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Welcome to another Friday. The Florida Meet up is happening tomorrow, but as of the time of this writing, we don't have a way there, so we're probably missing out on this one. Sunday is going to be grocery day because our SNAP comes in, so we have that to look forward to at least.

Itzl AlertingAs you can see by Itzl's concerned look, this group is for us to check in at to let people know we are alive, doing OK, and not affected by such things as heat, blizzards, floods, wild fires, hurricanes, tornadoes, power outages, or other such things that could keep us off DKos. It's also so we can find other Kossacks nearby for in-person checks when other methods of communication fail - a buddy system. Members come here to check in. If you're not here, or anywhere else on DKos, and there are adverse conditions in your area (floods, heatwaves, hurricanes, etc.), we and your buddy are going to check up on you. If you are going to be away from your computer for a day or a week, let us know here.  We care!
IAN is a great group to join, and a good place to learn to write diaries.  Drop one of us a PM to be added to the Itzl Alert Network anytime! We all share the publishing duties, and we welcome everyone who reads IAN to write diaries for the group!  Every member is an editor, so anyone can take a turn when they have something to say, photos and music to share, a cause to promote or news!  
OK, we do have a diary schedule. But, when you are ready to write that diary, either post in thread or send FloridaSNMOM a Kosmail with the date. If you need someone to fill in, ditto. FloridaSNMOM is here on and off through the day usually from around 9:30 or 10 am eastern to around 11 pm eastern.
Monday: BadKitties
Tuesday: ejoanna
Wednesday: Caedy
Thursday: art ah zen
Friday: FloridaSNMOM
Saturday:broths
Sunday: loggersbrat

I really hope we can somehow go, but I'm not counting on making the meet up at this point.

One of my favorite authors wrote in one of my favorite books: “She wondered that hope was so much harder then despair.”  (Patricia Briggs, Cry Wolf). Often times of late that feels way too true. I've been really struggling of late. Financial stresses have been greater now that Draco aged out of child support, FlDad's check is getting garnished for student loans, and our food stamps only went up by $3 after all that (which equates to a $484 deficit from our budget every month which we couldn't afford). Caedy has gotten a couple of raises, but where she was getting about 32-35 hours a week, now she's lucky to get 30. Oh she's still working 5-6 days a week, but many of the shifts are only 3-4 hours long. And this in the middle of summer. I hesitate to think how much her hours are going to be cut once things slow down in the fall (before Christmas shopping season sets in).

We tried bundling cable/internet to save a few bucks, but that's backfiring on us, because they slammed us with connection fees and service call fees when their net keeps going out and they keep having to send techs out (they didn't tell us THAT was costing $30/visit for a problem with their equipment and their lines). And we're still having sporadic network failures, sometimes for a few hours a night, so paying for those service calls hasn't even fixed the problem. But we can't afford to keep calling them. So if we go silent, that's why, and if that happens I'll check in from the library when I can. It's going to make home school that much more difficult, we'll have to do some of that from the library as well. Thankfully Bit has her tablet and that's pretty easy to carry over there.

I have to re-apply for food stamps by the end of September. I'm afraid to do it. Every time I apply they find a way to cut them further. I honestly don't know how we're going to take another cut. If we're lucky either Caedy will find a better job or Draco's ongoing job search will bear fruit. Otherwise I may have to go AMA and try to work, though that won't last long, I'll end up having a seizure at work, or stop breathing, or end up in the hospital and that will be that.

If our LiHeap application is ever processed (we haven't even gotten the interview yet), that will help greatly. They are backed up by several months however, so by the time that comes in, it won't be helping as much as it would be now when the electric bills are so much higher. I guess next summer I need to apply in April or May.

When you're poor, if you're not psychic, you're screwed. It's just the way it is.

Sorry to be such a downer today. I hope everyone's weekend is great. I'll be around as I can.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (25+ / 0-)

    "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

    by FloridaSNMOM on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 09:55:03 PM PDT

  •  Hi FSNMOM. So sorry things are so hard. (12+ / 0-)

    Nobody should have to go through all this just to lead a decent life, especially if you have health issues.  Glad you can share with us all, cuz you know we care!

