Wednesday, April 14, 2021

I Hate My Neighbors

I'm about to say the most cliché thing, and complain for a bit, please forgive me but... I completely hate my neighbors. There, I said it. I wrote before about how I don't love home ownership. At that point, my neighbors weren't a factor, but I think I need to add "you cannot get away from your shitty neighbors" to the list of things I don't enjoy about home ownership. I would love to pack these people up and send them somewhere elsewhere (we were here first!).

Since moving here almost six years ago, we've had four or five different neighbors in the house on the left side of ours. It seems like it's constantly changing hands, once even belonging to a nice guy that worked with my husband before he moved to Washington to take up organic farming (or something like that). For the most part, the people who have lived over there have been clean and quiet, to varying degrees. But, and maybe this is just me, it's annoying to constantly get new neighbors. What is wrong with that house that it changes hands so much? 

For the most part, the most recent people over there are generally pretty quiet. Though it seems like there're two families living in the house next door, judging by the number of adults and cars there are over there, they keep to themselves and their kids usually aren't too noisy. The neighbor on the other side of us is a total dick, but he also keeps to himself, so I have no issue with him. We don't at all want to associate with our neighbors, on either side, so that's fine by us. We're those neighbors, the ones that keep to themselves and expect everyone else to do the same.

Here's the part that makes me hate them... every so often (a few times a year) these people make themselves a total nuisance. Around mid-2020 they shoved almost 50 people and a goddamn DJ into their postage-stamp-sized back yard for a baby shower. This isn't an exaggeration, the yard is literally tiny. I actually think my master bedroom with bathroom is roughly the same size as their yard. While the bedroom isn't at all small, if it were a backyard, it would be tiny! It's ridiculous... particularly because we're in a pandemic. Do you think a single one of those people were wearing a mask or social distancing? Yeah, no.

Over the fourth of July and Pioneer Day, they were shooting off fireworks all night for almost a week around each of those events. The noise, due to the closeness of our houses, was insanely loud. It was also so dry, sparks were flying everywhere, that I was seriously worried that they might set something (like our house) on fire.

Then, this past Saturday night, they were at the noise it again for a little kids birthday. Except, this time it was more than 50 people and again, zero masks. In fact, they were letting their kids play in my driveway and my husband almost ran them over when he came home from work. They moved, then went right back to playing loudly in my driveway. On and there was a piñata, because of course there was, and this thing literally shed tissue/crepe paper all over the neighborhood. They didn't clean it up, so there's still crepe paper stuck in one of the bushes in my front yard. They'll let their monsters play in my driveway, but won't come into my front yard to clean up after themselves.

On these occasions, they inconsiderately played loud music, with heavy bass, until the middle of the night and their tiny back yard is literally 15 feet from my bedroom windows. I almost called the police, but I don't ever want to be that neighbor. I generally like to keep the peace, even if it makes me angry or triggers my anxiety. So, instead, I sat inside and seethed, because sleep is completely out of the question when there's a fucking DJ right outside my windows. Why would the need a damn DJ for a two year old's birthday?! It's ridiculous!

I wish I could understand why people cannot be more considerate of their neighbors. We all have to live together, none of us are going anywhere anytime soon, so making the people who live next door hate you seems kind of stupid. I suppose I should be glad they're not doing that every weekend... I think I would go completely insane.

Monday, February 8, 2021

Let's Skip Valentine's Day

Our 21st wedding anniversary is coming up here in the next week. I'm going to be a little tiny bit vulnerable and say that I'm feeling pretty meh about it. We've been married for 21 years on Valentine's day and the hubs has to work. He actually chose to prioritize work over our 20th wedding anniversary last year and, maybe stupidly, I'm still feeling so salty about that. A year later, I feel incredibly small that, given the chance to take a vacation day to spend our 20th anniversary with me, he chose work. To be fair, there're a lot of reasons he had to chose work, logically I understand it, but in my heart I'm a little bit broken about it and think I might always be. How many times do you get a 20th anniversary? It's a milestone.

This year, the struggle is inside me. My self-worth is at an all time low and in the last few months, we've suffered some immense personal loses. My anxiety is so high I can hardly function many days and I can't sleep. I'm extremely depressed. All of that together makes me feel completely useless and I feel like my husband must feel the same way. He's not the most communicative person, he doesn't really answer my texts, which in turn makes me completely certain that he's angry with me. Since there's no reason that he should be, I know the problem is with me.

I want to go to therapy, but I don't yet have medical insurance and, even when we get that worked out with my husband's job (since I left mine), it won't pay for therapy until we meet our deductible. Which, I'm sorry, is absurd. He makes too much to qualify for any sort of assistance, but we have bills, so we can't afford to pay for it out of pocket. The whole thing is ridiculous, but sadly, it puts me in a really unpleasant position. I can hardly function, but I can't get help.

Compound that with the fact that marriage is hard and I'm feeling so ugly on the inside lately. All that ugliness is making it hard to enjoy anything fun, like an upcoming wedding anniversary. Add to that that we can't really go anywhere because, you know, pandemic, and I'm less than enthused about it. Maybe as we get closer my feelings will change? Maybe something will happen that lift my spirits? As much as I adore my husband, for now I'm really feeling like it might be okay to skip Valentine's day this year.

