Kiss5Tigers

The 5 Tigers represent the big things in life. This blog is about facing them.


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Everything and Not Much



Wow, it’s been a week, where have I been?

It seems like not much is happening but every day is full.

I’ve been napping a lot. I seem to sleep 10 hours. I get out of bed after 8 hours and then fall asleep on the sofa in the living room. I am trying to find things to do to keep myself awake. My doctor would like me to go for a walk but even at 8 or 9 in the morning, it’s too hot for me to do that. I would do yoga but F is asleep in his recliner so I don’t really want to turn on the sound.

Unemployment is giving me grief. I was scheduled for orientation on the day before my vacation, at the time I was due at the passport office to pick up my passport. They assign you a time to get it, so that wasn’t actually negotiable. However I had reason to believe the orientation could be flexible.

In the past, I actually blew off the orientation appointment and it did not interfere with my payments. I just rescheduled the orientation. It wasn’t a big deal. I didn’t realize it was a requirement. This time, I tried several times to reschedule. I called in more than once. I left voice messages. I did not get a call back. I thought it was okay because I gave them notice more than once that I couldn’t make it and needed to do it another time.

I was wrong.

Unemployment decided they didn’t need to pay me because I missed the orientation. They decided this after they had already paid me. They want their money back. And they won’t pay me again until I refund it.

Well, I don’t have it. I had to catch up on rent and phone. I put gas in the car. I paid bills. I mean, it was spent.

Now I do want to be clear, it was NOT spent on my trip. The trip was paid for before I was even eligible for unemployment. The trip was already budgeted. Not that I have to justify where unemployment payments go. This is insurance and I pay into it when I’m employed. It’s my money, not welfare. But, that aside . . .

I also told them I was out of town and they decided that meant I was unavailable for work, so they want the money back for that week as well. So that’s over $1000 they want back from me, and frankly I don’t have it. I have been to doctors and picked up medicine. I have bought a book or two. I renewed my Barnes and Noble membership. I’m not outrageous, but money doesn’t go very far.

Now really if there had been work, I would have been doing it. But there is no employment for me. I am working toward it in the mental health field, but it won’t pay as well as the government does. Still, I am looking, to see what I can find.

However my friend P has found an opportunity for me. He knows someone who makes jewelry who needs help marketing it. I know a bit about posting on Etsy and maybe DeviantArt. I can maybe get her started for a stipend. Of course, it’s only any good until I get called for work. P suggested I take a percentage of the profits, but I’m thinking an hourly rate might be better. I don’t need to get paid right away but I can’t for example mail anything that gets sold if I’m in another state. So internet marketing consultant could be a thing.

I also got the chance to facilitate a few groups in the past 2 weeks. Three people told me I did well, so I’m feeling pretty confident about my facilitating skills. I don’t feel like I actually did very much. For example, one group we had a new person come in who burst into tears when we asked how he was. I didn’t know what to do, but the group did. They gave him Kleenex and water and support. It was amazing. I got credit for it, but I think it was all on them. I am facilitating again next week and the following week, assuming I’m not called for work.

And I do hope to be called for work.




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Small Victories

It’s been a couple of rainy days and I’ve been in the house since I got home Friday. It’s now Sunday.

I don’t have any money so I can’t exactly go places. I did request my first unemployment payment today, but they have me down for receiving checks and that means it can take time for the money to arrive. Then I have to cash the check, and send some of it to the bank.

Yes, Citibank does not have any branch offices in Texas, so I have to mail them my opening deposit. Very frustrating as well as causing delays, but once I get that initial deposit in, I can use direct deposit. As long as I can get it resolved before the second payment. The second request is right before my trip and I’d like to get paid for vacation.

I have had another sale in my Etsy shop, so that’s cool.

I finally managed to take a shower this evening. I should have done it while my roommates were out of the house but I couldn’t pull myself together. This is a small victory, but the bipolar didn’t win today. My hair is washed, my jammies are clean, my legs have been shaved. Not well, but shaved none the less. I am all girly again and I don’t smell.

You know, personal hygiene is such a struggle for me. It’s like, it’s just a pain in the ass and it feels overwhelming. I don’t understand this because once I’m actually in the shower, I am happy to be there. It just seems like getting over the threshold into the tub is nearly impossible. I don’t know why that is.

I had a shower. I took my meds. I ate. I didn’t exercise though, I am bad at doing that. And I’ll go to bed soon, which is a reasonable time for me. I don’t have any obligations until tomorrow afternoon.

Life is full of small victories. I made my own breakfast. I journaled. I made some plans. I taught that vision board class last month, I just need to find something else to teach now. I might see if I can get certified to teach WRAP.

