Tag Archive: poverty

New Plans

I find myself conflating several goals again. The goal of finding permanent housing has rung a bell with another activist advocate, who is also losing her housing. So we are discussing the likelihood of being long-term housemates. At this point the talks are going quite well. No, I’m not finding another girlfriend (some of you think that my entire life is predicated up on that; you haven’t been watching very well, have you?). I’m finding someone I can trust to keep up her end of a housing situation WHICH I COULD DO BY MYSELF, just because I like helping people.

The area I am looking to move to has a good homeless service organization, a good animal rescue organization, decent services and supports for my needs (and hers). Nothing’s perfect, but the biggest potential fly in the ointment is that somebody else could buy the house I want before I do… and there may be others in the area, although not with all the good stuff this house has.

Just putting it out there. The gods (Universe, etc.) know my heart and what I want to be doing. I hope those of you reading this will add your prayers or energy toward this end.

Hugs,
Me

Update on Busy Day

I got out of the Chevy Dealership at just over $1000, with a preferred customer card good for $75 on my next service. The rental car only cost $60, have to wait for them to refund my deposit to my credit card before I get that credit back but that’s all good. I went and bought two tires for the front — that was the greater need, the tire dealer only had two in stock, and I only had money for two.

All in all, a successful day. And before I went to the car dealership, I accepted a credit offer from Barclay’s which gave me a new card with a higher credit limit and lower interest rate than the Chase Amazon card, and they claim I can move the Chase balance to it for a $30 fee (with 0% interest the first year, that’s a huge savings).

I don’t know when I’ll be able to move to my new digs, but there is hope that is moving forward more swiftly than earlier thought.

Thank you, Goddess, for having things fall so neatly into place. If my job had not needed me to go to Knoxville for training and to pick up a certificate on Monday, and I was not scheduled to work until today (Wednesday), I would not have been near the dealership and would have missed work or had more trouble getting done what was needed.

Hugs,
Me

Quick Change

Well, I looked online yesterday for DSP jobs in Morristown, and found a company with many houses in Jefferson City, which is even closer (and closer to Dandridge). I jotted off a quick email. Less than an hour, I received a response that they were having a Job Fair in Morristown today (9 to Noon). So I pried my sorry ass out of bed early to get there… and wound up being hired!

I’m looking forward to the time I can move to Dandridge. Right now the drive is about 7 miles longer than my current drive. But I need relief from the way my guys are stressing me out… and RHA is willing to keep me on as needed, if I need any extra hours.

Hugs,
Me

Small Victories

When I’m wallowing in pity, I always seem to forget that at least I’m still around to wallow. I may only get paid every two weeks, but every day I work is another day closer to being out of debt and will count toward the paycheck which will get me there. Autism isn’t fun, depression isn’t fun, loneliness isn’t fun, but dying would end all the chances at future fun.

So. This month I get rid of two complete debts. One is already gone, the other is scheduled to die on Friday. Next month I get rid of one more. Then I have to work harder to keep my credit current and going backwards with my three remaining accounts, all three of which should have zero debt balances in 6 months (one of which will go away forever, and I’ll contemplate the other’s future at a later date).

Still keeping up on that New Years’ Resolution. Making almost as good as perfect progress and much better than expected progress.

Hugs,
Me

Resolute

Happy New Year, ME.

If the stars align properly and I follow their instruction, I *could* get entirely out of debt by this time next year. I pledge to do at least half that, and will be happy if I get to 2/3rds, but it sure would be great to meet the full goal.

I have gained weight this year, from 205 to 246. I hope to lose at least to 220. This means I will need to take my weight more seriously, and find time to walk and/or exercise every week.

I still need to complete ANY assignments toward my Barding. I pledge to complete all assignments this year, if at all possible.

Will I still have my job this time next year? That would be a record for me. I’m at 19 months now, and the longest I have held a job to date has been 27 months.

Can I stay out of any and all relationships? I hope so. Losing sight of that goal will seriously impact the first goal.

I have a housemate right now. If she can stay for the full year, it will be much easier to meet my other goals, IF we can keep it fairly stress-free.

Guess that’s enough for one year. See you next year to count the successes and failures.

