Thursday, December 17, 2009

And So It Goes

To start, I want to take you back in time for a bit. It's May 25th, 1994 in the auditorium of the Rochester Riverside Convention Center, I'm sitting with my fellow REOC LPN graduates in my black cap and gown. It had been very rainy and chilly that day, even by Rochester, NY standards. It will be a day I will remember long after dementia sets in. I was 28, a mother of 3 young children and had been struggling for the past 4 yrs on public assistance.

Four years earlier, my husband at the time had just had a heart attack at the age of 27 and was cardiac disabled. I gave birth to my youngest son premature, as a result suffered multiple health problems. At the urging of friends, I enrolled in a 12 month LPN program the spring of 1993. I was very apprehensive about this as I have a hypodermic needle phobia. With the help of my wonderful instructors and some fellow students, I struggled through. Good grades had never been a problem for me and weren't for nursing school. Some of things I saw and had to do in clinicals made my skin crawl. Many a day I came home crying I wasn't going back, only to get up and cry all the way back to school to do it all over again.

Being there, that night, was a major accomplishment for me. I was the first in my class to get a job as a GPN(graduate practical nurse) to start that following Monday. I could have taken the summer to study for my boards, but I didn't want to collect one more penny, be on assistance one more day than I had to. My family and friends arrived hours early to make sure they had front row seats in the audience. They knew what a toll the past year had been on me, physically, emotionally and financially. When my name was finally called to get my certificate, I believe they cheered the loudest.

What I remember most about that night, was my thought as I took that envelope and walked off the stage. At last, at last I had the skills to work a good paying high demand job. Never would I have to stand in a public assistance line again. Well, there is a reason for that saying "Never say never." June 4, 1999, I injure my back and what was thought a muscle strain has became so many health problems, some days I'm overwhelmed to be in my skin.

Fast forward to today, we were served with court papers with a date of Dec 23 going for eviction, unless we can come up with the rent plus late fees. The whole amount, they won't take partial payments. Just 2 weeks late. In NY, have to be at least 30 days pass due before court. I don't understand the laws here.

We took the bus down to our local DES office, to be told they would review our application in the next 7 business days and would call us in after the first of the year. It takes 30 to 45 days for cash assistance and food stamps, 60 days for Medicaid. Call the Salvation Army for emergency help. Which we already had and they aren't helping til after January as they are busy with Christmas baskets. We were told to call churches, maybe they would help, which churches they couldn't say.

We came home and checked the mail. In it was a shut off notice for yesterday. The electric company gave me two numbers for assistance, one I got a voice mail when I punched 0 for the operator and haven't heard back. The second number just rang and rang with no answer. Luckily, OH had sold his property he had for awhile on Second Life over the weekend, and a few friends online bought yarn from me. It was just enough to pay the electric.

I have applied for part-time jobs, even though my dr. has me totally disabled. My leg swells double every day now about an hour after I get up in the mornings. However, if I could find someone to hire me, I would work and suffer through the pain.

The stress of everything has had me with migraine headaches the past two nights. I need to be sorting and listing more yarn and fabric, but is so hard with a pounding head and upset stomach. OH found a site, Wish Upon A Hero, he put up a post on. So far, a friend on Plurk and one anonymous person have made donations.

I had said, if I could list $1300.00 worth of stuff and 130 people each spent $10.00, we would have enough for rent, telephone and supplies for the pets. He said, it would be nice if everyone who came across his link would just donate $2, we would probably be able to pay the bills. The site tallies how much the wisher receives from Paypal donations and shows it right on the page. In case, your reading this and haven't clicked the link above. I'm surprised he put up a listing as he is not one to beg for help, but that is how desperate the situation has become.

I called the McDonalds on the corner from us and they said they are hiring and to come in the morning when the manager is there. OH said he would be there with bells on.

The other restaurant job, that was across the street, called him in for a third time just to tell him the guy that was leaving has decided to stay and they didn't need any help. His references spoke highly of him and they would keep him in mind if anything should come available.

If you have been a past reader of this blog, you know how much we love our pets. It's not losing our stuff. It's not being homeless. Though I have nightmares of homeless drug addicts accosting me for my medications. It's the thought of having to call the ASPCA to come pick up our pets, that's just killing us. I've never been a morning person, but the past several years of waking up in horrible nerve pain in my back and legs makes it way worse. If it weren't for the furkids, I doubt I would put my feet on the floor most mornings.

So why did I start with that evening back in 1994? Because it's times like this, when I stop for a moment, that memory of that moment walking off the stage comes to my mind and I catch my breath. Dear God, if only it had stayed that way.

If you've read this to the end, thank you. If you decide to help us with even $2, bless you.

Update: I've been calling churches and agencies all morning, it seems everyone is not helping till after the first of the year, as they are giving out Christmas baskets.

It seems we are on our own. OH has applied to McDonalds this morning, but they were too busy to be able to talk to the manager. He will go back tomorrow after the manager might have had time to review his application. In the meantime, I have two more links. If you could/would pass them on, we would appreciate it.

Save the Bunnies and his blog, Son of Modblog

Hopefully, we can resolve this crisis soon and I can get back to posting about what I like best knitting, spinning, baking and most especially the pets.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Hello Insomnia My Old Friend. I've Come To Speak With You Again.

