jemyl: My orange male cat, Brudder (Default)
I have no earthly idea how to begin to describe this last week or so. I guess all I can do is list the "stuff" that went on/is going on and how I can or can't quite yet handle it.

My van needs more than a battery for me to be able to keep driving it, even for a couple more months. The alternator tests bad, as in not putting out enough to charge the battery. That's why it wouldn't stay charged, even after I put the water in it and charged it up with the trickle charger.

The trickle charger seems to want to stay at 5 amps. I don't know if that is because the battery just stays at 5 amps down or if the poor old trickle charger has finally gone bad. To get a new one will be $79. I had hoped to be able to wait a month or two before that became a priority.

With the van also needing a new gas tank, engine work to find and fix the horrendous oil leak and radiator work so that I can maybe drive it without the heat on full blast. All of that means my friends tell me to junk the thing and use the money I get to buy something else. I can probably get somewhere between $400 and $600 for it as junk at one of the junk yards, which are all 30 miles away in Palatka.

I can also, and will find out what I can get for the van if some company picks it up in the yard and pays me cash for it right there. I'm afraid that will be a much lower amount though.

Either way, drive to the junk yard or get it picked up here for salvage, I have to clean out my stuff from inside the van. There are two tables, a chair, a set of golf clubs, a fold up bed, three showcases and a big box of oversized paper and canvasboard still in it. There are also four tiedown point things, a tiedown wheelchair seatbelt and various and sundry receipts, containers of oil and tranny fluid as well as some tools and tape, a set of jumper cables and four cement blocks i.e. tent weights for when I do outdoor shows. They serve as rear end weights for the van when not in use as tent weights. That way it stays on the road better when I apply the brakes.

Cleaning out the van would not be a problem normally. I spent two days in the hospital this past week, however, because my chest hurts like Hell. The diagnosis is a viral bronchitis or lung inflammation. I have been told to take it easy for a week or so until it goes away. The medicine given is a steroid and an antibiotic on standby if I should find myself running a fever which would mean full blown pneumonia. Of course they had to do all of the heart scans first to determine that I didn't have a pulmonary embolism, a heart attack or other heart problem.

I did manage to finally get to Palatka to get some more money as a payday loan. I also had to get some food as Meals On Wheels is out of money and not bringing me any food until they get some. I have no idea if that will be after the first of January, after the first of July or after the first of October. I don't know how the program is funded. I will be calling tomorrow to find out so I can plan. I have a few meals still in my big freezer so will be OK for a little while, but not having the bread and milk and fruit cups they brought will take a toll on my food bill as that provided those items for my breakfast and lunch in addition to the food for dinner.

I could even use the meats I didn't eat with some mashed potatoes to make some stuff that poor little Tarblaze could eat other than Fancy Feast cans, and keep it down. If I have to buy a second can of food for her every day, it will also cut into my budget.

Now I have to find someone going into Hawthorne sometime in the next 24 hours so that I can put the money I got into the bank there. I don't care if it is night deposit or during bank hours. If I can get someone to ride with me and do the actual putting in, I can do it with the van. I think I have enough gas left to do that without turning off the engine and that is what I have to do to go anywhere. I can't get more gas though unless I get it in a can and put it in as they make you turn off your engine to pump it and I usually can't get two starts out of the battery now.

So what do I need? I need people to go to my website and buy jewelry. It's cyber Monday and I have just updated my pages to show the free shipping option I am continuing until January first of 2012. I have even decided not to raise my prices for at least the next week. That way people can get my stuff at 2010 prices, even though silver has gone up quite a bit since then. When I make new stuff, I will have to charge more as my supplies will cost more now.

I try to keep stuff affordable for almost everyone. I have been told that this is not necessarily the best way to do things. People think the jewelry is not worth much or nice because the price is lower than a lot of people doing silver. I always struggle with this. I want to be sure I give people good value and like to see people enjoy my creations. That may not be the best business decision because people don't always value that which they don't have to pay a lot to have. My stuff is not cheap. It is very carefully made and lovingly polished to be beautiful.

