Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Bird Shit and Other Blessings

So lately the birds (probably barn swallows) have taken to nesting in my carport and shitting on my car. I've lived here for 15 years and this is the first year this has happened.

I was bitching online about the bird shit and it hit me--as I was driving my car home to park it in my carport--that there are a lot of people who don't have a car. There are a lot of people who don't have a carport. There are a lot of people who don't have a house. These days, there are a lot of people who aren't even alive to see the birds!!

If the most pressing problem I have in my life is birds nesting in my carport and shitting on my car, I'd say I am living a pretty blessed life. Bird shit is nasty and inconvenient, but it certainly isn't the end of the world.

Another blessing in my life this year is a warm house, finally. My house is normally heated with an electric heat pump that is malfunctioning but working. By "malfunctioning" I mean that the defrost control panel and monitor need to be replaced.

I have a quote for the work of $425.00 which I don't have right now. I have to run the furnace on emergency heat OR the heat pump ices over and runs continually (this plays merry hell with my electric bill, and electric baseboard heat is very ineffective in keeping this house warm)

There is a local Facebook group that is helping people that are affected by Covid 19 aka the coronavirus.

I hadn't spent much time at home before the pandemic started and did not realize exactly how cold it was in my house.

When I realized how high the bill was AND how cold I was I posted in the group asking for a space heater. I got a space heater. I also got a former chimney sweep that cleaned off my roof--it was covered with pine needles and pinecones--and checked out my chimney (said it was good to go).

I had about 1/2 cord of wood that a neighbor who was moving out of the park sold to my next door neighbor for $10.00, and the second neighbor gave me the wood for free.

This was back in 2016, and I hadn't used any of the wood since then because the roommate I had at that time was a full blown alcoholic who could not be trusted to not burn the house down, I only wish I was joking.

Once the chimney sweep told me that the chimney was fine, I started building fires in the woodstove. I heat the house during the day with the woodstove, and let the furnace kick on at night so the pipes won't freeze.

Third blessing, a friend paid for a month of a Keto boot camp. I lost 15 pounds during that month and discovered that I slept better, had more energy, and best of all--95% pain free. Sugar is an inflammatory addictive substance, boys and girls, and although giving up sugar did not cure my arthritis it sure as hell made it less painful.

Fourth blessing -- I've been spending a lot of time cleaning and decluttering my house for the last year.

I thought I was finished with this job a few months ago and then realized that I still had a lot of stuff that needed to be sorted. I took pictures with my phone of all my unframed pictures and then uploaded them to Facebook (will be uploading them to Google Drive and One Drive as well).

I went through the bathroom, the office, the kitchen, and the entertainment center that I had re-purposed as storage in the master bedroom. Several boxes of stuff went to the free table in my mobile home park clubhouse (this included multiple unopened tubes of toothpaste, 5-6 staplers, 5-6 staple pullers, cleaning rods for guns that had been sold 12 years ago, and other assorted usable stuff that I didn't need but was too good to throw away).

I got rid of nearly all of my reusable drink cups, because who needs 40 damn drink cups?

I call all of this a blessing because it has given me something productive to do while waiting for word on the THREE jobs I have accepted that are on hold because of the coronavirus. It's also a blessing to have something to do that doesn't require leaving the house and also keeps me from feeding my face 24/7.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Payouts in January 2019

Amazon Gift Cards:

Life Fun and Everything: $25.00
Fetch Rewards: $10.00
NCP: $10.00
Paid Viewpoint: $15.09
Google Opinion Rewards: $10.00


Cathouse Mails: $3.28
Marino Mails: $2.86
Wallaby Mail: $3.76
Wine N Roses PTR: $2.52
Heather Conzett: $2.75

Mini Update for 2020

In my last post, I had gone from Market of Choice to Consumer Cellular to UNEMPLOYED. October 11, 2019 I started a new job as an electronics associate at WalMart. So all is well? NOT.

I was fired from WalMart for excessive absenteeism on January 2, 2020. I missed a lot of work due to one sinus infection after another (2 visits to Urgent Care, 1 visit to the ER, 3 rounds of antibiotics -- and of course the antibiotics caused other infections in unmentionable places as well as upset my stomach no end),

Here's the really special part, I was at home sick (having called out) and received a phone call to come pick up my final paycheck. Being fired over the phone was a new experience for me, and it's an experience I wouldn't recommend to anybody else!!

I had applied for unemployment benefits in between Consumer Cellular and WalMart but had never claimed any weeks. So I reopened the claim on January 2, 2020 but of course they had to investigate my firing so it took 3 weeks--21 days to the day--to be approved for benefits. I'd received my final paycheck on the same day I got fired, and that was the only income I received until Monday January 26, 2020 when I received a check for 2 weeks of unemployment benefits. I will continue to get unemployment benefits for several weeks, and I am also on SNAP and OHP.

Just to add to the total joy of the situation, the same day that I was fired I discovered that there was a broken and/or leaking pipe under the house. The park manager came over at 1:30 AM (yes, in the very early morning) and turned off the water. The guy who usually works on my plumbing was injured and couldn't go into crawl spaces. NONE of the other plumbers that I called ever called me back or they had an hourly minimum so I finally ended up (AFTER THIRTEEN DAYS WITHOUT ANY RUNNING WATER!!) with a handyman that was recommended by a fellow park resident. It turned out that a pipe under the kitchen sink (under the house) had just simply burst. Matt fixed it the day after I called him

I brought buckets of water from the clubhouse to flush the toilet for 13 days. I did laundry at the clubhouse too and finally asked the park manager if I could use the clubhouse dishwasher to wash dishes as the kitchen was starting to smell pretty ripe. I used baby wipes to keep myself clean and boiled bottled water to wash my hair. I was so happy to finally get running water again after thirteen days without any.

The park manager paid to have my heat pump partially fixed. It had been icing over the last 2-3 winters and it turns out there were two reasons: the filter hadn't been changed in FIVE YEARS (they need to be changed every 3 months) and the defrost control board and sensor both need to be replaced. I'm looking to buy the parts on Amazon and have Matt install them if it's something he can do.

I have been lucky with Amazon gift cards for the last several years. If a site pays with Amazon, I jump on that (also if the site pays with Serve--American Express prepaid) I can reload my Amazon balance with my Serve card. Some sites also pay with virtual debit cards that can be used to reload the Amazon gift cards. Apps and surveys work the best for me, as most of the PTR sites I belong to are slow payers.

I've purchased cat food, cat litter, decorative fencing, two toilets, a Christmas tree (artificial), a fitbit (actually my 2nd fitbit as the first one got washed accidentally and died), my Kindle, a box of Godiva chocolate, a SAD (seasonal affective disorder) light, a swimsuit (which ended up getting returned because it didn't fit) and a years supply of vitamin D.