house hunting on a budget

so, i’ll get back to our story eventually–or not.  long story short, i wrapped up my end of things in NJ, and made it here to ohio to live with this friend i met online and met once in person.  nothing new or strange there, right?

part of the motivation was to combine our modest resources and be able to survive going forward, which neither of us could have done on our own.  especially once she was forced to resign and retire too early due to transphobia, a common attitude here in ohio.

so here we find ourselves, prematurely retired on a tiny fixed income, including my even more reduced s.s. benefit since i had to take it too early.  again, nothing new or unusual about that; many older (and not-so-older) people in this country find themselves in this predicament, having worked long and hard all or much of their lives.  not complaining, just stating the facts.

so, house-hunting later in life, even in an affordable place like east TN, is challenging.  personally, i had never even considered buying as a possibility, until circumstances changed.  i’m so fortunate that my new friend became as motivated and enthused as i to move somewhere near my son and family, and away from this benighted place.  her own ignorant family had cruelly cut her off from her own grandchildren, so having a new adoptive family who accept her is like a new lease on life.

anyway, finding a house that the VA (she was in the AF) will finance (i.e. not a rundown mobile home) on our small income is challenging, as i said.  we don’t require much—just a tiny house that’ works’, on some land away from town that affords us some privacy and garden space, not extremely far from the family.

it would be simpler if my friend’s health insurance would finally get their act together to reimburse her huge surgical bills as promised, but once again transphobic ignorance throws a wrench in the works and drags out the process as long as possible.  so we’re left in the lurch, waiting on bureaucratic confusion, so we can finally finish out old business and move on.  the story of her life.

but we try to remain optimistic about our new life going forward.  and so as not to get too serious, here are more photos of where we hope to be.

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simple things

these random photos represent a few good aspects of our simple life right now:  good cinci microbrew, homegrown veggies,  flowers from the garden, and hiking in the woods.  i’ll spare you the more complicated bureaucratic ignorance we have to deal with here in fascist transphobic ohio.

now all that is needed is the small matter of a tiny house with a big wooded yard for a garden (preferably with some water nearby) near the TN smokies, with some kitties and that other piglike thing/ i mean pug, and my kids and Gkids around.  oh, and a porch with some swingy thingies.  some bears and whatnot.

and maybe (dare we dream) some decent, reasonable folks to deal with, and less of the humiliation for being born different.  not a whole lot to ask.

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fricking sports bar

here we are at frickers, a typical ohio sports bar, where they serve pisswater beer in huge super tubes with a faucet for your convenience, while you watch the game.  (not us.  although some readers might be glad to know the pittsburgh steelers, who were playing, are highly regarded by some ohioans.)   also similarly huge burgers and BLTs.  also occasionally some good local microbrews, although usually not the ones the sign assures you they have.   so there you have it.

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chapter three: plan B from outer space

when we last left off, yours truly was back to the vortex, nervously working out how to break it to The Family that i was done, i did my time in house arrest, and needed out.  mentally, physically, and every other way i couldn’t take it anymore, maintaining a dying parent indefinitely until whichever one of us dropped first, with no way for me to afford to plan a future even if i had one.  there was no way i would be able to just pick up where i had left off at my job in MD or start all over again at that late stage in life, with meager savings and no income.  i had pretty much given up hope of any life beyond the VOE.

my friend in Ohio helped me get up the nerve to finally drop the bomb.  after the dust settled, it was a matter of negotiating the timeline of my exit strategy.  my brother in CA was a huge help as always in being a mediator and working with us to come up with a compromise.  i did everything i could to smooth the transition to my other brother taking over for me at the house.  then it was just a matter of shipping all my belongings to Ohio, and easing my way out.

i had a lot of guilt, true to my upbringing, about relinquishing the role that had been thrust upon me, but i knew if i stayed, i would soon be mentally and physically exhausted and unable to do my job adequately.  i had nothing to look forward to myself, except either dying there in the place i dreaded most, or scrambling to survive in poverty, trying never to do the same thing to my own child, become a dependent burden.  i would rather be shot first, as i have stated before.  fortunately, most of the people in my life were very supportive of my choice.

eventually i made my way to OHIO, where my new friend and i were able to pool all our meager resources together to move forward in a way that neither of us would have been able to do alone.  but i’ve blabbed enough for one day; the next episode is a whole story in itself, to be continued…

and now, lest you be disappointed, here are today’s fungus offerings, and a great blue heron.

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my doctor said my cholesterol was way over the top (for whatever they think it should be this five minutes).  it’s been like that for decades, and nothing i do has the least effect on it.  she concurred with me that it must be genetic, because i’m doing everything possible a person can do to keep it healthy.  boring story short, she gave me some drugs.

you know all those RARE side effects in the disclaimers that RARELY occur  (suicide, death, psychokiller rampage, etc…)?  well, i died.  haha, fooled you.  i just got really, really weird.  -er.  i won’t even bore you to death.  suffice it to say, i’d rather risk death by cholesterol than drug side effects.  drugs are stupid.  here is a picture of stuff i encountered in my drug-induced stupor.



the daily fungus

i’m thinking of calling my blog “the daily fungus”.  what do you think?  speaking of which, after last night’s rain, we hit the motherlode of fungi in john bryan park today.  witness:


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pretty awesome.  as is anything water, as you can see from my obsessive water shots:

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i can see you’re going to be left cliffhanging on my other narrative for a while longer, until i get back to it.  try to hang on…


what real love and fidelity look like

today (i think) is the anniversary of The Bobs, as they are sometimes called, two people very close to my heart, and respected by many of us.  thirty-two (i believe) years is a long time to be in a devoted relationship by any measure.  many marriages break up in spirit if not in letter of the law much sooner.  so here are some random photos to celebrate them.  Image 1219021732 1219021636 0403001127 1221011935 1030011922a 1030011251_1 1030011109a 1030011104 1029011054 1030010852