jemyl: My orange male cat, Brudder (Default)
Today, some many years ago --- I know exactly how many, but Ravan may want that information to be kept between family and friends, ---- I got a precious, tiny, sweet and a joy to all of us. Turns out she was/is also a firecracker and kept me hopping when she was a child and a teen too.

Happy Birthday, Ravan! I am proud of the woman you have become. You have always been a good daughter. I know I didn't always tell you that. I didn't always understand you, but most of the time I have been proud of your stubbornness, independence and free thinking spirit. Some would say the apple doesn't fall far from the tree in those qualities. your grandma was happy to point that out to me on many occasions through the years that she was alive with her "well, what do you expect? She's YOUR daughter, Ellen!"

I hope your day has been all that you wanted it to be. I would call you, and I think your sister tried to do so. She told me she was going to do so when she called this afternoon. Laura is in India. She arrived safely but Chris has heard nothing else. I think that means Laura is busy and having a good time, or that there is no phone or cell coverage where they are in a city in Northeastern India. I can't remember the name of it, though Chris told me. I didn't quite catch it and it's not one I recognized right off the bat.

Anyway, gotta run. I hope you see this. I'll probably shoot you and email tomorrow or Monday. I'm really tired at the moment as this morning was WPVFD breakfast and we served about 100 or so breakfasts --- not bad for the middle of the summer and no snow birds, lots of political candidates and their entourages though. LOL

For the rest of the universe reading this, Ravan lives some 3,000 miles away from me. She is on the West Coast and I am 50 miles from the East Coast. The only thing similar is the climate! It is sunny and mild in both locations, California and Florida. Terrain and all are very different as is the cost of living.
jemyl: My orange male cat, Brudder (Default)
I ordered a Precision Induction Cooktop from Hearthware after seeing their infomercial several times. Now, I've had a Flav'r Wave oven, now sold as a NuWave, made by this company for almost 20 years of trouble free cooking from frozen quickly and with lots of flavor. I have recommended them to several friends.

Now I must question the ethics of this company. They offered a buy-one get one free deal on the cooktops. I did that, though I didn't take their other offer for a full set of cookware and probably should have in hindsight. Well, the cooktop came last week. In the box was also a letter explaining that the second cooktop was on backorder and would be shipped at a later date. (they didn't charge the shipping and handling either)

I called their customer service to see when the second cooktop might arrive. Customer Service told me that they have NO IDEA when they will get those in, BUT THEY HAVE ENOUGH TO FILL ANY NEW ORDERS THEY GET. Something is wrong here in addition to horrible customer service.

IFirst off, they charge $10 more shipping and handling for the second piece of the same item, making it not quite free. I'm sure they pay more than that for it. It's just that I like complete disclosure on the infomercials.

They also "forget" to mention that the cooktop only works with cookware that can be magnetized, i.e. no aluminum, glass or clay cooking containers will work on it. That is OK since they do sell a set of cookware with it for $49 that is the right kind to work. I still would like to have known that the appliance would only work with steel, iron or clad steel cookware. I will give them that they did explain in great detail that the cooktop works by magnetizing the cookpot and thus heating it up which then heats the food to the exact temperature set. The top does stay cool except where it contacts the bottom of the pot as they stated.

Oh, and it cannot be used on a metal surface as it will magnetize that surface and, I assume, make it hot as well. That's another thing they neglected to mention in their infomercial. The third thing they didn't mention there is that the cooktop needs to be at least two feet away from electronic devices--- microwaves, burglar alarm control panels, their NuWave and Flav'r Wave ovens --- when operating or it will disrupt the

I really like my Precision Induction Cooktop! I can set an exact temperature and that's what the food will come to and stay at for as long as I set the time for on the unit. This is great! I can cook eggs or an omelet slowly without burning them, or can up the temperature and do them quickly. I love that versatility.

I'll keep everyone posted on my attempts to get my second cooktop from them. I really don't want to have to pay out the $39.95 for it this month, but it will be worth it to have my complete order. I am also considering not paying the final payment on the cooktop until and unless I get that second one. I have to check with my legal eagle buddy out in San Jose before I do that. It would be a Federal case since the company is located in another state. I just wanted everyone to know that part of the Precision Induction Cooktop infomercial offer might be a scam even though the appliance is really nice and cooks as it claims to do on the infomercial.
jemyl: My orange male cat, Brudder (Default)
One of Ravan's recent posts struck a nerve with me, really resonated in the wake (pun intended) of a large number of recent deaths, wakes and funerals in our local fire service and my Lions' Club(s) present and past. I don't like funerals either, for somewhat the same reasons as Ravan.

Funerals and other such memorial services are not for the dead. They are for those left behind to get some sort of closure. In December of 2005 and January of 2006 I had two of the things to plan, first for my mother and then for Bill, my husband. The two of them died twenty-four days apart, in December of 2005.

It was not an unexpected event for either of them. In fact, it was a blessing and, indeed, a beautiful thing for both. Mama died one day after my deceased dad's birthday and Bill just before New Year's. I think she went to be with him after a month of misery with C-diff, increasing blindness and dementia and a long hospital stay. Bill died in my arms after five years in bed following a disabling stroke. Both were ready to go.

For both of their services I requested happy hymns, their favorites, and that the preacher's involved emphasize that we were there to celebrate their moving to another stage of their journey. In each service I asked that friends share happy memories of Mama or of Bill, what the person meant to the friend as a celebration of their life well lived. Mom's service ended with the hymn I'll Fly Away at the funeral home before we went to the cemetery where she received full fire department honors, including the traditional Amazing Grace on bagpipes, the ceremonial folding and presentation of the flag and the County Wide Last Call broadcast on the radio. It was a beautiful tribute to her and all she had done for Putnam County EMS and the formation of the West Putnam Volunteer Fire Dept, Inc.

