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.
I was thinking the other day about how November is the worst but I realized I say that about most months. Not usually summer months. The bad months tend to end in “brrr” or have the weather that is brrr.
Winter is informally here. Weather doesn’t care about calendar dates. I cringe when I hear the furnace kick on, hoping there’s enough in the fuel tank to keep us warm until HEAP helps out. I might have to have fuel delivered before we get HEAP. It’s a minimum delivery of 150 gallons=to around $575 so I’m trying to hold off. The heat is turned to minimum comfort & I’ve turned the trailer into a winterized cocoon. I could have paid for fuel if I had a dollar for everytime I said to someone, “Put a sweater on! Where are your slippers?”.
I really hate being cold so trust me,kiddos, this isn’t because I like it. And remember that last place we lived that was probably a Truman Show like social experiment to see if a modern day family could live in 1820? This is loads better.
Hand-me-downs have made it so that the only winter clothing I’ll have to get is boots for the smallest one. He has little Timberlands ($3 at a yard sale!) but he really should have regular winter boots.I tried to take advantage of a BOGO sale at Payless Shoes this past weekend and they had no boots. The salesperson said, “Well, we might get some in the next few weeks.” Might? You’re a shoe store in the frozen tundra of upstate NY. You should start putting boots in stock in September,silly.
Fortunately-unfortunately, my husbeast has been getting a lot of overtime hours so we should at least have funds to go buy non-BOGO deal boots this week.
I say unfortunately because he’s stressed, sore, and tired. Also, we did reapply for SNAP and got approved but it’s only $59 for the month because they were looking at the OT. I made zero dollars the last few months while recovering from my health nonsense, otherwise I’m sure we’d have been denied. In January, husbeast gets a 50¢/hour raise. I’m guessing for sure we won’t qualify anymore. Although maybe without the overtime,we might? I guess we’ll see. I hate the uncertainty of the safety net.
This area – the space where teetering income that keeps us from qualifying for assistance and from actually being enough to make all the ends meet – this is the scariest place to be. We’ve been here before. We’ve risen just above it at times only to fall below it again and again. This is where the most instability always is. It’s scary as fuck.
[this post brought to you by my new-to-us free refrigerator and a five day visit from my NYC-living daughter]
helping others: How To Help Hurricane Irma Victims Regain Food Security – orgs to donate to that are helping feed people (similar link at the bottom of that page to article on helping Hurricane Harvey folks). The good news is that both Texas and Florida have put emergency protocols in place for SNAP users so that they can use their EBT for prepared hot food. They can also apply to get additional funds to replace food in their homes that was lost to power outage & destruction.
political involvement: Why I’m Going To Run For Office –“I’m done putting my faith in well-meaning surrogates. That’s not enough now, and it never really was.”
Right on. We really need more diverse candidates representing marginalized citizens.
podcast: Earhustle – created and produced by inmates at San Quentin, this podcast tells real stories about life in prison. Start from the beginning.
The most ridiculous thing about this is that even if the pampering is free or super low cost, I will still get criticism. For example, posting a picture of my current read (from the library most likely) with a nice cup of cocoa almost always means I’ll see some sort of commentary about how I shouldn’t be so lazy or irresponsible with money. It isn’t just about the money aspect, it’s also about what’s seen as leisure and “mismanagement of time” that could presumably be spent working or maybe just huddled in a corner wearing rags by a fireplace with nothing but ask while I cry myself to sleep.
Self care: Do it. Poor people need it more than anyone else.
Was reading these links kind of a bummer? I do these nearly-daily link roundups at my other blog,too, and those are a lot happier and prettier.
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I’m trying to make sure we have rent by the end of the week so I was crossing my fingers to be able to do decent meal planning with what the food pantry offered yesterday. No such luck,honestly. Two cabbages and a bag of carrots were the only produce they had. I came away with lots of canned fruit, as much bread as I could take, ground turkey, hot dogs,turkey burger, rice, and some stale “spicy cheese flavored” taco shells. I’m sure I’ll manage some hellacious acts of pantry anarchy with some of it but it’s still disappointing. I think rent will be a little late. We need some grocery basics and gas for the car.
Yeah, that plan of mine to keep money in savings for groceries has not gone well.
On a more uplifting note, there’s a cute little garden happening behind the community center the food pantry is held at. I see rhubarb, oregano, some other herbs.
I have no idea who manages this garden or what it’s used for. My understanding is that once upon a time there was a large garden that served the food pantry but it was at someone’s house and that person has since sold the house and moved out of the area. If I felt like we had any secure permanency in this house, I’d organize a replacement garden on the acres here.
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I lay in bed this morning listening to my husband get ready for work. I heard him take a pill bottle down from the top of the fridge, open the cap. The pills skitter down the plastic amber cylinder. He pops the top back on, replaces the bottle to it’s home. The process repeats three more times. Then a few seconds later I hear the beep of his glucose meter reading off his morning number. He walks in to where I’m sleep-waking, leans down and whispers, “190”. Not surprising after goulash dinner the night before but not as bad as it has been some days.
