Sunday, January 30, 2011

Who Knew?

It was a tough week...

By Wednesday, Wally and I were kind of looking at each other wondering what to do... we were running out of money, our food stamps ran out, 160 for a month doesn't go very far when you have no access to cooking anything.

I think we did pretty well by buying 99 cent bread, lunchmeat, cheese, and cheap salad dressing (blue cheese)  to make sandwiches and the store brands potato salad, or mac salad for 1.25.

Do you ever wonder why the fat lady in front you in the checkout, (that pays with food stamps), buys nothing but junk food? Have you ever turned your nose up at that and thought, "My gosh! She's getting FREE food and only getting JUNK!??!"..... 

I have.

Now I am on the other side of the stick though... and guess what?

Milk is over 3 bucks a gallon. Juice is 3 or 4 bucks. Soda is 99 cents for a two liter. 

I want the milk or juice... but.... I have to buy the soda.

The rest is the same... fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, are just simply NOT affordable. Out here, in the west, the price of vegetables per pound is often much more than the meat. 

I just don't understand it.

But I won't roll my eyes and scoff again at the big-butt in front of me that has a cart full of soda, Lil Debbie brownies, store brand sugary cereal, and ramen noodles ever again... because I understand WHY there is nothing "healthy" or "nutritional" in her cart... I understand now... 

I understand THAT.  

I had my paycheck coming in on Thursday... but that was no help yet... We needed gas money so that I could get to work in a city 20 miles north of us the following morning. 

We went by the apartment to check the mail... and oh-my-thank-you-thank-you!!! There was a letter in the mail from a friend that wanted to help us. There was some money in it. OH! The timing could not have been better.

We went straight down and put 20 bucks of gas in the car... that would get me to work for the week!

Saved... I'm freeking saved.... I will pay it back and then some... just like with my other friends that helped us.  

The thing that puzzles me is... why wasn't my family there? I asked them for help. I got the answer no, along with insults or no response at all. I guess my brother Ed won't bother himself to write to me again until the next time he thinks he's dying! (like the last time)  

I can't fathom what I've ever done to make them think so poorly of me... except that they do not know me at all and are making guesses about my life. 

I keep thinking of my brother Marvin too... he got sick, he couldn't pay his bills, he lost his apartment while he was in the hospital. He was basically homeless when he got out. Oh, yeah, our brother, Ed, "helped" by giving away and selling most of Marv's stuff.... How kind of him.... I never said anything but that really pissed me off.

I did not know what all was happening at the time, but as soon as I found out that Marv was living with friends of his which wasn't really a good situation, I told him he was welcome in my home... and he lived with us from then on, then a spent a short time on his own, then came back to us... then he died.

Everyone in my family said no (or ignored) Marvin too, when he seriously needed help... except me...because... 

I have this silly idea you see... something about how family is supposed to take care of family and love each other and take care of each other... Perhaps I am unique. 

What I'm thinking of is my step-mom insisting that my father hug me.

Families are supposed to hug when they greet each other she said.


We were never like that.

We did hug each other, because she insisted, we both felt like we were hugging slimy worms. I'm glad I'll never have to see him again. Don't get me wrong... there was no type of abuse of any kind involved. There just simply is no affection. 

My aunt Sue thinking that I'm on drugs...I'm still trying to wrap my head around that. What is she thinking? 

I thought she knew me well.

I love her... but there have been many times that I have not liked her at all. She is not without flaw. Really when I think about it, I know of quite a few of HER "bad choices". 

Yes, I have had a lot of time to think...

I think that I like to imagine that my family are something that they aren't. I think I've enjoyed imagining that for a long time... decades... It's time to just accept it for what it is.

Why won't they help me?

Why wouldn't they help Marvin?

Oh it has taken me too long to see this...

They don't care.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The #1 Goal

Thursday I picked up my paycheck and had to go down to make the car payment.

