Kiss5Tigers

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


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Kitten Milk Replacer

Did you know they make formula for kittens? They do. They keep it way in the back of the store, down low, so it’s a little hard to find.

Daughter’s boyfriend has a cat named Pumpkin. Pumpkin has had kittens. They are already pretty developed. They are less than 2 weeks old and they are opening their eyes and at least one boy has visible testicles. I think Pumpkin held off pushing them out until she just couldn’t keep them inside any longer. If that’s possible.

Now it’s a first litter for Pumpkin, and she is a young cat, so daughter wasn’t sure how it would go. It’s mostly gone okay, though Pumpkin has decided that the kittens belong in the center of the bed. Whenever they are moved, she moves them back. Clearly a sign that daughter and boyfriend are part of Pumpkin’s family.

Pumpkin is a little bored of kittens. She gets up and leaves them nested in the blankets pretty often. Daughter has noticed that sometimes the kittens are actively nursing when Pumpkin leaves, and this gave her some concern about them getting enough nutrition. So that entailed a trip to PetSmart today to get kitten milk.

Daughter had no money, so I volunteered what I had. I gave her all my cash, which was about $11, and my PayPal card which I believed had another $5. Turned out the PayPal card was empty so that left her short. However the person at the store wanted kittens to be fed and gave her a discount to make the milk powder affordable. I am now broke. I owe the bank for an overdraft, and I am out of cash and PayPal money. (If you’re feeling generous, I’m taking donations, or check out my Patreon or my Etsy.)

I don’t mind being broke for kitties, though I’m a little stressed about it.

In other news, I am at the point in packing where I’m doing laundry. I have a week to go before M-day. M for Moving of course. I’m getting pretty excited. I have assistance lined up so that’s good. Charli kitty will come with me but Mr Momo will stay here. Charli is attached to me and will adjust to the move. Momo took months to settle down after moving here, and we’ve been here 5 years, so he is also attached to my roommates. He would not be happy to move and they enjoy him, so he stays.

Support groups continue online. It’s not optimum but it’s better than not meeting at all. I feel glad to see my friends, and we are in touch by text as well as Zoom. I’m learning to appreciate modern media. I can’t really call it social media, that sounds like InstaGram and Facebook. But it’s definitely new technology.

Roommate L has made dinner tonight. Wonderful pork chops with an Asian flair, and mashed potatoes. I really love potatoes. I will miss her cooking at the new place. But I am told there are volunteers on a 2 week rotation for making dinners, so we’ll see what happens. I expect a lot of pasta, chicken or ground beef, and rice and beans.

I am thinking what to do with my stimulus money, which I’m pretty sure I’m going to get. I have a large bill that I think I’ll pay a chunk of, like half. I could pay the whole thing, but that leaves me with no money for myself. I need to inspect and register the car, pay car insurance, pick up meds. Plus I need new cat supplies for the new place. So, really, there isn’t a bonus for me with this, it is necessary money.

I am still working out the ShiftSmart app. I have emailed support and I’m waiting for a message back. That’ll be around $50 which would also be nice.

So money money money makes the world go ’round, but everything else is going fine. I’m mostly pretty content and moving into the future, just got to finish packing.


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A Moment of Frustration

It’s financial.

Of course it’s financial.

It’s always financial.

Oh, the Michael’s paycheck saga. I worked for them in November, until I was called by FEMA. Now that was frustrating because FEMA asked me to commit for 60 days, then let me go after 19. I would have turned down the deployment and stayed with Michael’s if I’d known it was gonna go like that.

Anyway.

I left right before one payday, and was deployed for the next payday. Then I got back right before Christmas, so I didn’t get to the store until after the new year to pick up my checks. Unfortunately, they had been returned to corporate rather than mailing them to me. Bummer, but okay, I’ll deal with corporate.

Well that’s not so easy. The number I could find online was for customer service not the head office. So I called customer service, who connected me to HR. I left a message. Several days later I left another message. I finally reached someone who emailed me a form to fill out. The form.

The form was a .pdf but I was unable to unlock it for editing. Didn’t even show up as an option. I had to print it out. Then I had to access the payroll portal to get the check dates. I filled out the form, and realized I didn’t know how to return them. I didn’t have a fax number or a physical address, so I called Michael’s again.

I am surprised by how difficult a concept this is to explain over the phone. “Just fill out the form online and email it back to us.” Well I tried that, it doesn’t work. I hung up on one person who clearly wasn’t getting it. I finally got a person who suggested taking a picture of the form with my phone and emailing that back. Well. Should’ve thought of that myself. Good idea. So that’s what I did.

