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All posts for the month June, 2010

Maybe not Murphy’s Law….

Published June 29, 2010 by mamapossum1954

Well, okay, so the apartment manager scares the heck out of me this afternoon while I’m taking my personal belongings out of the van. Then hands me a paper (I had my son read it later since the manager hates me anyway due to our dog…another long story that I might share sometime), and tells me, granite-faced, that I’ll have to get the car off the property by Thursday morning or she’ll have it towed at my expense and then start eviction proceedings. With all the stress of yesterday + not sleeping + lack of $$$ + no vehicle, I end up in tears. Does she care??? Hell, no. As I said, she hates me (and, no, I am NOT paranoid).

Anyway, after the ‘altercation,’ I come inside, talk to my son, then scour the yellow pages. Find a place in Clymer that buys wrecked vehicles….I should (hopefully) get $150 for it. I have to call them tomorrow morning (Wednesday) to make arrangements for them to come out & get it. That’s a small load off my mind. Maybe I can get out of the spin cycle and go to the rinse cycle now.

Then I call the insurance place to cancel my policy. After talking with John (his real name) for quite some time, I decided not to cancel because: when I get another vehicle and get a new policy, I’ll have to start from scratch again (thus losing the nearly 4 years’ benefits of my current policy) which will nearly double the monthly rates. Kudos to Progressive, however. In the years I’ve had the policy, the customer service people have ALWAYS been extremely helpful, courteous, and have gone out of their way for me. Enough said.

Did find out that I’ll have to take the plates off to give back to the DMV and also need to hunt down the title for the scrap people.

So maybe it’s not Murphy’s Law after all. The only ‘fly in the ointment’ is my apartment manager who, as I said previously, really hates me because of the trouble I ’caused’ her over Marky 3 years ago. Actually, the problems were caused by her and her inability to be truthful to her boss in Pittsburgh….but I understand why she lied. Just protecting her job. If I’d done a faux pas like she did, I probably would not have wanted to own up to either & would’ve done everything I could to cover my own a**.

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Murphy’s Law!

Published June 29, 2010 by mamapossum1954

Here it is Tuesday…pay day (of sorts…if the limited amount of unemployment can be classified as enough to live on for 2 people & 1 dog!) tomorrow (Wednesday).

Unfortunately, yesterday I had a mishap with my mini-van…which I was HOPING would make it until September when I went back to school. However, it didn’t. After all the worrying I’ve done for the past 6 months, being afraid to drive the car further than Sheetz or Walmart (a 5 minute drive each way), the car didn’t break down the way I thought it would. It had been ‘hiccuping’ for month & the mechanic couldn’t find what was wrong. The air filter & fuel filters were changed, as well as the oil….drove pretty well for awhile.

Then it happened. A short trip to the mall & then Sheetz turned out to be a disaster…for me, anyway. I went to the mall to sell some DVDs so I could get some cigarettes to last me until payday. That went fine. Then, driving around the mall parking lot, there was skidding & screeching….and it just stopped! A passing motorist & her mother stopped – yes, Virginia, there are still good samaritans in today’s society! – and drove me to Sheetz & back to the van. I called AAA – thank you, Marcia, for suggesting AAA when I got the van in 2003! – and waited. Looked like the axle was broken, but what do I know about cars????

So, to pass the time, I texted mi amiga Leanne to keep myself occupied until the tow truck arrived. One thing I thank God for was that I did NOT have a panic attack when the ‘accident’ happened. That had been my one big fear. But, as my quasi student counselor at IUP (Jamie’s going for his Master’s & the sessions were extra credit for my psych class) kept telling me (and I kept telling myself), “What’s the worst thing that could happen? You break down and call AAA.”

Leanne and AAA arrived at the same time. The driver said it looked like broken ball joints & when asked a ball park figure for repairs, he said roughly $150. I figured that might be doable in 4 weeks. Leanne & I chatted while he got the van on the flatbed….God, it is SO GOOD to have supportive friends that one has ‘adopted’ as pseudo children (more about that later)!!!

