That’s what today’s personal update is about; struggling between faith and fear. That’s kind of where I’ve been the last week or so. Enough so that I’ve really struggled to put words to “paper” about it and thus been absent here as I struggle to find my footing.
I should start where I last left off I suppose. 🙂 Even before my last post, I’d been picking up little messages here and there urging me to shake off the slump I was in. A Buddha quote in a blog post, the underlying theme in Cobra Kai (which we’ve been watching), etc… I could make a whole series of posts about how neither Johnny nor Daniel are balanced emotionally until the end of season 3, but that’s another story…
More to the point, all these messages got me to see two important truths:
No matter how bad my life has gotten, in the end every situation resolved itself in an essentially positive manner
There’s truth in the adage that there’s no point in worrying about problems because either they can be corrected and thus solved, or they’re completely out of your control anyway.
Perhaps stress and suffering (partially) come from not knowing the distinction between the two and thus categorize one’s problem.
At any rate, I’ve found a great deal of peace in the combination of those two realizations. I’ve accepted that whatever comes, we will get through it and eventually get back on our feet. It’s always happened, no matter how dark the moments in my life. Funny how much things have changed in the last week also. I’m thinking more clearly and FINALLY noticed that a bog contributor to my back pain issues has been my stubborn refusal to wear shoes. Circumstances required shoes for 3 or 4 days though and I noticed how much better my feet and back felt vs wearing sandals.
On a level that could be written off as coincidence, but I’m choosing to attach some spiritual meaning to, we also had a minor breakthrough on our legal case; our lawyer found out that the home inspection company we were referred by our realtor wasn’t licensed to do inspections in Georgia. If true, that’s going to leave them open to a legal broadside.
I have a habit of searching for deeper meaning in things, and part of me wonders if all the bad experiences weren’t used by (not orchestrated by) God to try to teach me I’ve got the strength to overcome all of it if I had faith in myself, AND to teach me to have faith in Him since I always landed on my feet.
Am I in a perfect place now? Far from it. Fear of everything that could and might go wrong is still warring hard against my new sense of calm. I’ve had so many things go wrong in the past after multiple times taking a step in this direction that I’ve been outright afraid to even make this post. Maybe it’s time to stop looking for the other shoe dropping though and try to get on with life.
OK, it’s been a long while since I’ve write anything here. As usual, reports of my demise are greatly exaggerated though. 😀
I’ve had a TON going on at a personal level. Most of it I’m still debating if or how much to tell. On a bigger front, the house sale went through two days ago now, and I have been up to my armpits in projects. The previous owner left the place utterly filthy and we even found roaches. They took past closing to get out also. We were nice and gave them an extra day but they made zero progress packing. At that point we hit them with a $500 a day fee to stay and miraculously they were out of there like greased lightning.
Aside, from the dirt, grease and roaches, they also hid an old dryer vent hole in an exterior wall behind a bunch of crap. We have to patch that…
They also lied about claiming to have several bad electrical outlets in the house repaired. The outlets work, but the ground side of the outlets tests bad. The seller *apparently* had a contractor friend forge a work order saying the work was done, and apparently didn’t think we’d come behind and test them ourselves.
Well… As a wise president once said:
We’ve got the home inspector returning for a reinspection later today. Once it’s in writing that nothing was done, there’s going to be hell to pay. We’ve got a contractor that willfully and deliberately committed fraud to aid the seller in fraudulent representation of the condition of the house, and they both lied on legal documents. Fraud in the inducement.
So, to paraphrase Patrick Swayze… It was time to be nice, NOW it’s time to NOT be nice. It’s not like we redheads are evil though…
Beyond that, there’s a bajillion projects to do. I’ll document the progress as time allows. 😉
…What the hell is going on? And who has ever heard of a little pig? They thought as they read this, lol.
That’s where we’ve been actually. Our lease is up in a couple of months and given how hyper-inflated the market is out here, we figured it was best to start house hunting early.
