Posted in activism, anxiety, auction, community, conformity, crowdfunding, depression, disability, emergency, empath life, faith, friends, homeless, homelessness, individuality, life, observations, politics, poverty line, society, storage, urgent

9/22: Political Divide Ponderings (and #crowdfunding)

[Before I get to politics, I need to raise the funds for storage before Monday because of transfer time for GFM and PayPal. Any sharing or donation is greatly appreciated. See the stickied note for more info. Basically: auction is on 9/27 and I don’t have my PP debit card, so everything has to be transferred over to my checking account. I have two days before the transfers will be too late.]

I have always been in the “Bleeding Heart Liberal” category. I knew at 15 that I was going to register Democrat. My parents were both registered Republicans. But from a time when Republicans were more liberal (Dad was an Eisenhower Republican) and Dems were more conservative. My mother was originally a Democrat, from back in the day before parties switched views. She switched to Republican, around when she married my dad. I think because her views were so conservative, he nudged her to change affiliation to match her views. Dad, however, was pro-choice and all the other stuff. He voted Republican, but man, he was liberal through and through.

By the time I was 18, I knew Democrat was where I belonged. Some of my views have a twinge of Libertarian in them, but I’m staunchly a Dem. When I got my voter ID card at 18, I showed it to my dad, who joked, “Where did we go wrong with you?” I knew he was messing with me in a good way. Remember, he was quite liberal and I am such my father’s daughter. He knew, in his own quiet way, that I was in the right spot.


Flash forward to this past week. A couple days ago, I got into a debate with a conservative woman from this shelter. Here’s where my pondering begins.

How can someone who is homeless/poor/etc and reasonably intelligent stand by politicians who are so vehemently against them? I’m talking about the Liar in Chief. I usually just use ’45’ to refer to him, and will do so the rest of this post.

How does a woman who served in the military and depends on the VA in all its brokenness support a man who cuts spending for the very system she uses?

How can someone who is living in a shelter that depends on federal grant money to help people say that the government shouldn’t be the ones who help the poor and disabled, but that churches should be?

The debate happened while we were waiting for the MAX train back from her first trip to IKEA is several years. When we got on the train, I was so pissed, I just started ignoring her. She turned to a man on the other side of her and started in about “ignorant liberals”

*twitch*

*twitch*

The one thing I got clearly from her was this: she got her advanced education later in life (a Bachelor’s in Science [B.S.] in something) and had dropped a class because the professor made something clear about some sort of view that was decidedly more liberal than conservative. She then went into how she was glad she didn’t pursue her degree when she was younger because she might have been convinced and brainwashed back then to agree with this more liberal view.

As with everything involving the women in this shelter (other than the backstabbing and lies some pull), it all has mostly blown over and she’s all smiles again with me. Meh. I’ll move on and chat again with her. Just not today.


This is why I ponder these things:

I am innately curious about the human condition and psyche. Always have been. Ever since I was out of diapers, I either had a camera in my hand or was observing people in how they acted, reacted, and interacted. I wanted to understand human behavior from the time I was really little.

I’ve long joked that I’m really an alien from another planet who was dropped off here to observe human behavior. Sometimes, it doesn’t really feel like that much of a joke. I’ve always felt different. Like I wasn’t the same. Not human. My physiology is the same, save for a few oddities, but I am essentially a human being. I just don’t feel like I am one.

I want to understand why people behave how they do, believe things they do, act how they do. I’ve always been the one who asked questions and looked for answers. As a kid, I was always pulling random things from the yard and putting them under our little 3x microscope. I wasn’t big on dissection once we got to that in school, but I wanted to learn about other things.

Why are we seemingly always at war with each other?

Why do we so easily fear and then hate each other because of differences?

I know that second one is partly why I feel so different. I choose not to fear the differences. I’m curious about why the differences are there, and want to examine those differences. I love and embrace my curiosity. I want to absorb and learn and experience those differences. And I’ve never understood why others don’t want the same.

To choose being informed over conformity.

~A

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Posted in anxiety, bugaboos, crowdfunding, disability, job hunting, life, storage

8/30: Unsteady Income

Being an Independent Contractor with TR is a challenge. I love helping people with stuff like assembling furniture. I’m GOOD at it. But I can go a week or two without work and then get slammed for a week. I’ve had a dead period of a week now.

This is why I’m so frustrated. I never know how much I might make. Also, it comes piecemeal, so it’s difficult to gauge what I’ll have.