He came home from another diabetic counseling session about two weeks ago. He hands me various papers that he was specifically told to give to his wife when he gets home, like he’s a child who needs to hand over papers to Mommy when he gets home from school. Would they do that to me if I was the diabetic? Take these home to your husband. Highly unlikely.
“No more pasta at all”, he says. He says other things about food that I couldn’t even hear right then. I flipped out and threw the papers everywhere, yelling, “Are they going to pay our grocery bill now so that can happen?” If only I could swipe our insurance card at the register.
Later I picked all the papers up and tossed them into the woodstove, feeding them to the fire. I know what they all say anyway. Knowing what they say and making it happen on the Cheap Carb Grocery Budget are two incompatible things that aren’t going to get married anytime soon.
GREAT NEWS. Escaping poverty requires almost 20 years with nearly nothing going wrong. If you manage to combat race and class issues while in poverty while also making sure nothing happens, there’s a chance of getting out of it.
I will start my countdown now.
Actually great news: Canada released some details about the anticipated UBI program that will be launched in three areas of Ontario. 4,000 residents will participate and receive a basic income of $16,989 per year for single folks and $24,000 for couples. People with disabilities will be given an extra $6,000. The participants are all lower income people, both working and non-working.
I’ve noticed a lot in mainstream news recently about jobs being automated and speculation over what this means for jobs in the U.S. The reports are always fraught with anxiety. There is never any mention of Universal Basic Income as a solution. This absolutely needs to be part of the conversation happening right now.
Song of the day: “My Country” by The Tune Yards
My country, tis of thee
Sweet land of liberty
How come I cannot see a future within your arms
Basically, this is my link dump from everything I read over the week. I’m gifting it to you.
Thor Harris from Swans gave a brief tutorial on Nazi-punching
“Angelina” by Pinegrove. It’s a live version but not the same live version that’s on their new live album “Elsewhere”, currently available to purchase HERE as a “pay what you want” with ALL PROCEEDS GOING TO THE SOUTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTER. Good cause, good music.
It’s beginning to look a lot like Taxmas. My favorite holiday. We filed our income taxes and should get our moolah back around the end of the month. This is a huge relief and again, we wouldn’t have made it through this month without the help of donations. It still irks me that a utility company and landlord can’t wait 3 weeks for their money. It’s just three weeks. Come on.
I’m currently making the list of things to throw money at (the car right now is #1) and formulating a strategy to make the most of all the monies , preferably in such a way that lends to some resemblance of economic stability. I’ll let you know how that turns out. Meh.
My husband is having a hard time managing his diabetes lately. He had to go to diabetic counseling this week and lemme tell you, I am not at all pleased with anything he came out of that appointment with. He handed me all the literature because as the person who cooks the meals, this is now my responsibility.”Give this to your wife”
I remember this well from when my Grandpa had diabetes and it fell on my Grandma to be the person in charge of his illness. One detail diabetic counselors and doctors seem to miss here is that I can plan and cook our meals right but that doesn’t mean he’ll exercise self-control over portion sizes or follow advice on exercise or not basically sneak food when he’s not home.
Are female diabetic patients told to hand over all their dietary instructions to their husbands?
When he was diagnosed years ago, I took it upon myself to research the way he should be eating. I adjusted how we eat accordingly. When things are good financially, I’m able to buy better food. When the grocery budget is scarce, I still do ok but not great as far as making sure it fits what he should eat. He has problems no matter how I cook because *see above last paragraph*
And also,also,also….they suggested not just specific food but products/brands that he should eat. They’re really expensive. Surprise! No, not at all a surprise. Nope.
Healthcare reform should allow food to be covered by your insurance plan, ok? Write that in the replacement.
Other than THAT, everything else is ok. I mean, I still hate winter but besides that.
A few people asked about this picture of forsythia I posted on Instagram last week. Here’s how I did it:
1. Cut forsythia branches.
2. Brought them inside and stuck them in water.
That’s it. Originally when I learned to do this eons ago, I was taught to hammer the ends of the branches before putting them in water but I really don’t know why. This is the third time I’ve “forced” them without hammering and they’ve still bloomed fine.
I think I might go wade through the snow to get some lilac branches this weekend. The touch of Spring does help me deal with the winter blahs a little bit.
Whenever I say I “forced them to bloom” , my husband cracks a 50 Shades of Greener joke. He’s hilarious.
Oh,hey…the Song of the Day…
“Blossom” by Nick Drake. I can’t think of any other music other than Nick Drake’s that has the unique ability to fit gray, gloomy, melancholy days while also being blue mood lifting.
from Gaycation via andreii-tarkovsky
I honestly rarely pay attention to my “likes” on the Poor as Folk Facebook page but I can’t help but notice that any time I post anything related to transgender people struggling with poverty,homelessness,housing and job discrimination – I lose a ton of followers. “What does this have to do with anything here?” I hear it SO many times. As long as I keep hearing that question and see people turn away because of my support of transgender people, I will keep putting the information out there about why this is an issue.