Posted in baking, cats, dragon, food cravings, life, Personal

6/19: Dragon Bakes

Technically, I’m supposed to eat gluten free. I get sick if I go off the proverbial wagon. Ginger tea and similar stuff helps ease the pain. Well, this month I went off the wagon a couple of times: Poptarts (Cherry frosted ones) and a package of Fireworks Oreos. Yes, I’ve been reaping the side effects as well.

While my housemates (hosts) are off chilling out at the RV, I’m at the house, tending to the felines of the household (one theirs, one mine) and hanging out. This means I have the kitchen entirely to myself.

Heh heh heh….

Getting myself back on track. I don’t have much left of my EBT/food money. Eating gluten free on food stamps is hell. You think it’s hard with regular food? That box of granola bars is at least $2 higher for gluten free. I do limit my carbs. I try to eat alternate foods that are still reasonable. But I still run out of funds.

So I’m baking. Well, I will later. I have gluten-free flour, using the last of my butter, a little vanilla, and some sugar. So, what am I making?

Gluten Free Shortbread.

Something I’ve wanted to attempt for a few years now, but never bothered because I didn’t have the space and didn’t feel the need for cookies. I’m just going by a regular recipe. The flour I have is a 1-to-1 blend from Bob’s Red Mill. I’m letting the butter soften. I took the two sticks out of the freezer last night and put them in the fridge. Now they’re sitting in the microwave (long ago deemed the safest place for food to thaw… and no, I’m not melting it… microwave is not on… and by safe, I mean away from curious paws. Someday I’ll tell you about what Jack the Cat did years ago when I forgot to put the plate of brownies back into the microwave).

I’ll report later on the results.

~Dragon

Posted in artsy stuff, creativity, Personal

6/17: Projects

So, I have three jacket/coat projects rumbling around in my brain. Only one involves sewing… I’ll get to that one later.

  1. The Blazer: It’s actually a mens black tuxedo jacket. Nice condition. I bought it at Goodwill a couple years ago for a cosplay I never used it for. It was the “backup” plan. So, I got this idea in my head: Cut a hole in the stitching between the lining and outer fabric and draft out a design to hand-embroider along the back. I was thinking a Mandala, but there are so many ideas. A dragon would be awesome as well. I’m looking at designs from Urban Threads.
  2. The Denim Jacket: I have a basic denim jacket I don’t typically wear much. I have several patches and make patches on my embroidery machine (when I have access). A friend of mine suggested I turn it into my “Patch Jacket.”
  3. This one will be more vague in my description. I have a hoodie that’s wearing out and I want to do a little “nip and tuck” to it and add more to it. It won’t be recognizable as a hoodie once I’m done. I just need pieces of sweatshirt fleece and old sweatshirts of varying colors to do what I want to it.

Right now, to work on #1, I have the jacket and the needles. But my embroidery thread is buried behind a ton of other things. I need to dig out a hoop and my thread… or get new thread. If I go with the mandala, I want to go with blues and purples. I’m having a hard time deciding on a design. I’ve linked to UT above. If anyone has any ideas, leave a comment with a link to the design you like the best. Nothing too complicated. Look at the hand embroidery options.

Dragons, mandalas, wolves, etc…

~Amanda

Posted in anxiety, bugaboos, depression, dreams, eviction, grad school, homeless, job hunting, life, Personal, storage, student life

6/17: Falling Apart

I’m not totally sure what to do anymore. I have no back up, no resources. Remember: I’m homeless, jobless, and disabled. Trying to finish grad school has become an impossible feat. I owe nearly 5K to my school because I had to withdraw from my classes last term. I got a letter recently (I check my PO Box about once a week) saying if I don’t send something (and where is this money coming from?) before the 26th, it’ll go to collections.

So I’m at a loss. I’ve worked at this degree for nearly three years and the last two terms, due to depression and the eviction stress, I’ve tanked. Hard. I talked with my advisor and decided on just doing the one credit wrap-up capstone… but it’s one credit and financial aid only covers 5+ credits. I don’t have the funds to pay for one credit. I’m about ready to say, “sign me up for 5-6 credits for the fall term… fuck this, I’m going for the certificate.” Summer term has already started.

Maybe I’d get enough funds to pay off the school and a new term. Not sure.

So, here’s why I’m pissed off… they know I’m trying to finish the degree. There’s a damn good reason I’ve needed financial aid. I’ll try calling them next week and try to deal with this. Explain that with the debt, I can’t finish my degree… but I’m unemployed and fucking homeless so how the fuck am I going to come up with 5K??

I’ll call them next week and see what I can do. I don’t have the money. I’m trying to sell stuff out of storage so I can pay next month’s storage rent of a mere $280 (mere compared to 5K).

The letter from them states that enrollment will be frozen while I still have outstanding debts… I need a miracle of some sort. At the very least a small one to keep me from losing it while on the phone with them next week.

I’m frustrated. Partly with school, but mostly with myself and my life. I can’t fully put my finger on the WHY of the mess my life has become. I can’t blame it fully on either myself or “society.” Believe me, I wish I could figure it out. I wish I had that answer.

But it eludes me.

~Amanda

Posted in dreams, faith, job hunting, life, Personal, poetry

6/16: Perched

I’ve been working on different things, all while trying to let my body recover from over-exertion on Wednesday. Today, I did a few small things to help boost my visibility for social media work. But I also became a bit frustrated with the job hunt because I keep trying to break into that field and I get nowhere. And now my sites are down because I don’t have the funds at the moment to pay my hosting.
So I feel like I’m looking in the wrong direction, even though I’m good at social media. Anyway… the poem below is kinda how things feel right now. I feel up in the air, which is how I am in the poem. Enjoy!

