27 June, 2010
Provided we can get the hell outta dodge next week we'll be okay. We'll be tight... and potentially sleeping on a borrowed air mattress for a while... but we'll be okay. And with projected income we'll have just barely enough for August's rent as well. We might have to talk to the complex and pay a small portion of it towards the middle of the month but that's okay. Adrian's loans come again at the end of August and we're planning on paying at least two months of rent to help us get ahead.... finally.
So the next few months are really tight. Healthy eating won't happen right away because, let's face it, healthy does not equal cheap. We'll be staying with my mom, or friends, until closer to the end of July. We'd wait even longer but people coming in for the wedding from out of state are looking to stay with us and if they can't, with the cost of plane tickets and a hotel room, people may start dropping off again. And we don't want that.
Staying with my mom makes it harder to get employment. Driving to Sacramento from the East Bay is fine for an interview or two, but if work must be started then we'd have to be in Sacramento. The positive with staying with my mom is that we'd put less out to live. Sure, I can probably stay with a friend "rent free" but there's food and utilities and just helping out that I'd feel I needed to do because my friends aren't much better off than we are. So I'm weighing those options as we look at things.
Of course the budget will change as we go cross country. I'll eat as little as possible because my tummy doesn't really like to eat and drive anyway. I'm going to try to push it with Adrian and the animals to do 12 hours of driving per day instead of the projected 9. I think that might help us save some time in hotels. I don't know many people along the way or I'd try to stay with friends more. But perhaps we can still stay with my brother the night before we get to California. That saves us at least one hotel room.....
Gas for the trip, according to a trip calculator, is roughly $300. It's 1 day, 22 hours worth of driving. Split into 12 hour days that's 2 MAYBE 3 nights in hotels. Say $75 a night and now our trip total is $525. Add food and if we're careful we can probably do it for $600-$650 total. That's not too bad for a cross country trip! We're also projecting $800 to be safe so if we could be under budget that would just help us out more when we got there.
Of course we'll be hitting McDonald's if we meet Suzi mid-country to say good bye to her.
But you make it work.
I had initially wanted Suzi to make my wedding dress and use my mom's dress in parts to create an all new dress that was "me." Unfortunately I'm not sure that can happen. I'm still going to look into fabrics and maybe I can find a store that has something pretty and red on sale... although I'm guessing regular satin probably doesn't go on sale often. I only need 5 yards.. and a zipper... But if I can't make it work then I still do have my mama's dress. It's not my ideal dress but it's still cute. It fits and would work for what it needs to work for.
We also have a few more things we're trying to sell here. Not too much but if we could sell it all we're looking at maybe another $200 or so. And at this point every little bit helps.
I have a "rewards" card through Chase and I've earned what amounts to about $50 in gas cards. I think I'll redeem those if I can get them here in time. Otherwise I'll redeem them for something else and have them sent to my mom's house so we can use them towards a bed or bills or something.
Moving cross country is stressful enough. Moving, to a new place for Adrian, with health issues, five animals, and getting married all in the same month is ludicrous. But as my bestie said "you don't do anything small do you?"
Go big or go home... I guess.
24 June, 2010
SOOOOO our money came in today. Now it's all about getting things shipped, sold, freecycled, and thrown away so that we can actually hit the road, hopefully within the next week. I feel like we have been hit by mack truck after mack truck and it's about time we hit that open road and avoid all the trucks we can! We've got one hell of a trip ahead of us but the anticipation will get us through.
I am starting the process hardcore today. Shipping and tapping boxes, getting furniture ready to be picked up, cleaning, prepping, etc. When we get our final piece of news we're going to have a day, maybe two, before we hit the road. And in that time we are going to try to sell a bed frame, night stand, queen mattress, queen boxspring, small dog crate and perhaps a few other things. We'll be freecycling or donating any food that is unopened and not going with us. Of course if we can't sell it we'll freecycle it all but every extra penny counts. And we have to be careful and not go all willy-nilly now and keep as much as we can.
My heart is racing a mile a minute. I still kind of want to do invitations but I've gotta find a cheap, easy way to get them done. I'm also going to be pricing out just printing what's needed at the local print shop instead of buying the ink for our printer. Cause then I can sell that too! I think I can get it all done. Either that or I'm way too ambitious and ridiculous feeling like Super Woman this morning.