I keep hearing about cars and trucks for $1500 to $2000. They might as well be millions until I can sell enough stuff to have the cash to buy them. I was hoping that would be in January. Now I am stuck at home for two reasons; no reliable transportation that will hold my display and the need to wait out this darned chest/upper respiratory infection. (yes, I know it is going around and many of my friends have also had it for about three weeks ---- way too long for me to be able to make money in Holiday sales!)

People wonder why I am discouraged. Give me a break! My chest hurts. It is hard to breathe, especially to take a deep breath. If I don't keep sucking on a sugar free menthol cough drop, I cough, even with taking the mucinex cough suppressant pills. I'm tired. My muscles are not getting stronger because I can't exercise without coughing. I'm stuck depending on other people to get anywhere because of the van and the agency which is supposed to be helping me with food, chores, etc. is not able to fund the programs so I am left to try to cope on my own without their help, and they never did understand the problem arthritis causes for vacuuming, cleaning windows, all the big, repetitive action for arms stuff anyway. Their theory is if you can walk, you don't need much help.

Before I ended up in the hospital late Tuesday night, early Wednesday morning, I was going through my garage boxes too. Now that is not a good idea either, at least until I'm done with this lung thing. Friends have suggested I just sell them all off without going through them. NO WAY is my answer. I didn't pack them so don't know what is in them. The last one I checked had one of my degrees, framed, thrown in with some business papers and vinyl stick on letters. Can you imagine how I would feel if I had just sold that box off for a few dollars and whoever bought it had just thrown out my degree and used the frame for their grandkid's picture? I know there are many, many of those boxes with the same type of thing going on. People just picked up whatever would fit from where they were standing and filled the boxes. Most are not even labeled, except maybe for what room they were in and if they have books or vinyl records in them.

I know there are a lot of things in those boxes that can be tossed, and will be. There are also lots of things I am more than willing to sell. Still and all, there are some things which are important to me or which I need and miss having in my life. I know it has been about five years without those things, and that doesn't mean I don't want them. I have always known, during that five years, that I will have them again as soon as I go through my boxes. They are there and not forever lost to me. I consider it kind of like children or spouses. When they leave home and are far away or become and ex through divorce, one might not see them for a long time, and one knows they are still there and that one will probably see them one day. When a spouse dies or a child dies, however, it is very different. One knows there can never again be a full conversation with that person. They are gone forever.

I'll get to the boxes again as soon as I get a little better. Meanwhile I can work on the grant to get my well and garage roof fixed. I can also tweet and blog and put up status messages about my need to sell enough jewelry over the next month to be able to get a different vehicle. With it I have a chance to sell through some boutiques too and to go to farmers' markets etc. through out the Spring which used to be my best sales time.

I'm also going to look for something I can do from home that is not one of the millions of scam ideas that keep calling me. They hang up as soon as I tell them I have absolutely no money to invest to get started with their program. I'm not buying any kits, websites or what-evers. I have an unlimited web hosting account and own enough domains to put up whatever kind of site I might want already.

Well, I'm tired and it's time to score myself a bowl of my special soup. Thanks to Ravan I still have some mixed grains and beans which I use to make soups and chicken and rice, which they call Chicken Pilau around these parts. I have a few frozen biscuits left too, but I plan on putting some bread into the machine tonight. That and getting the garbage out are my two must-do chores for today. I got some of the garbage done yesterday so I have only a small bag and the litter left for tonight along with pulling the can and wheeled recycling bin out for the guys to pick it up tomorrow. I'd better get to it so I can get to bed before 3 in the morning. LOL Peace, and tell everyone about, please. I really need a newer vehicle! ---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.


jemyl: My orange male cat, Brudder (Default)

July 2012

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