenants get to use all of that now. The car positioning especially irritated me because I had planned to park close to my door in order to more easily load up my car with laundry since I’m forced to go to the laundromat…hence, missing my laundry room downstairs. But I couldn’t do that because there was no room. Not that I had much farther to walk, I just wanted to be pissed about it.

My husband and I have been squished in the upstairs of this house for about six or seven years now….it was supposed to be temporary, like a year. The upstairs is equipped with a makeshift kitchen that only one person can cook in at a time and a bathroom with only a shower stall…no bathtub. Oh, and did I mention we have SIX CATS?!!?  You know, because the neighborhood is FULL of free cats (strays) that I just can’t turn away. OK, OK…only two were the result of strays, another two were adopted when I worked at the shelter, and the others are because I can’t say no to free kittens….I may have a slight addiction to felines. Even the cats are restless and fat after so many years of this tiny space.

Before this, we lived in a run down cabin with no plumbing. cabinI had to shit and piss in a bucket. That was for fifteen months (well, we got a toilet after ten months so I shouldn’t complain…Yes, that was sarcasm). Once the upstairs tenants moved out of our house I insisted we move into the upstairs. I just couldn’t take “living” in the cabin anymore . Plus, I was sick a lot of the time due to the mold and mouse shit. I appreciated the upstairs of the house for a while…IMMENSELY, actually. But after a long struggle with severe depression and financial and marital stresses, I lost pride in my home. I stopped caring about a lot of things, including house keeping. It’s now to the point where I just can’t keep the place nice. I let it go too far. But mostly I think it’s because we don’t have a whole lotta space and after too many years things start to clutter up. I don’t let anyone over because I don’t want them to see my place and how gross it is. It’s cramped and messy and full of cat hair. It’s not a home…it’s just a tiny place where we exist.

Our temporary plan has backfired. We’ve been trying to build our own home for the last ten years. We dug the foundation in July of 2006. We’ve been trying to do most of it ourselves…paying cash as we go. The plan was to have a place where we could live and work out of but the lack of funds have really put a damper on said plans. The house we currently “own” and rent the majority to was originally supposed to be a free place for us to stay while we built the other place. We were going to stay in the upstairs for free which, ironically, we miserably live in now. But those plans abruptly changed when the owner (Rick’s best friend’s mother) had to sell in order to follow Rick’s best friend to North Carolina. It’s a long story that I’m sure none of you care to hear. Bottom line…we ended up buying the house instead, back when the banks gave everyone and anyone mortgages.

My husband works so hard every single day but can never seem to get out of the hole. It’s like he’s just chasing his tail round and around, with MS, mind you. He works full time for someone else and is also doing his own jobs after hours and on the weekends. Mostly body work. We used to have our own business called Phantom Phenders. Well, technically it still exists, but I haven’t painted anything in over two years. You see, I’m an airbrush artist but I had a few nervous breakdowns due to the stress and lack of proper space to do my work (typical crazy artist). Struggles with depression didn’t help matters, either. I tried for so long to work with what I had…to share the same garage space with my husband, but I got fed up with not being able to work on a project straight through from start to finish. I would have to stop the creative flow so Rick could move whatever bike or trike I was working on out of the way. He often needed the space to spray a car or work on whatever project it was he needed space for at the time. It was frustrating finding new spiderwebs all over my paint bottles or a newly laid layer of bondo dust on my desk and tanks and fenders. Yes, I would try to cover everything as best I could but to no avail. My work was considered “high end” so I’m sure you can understand my level of frustration…or  maybe you can’t.

I had no privacy. I couldn’t handle dealing with customers breathing down my neck. Bikers can be that way, especially in New England where there’s only about three months of good riding time. But most times it was because I couldn’t deliver quickly enough and to the best of my ability because of current circumstances…which just made being creative far more difficult. I began hating painting. I think that’s why I haven’t painted or drawn anything in about two years.

Still waiting for my art studio to be completed. Actually, I’m desperate for us to make the upstairs above the garage we built livable. We have water and a running toilet and bathtub now, thanks to the major generosity of someone who wanted to help. But no wiring, kitchen, insulation, sheet-rock, and floors…basically, everything. I don’t even care about the house part anymore. We have a basement which is capped. The garage was framed in 2008 and we managed to get the floors poured from some good ol’ fashioned bartering. That’s how we got the roof, too. So Rick can work in the garage but I still don’t have my studio yet. The garage ended up being much larger than we realized so there would be plenty of room to live upstairs. I would be thrilled to finally get into this place and start making a home for me and my husband and our cats. Plenty of catwalks galore for our fur babies. He even said I could get a puppy once we’re in there…something I’ve wanted my whole life. I think we’ve been living a pipe dream.

UPDATE: We have no water. The well has run dry. Just another issue to add to the list.

Well, at least the birds are enjoying the place. Glad someone gets to live there.

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