Home Sweet Iowa!

I cannot believe how long it has been since I have put in a post! It’s been a happy and busy time since Em and Harry packed me up and we drove west from Ferndale, Michigan where I was stuck for five long years.

We had about a week’s notice before I moved. Em and Harry rented a car and drove up and packed me within about two days. With no help. It was amazing to see Em going high speed on overtime! I am so grateful to her and Harry and Hart for the last minute planning and execution of The Move Home!

It was about the last week of June when we drove Home. Em and Harry drove the Uhaul and I drove the Subaru full of cats and Zeph, the super service dog. It was quite an organizational nightmare. Not even “kind of” like herding cats. It was LITERALLY herding cats!

We spent the night just south of St. Joseph.  I had a great plan to organize the animals in the hotel room. Em and I put up two large dogs kennels and put Pascha in one and Cielle and her sister, Faerie, in the other, each kennel having a litter box, food and water. Perfect!

We arrived in Iowa the next afternoon. Em and Harry unloaded my stuff into my friend, Gwendolyn Countryman’s garage.  The animals and i took up residence on her three season glassed in porch. Gwen was on the road for a week so I was helping with housesitting.

The weather for the week that we stayed there was up into the nineties or higher every single day. I hung batiks over the glass windows and used my floor model air conditioner and it was perfect!

After a week, we went to live in the very famous Bloom County House at the corner of Summit and College. Berkeley Breathed made it famous by putting it as the location for his world famous “Bloom County” comic strip with Bill the Cat and Opus the Penguin. By the way, Opus can be found in the second floor bathroom! I am still looking for Bill!

I loved being on the third floor of that famous mansion! We were in the room where Berkeley hung out with his girlfriend! The view from the third floor was wonderful! I felt like I was in a treehouse overlooking the beauty of the richest street in Iowa City!

I put the floor model air conditioner in the window and it stayed on max crank for the whole month, which broke all previous heat records. Sometimes it would still get up to almost 90 but only for a day or two, cooling off at night down to the mid 70s.

I loved living in community! I had always dreamed of living in The Bloom County House! Back in the day, artists and musicians rented rooms in it. It was finally purchased by the River City Housing Collective and was upgraded and fixed to its present state it has today.

My roomies were amazing! Kim Scribble has worked for political campaigns for years. She got on with Bernie this time too! She is the untitled head of the house.

Zofia is from Poland. What a spritely faerie! Artist, balloon girl, barefoot Ped Maller and very smart scientist to be! She had the room next to me and we shared the third floor bathroom.

The only other people on the floor were a nice, calm giant of a kid who worked at Walgreen’s and a super gay bartender at Studio 13, the gay bar. Everyone was quiet and minimal. It was surprisingly quiet on our floor.

Kim and Tam and Eddie and John were on the second floor. I was jealous of them because their tub was not corroded like ours was on the third floor! I was also jealous because Opus lives in that bathroom! Add to that the upstairs “cupola” porch which has room for two chairs. It overlooks the front of the mansion down onto the garden.

Tam is a vet who has PTSD pretty bad. We connected on more than one level. We had more than a few intimate support based conversations. We understood each other on a level that no one else there had.

Kim I mentioned before. Smart, nice and very organized. She headed up the House Meetings and dinners. She has lived there the longest, over two years!

John, older grey haired and ponytailed, has a home in Mexico but he had to be here to care for a dying relative. Nice of him! He is a widow as his husband died recently. Unfortunately he was “voted off the island” while I was there for some vague and unspoken incident. I was sad to see him go.

Eddie. Yes, Eddie… his actual birth name! What a charming, kind and loving man! Eddie offered to be my house buddy. I was assigned to Kim but I didn’t even see her for almost the first week. I did not expect to have a guy help me but Eddie is not a “guy” in the normal sense of the word. I felt immediately that I could really trust him.

Eddie plays a green sax on the ped mall for money. He is a thoughtful philosopher who has had a rough road. He and his brother were sent to an orphanage at a young age in Hyattsville. It sounds like he had a confused childhood, staying with a pretty strict but wealthy uber xian family. The damage inflicted from all that confusion made him vulnerable to The Drink.