When I die I want people to celebrate my life and also my death. I want my body to be cremated after any parts that can be used are harvested and donated to help others. Any memorial service that people choose to have I ask that the songs and hymns be upbeat. My favorite hymns are the first verse of Blest Be The Tie That Binds, Amazing Grace, How Great Thou Art, In The Garden, Swing Low Sweet Chariot, Pass It On, Morning Has Broken, Bridge Over Troubled Water, Lord of the Dance, Just a Closer Walk With Thee and Kumbaya. If I had my druthers, I'd have each person share one happy memory or good thing that I had done with or said to them and everyone would sing all of my favorite songs and end with I'll Fly Away, 'cause that's what I'll be doing. Then all could go to the cemetery,or some could to simply spread my ashes over the family plot and then everyone go have a happy party in my honor. Now, since I'm only 70 years young, I may have a few more songs to add to this list before I leave this earth for the next part of my soul's being. Whenever it occurs, though, please make sure my "funeral" has lots of fun in it. Save your tears for someone who can't say they lived and loved well as I can. Like Frank Sinatra, I did it my way (and it was and continues to be always an interesting journey) Peace -----Ellen
jemyl: My orange male cat, Brudder (Default)
Last week kind of ended a bit weird when I left the headlights on for the van whilst I went into CVS to pick up my meds and some Halloween Candy. All was well until I got to the line to check out.

First I had to wait about twenty minutes for the pharmacist/clerk to finish with the lady two in front of me. That was OK as the lady in front of me and I chatted a bit. She was from one of the lakes just a bit south of me and in our fire district. We talked about who we both knew and what was going on with Station 20, where to get an ankle brace in the store and such. The lady waiting for the pharmacist to redo her prescriptions two ahead of was an old friend/neighbor of the lady ahead of me so the three of us got to introduce ourselves and chat while we waited.

It took the lady ahead of me about five minutes once she got to the pharmacist. They had made an error on her script too, but it was easily fixed.

Finally, it was my turn and I thought I was home free. I should have known better. First the clerk told me it would be $42 for one of my meds. Here we go again, I thought, and asked her to check that it was run right through medicare Part D and United American, my supplement. Of course, it wasn't and had to be rerun, including having the other pharmacist check that I really did have that insurance. Translation I sat down to wait another fifteen minutes for them to correct it. They just couldn't believe that I had reached my catastrophic section of Part D. Once they, finally, confirmed that I got both scripts for $0 copay. Whoppee! that means all my prescriptions from now until January First of 2012 have no copay.

I will also likely mean that I have to have them rerun each of them at the pharmacy. For some reason they just cannot seem to get that I am a medicare and United American senior citizen. I'm not sure why this happens almost every time I go in there or even what they are trying to use as my insurance company. I just know that almost every time I go in at least one of my scripts has to be redone because they have the wrong copay. It is not a bit deal for me, except when I go in around 8:30 to 8:45 at night and the pharmacy closes at 9. Now if they had it done right, this would be no problem. They just hate to have to rerun my scripts that close to closing. I think, subconsciously, that is sometimes why I go there at that time. It is also because I often fall asleep early in the evening and have to bust butt to get there in time, or a meeting runs late.

One of our firemen, Richard, was there with his brother to pick up a script for his mom. He was teasing me about my making sure I had Halloween candy I didn't like and I said hi to his brother. Then I left with my stuff and went to my van. When I approached I said "Oh shit" under my breath when I saw the lights still on. Now, this was fairly early in the evening, not quite dusk when I left the store.

I opened the door and immediately turned the lights off. Then I loaded in my purchases, opened my window, turned on the auxiliary gas pump switch and turned the key. There was NO SOUND, not even and unhh. The air under my breath was blue, at me, as I got out of the van, closed the window and locked the door, hoping I could catch Richard and Raymond to give me a jump so that I could get home.

Of course they were no longer in the store and their car was gone, just my luck. Since it was now approaching seven hours since I had food, I phoned my surrogate, the ass chief, to see if she knew of a place in Hawthorne that I could call to come out. She didn't and I told her I would go over to the pizza place have a meal and see if Bobby, the owner's husband was there as he was our first fire chief and would likely be able to give me a jump, especially since I had cables in the van.

Bobby and Judy drove in as I was pushing my cart across the parking lot. He told me he would love to do as I needed, but couldn't access his battery because he wasn't sure where it was, just that it wasn't under the hood of his new Chevelle. Someone told him it was under the back seat. At any rate, he couldn't get at it to give me a jump.

I toddled over to Family Dollar and got oil and litter. Then I went back to the restaurant and ordered a small calzone and a diet pepsi. It came and I was almost done with my first piece when one of his employees who was on the way home agreed to give me a jump. She drove me back to my van and we got it started. Then I drove over to where Bobby and Judy had been keeping an eye on my cart with my four quarts of oil and two bags of litter in it. Bobby handed that stuff to me through the window and I drove home, kept the motor running for an additional fifteen minutes and came into the house where I finished off another piece of my calzone.

That was Thursday night. Then Friday I put the trickle charger on the battery for 24 hours.

Saturday morning I noticed that the van wIas listing to one side more than usual. I quick check revealed that the passenger side rear tire was flat ----- only on the bottom though, LOL. I swore, keeping the air quite blue for a few minutes and investigated the spare. I have what seems to be a full tire spare mounted inside the van by the back seat. That is when I noticed that the van's tag ran out, was due in September and I totally forgot it with all the rest that was going on ---- more swearing as I have to renew it soon before the state reports my tardiness to my insurance company.

