Every hermitage needs a cat. Mr. Fuzzy Pants was
given to me as a kitten by a friend about 11 years
ago. He is holding up pretty well for an old, retired
Twice a year I lobby for donations to help keep me afloat here at "Silver Cottage," usually around my birthday in the summer and during the Christmas season. I worked for 33 years, but now I am disabled and living on my Social Security. It is $120 a month too high to qualify for any government or charitable assistance, but it is not high enough to pay for all my needs, nor do I have a loving family around me, eager to help. I do have a couple of very kind friends who have done a lot for me, but I risk straining those friendships if I do not try other avenues of support.
There is a lot of suspicion these days about poor people. While it is true that some people do lie and cheat in order to get government assistance, their numbers are very small. Most poor people are elderly (53%.) Another 20% or so are disabled, non-elderly. Another large percentage are the working poor.
Still, I feel it necessary to be forthcoming about my lifestyle in order to reassure the wary. I do not have the bad habits that people typically attribute to the poor. I do not gamble, fornicate, drink, smoke, get tattoos, or take illegal drugs. (I used to smoke tobacco, but I quit 8 years ago.) I do not travel, go to movies, go out to eat, or get my nails and hair "done." (My hair is now down to my hips.) Although it is very hard on me physically, I try to cook very healthy meals from scratch and not from prepared or boxed foods. I do not typically buy deserts or junk food. Very rarely will I buy 7-up, ginger ale and grenadine with which to make "Shirley Temple" fizzies for summer visitors. Customarily, I drink water, tea or coffee. Nothing fancy.
Given I have no bad habits, what do I do with my time?
Yes, I HAVE tried to find avenues with which to make a little extra money, which is a question that suspicious people will frequently ask. I was part of Ancestry.com's expert panel of professional genealogists for a short time. JUST as I was starting to develop a client base, Ancestry eliminated their professional online genealogy experts in favor of a company they purchased in Utah which would only employ people who lived in Salt Lake City, unless you wanted to be a "go-fer" that would fetch documents from local city offices. (I am not physically able to do that kind of thing.) I subsequently attempted to be an independent genealogist, but I didn't have the necessary funds to advertise my services as well as maintain the NUMEROUS subscriptions to genealogy, newspaper, adoption and other sites that are necessary for the successful researcher.
Currently, I am producing some crocheted items for sale. I won't make a lot of money from this because my carpal tunnel and my arthritis make me very slow, but if I can continue to get skeins of yarn donated to me, I can make a little pocket money.
I also crochet blankets for babies whose moms have decide not to abort them after all. I give the blankets to Project Defending Life (the Gabriel Project) to be given to the wee ones when they are born. Every baby should be greeted with joy and a hand-made baby blanket.
Also, I donate knit hats and scarves to the homeless during the winter. We have a sizable homeless population here in Albuquerque, and our winters often get down into the single digits.
Winter in Albuquerque, December, 2013
Blogger Mark Shea has encouraged me to get a Writer's Market and do some writing for the Christian market. (I have written professionally in the past.) This is another avenue I plan to try. The Writer's Market is on my Amazon.com birthday wish list.
In the past, I have sold many sketches and paintings. I am developing a series of acrylic paintings for the local tourist market...mostly pictures of saints.
Prayer and meditation are my main "jobs," if you can call them that. As a contemplative living at home as an "apartment hermit," I try to maintain a meditative atmosphere to encourage myself and any visitors that come my way.
My prayer corner, 2014
There are many projects in the works here at Silver Cottage.
The most immediate need has to do with my service dog. She has cancer and will not be with me for too much longer. I will need to get another service dog, and it has to be a pure-bred hypoallergenic puppy this time because my allergies and asthma have gotten very bad. This is a very expensive proposition. The purchase of the animal, veterinarian fees, spay or neuter costs, blood tests, a crate, and training costs add up to more than I receive in an entire month, but my doctor has certified that I need a service dog. I need to find some way to do this.
First on the list, next to the immediate needs of a dying animal, is the need to inter my son's ashes in a mausoleum here in town. He died in early December last year, and his ashes are still sitting in a drawer in my shrine cabinet in my prayer corner, which is not an appropriate disposition of the ashes of a human person. Interment will cost a little more than a month's entire income for me. I have no idea how I am going to afford it.
My only child, Jason Beasley, who died from
complications of diabetes in December, 2013.
This picture was taken earlier that year when he
last visited me.
My yarn supplies, office supplies and magazines are just littered around the apartment, with no home to which they can be consigned:
Both my kitchen table and my kitchen island are made from folding tables, one of which I bought when I was still working, 11 or 12 years ago, the other was discarded by a previous tenant:
My microwave, which was discarded by yet another tenant, has a large portion of paint peeling away from the inside of the door, exposing the rusty metal underneath. I really need a new microwave. You will find it on one of my Amazon wish lists.
The brown portion inside this microwave is RUST,
I could use a good coir rug in front of the door to get the dirt off my shoes before walking into the apartment.
Food is also a constant issue in the household. I have stomach problems and cannot digest many foods. I am also allergic to some things. The price of nutritious food has skyrocketed. I have a separate wish list for food.
If you would like to contribute financially, please use the DONATE button. Keep in mind that Paypal retains a small percentage of anything you contribute. The other option is to follow the links to my Amazon wish lists.
I am grateful for any and all assistance.
FURNITURE AND STORAGE: http://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/300GCT0N3DD81/ref=cm_wl_rlist_go_o?
GARDEN AND PATIO: http://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/1442X2FTXUVRX/ref=cm_wl_rlist_go_o?
MISCELLANEOUS BIRTHDAY WISHES: http://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/1YAFK1YV9QZLW/ref=cm_wl_rlist_go_o?
God bless you.
Silver Rose Parnell