rent rant

I’m two days late paying rent but the landlord hasn’t even cashed my May rent check yet. At the end of April, they cashed both March & April. You know who can hang on to multiple rent checks for over a month? People who don’t need money. They’re adamant that rent be paid that 1st week …but then just hang on to the checks? And try to charge $5/day late fee. More money they don’t need and won’t put back into their rentals to fix basic shit and make it less of a dump.

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Minutiae: 3/29-4/1

Friday…

Had to return teen’s brand new computer because the motherboard croaked. Fortunately, Best Buy let us just exchange it, and as it turned out the new one was less expensive so they refunded some money.
We went to lunch at a place I remembered being great 20 years ago.
It is no longer great.
Charred food and I cracked a tooth on an olive pit. Who puts olives with pits in their salad? Kinda weird. But what’s more dental work at this point,am I right? we just paid the bill and left. My tooth didn’t hurt and I just…I don’t know. The waitress was great and I felt bad for the sad decline of the place but then felt that weird poor people guilt about spending money on eating in a restaurant the rest of the day. Even though it the food was terrible and I cracked a tooth, and it wasn’t even that expensive. Being chronically low income really fucks with your head.

Boys got home from school and we drove to the library to meet someone who had posted a need in the local gift economy group for boys size 7 pants, which my kiddo just grew out of. I got out of the car to pass off the bag of clothes and noticed the car was overheating. Somehow made it to the mechanic near our house. They were just leaving for the weekend, so we parked it and walked home. Had eggs and bacon for dinner because I was just so done with everything and it was easy.




Saturday…

Cracked tooth started hurting and by afternoon my jaw was swollen. Clove oil, salt water rinses, whiskey,all other home remedies employed.
Husbeast had to take the day off because of no car and no buses on the weekend to get him to work on time. He made it downtown to rent a uhaul pickup (cheapest deal) so he wouldn’t miss Sunday (time and a half pay) and Monday , his early shift that no one else can really do but him.

Sunday…

Just really drained from the tooth pain.

Monday…

The teenager turned 14.All he wanted for his birthday dinner was Arby’s and cheesecake. Fine.Done.

Swelling and pain finally started going away. Made a dental appointment but it won’t be until May. We got a quote on car repairs: $2,030. Like,wtf, Universe? I have some money in savings from Taxmas and you gotta come for it all?

Paid rent: $750
We’re living here without a lease right now. I had asked in February if landlords would be willing to sell us the trailer and they said yes. Back in January, I found out that they moved out of state, and it seems like they really aren’t that into caring about their properties here, so I figured why not? I honestly had figured the amount would be pretty low. Not only due to the repairs needs but also I’ve been looking at mobile homes for sale around the same age and most in the same condition are selling for $5-7K.
They finally got back to me with their asking price: $20K
It’s hilarious. There’s no way that’s happening.



diabetes is beating us

One month of my dearest husbeast’s diabetes meds is $609.14.
His insurance will pay for it entirely once we’ve met our $4,000 deductible but what about until then? We have a flex spending account which is entirely spent now,mostly on meds, a mere three months into the year.
This was a med his insurance didn’t cover at all until recently (it’s Trulicity). His doctor’s office supplied the injection pens via “samples” until it would. I am confident they will help if we can’t afford them next month (and until that deductible is met). I also still have Taxmas money I stashed in savings just in case.
What about people who don’t have that assurance and resources? Our medical expenses are nothing compared to some people struggling with this backwards bananas healthcare crisis. I’m fucking worried, America. We’re not ok. This isn’t ok. None of it.

Also, this week I needed new glasses and our insurance covers nothing eye related. . Not even the eye exam. Hello, insurance companies? My eyes are a part of my body and they need glasses to pretty much do every damn thing necessary to get through the day. $729 for glasses. Lucky me it was my birthday earlier this month and my mom paid for part of the glasses.
[sidenote: I could write another 600 words on how extraordinary it was that my mom gave me money for anything. This has never happened before to my recollection. Like…nearly homeless, no money for groceries,electricity shut off … those times when I could have used some mom-money? Nope. She must really like the idea of me being able to see clearly. I just don’t know]

Yeah, this was an expensive week.




Thoughts| “Don’t feed homemade formula to babies; seek help instead”

Article:“Don’t feed homemade formula to babies; seek help instead”

Money is tight and you’re low on baby formula. Should you try that homemade formula recipe you saw online?
The answer is: No.

The advice is solid here, no questioning that. Homemade formula isn’t a great idea.
However, this article overestimates the help available for parents who may feel it’s necessary to water down formula or go to a homemade variety. If parents are going down that route, it’s most likely because the solutions in place haven’t worked out fully.

