Happy New Year, faithful readers! Is your 2017 all you hoped it would be so far? This Year of the Rooster promises to be better than I thought it could be!
Having recovered (outwardly, at least) from the Election Debacle, Juan, Sabu, Mr. Big and I have made some major changes to our lives and it’s finally time to update this here blog. Or give it up entirely in favor of something lighter. That ball is still in the air…
So. I met a guy. For the purposes of this blog, he will hereinafter be referred to as Roman. He’s lived his whole life in Eugene, Oregon and we spent the Summer exploring around town. He’s a good tour guide and quickly learned what I might like to see and I think he slanted his tours around places and events that would showcase how dismal life has been in the tiny, backward, inbred burg of Lebanon, OR. He hinted that I should move down there and begin to enjoy the Culture full time.
I began a search for suitable housing and hit roadblocks at every turn: renting a house was just too expensive (buying is not an option at this point) so I went looking for apartments only to discover that 97.6% of them won’t rent to anyone with a dog over 35 pounds, even if said dog never spent an unsupervised minute alone in the apartment. ALSO, the way they advertise rent rates is shady as hell – no mention of the “fees” for sewer/water/garbage/parking and the extra rent and deposits for pets – making the total rent way over budget. Now, I could spend $1400 for a deluxe one-bedroom apartment, but that’s not gonna happen because for those rates I should be able to rent a 4-bedroom house on half an acre! Supposedly there’s a housing crisis here in Oregon, which I usually take to mean there aren’t enough houses for all the people, but the sad fact is that most people just can’t afford the housing that’s available and nothing cheaper is being built. It really sucks, but there’s nothing I can do about it.
Then one day Roman’s cousin posted on her personal Facebook page that she had half a duplex to rent out. I never would have known about it as she didn’t advertise anywhere else, but Roman forwarded it and I made contact and was finally successful in scoring the perfect living situation. Three bedrooms (I can have a Sewing Room! Yay!) one-car garage with hookups for washer & dryer, radiant ceiling heat (more on that in a minute) hardwood floors, fenced yard and permission to plant anything I want come Spring. A full-sized oven! A full-sized fridge! Closets! Shelves in the garage for all of my tools! A real bathtub and extra large hot water heater! All for a Reasonable Price! You can bet I jumped right on it and Juan and I spent Christmas Eve there for the first night.
That first night was quite an eye-opener. I guess I didn’t realize how very Scotch I am. You see, living in what is essentially a hard-sided tent, any heat you put in (electric space heaters and/or propane furnace) quickly leaks out via the…well…every surface in contact with the outside air, and it costs a small fortune to keep the inside temps much more than 20* warmer than outside. This leads, as you might imagine, to a compromise – we put on extra layers rather than pump heat in only to have it leave very quickly and expensively. For the past 4 Winters the thermostat inside the trailer was set to 60* no matter what, and even lower than that if the outside temp was 30* or less as it just costs too much to try to get it any warmer.
Imagine my surprise that first night when I was stripped down to bare feet and only one thin layer of clothes! I don’t ever recall being warm enough for that to happen in December except that one year I lived in Phoenix! Poor Juan had to close his bedroom door, turn off the heat in his room and open a window just so it would be cool enough for him to sleep. As the week went on, I kept turning the heat down and down and down (it was never set over 60* in the first place, according to the thermostats) to try to bring the inside temp below 70*! I know! First World Problems for sure! Mind you, I’m not really complaining, just showing how very different our life is now compared to last Winter. I even carefully folded Mr. Toasty and put him on a shelf in the closet!
It feels like I’m having to re-learn what it’s like to live inside Real Walls.
Roman was a trooper through the move: loading, unloading and driving the moving truck; helping me find the perfect sofa; driving me all over town to pick up this or that thing; talking me down when my Moving Baggage had me in a bit of a frenzy. I know y’all are dying to ask – no, Roman and I did not move in together 🙂
I know have a 40 minute commute, but there are lots of Audible books on my Kindle and the drive is a good time to wake up or unwind before having to Adult at work or home, so I don’t mind. It’s an easy drive and I don’t anticipate changing jobs in the near future.
Towanda is in storage for the time being, safe behind an electrified chain link fence. I closed the Studio on Halloween and put everything in storage – much of it fit on the moving truck, but a few things remain and I’ll bring them down a bit at a time over the next month after work.
None of this would have been nearly so easy if The Boss hadn’t closed the office between Christmas and New Year’s and I’m so glad the timing of everything worked out so well. That it went off without a hitch obviously means The Universe has finally decided it’s my turn to be happy!
I hope 2017 will be as good to you as it has been so far to me 🙂