I explored using my airbrushing tank compressor to air up that tire on Sunday. The compressor tipped over as I wheeled it out of the garage side door. I ended up twisting both my right wrist and my back getting it back on its wheels and out of the door ----more blue air and ouch! Then I tried to use it to air up the tire and the back pressure put the tank into the red zone so I had to quit. That unit is meant for airbrushing and low pressure uses. The van tires take 80psi on the rear axle and 58 on the front. It took me most of Saturday evening to figure out where to find that information in a legible to me format.

Part of the reason doing the tire was so hard is that I am on nitrofurantoin, a nasty antibiotic, and it is kicking my butt with dizziness and such, especially when I have to bend over to access the tire valve. I only have a few more days to take it and it IS making a difference in my chronic sinusitis. I only hack up stuff about a tenth of as much as I was doing. That is the only reason I have continued the stuff.

I digress ---back to the van ---

On Monday, I found the other little non-tank Campbell Hausfeld compressor and switched the fill hose to it from the tank one. It worked like a charm and filled the tire. I don't have a gauge, so I can't check that I have enough pressure in it, but there is enough that I would be able to drive it into Hawthorne I think. I filled it and left it to see how long it took for the tire to go flat again. It looks to be about 24 hours, which is good. Hopefully there is only a nail or some such in it and I will be able to get it plugged.

Tomorrow my friend, Jill, is taking me into Hawthorne to go to the bank etc. At that time I will check with the two places that do car stuff to see if they are able to handle a full size van tire for repair, including remounting it on the vehicle. If they can I will be in business. If not, I will have to step up my hunt for one of my car battery compressors so that I can drive to Palatka to get it fixed. ARGH!

Now in all of this the best part is that during this time I got some really great mail. Ravan sent me a great CARE package. In it I found lots of green tea, even some instant iced, farina, oats, raisins, craisins and I think, some rice flour. That means I don't have to go shopping for breakfast foods or green tea this month. It leaves only some paper goods, garbage bags and cat food that I will have to get at the grocery this month.

On Monday, my volunteer from Suwanee River Economic Council told me that many of the meals on wheels clients are only getting three meals a week now. The funding for the program has been cut. Luckily, I am not one of those who gets the fewer meals or who is cut from the program. I am very grateful because I use that food to feed myself, with just a few additions, like fresh greens for salad, tomatoes, spaghetti sauce, condiments and seasonings, to feed myself for the whole week.

I eat some of the meals just as they are, usually for dinner. Some of them I take apart and combine to make soup for lunches and then I use the bread and milk to make soups and open face sandwiches for lunch and for toast for breakfast. I use the fruit on my cereal sometimes as well as for desserts or to change up and add to ramen noodles for a lunch soup.

With what Ravan has sent me and those meals, I can make a lot of things. Tonight I made a big pot of about four cups, cooked, of mixed grains (rices, barley and millet) with some Italian vegetables and four cut up cooked chicken thighs, chicken boullion and lots of seasonings like ginger, cinnamon, poultry seasoning, lemon pepper, onion, garlic, chicken grill spice, dried basil leaves and a dash of olive oil. A splash of lime juice was also added near the end of cooking to brighten the dish up a tad. It is good, but the first dish was not quite done enough. The grain rice was too hard to suit me so I added another two cups of water and cooked it another thirty minutes on simmer. That did the trick.

Now I'm off to put the somewhat cooled chicken and rice into containers for refrigerating and freezing. It will provide several more meals for the rest of the week. I might also make some tomato base soup in a day or so. After I put the chicken 'n' rice up I will eat my last meal for today and get to bed fairly early. Jill is picking me up at ten in the morning and I want to do the water and take a nice shower before she gets here. That means I have to get up early instead of going to bed early ( in the morning) and sleeping until ten.

Please pray that the van tire can be fixed and that I can either sell some stuff to make the money I need for bills this month or that I can get into Palatka to get a short term loan again. I hate to do the loan, but bills have got to be paid over the next week. Most are due by the 27th and my fire dept dues are also due now. Peace -----Ellen

Reactions

Oct. 9th, 2011 08:14 pm
jemyl: My orange male cat, Brudder (Default)
Well! If you want to get reactions from your friends and family, post to facebook, dreamwidth and livejournal when you are in the midst of glucose unbalance depression. If you put out there your feelings of being alone the reactions will be brutal. I found THAT out last week.

One friend went so far as to call me a liar and pretty much not worth dealing with because I went back to a payday loan place to avoid dealing with the whole foreclosure mess. Did I make an error in calculating how much money I had and how much I owed that month? Yes, of course I did! Otherwise I wouldn't have gone to that place.

Did I try other ways to get the funds? Yes! of course I did and because I had paid my electric bill already, the things for which I needed the funds were not eligible for charity help, if they even had any money left at the end of the fiscal year for some of them.

Did I hate to get back into that payday loan rut? You bet your sweet bippy I did! I really didn't see any other way. I'm not so stupid as to not get the amount it costs to get money that way, or as to how hard it is to get free of them again will be.

Do people really not understand that to use payday loans is and was a last resort? Do they not get that I really am so poor right now that any odd or extra expense can be devastating, that I don't have any credit or credit cards, only debit cards, that if I cannot pay for something now I cannot get it until I have the cash on me or in the bank to pay for all that I buy? Is that concept really so hard to understand?

I am anxiously awaiting the results of the blood work Dr. Banik had done last Wednesday. I hope it will hold the key to why I have no energy and why my back is so sore. If all is well, then I have to suck it up and work to find a way to live with the pain as it is then from arthritis. That means I have to work through it with my exercises until I can get my muscles strong enough to not be affected by the arthritis.

