August, Already?

Wow, this week has been a wild ride. How is it already August? Can you believe it?

A dear friend moved 1,200 miles away this over the weekend. All but one of my friend has left Phoenix in the last two years, due to catapulting rental rates. It seems the only people who can afford Phoenix anymore are those who bought their homes many years ago or households with two high-earners. Our home has been a nightmare, but I’m still grateful for our lemon of a home. On the verge of condemnation, it’s still valued at around $300,000. Madness!

I’m not quite sure how to meet people as a 30-something without children. I hate to generalize, but most of the women I’ve meet at hobby related meetup groups are the mean, hyper-opinionated types that berate you for accidentally using the wrong pronoun or bringing up a topic you didn’t know they find offensive. I haven’t tried in years, and I feel drained just thinking about it. So, I’m joining a group of elderly women who sew quilts for veterans and teach children history. A nice group of grandmas wouldn’t do me wrong, right?

My parents recently adopted two ragdoll kittens. The fluffy and blue-eyed brother and sister have been little bundles of energy. However, the male recently started acting lethargic with labored breathing and weight loss. The four-month old has been at the vet all week with a bacterial chest infection, surely running up a bill. On Monday, they weren’t sure he would make it, but he seems to be doing better after several days of IV antibiotics. Good thing, too, because his sister is desperate to have her playmate back.

Things have been heated in Arizona following yesterday’s primary elections. In each category, the options were to vote for “the establishment,” “the fringe,” or “the most competent.” For each position, I voted based on experience, competence, and the sturdiness of their defined plan to address the state’s issues. And not a single candidate I voted for won. That’s all well and good by me, as I got to exercise my right to participate in our constitutional republic. But goodness, some people have really got their panties in a bunch! Far too many people seem to choose their ideas based on their political party (or other) identity, rather than independently developing ideas and then choosing the candidate that most closely reflects their own views and values. It’s a bit backwards, I must say. And the hostility, even within families, breaks my heart.

We’re been out of our home for five months today. The HOA accepted responsibility until the remediation company gave their quote. The HOA’s insurance company is kicking the can and threatening to sue the company that conducted the (failed) 2018 mold remediation. Our homeowner’s insurance dropped us and flagged us in the system. And, we finally found a lawyer who is willing to help us, pending actions taken by the HOA and their insurance. Whatever happens, it looks like we will be out of our home for years, while paying thousands in property taxes and community dues, until the legal details are all ironed out. What a nightmare!

As I’ve regained my health, I’ve set all kinds of goals around reading, crafting, and learning new skills. It’s been tough during our stay with my in-laws, as they are the type to freak out over a sticky note on the desk or a splash of water on the counter. Our merely existing in the space feels like a major intrusion, so I find myself reading articles on my phone in my downtime. Did you know that “snake oil” originated in China and Chinese water snake is actually an anti-inflammatory cure-all, but that Westerners sold rattlesnake oil, which does not have the same beneficial qualities as its Eastern counterpart? Have you heard of Mehrangarh, the architectural wonder constructed in 1459 in Jodhpur, India? The fortress and palace complex covers 1,200 acres, sits on a hill 120 meters above the surrounding plains, and is a labyrinth of courtyards, galleries, and shrines, filled with extraordinary paintings, carvings, and mosaics.

Finally, it’s been raining cats and dogs in Phoenix! It’s exceptionally cooler and wetter than is typical for this time of year, so I’m spending a lot of time our on the patio taking it all in. The weather is such a treat. I envy those of you who get to experience rainy weather on a regular basis, I really do.

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