I had worked three 12 hours shifts for that check and was very disappointed that I didn't even make enough to cover the entire car payment. I don't know... I just don't know if anything will ever get any better.

I was really excited to start my semi-new job. Being a "scheduled temp" is a big step up from being a regular temp. I will no longer have to rely on Blob-Employ to call me for work. I will be on the schedule at Nature's.

My first day was pretty much a disaster as halfway through the day I slipped and fell. The big problem was that I was not wearing their non-skid shoe booties that I was supposed to have on. I could be, at the very least, reprimanded for that... at the very worst, terminated from Nature's and from Blob-Employ.

I was puzzled when I checked our schedule and I was not on it. 

Then I found out that I was not actually a scheduled temp... yet... they were still testing me...

Oh, joy...

I was worried and confused. First I have the job, then I don't, oh but I do, oh no I don't, but I might... well, crap. What can I do? 

For those three days, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, I was as friendly and sweet as I could possibly be as I pretty much just lived for work and tried to put my best foot forward... with a non-skid bootie on.

It became harder and harder as I was getting extremely tired since I had already worked Monday and Wednesday that week. I was sore from falling and stiff from sleeping in the cold, damp car. I was feeling dirtier by the moment since I had not been able to really get cleaned up beyond a sponge bath at the rest stop bathroom. I had to start wearing my stupid looking hat to hide my hair again.

Sunday we had a fabulous day at work, managing to package and palletize fifty-thousand more bars than has ever been done before in one shift. 

And I was welcomed to the team... officially. 

Monday my three days off started and I finally had the time to sit still and let everything soak in...

At this point we're just holding our breath until Thursday when I'm paid again, since we are pretty much broke again. It seems like every day we figure out another way to avoid spending money, but still survive. 

Maybe I should write a book about THAT someday...

The long nights we've had in the car, I've had a lot of time to think, and I've been thinking about everything... my kids, Wally and our situation, my family, Jake, what my priorities should be, what my goals are... and how I can get myself OUT of this stinking mess!!!! 

At least I can say now, that my #1 goal has been accomplished... I've found something I have been trying to find for the past five years... a steady full-time job.

Monday, January 24, 2011

More Plans

Yeah, Tuesday was really a stinker... 

In order to sooth my mood I decided to completely take the day off... I was tired, sore, grubby and feeling defeated... 

We didn't have much money left but I was looking forward to being paid Thursday... always looking toward the future.. that is me... always living today in hopes of what will happen tomorrow... which does not work because tomorrow never comes... not like I imagine it anyway... 

We went to get a few groceries, splurged on a 3 dollar microwave pizza, and headed down to get a room for the night. I was determined not to worry about one more stupid thing that day... 

We ended up getting the same room that we got last week. They charged us more for it than before. I scoffed at the price and asked if it might be a mistake, then I stewed as I paid the extra and swore to myself that we would not return there... The place is a real dump and if I wasn't in the position I'm in, I would raise a holy terror about the condition of the rooms and the prices demanded... 

The whiskers from when Wally shaved last week were STILL in the sink...

I briefly wondered if we'd get bedbugs... What was I thinking?... It's too damned COLD for bedbugs to survive here! Haha!

All I wanted to do was play on the internet, and even the internet connection was the pits there, so soon enough I was frustrated and lost in my own thoughts...

I should be working... The shape I'm in right now?... I should be working as much as I can... I should be LOOKING for work, instead of staring into this frozen computer screen..

The next morning, Wednesday, Wally and I were getting ready to check out and had planned to go get a free hot lunch at the church, then I had an appointment to donate plasma, and then we'd spend the rest of the day at the library. The phone rang and I answered it. I was called in to work.

Here we go again, cancel all plans... I went in to work. "Plans" would be postponed until Thursday...

Thursday the phone rang again... called in again?

No... This time it was Blob-Employ wondering if I'd be interested in taking a "scheduled position" at the cereal plant. They had requested me... 

It's a three days 'on", three days "off" shift... starting the next day... Friday, Saturday, Sunday... 12 hour shifts.

