Sunday, July 31, 2011

Butterfly Easel Card to Corinne

Well I am cool and collected - still very embarrassed and shamed -- I guess I know what I will be dealing with in therapy on Tuesday :)

Here is Thursday's card:

I have started my tiny little side business on eBay again - each day I make about $2, a very small amount but it adds up so that I can buy cut files from an amazing designer in England over the internet or from other websites that I like and that use PayPal for payment. I very slowly build up my PayPal account and then I can spend it on my SVG cut files. :)

My volunteer work has been growing GrOwInG GRoWInG GROwING GROWING and is now threatening to sort of take over. I was "just" a volunteer, then I started to get involved with fundraising AND volunteering. And NOW I am getting involved with Board stuff, plus publicity plus fundraising and a little "just" volunteering. I am committed to the cause - but I am realizing I need to watch myself a little bit to avoid having it get to big.

Experience Is What You Get When You Didn't Get What You Wanted

That is the sentiment on the card I sent to my cousin on Tuesday, July 26th.

Which, of course, was the day BEFORE I started the whole HVAC issue. Actually I sent it the day the HVAC issue started. Let me start again.

I made and sent the card early Tuesday. I think I made the card a couple of years ago....yep, it was an older card that resurfaced. I actually created it back in the mid-2000's, maybe circa 2006? Back when I was in Reno, NV and struggling through my mental illness on an hour by hour basis (I think of my struggles now as on a day by day basis, an improvement).

So the card was an older one, but one that I really liked. And I chose it for Corinne now, because she was having to go under the knife again - and I was hoping all was going to go well for her, even as things were obviously not going her way.

So, I sent the card at 10:30 in the morning.

At 11am or so, I was finally able to reach a real, live person at the CAA - Community Action Agency here in Butte County that was my hope to get my air conditioner/heater unit fixed/replaced for free. I was put on the list - but learned I was at the bottom of the list - like #500 and it would be a year, at least! before my number was called. I was stunned.

And, my first thought was - WOW! There are 500 families ahead of me that are struggling in this heat and will struggle in the cold of the winter without heat - how are they going to do that? It made me think that I needed to take action. I did not know what I could do but I felt like I should try to do something.

Around 3pm I call the CAA back and asked them where there funding came from; what could I do to increase their funding; what would help them; would publicity of the situation help; was there anything I could do? I was told their funding was federal - really we needed a budget, we needed more funding for low-income programs, etc.

I realized that maybe if the news channel could do a story, maybe it would help someone somewhere or at least raise awareness. So I went to the local NBC affiliate's website (they also happen to be the CBS and CW affiliate by association) and sent off a message. I explained the long list, the purpose and great things the CAA did, that I was NOT a good poster child, but that there was definitely a good family out there somewhere struggling in the heat, with little kids, etc that they could do a story on.

The next morning, on Wednesday, I got a call from a reporter, Derek Demo, and he said that he was on his way to the CAA to do an interview about the story and would it be possible to come talk to me? I said no, that he needed to talk to a desperate family, someone in a worse situation; a family with kids, etc. About an hour later, he called back and said that due to confidentiality laws, the CAA couldn't give out information and names of people on the list - that to do the story, he needed to interview me. So I said yes, come over and i would talk to him.

But again - the story was other people - not me, not my situation. I pulled my roommate into the interview just to keep the focus off me. I was so embarrassed and shamed to even have the focus on myself.

So a story ran on Wednesday's news - at 5:30, at 11pm and then again on the morning news program at 6am. THEN - at 9am on Thursday, Derek calls again and tells me that a local business --- Alternative Heating and Air --- has offered to repair my HVAC unit!

Ok, this is GREAT! annd this is HORRIBLE! I did not do this to get my problem solved. I did not expect to gain from the situation. I wanted to help others; I wanted a desperate family to be helped, not myself. But now I was going to have my system fixed and I was going to benefit. Again, so much shame!

Derek came back - Tom from Alternative Heating and Air came over and worked on my unit for a couple of hours and FIXED IT! Yea!!!! Another story was filed and I was interviewed again, plus I filmed a promo - OMG! I am going to be on TV all over the place. :(

So, the long and short of it was, I went on TV, said I was low-income and needed help, got the help and thanked the news for helping me. Do I feel like scum or what??

So here is the card I sent Corinne:

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Doni's Birthday Card

My friend, and the outgoing newsletter editor for the social group for which I am treasurer, Doni, is having a birthday! Her celebration takes place on Thursday so I am sending her card tomorrow (Monday) to ensure it gets there on time. Sometimes the mail in our town goes down to Sacramento to get sorted and then back up here to be delivered and sometimes it is sorted in out local post office. When it goes to Sac, it can take 3 to 4 days for a letter to get across town, otherwise it might only take a day --- you never know. So, just to be safe, I always try to mail things early.

The card I am sending didn't really photograph well --- my favorite camera set-up is not available right now - it is down at my mom's house waiting for us to do some eBay work (although we have been planning that project for a couple of months now and have not made any progress on it) --- so everything is a bit ad hoc and I am not happy with the quality. I apologize. But it is the best I have and here it is:

I like to think of birthdays as the beginning a new 365-day trip around the sun. And, for all of us this year, it is a leisurely 366-day trip (yep, 2012 is a leap-year). I need to make up a card for that....hmmmm ideas come flooding through......

My Monday card to Corinne

Yes it is that time again - sending a card to Corinne. She is doing quite well and has sent me an email. She is able to get out and is actually driving down to get her mail (she has a long driveway) each day - the highlight of each day, she wrote!

I made a special card for Monday; This is my new "vellum envelope easel card" - style card. As it looks with the card inside the vellum envelope and the easel up:

As it looks with the card out of the envelope and displayed on the easel:

My only fear is that the recipient not understand how to display and work the easel portion of these cards. So I put in instructions, but I am not sure how clear they are. :)

Sad News

My dear friend Pam has lost her husband to colon cancer.

While his death is not unexpected, it is still quite a shock and very sad, as is any death.
The card I made for her from me is here:

And, I made a card for my mom and I to give to her also. Actually this may become a card from our entire Mexican Train group. That card is here:

Please send any thoughts or prayers her way.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Thursday - Good Medical News

OK - It is not a Brain tumor or MS. phew. ok we can calm down and take a deep breath. I can relax and feel easy again. The mean, ugly and scary things are not going to happen to me.

Probably it is just the severe anemia or a drug to drug interaction. My FNP has changed some of my pain meds and is talking to my psychiatrist about changing one of my psych meds (seroquel) - maybe not change it but just get rid of it - YES! - in order that we will get rid of my symptoms.

This is such good news!

Obligatory card to Corinne:

Saturday, July 16, 2011

When It Rains It Pours

Well if another thing goes wrong then I will really feel cursed.

My mom always said things come in 3s-
----My Heater/AC went out - $10K to replace :(

----Major plumbing problem my septic tank needs to be pumped - who knows at what cost???

----unknown Neurological problem - tests done, results may come on Wednesday

We can add in the petite 3:
--Roommate may move out
--Allergic reaction to new med -- very strong allergic reaction
--no money, the situation worsens

And the good news..............hmmm the good news?
I will have to work on finding that.

I can report that my cousin is doing well. That is good news. The latest card I have made and am sending to her on Monday: