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And then a very kind person made one of these appear in my profile:

Wow!  Wow! Wow!  Thank you donor!   I don't know if you want to be "outed," so I won't unless you choose to do so in the comments. You have just brightened my day like you would not believe!

More below the squiggle...

This is turning out to be an amazing week! I'm all teary-eyed right now, not quite believing it could be possible to have a week like this one.

For those who don't know me, my family's been through some major "annoyance" over the last few years. Putting it in the cold corporate term of "person years," my husband and I have been unemployed for 7.5 of the 10 available person years in the last 5 years. To put it bluntly, it thoroughly sucked.

This last week has hinted at a turn around. My husband has been consulting for a particular company for a while. Their accountant is also a consultant, so while it's nice to have income, it has been sporadic - we'll go weeks and weeks and weeks with nothing at all, and then the accountant comes in, and we're flooded with cash. It has been a bit crazy-making, because we can't plan for anything. We've spend a lot (a LOT) of time stalling people, then paying when the money comes in. We did, however, get to use this unusual "Nope, didn't get paid this week" savings plan to "save" up enough to buy some new solar panels, which has enabled us to get a refrigerator - one of those things where you can put food in it and it gets cold, and then it doesn't go bad right away. I never thought I would be jumping for joy over the ability to eat leftovers!

We've had the refrigerator for a few weeks, now, and we've just reached a new milestone: our first batch of moldy leftovers! I did the "refrigerator dance." It's just like the "snoopy dance," but while saying "we have a refrigerator!" with a big goofy grin on my face (guaranteed to make my daughter exclaim, "Motherrrrrr!")

And earlier this week, my husband was offered a full-time position, with benefits at the place he's been consulting. The payroll system for full-time employees is automated, so the money will just magically appear in our bank account! It'll just be there! No more wondering whether we're going to be able to make our "affordable" health insurance payment. Even better, we'll have lower insurance payments, and DENTAL insurance! And he'll be able to take days off once in a while and ... still get paid! It's this weird thing they call "vacation." Woot!

And NOW this kind gift from a person I've never met!

It's hard, after being beaten down by life for so long, to look up and believe there's a ray of light shining through the clouds. But to see one ray break through after another is just overwhelming. I keep grinning. Kind of like this:  

:-) :-) :-)

The prolonged beat-down was wearying, soul-exhausting.

First to go: the 401k plans, which morphed into COBRA payments - due to pre-existing conditions we had to do our best to maintain insurance.

Even at that, we were twice without any insurance, which resulted in lots of supportive parenting for our poor kids. It usually sounded like this:

"Don't do that, we don't have insurance!"

They didn't get to do much of the kind of exploring kids should be able to do, because we lived in fear. Luckily, we did have insurance when our son broke his neck last spring (trampoline). He's fine, now, and I just can't imagine what we'd have done without insurance. I just can't. My heart breaks every time I hear of someone losing theirs, or getting ill without it.

We were in a much, much better position to handle the dual-unemployment than most, because we'd already sold our house, and did not need to try to peel payments for mortgage or rent out of our various stints on unemployment benefits. Alas, we did have to keep paying our credit cards, because they were a lifeline when things went wrong. Axle broke because of the Vermont mud season and you need a tow & repairs? You'd better have a credit card.  Of course, first missed payment and BAM - 29% interest and the credit limit matches the current balance - as happened just in time for Christmas a couple of years ago, when, of course, a critical engine part failed catastrophically, stranding us more than 100 miles from home.

So, we gave all of our savings to BCBS and a princely portion of our unemployment benefits to the credit card companies. Nice how the economic vultures can strip you bare in no time, eh?

But we still had enough to cover food for most of the time, and learned which churches gave out free dinners on which days for many of those days when we couldn't cover food.

We had a basic shelter, we had heat(ish), we had family who could take us in if things got so bad we had no choice, and we have wonderful friends - many of whom are right here on this site.

All of those things saved our family from a much worse fate, and gave us hope - real, genuine hope, that we could get through it.

Which is why I say that I am still one of the luckiest people in the world ... and this community it a prime example of why.

Through this site I have met brilliant people with great ideas. I have learned how to work within the local political system to make things better - or at least try. I have been able to share {{{hugs}}}, support and kind words with people who need it, and help a local farm raise funds to recover from a catastrophic fire.