…Well, when you’re already well trained in real estate yourself, AND hire the best agent out there… house hunting doesn’t take long. We’re already under contract with a place sort of near our current location. The place is solid brick and cinder block, even the interior walls. Hell, the front of the house is cinder block with an outer double row layer of brick. I figure anything short of a direct hit from a tornado isn’t going to scratch the house, lol. We definitely won’t be worrying about the severe storms that come through the South. 🙂
The interior cinder block walls are the biggest interior challenge. While sturdy as well as good insulation, they’re drab and give the place a little bit of a prison or military base feel. We’re exploring various options for wall treatments; everything from paint to faux rock treatments or even putting drywall over the cinder block.
A SHORT Diversion into Home Buying Tips:
Coincidentally, good visualization / imagination skills like mentioned above are a HUGE benefit to you when house hunting. Before I got my real estate license, I used to think that shows like House Hunters were even more scripted than they are. Time and again, I saw people reject otherwise great houses over cosmetic issues like paint colors. Paint is CHEAP. Even cheaper if you’re willing to put in a little sweat equity and do the work yourself.
Concern yourself with the structural issues of the house as well as what type of terrain it’s on and what kind of neighborhood it’s in (low crime, good schools). Those are what’s important, NOT if you’ll have to upgrade the counter tops from formica. That’s minor in the grand scheme of things. It’s also strictly your ego speaking if you say you NEED to upgrade the counters immediately because they’re formica laminate. Backtracking slightly for the moment, by the type of terrain the house is on, I’m referring to two important factors:
First; is the area known for soft land that creates foundation repair issues? Those can be incredibly expensive. Ask anybody in Florida.
Second; is the house situated at the bottom of a hill or slope? If so, rain water can flow up against the house and erode the foundation as well. Inversely, a house at the highest point on it’s lot or property will have water naturally drain away from it, helping keep the foundation safe. These drainage issues are also why good gutters are important on a house.
Meanwhile, Back at Stately Silk Manor…
Getting back to the place we bought, the kitchen is fairly dated, but it’s got a quaint, country look to it that I like. Redo the stain on the cabinets, or MAYBE paint them white (I like natural wood and stone surfaces), and they’ll look great. We will upgrade the counter tops later as money allows. The stove is also ancient. I’m torn there. It’s got that old fashioned country look also. It’s built similar to an old school British oven, so it’s more versatile than a modern oven. Let us not forget that things back then just did not break (unlike the junk made today). On the flip side, I love to cook and I could so easily see a large 6 burner gas stove sitting where that antique electric oven is now. 🙂
There’s other stuff also. No garage, and we consider that a necessity for Ginger (the ’67 Mustang) and the other half’s Subaru. We’re looking at a prefab steel building to hold us for the time being until we can afford to get a garage built that would match the house’s construction and style. The house also has a circular driveway, but it’s made of (tightly packed) gravel. Functional, but (again) when time and money allow, we want to pave it, MAYBE even with paving stones if money ever allows.
So, that’s us lately. Not much else to report as the hunt ate up all my would-be blogging time last week. I’ll probably do a post or two in the near future with home buying tips.
I’ve been occupied the last week or so with several different events. That’s what’s kept me quiet the last couple of days.
First was trying to get our lawn overseeded to fill in the bare spots. That was a bit time consuming and had to be worked around all the rain we’ve been getting. Not TOO bad though.
A few days later though, the lawn got overrun with wild mushrooms of several different types:
I had other pictures, but the phone ate them; yet another problems I’ve been dealing with for a while. That big mushroom on the right is a good 6 or 7 inches across, and our lawn is getting covered with those and strange small orange ones that as best I can tell are a variety of Russula and some white ones that look like death caps.
As for the phone, since the update before last, it’s locked me out of being able to DL my pics directly, and instead is forcing me to go to iCloud to retrieve them, probably in an effort to embed cookies in my PC. I’ve tried all the methods to fix that and / or reset the phone, but nothing has worked.
Speaking of not working, has anybody else noticed how utterly useless DuckDuckGO has gotten lately? It’s it’s not a cutting edge pop culture reference, DuckDuckGo.com can’t seem to find it at all.