    "Why you sockdologizing ol' mantrap, you!"

    by ejoanna on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 11:19:24 PM PDT

    •  Thanks ejoanna (8+ / 0-)

      We're trying to get the cable bill whittled down or at least spread out over a few months. But if we go suddenly silent it's because they cut the net. I'm really hoping that doesn't happen.

      So far there's no turn off notice on the electric and we're paying that bit by bit every week, maybe they're not sending us the notice because we aren't too far behind and we ARE paying on it. If we can get that LiHeap appointment and get the electric paid for a couple of months then we can focus on everything else and get straight again.

      I just feel like Indiana Jones running from that giant boulder right now.

      "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

      by FloridaSNMOM on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 03:49:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I am not going either. (12+ / 0-)

    I would have to rent a car.  I just did that twice this summer so the kids could visit their older sister in South Carolina.  I took the car back Thursday.  They had a great time. The rental wasn't that expensive for a fuel efficient car but I now have to wait for the holding fees to be removed from the credit card.    

    My power bill is big this year also. I have the water heater turn off except for evening bathing now.  That can make a big savings on the power bill.  You are not alone with the food stamp cuts.  My neighbors have the same problem with renewing.  Groceries are also getting more expensive too.  

    I am in the process of sorting today through my fabric stash to see what I have here before I start the swap out with what is in storage.  I found enough fabric to make my grand daughter's uniforms this year and don't have to spend any money.  I must of years ago bought navy and tan fabric to make pants for me.  It was in that tub of garment fabric.

    I have old patterns from the 1990's that I used to make skorts for her older sister. She has gone on a growth spurt.  This will throw my quilting schedule off again because I have to get these done in the next couple of weeks. We will donate the uniforms that she has out grown to the school to give to some one who needs them.  This is only the second year that the school has had uniforms.  They did ask for out grown uniforms at the end of the year to help with families that can't afford them.

    I made some shorts for her in the spring that she can still wear and she has a pair of pants that I got on mark down that fits her now.  I was going to just start her out with that and shirts from her older brother who is now going to middle school.  Now she can have skorts again and jumpers.

    I will do something on quilt history for Sunday evening for DK quilt guild if I don't get what I wanted done. I have a stack of binders with quilt history info I can pull from.  

    •  I'm glad I don't have to worry about uniforms (8+ / 0-)

      or special clothes for school. So long as the kids have clothes that fit them and aren't falling apart, they're good.

      I'm not sure the water heater thing would work for me, because showers are taken throughout the day. With five of us, we can't all get showers at night, and Caedy usually showers early in the morning before work.

      She's put in for a couple of jobs, and we're hoping she gets call backs. Draco is putting in at CVS for a position in the photo department and hopefully he'll get something there. I wish a simple babysitting job were as easy as it used to be, but now everyone wants you to pay for back ground checks and all, it costs more to get started than we have. When I was a kid, my mom talked to a few people she knew, and she had a couple of preschoolers she watched, simple.  Now there are adds for people wanting babysitting in the paper, but they all want you to go through sitters or care.com, which is great, I understand, but you can't get registered with them without paying for a background check. So that's something I may be able to do later, but it's not going to help right now.

      "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

      by FloridaSNMOM on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 03:54:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  We're trying to deal with the utilities (10+ / 0-)

      and make payment plans and such. We're trying to go through local resources to get things under control. But the local resources are so backed up with requests that they're slower than molasses in February in Maine. I'm hoping that they'll actually bump up the food stamps in September, but I'm not holding my breath or even planning for it at this point. If they don't decrease them I'll be.. well not happy but at least not as unhappy.