Then I got an email saying I needed to fill out a different form that included the check number and the amount. I had to email them to request a copy of the form. Then I had to go back to the payroll portal to get the additional check information. I printed out the forms and completed them. This time, there was a list of 5 fax numbers on the form with instructions to send the form to them. I don’t own a fax.

Fortunately, the unemployment office has a free fax machine, so I went down there and faxed. I faxed to all the numbers because I was gonna cover my bases. Nobody at unemployment even asked what I was doing.

Today I got an email asking me to confirm my mailing address. I sure hope that means the checks will be cut soon and forwarded to me. I mean, it’s been since November and I need the money.

That brings me to my second source of frustration. I had to use the company card while I was deployed because I didn’t have any money in the bank. Most of my expenses were covered but a few were not. That’s okay, and it’s normal. So I have to pay a few things out of pocket. Not a problem if I’m working, but I haven’t received a check since Christmas and I simply am out of money. I hope the Michael’s check arrives soon.

On top of that, my car is due for a sticker this month. I need to get an inspection and pay for registration, another $150 or thereabouts total. Where is that check?

Now I will be working 4 days this week. I have a training. But I will lose about 1/3 of my check to taxes. Then another $200 for health insurance. Then another $200 for back health insurance, since I’ve been covered for the past year without making a payment, so I owe that money. Really I won’t have any cash in my pocket from this expedition. But I will have a coach and evaluator certification, which hopefully will make me more appealing to have in the field. Maybe.

I still haven’t heard from the other cadre about making the change to a different team. In November they told me it would be 2 months. With the holidays I expected it to take longer. I did email them, asking them if they needed more information, just to see if someone would get back to me. So far, nothing.

Speaking of nothing, I haven’t heard from the 911 dispatcher job I applied for either. I took the test. I was the second person done. I guess I wasn’t as good as I thought. Not even a “thank you for applying, we’ve decided to go another route”. In fact, I don’t even know what my test score is.

In other news, I finally found my keys which I put in a “safe place” before I was deployed. I’ve been without a house key since Christmas. They were in a bag along with my correspondence supplies and unanswered letters. I have been working on replying to those letters and I went to one of my out-of-the-house workspaces so I had room to empty the bag and spread out. Lo and behold, there in the bottom of the bag were my keys.

And I have entered the art exhibition. Two pieces. I’ve never entered a juried show before so I don’t know if my work is good enough. I hope it is. I won’t know for like a month if I’m accepted.

In the meantime, I continue looking for work. Sooner or later something will give and I’ll be back among the gainfully employed.


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Working the WRAP

WRAP is Wellness Recovery Action Plan, and I’ve talked about it in some detail in other posts so I won’t bore you.

I am struggling with spending.

I am spending money I don’t really have to spare.

I can’t seem to halt the behavior.

So it’s time to get out my WRAP notebook.

What can I do when this takes over?

Oh, turn over the bank card to someone else! That really scares me so it’s probably the one I’d better do. Tank up the car, get a couple dollars in cash so I can get a coke or a coffee, and take the bank card out of my purse.

Scary.

Really scary.

What else can I do?

Use up the art supplies I already have. Make art. Making art makes me happy, and most of my spending is on art supplies which want to be used. Make art seems like a good plan.

I have 2 online courses I’m taking, I could listen to one of them.

I need a shower before I see my family tomorrow.

I am owning my faults and blogging about them *right now* as I am typing this. I’m not sure if that’s helpful except that it’s always helpful to be honest and start from truth.

I can sleep. I just finished dinner and I have full-belly sleepiness. Nap is possible.

I think . . . I think I will listen to one of my courses, and maybe do some journaling or write some letters. I have a letter to Fishspit to finish. Then the shower before bed.

And I will not get on Amazon or Etsy, even though I want to.

Because the medicine keeps the feelings under control and this is just behavior. I can change behavior. I can do this.


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Some Days Are Not as Good as Others

I’m having kind of a crappy day.

I’ve been having kind of a crappy few days.

First of all, I went shopping. Shopping is bad. I spent $70 that I shouldn’t have spent on art supplies. They are still in my car in case I decide to return them, but I probably won’t.

Then this cough. I am still coughing. The doctor says allergy. Well, that’s fine, I’m not contagious. But it annoys the people around me. I can’t have a conversation. People back away. This is a nasty cough.

And the whole bed bug debacle. It’s not my fault this time, but I am still being blamed.

I was minding my own business, sitting on the sofa, when my roommate L comes up to me. “Did you poop when you went to the bathroom?” Well, no, I hadn’t, but I instantly felt accused of something. Turns out there was some kind of poo streak in the toilet and it mattered whether it was my fault.

