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]


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Meeting that deductible feels like unlocking an achievement.

Long story short:
Husbeast’s employer has employees every single November go through a form online to choose their insurance plan.  There’s no easy box to check that says, “JUST KEEP EVERYTHING THE WAY IT IS”.  Of course the form can’t be straightforward and simple. Even people who are literate on how to read insurance lingo might have to re-read certain bits. Last November when they pinned down husbeast to do his thing, it was at work, in the middle of a busy day and there was a lot going on.

As a result, our deductible this year is $4,000. Once the plan is chosen in November,it has to stay that way until next enrollment period. No takesie backsies.

 

I can’t be mad at him. Shit happens. If anything, I think HR should make sure employees understand everything.

The deductible was very low before. I could schedule two well child visits and meet that deductible.

I’m currently having a ton of health issues going on and my 1st thought? “Oh. Maybe we’ll finally meet that deductible.”
How backwards is that?
I don’t have $4,000 to pay out of pocket but I’m totally willing to go have lots of lab work, an ultrasound,consultations,etc basically just so I can meet the damn deductible and have insurance cover our health care costs.
Backwards, I tell ya.
We have a flex spending account that we’ve already used up trying to keep on top of basic bills and prescriptions. My son’s very necessary meds are $240 each refill and daughter’s extremely necessary therapy put us on a sliding scale fee as soon as they noticed the change in insurance. It’s still $50/week out of pocket but it would normally be $120/week . Our co-pay before was $20. There have been times I wasn’t able to pay even that so the flex spending has saved our ass this year so far.

So,anyway…hooray. We’ve almost met the deductible because I’ve had to go to the doctor more in the last month than I have in the past ten years! Thrilling.
(But really, I am thrilled because it looks like I’ll have to have a wee surgery and overnight hospital stay. That sounds expensive. )

By the way,we’re amazingly fortunate to have access to quality mental health care in a practice that’s compassionate and does what it can to make sure patients get the help they need even when they can’t pay. This needs to be widely occurring. I was so afraid of losing my daughter to her debilitating depression. Mental health care saves lives and heals families. Why isn’t this a priority?

And speaking of medical doctors? I have gone to my regular doctor twice for some of the issues I was having . Both times she told me it was  because I was getting fat and old. She told me that my body would adjust to the …changes? And this would all work itself out and normalize. Sure.
My symptoms have gotten worse. Guess what? It wasn’t just because I was fat and older (and I never thought it was).  I have a largish uterine fibroid. Not only is it responsible for the atrocious periods and cramps (tmi,probbaly but I actually don’t have a period anymore…I’m just constantly bleeding), allll of the other symptoms I’ve had from my frequent urination to leg & back pain can be related to this one fibroid. Neat,huh? Also, the constant bleeding means my iron is incredibly low causing me a slew of symptoms, like shortness of breath and being constantly tired. Not old & fat related,ok?
Moral of the story here: Don’t let doctors brush off your symptoms and chalk them up to just age or weight.
Also: Planned Parenthood knows more than my general practitioner does and is amazing.

[this post was made possible by iron supplements and Planned Parenthood]

If we make it through December

Today’s post brought to you by my 7th graders lovely holiday chorus concert, a marvelous surprise in the mail from Rose, running water to clean up 7 year old’s vomit and cat puke, and new Patreon supporter Angie. 

Add this to the Killjoy Christmas playlist.

I feel ya, Merle.

I had thought today I could pay November rent but then did math this morning and realized paying the full amount would leave us $75 for gas and groceries until next Thursday  – during a week with kids home on break. That’s not going to work. I’ll pay part of it. Everything else is caught up except for rent! I’m calling that a somewhat-success.

 

Littlest kiddo home sick today and sad to be missing fun activities at school. Today’s activity was a Sun Welcoming Centerpieces for the Solstice. I’m delighted to see Paganism being practiced in public schools. Finally, my traditions are being honored en mass!
(It’s funny,right? Public schools are being very conscientious about not focusing on religious holidays but inadvertently using Pagan themes as substitute. I love it)
Anyway, since today is Yule and he’s home sick, we’ll make out own Sun Welcoming Baskets here. We don’t have much else planned. Husbeast is working evening shift tonight and older kids are busy with other things so having any sort of Yule celebration isn’t happening. Guess we’ll have to wait until that other day everyone gets off for their holiday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brought to you by…

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I’ve been prefacing my recent entries with “This post is brought to you by/made possible by” followed by a small list of things currently in my life helping to support me or keep me going. These things that sustain me can range from kind words and found life moments that lift me to tangible objects, opportunities, and donations.

The list of things can look like a daily gratitude offering and it is but it’s also much more than that to me. It’s a recognition that I’m not going through this life alone. When I succeed, no matter how small or large, it isn’t just my own “moxie and hard work” that makes it happen. When I struggle, it isn’t my own determination that keeps my head above water. This applies to things personal and economic. I reject the bootstrap mentality that I or anyone alone can pull themselves up to achieve their goals. It is also not possible to find comfort and make the best out of bad situations like poverty and depression without relying on other people and things to provide relief.  In this current state of bad systems and perpetual crisis, we’re only going to survive and thrive if we help each other.

And I say survive and thrive knowing fully well there may not be a way to thrive for some (hell, maybe I’m included in that) but dammit, that doesn’t mean I’m giving up on trying to build a better way.

