catching up.

A few days ago I emailed an old rowing friend who has a business in town asking him if I could park on the street outside his business while I bussed over to the hospital for my biopsies, and if he would check on Keegan when he took lunch just to verify that she was okay.

He said to come by the office on Monday and we’d see how to arrange things.

So Sunday evening I trundled off to the street by his business (no fee for parking on the street where he’s at, its far enough from downtown) and settled in for the night.

He showed up outside my camper on Sunday night.
Turns out he and his fiance always go out to dinner on Sunday night and this one place has a special two for one deal. So they always take the extra one (piping hot) and hand it to a a homeless person somewhere on their route home.
And then he thought to himself (as he told me), “I bet Rachel is already there at the office!” so he swung by the office and there I was.
So he dropped off three meals worth of lasagna and ravioli and bread and oh my!

So I settle in with my yummies, sharing with Keegan in small judicious bits as I didn’t want the richness to unsettle her stomach.

Thirty minutes later he’s outside my camper again.

Men!

So I open up and say “what’s up?” and he said, “I called Caryl (his fiance) and you need to come home with us.”
Hmmmm…. errrr…. why??
But who am I to look friendship and gifts in the mouth?? πŸ™‚ And I like them both (so that made it easier). And they are sincere people (like you guys), not judgmental or preachy or anything like so many people seem to be.
So I followed him to their place.
And they said I should stay the week while I’m dealing with the biopsies. And I could train their dogs while I was at it. πŸ˜€ (they have 3) I like training dogs. It’s their owners I had problems training. Today we worked on Pepper’s licking everything/one within reach of her tongue. She’s a smart dog, she’ll come up and you can watch her head and face… she wants to lick.. it’s a struggle.. twitch.. and which point I praise her for being such a good dog and not licking. She’s catching on really well. One of the dogs goes absolutely bonkers whenever a car goes by or a person comes in, or when a door opens, he’s going to take a bit more work but I think he’ll figure it out pretty quick once we start working on it. Then the third one needs some reinforcement on “come”, which is actually the easiest of the three issues to work with.

It’s awesome.
All the dogs are getting settled together. They have dog blankets for all the furniture so the dogs are allowed on the beds and couch as long as the blanket is out (the dogs know blanket means “me!” and no blanket means “floor..”)
Keegan is on the doggy blanket on the bed with me. Sacked out. Happy as she can be.

I’ve had great conversations with fiance, getting to know her better. Which I haven’t had much opportunity to do before now.

And Keegan got her shots up to date today; Wednesday while I’m in getting cored and sliced, Keegan will go to doggy daycare with their 3 dogs (though she’ll have her own space) and then get picked up after I’m done to come home with me to either sleep off the rest of the anesthesia or help me commiserate a few more scars.

So today I took Keegan to the vet but other than that.. lounged about, watched a Premier League game on the giant TV, talked to fiance, ate good food, trained dogs… that’s about it.

Tomorrow is take Keegan back to vet to get the one shot we didn’t get today (oops), then go see caseworker, then take Keegan by doggy daycare so they can meet her and get an idea of how much private time vs play time she needs/wants and get an idea of where to crate her so she isn’t stressed.
Busy day tomorrow.

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Getting better again, slowly

I’ve been hibernating for a couple days now. And I’m starting to be able to see farther than my hand again.
I made myself a good dinner tonight. I was able to charge my electronics in a corner of the library. And I’ve been able to start knitting my first cup warmer.

I have parked in a different spot each night and haven’t been bothered by police or others.

Not going anywhere today.

Or doing anything.

Yesterday was too much all at once. I mean, not so bad I collapsed in the middle of it but I need a couple days to recover.

Last night I parked in an empty lot in the north end of the south of town. There are quite a few empty lots, closed businesses, up and down this thoroughfare.
I’m out of direct site of main traffic but traffic on the main roads can see me. I’m hoping that if I’m quiet and no one sees any activity that I won’t receive a police visit. I’d like to stay until tomorrow morning.

More articles.. Working homeless, vehicular homeless

http://realestate.aol.com/blog/2011/11/23/the-new-homeless-living-behind-the-wheel/

http://www.amny.com/urbanite-1.812039/the-new-homeless-working-but-without-housing-1.2891798

http://www.truthistreason.net/car-sleepers-the-new-american-homeless

Parking ticket

When I went to the ER for my hand in December I got a parking ticket. I’d put all my change in the meter but it wasn’t enough. And of course, you can’t leave the ER waiting line to go move your vehicle, even if there was some place to move it to, which there wasn’t.

So anyway I got a delinquent notice saying all sorts of nasty things, towing my vehicle, putting boots on it, etc etc.

I stopped by the city courthouse, different from the county courthouse for future reference, and parked in a spot hoping I could get in and out before I got yet another ticket. There is NO place to park downtown that isn’t charged, literally.

That freaked me out. Security confiscated my keys due to my mini leatherman. An inch and a half blade is too dangerous. I asked if the metal toothpick was forbidden too..I’ve really got to learn to subside meekly. If I had been born a slave I would have died a very young slave. I don’t think I’m smart enough to have learned to keep my self blank.

So anyway, after waiting outside for an hour and frantically moving my truck from the parking to the convenience store down the corner, I bought a candy bar so I was a customer and could park there, I finally got my turn to talk to the city clerk.

This is where it gets sort of weird. I knew the guy! It took us a while but I’d been part of the same middle school math tutoring group the past year.

I told him my circumstances, he said that since I only had the one ticket I was in no danger of getting my truck towed. It will go to collections in may and may have an additional $10 added to it by then but that’s it. He said I could also come back in may and start a payment plan on it to keep it active.
Try not to get any more tickets and don’t let it stress you out.

Whew.
Now…I’m parked at the pyschs office. I’d like to be able to get some homework done but I haven’t been able to stay in the relevant reality long enough to get anything done. I haven’t had enough of a down time to recover yet.

Back to my deep breathing calming exercises.

Just lost my prime parking spot

Well, last night crazy woman Linda was joined by the traveling trash heap couple, the 2nd reason I’d been looking for someplace new.
Traveling Trash Heap Couple also have a very unfriendly large chow mix dog, beautiful, but very aggressive.

The reasons I didn’t want to be around them were several. They let their dog run loose with no corralling, they would pull in beside me (right beside me) like they did last night and crowd me making me privy to their headlights and noise, they dump their trash all over the place and it’s like living in a trash dump.

The security guard for the shopping center just came by and told me I was no longer allowed to be here.

I am going to assume, perhaps wrongly but I’ll do so anyway, that I can still park here during the day because I frequent the grocery store and the McDonald’s regularly. I go to the grocery store every day.

But I’ll have to keep driving in the evenings.

I’ve been searching desperately for a place where I could park for a few days at a time so I wouldn’t be using so much gas, but I haven’t been able to find anyplace.

That place I checked out the past couple of days would have been excellent except that the guy up there was starting to give me the heebie jeebies.

Back in my old spot again.

And one of the two reasons I was looking for a new spot is also here.

Linda is crazy. Whacko crazy. Mean crazy.
But for whatever reason she’s latched onto my truck.

If I’m within 1.5 miles of this intersection, in any direction, she’ll find me*; and sit or stand outside my truck orating with a very loud voice using language not fit for proper discourse.

I want to keep my distance from her because she does draw quite a bit of attention to herself and I can’t afford to have other peoples annoyance at her bleed onto me.

*i wonder if the war on drugs/terror/full bottles of shampoo still need sniffer dogs? Or maybe Vietnam could use another unexploded landmine sniffer? Just paint everything white and in the shape of a little white truck and she’ll be able to hone in from across the country.

Kicked out

The security guard tried to tell me it was for my own safety. So I left the well-lit, patrolled (however irregularly), quiet parking lot and spent the rest of the night on then edge of the highway, in the dark, with cars roaring past at 70mph plus. But I’m sure I was much safer on the highway.

You know, I’m not happy about it but I accept that businesses at so scared of being sued that they won’t allow anyone to park in their empty parking lots but when security guards try that crap I get pissed.

Coyotes yipping

I tried a new parking space more off the beaten path yesterday. But the guy who already claimed the area had some very defined ideas. Then he was taking too much of an interest in my truck and belongings for my comfort. I admit I’m paranoid about such things these days.

So this evening I decided I’d go ahead and trundle off. Unfortunately, the road that the old guy insisted I use to enter/exit the area was impassible for my truck. So after backing down a non-lit sand/gravel road in the dark, downhill, I had to nurse the truck back up the hill. Then I did a very very tight 4-corner turn so I could drive down the road I entered on originally. It was an even less defined road so I didn’t want to chance backing down it.

I’m sure I woke the fellow up and I feel a bit bad about that but since I won’t be heading back there I hope he’ll forgive me eventually.

Right now I’m in the hospital back parking lot where I have an appt tomorrow morning.
I scared off several deer when I pulled in. And there’s a family of coyotes yipping out across the brush land.

Sunday – hello world

Today I was lounging in my hammock reading when a young face peeked around my open door and Keegan’s tale started wagging. Being half asleep it took me a few seconds to recognize Noelle, the young daughter of the Christmas family.

They know how to find me, just look for the sugar cube on wheels. πŸ™‚

They had brought some stuff for all of us in the group. I got Benadryl, thank goodness! And some Advil, also a thank goodness since I’d run out of what Alyce sent me a while back. (middle age is not for sissies). And they brought Keegan some more glucosimine treats, all good stuff and brands of treats that Keegan has been familiar with all her life so I know she does well with them.

As an aside… One of those treats is in one of Keegan’s puzzle/Chew toys and she’s sitting in my hammock with me going after it. Oops.. As I typed that she finished it. Now she’s just sitting in the hammock with me looking happy.