When I first read the article, I assumed the homemade baby formula in question was my Grandma’s recipe she handed to me when I became a first time mom almost thirty years ago. It has 3 ingredients: evaporated milk,water,karo syrup.

I looked at the most popular homemade recipes for formula out there and quickly learned that these are not my Grandma’s basic recipes and if those are the ones the author is referring to, I don’t think she has to worry about a parent without money making any of them. The ingredients are expensive (there are also “kits” that run about $180-$200…definitely not within low income budgets). I’m inclined to think those who are making these “natural” formulas are doing so not for penny pinching reasons. They’re probably just anti-formula but aren’t breastfeeding or want to supplement.

That out of the way, let’s focus on suggestions given to parents with the assumption they’re making formula to save money (or because they have no money).

The article suggests that if you can’t afford formula, apply for WIC, SNAP, and TANF.
WIC usually does provide enough formula for babies but some families may find times in their baby’s development where they’re going through more formula than WIC provides. Some states have also made cuts to WIC and may not be providing the same as they were.

While WIC income eligibility guidelines are usually higher than SNAP, recipients are still low income and are likely dealing with the multitude of issues that plague low income folks. Missing a WIC appointment can be disastrous. When we’re talking about a low income parent missing an appointment the reason isn’t easily explained away as “irresponsibility”. Can’t get off work, car broke down,can’t find a ride, no public transportation… not excuses, valid obstacles. In rural areas, rescheduling an appointment may not be a possibility at all. Your WIC clinic is one certain day per month in the basement of a church and if you miss that day, there’s nothing else you can do but wait until next month. Even a weather cancellation could totally screw up a family getting their WIC checks on time.

SNAP? Of course it helps but the average allotment of $3 per day per person isn’t going to get everyone in the family the food they need PLUS formula for a whole month. And TANF is notoriously hard to get approved for. Benefits are low and only temporary. You may even be asked to pay back the amount.

The article also recommends food pantries and yes, of course some will be able to help but small town and rural pantries won’t be able to fill that need always.




Where To Get Formula If WIC & SNAP Doesn’t Meet Your Baby’s Needs

Call Your Pediatrician

Your pediatrician has sample cans on hand that they can give to families in need and should supply you with what your baby needs to make it through to your next payday, WIC check pickup, or SNAP disbursement. They may also be able to refer you to additional community organizations who are specialized in helping low income families with things like formula and diapers.
You may also want to give your local health department a call. They are likely to know of other avenues available.

NOTE: I’m aware that some folks may feel afraid to ask their pediatrician for fear of having child protective services called. Yes, use your best judgement about this and only if you feel safe with your provider.

Check Out Your Local Gift Economy Scene

This one may be tricky. You have to find it first, if it even exists. The idea of a gift economy is simply that if you need something, you ask and if you have something to give, you offer it up. No cash exchanged.
Your gift economy may exist on something like Freecycle or even in the community section of craigslist but more often, you’ll see some thriving local groups on Facebook. They may not be labeled “gift economy”. They may be something like “Moms Helping Moms” or something just as simple as “Free Exchange”.
Local parenting groups with an online group are an important resource and I encourage people to join them, even though they certainly can be a minefield of drama at times if they’re not well moderated.



Pregnancy Centers,Community Centers,Churches

You can use 211.org to find a lot of these resources but from my own experience, the list they have may not be complete or it’s outdated. I find that Catholic Charities is usually very helpful (experience may vary on location) and the pregnancy centers that have no religious affiliation are usually the most comfortable to seek help at.
Even if a church doesn’t have a food pantry serving the community, they may still be able to help.

Also recognizing here that asking churches may not be for everyone.

Posted @ QUOTEZ.CO

Well, let’s fucking hope so. My brain, house,and entire life has been chaos, all with the kinetic purpose of creating order and good things.

The 1st

I have to pay rent today but I can’t make myself look at my bank account before I write a check.
I feel like we’re hemorrhaging money and I’m constantly trying to shove all of my being into the gaping wound to stop it from flowing out.
Glancing at the bank account always feels like throwing salt on the wound.

I do this one little word thing every year and this year I can’t decide between gold and rage. I want life to be golden but I feel like the only thing keeping me going is the rage.