Listing on Craigslist (Duvets, small dog crate, bookshelves)
The Rest of the Week:
Hopefully getting on the road!
Pray, light a candle, say a prayer, cast a spell. CALI HERE WE COME!
22 June, 2010
At least they allowed me to eat. The bagged salad that comes from the dollar store with "steak" or "chicken cordon bleu." All made out to sound like restaurant finding but no better than my dog could make on her own. The only truly safe thing was cereal in the morning cause you can't fuck up pre-packaged Kelloggs cereal. The constant blood pressure readings and needles for blood tests is no fun either. Why can't they just take it out of the vein they've already punctured?? Pretty sure my blood is the same throughout my body. But protocol is just that, and the nurses just follow orders.
Getting strapped in for hosing from top to bottom is no fun. Lay on your side. Essentially a puppy pad under your ass. Bite on this plastic ring to keep your mouth open while you're out. Strapped in like an insane person ready for the electric shock therapy. All the while praying for the anesthetic to put me out of my embarrassing agony. I wake up in the holding room I started in. Everything is bleak and bright but I made it. I got out with no perforations or complications. No emergency surgery. Rolled back to my room like the invalid I am and placed back on my hospital bed to await a doctor to tell me the news. Of course he has a million other things to process and I'm no where on his priority list so I don't see him for hours.
Then he comes.
Multiple ulcers, strictures, and polyps. My appendix looks like it's fused to my colon. Well there's that side pain I've been feeling. I find out the doctor had to blow a balloon up my ass just to get the garden hose through. Well no wonder I can't eat without pain. If his hose couldn't get through that chicken I had for dinner last night isn't going to have much more luck. And I can't hand Mr. Chicken a balloon to help him on his journey.
A year without medial coverage: who knew.
Health is something the healthy take for granted. You can see a doctor whenever you want but no one does until they get sick. A cough for the general public means a trip to the doctors and some quick antibiotics to ensure that the ouchies go away. For me, I have to fight for my health. All the while my body is slowly dying inside because no one wants to make me better because I don't have health care. And the conservatives in our country think there's nothing wrong with our system..... But that's because they are on the naive side and only see the doctor when there's something wrong. And if there was something severely wrong they would get help, because they're not me.
I work. I pay taxes. I contribute to this "land of the free and home of the brave" just like any other citizen. So why don't I get treated like everyone else just because I don't have the money that other people do? And I'm not the only one in this situation. I am by no means the only person struggling to physically stay alive while also struggling financially to stay afloat in a tormented river with no paddles and no life jackets. There are hundreds, thousands, millions of us out there, slowly dying inside due to the lack of funding that we have. And the government shows us no support. Sure, my taxes go into paying for Medicade but do I qualify for it in my condition? And I help to support welfare mother's and children everywhere but can I get any of that assistance back?? Certainly not. I am actually bettering my life so I can't get the hand up that I need. My schooling alone make me disqualified for a lot of assistance because "well if you can pay for school...." Difference is I CAN'T. I have loans that help.
But perhaps I would have been better not working towards my Master's degree and just living off "the man" for the rest of my life.
I just wish this world, this country, made some sense sometimes.
20 June, 2010
Things I Must Start Doing
- Working Out. Even if it's just walking around the block. And when we move we'll have a gym so that will make it a bit easier.
-- Drinking more water. The hospital gave me a pretty nice cup that has a straw and everything that I will be using for water. I'm up to about three of these a day and I think they are 32 oz cups? I think that's a pretty damn good start.
-- Eating better. This is going to be a tad bit difficult while we're here because we literally have NO counter space. But I have to make it work somehow. But when we move it will be a piece of cake. I love to cook and it actually makes me happy. I turn on some music in the kitchen and dance around while I'm cooking. I don't even feel the pain. So I'm going to focus on that.
-- Relieve my stress. Financially and otherwise. Once my Master's Degree is complete I'm going to apply for a teaching job for University of Phoenix online. I'm hoping they'll accept me and I can work from home. That will also give me time to potentially help with a few of my friends children during the day for extra income. We can pay our bills without being paycheck to paycheck and have some to put into savings. Having a bigger house will help too. Even though it may be more space to clean the pups can roam around and it will actually be easier to clean because of the hardwood floors as opposed to the outside tile we have now. I can relax in my back yard and enjoy the sunshine of California very soon. Exercising will help and I'm getting back into The Secret, yoga, pilates, or some combination of the three.