******

Precarious perch
Where do I
Land?
The fence below is
Full.
So here
I
Perch.
On a wire just above.

I see land on
Both sides.
One is safe
But
Plain.
Grassy flat land
As far as
My eyes can see.

Others there mill around.
I cannot tell if
They bother
Looking up
Anymore.
Do they wonder
What may be
Beyond the fence?
Do they see the fence?

The other side is
Rocky.
Uneven.
I would be unsure
Where to safely
Land.
Less of my kind
There.
The unknowns
Outweigh
The knowns.

The clouds have
Yet to lift.
I hear they may.
Soon.
I cannot
Stay
On this wire
Forever.

~Amanda

Posted in dragon, Personal, storage

6/15: Not A Morning Dragon 

Yesterday was spent in storage and one TR gig. I had awesome friends helping. Got more stuff up high to utilize the space better. Lots more work to be done in there.

I will likely be laying low and letting my body recover. Ow. Expect some blog posts… as those don’t require physical exertion. Right now? Rest.

~Dragon out… zzzzzz

Posted in feminism, life, Personal, society

6/13: Girl Power

I’m no Wonder Woman or Supergirl or… hell, even Black Widow (and she TOTALLY needs her own damn movie), but I have noticed (and been told) that I get a lot of direct-hire tasks on TaskRabbit. Now, sometimes the tasks are normal-ish things, but more and more, I’m getting hired for something that is stereotypically a “men’s job” … furniture assembly.

Most of the time it’s IKEA, but I also get Wayfair pieces (do NOT get me started on their shitty directions). I enjoy doing it, even when it’s a challenging piece (that one bed frame was hell, but I got it done). One of my last jobs before the eviction was that bed frame I just mentioned in the parentheses. The wife of that couple helped bring parts to me when needed. Her husband had just had surgery, so he couldn’t do it. She was one of a handful of my past clients who said they were happy to see a woman doing this type of task.

When you think about it, my work on furniture is very empowering. I enjoy it, but also it’s helpful for the clients. For one thing, they see a female person doing furniture assembly… again, something you mostly see men offering. The more important factor is that I’m typically going into single womens’ apartments. Many would feel uncomfortable having some strange dude doing this. And being a survivor myself, I understand that concern. I’m here for my clients so that they can feel safe and still have whatever furniture they need help getting assembled taken care of.

I think it’s only once I started talking to my clients about it that I realized this isn’t “normal.” As I’ve said in the past, I grew up around power tools and a fixer-upper house that never quite got completed. I’ve built my own rough furniture (I still miss my rolling TV stand). Assembling pre-fab isn’t usually too difficult. Because I’m such a tomboy, I don’t really think it odd that this stuff is second nature to me. Or that it isn’t natural for other women.

This is just something I do.

I had to take a break from TR during the eviction. I had too much on my mind. I certainly could have used the income, but I just wasn’t able to focus. Now I’m able and willing. I have to be careful with my back and such, but in short bursts such as these tasks, I can handle it.

I’m back.

~Amanda

Posted in life, nature, poetry

6/12: Change

The wind
Speaks
A language
Many do
Not
Understand.

Trees respond to the
Wind.
They know
The others
Native tongue.
While humans
Remain clueless.

The water join the
Conversation.
Its own words spanning
Across time and
Miles.
It tells the trees of
Change coming.

Fire and earth
Renew their pact
With the wind,
The water,
And
The trees.
Change is
Inevitable.

But they will survive.

Posted in bugaboos, cats, chronic pain, depression, eviction, grad school, life, Personal, storage

6/12: Monday Ramblings

A few things on the plate tonight.

I’m hoping/planning on going to storage later this week. I don’t think I’ll make tomorrow, as I have two appointments and the second is closer to “home” … unless I have some surge of energy early in the morning and go over there before my first appointment downtown at 11.

Yeah, I didn’t think so.

I need to pull a couple of things and brainstorm something from what I already own to lift Portia’s food bowl up. She’s doing something she never did when it was elevated back at the apartment. She does this half cough/half hairball hack. What I think is happening is that she needs the bowl elevated again so that the food is staying where it needs to. This is why it’s strongly suggested to elevate bowls off the floor/ground. The problem is that the item I was using back at the apartment was a few old shelves from long-dismantled IKEA bookcases. Both food bowls, the water bowl, and the container of kibble were all on there. I can’t bring anything like that into the house. That’s been well established. I think they’ve mostly been tossed into recycling anyway during the move-out.

So, I need to jury-rig something smaller. Using only what I have in storage.

This will be fun.

I have mentioned I grew up watching the original MacGyver as a teen, right?


I had Physical Therapy today. Because of the new order for my back, we did an evaluation on that. Here’s where things get bothersome:

Medicaid/OHP+ only covers 8 visits to therapy type things like speech therapy, PT, etc per 12 months or something like that.

I had 4 approved visits for speech therapy due to my vocal cord dysfunction.

Then 4 approved visits for my knee, one of which we used today for the eval for my back.

I have one visit left for my knee. I need to get them to somehow approve/jump through flaming hurdles visits for my back.

Ahh, bureaucracy and red tape at its finest.

My knee is doing better… my back? Not so much. It’s getting rather inventive with new curse words. I’m not sure what language it’s using…. not sure I want to know either.


I have a lot of things swirling around in my head about some of the bigger things in my life. I’m frustrated that I can’t seem to keep my shit together long enough to finish grad school. Frustrated I can’t get very far with job hunting. Frustrated that I crave the peace of my own place but can’t see when that place will happen for me.

I’ll figure it out at some point… just wish it wasn’t so damn frustrating.

~Amanda