If that is the case I also will have to learn ways to work around the sore places. I have always been an active person. I am NOT ready to stop doing things now. Not being able to do things because of not having the money is enough of a limitation. I don't want arthritis to be another.

Still and all, the social workers and case managers who are supposed to be helping me need to do their jobs. Perhaps I need to get a doctor to order the help I need. I don't know. Something has to give so that I can live decently, with a reasonably clean home and cut grass in the yard. For Suwanee River Economic Council to stop yard work chores and bug spraying as well as housework help is just plain wrong.

They say it is because I can walk and they have too many bedbound folk who need the help. OK, if that is so, then by golly find me another agency in the eldercare system that can help me. I shouldn't have to give up my home because I can walk and am poor. That just plain sucks and is wrong on so very many levels!

My family is another sensitive issue. My elder natural daughter helps me all that she can. She is partially disabled herself, a "gimp" at the age of fifty who still does all she can to help me. My other natural daughter does all she can too. Her husband is a "gimp" who works freelance and they have three teen and preteen children to support. Both of my girls also live in areas where housing is very expensive, along with just about everything else. That is where the jobs are for their skill set and both of them work outside their homes. I know that were they closer to me they would both be over every week to help me clean or sort or to cook me something special. That is the kind of people they both are.

I have had two people suggest I get an apartment. I said no to that to both of them. First of all, my mortgage is less than $200 a month. Even with the late fee it is less than $220. Taxes mean saving about $60 a month and insurance is another $40 a month if I don't include theft or let the mortgage guy just insure it for the mortgage amount. That means I pay a maximum of $320 a month for "rent."

I have checked and apartment rents are at least $500 a month for anything decent enough to be safe. I would still have to pay my electric and phone as I do now. My electric bill averages about $100 a month except in the summer when it goes to $150 for one or two months. No matter how I calculate it, I am still "rent" money ahead to stay here and when I can start earning enough to double pay my mortgage to shorten the time I have it, I will still be less than I would have to pay in a rental. Heck, the little single wide mobile homes out here in the country on either side of me rent for $550 each and they are not much. Plus the renters have to pay both gas and electric since their cooking is propane. My place is all electric.

When I combine the financial non-savings with my dislike of apartment living and the fact that I would have to get rid of my pets more than likely, I choose to stay where I am. I have shorter walks to tote groceries and stuff as well as the company of my feline friends and good neighbors who look out for me as best they can. I also have the fire dept. folk who check on me regularly to be sure I am alive and kickin'. LOL
That is actually a good thing and something I would likely have to pay to have done somewhere else. I have seen such services offered, for a fee.

What I most want people to get is that I like my life here. I am, for the most part, quite comfortable and most of the services I need are close by, grocery stores, a bank, drug store, doctor (now) and the activities I enjoy. The library is also close. All of the above are readily available either four, seven or, at the very most, nine miles away. Even box stores are only twenty-five miles.

Recreation is also fairly close. Even theme parks are only forty to 125 miles and both coasts are only about fifty miles.

The weather is temperate. We do have several days at 90 of above (Farenheit) in the summer. Winter, however, is usually about sixty most of the time with freezes rare and usually limited to a couple of days a year in January or February. We also have all four seasons and both rain and sunshine on a regular basis. It is lush and tropical and perfect for me, not too humid and not too dry most of the time.

Well, that is why I plan to stay here as long as possible. I only need a little help with the yard and heavy cleaning to make my life very pleasant indeed. If it is not to be, well, I'd rather be here and struggle to keep the floors and lawn done than live in an apartment somewhere until I am forced to and need an assisted living facility. I'm a long way from that, thank goodness.

Yes, I get frustrated when I cannot get things done as soon as I want them done. Yes, I am a diabetic and sometimes suffer with the depression that comes with that disease, especially when blood sugars get too low. Most of the time I catch myself and recognize the depression before I talk about my low feelings to anyone. A week or so ago I didn't. I posted both on livejournal and facebook just how low I felt. (The low didn't last long, by the way, just a day or so.)

That is what brought down the storm of criticism from my friend, and, I suspect, also from my younger daughter and/or her husband. She didn't call me this weekend, the first time she has missed in many months. Perhaps she was very busy or they were off on a trip, but that has not stopped her before. I get particularly worried because I know that she wanted to get down to see Stan's mom before long because of some health problems his mom was experiencing. That puts them on the Interstate near here as a possibility and there were some really bad accidents with vans similar to theirs near here and in Georgia this weekend.

I think I will call her for a change. It will put my mind at ease, even if she is angry with me. Since it is now after 8pm their time, I had better get to it. Thanks for letting me rant and question a bit. Peace ----Ellen
jemyl: My orange male cat, Brudder (Default)
Today, I decided to go out onto the back porch to get the yogurt maker so that I could make some more yogurt. On Sunday I got the plain active yogurt with which to do this and on Monday my milk arrived with my Meals On Wheels order for the week.

It was easy to find the yogurt maker, all set out and ready. All I had to do was to bring it into the main house. It even had all six jars and their lids. Great! I was all set, or so I thought.

I made the step up to the main house and set the yogurt maker on top of the bookshelf that was there. It seemed secure, and was until I stepped aside and turned around to pull the heavy sliding door shut. Then, darn it all, I hit the shelf with my big old butt and shook it just enough to dislodge the yogurt maker, which fell the three feet to the floor. Two of the glass jars hit the door track and broke while one rolled back onto the porch but stayed whole.

