Sunday, October 31, 2010

Mick is Muy Loco!!

Mick is being cuter and crazier than usual today (well last night too).  The closet finally is empty and neither of the cats have seen it empty since they came to live with me in March 2008. 

Micks first trick was to go in the empty closet last night and use the carpet in there as a scratching post. Now, this isn't unusual for him, he prefers my carpet and furniture over his scratching post any day of the week and twice on Sundays.

This morning someone came over to pick up some of the stuff that I am freecycling. Mick went into the dining room and put his front paws on the windowsill (these windows are low to the ground and even if they weren't, Mick is a big and long cat; he can reach my shoulder and tap on it with his paws when I am sitting down).  Then he talked to the lady through the closed window. She was charmed!

A few minutes later there was a (I thought) broken down cardboard box in the hallway.  Unbeknownst to me, it was on its side but still intact (only with both ends open).  Mick began to use it as a tunnel from the hallway into the bedroom.

For his next trick he decided to meow loudly at me through the screen door when I was hauling yet another Rubbermaid tote out to the back porch.  He has an almost inaudible meow unless he's mad or in the cat carrier.  I think he was saying "you need to come in from the cold and pay attention to the cat!!"

While moving the tote mentioned above I had kicked the box from the hallway into the dining room and it landed in front of one of the litter boxes (still intact with both ends open).  When Mick and I came back into the dining room he looked through it and literally sneered.  "That's not interesting at all, I see that all the time"

He's been running back and forth from the bedroom into the kitchen for the last 5 minutes.  A friend of mine tells me that "all redcats are muy loco" and I am beginning to believe her!!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Counting My Blessings

I found something today that really put the last year or two into perspective for me.

Over the last year or two I have scrambled to pay my bills. I am unemployed and the unemployment checks ran out once and for all in April 2010. I have applied for literally hundreds of jobs and have gotten very few interviews

Since then, loans from friends, sales of anything that would sell (guns, antique furniture, jewelry, vintage toys, vintage evening bags, curios, etc), PTR earnings, survey earnings, and help from my mother have enabled me to pay my space rent through September 2010 as well as covering my bills for utilities, telephone, cell phone, Dish Network, cat food, cat litter, toilet paper, cleaning supplies, shampoo, tampons, etc.

My health went to pot in early August 2010.  I went to the emergency room thinking I had a pulled muscle or a broken rib.  Surprise, surprise, I had pulmonary emboli (blood clots in my lungs).  I was in the hospital on anti-coagulants (Warfarin drip and Heparin drip) for 3 days.

I also am anemic, diabetic, hypertensive (high blood pressure), depressed, and have high cholesterol.  Because of the pulmonary emboli I  was on oxygen for 6 weeks. I had no energy at all.

At the time all this was discovered I did NOT have any health insurance.

A week after I got out of the hospital I was placed into the Oregon Health Plan which has covered all my prescription medications, all my blood tests, any ultrasounds/cat scans, and all my doctor visits since that time.

St Charles Medical Center agreed to waive my entire bill for the 3 days I was in the hospital--over $12,000.00 that I couldn't begin to pay off.

A local charity helped with my electricity bill after I went on oxygen 24/7 for 6 weeks, and they also turned me on to a program administered by my utility company--if I am approved they will pay $150.00 towards my electricity bill.

I have lost at least 8 pounds since this all started and I have so much more energy. I am eating much healthier, even cooking some days which is a big change. I am so much more positive about my life now too.

So I am cleaning house and re-organizing thinking I might get a roommate.  I have stacks and stacks of Rubbermaid rough totes (and their ilk) that have needed to be gone through and/or moved.

In going through one of the totes, I found a document written several years ago about my various positions with Wells Fargo/First Interstate.

I am so happy that I no longer work for them, as this document was one of the most negative things I have ever read.  The sad thing about it is that it WAS and IS an accurate depiction of what was happening to me at that time.

What was wrong with these jobs?