I am hoping to hear that I’ve been accepted for coach / evaluator at work. I know it’s only been a week since I applied for it so it may easily take some time to be approved. But I am an optimist about time.

Of course I am a pessimist about the background check. I’ve been doing the job for a year now, 2 years if you count my time as a local hire. I would hate to lose it at this point because of my credit report. And I’m afraid I will.

Still, I am clean and ready for bed, and that’s a good thing. Sometimes little things are all there is.


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Waiting or Enabling?

I am trying to tell how much of this is my own fault.

I was going to give my daughter a ride to sell plasma today, and she was going to slip me $5 gas money. I put my last $20 in the gas tank, anticipating having that $5.

I went to a meeting and got out around noon. I did not have a message from my daughter with an address, so I checked into a book store to kill some time.

It’s all good. I copied some hat patterns out of some knitting and crochet books that I can’t afford to buy. It will make some variety in my 100 Hats Project. And I wrote some “morning pages” in my journal. I put it in quotes because, to be honest, I almost never write them in the morning. I drank a whole large water with ice. And I realized I was hungry.

I had tried several times to reach my daughter, waiting about an hour between attempts. The hunger eventually won out, and I texted her that I was going home.

Two hours after I got home, she texted me. She appears contrite. She did not ask for a ride. Which is good because I don’t have the gas to drive her and it was too late to sell blood for her to get gas money to give me.

It’s not very respectful of my time. I mean, I didn’t waste time, but I might have done something else if I’d known I wasn’t going to see her. I’m a little disappointed.

But more than that, I wonder if I”m a little too available. I wonder if I am excited to see her and she isn’t that interested in seeing me. I wonder if I”m preventing her from growing up and taking responsibility for herself. And if I’m wondering about it, the answer is probably yes.


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Starting a New Week

It’s late Sunday night and I will be going to bed soon, but I want to think about what’s going on next week.

First of all, bank. I finally got my debit card and it is now activated, but I don’t have the pin. Apparently Citibank mails it to you under separate cover. So I have a card that is active but no money in the account and no way to put money in the account without a pin. So this is a little frustrating.

I already heard from unemployment. The turnaround time was really fast. I got paperwork and a handbook and a decline letter. They said I didn’t earn enough to qualify for unemployment. Now really, people who earn less money probably need unemployment more than people who earn the big bucks, so that already is annoying. But also the unemployment people didn’t have all my income for the year. I had to print out and send them a copy of my W2 for 2018. I mailed it Friday, the post office says they’ll have it Monday. Hopefully so, because I need them to pay me. That reminds me, I need to update my banking information with them.

Tomorrow morning I have an appointment at the USPS to get my passport. Or rather to order it. I have to get up and stay up long enough to do that. Standing in line will be the hardest part. Actually, turning over my birth certificate will be the hardest part. I can stand in line any time, but it’s a right bitch to get the correct birth certificate. Someone with my name was born in the same city but 3 years before me. Every time I request my birth certificate, they send me hers. Standing in line is cake compared to municipal bureaucracy.

I also need to stop by the pharmacy and pick up my prescription. That’s the blood pressure med. I am out of mood stabilizers, so the next couple weeks should be interesting. I called the pharmacy who says there are no refills on the script. However, it’s not like my doctor to put in one month for one med and 3 months for the other 2. I asked the pharmacy to contact him, but I left a message for the doctor myself.

Tuesday I need to drive up to Denton to go to the office. Now I need to do it anyway because I am having issues with my enterprise password so I need to see tech support. Besides that, work is doing a background check on me. You may well ask, haven’t I already been there for 2 years and shouldn’t this already be done? Well, yes and yes. In fact I asked the officer about it when I called them back. I figured, since I’ve applied for a few jobs while I’m off work, that it was one of them doing the check. But no, it’s my regular job. And the reason? “We’re catching up,” is what he said. But I will go up to the office, so that is my safety catch. Hopefully that night I can meet up with friends for dinner or drinks, though I really can’t afford it.

Elcie is working again, starting Tuesday. Full time for her. So that’s a good thing. Maybe she can pay me back some of the money she owes me. I could sure use it.

Also, I set up the hotel room for Vancouver. I had points from being deployed last fall so I was able to reserve a room for July 4. Something good from all the time spent at the Hilton Garden Inn.


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Buying a New Towel

I may not be a froody dude, but I sure know where my towel is. Right now it’s in a pile of laundry. No wait, it’s here next to me. No, silly, I now own 2 towels!

I actually own many towels and they are in storage. But these are what the towel people call bath sheets, about 36″ x 64″. It’s almost as long as I am tall. But the older one was getting worn out and starting to fray so I had to acquire another one.