-- Get my meds back. This is a huge start here at this hospital. Then I'll jump on CMISP the minute we get back. That may take a few weeks but hopefully with the test results I'm going to try to get from here they'll be able to push it through a bit quicker. Just gotta get home first!
So now we're just waiting on the go ahead. Adrian looked into shipping some of our boxes instead of getting a trailer. That will save us the trailer and registration costs. Not to mention some fueling coming cross country because we won't have to pull the trailer. We've already looked into a bed for when we move and for what I want, mattress and bed frame, we're looking at less than $800 for the whole thing. And it'll be comfy! We're cutting costs with the wedding so that is going to help. But we're still going to have a BLAST.
I am finally looking forward to coming home with everything I have. Facing what still needs to be done with better health is truly helping the situation. All I need is to get myself back on track and everything will follow suit.
I think I can, I think I can............... I know I can!
18 June, 2010
She has planned out forever and built the house of her dreams in her head.
White picket fences and pretty trees out front.
The large bay window to show off her Christmas tree later this year.
But these promises are like all the other ones before.
As her tears fall and she is drowned in the sorrows of today
She realizes that broken is all she will ever be
Bruised is something that happens all too easily
And nothing in this life will ever be certain
But the promises.... they keep her hanging onto
One day.... she'll get it right
One day.... perhaps she will choose the right path.
Even after all that she'll still remain
16 June, 2010
I know online diagnosis are not the way to go. But in this technology age it's hard to not try to look things up when something's wrong. Only problem is with my issues I'm getting nothing. I wish something would pop up so I can at least feel like - oh maybe that's it?? I just wish I could see a doctor over it.
Moving day is still unknown. Hopefully we'll get the go ahead in the next 30 days or sooner. It's gathering paperwork and getting everything together at this point. Just when I think I'm done with the waiting game another round begins.
If things don't significantly change when I get home I'm going to have to reevaluate my life. Something just feels..... off. Perhaps I just miss home and my support. That's what I'm hoping anyway.
For now it's hot baths and heating pads. And waiting for the next go round.
14 June, 2010
I got word that I will be receiving my unemployment. So YAY! And I should get my loans sometime this week. Which means we've made it. We are tight and we'll stay tight cause we finally get to make moves toward moving!
We were going to buy a utility trailer online to save money. We possibly still could but I need to bounce ideas off people. Please feel free to share any here. What we'd been looking at is the open trailer. We'd toss a tarp on everything and hit the road. What I don't think we thought through was that we'll be staying at hotels every night. The paranoid person in me fears that, with no protection, we'll wake up and everything will be gone...
I probably have 3-4 boxes remaining to pack to get everything we're taking. We'll sell the bed and night stand at the last minute. Hell, depending on a few things we may sell the mattress too. We'll see how that goes. We should have a definite move date by the end of the week. Perhaps even the end of today. Keep the positivity flowing for us.
We hit our one year anniversary in a few days. I can't believe it's been a year already. It's been a long ride but we're about to start our uphill climb, finally. And we both deserve it.
10 June, 2010
7 hours in an ER. 50 million calls that have to be made today to try to get me seen by someone. And our phones are shut off. We would have to come up with $300 today to get them turned back on and there's NO WAY that's gonna happen. We don't get either of our loans until at least tomorrow but that probably won't really hit until Monday. So we're phone-less until then.
We have to get our phone taken way down. This almost $400 a month is ridiculous. Now I know we have three lines with unlimited data plans but it STILL shouldn't be that expensive. When we do get the $300 I'm going to take a look at the plan. Minutes need to go down or something because we cannot pay this right now.
So today will be spent running around I suppose. I can't make the calls but the contact still needs to be made. I'm gonna let Adi sleep a little more than see if she wants to run around with me. The company would be nice. I just wanna get on the road already. Get home where we can have jobs and work and have a nice house and all that jazz. This limbo shit is making my back hurt. I wanna see how high I can go, not how low I can go.