So, next… We have our roof. I told our landlord before we moved in that it looked sketchy to me. He sent somebody out who rubber stamped it as fine. Well, maybe it’s not so fine:
We’ve got a large area at the far end of the kitchen where the ceiling is water stained and the crappy spray on popcorn is falling off. The landlord gets a guy out to look at the roof, and I swear he made the Beverly Hillbillies look erudite and well dressed. He stunk of pot also. He takes a look, and says he’s going to fix it and notify the landlord. The next thing we hear of it (after the pot-head just vanished) is that the landlord is trying to run the cost of a new roof through his insurance company.
We’ve weathered (pun intended) all of that fairly well. The leak hasn’t damaged anything inside yet, and it’s not OUR roof. The icing on the cake for me came Monday. One of the corporate idiots came to my other half’s job for whatever reason a week ago, and on Monday he notifies the office that he and the eye candy he was apparently traveling with have tested positive for COVID and been quarantined.
One of the other people at that office apparently decided they were too cool and smart to be vaccinated, so they may have caught it and passed it on to their family.
We weren’t TOO worried about it here, having been vaccinated BUT, a day later we both got sick with symptoms that mimicked the reaction we had to the second dose of the vaccine. Nothing’s been severe by any means, but I’m decidedly NOT happy about it all.
We did go to a local testing spot, and the tests came back negative. It MAY be a minor case of the flu (which oddly enough I don’t think I’ve had in 10 years), OR the vaccine might be causing a false negative.
My other half is diabetic, and has minor asthma issues, AND a heart murmur as well. IF this were COVID and we weren’t vaccinated, it could have potentially been VERY serious. Yeah, I’m pissed.
I’m annoyed just having been sick the last few days simply for no other reason than somebody thought they were above the rules and too clever to be vaccinated. Yeah our tests came back negative but I know what the flu feels like and what the vaccine symptoms felt like.
Yes, there’s a literal shit ton of misinformation on both sides of this issue, BUT that doesn’t change the fact that COVID spreads fast and has killed alot of people. Personal freedoms have to be balanced in light of social responsibilities. Both are equally important unless one doesn’t wish to live among their fellow man.
All of the above has left me frustrated with how little control I have over my life also. The roof isn’t the only problem the house has, and ending up homeless, even briefly, doesn’t exactly appeal to me. My back is making SLOW progress, but keeps going out enough to make getting back to real work impractical and improbable. THAT, in turn, means if anything happens to my dingbat spouse who ignored my requests for life insurance until AFTER the heart murmur and blockage were discovered, (and now can’t qualify for any), I’m screwed.
I spent most of my life at the mercy of abusive parents and a manipulative ass of an ex. I HATED it, and I HATE feeling like I’m in the exact same boat now.
As I’m starting to gear up for more writing, I decided to check yet again to see if the oft promised and never released Scrivener 3 was released for Windows.
Not only that, they even kept their word and gave me my upgrade from 1.x for free!
I have to be honest, at this point I’ve just downloaded it and am beginning to work through the tutorial. The only thing new that I’ve seen thus far is the ability to easily insert pictures and videos into your project. I’m not even sure if the videos have to be linked via YouTube or something similar.
Some stuff, as noted in the description I… borrowed from the Scrivener home page has been moved around and “cleaned up”. I’ll see if this ends up to be better organized or not. At this VERY early hour, the two things that I can report are:
That gawdawful, clunky Windows 95 era interface is FINALLY gone
The new version is 64 bit, so it’s a good deal more responsive.
I suspectmy previous review will hold true that you can do anything with Office that Scrivener can do. It’s just a question of IF Scrivener has finally made it easier and cleaner to do it with them; one tool instead of 3 or 4.
If you own a copy of 1.x you’re eligible for either a free upgrade or half off depending upon when you bought it, so check it out:
Frustrations have once again kept me from doing any posting here.
First, let me get my warning out of the way; RANT ahead!
At first, I thought it was annoyance over cutting ties with the person I used to collaborate with on my Witchfire stories. Well, sort of collaborate. We tried to create a shared world with some crossovers for our stories. That ended over their insistence upon demonizing anyone they disagreed with politically or socially, and me saying one time too often to look at other POVs and not stereotype entire groups just because a media talking head and their sheeple said so.
