tHe haPPy grOUch

tHe haPPy grOUch

Tuesday, March 15, 2016


Ah, another 5am morning with coffee and pen in hand.
Ok, not a pen. A laptop. But hey, pen sounded more poetic than laptop.



I haven't written in a couple weeks. Most of  my readers are my friends on facebook and keep up with me there. But for those few of you who aren't and don't, here's what's new...

My landlord recently had a new property become available across the street from me. This one is a camp right on the water. There are a few down sides... It doesn't have a washer and dryer, it is a very minimal increase in rent, and it is not quite as nice on the inside as mine is now. The lack of laundry is the big thing; the inconvenience of having to go to Mother's to do laundry every week. The landlord also owns a laundromat in town, and has offered the wash-dry-fold service at a steeply discounted price. So I may take him up on that. There are upsides though.. it's bigger; there is more living space, and the bedrooms are bigger. Dawson's room upstairs is actually considerably nicer, with three big windows. That was always one of my concerns here.. he has two very small windows, not even big enough to get out of, in case of fire. The biggest upside of course, is that the house is directly on the water. Literally, the front yard is the beach. Just a few steps out the door and you're in the lake.

Here's the view from inside...



After much thought, I did decide to take it. It was a difficult decision to make. The inconvenience of the laundry, the inconvenience of moving again, up-heaving Dawson again (even thought it's just across the street, it's still another move), the slight increase in financials, the interior work I would have to do to get it in better condition...
But I just couldn't pass it up.
Living here with the lake view has been very nice. But I've never wanted anything more than to be right on the water. And now I will be. I can't actually believe I'm finally going to live on the water. Is this for real? Should somebody pinch me??

Random side note... (Not quite random, somewhat related)...
During all of this considering, Dawson asked me- Why do you rent, why don't you own a house, like Dad does? Dad has owned his house for years. And why do we move so much?
Yeah, ouch. Teenagers.
So, I try to explain to my son why I seem like such a gypsy...
So I say to my boy... First of all, son, many of our moves have been circumstantial. Primarily because of your mom's failed relationships, and I'm so sorry for that. You and I have been through a lot together.  But I love you, more than life itself, and we have each other. We will always have each other. And you will always have your dad, and his house. And you and I will always have somewhere nice to lay our heads, that we will call home. I will always, always make sure of that. Haven't I always?
Secondly, son, I have owned my own home. Twice, actually. Once before you were born. And once when you were younger, remember? Yes, he says, and I miss that house. Well, so do I. But what you don't recall about that house, son, and what you were too young to understand, was that it was a monster of a monkey on my back. It drained me financially and mentally. It killed me. I worked 70 hours a week to pay for that house. Not to mention, I couldn't keep up with the maintenance, financially or technically (yes, I'm an inept girl) that comes along with home ownership.
I like renting. I don't have to be responsible for the furnace when it breaks down, or the exterior door that needs to be replaced, or the hot water heater when it quits... And if I decide I don't like that town, or that neighborhood, or that house, I can look for a new one. I can walk away when my lease is up, without worrying about mortgages, and selling, and foreclosure. Renting is not for everyone, just as home ownership is not for everyone.
Son, you won't be with me forever. Probably only for a few more years. When you are older, you can buy a house if you'd like, put down roots, and stay there forever if you want. I'll keep on renting, and maybe move from house to house, from town to town, state to state. Hell, maybe I'll just buy an RV and drive around the country until I'm old and die!

Anyway, I digress...

And now the work on the new house has begun, and I'm SO DAMN OVERWHELMED!
I've been trying to pack things here, but it's difficult to pack, when you're still using everything. I also need to get this place all spruced up for the new tenant. I'm trying to get the place across the street painted and cleaned. It desperately needed new appliances so I ordered them and they'll be delivered tomorrow. The new house has been vacant for a long time, and it wasn't well cared for. The landlord lives out of state, and in exchange for a very fair rent, I'm taking care of a lot of the work. Even though I got a great deal, and am looking forward to getting my spot on the beach, I am starting to feel like I bit off more than I can chew. So much to paint, so much to fix, so much to clean, so much attention needed... SO MUCH TO DO!
And I still need to be at work!!!
I need about four or five more of me.
Sigh.