1) Minimal, inadequate training.
2) Treated as though I was incompetent; spoken to like I was a dog that had defecated on their shoes.
3) Harassed and lied to by all levels of management in my department, visits to bathroom counted.
4) No supervisory support
5) Nobody to cover for my lunches and breaks so rarely got a lunch or break and was not paid for the time either
6) After I was injured at work, I was treated even worse by management and fellow employees. Department printer was put on my desk and most of my co-workers either bumped into my chair or 'accidentally' kicked it while retrieving their prints. I tried everything to get it to stop without going to HR department but was finally forced into contacting them, funny how the printer got moved within 3 days.
7) After over a year of the treatment mentioned in #1-#6 above I decided to leave.  I couldn't get a transfer out of my department that would pay me what I was making in my current position so I just left without another job waiting for me.

I said to a friend after I found this that my life might be kind of challenging right now, but there are worse things than being broke and ill.

I am HAPPY (pleased, ecstatic, overjoyed)  beyond words that I left Wells Fargo.  I'll take iffy finances and poor (but improving) health over sheer mistreatment and harassment any day.

The Revenge of the Clutter

As you can maybe tell from reading other posts, I am in the midst of a cleaning frenzy, or as a friend referred to it "cleaning rage."

Not only am I a klutz, I have an unerring knack for finding, kicking, running into, or otherwise connecting to things like Rubbermaid totes, boxes, tables, objects with my feet, ankles and toes. 

Mostly these objects are sharp, awkward, or large (if not all three). They bite back when I accidentally bump into them or kick them.  I get the worst of these battles as of course inanimate objects don't bleed or bruise.

Case in point: my next-to-the-little-toe on my left foot.

Yesterday I originally bumped it against my rainstick which was lying on the floor of my walk-in closet in the master bedroom.  It hurt like blazes but I didn't realize until later that it had bled very profusely.  As I am on blood thinners this is a concern.

So today I am still cleaning and moving totes to the back porch. I accidentally kicked one of the totes, same foot, same toe, same injury.  That was about 20 minutes ago and even with soaking in (very) cold water I am having one hell of a time getting this toe to stop bleeding.

The co-ag nurse is out sick today and when I called trying to reach the triage nurse I got disconnected.  Are we having fun yet?

A friend suggested using ice cubes.  There isn't even one in the house because little ms. efficiency ran all the ice cube trays through the dishwasher.  That was when my friend said that my cleaning 'rage' was turning against me.  The clutter is fighting back!!

I knew there was a reason to not clean and now I've found it.  I plan on spending the rest of the afternoon parked in front of the computer.  I'd go to bed already except for the fact I am expecting people to come pick up stuff that I am freecycling.

Adventures in House Cleaning

Still cleaning like there was no tomorrow. I have found lots of things to sell, to keep, and to Freecycle.

I've found lots of things to throw away too.  Last week I had 12 bags of garbage at the curb for pickup, this week I had 14 bags of garbage, and I already have 5 bags ready for next week's pickup.  As I have 4 more days until next weeks pickup it may be another 14 bag day.

I found 2 Brownie box cameras from the early 1920s and am trying to convince the owner of Panda Bear Emails and White Tiger Emails that he desperately needs these cameras.  It is his own fault, he bought another collectible camera from me already.

I am freecyling (or have already freecycled) a 40 piece tap and die set, stuffed animals, wooden fruit boxes, Avon collectible perfume and aftershave bottles, crochet thread, felt, yarn, a water cooler, coaster frames, partially opened box of razor blades, cuckoo clock, tissue box cover, flowerpots, food mill, a set of 14 candle holders, black graduation gown, and embroidery floss. (this list subject to change lol)

Yesterday and the day before I decided to get all the Rubbermaid totes and their ilk moved out to the carport or onto the back porch.  I didn't get them all moved, there are still about 15 in here but they will slowly go outside today and tomorrow. Still wondering what to do with six 2-drawer file cabinets.