I hung out heavily with Eddie who helped with the yard work and vegetable garden. I taught him a few things about watering and harvesting. It was good to sit peacefully on that famous front porch and enjoy that beautiful garden.

After the month was up, Em moved me into a beautiful upstairs of a house just seven houses away from her on Webster St. I was so excited. I have always loved older Victorian style street houses! It had a huge backyard and my own driveway.

The dream of being in a beautiful place like that was crushed after the first night. I woke up with hives and asthma like I have never seen! After going to Quick Care, I knew I could not spend another night there! It was so sad. It was like a dream come true to be right down the street from Em and family.

I went back to the Bloom County House on a temporary basis. This time we were in Room 2 on the first floor next to the kitchen.  I liked it for its easy entry, nice windows and solitude, being the only occupied room on the first floor,

I had to finagle a way to get out of my lease with the upstairs place. Legal Aid was on board in case I needed them. Denise from housing was ready to help me get out of it. The landlord was rather rude about it and told me it was up to me to find a subleaser.

After three weeks, the landlord found someone who wanted to move in, releasing me from my contract. What a relief. There I was, feeling unsettled and homeless again. I have a permanent aspect of PTSD from all the times I have become homeless at various times in my life.

My kung fu nephew, Steven, is with KMB Mgmt. He and Em had looked for places for me since March. He is a very respectful nephew who takes the kung fu lineage very seriously. We looked at two places and I fell in love with the second one.

I am now in The Hood of the Iowa City Area. Love it! Reminds me of the best parts of the inner city of Detroit! There are at least 20 multi unit apartment buildings on Boston Way, which used to bring to mind gangs and tenement slums before I moved to Detroit!

I am in a half basement apartment. Number One. Nice numerology. Also the house number comes to 8, which is a sign for wealth. Add the number of my apartment to that and it represents home and family! Love it. So far it fits well!

The upstairs geek works nights as a computer guy at the U. Having so many friends from the old days who did just that, we get along very well! He shares his internet with me but I don’t know how to make it work on my end. Very nice of him though.

The people across the hall are Chicago. They come and go and the place is often empty, sometimes for days. The grandmother is a nice looking black lady. I think she works day shift. The adult son, El, works nights at a retirement home. They are cautious and to themselves.

The upstairs place was empty for a month or longer. I told my nephew, Steven, to please try to choose a quiet family, hopefully without a large dog. The couple who moved in are great. They are on disability. Two heavyset, slow speaking kids from some rural area. The guy is a trans who has to take testosterone shots once a week. Nice guy and very friendly. They have two doxies and a cat. So far, we have not run into the dogs in the stairwell.

So there you have it. I feel more at home here than I did all those years in Detroit. The vibe of that house was very abandoned and sad. Here I feel that I am the one putting the energy into these four walls and not the other way around.

I have three ongoing clients at this point. Two are professors at the U and one is a famous writer/musician and friend of mine who is elderly and handicapped. I keep doing estimates but so far these are my go to guaranteed people.

The strong sun is coming through the east side windows so I can foresee a nice day for hiking. I think Kent State Park would be a good walk for today. Talk soon, Beej & Co

Iowa City, Home of my heart

I’m back. I’m home. And of all things my vision has come true. I used to have a vision of a big yellow house on a hill with tall trees where I lived in community with other like-minded souls. I’m here. It’s the bloom County house at the corner of summit and college! It’s not yellow but it’s light green and it has a yellow front door.

In my vision the driveway was a long one surrounded by trees and had a circle in front of the house. In this case it is a circle but it’s a traffic circle right out front so sometimes as these messages come through there or not always complete but they do give some fact and this is it so I’m absolutely stunned that I’ve done it again and here I am.

Emily rented the apartment
for me without me seeing it. It’s only seven houses away from her house. It’s gorgeous and lovely and wonderful. It has a rebuilt kitchen and the carpeting is gold hazard the walls which is my favorite color for a house.

The night I moved and I had an extreme allergic reaction to the point where my armpits my crotch of my scalp uncontrollably itching and it felt like I doubt million ant bites all over. I took three and a histamine and I still could not sleep and it would not go away. I ended up moving back into the bloom County house where I’ve been waiting for the apartment for a month. My symptoms disappeared within hours.

So I’ve been told I housing in the landlord and everyone else that I’m paying rent on the place and I can’t get out of the lease until I find someone else to rent it so I might as well go back and try to live there. So I went back night before last night and the same thing happened. 2 in the morning uncontrollable itching in my crotch my armpits my skull and feeling like a thousand tiny ant bites all over my body and terrible asthma in both cases.

I took three and a histamines again and I got no more sleep and it didn’t work at all. So I’m back at Bloom County thank heaven.

I’m in room 2 which is at the back of the house near the kitchen so I don’t need to climb stairs and I have easy access to the back kitchen door to let the dog out. I absolutely love it and my bathroom which is a few feet away.

I guess I’m just going to have to pay rent in cash for the Bloom County room until I can resolve this apartment issue and have to pay rent on it also.

Regardless of my troubles, I’m ecstatic to be back in Iowa and back in Iowa City. I’ve had great visit with Emily and she has brought me dinner many times and sat around and visit it.

So I will be continuing to update you about this wonderful change in my life but at the current time I’m still fighting with this allergy situation.

I’m outside the food bank waiting to get food and then I’m on my way to a doctor’s appointment about the allergy.

Merry Christmas 2018

I’m not sure how to add a picture. I’m going to give it a try and see if I
can.

Went to Owens on Christmas Eve this year instead of Christmas day. It was kind of crazy and the kids opened all the packages when I had turned my back to serve the beautiful yule log that I bought from The patisserie on Eaton Street just north of maple. I turned around and everybody had opened everything and I guess I missed it. Next year I think I’m going to let them do that and I’ll show up later with my packages. I think it was a little too hectic for Me. Maybe I’m getting old?

I I just discovered fireplace TV by accident. Last night my Roku stick clicked on something called Pluto TV which had never heard of which is free television. I scrolled down and saw this and it was so

Ely moved to Denver.

Now I have a little bunny foo foo of my own on my bed so I can think of Ophelia all the time! Eli and his family moved to Denver last week. Ely and family along with Owen who was driving the van stopped overnight in Iowa City so Emily gave Ely some birthday presents and they had a nice picnic at the park right next to Emily’s house.

Ely sent me a video on Facebook yesterday. It’s a beautiful 2 bedroom apartment on the first floor with its own little deck area that’s big enough to put a swing set in that has a gate and it’s very big and wonderful. I have never seen a more beautiful neighborhood! They have their own private dog park, community house, swimming pool and year-round gym. They also offer an office space for people who don’t want to work from home but need a place to go.

Owen spent the whole week out there helping him put together furniture Etc. Owen drove the van when they moved.

It’s been really really hot and totally humid and it’s the end of September already. I don’t know what’s going on but I don’t like it. I walk the dog in the mornings and evenings but even in the evenings is still too warm. Can’t wait for cooler weather.

September 11th 2018

Tom turkey is no longer lonely! He’s hanging out with all the Canada geese by the pond! We just came across him and scared him up here on the hill by the couzens mausoleum!

It’s a perfect day today! Sunny with big puffy clouds and about 72 degrees!

Eli and family left yesterday morning to move to Colorado. Owen followed in the van. They got into Iowa City and time to have supper with Emily last night.

Emily and Owen and Eli evidently went out last night and had fun! I’m so glad the three kids got to get together and hang out! Who knows how long it will be before they all see each other again. But that’s the way of life and I’m used to it having been military.

So we are at Woodlawn
and Jeff and I are doing our afternoon hike. It’s not too hot and that’s wonderful!

I need to start thinking about doing more recordings of stories so I can accumulate them and then start working on editing them. I think walking and talking like this is a good way to do it.

September 9, 2018

Cielle is next to me curled up in her normal position of watch cat. It’s already 7 but it’s not even light outside yet. I’ll never get used to the way Detroit’s day and night time work.

I think my morning meditations have come to fruition. I was lying here this morning as usual very early wondering why I wake up at these odd hours. My thoughts led me to my repeated message that keeps coming to me from others and myself. Write Your Story.

It’s always something that keeps me from actually moving forward. Fear of success is what they call it I think.

Now Faerie is nudging me
and wanting me to get up. Pascha would be in here doing the same thing but he stays in his own room at night because he’s so noisy. I thought it was his fault I was waking up at 4 and 5 a.m. so he has his own apartment in the other bedroom where he’s very happy to be given extra food at about 7 p.m.

Zeph Just Walked In which is great so he’s getting up. It’s a bit after 7 and it’s not even light out! When I first moved here I was so worried about school kids because the way the time zone is at this western edge of Eastern Time, it makes it dark really late in the mornings.

So I’m going to try to at least do audio recordings to try to organize chapters or some method of being able to keep track of things as I record them. I think it’s more important to get the words down and the story then it is to have perfect grammar. My Tendencies toward perfectionism are going to be difficult to control but I’ll try.

Eli is leaving with his family Monday morning to move to Denver permanently. I just found out he’s having another baby in March they knew at Ashley’s mother’s funeral but they didn’t say anything before she died. I would have, being the mom and the older person. everyone’s perspective is different and they felt they were protecting her in some way. Also they didn’t want her to linger any longer then she had to because of the pain.

I have reconciled myself to the fact that they are leaving. It hit me really hard at first and I told everyone I was moving back to Iowa City. That prompted a visit from Owen which only happens about two or three times a year.

I really thought I won would have something new to say. I thought he would offer some kind of support or possibly and in to get to help him with the business or something but all he said was the same thing over and over that he has said all along. That I have to be responsible for the house if anything happens to it and that I could have been an incredible success by now if I had just taken the steps necessary to do it and that the world is my oyster and everybody is just waiting for me to explode on the sink. No details. No hardcore reality assistance of any kind. Very cryptic. It’s nice that he believes in me but he doesn’t understand that I have no concept of where to start or what to do. So that’s why I’m doing this.

Last Saturday of July 2018

Jeff and I are at the graveyard again and he has found an incredible Dan that looks to be active. It is at least the size for a fox and it has two exits. I have not seen any larger mammals than squirrels rabbits etcetera but this is definitely huge.

I met with Joe Lapointe of the New York Times who’s back here in Detroit these days. We had lunch at the Whistle Stop Cafe in the Ferndale area. It was nice to have lunch and catch up.

I was talking to Joe about some story leads that I had and he ended up getting fascinated with the story of the young entrepreneurs in the Eastern Market and how they all were given notice on the same day by the new owner of countless warehouses where they had been able to afford to start their own businesses from the ground up. It’s a very sad situation and many of these kids are pretty traumatized.

So Steph and I are at Woodlawn Cemetery and I just saw the mother deer who has the van. The van is losing its spots already it looks like but we couldn’t get close enough for me to make sure. The baby was lying down in the mother was guarding it so I didn’t want to bother them too much.

The next thing we saw was some pellet style poop from an owl it look like. It was below a tree. Then I looked up and saw the tree was an old snag and the woodpeckers have been working on it for about I don’t know how many many years and there are many large holes in that tree. Then I looked up at the top and there’s a huge Nest. I wonder if it’s an owl.

Is f and I are standing at the Mills Mausoleum and he went up to sniff underneath the steps and something went after him from under there. He’s very cautiously sniffing and walking up to it again. It really freaked him out. Me too.

So after meeting Joe and talkin to Owen I just feel like I shouldn’t be spending the rest of my life scrubbing rich people’s toilets. I might be good at it but it isn’t a dream come true and I’m not fulfilling my destiny. I really love people and their stories and I think something should come from it.

Zef and I met a transexual here yesterday who was waiting in his car for a funeral to be over. He looked like he wanted to talk so we stopped and chatted. He wanted his parents to know that he’s undergoing a sex change. Rather than being nervous or freaked out or anything I asked him why he thought they wouldn’t know. That comment seemed to surprise him. And then I told him I feel like they already do know and they’ve known for a long time that he was going to do this. I think it might might have helped him feel better.

Joe Lapointe was talking about Commander Craig the head of the Detroit Police Department. He just spent a few hours with him this morning and he asked me what I thought of him. I told Joe that I had seen Craig on the news for the last 4 years that I’ve been incredibly impressed with his humility and his out right heart on his shirt sleeve love for his men and women. I feel that he reminds me of the high school principal we all wish we had. He reminds me of sweet and gentle humble preacher in a country Church. I tried to describe him in as many ways as I could and Joe wrote some of them down. I think he’s probably going to use some of it in the article that he will eventually wrie. I talk to Jeffrey from New York just a little bit ago and we seem to connect on so many levels. He actually said he wouldn’t mind throwing in with someone like me on a communal living situation and we talked about that since we got reconnected about 6 months ago. I just feel like lying around waiting for things to happen just isn’t going to happen anymore and I need to start moving on something. Geoffrey feels the same way. I’m not sure if that means that we would throw in together or what but it seems to be more and more the consensus.

Now that he lies going to be moving to Denver I don’t know what I have here in Detroit for roots
. Owens always too busy and when I do talk to him he’s pretty consistently negative about me and my future and my present Etc. I don’t get much encouragement just all kinds of deadlines and different things that he wants me to meet before he even talks to me. I think what I’m really looking for is someone to listen he doesn’t have time for that. Self and I just got back to the car and I’m looking at that mother with her baby and she still lying down. It’s so nice to see that she doesn’t feel threatened here. Neither do I.

Owen’s birthday 2018.

Zeph and I are at Woodlawn Cemetery doing our walk. We just flushed an incredible bird that looks like a hawk of some kind from right near the water’s edge at the pond. We also flushed a giant heron. The Heron was sitting on the old broken-down dead Willow at the pond. I’m so sad that that got knocked down in a windstorm a few years ago.

We are just walking past the Ford Graves. I was looking for the Blue Jay fledgling but I think he’s all grown up now. We’re keeping our eyes out to follow new animals.

I’m going to pick up some dress shirts and ties that I bought
for Owen at a yard sale. I’m going to wrap them up and give them to him as a gift because he said he needs clothes and I figured he probably means good clothes.

I just talked to Eli and he’s going to check with Natalia to see who should fix what for the party
tonight.

We just flush the Meadowlark who is faking a broken wing. There must be a nest right near here.

I have just bought a whole bunch of cherries and blueberries at the farmers market that’s going on now down at Green Acres Park every Sunday. I think I’ll try to make a dessert.

It is so amazingly cool and refreshing that I almost can’t believe it! It’s noon and it’s only 70 some degrees and there’s a nice breeze. How wonderful! It was so brutal the first two weeks of July and there was no rain until the 14th or 15th!

Dixie is going to be leaving Mom’s house early afternoon to drive up to Dallas, turn the car and and fly back to Portland. I hope mom does okay
by herself. She’s getting so much older and less active. It was wonderful of time to plan this trip!

I just got a new client this morning up in Birmingham. It’s a very busy doctor so I will be going once a week and also doing additional stuff like laundry and possibly shopping and cooking in addition to the house cleaning.

I just can’t believe how stunningly gorgeous it is today. I’m standing next to Captain Reed and his wife who are my closest friends here. Just up from them is where I met the three little blue jay fledglings. And this is where we saw the beautiful newborn baby deer who died. And then we found its twin brother a few feet away later. So sad but I’d rather be here alone with zeph in the graveyard then around a bunch of busy humans any day.

I just saw an adult blue jay fly up into a tree
right near where the babies were a few weeks ago. Hopefully they made it.

Now is the time for new squirrel nests to be built. So many just fall and don’t make it.
Zeph is sniffing one right now near where the body of the second baby deer was found.

Well we’re going to go home and eat lunch and then I’ll start working
on making something for the party tonight. More later.