I've always believed one of the greatest gifts one can receive is the gift of being able to help another, and this site has given me that gift a thousandfold.

I also knew, no matter how crappy my day, I could come here and find either a way to help, or a way to vent, or something to celebrate. Daily Kos has been a mental health lifeline in a sea full of "ugh."

We all need something like it in our lives, and I am so grateful to both the sweet person who donated this gift to me, and to all those others who are sharing the gift with others.

Thank you!

PS: Here's the current list, snagged from Onomastic's latest diary update (10 PM, Tues, 12/20), of those who have received gift subscriptions and those who could use gifts, for anyone who wants to make someone else's week!

Gifted Lifetime Subscribers

 2thanks ▪ a gilas girl ▪ aaraujo ▪ Abe Frohman ▪ Abra Crabcakeya ▪ Actbriniel ▪ Agathena ▪ Ahiannie ▪ Aji ▪ Alexandra Lynch ▪ Alfonso Nevarez ▪ allergywoman ▪

 Amor Y Risa ▪ Anton Bursch ▪ AoT ▪ arizonablue ▪ asterkitty • Auntie Neo Kwan ▪ Avenging Angel ▪ beach babe in fl ▪ begone ▪ BentLiberal ▪ betson08 ▪ bevomav ▪ Bionic ▪

 blue jersey mom ▪ bkamr ▪ blueoregon ▪ boatsie ▪ Bob Johnson ▪ Bob Love ▪

 Bob Sloan ▪ Brit ▪ Brooke in Seattle ▪ Brubs ▪ BruinKid ▪ buddabelly ▪ bumblebums ▪ Burned ▪

 cacamp ▪ carolanne ▪ Carolita ▪ catilinus ▪ CayceP ▪ cfk ▪ Chacounne ▪

 Charles CurtisStanley ▪ Charlotte Lucas ▪ chaunceydevega ▪ ChemBob ▪ chicago minx ▪ Christian Dem in NC ▪ CityLightsLover ▪ Colorado is the Shiznit ▪ commonmass ▪ cosmic debris ▪ CuriousBoston ▪ D Wreck ▪ dakinishir ▪ DaNang65 ▪ Dave in Northbridge • Davidsfr ▪ DavidW ▪ DawnN ▪ dclawyer06 ▪ Debbie in ME ▪ Debby ▪ Deep Harm ▪ Democrats Ramshield ▪ denig ▪ desertguy ▪ Digby • Diogenes2008 ▪ dirkster42 ▪ dopper0189 ▪

 Dreaming of Better Days ▪ Dr Erich Bloodaxe RN ▪ DrLori ▪ DruidQueen ▪ earicicle ▪ Ebby ▪ Eddie C ▪ Ed in Montana ▪ edrie • eej ▪ Eileen B ▪ Ellid ▪ Ellinorianne ▪ emeraldmaiden ▪

 ericlewis0 ▪ edwardss1 • escapee ▪ farmerchuck ▪ FarWestGirl ▪ FindingMyVoice ▪ FishOutofWater ▪ flumptytail ▪ FogCityJohn • Frederick Clarkson ▪ FrugalGranny ▪ gchaucer2 ▪ Geenius at Wrok ▪ GenXangster ▪ ginmar ▪ glendaw271 ▪ glorificus ▪ Gooserock ▪ Got a Grip ▪ GreyHawk ▪ grog ▪ Groucho Marxist ▪ GrumpyOldGeek ▪ gulfgal98 ▪ Haole in Hawaii ▪ HCKAD ▪

 high uintas ▪ holerock ▪ homogenius ▪ Hoosier Deb ▪ Horace Boothroyd III ▪

 horsefeathers ▪ icebergslim ▪ ilyana ▪ inclusiveheart ▪ indiemcemopants ▪

 jayden ▪ JekyllnHyde ▪ jennifer poole ▪ JesseCW • jessical ▪ jlms qkw ▪ JML9999 ▪ Joes Steven ▪ JoanMar ▪ Joieau ▪ jwinIL14 ▪ KAMuston ▪ Karl Rover ▪ kayakbiker • kefauver ᛫ Keith930 ▪ KelleyRN2 ▪ KenBee ▪ KibbutzAmiad ▪ Kid Oakland ▪ Killer of Sacred Cows ▪

 kimoconnor ▪ kirbybruno ▪ Kitty • kjoftherock ▪ kovie ▪ KVoimakas ▪ kyril ▪ labwitchy ▪

