Staying Busy

I got a couple of new clients.  They seem kind of high maintenance at the moment but I’m sure once I get used to them it will all become old hat (remember that expression?)

The new clients will help with my income.  I need a lot of help.

The car situation isn’t great.  I’m driving my old van, Vinnie I while Vinnie II sits idle.  Turns out Vinnie II needs more work that Vinnie I.

I made a big mistake when I bought the second van.  I should have taken it to a shop to have them look at it.  They would have seen at least one of the problems right away.  The thing is, they would have charged me a good bit of money to do this service and I don’t have a lot of money.  I did my homework online, checking out this type of van and they have a good reputation but something happened to this one.

My other mistake was using craigslist.  I think I will be going to a dealership from now on.  You usually get a 30 day guarantee from a dealer.  (although I think in my case the problems started after the 30 day mark.)

I don’t like to talk about my mistakes because they make me feel bad about myself, but I share them here because you can’t see me and perhaps someone else can learn from my mistakes.  I make a lot of them.

C, who loaned me the money for the new van, is very gentle and she says this sort of thing has happened to her too even though she did the best she could to get a good vehicle.  She is so good to me!  I don’t deserve such a friend.

R up north says he can help me fix the van if I want to drive it up there.  OR he says we can probably fix it here.  Looking at youtube, it actually doesn’t look too hard.  Seriously!  Just need a place to do it.  The city doesn’t want people fixing their cars in the street.

So now I have to continue putting transmission fluid in Vinnie I everyday (it adds up! $$)  pay C back the money I owe her AND save for the parts and labor to fix Vinnie II.  It’s been a big blow financially.  I still have hope though!  And the sun is shining!

Thanks everyone for reading and for your encouragement.

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“New Car”

I didn’t want to mention it…because I was afraid it wouldn’t work out.  I actually bought a “new” 15 year old car.  It only has a little under 100k miles on it.

BUT…

As I suspected, it has problems already.  It is in the shop now.  I am very, very discouraged.  I’m ready to scrap everything.  You know, stop working and lay around instead.  I’m just spinning my wheels trying to make things better.

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Meaningful words and Happy Endings

I wanted to pass this story and blog along to you guys and gals.  This particular story was pure gold!  Here’s a little piece but you really need to read the whole thing because there’s actually a happy ending!

I was fourteen but in spite of my hyper-self-consciousness, it never occurred to me to be embarrassed about my mother’s weight, or even her uniform. I was too concerned with how I appeared to people.

I didn’t think much, either, about the apparently permanent sore on her shin, a hole perhaps half an inch in diameter and a quarter-inch deep, surrounded by a dark purple, almost black bruise that covered her lower front leg nearly from ankle to knee.

Or that in the evenings as we watched our black-and-white TV in the dark together, eating fast-food burgers and fries, she scratched the tops of her feet until they bled.

“Stop that,” I would say from time to time, and she would try, but the itching was unbearable. I can still hear the dull scratching sound, see the white-purple rash.

We were Christian Scientists. Doctors were quacks. I don’t know if Mom ever prayed to make the itching go away or the sore to heal, but they didn’t. I had no idea they were signs of diabetes, even though that’s what had killed my father when I was six.

I hope you’ll check out LaVonne’s story.  I want to be able to tap into my emotions and memories like she does and get them down on paper (or this blog).

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“The Homeless”

In my job as a social media manager for a non-profit org (5 hours a week, officially) I run across info and opinions I wouldn’t normally seek out.

Since I am trying to get local support for the non-profit, I have “friended” a lot of prominent people in my city.  But they don’t know it’s me, Maureen.  I do it behind the mask of the non-profit.  Anyway, I often see opinions about homeless people.  For some reason, someone will just sort of go off on  a rant about the topic one day, then dozens of people chime in.

It seems like the mayor of my city, at least understands the difference between the different types of “homeless” people.  There are the substance abusers, the mentally ill and finally, the people like me who just don’t (or won’t?) make enough money to get a place to live.  He would like to help all but he and most, have little sympathy for drug addicts/alcoholics.  I can understand this.  I too, have had my frustrations with them.

Still though, what I have learned is that it’s a vicious cycle.  It’s hard to get off drugs/alcohol when your life sux really badly and you don’t see an end in sight.  Say you got off drugs and got a job.  what if the job didn’t pay enough to get you an apartment or even a room to rent.  What would be the point of that and could you even keep the job anyway?  Are they going to let you store all your earthly possessions next to your cash register or in your employee locker?  I doubt it.  Are you going to be able to stay clean without an apartment?

Also, alcohol helps people sleep at night.  It’s noisy on the street.  Alsohol can also help you get through a long, slow day.

Methamphetamines (the are uppers) help you if you don’t have a sleep spot where you can stay all night and you have to keep moving around.  Once you come down from the meth, you will sleep a lot.  Hopefully that happens in the daytime so maybe you can sleep in a park.

