Another Update

So much has went on since I posted last. I keep forgetting to update here. I know, horrible of me. Maybe I should get back to writing here. It would be cathartic.

Since last post we have:

Moved into a town.
Gotten a decent van.
Went to NC to visit my oldest.
Gained unlimited internet-no more data caps!
Ended up with lots of kitties.
and a lot more.

One thing that is important is that I have an official mental illness diagnosis. Schizoaffective disorder. I've thought about writing about it. Not sure if I will or not.

I have also been tossing around the idea of making a plant identification blog. I love doing that as a hobby, IDing plants has been my thing since childhood.

Not a lot more to say today, I need to come up with a strategy to post more often and to be clearer in what I want to say about personal life. It has been so long since I blogged for myself that I have almost forgotten how to be just me!

What I'm Working On Now

Wow, it’s  been a while since I checked in. All sorts of things have went on in my life. I did talk about moving to the country, but I didn’t get into detail on how losing unlimited internet has hurt my work. Being unable to work on content sites without eating through my data limit has change our finance situation considerably. The amount of data used by what most people consider normal use is insane. We’ve used the satellite internet providers and now Verizon wifi.

Instead of writing full time I now sell handmade goods andnature photography. Walking in the woods to find great pictures has been cleansing, while painting is just fun.  I also crochet, one of my most popular items has been amigurumi. If you’re not familiar with the term, it’s basically creating dolls or replicas of other things in the single crochet stitch. My daughters all loved the Elsa from Frozen replica.

Eventually I may branch out into selling herbs, but probably not until next year. There’s quite a bit of St. John’s Wort growing. My favorite discovery has been the staggering amount of Boneset growing a few miles from home. I gather it from where I get my elderberries. It goes right into my healing salve.

I have been selling most of my items through my store on ShopEnvy. Unlike Etsy I’m not charged to post anything. There are two formats of my store, one is in their marketplace and the other is my custom storefront. All sales made through the marketplace nets the ShopEnvy folks a small percentage.

Up until a few months ago I had been selling off some things through word of mouth because of needing to raise money for repairing the van we bought, but when I tried doing an auction nothing happened. I did find out about AuctionMobility, it’s a software that allows auctions to be livestreamed on mobile- phones or tablets. That seems like something that would be  beneficial, especially for people like me who don’t have reliable, unlimited connections at home. I don’t know of anyone who has integrated the same type of auction mobile software, but until I can access sites with a better mobile platform, I won’t be able to use auctions for my works.

Something else I found interesting when reading about Auction Mobility is that they just acquired a fine arts/collectible site, So if I can get my work moving through such an auction, I will be in company with other artists. The neat way they have their bidding set is through swiping or sliding, not clicking. No fake bids or having kids just click away.

Anyone else still using Etsy? Would you be more into using auctions (if you don’t now) if you could put them on a mobile app? I really hate the way Ebay looked on mobile, but not using them these days, it’s too easy to get conned.

Pics of my pups

I haven't posted in a long time...again. Just slapping some pictures of my Shepherds so I can share with folks on Ravelry.

Artemis is a black 2 1/2 year old German Shepherd. Her half brother War is almost 5 months old now...and he's her size! They're awesome. We've had Artemis for a year and her brother for a little more than a month. Artie is pregnant and due to whelp on the 24th of this month.

Sharing is Caring

I have awesome autocorrects. From now on, to entertain myself and others, I'll post the best.

This gem came while talking with my friend Wendy about duck eggs.

Civil Rights For Public Assistance Recipients

In 1996 many changes were made to how people in the United States receive TANF - Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. These changes were hailed as a way to help people on assistance move back to self sufficiency.

The original idea seemed good. Have people look for work as a requirement for receiving assistance. In the previous post how this actually works is covered. The program has been considered a failure - not only by those using it, but by people on all sides of the issue. When looking at the way many counties - not just Allegany County, NY - uses recipients to avoid using 'real' employees. City and county governments fire or lay off regular employees in order to receive free labor from what are in essence slaves to the state.

Democrats and Republicans alike dislike such programs. While it is true that there should be safety nets in place for people around the country, how these programs are implemented can be a dangerous, slippery slope. Recipients can end up dependent on the system because of how the system is using them.

As a Democrat I am not ashamed to say that this is one area where the non-insane Republicans have it right. Using welfare makes users dependent. This dependence isn't always due to any fault of the recipients. For example, in the previous post it was explained how people forced into JobTrak and similar programs must work without pay for what equates to full time employment hours.

Several Allegany County recipients (non-parolee workers) have been sanctioned for missing JobTrak work due to going to job interviews. While this is against regulation, the practice continues. One JobTrak 'liasion' in the Allegany County JobTrak department told another recipient to schedule physical therapy and doctor appointments around JobTrak work.

How is this possible? How are people to gain employment if they are punished for going to job interviews? How can a person be punished for trying to improve health in order to become employable?

It is possible because recipients allow it to happen.

All recipients of TANF, SNAP, and other public assistance in ALL states have rights. Their rights are often disregarded by workers. These social workers or other social service employees must follow state regulations concerning the rights of ALL recipients, no matter how much or how little the individual or family receives in assistance.

A discussion of civil rights and Workfare is discussed here: A New Paradigm for Welfare Reform

For those that feel their Civil Rights are being violated, again this is NOT just in New York. The US Department of Health and Human Services have forced other states to comply with Civil Rights regulations. Information for anyone in need of help can be found here: TANF INFORMATION US Department of Health and Human Services.

Next post- A look at SNAP benefits for people on SSI, SSD, and other incomes. Who qualifies? Who needs it? Why aren't more people being helped?