So many of the problems in society today are caused by people on BOTH sides of various issues having blinders on like that. Sadly most of them are otherwise decent people. They just can’t be bothered to work past their personal biases. Too easy to hate because somebody told them that their personal problems are the fault of that group over there. Old trick though; it’s worked for Hitler, groups like the Proud Boys, and the FAR Left as well. “Hate! Fear! Follow me blindly! I’ll lead you to salvation”.
95% of the time these would-be saviors are only exploiting people for their own selfish ends by playing off one group against another.
Need I say it AGAIN?!? Judge people as INDIVIDUALS instead of using group-think and blindly applying labels that promote conflict and division.
AND THEN THERE WAS THE BLOG…
First, let me say I hate some of the new changes to WordPress. Even using a spacer insert is harder now since there’s no box, just a little circle now that you move up and down. The (picture) cropping and resize tool doesn’t work for me. They’ve even done away with the ability to select specific font size from a drop down. Now it has to be keyed in if you want to change it. Every “improvement” to the block editor seems to make it a bigger mess.
Some sort of background changes have me locked out of replying to or even liking half the blogs I follow AGAIN. This is the third or fourth time it’s happened since I started here. If I haven’t liked or commented in your blog in a while and I usually do, that’s very likely why. This change no doubt so WP can data mine blogs more easily.
Then we get back to PEOPLE as relates to blogging…
First, there’s my ongoing gripe over USERS masquerading as followers. If you’re doing THIS, you’re not reading and you don’t care about anything anyone else has to write about:
Doing that regularly just says you’re only using people to gain followers and pad your fragile ego. It’s happening increasingly from people who I’ve made effort to genuinely interact with on WP too, or at least used to. And I’m talking them doing 20+ likes in 1 or 2 minutes. I have a few pics of THAT also. I figured 8 likes was enough to make the point though.
If you don’t have time to read and have no desire to do so, just don’t reply instead of using people for your vanity. I’d rather have 5 followers like Refarmer, Joanne the Geek, Sheree, BigSkyBuckeye and a few others who will actually read, than have 10,000 fraud followers.
Then there’s another issue that’s been simmering for a long time also; appeasement and self censorship. I left and loudly denounced Twitter for similar experiences, but really WP isn’t all that different in a few regards. I speak out against some of the heavy handed aspects of the SJW movement (even though I support the overall movement / idea), then I’m evil. I have to push anything spiritual over to another blog because I might offend religious people. Can’t believe in chi and God after all *rolleyes*
Same idea with some of my adult writing. I sort of give that one a partial pass as I don’t want people to have to worry about anything vaguely NSFW here, and WP is absolutely one of the worst sites out there for providing any sort of age check tool for that kind of content. Even just an “Are you 18?” button pop-up would be nice!
Maybe NextDoor.com is a better overall comparison. Can’t write anything there other than garage sales and recipes without offending somebody. I’ve felt increasingly the same way here.
Write about self-defense or martial arts, you’re violent.
Talk about RESPONSIBLE gun ownership (and I have a very negative opinion of some gun owners), and you’re going to go out and do a mass shooting.
OK, enough said. The point is I’m sick to freaking death of judgy fucks presuming they know what others are thinking and feeling, AND that said judging fucks have the imagined godlike wisdom to tell others with absolute certainty how to live their lives or even what they should say. Yes, I’m sick of the “this means you’re a that and need to change NOW” crowd.
I’m NOT advocating people be allowed nor encouraged to run around acting like asses with no filter either. Can’t we find a happy medium though?
Truth; I’m frustrated at feeling like I can’t be me. I’m shutting away and compartmentalizing pieces of me to try to appease people who are never going to read my writing or buy any book I write anyway.
I’m not sure how quick I’m going to really get back to posting “full time” here again. I do know that when I start though, I’m going to be more ME. Politics I will still refuse to cover. The waters there are just too muddied, the real truth too hard to find and I think everyone is corrupt. Adult content is staying at SilksErotica.
Anything else is one the table though. I’ll do my best to discuss topics in an intelligent, calm manner. I’ll try to be positive and upbeat too. Trust me, I’m sick of bitchy posts here
Don’t like a particular subject in the future? I’ll make sure the headlines are clear so you can bypass it. That, and a return to days having regular topics, are as good as you’ll get.
has kept me fairly busy the last couple of weeks. We’ve got a new place in a different town lined up and NOW I have to contend with packing everything within a month to get us out of here. No problem. It only took us 15 months to pack for the move out here. *headdesk* So yeah, I’m expecting to not have much free time to blog as I’d like. I’m going to try my best though. I’m really fed up with drama messing with my work here.