But I guess sometimes you have to go low, hit rock bottom, before you can start to ascend again. And up from here I shall go.
I got a letter from my lawyer. Apparently, the typical waiting time from when a claim for a hearing before a judge is made to the time the actual hearing date is set is 500 days!!!! That's a year and a half. So I'll get home, probably work a bit, and see if I can go back out on temporary disability. I have gallstones and/or polyps, a mass in my colon, inflamation and infection... I'm in no condition to work right now. Of course, I could get home and start being able to be seen and go back to work and be fine. To which all of this time with the lawyer will be somewhat of a waste. Who knows what to do at this point. At the time the hearing finally happens they'd owe me almost 3 years of back pay. Even at $800 a month that's a considerable amount. Even after my lawyer fees of 30% are taken out we're looking at a decent amount. And if they have to pay me from the first day I filed temporary disability that's close to 4 years..... so perhaps it's worth it to just follow it through. Get put back on temporary no matter what it takes and get that lump sum. Worst case scenario we can have a good savings for while I'm on disability and getting better.
I guess that's something to look forward to.
That and getting home. I've pretty much packed up most of what I can. There's a little more I can do but it's mostly clothes and things that will wait until the last minute. Put a hitch on the car and put boxes on the trailer and get outta dodge! The support I'll get at home, even if everything still sucks this much, will make it mostly better. I have the most amazing friends and family and being able to lean on them will make this fight much more worthwhile.
But until then I keep playing the limbo game. How low can I go?
09 June, 2010
It's been 10 business days since my Unemployment interview. I spoke with the interviewer again today. And while he said 10 days ago that employers lie, and he agreed with me today that what my previous employer told him didn't make sense, I still have to wait on the decision. Sure, he'll make it today, but determinations can't be given over the phone. So over two weeks of waiting on this and I'm still waiting. I'll keep calling every morning to see if there's a new check been sent to me.... but I still don't know what's happening with that.
Unemployment is going to determine a lot for our move. What we can take, what we can afford, if we have to stay in trashy seedy hotels or if we can go one step up. This is almost $3000 that they owe me at this point... payments since the last week of April. So maybe not $3000 but at the rate they're going that's what it's going to be. We've been tight but that would help immensely because it would come around the time of my loans. We need something good right now.
We're waiting to get the go ahead to get on the road. That is what is delaying our date choosing. Hopefully we'll know around this time next week, if not sooner, but with the way that everything just wants to drag out for us I'm starting to lose hope. I'm afraid someone is going to tell us "just a few more weeks."
My health is doing horribly. I slept with a heating pad on my stomach last night. It's the only way I could reduce the pain enough to actually fall asleep. Not safe, not a good way to sleep, but it was do that or stay up all night from the pain. I just want to be able to take the 25 pills a day that I used to bitch about! I'll never take the county system for granted ever again. Waiting at the county clinics is way better than having nothing to turn to.
Waiting on unemployment.
Waiting on loans.
Waiting on getting the pups shots and Gwen fixed. Which is waiting on me getting a hold of the county here to enroll in their program for low income. And I'm waiting on hold with them right now.
Waiting for things to come in the mail.
Waiting for the "okay."
I think after this I deserve a long time of NOT waiting. I've done my fair share to last me a good year or so I think. No more waiting! Here's to something happening!!!!
07 June, 2010
How do you learn from defeat when you feel defeated. I know, from past experience, that the lesson comes in time. But how much time is too much to have to wait? At what point do you cast defeat aside, lesson or not, and just move the fuck on with life? When do you grab the coat tails and rip the jacket off just to feel the breeze that life is giving to you?
I'm not sure. But I sure wish I knew.
Today will consist of laundry. And cleaning. Again. Hoping for monies that are owed to me. Hoping for answers that I may not get. And wishing the sun would just rise on my side of the world for once.
The heat and humidity of Florida are killing my spirit. The viruses inside my body are killing my soul. Dramatic? Yes. But it's how I feel. I am a shriveled up shell of the woman I used to be and DAMN IT I want to get her back.
06 June, 2010
Except now it includes me being drenched in sweat by the time I go inside.
Sweating is good for the body. It glistens the skin, clears up imperfections, and releases toxins in your body. I'm all for sweating. But it feels as if my morning ritual has been moved into a sauna. Except this sauna includes a million fucking bugs.