Yes, I'll take it! 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Best Laid Plans

I've always been the kind of person that tries to make plans, set goals, follow through with things, and generally be organized. 

For the past few years I've found all that to be impossible for me and it causes me hair-pulling aggravation.

Why the heck is it SO hard to plan something and actually see it come to be?... a start, a mid-point, and a finish.

It is worse now than ever since I am mobile. Start. Back up. Reverse that. Start over. Erase that. Change direction. Dead end. Start over... 

It was a busy week. I worked Wednesday (12hrs), Friday(12hrs), Saturday night (catering) Sunday(12hrs).. I had plans Monday to work on my taxes and go donate plasma, then I was called in to work... Stop everything. Go to work. 

I hit a bump with my taxes. I'm trying to e-file. It will not accept Wally's "Tax Identification Number". I paid a lot of money last year to GET the damned thing and now it won't work? It is supposed to be a permanent number, until he gets his Social Security Number. Because of Wally's status I cannot even qualify for the Earned Income Credit anymore. Argh! 

Work Monday was interesting. I seem to be starting to fit in at the cereal plant. They seem to like me. Everybody seems to know my name now, which surprises me. Is it what it seems?

I was approached by one of the Triangle operators and asked if I'd be interested in becoming an operator. He wants to try to get me hired in there. I was outwardly acting thrilled. Inside, I'm too afraid to hope for anything.

Then I was approached by my new friend there and asked if I'd be interested in a "scheduled temp" position on the barline. That just means that I work the same shifts and do the same jobs as the regular employees for the temps pay. (2 dollars less per hour) The good part is that it's full-time work and pretty much guaranteed unless I screw it up. 

Okay... so, now I have two possible maybes... and I'm stumped as to what to do... If I go to Blob-Employ expressing interest in both of these positions all I'm gonna get is a big fat possible nothing... probably... and no more work at all... maybe... 

Tuesday morning I was exhausted. I wanted to get cleaned up. I wanted to go see Danielle. I planned to go donate plasma since I didn't make it the previous day. I wanted to make some calls and figure out how I can finish my taxes. 

We went to "Soups On" to eat... We got there too late to get showers or do laundry. Then we headed out to see Danielle. 

Dani and I stood out front of the home she's living in as she told me that she wanted Kay to be her permanent guardian... temporarily... sort of... you know... she wants Kay to be her permanent guardian.

I stood there feeling as though I'd been kicked in the chest. 


I asked her to take some more time to think it over, and that I needed some time to think it over too. In the end if we both believe that it would be in her best interest... then... I'll make sure that Kay gets some kind of support payments to help her out. 

My stomach instantly soured... The bitterness that I'm feeling is rotting me from the inside out. I can feel myself decaying... 

Wally came up, "You want to hang out for a while?"

"No," I said, "I want to go right now,"

We said our goodbye's, see ya later, hugged and kissed and I went to get in the car. 

"I don't want to go donate plasma today. I'm not up to it," I told Wally. "Then why did you make the appointment?" he chuckled. 

I was silent... 

Because I always make plans...

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Today Was Different

I woke up this morning in the backseat of the car. I was slumped over sideways, Wally's head was resting on my hip. It's gotten warmer, thank goodness. No ice on the interior of the windows, just condensation. My knees hurt. I can't stretch out. My back hurts, I can't lay down all the way.

I want fried eggs. I don't care how they are cooked. I pushed that thought from my head. I won't be having eggs today... 

We slept in late. It was 7:30. We need to get out of here. We're worried about being a problem. We don't want a problem, we only want a safe place to park.

We went to the coffee shop. Time went too fast.

We left. What do we do now? I'm hungry. 

I need to find a way to get cleaned up. I have a catering gig tonight. We stopped by where Dani is staying. Dani wasn't there and Kay wasn't there. Okay... So... I'm not going to call any of my "friends" here to ask if I can come over to shower. I'm not telling anyone I'm homeless. I don't want to see the look on their face, and really... I don't want them thinking... and they will think... 