Then L spent the day out of the house visiting family. When she came home, I was in the laundry room. I heard the dogs bark and came out. I had automatically locked the front door when I came through it, and I hadn’t turned on the outside light, so she was struggling to get into the house. I opened the door and got an earful. “I think of you at night and leave the light on and unlock the door,” she reminded me. I was more worried about exterminating bed bugs and my other roommate being sick. I didn’t think of the sun going down. And I certainly couldn’t have predicted that she’d come home when I was in the back of the house.

Today I came home and was met at the sofa by L. She was looking at me expectantly. I had no idea what the thing was. She pulled out a sheet that she uses for sitting on the sofa. “Is this your blood?” she demanded. I don’t know but I’m having my period so maybe. “I need you to check yourself,” she said, “this is just gross.” Well it wasn’t something I did on purpose, and it was so faint I didn’t even notice it until she pointed it out. I offered to wash the sheet, but she put it in her hamper.

F is on me about money. I know I owe the phone bill. Sometimes it takes me a couple of days to get to the bank. I don’t appreciate being told to go to the bank. And I don’t appreciate being asked what I”m doing today with an agenda. He is counting nickels and dimes lately. I am not the bank. I thought we were friends but lately I feel like I am just a source of funds.

Now I know this will pass. I will get over my period and be less sensitive. Things will go back to normal. Money will work out.

My general horror about having a body won’t go away, I’m afraid, but I’m used to that. I won’t enumerate the grossnesses at this time. I’ll just try to convince myself it’s worth it to be able to pet the cat.

And tomorrow will be a different day.


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Busy Weekend

I am busy this weekend, and it’s good.

It’s easy for me to get stuck when I don’t have a support group, and just spend days at a stretch in my jammies.

Now there’s nothing wrong with restful days. I need them. I need days when I stay home and do, well, nothing important.

But this is a 3-day weekend. I just can’t spend all 3 days at home doing nothing. So I am lucky to have made plans for all 3 days.

Tomorrow I am going out with some friends. We plan to hit Dallas Grilled Cheese Company for lunch and head on over to the Perot Museum. Then for dinner I am meeting some other friends for tacos at Taqueria Taxco.

Sunday I have a ceramics class at Dallas MakerSpace followed by a visit with a friend.

Monday I am going to get my hair cut then out to dinner with the roommates at Red Lobster.

Yes it will be a few dollars, but that’s what money is for. It’s a tool for doing the things we need to and want to. I will get some bills paid and I’ve ordered some art supplies to keep me busy. It’s all good. Busy is good for me.

I just need to buy a newspaper so I have something to protect the table top while I paint or do other art activities. I don’t want to get gunk all over the carpet. I suppose I should work outside, and I just might if the weather is suitable. I have a kit with alcohol inks that I’d love to play with somewhere that I can’t damage the furniture. The front porch is probably a good option.

Tonight is shower night, then set the alarm so I get on the road at an appropriate time tomorrow. I’m looking forward to this weekend.


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Shopping

Shopping is bad for me.

And yet I love to do it.

I did some online shopping. I ordered stamps, which I need. I ordered art supplies, which maybe I don’t need, but they are with a purpose. I ordered some really cool yarn for specific projects. I love yarn so one of my rules for myself is that I must have a project in mind. And I went on Etsy and ordered some vintage ephemera for junk journaling.

I also spend money on tickets to the Perot Museum with friends on Saturday and some yogurt pretzels. Then Saturday night have dinner out with friends, Sunday I have a ceramics class, and Monday I have dinner out with my roommates.

I’m hemorrhaging cash.

I need to get this under control.

I also need to put gas in the car, help my daughter pay for a replacement ID and do a little grocery shopping.

Money vanishes so fast! I don’t feel like I”m doing much but I’m spending too much.

In other news, Hurricane Dorian is a thing. It’s due to strike Puerto Rico and Florida, two places that got slammed last hurricane season and aren’t dug out yet. Neither one is prepared for another disaster.

Roommate says I need to clean my room. How do I say, it’s hot so I don’t want to hang out in there? I have an air conditioner in the window, but it’s an older house and if I turn it on while the one in the living room is running, it blows the circuit. I can’t imagine my roommates want to turn off the main a/c in order for me to clean my room. So I will work on it somewhat at the beginning and the end of the day, when I am awake and the a/c is on but it doesn’t interfere with the roommates’ comfort.

And yes, it IS hot. This is Texas. For the past week, temperatures have been over 100 F with heat index around 110. We had a cold front come through which dropped temperatures by 15 degrees, but that’s still over 90. I am just hot and uncomfortable with no air. I should be used to it – there’s no air conditioning in my car either – but for doing a task I am loathe to do, heat is a deal breaker.

Waiting for the cooler weather, thinking of how to tidy my room, it’s all part of life.


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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.