Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Survival Mode Update

On Monday, I went to two food pantries in the area and was able to stock up on enough provisions to get us through to "payday." It was a "good day" at the food banks. Some days are better than others and there isn't enough food to pass out. They urged me to take as much as the day old bread they had and there was a package of honey wheat bagels, strawberry pastry puffs and chocolate muffins besides. I was thrilled with the three pound chub of ground turkey I got because that alone would have gotten us through the week.

What I was most thankful for was that I actually got a package of shredded cheddar cheese - usually fresh goods aren't available. Also, I was given two gift cards for $10.00 each for a local food store that has a gas station. That means my son will have enough gas to drive to his volleyball tournament this weekend.

I was so grateful - so far everything was being covered except some extra money needed for gas for my car and for some fresh items from the grocery store - milk, margarine, etc. Last night, in going through old papers from the storage shed I came across an unused gift card from Target with a $20.00 balance. So today I will get the needed milk. Still need to come up with about $5.00 for gas for me. And I need the money to do laundry. I've taken to making due with whatever is clean in my closet - I'm no longer dressing for fashion and doing the laundry for the boys since they get so dirty playing sports.

I broke down and called my girlfriend and just left a message asking her if I could do a few loads at her home in the next two days. I hate asking for anything but at this point don't seem to have a choice. And I do feel better asking her for a service favor rather than money.

I remain hopeful that a few dollars will pop up so I can put some gas in my little sedan. So far we are limping along. But it is difficult and takes a lot out of me emotionally. To live on the edge like this is a stressful challenge. I'll provide another update later in the week and if you want to see an account of what I received at the food pantries, I will be listing that at my other blog: Plunged Into Poverty. For now, I'm trying to somewhat keep my grief and life of reduced circumstances separate in my blogs, even though there is some overlapping among the two situations.


  1. It sounds like you've been able to string things along for this week. I admire your resourcefulness - but wish things were a lot easier for you. I hope finances ease up a bit sometime soon. Did you mention recently that you were giving the idea of relocation some thought? If you were to do so, do you think you could find a better job - one that actually put your professional skills to better use?

    This is pretty off topic, but I just visited your other blog and noticed your mention of needing to get glasses sometime (an older post). If you haven't done so already, you might give one of the online glasses places a look. I have to wear glasses for driving and wanted to have about 3 pairs of glasses because I do so much long distance travel across the country when I'm living in my van for months at a time. I would be in a mess if I lost and only set of glasses. I bought 3 pairs last year using an online company and the total was something like $130. This spring, I bought a couple of new pairs as two of the other pairs had gotten badly scratched when I was camped in the desert a lot last year. I think the two new pairs cost $90 total. They're nice - all different types of rims - I usually get the kind without a bottom frame (whatever they call those) - and get one set tinted dark for desert driving, and another set that are transitional. When I went for an eye test at an optometrist, just one pair of glasses would have been over three or four hundred dollars. So far, I've found these very good and have recommended them to other people who have ordered glasses and really liked them too. Anyhow, just thought I'd mention it as glasses are so expensive these days and this seems like one place where one can save some serious bucks.

  2. I'm pleased to hear that the resources are coming through for you. You are doing an amazing job getting through these tough times.

    I also love the updated look of this blog. Beautiful.

  3. Bev - Thank you for your kind words of support and encouragement. I also appreciate the suggestion of getting glasses on-line but how do you get the right prescription? Do I just give them the prescription I have or do you need to have one forwarded by an eye doctor?

    Dan - Thanks to you too. I also like the new blog look.

  4. Hi. It's quite easy to get them. You fill in the prescription on the order form and then it stays in your account so that the next time you go to order, it's already there. You find the glass frames you like and then you just click on the options you want -- let's say you like a certain frame and want clear lenses in featherweight with non-scratch, etc.. that's the kind of stuff you could choose, or have them made with transitional tinting, or the regular tinting in a certain percentage of darkness in gray tint. Your choices are quite broad. About the only thing you have to watch for is the width and height of the pairs - they give you the measurements for each style. It's good to measure a pair of your favourite glasses so that you know how big they are and order something roughly the same size, lens height, etc... so that they look good on your face. As mentioned, I've bought several pair through the company I tried (EyeBuy Direct), and they've all turned out really nice. They are delivered quite quickly -- usually shipped to me within about 10 days of my order date. They come in a nice hard plastic clamshell case with a polishing cloth. For the price, they're pretty nice. Definitely worth giving it a shot even if only for some cheap spare pairs in addition to your regular pair.

  5. Bev - You are so right about giving it a shot for just some extra pairs to have about. I don't know about you, but I am always "losing" my glasses and the boys and I have to rush around to locate them hiding. Thanks for the idea. In these times any ways of saving money as well as time and resources are well worth it.

  6. I hope you give online glasses a try. I was a bit skeptical at first, but my youngest brother and my mom had already ordered glasses through the same company, so I got mine next. I was so pleased with the first three pairs and have bought three more pairs since (my original dark sunglasses got chewed up by my puppy while I was traveling to Arizona last year - doh!). One thing you might watch for is that this company runs occasional sales and you can get a few bucks off by ordering an extra pair, or the tinting will be free for a couple of weeks, etc... so it's worth checking for sales. Once you've ordered glasses from them, they'll put you on their sale announcement email list if you like. My last 2 pairs of glasses were ordered during a sale and I think it saved me about $25.