Over the last week or so I have run the dishwasher about 10 times and the washer/dryer nearly as much. Cleaning house is such hard work, but I've decided that blowtorching the place just isn't an option!

Interesting New PTC: Schnaap Klicks

I haven't been paid by this new PTC, but then again I've only been a member for 4 days. In that 4 days I've made $1.23 (plus 25 cents at Amigo Clicks for signing up under the PO there).

If you aren't a member of Amigo Clicks check out Schnaap by clicking my referral link below.

If you are a member of Amigo Clicks check out Schnaap by clicking Han's referral link:

And if you aren't a member of Amigo Clicks but want to sign up for Schnaap and get the 25 cent bonus from Hans check out Amigo Clicks by clicking my referral link  

Monday, October 25, 2010

Rabbits and Hats OH MY

No I've not quite lost the plot yet.

Every month it seems I have to pull a rabbit out of a hat to pay my bills.

In the last 10 months I have received help from my friends and help from my mother.

I've also been selling anything that will sell (except my body which probably wouldn't sell anyway ROFLMAO).

And recently instead of reinvesting my PTR earnings in advertising, upgrades, or affiliate pages I've been transferring them to my savings account (linked to my PayPal account) and then quickly transferring them to my checking account which always seem to be in danger of outgo exceeding income.

This is all very tiring.

And the rabbit has been getting grumpier and grumpier each month.  This month I swear he threatened to kick the stuffing out of me if something didn't change.

This evening I opened a vintage metal box that said 'various necklaces.'  As this box had belonged to my grandmother I expected her usual costume jewelry and for the most part I was not disappointed (disgruntled perhaps but not disappointed).

Then I opened a small cardboard box that was inside the large vintage metal box -- that box said antique metal evening bags. 

Now I know enough to not get excited when my grandmother called anything antique (as mentioned in this post both she and my mother have a very fluid definition of  'antique')

I took one look at the contents of the box and my eyeballs just about popped out of my head.

For once she was right to call something antique.  These metal mesh evening bags are probably from the 1920's and in excellent condition to boot.

The rabbit however continued grumbling and making comments about kicking the stuffing out of me (perhaps even biting me for good measure) until I googled for the value of these evening bags.

I don't expect to get the $212.00 that one is selling for online.....but I don't think that $50.00-$100.00 each is too much to be expected.

Me and the rabbit were going along before this thinking well we will be lucky to get the $50.00 we need for the Bend Broadband bill  from the other stuff we are selling (vintage chair in not the greatest condition, vintage Fisher-Price pull toy, Fenton glass bowl from the 1970's, religious statuary, etc).

The rabbit stopped grumbling.  Lets hope the proceeds of tomorrow's sales are enough so that he doesn't start grumbling again for a month--and by that time I might have a job.

We are hop hop hopping on out of here for the night.

Adventures with the Digital Camera

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Cooking and Cats and Cleaning

Apparently my actually cooking something doesn't cause the world to end.  Last week I cooked 2 salmon fillets and a chicken breast fillet; tonight I cooked  tilapia fillets (YUMMMMMM!!).

I am having to protect my food from the big orange cat who has discovered the joys of stealing food off my plate when I am not paying attention.

So far he's only gotten a scrap of turkey breast; however, the tilapia is much too delicious to even share with a significant other much less a thieving cat!!

Last night I managed to move the gun cabinet into the master bedroom which amused the felines no end.

Of course I emptied out the gun cabinet first and removed the glass shelves--it wasn't being used for guns (I sold all the guns a year ago) but there was a lot of breakable religious statuary which I might be able to sell.

I had to manhandle the thing down two wide but shallow steps (I have a sunken living room) and then push/pull/rock  it inch by inch into the bedroom.

Of course the designated space was too small so I had to empty a bookshelf and then stack it on top of another bookshelf (anchored the top bookshelf to the wall with a few well placed nails).