Hugs,
Me

CompuToys

I ordered two old-but-running ASUS Eee PCs off eBay last week. the first one, a 900A, arrived today; the second, a 1001H, was shipped today. I’m cleaning them up, fixing them up, upgrading them as needed, and will keep one, selling or giving away the other. I could probably sell either one for what I paid for both… but I do have a soft spot, and there are people who could really use one of these that don’t have $50.

Yule Party

Friday night was the guys’ Christmas Party, thrown by the company I work for, RHA. It was some fun, some very much not fun, as my guy can’t take crowds for long and can’t handle anticipation (gifts after dinner — as soon as dinner was over he was moaning “I don’t get none”). I did manage to keep him calm enough until he got his box, but pretty much had to get him out of there after the presents were over.

In the end, I worked an hour of overtime, as we didn’t get home until 8:30 and I still had to get him ready for bed, wash his socks, and administer his meds.

Meanwhile, my own Family’s Yule Part was underway and I was itching to get there. I am proud that I put my job over my own needs this once (as my guy’s needs are very real and that’s what I signed up for). But as soon as I could get to the car and leave, I did. I still had to stop off and get some wrapping stuff for my shared gift (we bring one gift, and draw numbers to pick whatever gift looks intriguing — I took some expensive incense, I got a pine bottle of Mtn Dew mead brewed by 5). I’m jumping ahead, as the gift tree was Saturday night.

I took Rosaleen, my harp, on Friday night, as well as a bag of my hats to give away. Had a good time, got unwound, had to drive home. In all, I might have been there 2 hours before I found myself getting tired enough to need to leave. I got back Saturday morning, just before noon. Early for me.

Great day yesterday. So many of the people who loved me were there, some people I didn’t know well (in a small enough setting that I got a chance to know them better), etc. I think I stayed until 11 pm — there was frost I had to scrape/melt off the car, I think that was the first time this Winter. I got quite a lot of good comments about my harping (I also allowed Will and Alianna to play it, which really got them lit up with glee).

When I woke up this morning, I remembered a dream, and it had to do with taking care of my guy, JM. I posted it to my dream notebook. Suffice it to say that I have rarely dreamed for the past couple years, had one I didn’t remember long enough to write down a week ago, and this is certainly the first time I dreamed about my guy and this job. I’ve had the job since May 2013, must be sinking in to my subconscious.

Hope you all have a good holiday season whatever you celebrate.

Hugs,
Me

Grassroots for Peace

You want to see the way things ought to work in the world?

Several years ago, I donated $35 to a campaign called Project Asset. This project took the daughters of sex workers in India and taught them computer skills so they had an option that did not mean following their mothers’ line of work. While Project Asset is now a multi-million dollar effort, that is not the measure of its success. The measure of its success is the dozens of college graduates and hundreds of high school graduates who would not have had a chance if the program did not exist. It is even the cooperation of local criminal elements, who completely left undisturbed the training centers which were built in the middle of the worst parts of the worst towns despite containing thousands of dollars of computer equipment.

One of Project Asset’s partners, Kailash Satyarthi, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. This is the effect we are having.

Project Asset was started by a student at a major Arizona university (sorry, I don’t remember whether it was Arizona or Arizona State). Her father chipped in a little. I chipped in a little. Some of my friends chipped in a little. Eventually, they attracted larger donors, and in the past few years even started getting funds from nations and even the UN.

It doesn’t take much to fix the world. It starts with caring.

Updates

I just heard that the performance I am to give in a few weeks in Dillsboro, NC was under-promoted, so there will likely only be a few people there. I’ll go anyhow, I love to play places.

I have a housefilk to attend this Saturday at Larry Kirby’s house in St. Matthews, SC. I will be taking Nan with me, picking her up on the way. If all goes well, she will also spend next week at my apartment.

Everything is going smoothly for Atomacon in Charleston, SC. I will have a lot of fun there.  And I hope to find the money soon to go to GAFilk in January, have offered to pay a fair amount on the hotel room this year. I do this just for fun, nobody pays me to go and I don’t get any special concert other than the Twofer. If you’re a filker, missing GAFilk is a mistake.