It reminds me of the book that I'm reading about a young woman that came from the east coast to the west coast to a small town in Alaska and she had a lot of trouble fitting in. She said that it didn't matter what your intentions were but it DID matter what it looked like. Quite right. I can totally relate. 

Let's go ahead and get a hotel room for tonight I suggested. I'd really rather save it for a time when I could enjoy it more, but I have to get cleaned up. Wally needs it too. 

Hey! We can get some frozen food to microwave! So we did... lasagna and bread sticks.

My hair was a rats nest. I try to keep it brushed out but, I dunno what it is... sleeping in the car? I must be sleeping on my head and wiggling a lot. I wake up in the morning with a gnarled mess of hair on the back on my head. It's weird.

I have one small bag packed with real work clothes, one complete set of bakers whites, and one complete set of catering blacks, including underwear, socks and shoes. Ah yeah, my beloved black boots. 

It seemed like the next minute and I was clean, dressed sharply all in black, my hair soft and shiny, no make-up but I did find my black eye-liner.

The show is ON.

I throw a white towel over my arm, grab a hot plate of appetizers and handful of small napkins and hit the floor with my black boots clicking. 

The room is beautiful, dimly lit, candles on the tables, it's very stylish, hot, the music is funky. I almost feel like I'm AT the party instead of serving for it. 

I have to stand up straight, smile, walk fast, squeeze through the chairs... you really need to be thin to do these catering jobs. Tonight I was thin enough. 

I went through four trays of appetizers instantly, crab cakes, 2 of the mushroom tarts, then spring rolls... The fifth one I had trouble with. It was crustini with roast beef, caramelized onion and Ranier cherry...  

There was an appetizer buffet also with raw veggies and shrimp cocktail. 

We served a three course meal, plus clearing and fetching drinks. I had three tables, 8-tops, with a partner helping me.

In the kitchen I was offered one left over jumbo shrimp. Heaven... Heaven I tell you... 

Clearing the dinner dishes I was throwing half pieces of perfectly cooked fillet mignon in the garbage can. It was making me sick. 

After we cleared the plates for dessert we were sent home...


I came out to my car, had to open the passenger door to open the drivers door from the inside to get in. Pain in the ass. It was raining so I had to drive with my left blinker going constantly (like I'm a retard or something)  so that my windshield wipers will work. Ugh...

It's been a long time since I've had a car as crappy as this one. It looks okay but it seems that everything keeps breaking. Oh well, at least it's half-way paid for.

I come home to a hotel room that I must leave in a few hours to go to another job. A twelve hour shift. 

I need to sleep but I so much want to savor having a place to stay... having my shoes off... stretching out... I want to take another shower... mmmmm... maybe I'll just curl up in bed with my love... Oh I won't want to get up... 

Tomorrow will be different.


Saturday, January 15, 2011


I suppose that pretty much describes my life right now... fragmented... it's in pieces...

There are large chunks of time and small slices of moments. Memories don't matter anymore. The past does not exist. That was yesterday, and yesterday is gone.

We're at the coffee shop having their cheapest, smallest hot coffees. We snacked on some Little Debbie oatmeal creme cookies that I bought with food stamps and crammed in my pocket for this occasion. I'm breaking the rules by sneaking these in but I cannot afford to buy the muffins they sell here at four bucks a pop.

I wait until there is nobody up at the counter before I go up to get a refill of coffee. I don't want to be close to anyone because I know I smell bad. I have not had a shower since Tuesday and I have worked two 12 hour shifts since then at the cereal plant. I know I am covered in cereal dust and reek of perspiration. My hair is tangled and greasy so I just twisted it up in a bun and put on my knitted hat to cover it all.

I miss my daughter and found myself close to tears a few moments ago just thinking of her.

I am glad she is not with us. I say this with my heart breaking. I love her so dearly. I do not want to drag her down the path that I am walking. 

