How empty is empty?

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Or I pose this question.. “How empty does empty have to be?”

WARNING!!! WARNING!!! WARNING !!!! Brutal Honesty Ahead!

BELIEVE ME! It’s Empty! It has been 10 days since our last donation, and that went straight to the mortgage.

PLEASE FORGIVE ME as I truly am at a loss for words, and I’m struggling with my thoughts today!

Hand to mouth IS NOTHING new to me. I’ve never made a huge amount of money, despite decades of hard work ( other than a couple of hard-earned wind-falls back in the 90s ) BUT it was always MORE than enough! And YES, even ENOUGH to share a bit which I did on a regular basis when I was able . There was always a GREAT comfort in knowing that there was a paycheck coming at the end of the week. Right now we still don’t have that luxury. And it’s a scary, way to live.

You see, when you have nothing, it’s NOT ENOUGH which was and continues to be the reason for this fundraiser.

I don’t know what I expected when I began this fundraiser nearly five months ago. I do know that we have received more than we ever could have hoped for, having raised $2,610.00 in the course of five months through the generosity of 19 individuals…!!! 5 of those, donated more than once. The donations of one individual, accounts for more than half of the donations received for our welfare . This individual has been AMAZINGLY generous! In fact the whole of ya’ll have been considering you were all strangers to me five months ago. WE ARE GRATEFUL for all the support. I know we have a lot of you , pulling for us. And I love that. This post is not about that!

Please, now I ask you to think about this. 5 months, $2,610.00. We have lived on that, for the most part with not much else coming into the household .

So please YOUR DONATIONS are still NEEDED and GREATLY appreciated….

Again, hand-to-mouth is nothing new to me. I have a lot of faith, and always try to remain positive. It’s not always easy though.

Furthermore, I am NOT trying to offend anyone or turn anyone off or away from helping me or someone else for that matter!

I’m just trying to be truthful in the way I am feeling today.

Yes I am frustrated. it’s been two years of sputtering for us. NO at times, I don’t understand. Then I think if I don’t understand, how can I expect anyone else to.

Yes, I am feeling discouraged! All we want is our lives back with some semblance of normalcy and it seems so elusive. Is that too much to ask? Really? I don’t think so.

Do I feel worthy of more than subsistence ? HECK YEAH!

Do I feel any shame in what I am doing? ABSOLUTELY NOT! Because I know we are doing the VERY BEST that we can with what we have to work with.

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PAY PAL is PREFERRED for a couple of reasons. 1) Funds are transferred in REAL TIME giving us immediate access. 2) My mortgage holders have an pay pal account and I can transfer directly to them from my pay pal account. 3) The donations are easier to keep track of with their statement system.

If you would like to donate via pay-pal, please click here.( you will be directed to our personal website where you will find a button for paypal. ) Click on it to donate any amount )

Oh what a beautiful morrrrrrning …

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My mother used to sing that song out the kitchen window as she did dishes as some kind of coping mechanism when she was angry or stressed. Not me, I blog …

Well we left the house this morning with $7 worth of gas . But had to drive 22 miles ( one way) to our county’s resource office at the far end of the county.

Productive appointment. We received assistance theough the LiHeap program which helps with energy bills for low income families.

We will not have to worry about our electric bill for another month or so YAY, I am relieved about that.

We also had a counselor help with an application for food assistance.

That will take awhile, but now that we are indigent again, we should be ok there in a month or so.

The car, which had been run on fumes a few too many times, was doing a hesitation thing even before we arrived at our destination.

Coming home, I was panicking.

Well we got to the midway point and I had but one piece of jewelry left to pawn but I was afraid we wouldn’t make it all the way home, so we stopped. All I had to offer was a sterling (925) silver ring that I now wear on my left ring finger. I was turned away at two different pawn shops. One of the shop’s name was BIG SILVER ( or something like that ) …. Imagine that?

Here’s where I would normally break into a rant.

But Nope, not going to do that. 🙂

SO we continued and somehow made it the complex where the thrift store was, knowing we had a few friends there. Peggy the antique dealer has long been interested in a vintage ( not antique) buffet I had in the office but her husband was out ‘picking’ on a Monday. She would call us back when he got back with the cash. Ultimately we sold a pair of jumper cables to a mechanic in the next building over, purchased gas and made it the rest of the way home with gas to spare.