I picked it all up, but not until after I had burst into tears of anger and frustration. I had me a real ten minute pity party of why did it have to be so hard to make things nice for myself. I was trying hard, even made it with my sore knee and hip, got up the step, even found my neato coffee grinder and coffee cone to be able to make decent fresh-ground coffee again. Why does everything have to be so damned hard ----- you know the whine. It was the complete poor me stuff.

I allowed myself the full ten minutes to wail and moan and then blew my nose, cleaned up the glass and pulled the door closed. I know I will find a couple of cheapo replacements for the broken pieces either in my cabinets or kitchen boxes or at the dollar store. Not only that, but I think the machine will work quite well with only four containers, if I remember correctly.

Additionally, I discovered a stick vacuum cleaner right by the door out on the porch. This could be a real Godsend to me for finally being able to clean some areas of this place. I would have missed it if I hadn't broken the glasses right near it. It is stuck discreetly into the corner beside the old craft table and blends in really well. Coincidence or God alive and well and acting in my life, which is it? I choose God acting, but you believe as suits you.

Now, please also notice that I said I cried tears of frustration and anger. I did not say I "got emotional." I absolutely reject and despise that politically correct new way to describe tears. I cry when I shed tears. They may be tears of joy, sorrow, frustration or too much pollen, but tears and crying they are.

I get emotional about a lot of things. Not all of that involves tears. Emotions can range from rage to grief and also include such things as joy, sadness, anger, frustration ---- the gamut. If some boob ever says to me that they "see that makes you emotional" may God help them because they are guaranteed to see emotional and it will be the anger end.

That is when I will tell them off. Someone once said I could tell someone to go to Hell so sweetly that they would actually be looking forward to the trip ---- until they finally realized where I had asked them to travel. By then, of course, I was usually long gone.

If you would like to do this too, I suggest you tell them this: "I have a great idea for you to take a nice vacation. I heartily recommend a cruise along the River Styx. It is great at this time of year, especially if you go by bushel basket and get one that has carried peaches. It is a devil of a trip to book so I suggest you get on it right away. Have fun!"

This must be delivered very sweetly with a smiling face, after which you walk away smirking. It will take them about five minutes to figure out what you said. If they are not the brightest bulb in the fixture, they may spend the next several minutes attempting to book a cruise on the River Styx, usually much to the amusement of any colleagues they happen to ask about it or tell. This is especially true if they are a real a-hole.

Another one I remember using once was telling the offending party I had a new bridge for them cross. It is over the River Styx and I suggest they do it right away, and don't forget to take their peach basket. I've also been known to tell someone to please go take that road paved with good intentions as they will fit right into the place at the end of it.

Now, please get that I can swear like a sailor and have the temper that goes with my Irish heritage. I just sometimes choose to have a bit of fun at the expense those who anger or upset me. It helps me to avoid that ugly cry that comes so easily to me when I am either very angry or my feelings are hurt. Figuring out how to tell the person off in a creative fashion without using swear words engages my mind in something other than the emotion of the moment, giving me more control. I just wish I could do it every time someone ticks me off ----and I just don't.

This may seem a weird way to end a piece on a pity party. It goes to ways to avoid getting stuck there. I'm also kind of tired which makes me a bit slap-happy.

It also goes to things one can do to others who can contribute to one's need to take ten for a pity party. It is so much easier to avoid when one can tell off someone who contributes to the upset. Now, how do I tell off myself? LOL ---Peace ----Ellen
jemyl: My orange male cat, Brudder (Default)
With Ravan's help I think I will be able to dodge the immediate bullet, i.e. the threats of taking my property through a tax sale. Once we buy a bit of time I think I will be able to sell some of my larger items on Craig's list and find my old wedding rings and a bit more gold to sell to get the lawn cut and such. I tried to find my old jewelry box out in the garage boxes yesterday, but it was way too hot at 100 degrees in the shade to do it. I don't have lights in that part to search at night so it will have to wait until a day that is a bit cooler and I maybe have help to move around the boxes to find the right one. There are two areas to look at and the boxes have started to fall over so it can be dangerous since they stack way higher than my five foot one half inch frame. I will find that jewelry box though and take the stuff into Gainesville or Ocala to sell sometime around the middle of September, just after payday.

Each day I work to do one thing to help change the situation --- study, sort, check for writing jobs I can do on the online sites, even look up some of my stuff on eBay to see what I could likely get for it there and how much the listing would cost. It all takes time and it is worth every bit of it.

Today I went to my new doctor. I like him and learned some things. I have to go back next week for them to do blood work and to have my UTI checked. The doc says that it is possible to get rid of MRSA. That is opposite what I was told several years ago at Shands. They said once a carrier, always a carrier. I hope Dr. Sharma is correct because some of the things I don't let myself do now I would really like to be able to do again with a clear conscience.

Now, great as Ravan has been as a daughter helping me to figure this out, her younger sister has been about as upsetting to me as anyone could be. She has decided that I should plan on selling my place an moving into an apartment in either Gainesville or Ocala since I can't take care of the place (i.e. the lawn and save for the taxes) anymore. She says she found an apartment for $500 and if I sold this place I would probably have enough from the sale to pay rent for five years or so. Mind you the mortgage, taxes and yard work now total only $300 a month and when I can get another vehicle I will be able to afford that with not much problem. The way real estate is going here now I would be lucky to come away with the $30,000 she was figuring I would get BEFORE I paid for packing and moving what stuff I had left.