But finally after approximately 1/2 hour the silly gun cabinet was installed, the books were returned to the bookshelf, and the cats had had their fill of laughing at me (as usual) so they curled up on my bed (which they hog all the time) and snored their little kitty heads off.

Only one more load of laundry to do and the only dishes left to do are a large snack tray *looks like milk glass but isn't* and silverware (the dishwasher does a heck of a job on everything but silverware).

I hope to move the china hutch from the dining room to the spot the gun cabinet formerly occupied but must measure hutch and spot first.

One of the major benefits of all of this work is that there is much less left for me to trip over or run into. 

This also means the quality of language inside the house has improved immeasurably, as usually I swear loudly when I run into things or trip over them.

Also, with being on the blood thinners I always worry about bleeding when I run into stuff or trip over it, so removing the offending whatever has been a blessing in a lot of ways.

Cleaning Continues :)

I am still cleaning and organizing.  Almost all of the dishes are washed and put away; I have two loads of laundry left to do.  There is still a lot of stuff to move out of the bedroom I hope to rent out but since it is all either in boxes or Rubbermaid totes it will go pretty quickly.

I moved the gun case (not being used for guns) into the master bedroom. To make room for the gun case I stacked a bookshelf on top of another bookshelf; I anchored the 2nd bookshelf to the wall with a few nails just to be on the safe side. 

I am hoping the china hutch will fit where the gun case was so that the so-called dining room can be turned into a computer/sewing/hobby room (the computer is currently in the same bedroom that I hope to rent out and it wouldn't be fair to my potential roommate if I spent hours in 'her' room on the computer).

The medicine cabinet in the 2nd bathroom has been emptied out; my next goal in there is to empty out the cupboard under the sink.

Much as I would like to have a renter quickly there is still a LOT of work to do in this house. Carpets need vacuumed in both bedrooms, the master bathroom, the dining room and the living room.  Linoleum floors in the 2nd bathroom, kitchen, office, and utility room need swept and mopped.  Most of the side tables, end tables, etc need dusted. I need to find a new home for the litter boxes that have been in the dining room (mind you I never ate in the dining room nor even sat at the table in there, so the litter boxes didn't bother me--but a renter/roommate might feel differently)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Here Are the Pictures of My Employers

I Must Have Gotten An Energy Transplant

Since last Thursday I have been the energizer bunny! (on steroids ROFLMAO!!)

My co-ag appointment on Thursday was canceled because the nurse called in sick. 

So I went to Neighbor Impact, Willing to Help, and Central Oregon Electric.

Then I was freecycling a large upright freezer  so I had to wrestle that from the corner of the back porch to the back porch steps, after removing all the stuff that was in the way (my father had an addiction to heavy-duty plastic totes which he passed on to me)

I am considering getting a roommate and the house is currently a disaster area.

The last time I did a major cleaning was August.............2009 (not a joke, my aunt came to visit the end of August 2009 and I cleaned house for a month before she got here, I even went so far as to rent a carpet shampooer and shampoo all the carpets.)

You could write a full length novel in the dust on all wooden surfaces, and lets not even talk about the kitchen (other than to say blowtorching it would be a great improvement!!)

On the 17th of October (Sunday) there was a 2 hour power outage here in the mobile home park. With no power I couldn't do laundry, click, watch TV or cook.  I was forced by sheer boredom (ROFL!!) to start cleaning house.

Since then I've continued cleaning as well as doing laundry. I'm down to one load of laundry left to do, wish the cleaning was that far along!

So far there are at least 10 bags of garbage out at the curb for pickup tomorrow morning.  There will probably be at least 3 more before 8 am tomorrow.

If I never post again, it will be because the park manager decided to either shoot me or beat me to death with my own garbage ROFL.

Friday, October 15, 2010

HardHats, Frustrated Cats, and Packrats

And I'm a poet and I know it, my toes show it, they're Longfellows. (silly rhyme from childhood)

I'm indulging myself in a bit of nostalgia and sadness today.  I was cleaning out the carport (or getting started on it anyway -- now that the upright freezer is gone there's a lot more room for 'stuff' but I don't want to store totally useless 'stuff' either).

