Thursday, January 23, 2020


This is my second winter here just beyond the “Edge of The Wilderness”, that is, north of Effie Minnesota.  Life is becoming more difficult—not less. The price of survival is becoming misery. If I don’t find a way to make this house more automatic and take care of itself, I may have to reconsider my choices for the future.

There are ice dams on both the East and West sides of the house with water dripping in between the office and the living room just like last year, only worse; and now it’s coming in at the top of one of the windows ruining one of my new cellular blinds. SHIT. The East side is dripping down the inside of the wall and following a path to a waterfall down the cement blocks in the basement; also following a beam a few feet towards the center of the space. I have buckets all over the place, and holes in my ceiling upstairs to facilitate easy exit for the water.

I’ve diligently removed the snow from the roof to the best of my ability, having ordered TWO new roof rakes, but had to stop because the snow banks just got too high to reach over or climb up onto. So, the ice dams just grew. A few days ago I hired a caterpillar to get the snow on the East and West sides next to the house removed; just so I could bring down more snow from the roof and shovel all that too. It’s endless and exhausting cycle of shoveling snow, pulling snow off the roof, then shoveling all that; waiting for the plow to move the bulk away; snow blowing a path down the driveway and trying to get over the plow’s berm at the end of my driveway.  The mailbox is just peeking out, barely. That’s another monumental task I'm not feeling good about.

 I re-injure myself each time I got out to tackle the snow and ice. The torn meniscus in my knee combined with the SI joint and sciatic nerve pain make contemplating doing it all again a daunting thought.

I’m drained. I’m tired. I’m in pain. No matter what I do, it’s not enough. I have roof heat cables, but they couldn’t be installed in time. Other things took priority and pretty soon it was too late. And really, heat cables won’t solve the root of the problem which is crappy construction of the roof and gutters as well as a lack of insulation. But I can’t know the real extent of the problem without deconstructing a lot, and that just means $$$$ that I don’t have.

Between the pet problems (both cats and dogs, a believe me it hasn’t been pretty), my injuries, and the house challenges, I’ve about had it. Top all that off with a pervasive dread of the fascist future of our country and a growing realization that I’m pretty much surrounded by people perfectly fine with that leaves me depressed and demoralized; I feel isolated and powerless.

The only thing that keeps me going here is Nikki’s support and help. I’m getting clobbered by medical bills, electrical and plumbing bills, construction bills, insurance bills, student loan bills, and an overwhelming list of must-dos on this house which I cannot do.

I haven’t spent ONE NIGHT away from this place since I moved in November 16th 2018. Not one. Thankfully, my ex is coming up to babysit the pets in a few weeks so that I can get out of Dodge for a few days. And where am I going? To the city. Not my ideal vacation spot, but I do have friends there I haven’t seen in a very long time.

I vacillate between hope and despondency on a minute by minute basis.

I’m still trying to solve the problems here despite the depression. I think I need to hire a young man to do stuff so that I can enjoy my life a little. If I’m going to be miserable just trying to survive, what’s the point? I can't afford to hire someone to ease my load, but I also can't afford not to.

Update: HELP WANTED fliers put up in Effie and Bigfork today.