      "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

      by FloridaSNMOM on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 03:56:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  So sorry things are difficult! (10+ / 0-)

    I'm not sure people realize just how consuming it can be to be poor.  Folks say just get a job.  Well, dealing with all the agencies and bureaus IS a full-time job!  I hear people on the bus talking about how their days are planned out, going from place to place, (re)applying for help and hitting the meal sites in between.  How the heck are they supposed to live while they look for a job when all their time is spent trying to stay alive?!?  As much as I wouldn't want to live anywhere else, sometimes this country is just sooooooo disappointing.  

    I am feeling better today.  I slept all of yesterday so I was up VERY early this morning.  I can tell you that the damned birds start singing around 3a.m.  :-)  When it was clear that I would not go back to sleep, I made up a batch of granola so the time was not wasted.  Yummy!

    -7.62, -7.28 "Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly." -Langston Hughes

    by luckylizard on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 05:05:20 AM PDT

  •  Good morning. (9+ / 0-)

    It's going up to 77 and sunny today.

    I'm really sorry that things are so tough for you MOM.   I hope something happens that turns your situation around.

    Usual day doing usual stuff.

    Have a nice day.

    I dream of a world where chickens can cross the road without having their motives questioned.

    by broths on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 05:09:08 AM PDT

  •  Good morning. I'm SO sorry (8+ / 0-)

    I've been where you are with a family of two people, and we managed about as well as you're managing. I hope things get better (and a Democratic administration in Tallahassee, no matter how Blue Dog it may be, CAN'T be worse than the current incumbent) soon.

    Happy Friday, all. Haircut today.

    All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent.

    by Dave in Northridge on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 06:48:07 AM PDT

  •  I'm so sorry, FloridaMOM. (7+ / 0-)

    Money worries are some of the most stressful. I hope things change for the better for you, soon.

    Doing a little work today. And laundry. And dusting, although I might come up with an excuse to put that off (I hate to dust!).

    Take care, everybody.

  •  I am sorry you are having such a bad time. It must (6+ / 0-)

    be terribly frustrating.

    Is there no one who can pick you up on their way to the meet up?

    And why in the world are you paying for cable service calls if the problem is in their lines/equipment?! That is a rip off! Does Florida have some sort of consumer ombudsman you could contact? Cause those charges just sound wrong to me.

    Today I go to Son's. He has been landscaping and wants my seal of approval. On Sunday I am off to Daughter's to act as her prep person. She will be making salsa from all the good things in her garden. OMGosh! Does homemade salsa ever taste good!!!!!

    "May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house." - George Carlin

    by Most Awesome Nana on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 07:23:06 AM PDT

    •  We've been arguing the service call charges (7+ / 0-)

      FlSNDad is trying to get those at least discharged. They wanted to charge us $30 for them to 'install' a modem to replace the broken one they'd given us the WEEK BEFORE. He told them next time just mail it and we'll 'install' it ourselves. It's not like we had to run new lines, just unplug one, and plug in the other. $30 is insane, it took the guy less than a minute to do. AND it still didn't fix the problem because the problem wasn't the modem it was outside on the pole, but they didn't discover that until 3 service calls later. In the meantime we had the net dropping 10-20 times a day (and yes, I documented that).

      The net was dropping every afternoon after it rained. They didn't tell us what was wrong at the pole, but I'm willing to bet something was getting wet that wasn't supposed to be.

      "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

      by FloridaSNMOM on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 07:35:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh, yeah. Those service call charges are bogus! (6+ / 0-)

        MaBell tried to pull that one on me years ago. Kept saying the problem was in my house wiring and sending out techs who didn't fix anything. Turned out to be corroded wires on THEIR pole. They had to credit the charges - and give me extra credit for all the time my phone was out of service.

        So bust their butts.

