Categories
Personal

My Heart is Broken for RheaLeigh

There is something wrong with a society where people hurt their own children. There is something wrong with a society that thinks severe child abuse only warrants a small charge. There is something wrong with a society that no longer cares what happens to our defenseless members.

This morning I received word that a friend of mine received a horrible call. She was told that her baby had fallen out of bed. When she rushed to the hospital, she discovered that the truth was far darker than that. Her own husband had been abusing that tiny little baby since the day she was born.

The guy admitted to it.

We can talk and we can preach about wanting to make a change on a grand scale, but in the end, the goal isn’t to vilify the rich.

The goal is to help our society.

I want to leave a better world for my children and grandchildren. I’ve seen a malaise within my tiny community, and based upon my research, if we can make things better on a small scale by providing more opportunities, people won’t be driven to such madness that causes then to harm the helpless.

But for now, I would like to set everything aside. For now, there is a tiny little baby fighting for her life in the hospital. Her mother isn’t rich. She can’t afford to play the legal games to bring her baby’s abuser to justice. I don’t even know how she will afford her baby’s medical bills.

I hope you will find it in your heart to help her.

Her GoFundMe Page is here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/1vf6669ruo?utm_medium=social&utm_source=fbmessenger&utm_campaign=p_na%20share-sheet&rcid=86a21197ee21456aa71b928b2d37ccf8&fbclid=IwAR0Jp8C-83mzunRs8uKGRK6n7rnB-in1n-E74Oof6hS6zXEz7m3Ohi5KN4o

My prayers go out to little RheaLeigh.


It is hypocritical to run a website about buying and living on less while begging your readers to buy your crap so I refuse to do it. That said, I live on the money I receive from book sales, so if you can find it in your heart to pitch in I would be immensely grateful.

I’ve written a lot of books sharing my odd view of life in hopes of helping others. My most notorious book is titled The Shoestring Girl: How I Live on Practically Nothing and You Can Too, but The Minimalist Cleaning Method is pretty popular as well. You can find them at the following places:

Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Apple iBooks
Smashwords (non-DRM)

Thank you for your support!

Categories
Personal

The Changing Winds of Life

It has been one helluva week here in this tiny little home.

Katie decided that she had placed her life on hold for long enough. She’d sacrificed several scholarships and opportunities for a relationship that went bust, so she decided to correct that.

On Monday she decided that she would join the Navy. The Army was out, despite our family’s history of it, since she didn’t want to even remotely follow in her ex-fiancée’s footsteps or chance running across him again.

Tuesday she contacted the local Navy recruiter.

Wednesday he arrived at the house and we spent the whole day doing paperwork. I ended up emailing documents back and forth until late in the evening.

Thursday morning she left for MEPS.

Friday evening she returned home after signing a 4-year contract.

She leaves February 19.

I’ve known this time was coming since the day she was born. That knowledge doesn’t ease the shock I feel at this moment. To give such a huge portion of your life to another person, only to have them grow up and move on is a sacrifice all parents make.

That doesn’t make it easier.

I am going to be fine. I have my public job to keep me socialized so I will have people to talk to face to face. I have my writing career. I have my 20-year goal of financial freedom to focus on…

…and I have you to keep me sane.

Your comments and messages have kept me sane for years now. They keep me moving forward. They give me a reason to sit down at this computer every morning and keep trying.

I cannot express how thankful I am to have you in my life.

Thank you for being there.

Categories
Holidays Personal Simplicity

Family Tradition

Once upon a time when Katie was small money was really tight. I’d spent most of my cash on Black Friday in order to afford to give my baby the best Christmas I could afford.

Katie wanted Christmas candy that year. In order to keep her happy I promised her that on the day after Christmas, once candy went on clearance, we would stock up and eat until we couldn’t.

True to my word we went out the next day. We not only bought several boxes of clearance Christmas candy; I also stumbled upon a discounted copy of the movie Forrest Gump.

I had just enough to buy it.

When we got back home Katie suggested that we eat our candy as we watched our new movie. I agreed. I had heard about the dorm scene so I made sure to distract my baby girl when it came up that evening.