Then there is one overriding fact for me. I really, really don't like apartment living. I didn't like it thirty years ago in San Jose and I sure as shootin' don't like it any better now. A walk up would be murder on my legs and knees unless I had a first floor unit and that is just plain dangerous in either of those cities. Then there is the distance from parking to the apartment which must be traversed in all kinds of weather situations lugging groceries and anything else one wants to take inside. We haven't even talked about my three kitties yet. One of them is not declawed and is an in and out cat which wouldn't go in an apartment. All in all, I think I'll pass on that idea, at least for the foreseeable future. Where would I airbrush? Nupe! I'm definitely not ready for that yet.

That's where things stand right now. I haven't seen either of my girls for more than 15 hours since 2005. Ravan takes time to ask me what I want and we work out a plan. She gets it and leaves me with my dignity. Christine treats me like a child. She feels she has to dictate to me exactly what I should do. Sadly, when I say no to her ideas she gets upset. This time she doesn't have any money with which to help me. When she did have it, she said she could help but I would have to show her exactly how I spent my money and she could tell me to change it if I wanted her help. I know both girls love me, and I find Christine's way of solving problems demeaning. I know her heart is in the right place, but her solutions consistently involve my giving up my freedom and rights to make any decisions and show a complete lack of understanding what is important to me, of who I am and what I want to do with my days and nights.

I have to go put out the garbage and recycling, add some to the litter and go to bed. I am very tired as I was up at 8 this morning and have been going strong except for a one hour nap late this afternoon. Schlepping around in 96 or more temperatures with the heat on full blast in the van didn't help any either. Peace ---Ellen
jemyl: My orange male cat, Brudder (Default)
Below is a copy of the email I sent to my family and friends last night. I also blind copied a couple of real estate agents I know. Yes, I really need the help. I also need ideas of ways to get some fast cash that aren't too strenuous and don't involve driving very much as my old van won't go unless the heat is on full blast to keep it from overheating and just stopping as it did a couple of weeks ago in the middle of one of the main roads through Palatka, some twenty-three miles from home. (The tow I wrote about here earlier I think.)

Today I got another letter from my mortgage guy saying he put $15,000 forced placed fire insurance on my place and wants a check for $411.25 for it and the administration fee. I will likely pay something on it over the next few months, but know that they will add it on to the principle too. Now, if they placed the lesser of property value and mortgage amount and I know my place is tax assessed at $49,000 or so, then it follows that the mortgage must be down to $15,000 now. (I will get an exact amount when I can pay it off. There is no penalty so to do after July 18th of this year.) Thus, yes, I really need your support and ideas.

Here's that email:
Dear Friends, Family & Some Real Estate Agents I trust,

First, there are some blind copied folk on this email who may wonder why you are there. Well, it is because I value your opinions and ideas and you may know someone who can help. Yes, I'm desperate, but still want to do this right.

Three years ago I took out a very expensive, not to great a mortgage to save my place from tax lien sale and from a man who wanted it and to get it that way. I did manage to save it and used the rest of the $17,000 plus mortgage to pay off all of my credit cards and old bills. I figured I had three years to get things all set to buy the mortgage back this July when there came no penalty. I won't tell you the mortgage interest. Let's just say it is more like a car loan rate than a mortgage and it is not with a bank, but a guy who does investments for people and I haven't been able to pay down anything but interest.

Now I am in the position of being three years behind in my real estate taxes again, which the county reported to my mortgage guy and the mortgage guy says I am in violation of my contract so is threatening to call my loan. I need to pay those taxes. They total just under $1800. This needs to happen yesterday.

I have no way to pay those. I am actually running one month behind on the mortgage and had hoped to be able to play catch up with it over the next four months to be all caught up by the end of the year. That doesn't make him very happy either. If he knew that my well pump has a short and I am working on a grant application to get that fixed and to replace the garage roof, he would be livid. The garage roof was as it is when I got the mortgage .

If I had a credit card, I would attempt to pay at least one year of the taxes to get the place out of the sale state. I don't have one and still have a bad credit score since it hasn't been the five years needed to clear my record. That also doesn't bode well for what else I want to do i.e. refinance the mortgage with a lower interest rate.

What I really, really need from one of you real estate people is for you to buy out the mortgage at about $18000, pay the $1790 and change in back taxes and then hold a mortgage on the property for that about $19000 or maybe $20,000 with fire insurance. I would like for it to be a loan of no more than 6% for 30 years, secured by the property which is tax apprased at $49000. I looked at a $20,000 loan at 6% for 30 years and the mortgage payment calculator came up with $119.61 for a monthly payment. With that amount, it would be possible to escrow the taxes and probably the insurance with Citizens as long as we don't do the theft part and still be about $200 which is what I can afford on a monthly basis.

I also want to learn how to do some investing with no money down etc., which is another discussion entirely. I know I need to got through the boxes in my garage as well as Mom's stuff and sell off some of it. There are some things I want to keep and to use that I cannot use right now because they are packed and not where I can access them. I want to sell the piano and keep the organ. My left hand has so much nerve damage that I will likely never be able to play left hand on piano again. The organ is another story as it has foot keys and one note chording which I can use to make music. It also takes up much less space and is more than adequate for what I need. In other words, I want to pear down some of my stuff. That doesn't mean I have to sell off all of the stuff I really like just because it is nice and I am poor. I like to enjoy my pretty things, nice dishes and silverware as well as to have my nice pots and pans hanging in my kitchen again etc.

Do old, poor people NEED nice things to live? No, of course not! At the same time if I have to sell off all my nice things to live, then, quite frankly, I would rather not live. It pretty much did that when I walked away from most of my things when Pete and I divorced. I got some other things that I now have and want to have around me to enjoy. It is great fun for me to fix myself a nice meal and to eat it on nice plates with silver utensils and I do that for special occasions.

