Its a cold wet rainy night in SE Michigan. The temps are sliding down into the 40s as Paladin and I are getting ready for a major house repair project next week.
I have a leak in my kitchen that is coming from outside and is causing a split in a seam on my left side of the kitchen. I had to reach out again to Howard Burkeen for his expert help and he and his crew will be here come next week to repair this. Howard is also going to help out with a couple of other issues as well to make this house tighter and better prepared for winter. This will help once the really cold winter weather gets here!
Yesterday was my first day back with the emergency food giveaway program my city hosts the third Wednesday of every month. Lori and I volunteered the first year together,then after her job made it impossible for her to attend,I continued for another year after that,even after Lori got her cancer. I then only made one appearance in the past two years. It felt good knowing I was going to be back and I went to bed early after watching some TV on Tuesday night.
I set my alarm for 6:30 am and then promptly had another night of insomnia...tossing and turning,turning and tossing. And that was with my CPAP machine on. I finally fell asleep around 3:45 am-ish and ended up sleeping through my alarm. So you are thinking "poor bastard,he missed his project"...uh,nope....because at 7:20 am I was awakened by a 11 pound buzzsaw of a cat curling up on my chest and purring loud enough to wake me. I got up,got dressed,gave Paladin a cat treat,brushed my teeth and bolted. I got there at 7:55 am and I was the FIRST one there!
Another volunteer drove up and I helped her unloaded toiletries that her church has been donating. Then we set up the tables and prepped the bags. The same crew was still there except for one gentleman who had jury duty. Jessica,the city employee who runs the program walked in and brought a small box of donut holes to share. We then prepped the toiletries,each guest would receive a 4 pack of toilet paper,a roll of paper towels and a 2-3 pack of bar soap. Doesn't sound like much but as I blogged before about this program,the people here for most part are very grateful for even the smallest gesture.
Next we waited for the food...and I noticed two things,the amount of food was very small and that instead of the usual 65-70 people we get,we are now at 101 families and rising. I helped do the intake and was surprised when a group of about 10 people plus handlers came in for food. They were pretty young and looked healthy enough. They each gave Jessica a slip of paper and got a bag of food. When they left,I asked about it.
Turns out they are rehab patients who are transitioning back into society from the rehab center. They go from the center into an apartment where they can work on their sober living skills in a controlled living condition. We only see the patients once and they never come back...but it is newish and adds a bit of a burden to Jessica when she goes and orders the food.
Other then that,it was a nice quiet shift,one new person started crying when she signed up,she was a grandmother who just had been awarded custody of her three grandkids,I don't and didn't pry into her story but we assured her it was going to be okay. We handed her the calender for the last two dates of 2013 and all of 2014.She was very grateful for the help and thanked all of us.
I left at noon and filled up my car with gas before heading home.
Christmas is hitting our store now as we are switching over to the holidays. Our Halloween was extremely limited compared to last year as in what we had to sell...we cut back on decorations and not selling any Halloween candy this year. Makes it easier to switch over when the time comes...I am glad I am working Halloween night as I had no intentions of doing candy this year...but maybe next year. This was Lori's favorite time of year...(summer as well) and we always tried to do candy. We made up 3 bags for the neighbor's kids and then passed out candy for about 90 minutes or til the supplies ran out.
The houses in our neighborhood have some decorations up but not as many as the past couple of years. Marlene (Crash's mom) has a very cute display and I will post a picture of it in my next entry.
Its Friday and its 3:44 pm
Its cool and overcast outside. I was supposed to be writing about my volunteer project in Inkster but I had a severe case of insomnia last night and didn't fall asleep til 4:30 am...and I was supposed to be at the project at 7 am!! I know I having some serious stress issues as of late...but this is starting to get to me. I feel very disappointed with myself but I did go to bed early yesterday. I was going to do a edition of Dollar Tree Theater before going to bed but I didn't even do that,I just went and laid down. Of course this starts a terrible cycle of going back into the past three years and you just can't turn it off. I have tried watching TV or reading but that doesn't help very much.
Sometimes I will turn the iPad on a long YouTube video and let the noise try and lull me to sleep but more often then not,it fails as well. Today I am trying the walking idea,heading down to the park and walking a trail. Of course its just now getting cold so getting insomnia heading to winter is just bad luck as well. I am sure I will figure it out...I don't want to let yet even more people down...