I had planned to post on Thanksgiving, but well crap happens and then some. As far back as I can remember I've suffered from insomnia. Much to the vexation to my mother, I couldn't get my head to settle down either because I wanted to play with my dolls or something scared me. Usually it was the latter. It didn't take much to have me scared and up for nights on end. Then as a teen, I was either worried about school, or again scared of something, and the can't put it down book.

As a young mother it was no longer the imaginary ghosts and monsters that had up scared and worried but very grown up problems. Plus, the very sick child needing soothing. Sometimes it was just that one more row, stitch, needle workers know how it is. Now, in my forties, the children are grown and out on there own. I've fought all my real and imaginary monsters. However, I still often suffer with occasional bought of insomnia, brought on by worry or obsession.

Tuesday before Thanksgiving such a bout of insomnia with just cause. I'll give the bad news before the good stuff so I can leave on a good note. It all started just before we left for Tucson. I'm so sick of companies telling you one thing over the phone and the contract/lease ends up completely different and way more money than discussed. Then they use the bait and switch when you question. Oh, you spoke to such and such well, I don't know why they said, but that's not the way it is. The long and the short of it is between the apartment complex, the movers and vet we $4,000.00 over what we were originally quoted. We could have lived over three months on that money.

Instead we are down to pocket lint. OH has put in over 500 applications. The day after Thanksgiving we got our hopes up. He got a taxi driver job. The supervisor said the least any driver makes $100 per day but more usually $200. Except that OH had to walk a mile to the bus stop, get off the bus and walk another 3 miles to the shop. Work 12 hrs then make the same trip back home. So he would be gone from 4am to 8pm, 6 days a week. Which would have been ok, had he made the money they quoted. Unlike the previous companies he worked, where they split the fare 50/50, this company worked from a lease rate. They charge the driver $79.00 to take the car out, the driver has to pay the gas out of his pocket. Whatever is left over is what the driver keeps.

First day out, he wasn't getting any calls, then he got one no show. At 3pm he went back to the shop to ask what was going on, why wasn't he getting any calls. They checked the car out and found the radio cable was all chewed up, so the radio was shorting out. Fine way to run a business, send a guy out on his first day and make sure the cab is operating correctly. So they credited him his lease for that day. Second day, was the 1st, so he was kinda busy and made 80.00. Third day was very slow, and he only made 20. The problem is there is too many cabs for the business here. This company has ads on Craigslist every day, hiring new drivers. He didn't go back after the third day, it was just too much hassle for too little return, plus he was afraid of not making the lease fee and working all those hours just to get in debt to the company.

Tuesday before Thanksgiving my left leg started swelling up about 3 times its size. I remember checking the pitting edema in the ankles of CHF patients. My ankle when I pressed on it with my finger made a 3++ and took about an hour for the dent to go away. After a week, I figured out it was from sitting at the kitchen table for an hour or more. Once it started it just continued no matter where I sat. It doesn't help that I have insomnia, from worrying and not able to lay flat for a good nights sleep.

I called the Medicaid office to find out about applying so I can see a Dr. The website only states an AZ resident, not how long you have to reside in order to qualify. Back home in NY you had to reside there 6 mo. before they consider you a resident to qualify for assistance. The man told me there is no waiting period and I'm considered a resident the day I set foot on AZ soil. However, due to an influx of applications it takes 60 days to process instead of the usual 30.

The rent is now overdue with high late fees, the telephone needs to be paid by the Dec22 or we lose phone and internet. The electric should be shouting any day. I tried calling the Pima County Emergency Aid services but they just have a recording that says leave your number we'll get back to eventually. I tried the Salvation Army but when they transferred to the assistance line I got a recording they aren't helping anyone until the 28th due to their Christmas drive. They gave another number to call, however, when I called that one I got a diesel repair shop. It's been 3 days and I'm still waiting for the first agency to call back.

OH had an interview earlier this week at a restaurant just yards from us. He spoke to the owner and the head executive chef. They said they had a couple other interviews and would call later in the week. It's Friday afternoon and they haven't called. 500 applications and 3 interviews. I want to climb the mountain across the street and scream, "Won't anyone give him a job? It's that so damn much to ask?"

It's beyond maddening, and when I think about the whole situation I want to throw up and cry at the same time. He listed his two most expensive guitars on ebay. They are each worth $1000.oo but he put them up for a buy it now of 600. and an auction with a reserve. The auctions ended at 200 and 300. No way are we going through the hassle of getting them shipped for that little amount.

I'm listing yarn on Ravelry that I had in my etsy store. I have enough yarn, fiber, fabric and cotton crochet thread to pay the bills even selling them on the cheap. I'll be listing on Ravelry all weekend. I'm thinking about listing the fabric on another blog and call it Knitting Kitties Virtual Yard Sale. There is no way I'm listing anything on ebay and the other sales sites charge fees that I can't really afford right now. What do you think of the idea of listing it on a linked up blog to here? I decided on listing with Create Invent Sell for fabric.

I started this post this past Thursday with the intention of finishing up over the weekend. I took the luxury of relaxing over the weekend, it was a luxury I could little afford. Will put up an updated part 2 shortly.