Not been a good day….

Actually managed to get some “decent” sleep last night…The weather, though, has been awful: snowing, windy….I really feel badly that my son has to work outside in this from 3 to 11 for the lousy pay he gets. He really hates his job now….though not in the beginning. If it weren’t for the way the “corporation” treats their employees – especially the cart pushers – it wouldn’t bother him so much; he likes nearly all of the CSM’s and the cart pushers, too.

He got his W2’s from work yesterday!! So that means he can file his very first tax returns!! It’ll have to wait until he has a day or 2 off, though, so I can show him the ropes and explain things.

Thanks to the Fish Antibiotics I purchased online, my ears are finally nearly 100% back to normal. Just a shame that I had to resort to that, plus self-medicating with OTC stuff – since I can’t afford to see the doctor. Have had a new “symptom” with this mystery virus I get nearly every year like clock-work….kind of a queasy, bloaty, nauseous, achy feeling in my “stomach”. So, naturally, I kept thinking about it; how it feels as if I’ve eaten something with a lot of eggs (like a baked cheesecake, or egg nog, or whatever). Well, when I woke up this morning, I remember thinking “gall bladder” – have NO idea where that thought came from…but I googled gall bladder symptoms. There is some kind of condition that gives you the bloaty, nauseous feeling and also chills and fever. Made me wonder if that is what this weird mystery virus is all about. But of course I can’t go to the doctor about it – since I have no health insurance and Pennsylvania won’t expand Medicaid.

Anyway, I’ve been stressing so much about finances, and bills, and finding a job, and Nathan hating his job…..We drove all the way to Johnstown on Wednesday so I could take the County Caseworker civil service test….I printed out directions and everything. Not only was it the coldest day of winter (at least it was sunny) but we ended up driving all over Johnstown and could not find the roads we were supposed to turn onto….so back home we went.

Now, of course, the truck’s exhaust is much louder than it has been…we wasted 3 hours and nearly 1/2 a tank of gas…for nothing. That’s the same day the virus hit me; Nathan had been sick since the Monday night (he still isn’t 100% yet); and I ended up sleeping off & on for over 18 hours – not even eating since the Tuesday. When I finally did eat something (my typical peanut butter & cheese sandwich), it tasted like sawdust or cardboard. Even coffee didn’t taste good.

So….bills. Here is Nathan, working for minimum wage (here in PA it’s $7.25/hr), roughly 30 hours per week at manual labor, and having to pay the bills (since I don’t have any financial aid now that I’ve graduated). Problem is that just the rent by itself (which is due the first week of each month) is nearly an entire 2 week paycheck!! Plus there’s the electricity, the internet – thankfully we don’t have cable TV or a landline phone…but there again he buys the phone cards for our prepaid cell phones, plus whatever we need that’s not covered by food stamps (laundry liquid, shampoo, toilet paper, dog food, quarters for laundry, cigarettes, etc.)….And the internet is due around the same time as the rent.

So he’s stressing about the bills and how far his wages will go….He’s spent nearly all the money he managed to put away while I was paying the bills with the financial aid refund…So I’m left with a quandry….How to pay the internet bill and also not touch the money Barb sent me as a birthday/Christmas/graduation gift. Of course, I still would’ve had to come up with the difference between what she sent me and the cost of the GRE test (I had $75 and the test is $92.50…which is what I would pay with the fee reduction program)….but can’t be done.

So I told Nathan not to worry about the internet bill, that I’d pay it. Of course he wanted to know how, so I told him. He looked relieved. Of course, when I explained it to him, I added that it wouldn’t make much difference anyway since (1) I probably wouldn’t pass the GRE test anyway, and (2) I probably wouldn’t get accepted into the Master’s Program for Sociology at IUP anyway. To give him credit, he did try to boost my morale by claiming that I probably could pass it and could get into the program….but it’s a moot point now anyway.  So much for dreams, I guess.  I’ve been fooling myself with dreams for most of my life, so why should now be any different???