The first tote I cracked open held my father's old backpack and hardhats from when he worked for the US Forest Service (United States Department of Agriculture).

I remember seeing him wear the hardhats when I was growing up; they were standard gear for fighting fire on the Fort Rock district of the Deschutes National Forest.  That was my dad's favorite job in all the years he worked; he planned to retire from that job but life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans. (John Lennon--Beautiful Boy)

The United States Forest Service makes you quit fighting fires at a certain age (55 I think it is). My dad wasn't quite there in terms of age but he'd only been 'allowed' to fight 2 or 3 fires the last full summer he worked on the Fort Rock District. When you can't do what you love, going to work every day becomes nothing but drudgery.

My dad also knew that he wasn't going to advance any further from where he was at the time he left that job, and his boss had just retired.  His replacement didn't much like my dad, and my dad returned the feeling in spades. (I didn't inherit my attitude problem from any stranger!!)

About this time my dad met the woman who later became my stepmother.  She owned a well-known restaurant in Bend, Oregon -- the Pine Tavern.

Mind you, this is a restaurant with a full service bar, NOT a tavern.  It has been open for 74 years and has a 200 or 300 year old Ponderosa pine tree growing through the ceiling in the garden room

They got married, my dad resigned from the Forest Service, and went to work at the Pine Tavern.

All of this information is a lead up to my next find.

The packrats in the title refer to both my stepmother and my father, as the next box I worked on was full of Pine Tavern memorabilia.

I found numerous menus (two of which are signed by Oregon's iconoclastic governor *Tom McCall*), photographs, post cards, and clippings of their weekly ads from the local newspaper (the Bend Bulletin). Some of the menus and clippings are over 40 years old.

What made this whole experience very nostalgic for me is that I knew many of the people featured in the photographs and clippings. My cat Max (male silver tabby) and I lived with my father in the apartment over the restaurant one summer while I was in college. I ate most of my meals during that summer in the garden room and dining room at the Pine Tavern.

I knew most of the cooks and waitstaff by name, and they knew me too.

They made fun of me for my addiction to 'diet coke floats' ("what a waste of good ice cream" was a favorite line) and were amused that I changed clothes 2-3 times a day (IMHO that was just typical late adolescent/early adulthood behavior).

They also comforted me as well as teased me when I had my worst hangover of all time -- I don't get hangovers often but when I do they are killers. My father and stepmother were recovering alcoholics so I didn't even admit to them that I was hungover!

I remember the large plate glass window in the living room of the apartment.

There were huge crows hanging out all the time outside this window, and one of them did more than just hang out.  He would fly right at the window and turn only at the last possible minute--right before he would crash headfirst into the window- solely to torment my cat who was sitting on the windowsill.

My dad and I would hear these half meows half growls from the windowsill, look at each other, laugh our heads off and say "that damn bird is at it again."  You could almost hear the bird laughing too.

One of the employees of the Pine Tavern called the cops one night when a friend and I were throwing rotten eggs out of the window (a different window) of the apartment (nobody ever ratted me out, the cops never came up to the apartment, and yes indeed we were both drunk as skunks at the time!)

The Pine Tavern was sold many years ago as my stepmothers health began to decline. 

She passed away in 2003, my dad passed away in 2007, and the cat is also long gone.  So of course I'm sad but I do have some great memories of my stepmother, my dad, the cat, and the restaurant (I loved the prime rib they sold)

Packrats rock even if they do make me sad sometimes

Besides, since the hardhat only says ROLEY on it I can keep it until I pass away and then somebody can be really really confused about why I have this hardhat!! ROFLMAO!!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Where I'm Waiting For Payouts (October Edition)

Seriously overdue:
Kerclink: requested check for $10.40 on 2/3/2010, no check, no reply to contact
Lady of the Links: waiting 155 days for $9.78
Offshore Mails: waiting 26 days (date of last post) plus unknown amount of days for $5.79
Brat Mails: owed over $16.00, site is now down, and owner has been MIA since March 2010