I recently wrote about my frustrations in the NSFW Blog, as part of discussing my writers block. It’s similar to the grumbling I’ve done here in the past. After a week or so of pondering the big picture, I’ve decided I need to make some changes:
FIRST; I’m going to start a separate blog for political and social issues. I’m tired of readers dropping here over political stuff, and I want to be able to be a little more open with my feelings and opinions also.
Personally, I’d prefer to just stay in my own little corner of the world and ignore the rest of it, BUT this election has shown me that (Un)real life is just going to keep forcing it’s way in. I have NO illusions that I’m going to make a difference, BUT at least when this life is over I’ll be able to say I made the effort instead of deciding it was too awkward or inconvenient to stand up for what’s right.
Next; I’m going to start writing in my spiritual blog again also, in the hopes it will keep me grounded and remind me of lessons already learned. Being an Empath (or HSP if you’re a complete skeptic in anything beyond the material world) is a PITA when you forget said lessons.
Followers and Following: This has been my massive frustration lately. That’s because I’m putting HUGE amounts of time into networking with other bloggers and it’s NOT paying off the way it (theoretically) should. I’m literally spending a couple hours a day following blogs and responding to notification emails about others’ posts. Here’s just under a month’s email totals for me:
That is with me being less active lately also. I had it go as high as over 7000 once or twice before. It would all be awesome if it was somewhat balanced, but 85% of it is notifications about others’ posts or a like to my reply. Another 10% is “hit and run” likes from people I know never read anything I wrote.
So, I’m going to be slowly and deliberately separating the wheat from the chaff; eliminating followed blogs that have never visited here after initial contact, don’t respond to my comments, never like or comment here, etc… The goal being to focus time on the people and blogs who ARE genuine. I want to spend more time commenting on their stuff and exchanging ideas. The heck with the users.
I’m also really hoping that trimming the fat will also fix the (lack of) notifications problem I have with a few followed accounts that I really like. We shall see.
Working towards a niche: This is one of those things I’ve had to be honest about being a shortcoming in my blogging. I’ve been all over the place with topics and information. Gaming, politics, cooking, etc… Cristian Mihai is right; people like consistency. They don’t want to go to a cooking blog and read about auto repair (to pull two examples out of the air).
To be real, I don’t know if I’ll ever fully get this down to a single specific topic. More likely it’ll end up a broad generalized topic that encompasses some of my more frequently blogged about topics, and lumped together under something like “Modern Living”.
I do know politics is gone. Social issues I may touch on lightly. I’m going to cut WAY back on personal posts also. There’s an adage that nobody wants to hear (or read) your drama day after day. I’ve seen a few people build quite a following that way however. Granted most of them were cute girls that complained about their sex life while flashing cleavage in pics… That’s another rant though.
The bottom line is we’ve all done it. It’s perfectly understandable in small doses also, but too many personal rants start to become psychic vampirism level pleas for attention. I don’t want to be *that* person. It’s also better to do something about problems than complain about them.
As a final note, I’m also going to do my best to work towards getting a daily topics schedule restored for the blog, so people know my food posts are on Monday (as an example from my former schedule).
Mortal Kombat continues as we work towards getting out of this apartment. The neighbors have gotten so bad that we had to go sleep at a hotel last night. That would have been great if the mattress had been better quality.
Long story short; same excuse about why the blog hasn’t been very active here. With over a month, and no meaningful sleep I’m running around with brain fog and serious fatigue. Sometimes it’s an effort just to keep up with the blogs I follow.
I’m a bit better rested after the hotel stay, so I feel like I’m being overly dramatic there, BUT I constantly wake up worn out, and 8 hours after I’m up, I’m ready for bed again. We sleep with shooting range foam ear plugs in, and half the time I have to wear gun mufflers to work at the computer in peace:
The more that fatigue sets in, the more annoyed I am regarding the offer to let us out of the lease also. We’ve been sleep deprived for almost 2 months, and it’s going to cost us thousands of dollars to move because they don’t want to deal with an ongoing noise issue. I’m feeling like we’re owed some damages at this point.