She deserves a better life than the one Wally and I are living right now.

We didn't get a hot meal last night but that was okay. We had cold buffalo chicken nuggets with blue cheese dressing and a creamy mac salad while we sat in the car in the dark.

We're to the point now that it does not matter whether it's hot or cold. It does not matter what it is. It doesn't matter if it's seasoned right or if it's "good"... It doesn't matter. It matters that it's food and we're thankful to have it.

Wednesday we went to the Northwest church to have a hot lunch. "Old Blue" laid quietly by the door. She is an old fat dog that looks to be blind in one eye and has no tail. She just looked at us. Maybe she remembered us from the "Soup's On" place last week.

I looked around... some of the faces are the same... some are different. Some of these people live in their cars, some live in tents, some still have homes but just cannot afford to feed themselves. 

The man beside us complains about his employer. He's worried about being paid for work he's done. I feel bad for him. I understand. I have been down that road too. 

A young girl with choppy hair and a little belly popping out above her jeans revealed by a shirt that is too small and too short, brags with excitement to her friends that she has to work tonight.

I wonder exactly how many of these people are employed... like me... employed but homeless... the "working poor"... it seems like a lot of them. 

I think... yes, I think I will never again laugh at people who make fun of people wearing odd clothes. The young lady was wearing a shirt that was too small and jeans that were too tight, but it was probably all she had... besides, I am starting to look pretty odd myself.

I hate my hat... It looks stupid... 

Wally and I sat and ate our hot meal. It was taco casserole, along with cooked carrots and a green salad with chocolate cake for dessert. Yes, after years of never eating cake... I eat cake now. I'll eat anything now. I didn't leave one speck of anything on my plate. 

My problem for today is getting cleaned up. I have a catering job tonight and I need to be freshly washed and impeccably dressed all in black with shined shoes. I'm still trying to figure out how I'm going to accomplish that. 

One place that we go to offers showers, but it's only on Tuesdays and Fridays between 9am and 1pm. They have a really nice set up there. They supply everything you need, shampoo, soap, conditioner, razors, deodorant, powder, wash cloths and clean towels. We were even able to get clean socks there one day which was a great help since everything we had was dirty. 

I guess my thoughts are as fragmented as my life is right now. 

My priority is just to keep working as much as I can, save up money and try to get us back into some housing as fast as I can. I'm thinking the longer we're out on the streets the harder it may become.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Faces

There are good days and bad days... good moments and bad moments...

Ending up homeless was one of my worse fears and I've been in a panic about it for a long time.

Now that it's happened to us?... Well?... The world didn't come to an end. 

Sometimes I find myself on the verge of being very depressed about our situation. Some things are hard. It's hard to get clean (and stay clean) it's hard to keep track of your stuff (when you're shuffling it all around in a car) it's hard to keep warm, it's hard to sleep...

I worry about Danielle. Oh, I know she's safe and in a good home, cared for, but...

I worry about Dani being away from us so much. She is old enough now that this might be it. She may just break away from us and not come back. She's 16 and I'm not ready to let her go yet. I want a couple of more years.

Thanks to our friends helping us out I've been able to work. I worked last week and I'm working this week. I worked a 12 hour shift yesterday, got another one tomorrow, then Saturday I have a catering gig, and Sunday I've have another 12 hour shift... So, the work is finally starting to come in regularly and I'm keeping busy.

It was discouraging again when I picked up my paycheck today... -40 taxes, -15 social security, -10 worker's comp, -15 WA state something-or-another...*sigh*... 

How will I ever get back on my feet?

I had to make another trip down to the food stamp place to turn in some paystubs. It turned out to be a valuable trip as it increased the amount I was allotted (since my pay the last few months has been pathetic) and it looks like I can get health insurance supplied to me.

There is also a new program that I might be able to take advantage of... If I get another job (like a full time stable job) there are funds available to help transition into it as your first pays are usually withheld. It's something to think about. 