And this is why I need a regular job. Part time, mornings in an office. I’m looking, while also waiting to hear about disability. I need something steady.

This is super short… I much prefer making my posts longer. But it is what it is for now.

~A

Posted in activism, animal advocacy, animal welfare, anxiety, auction, cats, community, crowdfunding, disability, dogs, emergency, eviction, friends, homeless, homelessness, job hunting, life, storage, transitions, urgent

8/29: Random Requests, #Disability, #Dogs, and #Shelter Life (#crowdfunding)

I have ideas buzzing around in my head, but when I do manage to get them down, I can’t seem to form enough of a blog post to justify sharing.

Yes, I need help with storage. Massive help with storage. If I don’t get funds before Friday* it goes up to somewhere between $1600 and $1700. Is that achievable? Maybe. Honestly, I don’t know. I need to save my belongings. If people can use the GFM or PP, great. Although I now have a problem on PP. Hence the asterisk above.

* So, I am homeless. I have a P.O. Box. But that isn’t acceptable for PayPal to send a new debit card. I’ll have to wait to order a new card when I move. Until then, it’ll take time… the usual amount of time for a transfer to go through.

I also owe some people money. I hate not being able to pay them back as fast as I’d wanted to. Soon. Hopefully, very soon.


Disability Update: The judgment has been issued, but I won’t know it until the full thing is written up by one of the judges’ clerks. It’s been 2 1/2 months since my hearing and 1 1/2 since my case went to review. The clerk at the law office said I’m now getting into the time frame they normally see the decision handed down.

I touched on this on FB earlier today.

I’ve read and been told that I can make up to 30K/year and still receive benefits. This is apparently not true. There’s SO much misinformation out there. I can make about $14/hour part time. Which means someone will get an accounting clerk dirt cheap. C’est la Vie. I don’t think I can handle full time work anymore. Being out and about running between appointments and tasks the last few weeks has damn near killed me.

The other thing is the timing of the lump sum check. I have different people saying you get it immediately, others saying it takes months. So, I asked the clerk at the lawyer’s office for this as well. If the lump sum is over $20K, it takes extra signatures to approve it. Each set increment adds another signature. So, if it was 50K, yes, it would take a while. Mine could be as much as 30K, so it may be delayed a bit. I don’t know. We will see.


Dogs: I get it. You want to spoil your dog or cat. I do what I can to spoil Portia. And as I plan for the near future of getting a dog myself (I’m sure Portia will NOT be happy about it, but I’m working on how to help her adapt), I notice more and more how people treat their dogs.

And honestly, I’m not always impressed.

There was one resident here at the shelter who had her dog so well trained, she wouldn’t lick faces. Yes, you read that right, she didn’t lick faces. She was a sweet, well-tempered dog about 98% of the time. She had some moments.

Then you have others here who go over the top. One mostly has hers in a modded baby stroller. He’s obese. As in -I couldn’t tell if he was a boy or girl- when I first met them. Seriously. You couldn’t see the non-removable boy bits. He’s also extremely anxious and doesn’t do well if he isn’t part of the action.

Another… well, I couldn’t tell at first if the chi-dog could walk because her human always carried her. ALWAYS.

See, there’s a fine line between spoiling your dog and babying your dog. I intend to buy toys and nice beds and stuff for my future pupper/doggo. But I have zero intention of babying to the point of obesity or having people wonder if she can walk. Granted, I’m looking at getting a Groenendael (Belgian Shepherd, larger dog), so carrying won’t be feasible. We will see how things go. I will bend over backwards to make sure she’s healthy and happy, but going over the top is too much. I want my dog to be physically and mentally happy.

She’ll gradually be a working dog with a LOT of training over the first few years. But my desire to get a puppy and raise her with a lot of training is due, in part, to Portia not liking dogs. I want her to watch the puppy grow and the puppy to be raised with a cat so she knows how to behave around them. At least one breeder I’ve emailed agrees with this plan. And even if she doesn’t complete service training, she’ll still be a phenomenal and well trained dog.


I’ll likely do a more expanded assessment of the place I’m living now once I’m out and can get some distance. I do know one thing: 4 months may be the average time here, and what management wants everyone to aim for, but not everyone can fit that ideal. It just isn’t always doable. I’ve been here a shade over 5 months. And the ONLY reason I’m looking at getting out soon is because of CCC. As I go into their training program, I’m eligible for up to 6 months of rental assistance.

