Thursday, January 31, 2013

Back at the Obits and Section 8

I don't know why I find it so interesting to do these pictures of the faces I find on the obituary pages of the newspaper.  Nevertheless, I have the luxury of doing whatever I want.  The second row of pictures were done today at Lisa's.  We are trying to resurrect our old weekly painting time together, but time will tell if it still has any appeal for us.  I don't like the first two that I did today, but I'll keep them for awhile.  I never discarded any of the ones I did before, no matter what they looked like.  Now I seem to have developed some kind of criteria.  Since I don't know what it is, I'll wait and see how it develops.

The re-inspection of my house took place today and it failed again to live up to the standards for housing assistance.  This time the inspector spotted a flake of paint peeling off the top moulding of one of the dining room windows.  I don't need to describe how I feel about this.  Suffice it to say that I offered to get out my paintbrush and touch it up while he waited.  He refused the offer in favor of yet another inspection in February.  He stands in line with other agencies who are scrutinizing me for eligibility for other handouts.  Most of these have to do with my recent medical expenses.  The dirty word "entitlement" swims about my head as they investigate my finances.

Meanwhile, the pending law suit that looms over me, threatening to take away my means of support, has come to the fore again.  I have been offered a compromise whereby I am paid off and sent away.   It's hard for me to reconcile the image I have of myself as a basically decent human being with the image of a conniving, lazy, lying bitch who thinks the world owes her a living.  Fortunately, I have the support of those who know me. Therefore I am able to maintain a modicum of self-respect.

I really believe that people accuse others of doing what they, themselves would do under the same circumstances. The accuser reveals himself.  (Oh, that I could change my grammar with the times.  I really DO believe in political correctness.)
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Tuesday, January 22, 2013


I got this bulb for Christmas in early December and it just sat in the pot it came in for weeks.  I transplanted it, hoping for signs of life, but again, the only thing that came up were weeds that must have come from the Christmas tree that at one point hovered above it.  Finally I decided it was not going to do anything, so put it on the floor under the kitchen table.  My plan was to throw it out, but typically I forgot about it and there it sat.  Today I was looking for something to put my cooking utensils in.  The tall vase came to mind.  When I dragged it out, I saw that amazingly the bulb had sprouted two little leaves. Benign neglect can never be underestimated.

I only hope that now that I have brought it into the light and given it some water it won't die of shock.
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Saturday, January 19, 2013

A Little Snow

It's hard to tell, but it was snowing hard when I took these still is five hours later.  The dogs were thrilled, and Willy got away from me in his exuberance.  He raced around with his leash trailing behind him, but I caught him without incident.  I took them out behind the house, rather than down the road as I usually do, so he was relatively safe.  The snow is deep enough and fluffy enough so that he disappeared in the drifts, to lunge out a minute later.

The chickens have been inside because of the cold, but I opened their door this morning for a breath of fresh air.  I tried to lure them out with breadcrumbs, but they just couldn't muster the courage to jump into that snow.  They even refused to come down the ramp I made for them with a nearby ladder.  I scrounged the crumbs out of the snow and hand fed them, which I know they appreciated.  Most likely they appreciated the fresh air, too.  Their coop is pretty dirty and smells bad....though once I had that thought, I wondered if chickens have a sense of smell.  Probably.....their eyes and ears(wherever they are) are very acute.  If so, I feel sorry for them, but not enough to shovel and scrape the place out in the middle of a snowstorm.

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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Dogs and Section 8

Well, this blog is called DOGS, Chickens and me.  I can't resist taking their picture.  This time I got Benny, too, even if he is a bit dishevelled in his old age.

I have been busy preparing for the re-inspection of the dump (according to section 8) I live in.  The housing assistance program has become a state rather than a county program.  The Feds are much fussier and my house failed to pass their criteria for government assistance.  I hate to sound unappreciative, but the more rigorous the standards, the fewer places will be subsidized.  I can't imagine that this is not the goal of our new Governor.   His indifference to poor and elderly people is legendary.  Cutting their funds off will save money.

I didn't realize I live in a slum until it was pointed out to me.  There are nail holes in the walls, a window without a screen, paint peeling off the window sill in one room, and several other offensive details.  The salary of the inspector who noted all of these on his clipboard is  much more than the $200. per month the program gives me, not to mention his expense account. I can understand mandating rules that make sure taxpayer money is not supporting substandard housing, but my house is safe, comfortable, and attractive.

In any case, I have fixed the offensive problem areas and await my fate.
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Monday, January 07, 2013

Self Portrait

 It seemed unusually cold when I woke up, and when I checked the thermostat it read 41 degrees.  That'a a little chilly for indoor temperature, even for me.  I had obviously run out of fuel.  I often wish that I could meet my old neighbor in Newburgh again and compare "if it's not one thing it's another" stories with her. In any case, I had to call the fuel company ( $75.00 extra to restart the furnace) and shovel the intake pipe out.  I'm waiting for the technician now to restore the furnace to functioning. 

Meanwhile, I decided to take a picture of myself.  I noticed the self portrait I did of myself several years again the hall, and thought it might be time to bring myself up to date.  I placed a  mirror against the wall in my studio and took several shots.  This one shows the reality of things more than the others. but I will most likely use one of the others when I paint myself.  They are all more interesting because the light from the window obliterates a lot of the figure, or at least obscures it.  I can't wait to get started.
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Saturday, January 05, 2013

More Snow and Ice

This is the bird feeder Beth sent to me after a day and night of raging snow.  This has been a real blizzard of the old-fashioned kind. My car was buried.  There followed a sad tale of shovels, plows, flat tires, AAA, missed appointments, and repair bills that I am too tired to tell, but life now seems pretty much back to normal.  I had my 68th birthday yesterday, formalized by dinner out with David and Thom after opening yet another gift from them.  I was inordinately happy with my present.......a warm vest from LLBean.  Vests are a staple of my wardrobe in the winter, but the others have all come from thrift shops and leave a lot to be desired in terms of condition and appearance.  I felt like the queen of downeast Maine in my new one, gleaming white with zipper pockets and fur-lined collar. 

There's not much to say about New Years Eve (I went to bed at 9:30), ot the fact that another year of my life has been marked off by the calendar.  There it is, I am here, that's the story.
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