The very next Christmas we went out after the holiday to stock up on candy; at Katie’s request we watched Forrest Gump once again.

And again.

After we moved into this tiny little house our after-Christmas routine fell to the wayside. I didn’t think much of it until the other day when Katie asked if we could follow our tradition once again.

I didn’t even realize that I had started a tradition.

I dug through my collection of DVDs, searching for the copy I’d purchased so long ago. To our immense disappointment, the movie had disappeared. We couldn’t locate a copy locally so Katie sprung for a digital copy in order to enjoy our tradition one last time.

We snuggled in her bed with the cat. The lights went down, the movie went on…

…And I cried.

Tears streamed unchecked down my face for the entire film. I cried for the purity of Forrest Gump, the sweetness of Bubba, and the pain of Jenny. I cried over the mother’s love for her son. I sniffled over the trials of Lieutenant Dan, the magic of their friendship, and smiled when he walked to Forrest’s wedding.

I cried for so many things but mostly I cried over the end of an era. I cried because this is the last time I’ll be able to share such a simple thing with my beloved daughter and I cried over the fact that I’d inadvertently created a tradition during her childhood that she had grown to cherish.

The tears of this mother are still falling as I type.

***

Do you have any traditions? Please share your stories in the comments below.

Categories
Life Success

How I am Teaching Responsibility to my Young Adult

As my daughter Katie neared her 18th birthday the inevitable challenge arose:

“I’m almost 18!” she huffed at me one day. “You need to start treating me like an adult!”

“I’ll treat you like an adult when you start acting like one,” I retorted firmly.

This led to a conversation about what it takes to be considered an adult. I explained to her that able-bodied adults pay their own way in the world. They don’t rely on Mommy and Daddy to support them. While they may not be rich, they have bills that they have to pay and they do.

“What if I start paying rent then?” Katie suggested. “If I pay half of the bills, would you start treating me like an adult?”

After I recovered from my surprise, Katie offered to begin paying half of the household expenses. Since I live very cheaply, that’s not as much as it seems. Two hundred dollars a month during the summer months, with more added to cover the extra heating expense when winter comes ended up being the amount we settled upon. We are both responsible for any personal expenses and we split the expense of buying food and supplies (like bathroom tissue) that we both use.

To be honest, I agreed to this with the belief that she would keep up the payments for a month or so and then start coming up with excuses. However, over six months have elapsed and she has paid her share of the expenses cheerfully. As a result, I now treat her like the adult that she wants to be treated as.

This not only solves the issue of dealing with a young lady on the cusp of adulthood, it teaches her how to budget in a safe environment. I keep the whole amount for the bills on hand in the event that something happens that prevents her from paying just in case. Instead of my daughter moving out to live with friends who may or may not be fiscally responsible with their share of the expenses, she gets to live with someone (mom) who knows how to make sure the bills are paid regardless.

It has also made life as a single parent easier. Instead of having to pay all of the bills, they are now halved. As a result, I actually have money to save or to use on those little extras I’ve sacrificed over the years (I’ll write more on that later).

How have you decided to teach fiscal responsibility to the young adults in your care? Please share your stories in the comments below.

Categories
Frugality

Life in Paducah, Kentucky

My kid was bored this morning.  You know, the type of bored where nothing appeals to them.

We grabbed our laptops and headed to the McCracken County Public Library! She got to play video games, watch some television, check out a couple of movies and books all while Mom worked on her articles and blogs.

When she got tired of wandering around she sat beside me and quietly played her Webkins for a while before requesting that we relocate to the fountain across the street.

I was still able to connect even there so she enjoyed splashing in the fountain and talking to the squirrels so abundant there.  Eventually she begged to ride the Trolley to the Riverfront, so here we are.

Katie is happily splashing in the river while I sit happily under a tree typing away in the sunshine.  An older lady just walked by with a beautiful collie, and Katie is walking back over to check in.

Part of me would love to live near the Trolley route so that we could hop the trolley and go to the Library or the Riverfront whenever we desired.  We actually live a couple of miles away from here, so to make it to the Riverfront using public transportation would mean hopping a bus at Wal Mart South to either the bus station at Harrison Street or the library, then switching to the Trolley to go to the Riverfront.