 Lady Libertine ▪ Ladywithafan ▪ LaEscapee ▪ Lamont Cranston ▪ Leftcandid ▪

 Lefty Coaster ▪ Leftynyc ▪ Liberal Granny ▪ Lightbulb ▪ Limelite ▪ llbear ▪ loggersbrat ▪

 Lorinda Pike ▪ Louisiana 1976 ▪ luckylizard ▪ mahakali overdrive ▪ mallyroyal ▪ Matt Z ▪ mayrose ▪ mcmom ▪ mdmslle ▪ Melissa J ▪ Merry Light ▪ michelewln ▪ MinistryOfTruth ▪ Miss Blue ▪ Missys Brother ▪ MKSinSA ▪ Mnemosyme ▪ mommyof3 ▪ Moody Loner ▪ Mortifyd ▪ Mother Mags ▪ mrsgoo ▪ MsGrin ▪ MsSpentyouth ▪

 Nanette K ▪ navajo ▪ Nchristine ▪ Neon Vincent ▪ noddy ▪ nonnie9999 ▪ NonnyO ▪

 Noor B ▪ NormAl1792 ▪ notdarkyet ▪ noweasels ▪ Nova Land ▪ Nulwee ▪ nyceve ▪ observerinvancouver ▪ occams hatchet ▪ Otteray Scribe ▪ Ozark Homesteader ▪ Pakalolo ▪ parryander ▪ Patric Juillet ▪ peagreen ▪ people power granny ▪ peraspera ▪ peregrine kate ▪ pico ▪ pittie70 ▪ poligirl ▪ priceman ▪ progdog ▪ psfinla •psychodrew ▪ quarkstomper ▪ racheltracks ▪ radical simplicity • raina ▪ ramara ▪ Ray Radlein ▪ remembrance ▪

 Regina in a Sears Kit House ▪ revsue ▪ rexymeteorite ▪ Rich in PA ▪ Richard Cranium ▪

 Rick B • RLMiller ▪ roseeriter ▪ rserven ▪ rsmpdx ▪ rubyr ▪ ruleoflaw ▪

 Safina ▪ Sara R ▪ ScottyUrb ▪ scribe ▪ sdf ▪ Seneca Doane ▪ SensibleShoes ▪ shesaid ▪ Siri ▪ slinkerwink ▪ slksfca ▪ snoopydawg ▪ Something the Dog Said ▪ Spirit of Life ▪ sricki ▪ srkp23 ▪ state of confusion • Statusquomustgo ▪ StateofEuphoria ▪ Steven D ▪ Susan G in MN ▪ swampyankee ▪ SwedishJewfish ▪ Syoho ▪ teacherken ▪ teej ▪ TexH ▪ TexMex ▪ TheFatLadySings ▪ theRoaringGirl ▪ the mom in the middle ▪ The Troubadour ▪ timewarp ▪ TomorrowsProgressives ▪ Tonyahky ▪ Tool ▪ Translator ▪ triciawyse ▪ triv33 ▪ twigg ▪ TX Scotia ▪ ulookarmless ▪ UnaSpenser ▪

 Unitary Moonbat ▪ unspeakable ▪ ursoklevar ▪ vcmvo2 ▪ VeloVixen ▪ Vetwife ▪ victoria2dc ▪ voracious ▪ watercarrier4diogenes ▪ water willow ▪ wayoutinthestix ▪ weatherdude ▪ webranding ▪ welso ▪ whatGodmade ▪ wide eyed lib ▪ winglion ▪ Winter Rabbit ▪ woodtick ▪ Wu Ming ▪ Youffraita ▪ zaka1 ▪ ZenTrainer ▪ Zoskie ▪ Zwoof ▪

I'm so profoundly grateful for all of you. More than I have words to express. As smileycreek so beautiful said in her diary last night, Thank you for helping me find my tribe.

Thanks to jayden's tireless efforts on keeping both lists updated, here are the names of those on the wish list. They have been recommended by others, or asked to be placed on the list.

Wish List

8:44 PM PT: These people have been on the list since day 1, and had not received subscriptions as of 10:00. If you want to give a gift, but can't decide which of the many deserving people should get one, these are some good candidates:

DSC on the Plateau
James Allen
ms badger
state of confusion
yella dawg
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