Had I mentioned, I hate grout?

It’s 10:30 p.m.

I just finished recaulking the seams around my bathtub, as well as sealing holes in the grout in the shower. God, I hate grout. It’s difficult for me to clean, it has to be fixed periodically, and everything I use to clean it — chemicals, tools, etc — really irritates me in countless ways.

But at least I got the work done tonight. My spouse got back into town, and with two of us in the house, it’s not going to be feasible to do without a shower. So, it’s good that I got everything done by tonight. I’ve got the dehumidifier running in the bathroom to suck all the moisture out of the caulk, and hopefully speed up the process. I can do without a shower in the morning – they have showers in the locker room at work that I can use. But my spouse needs to shower. At home.

So, in another 12-18 hours, they should be good to go. They usually don’t get up and get going until mid- to late-afternoon, anyway, so that gives it more time to cure before it gets wet. I’ll probably tape some saran wrap over the places I fixed, just to keep it from getting too wet tomorrow. The dehumidifier was an inspired decision, if I say so myself. It wasn’t easy, hauling it upstairs from the basement, but I got it done.

These bathroom repairs are long overdue, and they have been exacerbated by neglect on my part. I haven’t felt like I was in a position to actually do anything about the softening walls and the loosening tile — I haven’t had the money to get it fixed, and I didn’t know where to begin. I just get turned around, looking at the shower, and I walk away. It’s too much to process, sometimes. So, I’m settling for simply staving off the slow march of decay happening behind the tiles. There’s black mold behind — I know because one of the tiles popped out while I was trying to shore up the sagging surface, and sure enough, there was a layer of black behind it. Nice.

For the record, I know this is a health hazard. But there’s just nothing definitive I can do about it, right now. Not until I get another job and/or have more money coming in. For the time being, I’m duct taping everything in place and sealing the gaps with quick-drying caulk. It doesn’t look horrible — I used white duct tape. I just need to buy some time before I can afford to actually get the room gutted and completely replaced. Praying seems to help, as well, though prayer can get interesting when you’re agnostic/borderline atheist.

So, tonight, I’ve made some decent progress, I think. At least everything isn’t going to fall in on us when we’re showering.  I’m tired, and I’m angry — I had plans to fix this, years ago, and if I hadn’t fallen and gotten hurt in 2004, and lost my job, my savings, and my mind, I wouldn’t have this problem right now. I was on track to make some major repairs to this house — all I had to do was stay at my job for another 18 months, then I could cash out on my vested shares, pay off the house, spring for the repairs, and pretty much take things as they came without needing to worry about where my next mortgage payment was coming from.

I had it pretty much figured out — and I was on track, too. Then I fell and got hurt. And I well nigh lost everything — except for my spouse and my house. But the house (and to some extent the spouse) has suffered from neglect for years, and I’m just now starting to dig into the issues that I’ve been avoiding, since mTBI turned my life upside-down, nearly 10 years ago.

And that pisses me off, quite frankly. People ask me how I could let things get so bad… how I could just not take care of my place. Repair folks come to me and look at me like I have two heads — and one of them is a zombie — because I’m obviously not keeping on top of things. I get pissed off at myself, too. Why did I let it get so bad?! But I have to remember, I actually did have a plan, 10 years ago. And I was on track. Finish out the term at my job. Cash out. Refinance the house at a much lower fixed rate. Pay down (or pay off) the house. Make repairs. Take things one at a time and be thorough about it. I didn’t drop the ball. The ball got dropped on me. And now I’m digging myself out of a g-ddamned hole, day after livelong day.

Well, at least I can be glad I’m digging out now. It’s progress.

Speaking of progress, it’s time for bed. I have an early day tomorrow, and I have a lot to do. I’ve done enough. I’m done.

Good night.

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