Small step in the right direction

Yesterday, Murphy & I caught the 12:30 bus to town….I had to stop at the bank for quarters for laundry, then we went to Giant Eagle Express for coffee. Then…another trip to Clark Hall to see them about my fee reduction for the GRE test. Didn’t take too long, fortunately. All fixed up now. Well, it will be once I get some ink & can print out some forms & what-not – not to mention coming up with the rest of the $92.50 I need to send in for the test.

We took the Green bus to Walmart after that….well, actually, we went to Petco….BIG mistake!!! Wandered around for awhile – I was trying to find the baby bearded dragons. Told Murphy I’d love to have one….only one major drawback: feeding it live crickets (since I absolutely despise “bugs” in any way, shape, or form)!!

We wandered around some more – they have got tons of great stuff in there!!! But….then….on our way out, I saw the sign to the left of the exit: “Cat Adoptions”…, naturally, I said to Murphy, “Let’s go have a look!”  Well, they had 4 cats there. Since my ears are still on the mend & I knew I couldn’t bend down without my ears clogging up, I just looked at the top 2. One was a big fat ginger tabby, male, about 6 years old; asleep, of course, but really cute. On the right, Murphy is looking at this wide-awake smallish female….named “Peaches.”  Well, I absolutely fell in love with her!!!! So affectionate and sweet. Darn it! No way could I afford her….No way would Marky be able to adjust to her….No way Nathan would let me get her!  Totally disappointed!

Well, time to make my son’s lunch….I may be back later….


Not a lot has happened so far this year. Last Thursday, Murphy & I caught the bus and went to campus to check if the offices were open. They were! So we went to Financial Aid on the 2nd floor and I asked about the reduced fee program for the GREs. One of the workers disappeared for awhile, then came back with my ‘certificate’. I was overjoyed!!! We went to Giant Eagle Express for a coffee where I discovered that Fin. Aid had checked the wrong box on the form; they’d listed me as a senior rather than a graduate, and also did not give me a copy of my ISIR (not sure what this is, but I’ll need it for when I send my form in for the test). So….this means another trip to campus & to Fin. Aid to get this sorted out. Good thing is, with the fee reduction, I only have to pay half of the fee, which is about $90 – minus what Barb sent me, that’s only $15 I need to pay.

Went to Michael’s yesterday with my son to show him THE frame that Murphy & I found for my diploma. While Nathan was not as ecstatic as I was, I could tell he saw why I felt it was the perfect frame. Fortunately, Michael’s was having a sale: half off all frames, plus a 15% off bonus coupon for any regular priced item. So we got the frame and the matting…altogether, it was under $16…which is a hell of a lot better than a $15 cheap, crappy frame from Walmart!!! My son is the best!!!

We went to the mall after that so he could buy a dehydrator; he wants to make his own jerky. Then off to Walmart to buy lunch stuff for him. He works today & tomorrow from 2 till 10….Normally that’s not a problem….However, later this evening, the temps are supposed to go down to single digits….and in the morning temps are supposed to be in the negatives!! It’s snowed a little bit this morning…..The main thing I worry about is the truck. I’ve heard that car batteries can totally die in extremely cold temps….so I mentioned this to him last night so he could be prepared. Fortunately, Walmart sells batteries and there is always AAA to call to install one. Hopefully there won’t be any problems & the truck will start tomorrow …. he can’t afford to miss any more work.

Of course, in his current frame of mind, I’m sure he wouldn’t care if Walmart fired him….or he decided to quit. They’ve been treating their staff, especially the cart pushers, abominably. Not the CSMs…but upper management. Of course, it’s a corporate thing….and profit IS more important than employees or even the customers. He wants to get a better paying job….his friend works for Neighbors Oil and brings home a crapload of money each month. Not sure if they require a GED or not.

Well, it’s about time for him to get up. At least I don’t need to wash clothes this morning, since I did them yesterday.