Birds & Spoons

A little birdie reminded me of New Year’s Eve. Actually, it was a neighbor lady. We were sitting outside on a courtyard bench, chatting like old birds while little city birds darted around us, searching the bricks for crumbs.

“You’ve got a good fellow,” she said. “I’m really glad you got together, wasn’t sure there for awhile. I remember the day you were dressed up nice and going somewhere, you walked that way and he stayed here. It was New Year’s Eve and I could tell.” She paused to give me a hard look before confiding, “I heard what you said. You didn’t see me, but you walked passed me and I heard you say, ‘I deserve better’ and thought uh-oh, she is not happy.”

Uh-oh, note to self: stop thinking out loud.

I wasn’t sure there for awhile myself, but I did not tell her that. I just told her that I wasn’t happy that night but it worked out okay; he caught up with me later, found me in a coffee shop.

I showed her pictures of the house and assured her that I will not be a stranger, after all, my “fellow” has an apartment in this building. That could be a perk after I move since there is no night service on the bus route near the house. I can come downtown for art shows and poetry readings or whatever, just stay at his place, catch a bus in the morning instead of paying for a taxi ride home. He won’t mind… actually, it was his suggestion.

Some people are surprised that he is not moving with me, considering that we practically live together now. We talked about it… bottom line is we both need space. Here, we each have our own apartment. We are not together 24/7/365… I believe that’s what makes this relationship work.

We are polar opposites. Our life styles are very different. I’m a Maker, he’s not… so I need time and space to make art, bead jewelry, write, sew, crochet, or whatever and he needs time and space to do non-maker things like lounge around in his shorts all day watching sports, cartoons, or movies on television while playing games on his cell phone between naps.

That’s not all he does, but see what I mean? If he moved in with me, all the little things that don’t matter now suddenly will… we would get on each other’s nerves something fierce.

He has voiced his own concerns, mainly his fear of ending up homeless if he gave up his apartment to move in with me. Part of me wants to reassure him that I would never just kick him out, but a little birdie whisper stops me. I cannot guarantee that I will never say those fateful words. What if he turns into a royal ass?

I guess I’m still not sure of anything. This is life lived raw, right here, right now. I don’t know what tomorrow will bring so I just cherish the moments, love with open hands… not sure what to hold on to… even friendship flies away.

Speaking of little birdies… I was treated to lunch at the Mocha House the other day and my sister’s fiance gifted us both with measuring spoons. She picked spoons with bluebirds of happiness, quite fitting as she seems very happy these days, and I picked this set. Thank you Jai and Brian Sha!


Please ignore my distorted reflection in the leaf shaped bowls. I snapped the photo with my tablet.

Thanks for reading!

Closing Time

Semisonic’s Closing Time continuously plays in my head… it’s almost closing time, with a slightly different meaning than the song as I am not hanging out in bars… too stone cold sober for that. I’m just waiting to close this house deal so I can to go out to the place I will be from (to play with lyrics).

Please… take me home. Here’s one corner of the yard.

I’m thinking about planting Mars’ ashes in that far corner and marking his spot with art. The mosaic spores would add a nice splash of color between the tree and decorative grass.

I had hopes to be out of this apartment before Wednesday, August 31st, but… looks like I might be here for another week or two. My loan is approved, but we can’t close until the grant issuer has everything she needs. I’ll find out on Tuesday if she needs ONE MORE piece of paper.

Oh gosh, so much paper… so many i’s to dot and t’s to cross. I might exhale when we set a closing date. Nah, buying a house is a bit like opera… it’s not a done deal till the last page is signed.

What should I sing when I have the keys in hand?

Hibernation Contemplation

Okay, just thoughts… as wicked winds sweep through the concrete canyons of downtown Youngstown, splitting at the intersection of Market and Boardman Streets to whip flags to fly in different directions, and snow blows when it may, I savor the solitude of winter hibernation.

Cabin Fever is never an issue.  I have more than enough to keep myself busy, mainly photos to snap and dozens of listings to write up and post as I slowly stock the virtual shelves  in my new web store. (That, I write about on my biz blog, YBWorks. This blog is my personal blog… where I can write about anything.) There is always something to do as temps drop bitter cold.

I like being alone, as in solitude is when things get done.

It is also a good time to think. My thoughts wander on their own, sift and sort and draw conclusions free from distractions of social interactions.

I have determined that the only way I can continue to live in this apartment building is by distancing myself from the group home mentality that goes on here. It is “senior housing” for elderly and disabled persons, but it is not an assisted living type facility. It is an apartment building. I rented an apartment in this building, just as I would rent an apartment anywhere else. It is not a “room” as I heard a security guard refer to someone’s apartment, nor am I a “resident” who “stays” here. I am a tenant. I live in a rented apartment. Terms used to describe things are important. Words are important.

This is not my first rental rodeo… I’ve lived in many apartments over the years, had over a dozen different landlords, and never had a landlord’s management staff so involved in their tenant’s lives. Therefore, I must take steps to maintain an appropriate tenant/landlord relationship with the staff here. That means that I cannot participate in activities planned for residents. I know that they are trying to provide social interaction opportunities and helpful services for elderly and disabled people who may otherwise go without, but the line between property management and running an unlicensed facility sometimes gets blurred.  I feel like I’m in a group home with my visitors monitored, that the file the service coordinator wants to update is my client file, so no… I cannot go to bingo or anything else going on here. For my own mental health, I have to pretend that this is a NORMAL apartment building. Otherwise, I will have to exit sooner than planned.

Yes, I have an exit plan.  Management may be happy to read that I plan to move out someday (yes, read… I heard that links were shared after I wrote about the sensor issues.) Family will be happy, as the frequency of fire trucks called to this location (mostly for minor kitchen smoke) makes them worry about me being trapped in a major fire here. But, that is NOT why I am moving. My reasons are personal. I am looking down the barrel at the last twenty years of my life (if I’m lucky to live so long) and making decisions about where and how I want to spend my golden years.

To execute my plan, I have to downsize and raise some serious moving cash. It will take some time… maybe a year or two, but it feels good to have a plan.

Tomorrow will be another frigid day.  I tried to snap a cell photo of how the winds whip flags in different directions back in daylight (yesterday, as it is after midnight) but snow fog obscures the view of flags flying atop the courthouse. Here it is…


No matter how you slice it, the winds flowing through the concrete canyons are COLD!

Thanks for reading!