So now, I include OFF! spray and calamine lotion in my morning ritual.
I stick by the fact that this is the way I enjoy waking up. Pups get to go outside and I get my "me" time before Adrian wakes up. I cannot WAIT to do it in a robe, with some breeze, and maybe a few sprinkles. Although, if it's raining I hope we have a good overhang because rainy mornings, while beautiful, don't lend themselves to computer usage or much relaxation outside.
Right now Adrian sleeps in. We're acclamating to California time. We have no tv in the front room anymore and our place is so small that cleaning or packing would surely wake her up. So I endure the heat and the sweating so my baby can sleep.
But I can't wait for California mornings once again.
05 June, 2010
I'm still keeping my personal food journal. I will keep track for myself and for my health, but there's no reason to bore you guys with it.
I officially started packing the other day. Two moving boxes are packed. And I tossed our clothes in a box so that I could sell our dresser today. Now we have a TON of room in the house to stack boxes neatly! I got big wardrobe type boxes from Craigslist so I really have to watch how I pack them, especially because I'm going to be doing most of the moving. Right now we're waiting on a few things to fall into place but then we'll be ready to start making final plans.
1. Allignment on car
2. Oil change
3. Hitch on car
4. Buy a trailer on CL
5. Tags, reg, license
6. Pack trailer
7. Pup shots/rabies/Gwen fixed
8. Bark off
Well that's my list tonight. I'm sure it'll change a million times with the way my mind works. But at least I've got something started I can refer back to.
I'm very anxious tonight. I think it's because I realized today this is really happening! Not that I don't want to be home or anything because I do, more than anything. But a cross country move, with 5 animals, isn't going to be easy. Not to mention moving makes me anxious in and of itself. We don't have a house yet, though we're looking. We are planning on staying with my mom for a few weeks when we first get there but of course we'd like to not have to do that. Change has always been rough for me, even though when it's all said and done I'm happy for it. And I'll have my support and health back so who wouldn't want that??
All in all I'm excited. The anxiety will subside, and maybe come back. But I'll get through this move like all the others. And hopefully this will be my last move for a while.
03 June, 2010
Pepsi (x2): 300 Cal, 82 Carb, 0 Fat
Chicken Burrito (x2): 860 Cal, 96 Carb, 36 Fat
Taco: 170 Cal, 12 Carb, 10 Fat
VitaWater: 100 Cal, 15 Carb, 0 Fat
Total: 1509 Cal, 219 Carb, 49.5 Fat
So today my pain was considerable higher. Although, again, I'm not sure it's because of food or just lack of medication and sleep. I took a Trazodone last night to sleep but I guess I didn't sleep long enough because I woke up with a Trazodone headache this morning. I tried to take a nap but everyone else in the house was already up and it was difficult. There WILL be a futon in the office in the new house. I can nap there! So sleep and mild food is what I'm shooting for tomorrow. We'll see how it goes.
02 June, 2010
So I've decided to finally start a food journal. Part of it is for weigh control/loss but the main reason is because I've been told by countless doctors it would help me figure out what works and what doesn't work for my body. So I'll include calories, fat and carbs... in case I actually decide to pick a diet at some time. But I'll also be chronicling how I'm feeling after meals... mostly for my own research. Feel free to not read these if they bore you.
2 Cups coffee/ non-dairy creamer/sugar || 79 Cal, 14 Carb, 3.5 Fat
Pepsi (x2) || 300 Cal, 82 Carb, 0 Fat
Ramen || 380 Cal, 56 Carb, 14 Fat
> 1/2 Monster Loca Moca || 90 Cal, 15 Carb, 1 Fat
Roast Beef Sandwich (6") || 310 Cal, 46 Carb, 4.5 Fat
Macadamia Nut Cookie || 220 Cal, 29 Carb, 11 Fat
Total Intake: 1379 Cal, 242 Carb, 34 Fat
I'm honestly not sure what all that means as far as weight loss goes. I know neither the ramen nor the sandwich/cookie combo did much for my tummy. I'm in a lot of pain today but that started before any consumption started so it can't be that.... But the grumbling and growling got worse after I ate both times. I think because I'm not in remission right now anything is going to hurt but I'm open to suggestions. Or feedback. I can't do much about intake change right now until we get back on our feet. Po' peeps gotta eat shittay! But I'm hoping making myself do this nightly will make me think about my food more, when I get the chance to buy healthy again!