On Tuesday,I ran some errands,I got new wiper blades for my car and headed over to PetCo. to get Paladin his Science Diet plus I had a coupon for a buy 2 cans,get 1 free for PurinaPro for cats. I headed for PetCo first and walked in. As always,I headed over and checked out the cats. As the case in October,there were a lot of black cats to be adopted. I stayed and said "hello" to everyone before walking to the cat food section. As I rechecked my coupon,I had to shake my head,the coupon was for PetSmart..I got my items and headed up to check out. I made small talk with the cashier and I asked her if they accepted coupons from another pet store. She said "It depends" so I showed her my coupon and she said they would honor it. So I was able to get Paladin three cans of good canned cat food. I was very thankful for such a nice gesture.
After I went to AutoZone and got my wipers,I went to Target...Pacific Rim was released on DVD and I wanted to get my copy. I went in,got the film and walked the food area looking for sales. I had stumbled across a great microwave popcorn deal the last time I walked through so I hoped I was going to be as lucky.
I did find a dinner for under 3 bucks and also found cat food (notice a theme here?) on clearance so I picked up 3 more cans.
Now I use a Target Red Card when I shop here. It saves me 5% on my purchases and I pay it off right there. And I did the same thing as I always do...but somewhere between buying my stuff and getting home,the movie got lost...I think it fell outta the bag when the cashier handed it to me but because my bag was a bit heavy,I didn't notice it until I got home. I wasn't planning on watching it Tuesday night but Wednesday would have been nice. I called Target and explained the situation,they were gracious and said I could come get another copy. But when I went there last night (I ended up working late on Wednesday) to get the movie,the manager on duty was rather nasty about it. She seemed to suspect some funny business which I picked up on right away. She wanted to see my receipt and I showed her my payment receipt and she said the original one. I said I had not gotten that back (which was my fault,I should have noticed that) and she said I would have to sign the book which showed this happen. But since I got the vibe that she thought I was scamming her,I got a little edgy and asked to bubble this up to the manager,she said that was her and I said then your manager then. She calmed down then and I explained what happened which she never had really given me time to do. It wasn't the most pleasant experience I have had there to say the least which usually isn't the case.
I found a unopened EP that I got from the Dollar Tree that I am listening to as Paladin is looking outside his window. He was a little testy but after I closed the window for 5 minutes,he meowed and I put him back on it....he settled right down and he is bird watching.
The EP is from a singer named Serena Ryder,a Canadian singer-songwriter who is doing quite well for herself. My EP,"Sweep the Ashes" is from 2008 (typical for a dollar store) and was pleasantly surprised to really like what I heard. She was a nice husky voice that recalls a young Melissa Etheridge but just a tad lighter which I think helps Serena. Too bad my habit of not always opening my new music happened on this little EP because Serena just was in Ann Arbor playing a small show at the Ark. I will definitely keep my ears and eyes open for her other releases. I love finding new voices...even if its a 5 year old EP!
Learn more about Serena by going here
Thinking about about 17 Oct 89,the big earthquake that struck San Jose/Santa Cruz/San Francisco killing 63 people and injuring 3,700. Its another thing that I don't miss about about California! I saw my friends post their memories of that day...I still recall my day as well...I was on my way to watch the baseball game when the quake hit.
I went into a crouch and scanned above for falling power lines. The ground rolled and buckled and people either were frozen or screaming because you couldn't walk. I was crouched by a car when I heard a couple of loud bangs,I turned towards the sound and watched a chimney being literally shook apart. The bricks were like missiles and they were hitting the car I was behind.
I moved to the drivers side and resumed scanning the power lines....and then it was done,except for the screaming of course.
San Jose was extremely lucky,despite being only about 35 miles from the epicenter,the main destructive thrust went up north to Frisco. The power was out but it was restored in San Jose pretty quickly.
Well,that is about it for now...I know some of you don't get see to see Paladin so I will leave you with this shot.
Melanie V. - It was so cool to run across you again!
Chris Alexander - I thought you handled your business like a boss!
Bill Bean,wrestler.....has a weird ring to it.
Tiffany Hendra- Just because
Eric Stuart - Happy birthday and I hope you raise enough cash for the video shoot
Sarah P- You are extremely charming and so very English. Thanks for the kind words.
Theresa- Happy birthday!
Michael and Amy- What other couple could celebrate a birthday,anniversary and then jet to Haiti for a week of volunteering at a orphan's mission?
Serena Ryder- great voice!
everyone else,thank you so much for hanging with me....