Heaven knows I’m miserable now

Today’s post is made possible by inadvertently iced coffee, a nice down comforter my neighbor left on my doorstep a few weeks ago, and cats playing fetch with Nerf darts.

I’m so miserable right now that I’m basically a Morrisey song personified. I feel that whiny anyway.

It’s so cold and I can’t get the temperature inside to a decent place. I’m sitting by the woodstove and I can feel a draft coming from somewhere that feels like an actual breeze coming through the house. And not a warm one.

I’m having a very hard time being polite and courteous to the property manager when they’re asking about the rent. I’m so cold and we frequently don’t have running water so it’s harder than usual for me to stomach taking part in the tenant to owner wealth transfer process.

To date: November & December rent owed.

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I’m also sooooo tired. I have to get up every 2 hours to feed the woodstove whenever the temp drops into the teens and lower. The other night I slept through one alarm (or more like I must have shut it off and didn’t get up, I guess) and the indoor temp when I woke up was 48°.

I can’t see renewing the lease here because they keep raising the rent and it’s indecent to pay $1150/month to live like it’s 1820.
But then I know to not live like it’s 1820, I’m going to have to pay more anyway.

And now I’m done writing this because my fingers feel like they’re going to fall off. I need to find some fingerless gloves for typing.

Exhibit 1 of why I’m not allowed to be in charge of the holiday playlist

Today’s post is brought to you by generous supporter Marisa (thank you!), the little fake tree we got on Freecycle last year, and a string of red lights my Mom didn’t want anymore.

“Father Christmas , give us some money. Don’t mess around with those silly toys”

As my mother said at last year’s holiday gathering, “Oh,my lord. These songs are all so sad!”

Sorry, Mom. You raised a killjoy. I like my Christmas songs to have drunk and/or jobless dads and no chimneys Santa can come down.

Have yourself a merry merry Christmas, have yourself a good time.
But remember the kids who got nothin’ , while you’re drinkin’ down your wine

 

 

 

the hurrier I go the behinder I get

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Actually, a Monday morning reminder.
This is so fitting,considering how behind I feel today. I got hit with food poisoning and then some annoying staph infection. I am so far behind on everything. Usually I have my act together in at least one aspect of life but no, everything is a mess. Even my six year old who is oblivious to chaos commented this morning on the state of the house and the general messiness of life.

Last Monday, I posted this picture on Instagram of my weekly spread in my bullet journal (my journal is real a combo art/bullet/regular journal but whatever). It’s upside down. The journal itself is right side up but when I made the spread I didn’t realize I had it upside down. Ugh.17499340_10158358296755487_2709874769297363086_n
I commented that I hoped it wasn’t an indication of how my week was going to go. It was.

This Monday? I can’t find my journal anywhere. I feel like part of my brain is missing. My journal has become THE most important tool in managing my ADHD and life.

I think I’m going to take this week to get my collective shit together and hopefully I’ll find all the pieces of my brain while doing it.


Here’s my song of the day, “Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want This Time” by The Smiths. I’m feeling way nostalgic for my 80s music today. Maybe it has something to do with watching Stranger Things with my 12 year old this weekend. He has been begging to watch horror movies. Stranger Things was my compromise.

recent podcasts listened to

Well, I listen to a lot of podcasts but these particular ones/episodes felt relevant to share here.

Out of the Box podcast ep 105- Scott Santens on Universal Basic Income – Whenever I mention Basic Income, either here or elsewhere on social media, there are always questions. Most people have never heard of it and a lot of those who are in the know just have a lot of questions about how it would work. This episode is great because it covers just about everything about UBI you could possibly wonder. Universal Basic Income is how we can lift people out of poverty, reduce crime, boost the economy, improve health and well being, and create a much happier society.

In the Dark –  episode 6 – This may be a hard podcast to listen to, even if you’re a fan of true crime like I am. I had to take breaks to get through it sometimes and that’s undoubtedly in part because I have a 11 year old son and this podcast focuses on the 1989 abduction of 11 year old Jacob Wetterling. Yep, it’s a tough one. I know this doesn’t on the surface seem relevant here but episode 6 talks about the effects of legislation regarding sex offenders and the national registry. It was Jacob’s mom Patty who pioneered and pushed for a sex offender registry and now she’s not so fond of the monster it’s become. The overwhelming research on pedophiles and other sex offenders says that the lack of stable housing,jobs, and support after incarceration increases the chance of recidivism but because the consequences of being on the registry is so damaging to all of those things, that stability is impossible. The registry covers a broad range of offenses and there’s many people who really shouldn’t even be on it. The intention was to keep children safe and it hasn’t actually done that but it has pushed people into poverty.

On to happier things. Literally…

Happier with Gretchen Rubin – This is a super complicated podcast for me, even if I do love it. As someone who struggles with ADHD, I am constantly looking for strategies that help keep my mind and life better organized and aid in productivity and this really fills that need .I can’t say that it really makes me happier but at the present time, my mood is very influenced by my financial status, so I feel like all the little things suggested (sometimes they’re things I already do) don’t really make anything better but they may reduce some stress or help me embrace the things that are awesome in my life, which helps me get through the day . Poverty-induced depression isn’t a thing that I can fix by  making my bed every morning or taking photos of my everyday life but it can’t hurt either.