Back to my day…
After selecting my goodies the Christmas family and Keegan and I walked to the main day camp.
Steve, having had a “very good day”* yesterday was no where to be seen today, but Terry and Dave were there and at some point the other couple with dog showed up.

While the Christmas family was there some sort of census takers came by to count the homeless. Apparently, there’s a federal fund for state programs for the homeless. They (whoever “they” are) give the statistics and agencies get more resources. But as Dave told the wife of the Christmas family, those of us on the street don’t ever see it. I dunno. [shrug]

Then some guy with a woman and child in an suv stopped by with a bag of food. Some ginger snaps, ramen, a couple cans of chunky soup, and so on. I took one of the bags of ginger snaps, neither Dave nor Terry can eat hard stuff, but left the rest of it.
Then later I’m back in my camper, knitting, when Dave comes up and hands me the two soups and tells me to take them. I protested because they’re soft food and he can eat that with no problem but he insisted so I took them. They’re too expensive for me to buy using food stamps, I’d run out of money/food too soon so they were a treat for me.
I ate one tonight, a potato chowder, that was quite satisfying. I’m saving the next one for later in the week.

I have an appt tomorrow morning at the food stamp office so I drove over tonight so I could trundle along at 25mph without upsetting anyone. I’m parked in a huge empty parking lot, waiting for morning.

*very good day means he had enough cash handouts to buy liquor (rather than weak beer), pot, and either some coke or heroin. When they started arranging for delivery of the hard stuff yesterday I left. I’m okay with being around weed but I don’t want to be around the more potent stuff for my own good.

Heading back into the wilds…

..or as wild as the outskirts of town can be. πŸ™‚

Thanks to my buddy Sam who let me camp out in his driveway for several weeks and use his electricity and wifi!

But now it’s time to face the world again, unfettered, unelectrified, unwified, and any other words I can mangle.

Posts will be few because the schools and libraries are mostly closed this week and I don’t currently have minutes on my wifi hotspot.
Choices choices.. gym application fee or wifi? showers or communication with the world? which would YOU choose? πŸ˜€

Last night I stayed behind the library, not the one I got kicked out of.

A woman that I’d met before, previously homeless, now in an apartment, came over to talk to me. She told me of a way I can get a cell phone for free and some amount of minutes, so I will still be able to deal with all the oficials I need to deal with.

Right now I’m at the school across the street. The library is closed for the break but they have a few computers set up in the hallway for registration/research purposes. So I’m typing up a quick note. πŸ™‚

More parking options

As I mentioned in an previous post, I stopped by the library.

The city parking system is a pay at the machine then stick the slip of paper to the window.

While it is risky, one option is to use a receipt from previous parking and hope that the parking police just do a visual drive-by rather than specifically checking the meter or individual tickets.

Another possibility I noticed is for overnight parking.
There is an option to leave your vehicle in the lot overnight (Don’t drink and drive!), in this option you have to pay for the time previous to closing and then, apparently, you can park fee-free until opening hours the next morning.
Since there is a 3 hour limit on the machine I imagine timing would be a factor here.

Technically, you should be able to park at any of the street parking free during the non-fee hours. I haven’t checked the machines on the street yet to see if this overnight parking sticker is just a library feature or city-wide.
Even if city-wide, it might be worth paying a nickel to start the timer for a hassle free nights sleep. And if a person had a few dollars they could pre-pay for a few hours into the next morning.

Hmmmm… I wasn’t kicked out!

The noise from the drunken party goers didn’t stop until about 3am but no one bothered me.

The guy who was taking money for parking did come and inspect my camper but since I was already there (or because it was dark and quiet maybe) he didn’t bother me either.

I was hoping that because it was used as parking for 6th street (the bar and club street for the younger crowd) that any police that came by might choose to believe that I had partied to hard and taken a cab home and would return the next day to get my truck.
Regardless, no one harassed me.

I think now I’m going to go to the library. They charge for parking during the day though so I’m not sure if I’ll be able to stay more than an hour. And they chain off the lot at closing so no one is able to park there overnight.

The city is loud!

I’m parked outside the downtown post office. Even though there’s a sign that says “30 minutes limit”. I drove down this afternoon so I could pick up my mail. Now traffic is hellish. This is not a good time for my gas guzzling, barely moving camper to be on the roads.

I hope that I won’t draw any attention until some time this evening when the traffic dies down.

Since it’s Friday though I may be able to park here longer than I was thinking would be possible.
I’ve noticed that this parking lot is used by people going to the clubs, eateries, and events happening in the evenings downtown.
Twice I’ve seen some man at the entrance taking money from people parking in this public lot. I assume that the police don’t have an issue with this because I’ve seen him several times.

So I may just hang out and see what happens.
Worst is that they’ll tell me to leave.

But it’s still noisy here.

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