The bike rack in front of the Library makes me think about the bike I have at home. I may see about loading my laptop up and pedaling to the library for a change of scenery while I write. At the very least I could pedal to Wally world and hop the bus there.

I have spent so many years staying at home to save money because we did not live in a town that had public transportation—didn’t even have a library worth visiting very often because of the tiny selection of books! We would take long walks only to have people look at us strange cause we weren’t in a car…

The lack of sidewalks was the saddest part of my previous life.

I love the easy availability of books, music and videos.  I love the stores, even if I don’t buy much.  I adore the sidewalks, the people, the ability to go somewhere even if it is just to the park, you know? All of it available at little or no cost.

Yes you can save money in the country, but at what cost to a single parent? Limited access to so many things that give one pleasure!

Perhaps there is a way to have a happy medium somewhere, somehow. My lot rent is cheap enough where I live on the outskirts, so if I stayed within reasonable distance of the public transportation system I could access it easily enough with a brief walk or bike ride but still have the tranquility of a somewhat country life. The best part is having ready access to things that give me pleasure: walking, exploring, reading—surfing the Internet (I’m incorrigible). With the Paducah public hot spot I can just come down here and work online should I desire to get out of the house.

In other words I want to have my cake and eat it too!  I want an uber cheap life with all of the things I enjoy doing! I guess I have that now, but I’m just not where I want to be yet.

That’s okay.  It gives me something to shoot for.

Categories
Finances

The Law of Attraction is just wonderful!

The hundred-dollar bill that I posted on my vision board has finally come to fruition. We will be getting a check from Social Security for a little over a hundred dollars a month for my daughter now.

Actually two things have come to pass. No longer will I be accused of not reporting income that I really didn’t receive (my ex-husband apparently told the Social Security Admin. that she was living with him and it started showing up on my income), but thanks to the nice people at the Administration, my ex-husband will no longer be a threat to us.

He will be too busy dealing with the misappropriation charges against him for all the money they have given him for our daughter, especially since the whole time he was filing court papers against me saying that he never saw her…

Plus they are going to make sure that our other daughter is getting full use of her check. I have heard that she is going around having to struggle to get things she needs, so they are going to make sure that she is getting what she is due.

Considering the amount of money I gather he received for Katie alone, I have been told that he may be facing jail time, especially since they have proof in all of his affadavits that he wasn’t seeing our youngest daughter.

For those of you who are wondering, and thinking I’m an evil person for keeping myself and my daughter away from him – I don’t dare go around my ex. He promised that the only way I would get away from him is if “one of us died,” and while I was in that area – well, it was in my best interests to leave if I enjoyed breathing.

Whenever he finds my location and/or phone number, things start happening. It starts with phone calls, breathing, random hangups, death threats – then strange things start happening around my home.

I stay as far away from that man as a result now. Judge me how you will. I won’t even go to that little section of the state in fear of what he would do if he saw me there…

I have told the SSA that I do not want him to have a clue as to where we live for safety reasons, and they have promised to keep my information confidential. Either way, they don’t have my street address, just a post office box. I’m not taking any chances.

But the Law of Attraction is working things out. Soon all the evil he has dealt to others will come back to him. I don’t wish him ill, I just wish him out of my existence. It is happening.

The delay is the hardest part of the Law of Attraction to deal with. If you are like me, you want what you want NOW, not some time in the future. But honestly, if I got everything I wished for instantly, I wouldn’t enjoy life very much. Part of the enjoyment is in the anticipation.

Right now I am working on attracting the means to place my daughter in a much better school. I want her to be safe, and have great experiences and get an excellent education. I want her to be happy, and learn about life on the right side of the tracks. I come from the wrong side of them, and want her to have — well, I want her to comfortably see how the ‘other half’ lives so that she can have a choice in how she lives her life.

I want her safe and protected, with no chance that anyone can kidnap her to get back at me. That is what I want to attract for her. The best life I can give her.