a heart is captive

a heart is captive

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Good Enough

I live in my own world of good enough. I am painting my bedroom a deep shade of chocolate brown- over the 112 year old white plaster walls that if I had any real money should be redone. There are a lot of places that are good enough painted since the drapes cover the area up, or a piece of big furniture. The plaster is not smooth but has little dips that are hard and maddening to get the paint into, tiny, tiny little dips; but step 2 feet away and those white spots are gone. So good enough. For the other rooms a different roller head will be used, more nappy, for the texture that can't be seen. If I was like my Mom nothing would ever be done since I do not follow all the steps. I do not do all the prep work and will paint over some dust. I barge right in a do it and it looks good enough for my lifetime.

I really do not care what others think when they buy this house. They will not like the color anyway. The person who had this house before me was not even up to my level of good enough. He was a beef-witted person who had no sense of aesthetics. The rumors about him may be true.

I use the good stuff, wear the fancy stuff and do not save anything anymore for special occasions.....everyday I am alive is a special occasion. I will let the dishes go if I am tired and just go to bed. I will not vacuum now if the weather is rare and the porch is calling me. I do watch the stars and moon and sunrises and sun sets. I even watch the wood rats come and eat at the feeder. If I let the chipmunk and squirrels eat why not the wood rats? I feed the pigeons & starlings along with the more showy birds. They are all my cousins on this earth. I share what I have.

It is Easter tomorrow and even though I am over the religion bit, I like the idea of the Spring festival of flowers, decorated eggs, bunnies, and even the Jesus story is nice. I watched my favorite Jesus story yesterday and may watch it again( Jesus Christ Super Star). I will not dye eggs this year since I need to still get this house up to good enough, but next Spring? I will try. And the eggs I buy are already a nice brown color. The cats( inkee, sherin, & sidney) like a scrambled egg in the morning and I oblige them.

So what else is good enough? Ah that is still yet to be done to that level. But soon this house house will be good enough and look nice. And if a person is welcomed and served something nice and the chat is good is than not Good Enough?

Monday, March 25, 2013

An Idea I have had for Decades

The world is an ever changing place, and to meet the challenges as quickly as possible to avert major economic and social hardships new solutions to the problem of affordable housing need to be started now. Everyone deserves a safe, clean, secure place to live. Yet the industrialized nations also need to limit their carbon footprint.
In Europe and North America there are far too many homeless people, and far too many isolated people struggling to make ends meet in over priced apartments, living with slobs for room mates, or needing to commute from reasonably priced housing to the city for their work. New housing uses more resources than needed per individual for an environmentally friendly lifestyle. Simply put individual houses and self contained apartments use more resources. Also there are those who need to travel to jobs as itinerant workers or temporary workers, but still need reasonable and secure homes for shorter periods of time or a home to come back to.
The new age solution is an olden days staple- The Boarding House. A modern take on the old boarding house is a workable solution to many social and environmental problems in today’s society.
First, what was a Boarding House?
A Boarding House was a two to four story house that had rooms on each floor, each floor having a bath room and toilet room to be shared by those on the floor. The rooms were furnished; some were spacious with a separate sitting area, some were smaller with just a bed, dresser, closet, an easy chair, table and lamp. All the room rents included two meals a day- Breakfast and Supper. Some had Tea time and sack lunches available.
The residents and the owner/operator ate in the dinning room, with fixed times for meals. There could be a common room for receiving visitors, conversation, music or other activities-like card games, jigsaw puzzles and the like.
Single men, women, couples with-out children, widows, widowers, retired elders, and traveling business people frequented these places. Long term residency was common with some Houses having extra rooms to let on a weekly basis. Today a mix of people will also be residents.
Retired, widowed, young adults starting out, and those in between need a safe, secure, and friendly place to live. With wages falling, the idea of ownership of a house or setting up house in an apartment has become the impossible dream or the nightmare of living above one’s means for many people; as well as isolating and using more resources than needed for a comfortable life.
The Boarding House of today and the future would cater to individuals of similar needs such as Vegans and Vegetarians. A mix of ages and genders is optimal for a family like setting to keep individuals from becoming isolated and the related ills with isolation. Structure of a home-like atmosphere as well as the freedom of independent living combine to become the ultimate safety net to avoid homelessness and reckless behaviors. It also allows for individuals to put money aside, live a more green lifestyle since less resources are needed to accommodate the 8-20 people in one house rather than individual apartments & houses, lessen commutes, thus traffic congestion. A Boarding House gives security to the residents - how many people have some one that can be called in case of emergency? Who will know if you are over due getting home from your day, or not up for breakfast? Who will know if you were living alone? An example of why this matters is a colleague of mine- an unmarried woman who had a small home did not show up for work after a 3 day weekend. After calling her phone number it was decided to go to her house and the police were called and she was found dead of an apparent fall in the bathroom- had she lived with someone or was a resident of a Boarding House she would have had someone hear her calls for help, been attended to, and not died.
Boarding Houses should be owner operated and not corporate chains. This as a cottage industry would employ people, add to income and create a more friendly, caring society.
With all the modern technology -wifi, cable, cell phones, head phones, people can live with each other and still have a nice amount of privacy. If the idea of shared bathroom facilities are incompatible, then the new smaller all in one bathrooms can be added to the remodeling and retro fitting of buildings that could be converted into Boarding Houses. An ideal is to have these boarding houses in the cities, on the public transit systems, in mixed use neighborhoods. Areas of cities that once were mixed commercial can be revitalized with residents and vacant areas adjacent to the houses can be gardens where flowers and vegetable can be grown by the residents and owner.
There are many levels of service that a Boarding House can provide- laundry, meals of course, internet, cable. The idea is to have less space and resources used by just one person- such as a 4 room apartment ( bedroom, living room, bathroom, kitchen) and all the paraphernalia that goes with housekeeping contribute to a more green society.
Making meals in itself is a time consuming process that needs special equipment, planning, shopping, and clean up. Many single people either don’t eat correctly leading to illness, obesity, over thinness, or eat out adding to the cost of living and added cost of the useless complete kitchen space in the rented apartment. Sharing meals has been proven to bring people together, creating compassion, camaraderie, better nutrition and mental health.
The convenience of a Boarding House is no room mates from hell and no isolation. The people who will work in service to the house- an honorable, useful job- can get room and board with a small salary for their time and work. Running a boarding house is like running a family- there is cleaning, cooking, shopping, paying the bills as well as the joy of a friendly home and companionship. With these chores out of the way the residents can be relieved of the added stress of a household albeit a one person household- in the times of job insecurity and dwindling paychecks.
Boarding Houses can accommodate pets, and other essentials of living well. The cost to live in a Boarding House should be less than an apartment with as much opportunity for privacy. The responsibility of the residents is to be clean, tidy, have cordial behavior to all or out they go- unlike the room mate on the lease!
Unlike a co-op living arrangements where everyone is suppose to pull their share of work, and we all know they do not, the Boarding House takes care of the cleaning, cooking, and laundry. The resident keeps his or her room neat and tidy, leaves the shared bath room ready for the next user, and the common rooms also neat and tidy. Responsibility and a safe, affordable home- a win-win solution for many of societies people as well as the developed world using less of the finite resources.
The Modern Boarding House is one solution for Europe’s and North America’s housing and societal ills in the face of dwindling paychecks, isolation of single individuals, land use, and the decline of the current standard of living of the Western world. It will be much easier to relocate for work, sit tight when unemployed, and still not face living on the streets. Change should now start to be for the better. It is time to come full circle.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