        "May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house." - George Carlin

        by Most Awesome Nana on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 07:43:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  i am so sorry MOM that there (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FloridaSNMOM, carolanne, Kit RMP

    is so little help for people in your financial position.  it seems to me you do everything you can to take care of your family with the means you have available.  the bigger problem is making things better for yourself is expensive.  i am assuming you rent your home. (forgive me if that is not right) that means you have no way to improve things like having a solar water heater installed.  (i have heard your politicians trying to tell the people of florida that they don't get enough sunshine to make solar energy efficient.  tell that to the germans who get the majority of their power from solar energy and i think florida is a little more tropical than germany.)  i had a solar water heater installed last year.  it just got inspected and coded off yesterday but it has been a big cost saver on the monthly bill.  it will take some number of years to pay for itself but i will get some of the cost rebated from the gas co now that the work has been accepted by the city.  i also had the house insulated and that has saved money and came with about 1/2 of the cost rebated by edison.  the up front cost was high, half of it was with no interest for a year so the rebates could be received.  i paid the whole thing off with very little interest on the half that was not interest free.

    using solar power would be such a godsend for so many people if we could just get our act together and get it done.  oil/coal interests own the government so there is little chance at this point of anything worthwhile getting approved but who knows about the future?  maybe the bigger question in your state is "will we still be here in 20 years or will all of this be under water?"

    "I am an old woman, named after my mother. my old man is another child who's grown old." John Prine (not an old woman)

    by art ah zen on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 08:27:28 AM PDT

    •  The water heater is a major user of electric for (6+ / 0-)

      my bill.  That is why it isn't on but for a short time in the evening.  It takes discipline to share the water but it is do able.  I just heat water  on the stove if needed for dishes during the day.

      The cable company probably has contract technicians to do the service calls.  They bill the cable company and that is passed on to you.  It is a crappy system.  Since you don't have a car to run the box back and forth to the company.  Keep fighting the company.  

      •  electric to heat water (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        broths, carolanne, FloridaSNMOM, weck, Kit RMP

        is SO expensive.  i am glad i have the choice of gas here.  i remember when the all electric house were being promoted but i learned to cook with gas and was not interested in an electric kitchen.  i am extremely glad today!

        PS:the cable cabal can bite me!  what scum they all are!

        "I am an old woman, named after my mother. my old man is another child who's grown old." John Prine (not an old woman)

        by art ah zen on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 09:12:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  We switched to cable (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          broths, art ah zen, weck, Kit RMP

          because AT&T was raising the bill for the third time in six months and despite our being with that company for 8 years, they wouldn't cut us a break in any way shape or form. So we switched to bundling internet with cable (which I didn't really want to do but internet here is either AT&T or Xfinity) to try and save some money every month. The the cable company slammed us with tons of fees. If they spread it out for us, we should be ok. Right now the electric bill is taking priority for obvious reasons.

          "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

          by FloridaSNMOM on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 09:25:49 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Gas? Bah! (6+ / 0-)

          I'm glad that I have a geothermal hot water feed  ;)  Hot water for nearly as cheap as cold.

          The day I'll consider justice blind is the day that a rape defendant's claim of "She consented to the sex" is treated by the same legal standards as a robbery defendant's claim of "He consented to give me the money": as an affirmative defense.

          by Rei on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 09:40:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  well, yes, geothermal is (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            FloridaSNMOM, broths, weck, Kit RMP

            much better!  omg, i would love to have that option.  good on ya'!

            "I am an old woman, named after my mother. my old man is another child who's grown old." John Prine (not an old woman)

            by art ah zen on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 09:54:08 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Hehe (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              art ah zen, FloridaSNMOM, weck, Kit RMP

              Here in Iceland homes are so simple. There's no water heater (geothermal), no water softener (glacial meltwater doesn't need it), no furnace (just passive radiators), no air conditioning (just openable windows), etc. No "big expensive devices"  :)

              Really, though, while the standard excuse for the US is "we can't get hot water here as easily as you do"... I don't think that flies. Because the overwhelming majority of the US's electric power comes from thermal power plants. They're making boiling water. But instead of distributing it to homes, what do they do? They dump the heat into rivers, hurting aquatic life. They treat the heat only as waste. And when the rivers get too hot then they have to cut back on generation, sometimes causing brownouts.

              The US has tons of hot water. And a (comparatively) high population density to boot, which makes distribution easier. People just need to stop thinking of it as a waste product and thinking of it as a value-added product. In fact, if people did that more in general, the world would be a much better place.