And one of the Case Managers here is leaving for good this week because, as she apparently said, she’s tired of breaking hearts. She sees the same problem with the “four month plan” that I do. It isn’t enough for everyone.


More tomorrow or… something. Tomorrow is a wild day. I have an Information Interview (not a job interview) at a local store (this is for the scholarship for the short term training classes) in the morning, then two doctor’s appts in the afternoon.

~A

Posted in anxiety, auction, cats, crowdfunding, depression, disability, emergency, faith, homeless, homelessness, housing, life, Personal, storage, urgent

8/29: quick post (panic) #crowdfunding

I am at my wit’s end. I’m so close to getting back into a place (with initial help from an agency), and I’m losing everything.

So, after Friday, the amount owed will go up to about $1600. My checking account is in the negative right now due to shit happening and not enough tasks.

I also need to pay to renew my P.O. Box before the end of the month. Another $41 I don’t have. And then the vet bill.

I’ll post more later… just putting this out there.

~A

Posted in anxiety, C-PTSD, chronic pain, creativity, crowdfunding, depression, disability, emergency, health, homeless, homelessness, housing, insomnia, job hunting, life, observations, PTSD, storage, urgent

8/11: Brain Battle: Real Life vs. Creativity

Another crazy week of running around to appointments and tasks and stuff. Emphasis on appointments.

Still need help with storage and such. One thing I realize is that once I get a place lined up and have the money to move, I want to have access to my stuff in storage because then I won’t have to repurchase things like kitchen supplies and bathroom stuff, and a mattress, etc. I’ll HAVE all of that. No bed frame, but I do want to get a MALM bed with storage from IKEA because if I move into a small studio, I’ll need ALL the storage I can get.

But it would be best if I retain everything I already have and use that as much as possible. I’ll gradually go through what’s left and sell/toss what I don’t use (or are sewing/crafting supplies).


Trying to find a balance between real life and my creativity isn’t easy when your waking moments are filled with appointments, a bag-up of belongings here at the shelter, PTSD triggers, chronic pain & fatigue, and people telling you to make a few dozen phone calls and you’re not good using the phone. Also: applying for jobs, eating moderately healthy (yeah, that didn’t work so well this week), and trying to sleep when your brain insists on running Worst Case Scenarios at random intervals during the night.


I’m in Month Five here. Technically, they want you through the system in four months. But I need stable income to get into something. Income I don’t have. I’m working on it.

Except one thing:

I don’t know if I can handle a full time job anymore. The past two weeks of being busy and running around M-F each week has drained me to the point where I feel like my mood has dipped back down and depression is hanging over me. I’m fucking exhausted. I still haven’t put my stuff from bag-up away. I have no energy to do anything. It sucks. I know it’ll turn around, but how to deal with it until it does? Not sure.


Gonna sign off for now. I’ll be back… I always am.

~A

Posted in anxiety, crowdfunding, depression, disability, emergency, eviction, friends, homeless, homelessness, housing, life, Personal, society, storage, urgent

7/22: Mischief, Mayhem, and Tea

Still in need of help with storage and vet bills. I don’t have any more tasks scheduled at the moment, so I’m getting a bit panicky. Phone may get shut off, which I need for tasks and general survival.

I’ve set up a GFM:¬†Vet Bills, Storage, and Life

I can’t say I’ve been super mischievous. We’ve certainly had our share of mayhem around here. One of my few trusted residents here got booted for no honest reason. The whole thing is majorly messed up. She was given grants, she even found a room to rent, but then they denied her the grants she’d already been awarded. All because of what? Nothing obvious.

My concern now is if they’ll pull the same short-notice warning on me.


TEA!! Yesterday, I volunteered at the Tea Festival at the World Forestry Center near the Portland Zoo. It was packed with tea companies and tea lovers alike. I learned more about different kinds of tea yesterday than I’d ever imagined.

Also that I prefer my tea sweetened.

It was a pretty damn cool experience overall.

Posted in anxiety, C-PTSD, cats, chronic pain, community, crowdfunding, depression, disability, health, homeless, homelessness, housing, job hunting, life, medical, music, Personal, poverty line, PTSD, society, storage, urgent

7/18: Updatessss…..

Lots of fur has been flying in my life of late.

