Saturday, February 15, 2014

Bits and Pieces

Flotsam and Jetsam from Facebook, in which I found what I wrote pleasing from Feb. 14 and 15, 2014.
For all my fierce and beautiful sisters
We who pray and laugh and roar and run together in spirit
We are the Turtle of Native lore
We are made of Stardust
We fight the battle
We bandage the wounds...

We dry the tears with our aged hands
We carry forth the light
We offer comfort in the dark
I am humbled by each of you

For all of my glorious friends who are unabashed and unashamed in being who they are in spite of opinion and in the face of censure. You have my deepest respect and highest admiration.
Fat Fluffy Flatulent
White Whimsical Worrisome
Cold Cumbersome Catatonic
Sometimes I am so impressed (ha) - no make that sometimes I really like what I was able to say in a comment on someone's status. I liked this, so I am sharing it here as well.

I worry that I at times post too much positive - I know that sounds odd, but I do not know how else to say it. I read so much, and feel so horribly for some of the things I have learned, especially through Facebook. I do not want to ever make light of or seem to dismiss the anguish or suffering of another. I can only offer my perspective (if it seems solicited or warranted) and be encouraging and empathetic. There is a game people play where they speculate on what they would do if they won the lottery, and I always end up broke because I would give it all away once my necessities were taken care of. I just feel so damned inadequate.
I seek out people who are different from me, I do not want to be just another middle aged white woman ensconced in her beliefs with a one dimensional view of the world. I want to know people from other religions, or no religion. I want to explore the similarities and differences in lifestyles, languages, cultures, regions, countries, ethnicities, economic and social backgrounds, sexualities and political beliefs,. I want to examine and experience all of life I can. I want to be challenged, I want to learn and therefore be less judgmental (hopefully). I wrote this on a friends timeline  but decided to make it a public post instead because it is as close to a current personal manifesto as I have.
I am not a big believer in "happy". Let's face it, happy doesn't happen all the time. I am not all that sold on forever romantic love either.
Long term commitment, affection, tolerance, work at balance, give and take, bursts of intense emotion both positive and negative yes, but not hearts and candy and roses all the time. Life is not like that.
Life is hard then we die. People we care about hurt
us. We lose at life in little and big ways. We win at life in little and big ways. And if we try really hard we are able to make it work with another person for at least part of the journey.
It is all a bloody glorious mess from birth to death.

You are welcome for the insight into my mind this morning. Blame it on a caffeine withdrawal headache. I am going to get my coffee now.
A response: There is a country song, "Live Like You Were Dying"... We are conceived & begin the dying process from that moment. It is the core of truth that many people miss... We must live like we ARE dying! Because we are!
Then me again:  And you and I both know that no amount of love, or medical science, or "smothering" can keep someone from their inevitable fate. I agree we have a responsibility to take care of ourselves, yadda yadda yadda but we also have to be realistic. The only thing constant in life is the end result, in spite of our efforts for it to be otherwise. I do get irritated at people and their refusal to see the realities of life in that regard.
And my friend:  All of our modern miracles & advances in health care ultimately do one thing very well... Place guilt on the decision-makers for having to make decisions only GOD is prepared to make. Life & Death are in His power, yet so many people are placed in that position because of having to decide 'when to pull the plug'. That is a wicked, Wicked, WICKED torment that none should have to bear...


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Living Spare and Living Blessed

I am breaking a long, at times painful silence as I begin typing these letters. I have wasted a good ten minutes already playing with the formatting of this post. In the months since last I sat at a keyboard to share a glimpse of the turmoil than resides in my scary, scary mind much should have happened, and yet nothing of importance leaps forward to be shared. I suppose I have been for the most part going about the busyness of living. Those functions and activities that comprise the seconds and minutes and hours of all of our lives. Eating. Sleeping. Communicating. Showers and personal hygiene, paying bills and emptying garbage cans. Caring for cats and keeping up with friends and family. Reading books and watching television.

I shan't belabor the mundane depressing details of what it had been like for me over the past months and years to not have any income. My efforts and failures at obtaining employment continue, and as I have yet to ascertain any manner of living without need for money I will continue to search out a way to pay those bills and buy that food. There is really no other option, is there?

The laptop I previously used to write and post for my blog died a painful, wheezing, grinding death in September. One of my older half-brothers and his wife very kindly gave me a new one for a birthday/Christmas gift. Such love and generosity. Which brings me to the title I have given this post, “Living Spare but Living Blessed”.

When I last worked I was making somewhere in the neighborhood of 13.50 an hour. That is not a lot of money, but it was sufficient for us to live comfortably when combined with my husbands Social Security Disability check. Now we are living spare. After taking deductions into account, we are living on 1600$ less a month. Let that sink in a moment. 1600$. Now think about the fact that we still have 2 adults to feed, a mortgage payment, taxes, insurance, utilities, medical expenses … Our electric bill came today and I am afraid to open it, I kid you not. I may get drunk first. We have a bottle of bourbon that has been opened and about ½ a shot is gone from it. Maybe I will get out a highball glass, throw in a few ice cubes, fill it to the brim and drink it as I open that envelope.

Scratch that idea. Drinking would raise my blood pressure, and since I have been off my high blood pressure medicine for almost three years that is not such a good idea.

I have not had any new clothes since December 2010. including under garments. He may have one pair of socks that do not have holes. He has lost about 50 pounds, me probably around 30. No trying to. Just less, a lot less, food. No eating out, no junk food, very few desserts. I quit using sugar in my tea and coffee because it costs so much. I am not adverse to cooking, and I am sure my mediocre talents in the kitchen have helped somewhat, but I will admit I am weary of beans and rice all the time. We have been the blessed recipients of gifts of food and other supplies several times and I am not kidding when I say those gifts of love have made it possible for me to put food on our plates. I never realized how expensive toilet paper and paper towels are and I am almost ashamed to admit I use as little of both as I can get by with. Laundry detergent, dish-washing soap, hand soap, bath soap, shampoo, deodorant - all things you take for granted being able to buy the brand and amount you want whenever you need to.

Our microwave oven died and a very kind and generous man brought me a used one he had in storage, I was so humbled and touched. A church sent us a love offering to help us get Roger to Mountain Home for his last medical check-up. Friends and relatives have stood in the gap for me several times over the past year, and I do not know what we would have done otherwise.

I know there are people who have a rougher row to hoe than we have, and I honestly do not know how they manage. The thing about life is that you cannot just stop the progression of time, the ongoing basic needs for survival are always there. Panic has overcome me so many times, fear and worry and stress about things plague my days and nights more often than not these past months. I try not to contemplate too long or deep of the times ahead because I honestly cannot see a good outcome at the moment.

Yes, we are living spare, and we are blessed as well. Blessed to have family and friends and compassionate strangers who have helped us. Blessed to have maintained our relationship, because financial concerns are all too often the cause of marital discord. But I will be honest, somehow somewhere something has got to change, and the sooner the better. I am exploring ways to generate income, hopefully something will come to fruition that will ease matters a bit.

In other news, I had two more installments in my Appalachian tales almost completed when the other computer went kaput. I am going to start on them again, hope to have one ready in the next few days.