              The day I'll consider justice blind is the day that a rape defendant's claim of "She consented to the sex" is treated by the same legal standards as a robbery defendant's claim of "He consented to give me the money": as an affirmative defense.

              by Rei on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 10:04:34 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  i could not agree with you more. (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                FloridaSNMOM, weck, Kit RMP

                regardless of the particulars, and i do not know them, the basic fact is in the US our elected officials do not THINK about the ecology, only the economy and we continue to elect them!  i am a california girl, would not consider living somewhere else unless forced to, but i have to admit, i am enamored of Iceland.  i love the way you stood up to the money interests during the economic collapse, i love your ecological outlook, and what i have seen of your country via the internet, it is beautiful!  i realize i know next to nothing substantial about Iceland, but it is rather dreamy in my mind's eye.

                "I am an old woman, named after my mother. my old man is another child who's grown old." John Prine (not an old woman)

                by art ah zen on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 10:19:49 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Well, if you ever decide to take a trip up here... (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  FloridaSNMOM, weck, art ah zen, Kit RMP

                  I'll be glad to show you around.  :)  BTW, I was born in California (Long Beach), lived there until I was 3.

                  Oh, and in case you're curious, here's what my land out here looks like.  :)

                  The day I'll consider justice blind is the day that a rape defendant's claim of "She consented to the sex" is treated by the same legal standards as a robbery defendant's claim of "He consented to give me the money": as an affirmative defense.

                  by Rei on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 01:17:29 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Unfortunately I have to have AC (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                weck, Kit RMP

                Without it I end up in the hospital due to breathing problems. And living up in Iceland would kill me, because I can't stand cold extremes either (or I'd be confined to the house much of the year). When I lived in PA I was in the hospital 6 times in 3 months for my breathing. Down here I may be in 2-6 times a year now, and when I first moved down from PA it was twice a year max. But without AC in the house I'm fubar.

                "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

                by FloridaSNMOM on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 11:10:24 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Haha, not saying people in southern climes (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  FloridaSNMOM, weck, Kit RMP, ejoanna

                  .... should dispense with AC. Just saying that in terms of hot water, the US has no shortage of it - it just treats it as a waste product. And there's no good reasonf for that - if we can distribute hot water, cheaply and effectively, then so can you. And our hot water isn't a free byproduct, we have to drill specifically for it!  :)

                  BTW, Iceland isn't actually very cold. Our Januaries average slighty warmer than NYC's. We have a very oceanic climate which moderates our seasons.

                  The day I'll consider justice blind is the day that a rape defendant's claim of "She consented to the sex" is treated by the same legal standards as a robbery defendant's claim of "He consented to give me the money": as an affirmative defense.

                  by Rei on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 01:00:33 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

  •  Yep, we rent (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    broths, carolanne, weck, Kit RMP, ejoanna

    The rent is reasonable for a 3 bedroom home, but still, it means we are limited in what we can do. If we had our own home and the money we'd go full solar/wind. It's on our list of 'if we ever hit the lottery or win the HGTV home' things to do.

    "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

    by FloridaSNMOM on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 08:41:14 AM PDT

  •  Sorry to arrive so late, but I planned an extended (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    broths, Kit RMP, ejoanna, FloridaSNMOM

    grocery run and got an early start, never checked in in the morning.  This is the first month since winter I didn't have to do most of the meals from the freezer, so I got a few luxury goods; a pineapple, a jar of dried beef (we used the one I had last month) and some extra sale bread to stash in the freezer, and an extra bag of dog food.  I got some garden beans frozen last night, and there are more to come.  Tomatoes are going to sneak up on me like Bruce from "Jaws" I imagine.

    MOM, I am sorry about how you are feeling with the pressure of the finances pressing down.  You should let us know if there is something specific or an emergency notice, OK?

    If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever. & http://www.dailykos.com/blog/Okiciyap

    by weck on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 02:19:24 PM PDT

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