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Ark Building 101

Yes I am alive.  Awake and unhappily so at o’dark thirty in the middle of the night but alive.

Work is fine.  Kids are alive.  Bills downright scary but starting next month should be considerably more manageable.

In general life is pretty decent, just physically and emotionally tiring.  My BP is truly scary – despite meds.  I need to remedy that this week.  I’m taking such a small dose that I suspect it won’t be hard to get the numbers in line with a more aggressive schedule, but I need to get ahold of the doc to make it so.  Jean-Luc Picard-ism notwithstanding.

Daughter’s in school four nights a week and since baby daddy is 1) unreliable as heck and 2) a complete and total ass and 3) likely to become homeless at any given moment (see reason #2, which drives his propensity to piss off the whomever’s paying for the digs where he’s mooching living)…  I have been designated head babysitter.  I adore my grandson, but it’s murder getting up at 3am, working a full time shift, then coming home to babysit for the remainder of the day.  Lucky for me the baby’s normally both good-natured and good about going to bed early and staying asleep.  G does help a bit.  G simply never did daddy duty in his life so he’s learning the skills from scratch.  He’s also convinced that if he bitches about things enough, somehow it will magically change.

Ergo the bulk of things still fall to me.

It leaves precious little time for blogging these days.  Or anything else, for that matter.

Mother Nature decided to take pity on us early this year.  Our temps are tumbling to the point you actually enjoy living here.  Today was gorgeous.  I love being outdoors on a day when it’s so beautiful (and was, nearly all day). It’s also been the first day in a while that hasn’t been rainy, which is bizarre for this part of the world.  We are living in the desert.  We get rain for (if we’re lucky) a couple of weeks in July, and maybe a day or three, generally spread out one or two days at a time in November or February.  Ongoing rain – crazy cool and just plain crazy, for us.

Not so thrilled by the joints flaring up again, but that comes with the territory.  Driving a stick shift for the moment – which ironically has cruise control.  Work days it’s easy because my drive’s virtually all freeway; and since I miss the rush hour rush I actually use the cruise.  Definitely makes life easier for the knee.  I go back to the orthopedic specialist this week.  He’ll probably dismiss me permanently now.  Knee hurts but it’s the normal seasonal stuff.  I’m not seeing the ridiculous swelling to suggest more surgery’s in my future.

This probably sounds disjointed.  Probably because it is, heh.

Still loving the house and don’t care that it entails a longer drive.  I can manage that part fine.

We have scored a lot of stuff on the cheap from yard sales – tools for keeping up said yard, etc.  I did break down and spend a couple of bucks for “extras” today – things I didn’t technically need but just plain wanted.  An MP3 player – since my old one is gradually losing its ability to hold a charge – and an uncharacteristic bit of frou-frou for the house.  Not frou-frou as in overtly femmy stuff, just a yard-sale goodie to hang on the back porch.

We also discovered a bit of local fun known as Schnepf Farms.  It’s a bit more than what you typically think of as a farm.  It has a pick-your-own-vegetables offering, a miniature train running through the property, and an upcoming pumpkin-and-chili fest.  According to the lady in their store (which features something like fifty different types of salsa, among other things) their Octoberfest draws about 120,000 people.  That’s a heck of a lot, considering the town itself only has a population around 80,000.

Yeah that’s something else I didn’t realize before we moved here.  While we’re nowhere near the size of the immediate Phoenix metro area, neither is this the itty bitty spot on the map I was picturing.  It’s also just this side of Stepford World.  There are no real slummy areas: the only old parts of town are ranches.  Some of the ranch properties are dotted with double-wides instead of homes, and a few of those fall well below the threshold that could be considered attractive.  Still, they’re privately owned homes.  If you hear a siren here it’s a pretty safe bet it’s either a traffic accident or somebody’s home is on fire.  The crime rate is virtually nonexistent.  The big “crime” of the area is speeding – which has been elevated to an art form.

There are a few – VERY few – apartment complexes.  The city’s mostly newer subdivisions, managed communities, interspersed with stretches alternately of undeveloped desert or acres of farmland.  There is a downtown “strip” where older businesses sit across from new and upscale malls.  There’s not a single thrift store in town.  It’s downright surreal to me to live where we live, considering I spent the vast majority of my life as poor as a churchmouse.  I love it, don’t get me wrong.  It just doesn’t quite feel real yet.

G’s taken some pictures and put them on his own site. I stole ’em.

All these were taken in the immediate vicinity of our house.  After living so many years in dilapidated apartments, imploding trailers or worse, this definitely seems surreal.  Awesome, but surreal.

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