Thursday, February 4, 2021

I'm Not a Stitcher... am I?

I'm struggling with a bit of insomnia. I lay awake next to my husband and stare at the ceiling, toss and turn, and struggle to get my mind to shut the fuck up. I'm also being eaten alive by anxiety. Worried about absolutely everything, even especially things I can't control. So, I scroll social media in the middle of the night. I know this won't help me sleep, but it gives my brain something to focus on. 

While doing this song and dance the other night, I made the spontaneous decision to take on a stitching project someone was talking about on one of my Facebook craft groups. Um, I don't stitch, I diamond paint. Cross stitching has never been able to hold my interest, so I'm not really clear what I was thinking when I bought a pattern for a temperature cross stitch on Etsy. 

Here's the thing, stitching has too many moving parts for me. It's too messy. The chaos of constantly changing colors, counting those tiny little squares, making sure all my stitches are going the same direction, and having little loose pieces of thread everywhere triggers my anxiety. This seems kind of silly, since diamond painting isn't all that different, but diamond painting feels more manageable. And frankly, I suck at stitching. It's something I can do, but not something I do very well. No matter how hard I try, it always looks so messy.

I had plenty of chances to learn to be a good stitcher. My dad's only sister, my Aunt Pam, is an avid cross stitcher. She constantly made us cross stitched gifts. She made other things, like crocheted blankets and porcelain dolls, but cross stitch was always her first love. She tried to teach me to stitch many times, without much success. I remember vividly that we had this yellow gingham fabric in the garage, with big white and yellow squares, that she used the first time she was trying to teach me the basics.

Then, when I was in my early 20s, I did a few small cross stitch kits, but I never finished them, instead losing interest when they were half done. In the last few years, I worked on a stitch project from Subversive Cross Stitch and just about finished it, but the anxiety of having to count the stitches to finish the little flowers on the top and bottom of the project have stopped my progress. I'm a little bit of a lost cause where stitching is concerned.

So, at like 2am, I bought this temperature cross stitch pattern (cross stitching a 5x5 square each day in a color corresponding to the highest temperature that day, look it up) and decided to give it a go. When I woke up the next morning, I realized pretty quickly that I have no idea how to put together the materials for a cross stitch that didn't come in a kit. Kits have everything, patterns are just instructions. It didn't say exactly what size and count aida I would need, it didn't tell me what size needle to buy, though it did say what size the finished project would be. My sister, Candi, is a stitcher like my Aunt Pam, so she helped me figure it out and I got started yesterday. 

It took two false starts to actually get going. The first one, I had too many strands of floss and it looked kind of... quilty. The second time the strands were right but... I didn't follow the damn pattern, so I just had a square of stitches. Fantastic. On the third start, after ripping out the stitches twice, I managed to get it right. Since I decided to go back to January and start at the beginning of the year, I'm a little bit behind, but there's no rush. The weird thing is, now that I've gotten going, I'm actually having a pretty good time with it. If I actually complete this project this year, I'm going to start calling myself a stitcher.

Sunday, January 31, 2021

Lots of Cleaning...

Since I'm not working right now, I'm spending my days trying to really clean my house. This is turning out to be a huge chore, way bigger than I expected, but I feel like I should be doing something productive since I'm not punching a clock. Turns out my house is a level of deeply dirty that's got me running non-stop trying to scrub it down. On the surface, it doesn't seem that dirty, but everywhere I look there's something I've been neglecting for the last few years. And, let's be honest, living with animals can be gross.

Doing all this cleaning, it's really hit home how lonely things can be without animals. In the 21 years we've been together, we've had four furbabies--Chummer (1999-2005), Galileo (2004-2019), Anakin (2005-2021), and Chewbacca (2011-2020). Our last furbaby, a 15 1/2 year old Shih-tzu, Ani, crossed the rainbow bridge two weeks ago. So, it's just us now and I think I have a little bit of empty nest syndrome. Do you think it's possible to have empty nest syndrome over animals? Heh, yeah. Animals can't talk to you, but their presence really fills up a space and you have to care for them each day. And, those beasts were my babies.

It's going to be a long time before everything is actually completely clean and until our house feels whole again. Since my husband will be off for a week, I won't have a ton of time to clean during that time, so I'm trying to get as much done as I can while he's working. It helps me to be less lonely when I'm busy, even if it's just around the house. Hilariously, the hubs doesn't even really notice (or care) if the house is clean. But, I want him to have a clean place to live and, honestly, I want to pull my weight while I'm not bringing in income. Wish me luck getting it all clean... I'm going to need it.

Saturday, January 16, 2021


On January 14th we sent our sweet baby, Anakin, over the rainbow bridge to be with his brothers. We've never had to put an animal down before and it was the hardest thing we've ever had to do. He was always an ornery little guy, but was so sweet, too. In his last years he developed cognitive impairment and went blind. At the end of his life, he struggled with pain. We knew it was time to let him go, however much that hurt us.

Five months to the day after losing Chewbi, we let Ani go. He was 15 1/2 years old. We miss you and love you, little guy, rest well. ♥