Quick aside: Yes, still need help getting storage caught up. Really need to get it caught up for once and for all. Then I can deal with each month as I go. I just finished a four day run of tasks, but a chunk of that income will go to keeping my cell phone alive as I need it for that work. (They just called as well. I said I’d get some funds at the start of the month and then ended up using them for other stuff… so yeah… help?)

People are always amazed at my hourly rates for Taskrabbit. I inevitably get the “man, you should be rolling in dough” when I’m not. I can go 2 weeks without a task and then, like the last few days, get slammed with several. I had four tasks in four days, during a heatwave. Only one place had A/C. Today is my self-mandated rest day.

So, here’s the other stuff happening of late:

Housing: I don’t remember if I mentioned it before, but I got to the top of the waitlist for an SRO in North Portland. Problem #1: I still can’t afford the rent on it. Problem #2: My alarm bells for my PTSD went off when I was up there to fill out the application. As it’s a co-ed building with people of all ages and many disabled, there were many there who made me feel uncomfortable.

Also included in housing: I’ve been given a two-week extension here at the shelter, instead of the usual month-long extension. I’m at 4 months, which is the preferred length of stay, but I need steady income and safe housing. I don’t really have either at the moment.

Disability: I talked with the legal assistant who works with my attorney today. My case is now in the review stage. She said it could be 30-90 days before the judgment is made. Then another 60+ days before the brief is written.

Now, if I get a favorable decision, I can go ahead with General Assistance (meeting to apply for it next month), which can help with rent, etc until disability kicks in.

In all likelihood, I may not see funds until Christmas at this rate. If I get a favorable decision.

Shelter Life:¬†Even with everything else going on, I have the added stress of living in this shelter. Anyone who wonders why many homeless people get bitter and angry, come stay here for a few months. With resources stretched thinner than month-old roadkill and people who can’t afford decent housing, it’s rough here. If one were to compare the lot of us, I have some of the highest education of residents, yet here I am. Extensive education doesn’t keep one from being homeless. It’s just a longer fall to the bottom.

Being disabled in a multitude of ways also makes it difficult to find work. I can’t just apply for anything and everything. I can’t stand for very long, sitting for more than 2 hours is painful as well. Due to my vocal cord issue, I can have difficulty on the phone for extended periods. My voice just cuts out. For being trained as a singer, that alone hurts. I miss singing.

There’s been a lot of fighting and arguing around here. The bullies are still around and being as asshole-ish as ever. One difference is that the main one knows not to directly mess with me. I’ve stood up to her a few times now, very loudly and publicly, so she harasses others instead.

Portia: We had some health issues last week where she threw up every bit of food and a hairball (she mats, almost never gets hairballs) for two days straight. Took her to Dove Lewis and have a bill to pay now. That night, she threw up what I eventually found out was bile. Only the once, thankfully. I took her to see her normal vet the next day (who comped the visit). She did a physical exam (I can’t afford bloodwork and all just yet) and found no major issues like an obstruction or full bladder. Her teeth and gums looked good as well. Despite her age (12) and sensitive skin/stomach, she’s pretty damn healthy.

Housing Option: While I’m aware that the big thing is affordability, I also need to get into someplace that’s more… normal. I’m at the point where sharing a kitchen and bathroom with a few people is reasonable to me (as opposed to sharing with 20 other women, some of whom don’t grasp the concept of cleaning up after themselves). There may still be spaces available at University Pointe which is unofficial housing for PSU. Not as cheap as an SRO, but I’d be sharing with no more than 3 other people. Much more manageable.

Job Hunting: As mentioned above, finding work within my parameters isn’t easy. Getting interviews is even more difficult. I can’t just apply to warehouse/factory/retail/fast food jobs. My back and my PTSD would never let me get very far. I used to love working retail, but re-injuring my back 5 1/2 years ago and then again last December (I should probably never leave my home that month) has made returning to it nearly impossible. I tried using a stool at my last retail job, but it pressed against my sciatic nerve, so I had to stop. My irritability from my PTSD doesn’t help. I’ve gotten worse at being around others. So, limited facetime in a job is best.

So, where does that leave me?

Not many options. But I’m trying.


Yes, I have my days where getting up and doing stuff just feels impossible. Days when hopelessness overwhelms me. I’m doing what I can to fight it, to stay positive, but is isn’t easy.

But this is my life in a nutshell at this moment. I may start another YouCaring just because… or GFM. I don’t really like either one. But this would cover vet bills, initial cost of pet insurance, and storage… I’ll keep y’all informed.

