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a giant leap
friday, january 15, 2010

i thought last week was busy? it has been something else this week. a lot going on, not all of it requiring "busyness" per se, but it's kept us jumping.

for starters, we got the first unemployment check and it looked like there was a major glitch. apparently not. apparently there is some stimulus money being given to the unemployed, and that stimulus check was the first to reach us. saxy went and checked it out, they promised he had more coming, and also told him he had 5 weeks left on unemployment. at the end of that time, if he's still not working, he can apply for an extension. we're hoping that's not going to be necessary, especially since his last employer just might try to fight that as well. and it's less than the regular unemployment, or at least that's what i was told. we'll apply if necessary, but i'm hoping it won't be.

the big checks came the next day. we are now caught up on rent and the fear of eviction is finally laid to rest. no bills got paid out of this check, but because we're caught up for this month and still have money coming in, i've also managed to figure out how to pay off several past dues over the remainder of the month. the hope is that we'll be completely caught up at the end of next month on everything. the only thing i can't pay, the cable bill, might end up being something kitten puts in her name so we can get it back without having to make that payment. we'll see. we have groceries and were actually able to give the girls more of their checks than we usually can this week as well. we did tell them it was a one time kind of deal until saxy's employed again, but since we had what we needed to take care of actually taken care of, we didn't see the point in taking all their money. this will allow kitten to apply to the arts institute and let them both take care of a few things.

we also picked up a new printer. with a high schooler, and almost 2 college students, we needed a printer. that i, the writer, could use it, is just icing on the cake. initially it was a pain in the butt to get set up on the wireless network we have, and we will eventually have to look into a router that can take on more computers, but it's all good for now. everyone's hooked into it and that's what matters.

speaking of which, the novel is finally off to beta readers. basically, they read the "last" draft and make suggestions on any changes and help polish off the prose and technical stuff (spelling, punctuation, author idiocies...). i've given them until may, but i suspect i'll hear from a few of them before then. in the mean time, it's my job to breathe a little and start working on the synopsis and query letter. that's not been going so good, but i've also had a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that the novel is done. i've been working on it for a very, VERY long time (most of which was my fault since i kept listening to everyone else on how to write instead of figuring out how I write), so to not have it waiting for me to work on is just weird. the last few days have been very busy with spending money...er, getting money orders, hunting down a printer, groceries, and other things...and i think the space away may be helping. i might just drop the whole query letter/synopsis for a few more days.

among the other things was a very unproductive visit to the food stamp office. jewel has been on food stamps for a few months now, she moved in with us, and the idea was to get us all on her case and increase her benefits. didn't quite work out that way. seems the income cut off for a family of 7 in georgia is $2400. no, seriously, $2400. i'm not sure how the state expects a family of 7 to live on that. i mean, the area is cheap (well, cheaper than cali, but then almost anywhere is cheaper than cali...except maybe new york), but it's not that cheap. at any rate, we apparently make more than that even without the unemployment. the kicker for us is that we need $2700 minimum just to live where we do. rent here is nearly $1000! at any rate, she got this month's food stamps and will be getting a discontinuance letter, at which point they've encouraged her to apply on her own. so far, that seems to be the plan.

another bit of not so good news this week is my teeth. i've had a tooth missing a filling since a few years before we moved out here (so going on 7 or 8 years now). it occasionally hurts, but usually i can ignore it. this week, another filling, on the other side of my mouth, must have come out because i started feeling a lot of pain in my lower jaw. when i inspected it with my tongue, i found another nasty hole. and this one is not being as agreeable as the first lost filling. i had been hoping i could put off the dentist one more year so i could use our tax return to take care of one of the things we have a hard time taking care of: clothes for everyone. but that looks to be impossible. i can't live in pain for a whole year. so the money definitely has to all go for my mouth, and that won't be cheap, especially without insurance to help cover it.

i had one other surprise this week. this week, saxy went back to school (and, boy, is he worried about doing well: math is a tough subject for him, nutrition is proving to be not so interesting as he thought it would be, and tomorrow he goes in his baking and pastry classes and he's not so sure he'll be any good at them), so it was also time for me to get back to exercise. now, of my two days so far, i've only made one, but for the other day i did my fast walking while grocery shopping. old habits are tough to get back into. anyway, the first day back to my core rhythms routine, i decided to check my weight. since last summer, i've been trying to (gradually) lose about 160 pounds. about the time everything with house went haywire, i'd lost around 20, then gained about 4 of that back. at christmas i was back to having lost 20, but i can't remember exactly when i weighed myself. my last written down weigh in was on my birthday and i had gained that 4 pounds. so i was expecting either to still be maintaining or to have gained. it was neither. since my birthday, i've lost an additional 11 pounds, making a total of 27.5 since i started. i already have clothes not fitting correctly because they're too loose. in another 27 pounds, i'll probably have to look into getting dresses or something to use until we can afford a real wardrobe for the thinner me. of course, the whole point of this is health. in a few years, i won't have insurance through the ex any more, and i need to have my blood pressure down, my risk for diabetes down, etc. losing weight and eating healthy is the best way to get to the point where i won't be missing meds i need because i won't "need" any (unfortunately, the adhd is not so easily solved; fortunately, it's not been a big deal).

so, there's been some big leaps forward this week, making it a very good week indeed. 2010 is definitely going better than last year so far. i'm really hoping it stays better. we just need saxy employed. so here's hoping all the good stuff keeps on coming.

word of the moment: exurb

a region or settlement that lies outside a city and usually beyond its suburbs and that often is inhabited chiefly by well-to-do families


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