When we got home (the AAA drive, myself & the van), he told that unfortunately it wasn’t only a broken ball joint….get ready for it…..it was also a broken axle! Well, that being said, I know that there’s no way in Hades I could afford to get all that fixed. So there I am, talking to a couple of neighbors while he unloaded my dear vehicle, trying to figure out how the heck I’m going to get places. Public transport in Indiana, PA leaves alot to be desired. (1) the buses run on an hourly schedule. (2) they don’t go to some of the places you need to go. (3) a 5 minute drive to Walmart on the bus that runs past my apartment complex would take at least 1 transfer and about 2 hours, and that’s just one way!!! Grocery shopping on public transport??? I don’t think so.

Then I have my brain stuck on the spin cycle for hours, to the point that I was still awake around 5 am this morning, never having had my usual afternoon nap (yes, even though I’m a YOUNG 55 year old woman, I sometimes need a nap…plus I’m more of a night person anyway). The bus situation preyed on my mind alot. For one thing, the Blue Route which goes past my place runs once every hour, and the last bus to leave town is at 3:45 pm. No other buses come this way.

Of course, then I’m plagued with the decision of whether or not to pay my car insurance, which is due for direct debit this Friday….already postponed from the 25th due to my pay day. Do I pay it or just cancel the policy? As for the van, do I sell it for scrap, and if so where??? The problem of another vehicle is a huge consideration. Once I get the financial aid refund some time in September, will I be able to find a RELIABLE vehicle (i.e. one that won’t need repairs every 6 months) for under $2000?

That about sums up the first part of my week, people. Just had to vent alittle. More updates as they happen.

What a week!!!

Published June 24, 2010 by mamapossum1954

I’ve been meaning to write more, but with the apartment inspections happening (yesterday) there was just too much cleaning to be done!! *sigh* However, Nathan turned out to be a trooper, and we managed to get it all done. I’d forgotten how “nice” this place feels when it’s clean and tidy!

I was just surfing the web….again….since all my FB games are up-to-date – no harvests are ready; no dishes ready to serve; no bears or snakes to clobber; yada yada yada. Actually have a bookmark in my “favorites” for ‘searches’. So I limited myself to just one search…relating to single mother support groups. I figure if that’s the area I’m going into once I graduate from IUP, I’ll find out as much as I can. Of course, I already have been through it…MANY years ago…but things have changed somewhat in the last 19 years. Still, the basics are still the same. I just want to “give back” because of all the tremendous help I received in Australia when I was on my own with no family, no friends, nothing.

I was a co-facilitator of a mother’s group while living in West Heidelberg in Victoria, but I didn’t actually START the group and define what topics we were going to cover. I’ve got absolutely NO idea how to start one. But with the help of the www, I’m pretty sure I’ll find alot of information. TOO much information at times really. And it takes time to sift through it all.

I came to the realization ages ago that I’ve got an addictive personality. It may be genetic – I know my mother used cigarettes and alcohol as a crutch for years. I’ve been down that road. Still struggling with the cigarettes. Beat the alcohol years ago, which is why I don’t drink now. But I also have trouble limiting my time on FB…especially with the games!

Having trouble with the blogger auto save, so better end here for now.

Do I Continue This….or Quit?

Published June 11, 2010 by mamapossum1954

It was ‘suggested’ to me the other day that there are way too many blogs on the internet already….and what do I really have to say that anyone will want to read anyway?

After put that same comment on my status update on Facebook, I had alot of feedback about it. And the results were all in my favor. One person, who knows me very well, even guessed who the comment came from (though I did not confirm or deny that).

So, for the present time, I will keep this blog going. I think I have alot to say, if only for my peace of mind and to get things off my chest. It may be of some help to people, or not. My one wish is that I can keep this up throughout my college career….if only to keep me ‘sane.’

That being said, my next entry is going to be about how I came to be on a social network such as Facebook…and my serious lack of internet (even computer) exposure until May of 2003.

;

Surfing the Web

Published June 10, 2010 by mamapossum1954

It never ceases to amaze me how much information is available on the internet! On any given topic, google (or some other search engine) will supply you with countless pages of results….of course, none of us really have enough time to peruse each of these websites. But I’ve spent the last couple of days searching the internet for various things….only because my house-mate (i.e. my 19 y.o. son) is on the PS3 & needs the extra bandwidth.