WHEW!!!!!!

It was a BEAUTIFUL morning indeed….inspite!!!!

And that’s all I have to say about that. 🙂

Insert Raised Eye Brows Here

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Nope, not a diva when it comes to the fru fru of ladydom .

I am a more natural sort. Pride myself on it in fact. One reason is that I was blessed with great skin, expressive eyes and a nice smile — thankfully. The rest is icing on the cake, which is nice, it’s just not my thing and really never has been. Still, I am a woman, and as a woman, I do like to look nice because if you don’t look nice, you can’t feel good about yourself.

I have assets that I have always liked to accentuate and maintain with GREAT care. ( hands, nails, teeth ) to name a few. Most of which can be handled with proper homecare. The teeth were dealt with during my days of plenty. Now just lots of brushing and flossing. 🙂

In recent years, I’ve had to add something else to that list. To rid myself of that stubborn facial hair and for that I need a professional. She gasps!

As a younger woman, tweezers did the trick. These days, not so much. My eye sight, has faded and in the new age of energy efficient household lighting, I have long preferred the natural outdoors light and a rear view mirror to exact these womanly tasks. Now with the sight problem, even that is almost impossible!

Seriously, has anyone ever tried to pluck with a pair of readers perched on their nose?

I need the glasses to see but they get in the way of the task at hand. This is a problem I tell you and because it is such a problem, I began frequenting my local salon a few years ago to get waxed occasionally at a cost of about $15.00. And even that I put off as long as possible. not because of the expense, but because of the time it took out of my day, which was usually my only day off. Not to mention the pain. involved. Still I found it neccesary.

Not only neccesary, but a new found obsession for me, it would seem. There is nothing I hate worse but to happen upon a mirror only to realize that i’ve been walking around with wild hairs for a week. It’s happening more and more frequently these days. Worse yet, knowing there’s not a darned thing I can do about it. Waxing is just not in the budget.

Apparently, this is REALLY bothering me more than I know because I had a very VIVID dream about this very thing the other night. Except in the dream, instead of finding wild hairs, I found perfectly groomed brows, though groomed much too thin for my facial features. Still it was a nice surpise as odd as it might seem.

Any dream interpreters out there? I’d love to know the meaning of this!

Image Credit : MidniteTease.com

Value Assessment

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If you are reading this, chances are you are following our blog and if you are following our blog there must be a reason. ( >>> continued.. ) I’d like to think you are at the very least interested in our story. I’d love to think that some of you might even be concerned about our welfare, even if you are still struggling with the idea of helping.

With that said, I’d like to focus on the following quote.

“Your value doesn’t decrease based on someone’s inability to see your worth.”

This quote reminds me of a year or so ago, when we first realized we were deep financial trouble and how we were treated ( by most ( not all) in our family) when asking for help. How their responses or lack thereof made us feel. Kind of worthless is the best way I can describe it. Like we had no value at all. And at the risk of being redundant here. It HURTS! Does things to your self-esteem. Damages the psyche! It’s almost as if we were INVISIBLE! As if you don’t even EXIST to them anymore which at times, might seem THE blessing. One even begins to believe they have NO VALUE.

But I assure WE DO HAVE VALUE and we are WORTHY of the assistance we are asking for in this fundraising effort.

Most of who know us would say we are bright, talented, hard -working, spiritual and caring individuals. As a couple,one employer described us as dynamic. Our pets think we are pretty AWESOME too. We have a handful of GOOD friends who have been good to us and to whom we have been good to. Together and separately, we have been active in the community, have done volunteer work. Enjoyed success, hob-knobbed with the elite and at one time made it to everyone’s guest list socially. Ron has never had children of his own, but I gave birth to two children. Raised another as my own. We are grandparents. We are the nice people down the block who mind their own business and quietly go about their lives unless called upon.

All of which NOW means dittle squat! Money, Mnoey, Money! It causes so many problems. It changes people. But so neccesary in the real world.

Which is the reason we found it necessary to appeal to the public in this medium.

The hardest thing I think on this journey is assessing a monetary goal. It’s like trying to value ourselves in dollar and cents. I find it nearly impossible BUT I am going to attempt it here.