A little slice of life ( mine)

When I look at all the retro items for sale and bringing high money, I like a lot of it but stop fast when I think for me in my home it will just look like an old lady lives here like I saw when I was y'alls age. Crap, that is just what I need is to be reminded I am closer to the grave than most of you.
I feel like I am living with a teenager though....this old lady stays up late watching TV and sleeps 'til 10 and has breakfast at 11:30am. I am popping up at dawn and dragging me to bed after 8 since I was able to convinced her to got to her room by then, but I still need to clean the place before I can go up. I am dying here people. This is one of the big reasons I hate cable....one is a slave to the time the program is on or one needs to get all manner of electronic crap to to record stuff...I rather rent or buy DVDs and watch when I feel like watching.
Last night I did see a super episode of Dr Who, I do not have it in my set so I need to get it (I hate commercials but love the time outs to hit the head) Was that Timothy Dalton as a Time Lord? I really enjoyed the show but hated dragging me up at after 11pm. The years I spent in the theater when we did not get home until 5am are long over and I now know why the old guest director left the early!
My Circadian Rhythms are out of whack since the time change and being in a Northern latitude when the days get much longer fairly fast is not helping. I pop up at dawn, the new wall color is helping and will help once it is finished.
I feel busy in the mornings and late afternoons. I like a movie or an episode of a program at 1pm. supper by 5 and up stairs to relax, shower and read by 7. I am at my best with this schedule and need to be at my best.
So I have a person who has done her own things at her own times all her life living with me. I need to move her into my schedule since I am the one who does all the work. I feel like I am being a bit disrespectful but if it is not my way it is a nursing home for her.
I am ready for Spring. Winter was nice but I need a bit warmer weather to get my outside tidy and looking nice.
So this slice of life is brought to you by me!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

A Weekend of Fear

Yes, it has been a hard several days. I made an important decision and need to talk to the person in question. I am on a roller coaster of emotion if she says no. I need to wait until Monday. I admit I need help in this house. I am in pain at times that nothing makes go away. I have modern medical money makers to thank for the muscle damage I have. So I wait and have these impossible conversations in my head, which is nothing new. I have done this since childhood, as an only child I had no one to talk to. And I did not invent an imaginary friend until a few years ago and he is not much help at this time. Although he did push me a bit to make this decision. As much as I tried I could not do what I thought I could do, or used to do. Times have changed so much. I was using an interesting website last night and my bit of money I get each month was worth $10,000 in 1932! I was watching a movie from the year and plugged in the numbers. Today I can't rent a flea bag apartment for the money I get!
So getting a village girl to come in and be a house helper is impossible. She needs more money than I have to just make her ends meet. Society has become so fractured that people rather do nothing than stoop to be a house helper....unless it pays very well......then, even then, there is a stigma or something to be "in service". In service... what we all do in a way when we work for someone else.

If there were real universal health care in this country then I could hire someone and not worry about the benefits I can not pay that a human being needs. If there were a real mind set change in this country then others would not feel that "in service" was somehow beneath them as honest and useful work.
Society has changed so much that it is really not better. Not really. We are isolated from the neighbors and uncaring about the needs of others that we could be of service to. I was a nanny for a summer, then a primary care giver. I also am educated and was a college teacher for a while too. Now I am alone and overwhelmed with duty and my own desires for my end of the road life. I never wanted much and now I am holding on to what ever I have so I do not fall into the abyss. I hope there is good news on Monday.