We're still driving around on a donut tire. The drivers side door still will not open from the outside. We're still sleeping in the car with the exception of that one night that we got a room. 

I'm just kind of bracing myself for the next thing that will bust, break, explode or otherwise totally ruin what's left of my life. 

We've been trying to be very careful with all of our resources, have something set aside if (I mean "when") the next disaster comes our way. I believe I've wasted too much time being hopeful that everything will work out. 

It didn't work out... It isn't going to work out. 

We've been hitting all the places around town that serve free meals. That has been so helpful! 

We see the faces, listen to the stories, we are one of them, they are just like us... There are some that are disabled or even suffering with mental illness, but it seems the vast majority are regular people... educated, hopeful, hard-working, most of them are EMPLOYED... but flat ass broke like we are.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Room

We woke up the next morning to find that it had indeed snowed and of course it was already turning to ice.

I thought I was absolutely going to freeze to death standing there as Wally scraped the windows. We found that the drivers side door was frozen shut and of course the windshield wipers were frozen in place. We really had no resources to free them up.

We headed out to the coffee shop for the hot coffee and the much needed restroom. We tried out my computer again. It simply will not start up. The lights come on but it doesn't seem to be getting enough power to start the drives and light the screen.

From there we went to see Dani and to see if we could get a couple of big cups of water from them to get our car door open and free the wipers. (We didn't manage to get the door working yet. It won't open from the outside, but it will from the inside.)

Since it was Sunday and I had no job to go to we were open to do... whatever... and trying to figure out what to do next.

We headed up to Value Village because Wally really needed some shoes. His are full of holes and wet feet in winter weather...well? Need I say more? It was kind of fun to "shop" a little although we were being very careful to find the best shoes for the lowest price. We found a pair for 5 dollars that he's quite pleased with.

We decided to go ahead and get a motel room for the night. We needed to get out of the cold.

We checked on weekly rates but there's just no way... I just think the prices here are outrageous... We did find a room for the night that we could stomach the price of.

I don't think I can tell you how nice it was for us... just having some privacy and a place to relax.. having heat, having a shower, having TV, a bed to stretch out on... after a week of having none of those things, it was like heaven...

Monday, January 10, 2011

A Little Help From Our Friends

I had to work again on Saturday so we were up before dawn and I dropped Wally off at the coffee shop and drove on in to work by myself for the first time in quite a while... 

I just have not felt like driving. It used to be one of my favorite things to do. Now it's almost as if I'm afraid to.

Wally wanted to stay in town because we had some friends coming down from Canada on their way to Seattle and he was going to meet up with them. Danielle also planned to be there.

I went on to work at the cereal place. First thing during our briefing we were told that the temps would probably be sent home early. That brought mixed emotions for me. I need the work but it also would've been nice to be with Wally and Dani and meet up with all the girls. 

About a half hour into my shift they sent me over to the barline. I knew I'd be working a full day then and I found myself to be quite happy about it, plus I really like working on the barline anyway. It is easier work and the time flies by. 

The day turned out to be pretty good as I was working with some outgoing enthusiastic people and we all just had fun together as we worked. I also made a friend it seems. This woman just sort of latched onto me and we ended up spending our breaks and lunches together and talked about everything under the sun.

I ran across some great quality shiny white cardboard. It was going into recycling so I asked if I could have some of it and they told me take whatever I wanted. Yes! It will be perfect for artwork. I've had some ideas floating around in my head, but no decent paper to put it on. 

I was also able to take a box of peanut-butter-chocolate rice bars with me. So, I was in a rather good mood as I headed back to town to meet Wally at a local grocery store at 8pm.

Wally was spilling over with news too and started filling me in about what happened during his day. Our friends brought along with them a bit of help for us... I was flooded with relief... Now I wouldn't have to worry about running out of gas and not being able to work anymore before I get my next check...