—————————————————————————————————————

Was reading this kind of a bummer? I have a sanity saving art intensive Facebook page that helps: Witchcrafts
There’s a blog,too! The Lucky Fish

Other places to find me:
Twitter
Instagram

If you like the work I do here at Poor as Folk, please considering being a supporter through Patreon. Your support will help keep the lights on and the content flowing, as well as help me develop printed publications such as cookbooks and zines designed to help low income folks. Even if you can only pledge $1 or $3 per month, that is SO appreciated! If even half the readers of this blog pledged that small amount, it would be significant enough to bring change and growth in my own life.
POOR AS FOLK ON PATREON OR ONE TIME DONATION VIA PAYPAL TO LUCKYFISHHOMESTEAD@GMAIL.COM

I also sell things online and you can support me in that way,too.
Ebay
Etsy

Life | Electricity

Last week an electrician finally showed up to fix the things we’ve been asking the landlady to deal with since Spring. Withholding rent got her attention. His comment about one of the issues: “Thank god we fixed this now. That was a fire waiting to happen”.
This is what I had been saying, my huge concern. I felt vindicated by his ominous remark. Do all landlords poo-poo tenant’s complaints as over reaction? I felt that way.

One of the fixed issues was dead outlets in the kitchen. The fridge was plugged into one of the dead outlets, obviously a major pain in the ass. We had it plugged into a power strip stretching from an outlet that would work. Not ideal so it was nice to have that fixed. For a whole week or so,anyway. This morning I woke up and the fridge was warm, kitchen outlets dead once again.
My porch is a makeshift fridge today until husbeast comes home from work and helps me move the fridge to plug it in to that power strip again. Lucky it’s a cold day. We’ve had  unseasonal temp all month.

I wonder how many more months it will be before the landlady decides to send the electrician back to figure out what the hell is up with the wiring? Can’t wait to find out.
We put that apartment search on hold since it seemed things were getting resolved but maybe the hunt is back on.

Of course we just finally sorted out HEAP and had 175 gallons of fuel delivered. It would suck to lose that. We almost didn’t get it. I don’t know how more people don’t freeze. $660 for minimum delivery and that won’t last the entire winter at all. HEAP has a one time per season allowance and limited funds. We had problems getting it because our SNAP worker sent all our info to the HEAP unit but they didn’t have it and we had to start a whole new applications, submit documents,etc. One worker told us it was too late to apply and we didn’t meet the deadline. Another worker approved it. Let’s sprinkle blessings on that approving worker.

[this post brought to you by the happy chaos of having all my adult offspring home for the hollerdaze and The Cornell Elves program]


Was reading this kind of a bummer? I have a sanity saving art intensive Facebook page that helps: Witchcrafts
There’s a blog,too! The Lucky Fish

Other places to find me:
Twitter
Instagram

If you like the work I do here at Poor as Folk, please considering being a supporter through Patreon. Your support will help keep the lights on and the content flowing, as well as help me develop printed publications such as cookbooks and zines designed to help low income folks. Even if you can only pledge $1 or $3 per month, that is SO appreciated! If even half the readers of this blog pledged that small amount, it would be significant enough to bring change and growth in my own life.
POOR AS FOLK ON PATREON OR ONE TIME DONATION VIA PAYPAL TO LUCKYFISHHOMESTEAD@GMAIL.COM

I also sell things online and you can support me in that way,too.
Ebay
Etsy

Life+Food| Turkey Week

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I started writing this last Tuesday. Thursday has come and gone and I promise I’ve fed the kids.

I have a weird nostalgia about community dinners on Election Day. I recall not really liking the food even when I was a kid. Chicken & Gravy with Biscuits. Not my fave back then. The pies were the best. Obviously. Made by local ladies. Pretty sure all made by ladies exclusively. I’m not being exclusionary. It was the 70s and 80s. The women did these shindigs. Older women. Lots of old people at these things.
It’s hard to find one of these dinners these days and I’ve really wanted chicken and biscuits ever since the midterm election.
I’m still not feeling 100% and I’m trying to make cooking as easy as possible so this meant biscuits from the cans that scare the bejeezus out of me, even though I know that pop is coming, shredded chicken from a $5 rotisserie chicken, and a jar of gravy.
It was delicious comfort food but mostly filled an emotional need I had.
I really miss my grandparents lately.

I don’t remember how my Grandma dealt with feeding people the days leading up to Thanksgiving but it was probably actual meals instead of yelling at them to make a PB & J because I’m not cooking. One night I made loaded nachos and called it a casserole. Everyone was happy.

I also “upcycled” the chicken carcass I had bought for the easy chicken and biscuits after stripping all the meat off and made an amazing ramen broth that fed us for days. This is a new weekly thing I now am expected to do. And will, gladly. In the winter, I tend to make a pot of soup on the weekend that will stretch through the week. If I make a pot of broth for ramen, it’s a lot more versatile that a specific soup my picky eaters might not be super fans of. They can throw whatever toppings they want in it with a marinated soft boiled egg. Buying all the basic ingredients for ramen – mirrin, soy sauce,fish sauce,rice vinegar – is NOT inexpensive but I’ve added them to my cupboard little by little so now they’re on hand. By portion, homemade ramen can be super cheap.

