Saturday, May 28, 2011

Very Brief Update

Thank you to everyone who took the time to comment on my previous post. I've let way too much time pass before writing again but life is busy and I'm afraid this will just have to do for a while. The back is better. It was a muscle pain that passed with time.

I received the best of care while I was under the weather from the dog, aka Nurse Sasha. She sat by my side the entire time giving me deep soulful looks almost willing me to get better. If she had opposable thumbs I'm sure she would have gone into the kitchen to prepare a cold drink and make a snack as well.

Life is very full at the moment so please forgive me my quiet times. I don't know how full time bloggers manage to keep up with daily posts. I'm behind on everything but I'm not going to beat myself up over it. It is what it is. I can only do so much, I have to attend to life first (the physical one not the virtual one.)

I hope everyone is doing well. I will return very soon.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Brokeback Mother

I hurt my back and I have no idea how, I just woke up one morning and could barely walk. This means I have missed a few days of work and spent my days shifting one eighth of an inch one way or the other trying to find an ounce of relief from the unrelenting pain.

This is not the first time this has happened although the other times there was a definite cause. The first time it happened I thought I was dieing so I splurged on an emergency room trip. They looked at my spine to see if everything was lined up properly, gave me an x-ray, then told me I had some torn muscles and sent me home with some painkillers. The first painkiller knocked me out for eight hours straight and made me weird and groggy for a long time after that so I never took them again. All I can do is bear with the pain and wait for it to pass. Gradually it is getting better.

This is not an enjoyable break from work. Times like these remind me of the precarious spot I perch on as a part time worker with no health insurance. If something actually were to go wrong, what could I do? There are no sick days, not much of vacation time, and no affordable health care.

To tell the truth if I were to become seriously ill, I would have no options. My personal catastrophic health care plan is a copy of "Final Exit" by Derek Humphry. If my health were to decline to the point that I could no longer find any joy in daily details then I would like to leave on my own terms. This would only be if there were no other way. It really isn't to be taken lightly.

The reason this comes to my mind, is the health care topic. There are millions of workers with no health care. Many people live in poverty, or slightly above. There are no checkups, and family doctors for these people. They try to get by as best as they can. If it hurts take some aspirin and slap a bandage on it. You can't miss work, they're having a sale on egg biscuits, or that convention group will be checking in, or you'll be replaced. Without health care there are no regular checkups so when something is found it is often too late.

The current model is not working. It's time for new ideas, new ways of looking at the world. Let's rework the entire system to find something new and beautiful where no group is excluded.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Seeing is Believing

Georgia has always been a place I've traveled through on my way to someplace else. Besides a brief weekend in Atlanta with friends and a day trip to the zoo my impression of Georgia has been from images flashing by my car window and scents drifting through the vents.

Many parts of Georgia are very beautiful. I love the areas thick with large pine trees and red clay soil. Driving up the coast through Northern Florida and Southern Georgia has been unpleasant. I can't stand the sulphur smell. People from the area say they get used to it but I don't see how.

As a child riding in the back seat of my parents car I remember seeing a billboard for the Ku Klux Klan. It frightened me. Whenever I thought of Georgia for many years it conjured up images of the Klan and remembrances of sulphur scent.

I've been wanting to take off for a while but my kids need help now. No-one longs to move as much as I do, and I try to control my wanderlust.

I do these addictive internet searches for jobs, cost of living comparisons, and available housing. I find random spots based on available jobs and cost of living and start dreaming. I then irritate my family to no end. I tell them what the weather is doing in Oklahoma, or how much the average rent is in Oregon, or which stores are hiring in Ohio. Eldest daughter said she would like to move to Georgia or South Carolina. I researched both states and found an area in Georgia that had available jobs and fairly cheap rent. I needed a break quite badly at the same time and decided to check it out.

The get away was much needed. We rented a quiet cabin and it was nice despite the bee sting. We relaxed and fed the ducks.

I tried to ignore the swastika carved on the inside of the cabin door. Don't they check the place out and get rid of hateful graffiti. When I read the local paper I noticed that they pointed out the skin color of anyone that did wrong unless they were white. "An eighteen year old black woman" scratched a police officer. The fifty year old who was arrested for having a meth lab in his house was listed by name and age only.