Ideally, $3000.00 is a realistic figure. This WILL NOT pay ALL of our debts off, but it will stop the bleeding and put us back on the road to recovery.

If we were able to raise that money it would no doubt be life-changing for us, we would pay two or three months mortgage payments, take care of the home maintenance ( we so desperately need) it would buy us a second-hand washer, pay current and past due utility bills. We would also have the money we need to rent a truck and move the contents of our thrift store into storage. The rest, we’d use for gas in our vehicle ( I call it running money) so we could get to and from job interviews and such. AND that my FRIENDS , would make the DIFFERENCE between sinking, and swimming.

Now saying that, I realize that it is very unlikely that one belevolent soul is going to come along and hand us a check for this amount, no questions asked. But I do think it is feesible IF enough people, were willing to do a little, in a short amount of time, this goal could be met.

Do you know, the $ 125.00 that we raised as a result of this fundraiser has made the difference between us eating and not? IT HAS!

So please NEVER underestimate your ability, to help someone ( whether it be us, someone closer to home, whoever)

To give you a little more perspective about our immediate needs . I know $15.00 will feed us for 2-3 days. $40.00 will feed us for about 5 days. $75.00 will feed us quite well for a week , $25.00 will pay a water bill. $184 will get our car insurance reinstated ( it lapsed on the 17th due to non payment ) $125.00 will buy us another week with the people who hold our mortgage. $431.87, will pay one, monthly mortgage payment. $144.00 will pay a light bill.

If you have questions, comments or concerns, please email us at : allbuthomeless@gmail.com. I will gladly disclose pertinent information to who would like, and in a position to help us. You can also get many of your questions answered by visiting the RED TABS pages section across the top of the page. Click on our donate page for several options on how you can help .

IF you can do nothing else, THANK YOU as always for LIKING, FOLLOWING and SHARING this blog with your friends and on your social media pages. WE need all the exposure we can get at this point. After all, this is all about numbers isn’t it?

Ok, enough said. I’m stepping down off my soap box now 😉

Thanks to all and to all, I wish you a WONDERFULLY, BLESSED DAY!

~ Cheryl

Free Fall and Psychological Fall – Out

Please let me begin by saying I generally have a positive outlook on life, and wake up each morning counting my blessings and always have. Besides I have strong survival instincts and have always been pretty resourceful.

And then, the last eighteen months happened.

Lets see… Where shall I begin?

When we first arrived we had a couple grand to work with. The mortgage had already been paid for the month and the thinking was.. : How tough could it be to find a couple of jobs, even if they were only part-time? It didn’t happen, and another month went by, and still nothing.

Now we’re scared!

With in a few months we were frequenting local food banks and for the first time EVER, applying for federal food assistance.

The little money we were making went to gas, toiletries and every day household incidentals.

There was nothing left for anything else. There were no more trips to the nail salon and regular haircuts became a problem for my husband.

We also began having a septic system problems which left us unable to use the washing machine, otherwise water would back up into the sinks, tub, toilet, etc..

This continues a be a problem. It really needs to be pumped out.

We eventually sold the washing machine and started washing our clothes in a tub. We used the drier until the belt broke from not being able to wring the clothes out properly.

It wasn’t long before caring for our basic needs became a very real issue.

There was absolutely no money for household maintenance.

Finally, a job offer came and I started working for a national hotel chain. But it didn’t matter because within days, my car stopped running due to an electrical problem under the dash. With no transportation there was no job. My net pay for the week was $112.00 of which I probably put half of that in the gas tank. The car was towed to a mechanic and it cost $200.00 to fix it.

It was during this time, we took on a roommate to help with expenses. That turned out to be a nightmare, and she lasted three weeks.

So many little things happened that by themselves would be nothing but with no money, seemed insurmountable.

The worry and stress alone is enough to kill you.

Yet asking for help, is downright demoralizing. And especially from family and friends, it was like trying to pull teeth. Eventually you stop asking for fear of straining these relationships any further. ‘Out of sight, out of mind too’, I guess because noone seems to ask how you are faring. That’s another thing I noticed.

You try to tell yourself that the struggle is just temporary BUT it just seems to go on and on and with very little relief.

Self-esteem plummets and depression sets in.

Do you have any idea what all this does to ones psyche?

I can tell you first hand, it’s devastating!