Christine, the strawberry girl (thirtiesgirl) wrote,
Christine, the strawberry girl

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Geez, it seems like forever since I've visited or posted anything on LJ. That's largely due to the fact that I moved to a new place at the end of last month and have been busy settling in, finishing up the school year (graduation was the first week of June, which creates a lot of extra work for high school counselors), and learning what streets to take in my new neighborhood.

I don't live that far from the neighborhood where I lived before; just a few miles east, adding about 10 minutes to my work commute (as much of a commute as a 20-minute drive to work is). The new neighborhood is largely Latino, more than the previous place I lived, and not as attractive. It's what I'd call "urban residential." It's certainly not suburban; there aren't exactly tree-lined streets, spacious yards and space between the houses. But there aren't any businesses around; all the structures are houses, duplexes, and the occasional small apartment building - all residential. But everything's very crowded together, house right next to house, with tiny yards, or no yard at all. A lot of little stucco houses with iron fences in front, very typical of many Latino neighborhoods in L.A.

It's generally a quiet neighborhood, except for the frequent car and foot traffic on the street outside. I didn't realize this was such a busy street when I moved here, but there's a popular liquor store several blocks north on one of the main cross streets, and apparently my street is a major artery to the Port of L.A., where a lot of people who live in this neighborhood work. Two weeks ago, somebody down the block was playing mariachi music pretty loudly on a Friday night, and last Saturday, there was a party, I believe at the same location, with Latino hip hop and reggaeton music being played at top volume. It went on for several hours, which was pretty frustrating. During the first hour, they also shot off several rounds of buckshot, although it could have been fireworks, since we're getting close to July 4th. It didn't sound like fireworks, though. I've heard buckshot before and that's what it sounded like. So I expect this area will get pretty noisy around July 4th. I'm not looking forward to it, and my cats won't like it either. I hope I don't have to deal with parties and noise like this every weekend. I moved here to get away from the crazy, noisy neighbors at my previous apartment.

On the upside, though, my new place is much more spacious than my old apartment. My cats have more room to run around and explore. There's also a small laundry room where, for the first time in my life, I now have my own clothes washer and dryer. No more saving quarters and sharing a laundry room with other tenants. Yeah, the washer/dryer cost me $1400, including the warranty, but it's worth it to finally have my own place to do laundry, and not be at the mercy of other tenants.

The new place is a duplex, which means I have only one immediate next door neighbor who shares a wall with me. She's a little Latino grandmother who speaks no English and is generally very quiet. Yesterday, two of her 5 year old grandsons were visiting and making a little more noise than usual. But that's not a constant thing, so I hear hardly any noise from her, which is fantastic. No more crazy tenant upstairs, dropping hand weights on the floor (my ceiling), jumping on a trampoline, elephant-walking across the floor, and whatever other crazy shit she did up there. No more homicidal neighbors trying to hit me with their Sherman tank-sized truck. It's so nice to be away from that crap.

In other news, my mother is still living at the convalescent facility where she ended up last year. Her physical health is about the same as when she went in - still weak, still needing lots of bed rest. But she's no worse than she was last year, which is a sign that she's getting good care and maintaining her physical health. Mentally, however, she still continues to deteriorate, her dementia making slow but steady progress. On the positive side, she's starting to accept the reality of her situation and recognize that as much as she might want to leave the convalescent home, she's going to be there indefinitely, and that her memory isn't what it used to be. I think her acceptance of those issues might have something to do with the meds she's being prescribed, which I'm guessing include some anti-anxiety meds to help her deal with the situation.

The family house is also in the process of being sold, largely to help pay for my mom and her former housemate L’s medical care. As I think I’ve written here before, L has moved to a posh elder care facility about 45 minutes south of our hometown. Right now, she’s living in her own little apartment at the facility. She has a car and can drive to the grocery store or wherever she needs to go. They also serve meals and provide medical care at the facility. And when the time comes that L needs constant care, as my mom does now, she’ll give up her apartment and move into the actual convalescent facility where they’ll provide that for her. It seems a nice set-up for someone who should be doing time and paying fines for the money and property she helped steal from my mom, as well as the elder abuse she participated in. I try not to let myself think about it, though, just to keep my sanity on an even keel.

The public guardian’s office, which is handling the sale of the house, has actually found a buyer for it. But they've encountered problems with the sale, due to the trust my mom and L had created. The public guardian's office sent L’s son R and I some legal documents to sign, stating we’re OK with the guardian’s office taking over the sale of the house, relinquishing our control of the trust. R and I will still each receive our portion of the money from the sale of the house, should anything be left after L and my mom’s expenses. But we needed to let the court know we were OK with the guardian’s office doing what they need to do to secure the sale of the house. Which I guess they’ve done at this point. I haven’t heard from the guardian’s office in a few weeks, so I’ll have to call them soon to check in and see how things are going.

I’m hoping there some money left after my mom is gone, which I know sounds incredibly callous to admit. But I owe $60,000 in student loans which is growing every day, thanks to my interest rate. And I’d eventually like to buy my own place, which I can’t afford on my current salary. I don’t see that changing any time soon. But I know my mom and L’s care facilities aren’t cheap, and I do want my mom to be comfortable and receive good care, which she is. I’d also like to have some financial security myself, which I know I won’t be able to achieve with my salary as a public educator. I hope it’s possible to achieve both. Only time will tell.

For now, I just need to focus on my new place, settling in and finding my feet again after a pretty hellish move. I’ll have work issues to deal with again in another 6 weeks and a somewhat incompetent boss to work with. Those issues will take my focus away from my fucked up family, or former family, as I now view L and her son R. I still have no idea how I’m supposed to process my feelings about all the crazy shit they pulled in the last 2 years. I can barely deal with my own life, let alone deal with my feelings about the crap they did.

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