We went to this place called Ollie’s which was a fun trip. If I’d had some money to spare, I would easily have spent about $50. But instead I spent only $6.50 on a huge towel. It’s dusty purple. It’s 100% cotton. I’m very pleased with it. I’m a little too pleased with it.

In other news, my roommates are being pretty cool about the fact that I have no income at the moment. I am paying half my usual amount of rent which I will pay the difference once I’m working again. The only thing is, F keeps saying that now that I’m paying less rent, I need to do more chores, which really means vacuum. It’s like, even though I’m going to pay the difference, I’m his bitch. And we’re going to start with a task that possibly I like least. I think his dom self enjoys making me do things I don’t want to do. But I’ll get over it, it just bothers me at the moment.

And hopefully I won’t be broke much longer.

On the 3rd, which is Monday which is tomorrow, I can reapply for unemployment. Now it will take them some time to make a decision so I won’t have money right away, but I should have it soon. I assume they will pay me. I mean, I did work and I did earn enough to divide by 37. If I did the math correctly, I should get about $250 per week. Maybe a little more. I can only hope.

I just need money in time for my trip. I still need to get my passport so I need to find the money for it and my birth certificate. I thought I knew where it was but I was wrong. Now I have to tear my room apart and see where I put it. This isn’t a bad thing, since the room really needs to be put together more neatly, and I need to see if I have anything else to sell.

I also need to throw away the duffel bag that Charli the Kitty has been peeing on. Yep, she started that again. I’ve been home since December and no problem until about 10 days ago. I thought she was past the whole pee pee kitty thing but I guess not. The duffel bag will never be usable again, so I really need to be sure it’s empty and toss it. Hard to do, but necessary.

Time to find some water. I had a wonderful frozen cherry limeade while running errands today but it’s time to have water. Water is so good for me, even though it has no flavor. I would prefer a coke but carbonation is painful these days so water it is.

And I have my towel handy if I spill it.


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Check Out My Etsy Shop

I really need some money, so I’m selling unused art and craft supplies in my Etsy shop. Here are some images of what I added today, mostly Tim Holtz stuff and related items.

There’s other stuff, but that will give you a feel for it. My store is at https://www.etsy.com/shop/Sunlion . Have a look around, contact me if there’s something you’re interested in.


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When Is a Courtesy NOT a Courtesy?

Money is still tight. I have 5 days away from being able to apply for unemployment again. That’s apply, not receive, they could turn me down.

There’s no reason to, but they could. I hate being at someone else’s mercy.

I have applied to Half Price Books. I don’t know why I didn’t think of them sooner. I guess I hate to burn a bridge with them. I would like best if someone could hire me, knowing I’m going to be deployed for months at a time, but having a job of some kind for me when I get back. Still, if they’d pay me close to $40K a year, I might reconsider.

I did sell a hat, and someone sent me money in my GoFundMe. So there is a little money coming in.

My bank “courtesy paid” two items for me, and overdrew me by more than $200. If I don’t pay it within 60 days — more like 35 days at this point — they will charge off my account. I didn’t think they’d pay anything without the money being there. And I won’t have $200 to spare before the 60 days is up.

So I opened an account with Citibank. They were willing to take me on. I need $25 for the savings account because they open checking and savings simultaneously. I have no idea how to get that to them. I guess I should call and find out.

I have no idea how to come up with the money I need for a passport. Or my meds, for that matter. Life is stressful. And money would, literally like $500, would solve everything right now.


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Tuesday Night Thoughts

I didn’t sleep last night. I get manicky sometimes and sleep eludes me. I surfed the web and watched some Netflix. All good and not conducive to sleep. Finally about 8 am I fell asleep. The problem being, I was supposed to be somewhere at 10 and I slept through it. I meant to just stay up then come home and crash but that didn’t happen.

I am sleepy tonight and it’s only 11 so I might be asleep before midnight.

I need $145 for my passport. I have about half of it, unless I need to put gas in the car, which I probably will. But my friend paid for my airfare so I think I need the passport more than I need gas. Except I need the support groups and I have to drive to them, so . . . I hate being on the horns of a dilemma.

I am thinking about B. I know we haven’t planned anything other than hanging out and there isn’t anything that makes me think he likes me especially. I went through this with Joe back in the 80’s. He was good looking, sincere, kind and had a way of looking at you with his full attention. He also had a girlfriend that he was very serious about and eventually married. The first few times I interacted with him, he rather took my breath away. I don’t think he ever knew I felt like that and it’s well over now so if he happens to read this, it’s funny more than embarrassing.

So B is better looking than I am, and kind and polite and pretty smart. He’s a balanced individual and respectful. Earnest. And he has a way of interacting that feels like you’re the only thing in the world. But he’s like that with P too and I know they’re just friends. Aside: there is something about friendships between men that makes me happy. Anyway, I will just be friendly, I can always use another friend, and hopefully he will never know I am getting all day dreamy.