Speaking of work... Am I there all the time? I feel like I'm there all the time. I know I'm not really there all the time... Although, this past week's time card implies I'm there all the time, lol.. Sorry, boss.
But I feel like I'm there all the time. I think maybe just my brain is there all the time. I dreamt about rearranging the beer cooler the other night. So I did it yesterday.
Add to that this move, the work on the new house, my personal life, my brain...
And I just feel burnt. the fuck. out.

Did I mention my personal life? Never mind. That's always a mess.
Moving on.

Speaking of yesterday...
You know the joke about taking a "mental health day"? It turns out that's not really a joke. I should have taken one yesterday... Pouring drinks wrong. Opening the wrong beers. All kinds of stupid mistakes. All damn day. I must have started 10 different tasks at work at different times, and kept moving from one to the next, and then back to the other, and then back to the previous one, and then back to the other. Rinse, wash, repeat. All the while, talking myself through all of it, out loud. And that sounds like multi-tasking. It even sounds comical. It was comical to the people at work. But it really wasn't. It wasn't to me. It was so frustrating. All of it. Anxiety producing. My brain was totally misfiring. That's what it felt like. That's the only way I can explain it. By the end of the day, I was completely exhausted, and I was so goddamn ugly and irritable. Poor Dawson had the pleasure of dealing with me the rest of the night.
Sigh.

I kept thinking.. It's a good thing I see the shrink tomorrow (today).
Ah, another shrink. A new one. Wonder what this one will say? I was suppose to do my homework this week. Go through my mental health history, my history in general. Kind of mentally catalog all my info for him, try to compress it all neatly into a 40 minute speech, so he could analyze it and recommend a medicinal regimen. Continue with what my PCP is trying now? Up the dose? Try something different? Go back to nothing at all? I have been functioning without medication for a little over two years. Prior to that I functioned (for the most part) without medication for several years.
I say "for the most part", because it is a struggle. It is disruptive. There are times when it makes my life (and the lives of those with me) very difficult. It effects my relationships, my work, my decisions, my day to day functioning, my happiness, my general well being. Some times worse than others. And I recognize those times, and I know when to seek help.
That's why I am seeing my therapist again, and seeing this shrink, and back on meds again. As much as I dislike the last couple ideas
Sigh.

Moving on...

I miss living with a dog, terribly. I've tried and tried to negotiate this with my landlord, to no avail. A couple years ago (while seeking help for my "mental stuff" as referenced above), my PCP "prescribed" a service animal for/to me. Yes, a prescription for a service animal. It is recognized by state and federal law as a service dog, even though the dog is not technically trained as such.
For those of you who are interested...

The Federal Fair Housing Act reads...
The federal Fair Housing Act defines disability as “(1) a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more of such person’s major life activities, (2) a record of having such an impairment, or (3) being regarded as having such an impairment.” 42 U.S.C.  § 3062(h).  
And the Maine Human Rights Act reads...
§4453. Definitions
9-D.  Service animal.  “Service animal” means: A. Any animal that has been determined necessary to mitigate the effects of a physical or mental disability by a physician, psychologist, physician’s assistant, nurse practitioner or licensed social worker.
So anyway...
I could just have her "prescribe" me a service dog again. It would be well within the scope of my "condition".She would happily do it again. I still have the "prescription letter", where it states that I have an impairment that effects my daily life, and adverse effects, and yada yada... and something like..  "The continuation of these adverse effects would be mitigated by a service animal. I am therefore prescribing a service animal as part of her treatment and to improve her quality of life."...
I could then send this to my landlord, and, by law, he would be have to allow the dog to live in the home. And I would have some recourse if he tried to evict us.
Thing is, I just don't want to rock the boat.
Sigh.

Speaking of dogs...
Across the street, at the new place, in the house next door, lives a large, beautiful mastiff. Just an absolute gorgeous specimen of the breed.  A dark brindle, with a beautiful black mask. I saw him outside one day while I was there cleaning. I think I will have to introduce myself and offer up my dog-sitting services.

Well, I guess I should go get ready. Have to go get my head shrunk.

Be well.