Work is going fine, and I am certain my help is appreciated by my coworkers, manager, and the guys we support. I have learned that SocSec intends to cut off my SSDI in a couple years if I keep the job (or have another one) until the end of my “3 Year Extended Trial Work Period”, leaving me just short by 3 years or so from getting SocSec Retirement. I think I have things in line to where I can work enough hours to replace most of the lost income and not need the rest of it. Who knows what will happen by then?

Hugs,

Me

What are you doing?

I keep posting things on my Facebook page to help people. Not all the help being offered is appreciated by all my friends, but is usually objected to by someone it was not meant for. So Facebook is becoming less and less of a tool, and more of a slash and burn defense mechanism.  I am not ready to quit FB just yet. I did announce today that I’m not going to repost any stories on gun violence, don’t know what good that will do either way but it’s messing up my chi, so to speak.

So I was just wondering. What are you doing? How are you helping things move forward in the world?

I’ve done some things I’m beyond “not proud of”, but have done my best to put them behind me and move forward. Not everyone wants me to do that, as though my living in my past will make them a better person. I don’t buy that for a second.

But if we’re talking past, I have a pretty good one, and the closer you look to the present, the better it looks (outside of poor choices in relationships, but even then my purpose or intention was to help).

2005 – Co-founded Asheville Homeless Network, still the nation’s only standalone Membership Organization for the homeless. Not for people working WITH the homeless, not for raising funds to trickle down TO the homeless, but the homeless population itself. I managed to get full 501(c)(3) status for it, in almost record time according to lawyers I’ve spoken with, and did all the paperwork and followup myself. Still active under other leadership, but I ran it myself for 5 years.

2006 – started back to knitting, first scarves and then hats. A lot of my yarn has been donated, people hear what I’m doing with the hats (donating them to poor and homeless people, probably over 95% of them) and remember that bag of yarn they have that they’ve never used. I buy a lot of yarn. Just ask JoAnn Fabrics’ website. At this point, I’ve given away over 1,000 hats to grateful people and organizations, and I’m still going.

Somewhere around there I became a co-founder of Asheville Radical Mental Health Collective, a support organization that does not judge you based on your treatment choices but supports your right to make those choices. This includes (a hard one) illegal drug usage, or no “medications” at all, but also includes choices to follow your doctors’ advice.

2012 – Worked for 6 months at a Social Security payee firm, helping handle finances for people with drug, alcohol, or mental health issues who could not handle their own. I also completely rewrote the company website. At minimum wage.

2013 – Was hired as a Direct Services Professional, working 5 hours a day in a home for two disabled individuals. Some of the work is easy, some of it is not. A lot of it is just getting through, when behavior of my guy has to be tolerated and my job becomes one of not harming himself, me, my co-worker, or the other guy in the house. I still have this job.

And I’m still knitting. And I’m still trying to lead a dialogue online about making the country better by moving forward.

Which includes my membership in Justice Party USA. This is the only party with an ethical platform — social, environmental, and economic justice, freedom based on respect of all individuals and the world we live in. It may not work. People are afraid of third-party activism, afraid it will take votes away from the “good” oligarchs and so get the “bad” oligarchs elected. But I believe in voting my conscience, and I wish I could give everyone in America a wake-up call to where they would vote theirs.  Vote YOUR best interests, not those of the 84 people (or whatever the pathetically small number is) who own America and the media outlets. Reject negative politics in all forms from all sides.

 

My friends have mentioned that my blog does not take any stands, or settle on any issue. There are too many issues to pick one. But the first and foremost is, take care of myself. Make myself the best person I can be. Expose lies, reveal under-exposed reality, urge people to become the best person THEY can become. I know lots of them are better than me, or further along or better-equipped, but that’s no reason for me to give up on myself. I find people in need of help and try my best to help them see how they can better themselves, not by giving them a blueprint or putting myself forward as an example but by showing them it can be done, and it’s hard work. It’s hard work doing it, it’s hard work helping others respect themselves and others, it’s hard work writing blogs so few will even read, but it has to be done. For me. If it helps you, I would be happy to claim a mitzvah when it is offered, but this isn’t about Look At Me, it’s about Look At Yourself (and if you don’t like what you see, fix it).

I expect people who have been listening to my music have seen this trend. OK, I also have a wicked sense of humor, and it’s not exactly what people expect. Mis-wired brains and missing puzzle pieces, ya know.

 

Guess that’s enough rant for now.

 

Hugs,

Me