We passed several homes with rebel flags flying in the front yard. One home had a sheriffs vehicle parked under the rebel flag. If I were a little braver I would have run down his driveway and knocked on his front door to let him know the war was over. My husband said that would be a very bad idea. I hate racism.

On our first night away my son moved back home temporarily. That was on my mind. Youngest daughter is going through great drama of her own. That was on my mind. I tried to relax.

At first we spent some time just driving down random roads. There were hills and trees and pretty homes out in the country. Flower beds were blooming, there was no sulphur smell at all, and it was slightly cooler than Florida. There were no rentals available right there on the drive, so we decided to collect the addresses of several homes in the area that we could afford.

I made a list, mapquested directions, and away we went. We were immediately depressed when we found that first one, after the second one we gave up altogether. the housing we could afford was in an area where ten out of twelve houses were boarded up, there were bars on the doors and windows of any businesses in the area, and we spotted four individuals openly dealing drugs on random corners.

We decided to leave a day early and check on youngest daughter on the way home. My worries are many now. We've decided that temporarily at least we cannot make a final decision on a move when all of our children need us. We have food and shelter for them, a soft place to land, but we do not have money to send when they get into a jam. We will be unable to help at all if we spend our savings on a move. As much as I want to go, I am not finished here. This darn motherhood, it never ends.

That's not to say if an opportunity presents itself we won't take it. I'm still searching. I feel like life is slipping by terribly fast and we are just treading water where we are. It was good to find out that Georgia wasn't quite what we were looking for before a move was made.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Everyone Has an Opinion

I watched TLC's "Extreme Couponing" with my daughter a few weeks ago. We were both amazed. My daughter thought it would be fun to do this and donate giant stockpiles to food banks. This caused me to picture her in a green hat with a jaunty feather and tights laughing as she carelessly tossed bags in an overladen cart, a sort of modern day grocery store Robin Hood.

After watching this show I kept thinking I would write a blog post about this because it was so bizarre. Many of you have watched before and beat me to it.

I do use coupons myself. I get some terrific deals and sometimes even come home with free products. I only buy what I will use before it expires. I don't buy stuff just because I can get it for free. If an item is free but I don't use it, I don't need it.

I don't have to write anymore about this as many of you have already done the work. Like De-ette, I couldn't help but picture some of the shows participants as future guests on the Hoarders show.

Fabulous & Frugal

Pamela had many of the same ideas. She wrote about a woman on the show who bought a huge stockpile of diapers for a baby she hadn't yet conceived.

Feral Homemaking

Judy noticed that many of the items promoted with coupons were not the healthiest option.

We May be Poor but We Are Happy

Sharon also saw the Hoarders connection. She has fancy videos to illustrate her post. :)

Midlife Mom Musings

Being a professional, Donna Freedman had inside information. She reminds us that producers look for exciting images and sometimes leave out part of the story for more dramatic television viewing. Read her post for the other side of the story.

Surviving and Thriving

Paula reminds us to collect our coupons in an ethical manner. Stop pestering that newspaper delivery person!

Monroe on a Budget

Some seem to think that the manufacturers and retailers are going to place restrictions on coupon use because of this show. I work in retail and I was unaware of a way to get credit for coupons that weren't actually used. Jill Cataldo explained why gang cut coupons are a problem.

Jill Cataldo

I don't know if a TLC show will have that much of an effect on sales policies in stores. After all, not everyone has rushed out to add members to their household after watching Sister Wives.

Congratulations Donna Freedman

Big congratulations to Donna Freedman of the "Surviving and Thriving" blog and MSN Money. Surviving and Thriving turned one year old on April 29th

To celebrate Donna is having a gargantuan giveaway lasting two weeks with 21 prizes. The top prize is a $100.00 gift card. There are more gift cards, a coffee gift pack, and books galore. Go check it out and hopefully win something. Good luck.

To enter: 1)Leave a comment on her post.
2)Subscribe to her site via email or RSS.
3)Sign up to follow Surviving and Thriving on Twitter or Facebook.

Congratulations Donna!

Enter here.