Well, the latest thing in my life is that I moved back to Minneapolis. I moved in with an old friend and her family and other housemates -- about half the people in the house are related, and it's a big house. It's very cool. I've now met all my housemates and neighbors in the building, even the busy ones who aren't around every day. I have seen the Great Library of SFF and my jaw dropped to the floor -- one of my housemates is a book collector who got together with another book collector and I thought the books down on the second floor in the living room were great. I was wondering where the fiction was. Till I went up and visited their rooms going through to the third bathroom when the other two were in use.

Wow. It was like seeing a normal size town library in a reasonably literate town -- except that 90% of it is SFF and the paperbacks are more numerous than hardbacks. I was stunned. It's alphabetized. I can borrow books, but I'll have to be careful to reshelve them because this is not a public library where people getting a reasonably good paycheck reshelve everything. This is a private collection and it must have taken them a long time getting them that organized.

I've got 31 days of residency before I can get General Assistance up here -- the up side is that it's only 31 days instead of New York's six month residency. I might go a few of those days without some of my medication, or not. A friend in Colorado is going to try to pick up my February prescriptions and if he does, great, then I won't have to worry about being covered till I get on the GA Medical plan up here. If not, I could be in serious trouble.

I've got nine left of my one-a-day medication, and that one makes a huge difference in how well I function. But I needed to get moved in. Starting February 1, I have a 100,000 word Novel Dare at Hobgoblin.net and that's going to help if I have to do without one of my medications entirely and skimp on the other. Writing is analgesic. If I get completely distracted by focusing on a new novel, I can ignore pain a lot better than if I'm not writing. Hopefully instead, I'll get my medication and it won't be a problem.

I wrecked my back and legs yesterday in a massive effort working on getting my room cleared out. I like my room. It's private, it has a door, I can go in there and close it and focus on writing or whatever without too much trouble and it has two windows. I'll get enough light in there. But it had been someone else's room. Someone else moved down to the second floor into a different room but had years of stuff up there stored or up on the walls, lots of little personal things that I felt awkward trying to deal with. When I asked, she told me it was okay for me to pack them up so for a week I've been packing small stuff categorically and trying not to damage anything because it's not my stuff. I don't know what's important or not.

We finally got it all out yesterday, and another housemate is doing a barter arrangement for vacuuming and helping me get set up in there. That rocks. Together we got several more days worth of stuff brought down and then last night the person moving out got the last three stacks and packages that were set out in the middle of the room. She changed her mind about leaving the desk up there and lending it to me though, so I'll be looking for a desk on Freecycle and using my rolling cart for a desk. Or putting a plank across stacks of plastic tubs.

Barter housemate got the idea of shampooing the carpet instead of just vacuuming, which will rock. Having the room deep clean before I unpack any of my stuff will help a lot for me to figure out how to keep it clean with minimal effort. I've been working on this for about eleven days not and it'll be one more day's delay, but in the long run it will help. Ari won't get confused by the scent of various other cats -- it'll be all clean and he'll have his box and recognize it.

I love him and I miss him. He's spent most of the time I've been here down in the basement rafters hiding from the dogs. Since the stairs are one of the dogs' favorite hangouts, he has a hard time getting upstairs for anything. Yesterday he did creep upstairs at a time they were all asleep and I gave him a whole bag of Pounce treats and a lot of food and water, we spent hours snuggling and purring. He even stayed up here in the second floor living room while I slept and woke me up stomping on my chest and purring. But when helping-housemate and I went upstairs to work on the room, he ran down the stairs again. Poor little guy. Another day's delay will be hard on him, but at least he's safe and warm inside and nothing happened to him during the days he vanished.

The dogs are not actually dangerous to cats. They're playful and like to chase them. The other cats have learned that if they don't want to play, all they have to do is lay down and refuse to move. Ari has a phobia though. They're big and he's terrified of dogs. I can see the tails wagging and hear the difference between "come play" barks and aggressive growling. Ari can't distinguish that and has been terrified since the night we got here. Having his own room where we can shut the door and dogs are not allowed at all will help him a lot.

In a month or so, the house will also have puppies. Efforts to separate Sam from Frodo and Ginger weren't enough and clever Sam managed to get around them, twice, result being a litter of blue heeler pups and a litter of large red half-heelers, both of which litters the owners seem confident about placing somewhere (probably on farms, since these are really big dogs and the blue heelers are great herding dogs). What it means for me and Ari is that I'd better get everything I own upstairs if I don't want it chewed.

I'm living on the third floor. This won't be as bad as New York because I'm not crossing a huge sports field sized yard along with climbing the stairs, and the stairs are indoors. It's easier to stop at landings and not take them all at once. Laundry is going to be an expedition once a month but when I do it, I'll bring down a book or my laptop and hang out in the laundry room till it's done.

I've had two years of recovering from New York. My good days are more functional than they used to be, but I can tell that living here will take strategy and days of recovery when I go out to do things. It could work if I'm very careful and don't go out often.

My friend invited me to stay "as long as you need to" and said about rent "donations gratefully accepted." I know from past experiences that if there's any economic hardship, it creates a huge tension in the household and can wind up in my having to leave. But I found out what the suggested rent is if I'm working or getting enough from benefits to pay it, and that this state gives General Assistance to people who have "temporary or permanent illness and haven't been able to work for 30 days, but are not also getting SSI. Well. I am still trying to get SSI and that would be $545 a month which would make the rent easy, and even General Assistance up in New York was $427 and could still make the rent possible. I'd be a bit tight but I'd actually have some money left over every month for spending cash or, because I'm still getting settled, furnishing my room bit by bit when I've gone through the old stuff from previous tenants and gone through Freecycle to see what they have. I need to get a bed, a dresser and hopefully a usable armchair with a lot of padding.

Down in the pile of stuff abandoned by previous tenants I thought I saw a rattan armchair with cushions, that if I cleaned it up and added more cushions could work and fit the bill. That could be very cool. I'm going down today just to see what's there and if I find anything good, get help getting it upstairs after the carpet's dried.

It'll take work, but I think I can make that room cosy and hopefully manage to stay longer in one place than I have since I left the shelters and NY subsidized housing. Time to go see what's going on and bring my scared cat some food...


Wow, I didn't realize I still had this blog. Cool. I thought it was deleted for inactivity, but I guess not. That's very cool.

Guess I'll update it now and then since I know it's still here. :)