They brought us a care package full of surprisingly thoughtful things... hand warmers, hair bands, toothbrushes, tissue... things we need, things we cannot find since we've been mobile... the rest?... My head was just swimming... I was too tired to think... can't afford to make another mistake (like the way-too-expensive hotel room we got a while back)...

Final decision... Let's not spend a dime... except we must get fuel...

We headed back to the parking lot and pulled in amongst our new "neighbors". I noticed that it was getting markedly colder as we rearranged the contents of the car and snuggled up in the backseat.

I pulled out my book to read for a while until I could get sleepy. I read and dozed. Then as I glanced at the window I noticed that large snowflakes were pelting against it. Snow.


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Back On The Road

Since the flat tire was on the front, Wally had to change the rear tire first and put the donut tire on there. Then he removed the flat front tire. It was the normal tire changing ordeal right up to the point where Wally had removed the flat and needed to jack the car up slightly more to fit the good rear tire onto the front. Then the car fell off of the jack, we all jumped back and saw that the jack was in pieces... 

Wally asked Dani to call Tony and see if he could round us up a jack from somewhere. "We're going to have to call for a tow," Wally said. He was completely exasperated.

My mind was spinning... can't call for a tow... I only have three dollars to my name... Tony will never be able to help us... There is no one else to call... The jack cannot be broken... It just can't be!

I picked up the pieces trying to figure out how it was supposed to fit together, yes, this looks right... I picked up the heavy four-way and smashed the piece on top of the jack and it popped right into place. Fixed. I handed it to Wally. Dani burst out, "Wow Mom! You're a pro!" I had to smirk a little bit, not letting on that I was as surprised as anyone that it worked. 

Before long we were on the road again. 

We missed the dentist appointment of course so we took Dani back to her new temporary home. She's living with a woman that has three little kids. They are just barely getting by, just like we were. I am just so thankful for Kay's generosity to offer to take Dani in for a while. Another mouth to feed is probably the last thing that she needs. 

Living in our car is definately a different kind of life.

We've found a place to park at night that tolerates us and others like us... a lot of others like us... As we snuggle down for the night we watch the other vehicles and the people in them. We've made up names for some of the people and joke and giggle about some of their habits... like Mr. Andrew, who checks his trunk about 20 times before he finally climbs into his backseat to sleep. 

We have a fuzzy blanket and two large comforters to share that keep us warm enough at night. We cuddle and struggle to get our covers arranged just so... "You know, this would be fun if we didn't have to do it," I told Wally and we both started to laugh.

Wally went with me to work on Wednesday morning. I worked from 7am-7:30pm and Wally explored the little town up there. Before I left work I used their microwaves to heat up some cheap frozen dinners for us. We drove a couple of miles down the road to a rest stop to eat and sleep for the night before I returned to work another 7am-7:30pm shift the next day. We had to sleep close to where I worked because I was running very low on fuel. That night we did the same thing. I thought it was a pretty good idea. We got to have hot dinners. 

We drove back to "our" town Friday morning. We stopped at the coffee shop where my computer seems to have decided that it will never start again... *sigh*... We went back to the church, where we were able to take showers, do a load of laundry and had a home cooked hot meal of chicken noodle soup, Peachy chicken and rice (bbq sauce with peach preserves used as the sauce) salad, corn, and buttered bread. From there I went to donate plasma.

Then we went to see Danielle for a while. Kay and I went down to the bank to get some papers notarized. I've signed over guardianship of Dani (temporarily) to Kay so that she can see to Dani's doctor and dentist appointments. We are finally getting all of that caught up with since I was finally able to prove that Jake's "insurance" will not cover any of Dani's care, so I was able to get her health coverage through the state... finally... finally... 

It's breaking my heart but I have to do what's best for my daughter. 

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Home On Wheels

I was really wanting something to read and quite disappointed that I wouldn't be able to check out something from the library. Luckily I found a way around that.

I'd forgotten that downstairs they kept books and magazines that were free! 

I looked through them for ages trying to make a good choice and finally found one that suited me.