So, if anyone can help with a way to get $1791 within about 30 days, I'm all ears, eyes and whatever else it takes. My body is not in the best of shape right now, but I do have a doctor's appointment on Monday, the 29th so all should improve rapidly after that. I have a nasty urinary tract infection, the bane of all female diabetics like me, and my eyes seem to have some sort of irritation in them that is making them run some kind of matter, most likely from pollen allergies. Other than these two things, I grow a bit stronger each day and learn how to accommodate the arthritic changes. The hardest thing is vacuuming because it uses my shoulder and back muscles which puts some strain on my middle and upper back. I wish people, especially those who evaluate me for housekeeping help services, would consider the repetitive part of such tasks instead of just whether or not I can walk or reach. Pushing the vacuum back and forth as it gets full is murder. They don't look at that though, especially with all of the funding cuts.

So, before you ask, yes, I'm planning to work to sell some things too. I need to find a way to earn about $200 a month or so more than what I get now just to survive. I also need to earn a fast $1000 extra over the next four months so that I can get out of using my bounce protection every month and can also get out of having to use Speedy Cash for a payday loan, which I had to do this last two months. I hate that as between the two I end up paying something between $35 and $89 a month in interest for that money not to mention the extra gas to absolutely have to go into Palatka twice a month.

I managed, this month, to get Clay Electric to let me pay only $110 of my $149.69 electric bill so that I would have enough money left to maybe be able to get through until payday on September 14th. I have to add the extra to my bill next month which means I have to pay about $!98 then. At least I have been able to keep the bills fairly low by keeping the temperature a little higher and not washing a whole bunch of clothes.

Enough about my odd life right now. Look, I'm broke. I'm frightened and depressed. All I have is this place, my old van and my three kitties here. I know I have family and that I am loved. I also know that I won't last a year in the Chicago area weather and I can't afford to live there or in San Jose either. My $1074 that gets deposited every second Wednesday doesn't go very far here. It would go even less far in either of those places. An assisted living place or a nursing home would drive me nuts. I value my privacy too much to go to either just yet and I wouldn't be able to keep my pets. Tarblaze is old at 13 and Brudder not far behind at 10 with even Tiffitu no kitten at 6 years old. If they go to a shelter, they will be put down. The two girls have no idea how to survive outside and have no front claws. Brudder is getting slow and yet still confronts dogs when he is outside. If I lose the house and have to go somewhere else, they will all die too and they just don't have to have that happen now. They have given me so much.

I also have no money to move my stuff so I will lose everything. Maybe that doesn't seem like much to you. After all it is only things and I can live without them. It just hurts more than I can say. I feel so much a failure and I wonder why I even bothered to fight so hard to live three years ago and to get my back fixed. I hate having to ask for help. I hate feeling helpless and knowing that I can't do this alone. I value my independence more than almost anything else. Some of you also know that I value the quality of my life much higher than the quantity i.e. length of that life. Please help me save my home. It isn't much, but it's mine and, with just a smidgen of help and luck, it will even by mine free and clear again in a year or less.

Thank you for your ideas, thoughtful consideration and help. I hate to say this and I do really need it. Peace ---Ellen
jemyl: My orange male cat, Brudder (Default)
I really, really need to find a way to sell some stuff, enough to be able to get out of the Speedy Cash rut I am about to get into again. I hate that! Still, I see no way out of it for a month or two at least. I have $420 total in my possession. That means I am $423 short of being caught up with this month's bills with no more food purchased or gas, oil or even food for the cats and toilet bowl cleaner, both of which I will need before my next payday on Sept 14th. That means I will have to get a $450 loan to make it. I can call a couple of charities to maybe get help for my electric bill. If I do, it will mean I can not do that again for at least a year. I worry that since I need to get the tag for my car next month, I will need it more then.

I don't even know how I can get into Palatka to get the loan. I found out that Ford's have some sort of module on the firewall that if they get too hot, the vehicle shuts down and will not start again until the engine cools down. WTF! That is exactly what happened to me last week as on Saturday when I got the battery back up to charge Big Blue started and ran like a top, ran hot as usual but still strong. Bloody will TEED me off at the same time making me feel relieved. I needed that $130 and had I known that I would have left her sit in Palatka until later that night, filled her with gas and drove her home slowly. DAMN! DAmn! Damn! Losing that money for a tow this month has really shot me down.

I am tempted to get up at the crack of dawn for me and drive her slowly back to Palatka tomorrow morning to do the loan. At least, if she makes it OK, I would than be able to pay my electric, phone, car insurance, health insurance, mortgage and hosting account. Alternately I have to find someone to drive me in. Time is running out and I need to get this done so as to be able to pay my health insurance there which will save me about 20 bucks over using the post office and a money order. It has to be in an posted by Friday, so overnight from Speedy Cash for $3.50 is the cheapest way to pay it.

People keep telling me to put some stuff up on eBay to get some cash. Few of those have ever done that. I have. I know what it takes. It takes time, money to list the item, packing and shipping the item and hoping the person who bought it doesn't decide to return it et al. That is fine for someone who can get the packing supplies, go to a close place to ship or to the P.O. again to ship and gets it all going. I have an eBay account and have sold a few things that way. I likely will continue so to do. It just doesn't solve my immediate problems quickly enough.