Within terms
Deep C Links: waiting 7 days for $9.03
Down Home Folks: waiting 2 days for $3.04 (paid 10/12/2010)
Fusion Mails: waiting 2 days for $2.53
Donkey Mails: waiting 2 days for $3.40 (paid 10/14/2010)
1 Cent Mail: waiting 20 days for $6.96 (paid 10/12/2010)
Anything Goes: waiting 2 days for $1.89 (paid 10/12/2010)
Clicks Mania: waiting 2 days for $1.40 (paid 10/12/2010)
Castle Mails: waiting 2 days for $1.71 (paid 10/13/2010)
Dance Mails: waiting 2 days for $2.54
Jazzy Clicks: waiting 2 days for $4.58
Paid Dragon: waiting 2 days for $2.22

Just requested:
$29.00 from Inbox Dollars
$8.78 from Rare Mails
$2.00 from JJ Clix
$3.06 from Charmed Emails

Who Has Paid Me in October 2010

Reward Port: $25.00 Starbucks card
Realm of Karma: $3.13
Showcase PTR: $3.02
St Cash Unlimited: $4.13
Dream Mails: $1.46
Panda Bear Mails: $7.03
Old Amsterdam Post: $2.56
White Tiger Emails: $7.11
Polar Bear Clicks: $7.84
Matrix Mails: $3.29
1 Cent Mail: $6.90
Down Home Folks: $3.06
Anything Goes: $1.95
Clicks Mania: $1.43
Mystics Kingdom: $4.37
Donkey Mails: $3.43
Charmed Email: $3.06
Castle Mails: $1.76
JJ Clix: $2.00
Offshore Mails: $6.02
Pinecone Research: $3.00
The Paid Help: $1.50
Dance Mails: $2.87

Total For October: $105.92 (as of October 31, 2010)

Friday, October 8, 2010

2 steps forward, 1 step back

"Fall seven times, get up eight." - Japanese Proverb
"Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish." - John Quincy Adams
"The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials." - Chinese Proverb
"Never give in. Never. Never. Never. Never." - Winston Churchill
"Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance." - Samuel Johnson

I keep reminding myself that I have made huge strides towards being healthier and happier since July 26th 2010 (when I had the horrible coughing/allergy attack that in turn led to the pulmonary emboli --blood clots in my lungs--which in turn led to the discovery of my other 'ailments.')

1) I have lost 8 pounds so far.
2) I have given up full-sugar Coca Cola and I haven't looked back.
3) I have given up full fat ice cream because I simply can't eat it in moderation.
4) I read labels even more than I used to and I have cut way back on sodium, sugar, fat, and cholesterol.
5) I eat 2 meals a day at a minimum now whereas I used to eat one large meal per day (which was usually high in fat, cholesterol and sodium)
6) I am eating more whole grains which is helping with my IBS (irritable bowel syndrome)
7) I am eating more vegetables and fruit which helps with the IBS as well as with the weight loss
8) I can walk without being short of breath
9) I am only using the oxygen at night now

The 1 step back was the arm/shoulder/flu shot/pneumonia shot debacle.  My shoulder hurt so bad that I couldn't ride the exercise bike for over a week and I still haven't gotten back into the swing of riding it.  But I did continue to use the dumbbells and ankle weights even when my shoulder hurt, and I walked inside the house too.

I keep reminding myself that I couldn't possibly gain 8 pounds back in a week unless I went back to the old unhealthy habits--and I didn't. I wasn't even tempted to go get ice cream or a full-sugar Coca-Cola.

The new healthier me LIKES being healthier and happier!!

"Fall seven times, get up eight." - Japanese Proverb
"Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish." - John Quincy Adams
"The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials." - Chinese Proverb
"Never give in. Never. Never. Never. Never." - Winston Churchill
"Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance." - Samuel Johnson