~A

Posted in animal welfare, anxiety, C-PTSD, cats, chronic pain, community, crowdfunding, depression, disability, friends, homeless, homelessness, housing, life, PTSD, society, storage, urgent

7/13: Tumultuous Week

(Yes, crowdfunding if anyone can help: vet bill from Dove Lewis, storage, others. If I do another YC or GFM, would you share regularly?)

It’s been a wild and weird week for me. I filled out the application for an SRO, but going there to do it made me uncomfortable. Several older men also live there (it isn’t gender restricted) and gave me the creeps by staring at me as I arrived and later when I left. I was on alert due to my PTSD and I really don’t feel comfortable living in a building where my PTSD is triggered that much.

Staring Monday evening, Portia began horking up her food. When she kept throwing everything up by Wednesday morning (once or twice is reasonable if she’s stressed or due to the heat, but this wasn’t a brief run), I hauled her in to Dove Lewis. They gave her anti-nausea meds and sub-q fluids and sent her home. That evening, she threw up what I eventually figured out was bile. She had nothing else to throw up, but still wasn’t well, so up that came. I took her to her usual vet yesterday afternoon. The vet took her vitals, did much the same exam as Dove Lewis did, and gave her a B-12 shot. She’s slowly coming around. She has eaten a little of her favorite wet food this morning.

While her regular vet comped the visit fees, Dove Lewis did not. Just under $150.

Which I don’t have. I set up a payment plan, but as usual, I’m behind on everything else as well. Storage is back up. I have a few small tasks coming up, but nothing close to covering everything I need covered. I may start a GFM or YC again to cover whatever needs to be covered. If I do, would people share? I mean, I prefer the PP donation link, primarily because they don’t take as much as the others do (YC doesn’t, but WePay, which they both use, does).

I do need to get a senior blood panel done for Portia. She’s ain’t no spring chicken anymore. When she threw up the bile, I freaked a bit. I’d never seen that before. And this brings me to pet insurance.

That industry has exploded. Years ago, when I still have JoJo AND Jack, I looked at pet health insurance. There were only a small handful of companies and they had age restrictions.

Now?

Hell, Geico offers pet health insurance. Their plans aren’t bad, but they don’t cover basic stuff and illnesses, so I’m looking at the others. So many options. Since I’m on Medicaid myself, I’m not used to all the details and shit. Just sign up and take what I get, right? But the policies for pets… wow.

At one point when JoJo was sick, I remember asking for help on FB and some dude I barely knew from the Furry community told me that if I can’t afford to take her to the vet when she’s sick, I shouldn’t have pets.

I blocked his ass so fast. Here’s the thing: My cats (well, one right now) are my chosen family. With my PTSD, they have helped me through so much. Portia is the reason I’m still here. She is my tether to life. She is my ESA (Emotional Support Animal).

Does it suck that I can’t always afford to go do all the stuff society thinks I need to do to keep her healthy? Yes, it does. I want to get her a Lion Cut shave down soon, but groomers aren’t cheap.

But I do the best I can. Of all three cats I’ve had since I moved out on my own, Jack was my “problem child.” He ate things he shouldn’t (*cough*BabyBell cheese wax*cough*brownies*cough*), had gingivitis and stomatitis and eventually had all his teeth behind his fangs removed. I learned how NOT to pill a cat with him. He knocked shit off counters and tables and broke things and pounced on his big sister like it was a religion. But he was my big goofball and I miss him. His vet bills were numerous. Acute Renal Failure.

JoJo, despite her wheat allergy, was pretty damn healthy until the last month or so. With her, I learned how NOT to bathe a cat (note: remember to remove the covered litter box with clumping litter from the room before you close the door to bathe a long haired cat). She had Congestive Heart Failure.

And now I have Portia, whom I adopted after Jack passed away. She has sensitive skin and a sensitive stomach. Food options are limited. And she HATES being groomed. But other than those two things, she’s been reasonably healthy. A few blips here and there, but nominal. Oh, and the allergy to wool. She’s currently chilling out in one of the cooler corners of the room.

No matter our income, our animal companions help us through good and bad periods of our lives. Portia gives me someone to come home to. If I’ve had a shitty day, I can come back here and snuggle with her.

I just hope I have another couple of years with her.

So, yes, I’m still asking for any help possible. Help with the vet bill at Dove Lewis, storage, etc. We will get through this massive hurdle. I just know I’m not able to do it alone.

~A