I don’t know all this from personal experience but from what I’ve heard.  I will admit though, sometimes, when the library closes early on the weekend nights, alcohol abuse is tempting, just to pass the time.  So far though, I’ve resisted overdoing it.  I don’t need more problems.

What do you all thing about what I’ve written?  Do you think drug addicts/alcoholics deserve any pity?  Any help?  How much and in what way should we help these folks?

 

 

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What I’m Reading

http://www.permies.com/t/46594/labs/Quest-Land-advice-permies-homesteaders

Edit:  If you guys would like to hear more from this guy click here.

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Bad News

The lady from the non-profit called me the other day.  It turns out she was trying to do some building on the property she was renting but she didn’t get the proper permits.  The city got wind of it and made her stop building.

She feels like she can’t go on now.  I presented a couple more options for her since she signed a lease for the building and has close to a year left on it.  I think she may be able to re-group but we will see.

 

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Social

I can’t remember if I’ve told you guys or not but for the last few months I have been doing the social media promotion for the non-profit I work with.  I only get paid for an hour a day, 5 days a week and I try to keep it to those hours (I tend to go over).

I was going to work on a few platforms, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. but Facebook takes PLENTY of time.  It has taken a long time but I am FINALLY getting engagement (likes, comments and shares) of the things I am posting on Facebook.  Most companies spend money to help this process along but this non-profit doesn’t have the money for that yet.  It just has me.  I’m excited though at what I have accomplished so far.  I have brought in volunteers and donations of gently used items that we need.  I hope to be able to get some money donations soon too.

This may be a new career for me or just a sideline.  I find the work challenging and interesting.  I have to find or produce content people want to read and I’m doing okay with it.

Yay me!  Thanks for reading!

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The Zoo

The church where I have been getting free breakfast lately was an absolute zoo this morning.  The fat crazy lady I told you guys and gals about a couple of days ago was involved in two altercations where there was slapping and pushing involved.  THEN  a couple of the other crazies…who usually keep fairly quiet…started singing.  It was like something out of a movie.

I am torn between going back there daily and writing a book about it all OR not going there at all because it is not good for MY mental health to deal with that every morning.  I can eat bread and peanut butter in the morning rather than go there, right?

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How to Stay Safe around Violent Mentally Ill People.

There but for the grace of god…..

There are a number of homeless people that are crazy, sometimes because of prolonged drug use but not always.  It doesn’t really matter.  The point is, some of them are very angry and can get violent if provoked.

The church where I often get my breakfast attracts at least a handful of these people.  I have learned, that although I’m a naturally friendly person, it’s best not to talk to everyone.  I used to talk to ANYONE.  In my naivety, I though (cuz I heard it on TV or something) that I could make a homeless person’s day if I spoke to them or smiled at them.  Perhaps that is true sometimes but in my EXPERIENCE (which is always truer than what some talking head says) talking to everyone opens up a pandora’s box I usually want to shut as quickly as possible!  The crazy person will start telling fascinating tales of abuse by others and at first, when I first started listening to these folks, I gave them the benefit of the doubt, and believed that their stories COULD be true.  Stories of things stolen from them (everything from sleeping bags to million dollar inheritances) cops and government agencies following them and so on.  I consider myself a conspiracy realist (as opposed to a conspiracy theorist, because as the NSA taught us….they DO record everything we say/type, if it’s done electronically.)  So I would think to myself, maybe their story IS true.

But the stories got more and more outlandish.  I have learned that just because something COULD be true, doesn’t mean it IS true.

But more importantly, I’ve learned these folks have good and bad days.  On a good day, they tell their stories.  On a bad day, something sets them off.  Perhaps they ran out of cigarettes or they don’t like the free food that was served at the church.  In their confused mind, they seem to think their discomfort is being purposely caused by the people around them and they start to lash out at those people.

They start slamming things around, muttering, and sometimes, eventually shouting.  They shout obscenities.  When you try to reason with them (I don’t do this anymore) because you think you have a relationship with them, they lash out at you as well.

One of the recent additions to the homeless crowd here (they come and go) is a rather large woman who gets into it with everyone.  I’m told she pushed an elderly woman down already.  So when she started going off this morning, I quickly finished my breakfast and got out of her way.  No eye contact and certainly no words.

I feel sorry for her.  Everyone is afraid to talk to her.   I’ll bet she is very lonely.  I wish I could help people learn better coping skills.  But I can’t.  I barely know how to cope myself, some days.

It’s not a great way to start my morning.  I really need to make more money so I don’t have to eat at these places.

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Rip-Off Part 2

I was just thinking about something.  I have just learned that these guys who buy a car with cash don’t even have to register it in their name.  They can EVEN go into the DMV and pay any registration fee that is in arrears, without their name appearing anywhere on the paperwork!  They can do the same with the smog check.

Is this loophole purposeful in order to allow in-the-know immigrants to by-pass the law in order to make easy money?

Also, what manner of crimes could one do in a vehicle no one knew you owned?  These vehicles would make great getaway cars because they would trace back to the original owner.

Scary huh?

 

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