Why do I share all this today? My very first tattoo was on my right ankle. It is of a dragonfly that my aunt drew. She, my mother, and I all got the same tattoo. She was hippie-like, worked with rocks and energies, and believed in balance in the universe. She's a free spirit and someone I admire. She told a story of the dragonfly being a descendant of the dinosaurs and dragons. Being a descendant of such strong creatures the dragonfly was said to be a strong creature itself.
Now there is scientific evidence that the dragonfly predates dinosaurs. But perhaps they are descendants of the dragon; come from folklore or a distant past that our scientists have yet to uncover. Who knows. I just know I've always been drawn to these majestic creatures. They shimmer in the sunlight and signal the glorious summertime. They are one of the oldest living creatures on the planet so that tells me they are strong, even if they don't come from fire breathing creatures. They are a natural predator to mosquitos and are used to keep children in line in some cultures; parents tell them if they tell a lie a dragonfly will come and sew their mouth shut while they sleep!
Dragonflies don't sting and there are very few cases of a dragonfly biting anyone. These cases involve ignorant people who attempt to capture and contain these beautiful animals. So harmless to us and so beautiful to watch. Their flight patterns are sporadic and unplanned. For this reason they're seen in Chinese folklore as a symbol of instability.
Florida has bugs. Many of them. And generally I can't stand them. But this morning, as I sit outside having my coffee and smoke, playing online, checking homework, etc. (my morning routine) a green dragonfly comes and sat himself down on my laptop. I've always seen a dragonfly approaching me as a sign of good luck or at least good things to come. Mr. Dragonfly this morning was sending me the same message.
Perhaps it's just a symbol of love to me because of my matching tattoos and the strength I gather from my mother and my aunt; two of the strongest women I know. Perhaps it truly is a good omen. Maybe the universe just wants to tell me to take a breather and not fuss so much. Whatever it is I take it as a good sign.
Last night was rough. I'm sure we'll get through it, somehow. No news from unemployment today, but no news is better than bad news at this point. They have three more days to make their decision so hopefully the paperwork I'm waiting on from Wal Mart comes today. That would seal my fate in my favor. It's now July 2nd, and, god(dess)(es) willing we will know for sure when we can get on the road in roughly 13 days. I've been wanting to go home for nearly a year now so 13 more days is totally doable.
I'm going to take the message from my dragonfly friend and move forward today. Like he and his ancestors I will survive. I will make it through this tumultuous time in my life and come out better on the other end. I will, I will, I will.
Thank you Mr. Dragonfly.
01 June, 2010
What to do now? With a Master's I can teach at a Junior College level. I can work part time with University of Phoenix if I wanted to. I can do it all online too and never leave the comfort of my own home. I could work at a JC in Sacramento. I love some of the JC campuses there.... that could be interesting.
But I don't have the foggiest idea about teaching.
I don't think I'm healthy enough to get into law school just yet. They recommend you take at least your first year off of work, hell they almost demand it, because it's like a full time job - law school is. I'm not sure what I want to do legally anymore either. I've been burnt by the criminal system seeing what people in my life have gone through. I'm not sure how lawyers, on EITHER side, sleep at night? There's always family law or corporate law. Still, its a tough course load on my body.
I've contemplated going back to get my clinical license in Psychology. I could practice locally or open my own damn practice if I wanted... I enjoy helping people and counsel some friends and family now as it is. Why not get paid for it? Of course I wouldn't start charging anyone I'm already helping :) LOL.
I think I'm going to just focus on moving. Once we're home I can figure out what makes the most sense. Hopefully by then I'll know about disability and can make an informed decision. I can also see what the job market looks like out there should I need to go back to work.
Oh I will still be in classes though. There's no way I can pay back my loans right now! So if I don't take an academic course load I'll take cooking or photography. I love them both...
So many decisions and my brain just doesn't want to work on it right now. So I'll go back to current stressors; packing, invitations, renting chairs, etc. And finding a "walking down the isle" song... that's harder than it sounds!