Monday was our food pantry day. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many people there waiting in line to get food. Small families were given a ham, bigger families got a turkey. There wasn’t really any traditional Turkey Day trimmings but there was some decent produce and people were encouraged to take extra bread to make dressing/stuffing. No herbs but there was celery and carrots. Everyone was given a dessert as well.

I donated a bag of winter clothes to the free clothing program there. A woman came in while I was there to donate a bag of maternity clothing and I helped sort it. It was all wonderful stuff, great quality & trendier brands. I’m so stupidly emotional lately that it made me cry. My daughter has been spending her Saturday mornings at a homeless shelter/soup kitchen and she gets so upset when she has to sort through clothing that was donated and most of it is literal garbage. She has to wear gloves when going through it and feels like she needs a Silkwood shower when she’s done. So, a bag of great stuff for low income pregnant women is like treasure. I wish I had caught up with the donor just to tell her thanks, even if I’m done having babies and won’t need things like that. That shit is important.

Turkey Day morning we awoke to frozen pipes. We had planned to go to my son’s anyway and thankfully we had cooked and baked a lot the day before.
I covered this whole frozen pipe nonsense and issues I have with the landlord and our housing on Twitter
The day was awesome and chill. We went home to frozen pipes but we’ve roughed it without water before. We’re pros.
It finally thawed Saturday morning.
It took me all weekend to get caught up with laundry,dishes,cleaning.
My traditional post-Turkey Day Turkey Soup was postponed until today. Turkey Ramen can be a thing,correct?
Better be because that’s what’s happening.
I sent a lot of leftovers home with adult offspring so we don’t have much turkey left so this will be just right.

Tomorrow I’m looking an an apartment that’s for rent.
When I was around 9 or 10, we lived in a trailer park and a neighboring trailer burned down in the middle of the night. Faulty wiring was the cause. The family hadn’t been home. It was a holiday weekend and they were visiting family. I just remember watching that trailer burn. Literally burned to the ground. It all happened so fast and there was absolutely nothing left of that place. If they had been home, who knows if they’d have survied. It was one of the scariest things I ever saw as a child. Obviously it left an impression. And the idea that landlords can be informed that there’s big time electrical issues in a place they’re renting and do nothing is doing nothing to help me feel humanely about landlords.

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Relevant linkage

> “Went through a 40 pack of water cooking Thanksgiving dinner” #Flint- Mari Copeny

> Help kids in Flint, Michigan have a nice Christmas

> A thread by Rebecca J. Kavanagh about working arraigments for people arrested on Thanksgiving  (ex: someone stole a generator… a lot of public housing residents don’t have heat)

> Easy Chicken Ramen (uses a bit too much rice vinegar in the broth, imo)

> Real Ramen – all Jun’s Kitchen videos are deeply satisfying to watch

> Elevated Top Ramen

>

 

 

 

Links|Nov 12-18

Things that are probably relavant to your interests if you’re hanging out at this blog

× What to do if you suddenly become homeless – some good basic tips
× Laziness Does Not Exist (but unseen barriers do)–  “It’s really helpful to respond to a person’s ineffective behavior with curiosity rather than judgment.” If you’re inclined to label someone’s behavior as lazy, there’s probably factors you’re not aware of that deserve consideration (not that it’s anyone’s job to concern themselves with so things but anyway…)

× Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Learned Her Most Important Lessons from Restaurants 

For Ocasio-Cortez, food is political, and the most tangible indicator of our social inequities. Sure, as living beings we all must eat to survive—and there’s unity in that—but what we eat and how much and where it comes from and what we must do to get it varies widely. “The food industry is the nexus of almost all of the major forces in our politics today,” she says. “It’s super closely linked with climate change and ethics. It’s the nexus of minimum wage fights, of immigration law, of criminal justice reform, of health care debates, of education. You’d be hard-pressed to find a political issue that doesn’t have food implications.”

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× As Jeff Bezos Earns $191K Per Minute, Why Are NY & VA Giving Amazon $3 Billion in Corporate Welfare? – Answer: Because Cuomo is a turd

× New York Assemblymember Ron Kim wants to block that $3M handout to Amazon and use it to resolve student loan debt instead – I like this idea better.
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× Barbara Lee on Iraq, Poverty, and Getting A Seat At The Table – 
an excellent profile of Representative Lee by Rebecca Traister. In the 70s, Lee was a single mom on welfare and says since becoming a Congresswoman, she wants to focus on poverty and low income families.She also touches on the EACH Woman Act which repeals the Hyde Amendment (which disallows Federal money to be spent on abortions for low incoe women, restricting accessibility.