So, first I spent some time researching single parents, both in the USA and overseas. Challenges, needs, statistics, parenting education, support groups, job opportunities, yadayadayada. Way too many sites to check out individually! So now my “Bookmarks” are screaming about how many more items I’ve saved there.

Next, I was reading a blog on grocery coupons & eating healthy on $1 per day. VERY interesting blog, by the way. Since I’m not sure how to post a link yet, well, I’ll see about that later. I would like to post some of my favorites on this blog but that will have to wait until I have more time.

Where does one find more time??? If each day had about 36 hours instead of 24, I just might get 1/2 the things accomplished on my (missing) “to do list”. Weeks ago I was bemoaning the fact that the fall semester couldn’t come quickly enough. Well, I’ve changed my mind about that. I still have a bookcase that needs assembling – as soon as my son & I can figure out how to do it! Papers that I want to go through & file away. Not to mention the basic housecleaning, and getting supplies set up for the fall semester at IUP.

Back to grocery coupons. I do use them…occasionally…when they’re for items/brands that I normally buy. But until today I didn’t know much about grocery price books or price comparison or even how to eat well on a budget. Once again, my “Bookmarks” are choking on the additions of multiple insertions of websites devoted to grocery price lists and also household notebooks.

One of my major faults is that I have always wanted to be organized. Unfortunately, wanting to be and achieving that elusive state don’t always coincide. But I will endeavor to work on that.

Well, time for a break…and more web surfing. Hopefully I’ll be able to get onto Facebook and check on my games in the near future (at least so my food doesn’t spoil in CafeWorld or Restaurant City and my crops don’t wither in FarmVille).

My Odyssey

Published June 8, 2010 by mamapossum1954

At times I wonder how I reached this point in my life. What made me choose between A and B? What would have been the outcomes if I’d chosen differently? We all try to second guess our choices in each situation. Hindsight is always 20/20. One thing I’m sure of: the choices I’ve made in every situation during my lifetime has landed me where I am today, made me the person I am today. Not all of my choices have been good ones. In fact, alot of them have been truly bad ones; mistakes I sometimes wish I could do over. But life offers no ‘do over’s’, does not come equipped with a ‘rewind’ button. Still, I am certain that each situation I’ve ended up in, through my fault or the fault of others, has helped me to grow, to understand not only myself better but also those around me. It has given me an empathy with others and made me appreciate what I have, even while I rail against the injustices I perceive. We all must make our choices based on what we believe is the best for all parties concerned, even if that choice is the most difficult or irrational one. And we cannot let others influence our beliefs or put roadblocks in front of our dreams. The hardest thing to do is take that first baby step in reaching for the prize, whatever it may be. After that, things get alot easier.

Too many decisions…..

Published June 7, 2010 by mamapossum1954

Monday, June 7, 2010…..Today I realized that I’ve got two lives. One is my life at home with my son and my dog. The other is my campus life at IUP. I won’t deny that going back to college at my age was a big decision, and it is difficult when you’ve been out of school as long as I have. However, my freshman year was a total blast!!! I met some great people (students & professors) and made some very dear friends.

I also realized that I don’t like “breaks” whatsoever! Christmas break was bad enough, but summer break is even worse. Pretty pathetic when a person actually misses being on campus and in class. One of my FB friends said “I’m not crazy….I’m a special edition.” I can totally relate to that. To some, I might appear strange, but I’m simply unique. I suppose having been out of the school system for so long, and having had the life experiences I’ve had, has given me a greater appreciation for being in college. Since I’m not straight out of high school, and my parents aren’t paying my tuition, and the fact that I’ve got a goal and am focused makes a big difference.

How was my 1st year of college you might wonder? Didn’t the younger students look at me strangely? Didn’t I feel out of place, awkward? Isn’t it more difficult to learn things as you get older? The answers to these questions will come as I go on with this blog…..my first attempt at yet another experience. Definitely not a ‘major’ new experience, I guess. My first was going back to school. My second was getting my 1st tattoo (courtesy of mi amiga/mi adopted hija Leanne…without whose support I would not have made it this far).

Today was the first time since finals week that I went to campus and it felt so good to be back, even if it was just to hang out with Leanne and browse the library shelves and walk around. We’ll see what other grains of wisdom I can come up with next time.