I'm tired. I think I will play a quick game of mahjong, read a bit and go to bed. Peace ---Ellen

No wheels

Aug. 13th, 2011 03:56 pm
jemyl: (hugabear)
Thursday afternoon, I was full of hope and oh so happy. I jumped in my sweet, old van, Big Blue. She cranked right away and ran like a top. I stopped at the gas station on the corner and put 4.03 gallons of regular in her tank. Since I get 10.3 mpg, I figured it was enough to get me to the bank in Palatka, 23 miles away. Apparently in the heat or at the four miles of 60 mph, something went wrong and as soon as I slowed down to stop in the left turn lane to go into the bank, Big Blue quit. She wouldn't crank. I put on my flashers, closed her up and walked over to the bank to get my money out that I need for the month. I had a bill to pay by 6 p.m. on Friday in downtown Palatka.

I walked back over to the van and tried again. She cranked one time, ran super rough for about 20 seconds and quit again. Then I tried again and almost got her started when the battery went dead ----107 in the sun will do that.

I had put a quart of oil in her, my last one before I tried to crank her the second time. I couldn't check the water as the cap was so hot I couldn't get my hand on it long enough to push it down and turn it. I started dialing to see if any of my friends were in town. NO way, was just my luck.

About that time three Palatka cops showed up and pushed me and the van across the street into a vacant parking lot of a closed convenience store, just barely off the road. By the end of that, I was so hot I was beet red and really having trouble breathing.

I closed the windows again, locked up Big Blue, and headed for the pre-school next to the old store. They let me sit down and make my calls in the cool. I had let my AAA lapse ----argh! I wasn't sure. They said I could buy it and still pay for a tow. I knew I didn't have enough money to do that, so I just called the towing company and waited the 30 minutes for them to get there. Thank Goodness I had the cash with me to pay them as it was now past banking hours.

The guy got there, asked the dumb questiion "will it run?" Duh! Would anyone leave a vehicle where mine was if it would run? I think not! After I told him no he got down to business and loaded Big Blue on his rollback. Soon we were on our way home. This towing company has better trucks than the last one I had to use, from the same spot, almost, half a block off, when I had Big Blue quit on me last year. This truck had two steps of running board instead of one high one. I could get in pretty easily.

The driver dropped Big Blue in the driveway, facing in, fairly close to the garage, so putting the trickle charger on her was easy. I just had to finagle a way to fasten a tarp over her little hood to keep our afternoon rains out of the engine compartment and off the charger. I think I succeeded. I'll find out as soon as this little storm goes by. It is raining at the moment and the 24 hours of 2 amp trickle charge are almost up. It's time to take it off.

I figure, and surely do hope, that all that is wrong is that the heat somehow made me use more gas or there was some condensate in the tank because of the extreme heat and it got too low or with a bit of water in it. That way if I can put about four to six more gallons in, and can clear the injectors with a bit of injector cleaner added, Big Blue will crank and run smoothly again. Then, after a few minutes to be sure she is running smooth, I'll fill the tank to about half (to avoid the leaky seam)up at the station and be able to go to the bank and grocery in Hawthorne.

I desperately need to get dry cat food, kitty litter, more oil for Big Blue, Poise pads and some Tomato soup and such. I also need to either go to the E.R. or find someone to drive me to the urgent care center. With the way my back hurts and no appetite, I think the E.R. will be necessary as I think my UTI has gone to my kidneys and that's why I am having trouble walking without pain et al. I'm allergic to sulfa drugs too, so I want to be very careful who I see and the hospital has that well noted and documented.

Yeah, I'm bummed, and I don't have time to be depressed about it. I have to find a way to get wheels, to get into Palatka to do another damned payday loan to be able to pay my bills this month. I was going to try to go to one of our local charities to get a once a year help with my electric bill, and I still might, but I still won't have enough for the rest of my bills and even cat food and half a tank of gas unless I get a loan. It will be that way, I fear, until I can find a way to sell some stuff, like jewelry or maybe even my piano and the oldie but goodie golf club sets to pay for it.

I need to find a way to sell enough to cover the bills and then enough to get another used vehicle, like a small truck or small S.U.V. or mini-van, big enough to carry my outdoor setup but more efficient and newer/smaller than Big Blue which is an E-250 long wheel base 1989 Ford van with a big V-8 engine. I'd prefer the slightly smaller version with a V-6 for better gas mileage, and a bit newer for fewer breakdowns. Also, a good working A/C would be wonderful. Big Blue has none and now has to be run with the heat on to keep her from boiling over.

All I can do is keep trying to find some way to earn some more money. Christmas sales are coming.

Tired

Nov. 19th, 2010 02:25 pm
jemyl: My orange male cat, Brudder (Default)
I am very tired. This sinus stuff is still there and may be headed for my chest. I don't need this. It means that I likely won't be able to get up at the crack of dawn tomorrow morning to go over to Interlachen to the Methodist church breakfast and yard sale. I could likely sell of at least one set of golf clubs and some books and jewelry, maybe even some of my crochet stuff if I were to go and the booth fee is only $5. It's a good deal! I just don't know if I will have the oomph to do it at an air temperature of 47 degrees or lower! That is temperature that also wreaks havoc with my knee, back, shoulder and wrist where I've had surgeries, not to mentions everywhere I still am riddled with osteo-arthritis. Bah Humbug! It's just that I need the money I might earn so very badly and I need the exposure to let folk know that I am still here and actively making items. That way they will know to look for me at the Lions Breakfast and there again next month.

Oh well, it is time to make some more jewelry and get to work photographing it and fixing up my site at http://www.jemyl.net/Jewelry to reflect the new things I have made. I have some new crosses done already and expect to get the things I need to make the rest any day now in the mail. I need to make this Holiday season a very successful one to finally be caught up on all my bills and maybe even get a good start on another vehicle. Later! Peace, Love and hugs----Ellen a.k.a. jemyl

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jemyl: My orange male cat, Brudder (Default)
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