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It's been a while since I last wrote a diary, and things have changed in many ways. I thought I'd let you know what's been going on.

When I last  wrote, Cailín Ard was living at her mother's house, and I was renting a room from someone who refused to give me proof of evidence or a lease. I've not only left that place, I've left that state.

I eventually moved to York County, ME, and rented a room from a wonderful woman who not only happily gave me a lease/proof of residence, but who was happy when Cailín Ard could finally move after she was off the medication. My landlady even insisted on us moving into the biggest bedroom, and helped us get it set up. She still tries to find ways to make it more comfortable. :)

None of us have much money. Our landlady (we'll call her CT) rents rooms and runs an escrow/notary public/JP business. I haven't found work yet, although I'm looking feverishly. Cailín Ard has a part-time job doing housekeeping at a beachfront hotel (the owners are delightful, and pay $10/hr plus tips, unlike the surrounding hotels, who tend to pay minimum wage). The co-workers, a married couple, are sweet, and make sure to pass around produce from their garden.

Cailín Ard and I try our best to be helpful around the house, and CT makes sure we know that she's grateful. She's in much the same position we are--she goes to the food bank, we're living off food stamps--so we try to pool resources. We are 'renting', but we all seem to act more like we're family. Cailín Ard has gradually taken over the lawn care, whoever starts doing dishes finishes all need doing, we all ask each other if we need anything from the store or need help with a project. When I cook, I make sure to make enough for as many people are at home. I'm also the resident computer guru--anything that needs fixing or explaination, I dig in.

And when I mentioned to Cailín Ard that I might want to plant a few things (I was thinking herbs in pots!), she went to CT, and now we have a garden rototilled in the yard. It turns out that CT had used to have a garden, had the tools necessary, and wanted to get back into it as well. And her farm used to be a chicken farm! You've never seen such wonderful soil before. CT also handed over a bunch of seeds for late summer planting, and Cailín Ard and I will pick up the rest. We're all looking forward to fresh greens and roots.

Unfortunately, I haven't been able to afford to go to a doctor in quite a while, and I've run out of all my medication. Since I have several chronic health issues, including a thyroid deficency, this has been affecting me quite a bit. CT has noticed that I've started to run down, and told me where there is a free clinic that will help. I never would have known to look if she hadn't told me. Now I have hope that I can get at least the basics that I need to be able to function better.

I never would have thought that I could get on living in a communal house, with someone who I'd only met because she was letting room. I tend towards being private. I also prefer to have my own kitchen. But because needs must, I've found a wonderful place to live, where Cailín Ard is accepted, where I'm not put down for having chronic conditions, and where Pùka is loved by the entire household. Where there is understanding about money issues (Cailín Ard got this job a week too late for us to have the full rent by next week--but we can pay most of it and finish up next week, with no harm, no foul). Where we can pool resources as needed, for the greater good. Where we're not made to feel like we're strangers invading a space, but that we're being welcomed as friends.

The point of this diary? I guess because we all need a bit of a silver lining these days. Yes, the economy is shitty as hell. No, i can't find work. My tech-trained spouse is cleaning hotel rooms instead of managing networks. But we have housing, food, and good company at home and work. We all help each other out in whatever way we can. And we're ending up making friends. Things could be a lot worse.

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