Wally and I made our way back to the parking lot where we've been staying. We are not alone there. There are many others sleeping in RV's, vans, trucks, and cars. 

We sat there and joked about our "neighbors" and as we watched this one and that one we chuckled and giggled. Wally wanted to sleep but I was restless so I read by the light of the lamppost we'd parked under. Perhaps I read too long because I sure was groggy when we woke up at 6am.

I've been glad to have Wally drive all the time. I really don't want to... but sometimes I should because Wally does have a problem with night-blindness... I really should have this morning.

Over the curb, the walkway and through the trees to the coffee shop we go! 

As Wally turned right before we got to the street we were to turn on. Scared me to pieces! I didn't know he was THAT blind! Everything was fine though, we made it in one piece.

I had a voucher for a free coffee, so a dollar-fifty got us two coffees and four hours of internet access. It only took us an hour to get the computer to work... This is getting bad... I have no idea how much longer it will be before this computer simply will never start up again.

From there we headed to a local church. We were glad to find that they offer showers and lunch there twice a week. We were mostly excited about getting cleaned up. 

It was great to get a hot shower and wash my hair. The lunch was really good too, soup, tuna casserole, salad and warm buttered bread. 

As we were leaving Blob-Employ returned my calls and offered me three shifts, the first one being tomorrow. 

We headed over to pick up Dani and take her to the dentist. The day was looking pretty freeking fabulous as I was anxious to see my daughter and talk to her for a while, and now I have WORK, and I felt great from being clean and well fed.

Yes, things were looking up...

Although our lives are upside-down and sideways right now, Wally and I are glad that Danielle is able to sort of keep having a normal life, in a home, and going to the dentist is part of that normal stuff... 

As the three of us headed to the dentists office we talked and then suddenly the front of the car started to shake.

"Ohhhh NOOOooooo!" 

We pulled over... a flat tire... on the front passenger side. 

It seems like nothing can go right for us.

Monday, January 3, 2011

In A Pickle

Well, I suppose I've really gone and done it now...

I've put off the inevitable for as long as I could, but the day of reckoning had to come.

We left the apartment early in the morning on New Year's Day.

I delayed it until the fear of being arrested for criminal trespass was too real. I delayed because I hoped beyond rational reasoning that Jake would send some child support and I would be saved. I delayed because I'm dead flat broke and have no place to go. I just had another week of having no work because I had no car to get there.

Now I have a car that runs, but no home...

The worst part of all of this is that we had to split up. Danielle is staying at a friends house. At least I know she's safe, fed and warm. We're keeping in touch by phone and email. Wally and I went by to see her yesterday and take her some of her warm clothes.

Wally and I are together and living in the car. I was so surprised when we woke up the first morning to find ice on the INSIDE of the car windows! Afterwards I realized that it made perfect sense, but I guess I'd just never thought about it before.

The days seem very long and the nights are even longer.

I'd hoped to get work for this week lined up today, but I never got a call back. I must have work this week! I'll try again tomorrow.

I'd hoped to spend a little time online to job search but this morning while we were at the coffee shop, (for 3 bucks you can get two coffees, free refills and 4 hours of wi-fi) but we couldn't get the laptop to start up.

I went to Blob-Life to donate plasma. That gave us some gas money. We're at the library now, where Wally finally managed to get the laptop working. I was starting to get really discouraged because I cannot check out any books or use their computers here because I owe 13 dollars in fees (that I was unaware of) Geez, is there anybody that I don't owe money to?

Now, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that when I turn this thing off that it will come back on someday... preferably tomorrow.

From here we're going to walk down to the soup kitchen. I think they actually do serve soup. It would be nice to have something hot. I was able to get some food stamps again but I have to be very careful with them, plus you cannot get any hot prepared food with them anyway and we have no way to heat anything.

This is pretty much... awful...

But we are okay. Wally and I are laughing and joking our way through it. We have had a lot of time to talk. There are no distractions now.

It is just us.

We will get through this.