In the meantime, we got ourselves a pickup so that we can move as much stuff ourselves as we can:
So yeah… one step in the right direction. Joe Diffie approved too. We found when we had our house back in California that we needed a truck just often enough that renting was stupid.
Now that I’m a tiny bit more rested, I’ll be trying to put more effort into the blog here also. There’s certainly a ton that I’ve wanted to talk about, but I haven’t had the energy to type a coherent sentence.
We will be putting in alot of work towards packing and everything also, so I’m not sure how much free time I will have for the immediate future, but I’m going to do my best here. I’ve got over 600 followers now. Some are even sincere followers, so I should be putting in some work here, lol.
Yes! We have won the dog wars! We get to break our lease and get the hell out of here!
Soon, there shall be no more noisy neighbors, no more cattle stampedes across the ceiling, and no more lying apartment managers. I think the managers really ripped into the upstairs neighbors after we all caught them mid cattle drive. Afterwards, they were abnormally quiet.
Yes, I’m still alive. You’d never know it from my blogging activity though. With everything going on around here, it was better for me to keep a low profile instead of risking angry ranting posts or replies. So yeah… It’s been a hell of a week plus.
Long story short; the neighbors are acting worse than ever. Even after 30 good recordings of them trampling around upstairs like Bubba the Barbarian and his pet dinosaur Ugg, neither the apartment management nor the police will do anything about the noise issue. In the meantime, the poor quality sleep (tossing and turning) is undoing all the spinal rehab work I had done. I’m trying to double and triple down on the physical therapy to offset it. The return of the pain has only made my mood worse too.
Then, just to add injury to insult, the complex’s main entry gate malfunctioned, and slammed into the passenger side of the Subaru. Broke the heated power mirror and scraped up the passenger’s side front door. This all happened last night. The apartment security guard wouldn’t come look at it, and the management team also opted out earlier today, saying just email them pictures even with the car right in front of the office.
THEN the manager makes excuses about being out of town when I complained to corporate that nobody would even come look at the vehicle. Guess she was too dense to realize her assistant outright told us she was just “too busy” to be bothered.
Typical “we have all the money and power” mentality… except they don’t. Here’s what I’ve got to say about that:
My sister would probably love that. Wrestling junkie & she actually chases the indie circuit around. I know OF old timers like “Dirty” Dutch Mantell. She hangs out with them, lol.
Unlike in wrestling, violence doesn’t work in the real world, other than as a pass to jail. Whoop-Ass comes in many forms though, and redheads are EVIL. How do you play the game in this situation?
Keep Getting Recordings for Court. – We’re up to about 30 loud ones and almost as many lower quality ones.
Trash them on Yelp. – As long as it’s accurate, it’s legal
Post Pictures of EVERYTHING remotely out of order in the complex.
Expand the Reviews to other Sites, esp ones specializing in renting.
Picket the complex on Saturdays and Sundays when they’re getting prospective tenants – You have to stay on the public right of way (ie on the main street) and keep what you say accurate, but this is brutally effective.
Organize Other Tenants that that are fed up with similar issues – there are several here.
Get past and present tenants to “carpet bomb” bad reviews all over the internet. It’s a sleazy SJW tactic used against gaming companies and other businesses, but sometimes it’s justified.
OH and yes, we’re going to talk to animal control about if there MIGHT be anything that they can do about the abusive situation of keeping 2 large dogs boxed up in a 1000 square foot apartment and never walking them.
I’ve spent too many years listening to consumer advocates and reporters. I *KNOW* how to play the game. That above list isn’t even al the tricks I’ve got. That’s even IF(getting to be a bigger IF every day) I decide to keep my game on the moral high ground.
Given all the “Game” talk and the wrestling mentions, I suppose a few of you are expecting a Triple H reference of some sort here. Nope. I’ve fumed long enough and now it’s time to get back to my roots
That shirt… That’s my family’s creed too. Literally. And Rhonda Rousey isn’t the only one with a Hot Rod shirt.