But for myself, it’s nice to feel like this. I have had no sex drive or even interest in years. Here I am all butterflies and blushes and I thought it was over. Time of life, medication, being plain and pudgy, just seemed like there was no hope of this kind of juiciness. I’m happy for myself, regardless of whether this turns into anything. It’s fun

I long for a couple of dollars to spare so I could get a mocha at a coffee shop. I would like to take my letter writing stuff and take over a table and drink some professionally made coffee. From espresso, not from drip. With dark chocolate. Oh, decadent. LOL. It’s just coffee.

I am tired of being poor. And I will be poor for some weeks more. I need to just suck it up and get on with life.

Someone was very kind to be at the Marvelous Message Board, my SARK group. The organizers decided to drop my membership from $20 a month to $5, which was huge even though I still couldn’t afford it. Then someone anonymous paid for a year for me. So, wow! The kindness of humans is beyond amazing. I am a valued part of the community, and someone was willing to back that up with action. I am honored.

Well, 3 and a half more weeks until food stamps renew, 2 weeks until I can apply for unemployment. Even if I qualify, it’ll be 3 weeks until I get paid, and I’ll only get paid for one week because Texas holds back the first week.

I am going to be so poor for so long. I can’t stand it.


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Rainy Day Like Night

It’s raining here today.

Not a gentle spring rain, but a thunder-ridden deluge, including hail. The sky is so black it’s like night out.

I am drinking coffee, grateful to be indoors.

I had plans to go to an art market in Deep Ellum today with my daughter, but she told me yesterday she was sick so I just cancelled it. Now with the weather, I’m glad I did. We’d have been miserable.

My daughter is training her kitten, Rider Die, to be an emotional support animal. She is harness training Rider and takes her out to crowded events to get her used to being around people. So far Rider is doing great, or so I hear. This weekend would have been my first outing with them together.

I’m not sure about the whole emotional support animal thing. I believe there are people who need emotional support but I also know several people who simply use it as a way to keep their pets with them 24/7. At least one of them has forgotten that I remember when her dog wasn’t an emotional support animal, and she used to fret about people who had them. So my girl is working on her cat being one, and I’m not sure if it’s because she really needs one or if it’s to keep her kitten with her all the time.

It’s a coffee and nap kind of day. I’m hungry but I don’t know what I want to eat. Probably tuna. There’s something about rainy days that makes me want tuna fish sandwiches. Or grilled cheese. I should make a sandwich. If I’m thinking about food, it’s probably time to eat.

Charli the kitty just came and napped on my chest. It was comforting. I napped with her. I didn’t need a nap, but there you go, it’s a sleepy day.

I’m nervous about making a sandwich. I mean. my rent includes dinner but it doesn’t really include other meals. No, wait, most days I do make breakfast, often a fried egg sandwich. (I like sandwiches, can you tell?) I didn’t have much for breakfast today, just some cottage cheese and a piece of toast. No wonder I’m hungry now.

I just don’t want to eat more than my fair share, and with no income right now, I can’t buy extra food to supplement if I’m hungry. I can’t hit a drive through. I haven’t even gone to QT for a cold drink. I feel very limited in options.

Well, I need to eat. There’s some cold cuts in the fridge so I’m going to make a chicken sandwich. With provolone. I wonder if there’s a pickle. Then, probably another nap.


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Vision Boards and Banks

I did the vision board presentation again today, and it went well. I’m pretty pleased with it in general. I need to figure out a way to bring some music into it. I don’t listen to anything on my phone and I don’t have a bluetooth speaker so my options are a little limited.

One of the guys finished his but didn’t want to talk about it. I talked about mine, a couple of the ladies talked about theirs. It’s good, I think, to look at what you end up with and think about how it reflects your life.

Tomorrow and Thursday I am facilitating some other groups. Then next week we do vision boards 2 more times. It’s a good thing. I’m glad I did it.

But to balance out the good, I got an email from my bank regarding an overdraft.

How did that even happen? I don’t believe I have overdraft turned on. If I’d known I had a little leeway, I’d’ve spent $20 on Care.com to be able to contact clients.

Now I know, if I’d gone to the grocery store, the card would have been declined, so I don’t know why they paid what they did. I zero’d out the account for a reason. I would think that was obvious.

Additionally, they just send me a new bank card because my old one got compromised. It has a new number which I have not given out. Another reason those charges should not have gone through.

So I will call the bank tomorrow and see what’s up. Hopefully we can get it together and I won’t owe the whole $200. Because I should get unemployment next month, but it will only be for one week because of that thing where they hold a week back. I don’t want it all going for an overdraft that never should have happened.