The "Get Out Of Your Car!" Fund

Sunday, October 19, 2014

House renovations - seeing the finish line

Mama said she would like to get back in her house by the end of the year. Wow, I didn’t think she was expecting it so soon! Since last summer I have not heard her be really unhappy about being at my sister Sasha’s house. I think that’s because she has hope now that she will get back in her own house. That’s the fuel that keeps the fire going.

Truth is, getting back in before year’s end is quite possible now. I can see the finish line.  I just wasn’t rushing it. Again, there won’t be central air conditioning or heat but we grew up using kerosene heaters and a wood stove (which is no longer in the house). My parents are strong and they are survivors, so they will find a way to be comfortable.

They also won’t have regular appliances. They may have to use a cooktop, dorm fridge, and 20 year old microwave. Appliances are expensive (and Mama just likes her 20-year old microwave).

I didn’t want to do any work on the house that required taking out a loan, but it looks like I will have to.  That’s the best way to get work done soon and quickly and still have at least $3K in the savings account at all times for contingencies.

Peace is something that cannot be bought. Peace is something you get when you’re living right. 

When I can buy something and know it’s ok to have it,that's peace. When I can spend money on something expensive and know I have the money to have it, that's peace. 

If others try to convince you to have it, remove yourself and consider what they said, but make your own decision. Don’t make a decision until you feel peace for yourself – a peace you can defend and speak up for. If you have to rationalize a decision, you’re not convinced about it yet. If you have to keep explaining it away until you can convince yourself, then that’s not a peace-filled decision.

Life: Weather, Stealth, Dreams, Hair, Hotels


It’s time to get the sleeping bag and wool socks out again. Last night was bearable at 51 degrees, but temps are dipping into the high 40s which means I’m pushing it. I have Theraflu in my car and I must remember to act fast at the slightest hint of cold or flu symptoms.


I dared to put a lock on a locker at the gym and store my things there for a few nights. The gym has signs saying locks will be removed nightly and contents of the locker donated to charity, but I’ve been paying attention and some people are keeping locks on for days or weeks. Well, after about 2 weeks, I showed up one day and my lock had been removed with a sign saying that locks are not allowed overnight. All of my belongings were still there, so I went ahead and took them home.

Two weeks ago, I pulled up to the hospital, sat, and looked around as always. Some people walked by so I waited. Just before I started to climb in to the back seat, I thought I saw movement in a black SUV parked diagonally from me. It was sitting in a darkish area. I paused and waited around. Sure enough, there was some movement. Security was in that black SUV. I cranked up and drove away. I never saw security parked in that particular area before. My paranoia kicked in. Were they on to me? Do they know where I park when I sleep there and they were waiting to catch me?

I don’t go there very often now, and when I have gone, I go early in the morning, like 2:00 am. Hopefully, they have decided that if I’m not there by 11:00 then I’m not coming and they move on. I hate to lose that parking spot as a sleeping option.


I had a dream last night that two men broke into my car and started to drive off while I was asleep in the back seat. I woke up, quietly called 911 on my cell, and then sat up and explained that this was my home – please let me have my car back while the 911 operator listened on the other end. They didn’t give me my car back - they kept driving. The police traced my cell and caught up with us. I woke up.


I started letting my hair grow last year because I wanted to do different styles with my hair. while I liked my latest hairstyle (cornrows), I didn’t like the way the stylists man-handled my hair. I treat my hair gently. So I decided to twist it myself yesterday and got lots of compliments.

I think I’ll keep twisting it. In the past, I got tired of boring twists, but I think I’ll experiment with different accessories to spice things up – scarves, headbands, flowers, clips. What does that mean financially? Well, I still save $10 a week towards haircare, and it’s cheaper to do my own hair and accessorize than to pay hairstylists, so I should be able to keep a surplus in that envelope.


So,sometimes I really do long to be back in an apartment again sooner rather than later. Sometimes I just want to get a hotel room for a night just to stretch my legs all night, watch a marathon, or shower in a private area. I might check in to a hotel one day, but only when I can be there a full 24 hours and really get my money’s worth, like on a holiday weekend from noon Sunday to noon Monday. 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

October living

I got a memory foam mattress off Freecycle several months ago. I sprayed it with Lysol and washed the cover. then I cut it down to size so it fits in my back seat. It was comfortable sleeping in the back seat anyway, but the mattress makes it even better.

Every morning, I roll the mattress up and fasten it into the seat using the seat belt so it doesn't unroll. anyone who parks next to me at work can see this white rolled-up form in my back seat. I wonder what coworkers think.

I have been washing up more at sinks the past two weeks because I get tired of working out at the gym just to take a shower.

This morning I found out that eating baingan bharta (an Indian eggplant dish) when it's a little colder than room temperature is actually not a bad breakfast. I bought it yesterday evening, and ate the rest for breakfast today.

The rain is my friend. It makes it harder to see inside a vehicle and people are less likely to be looking around anyway - they are trying to get out of the rain. So no matter where I park on a rainy night, I feel safer and less noticed.

Several times a week, I wake up and think, You just saved $40 (by sleeping in my car).

I have no good place to iron my clothes right now. I went back to my old apartment complex once recently to iron. However, my job requires shirts with the school logo on them, and I have two of those. So I wear the same shirts repeatedly and that helps me not to NEED to iron so much. I have been taking whatever I wear to work on Friday and wearing it to church on Saturday, rather than going to storage and trying to find a dress that doesn't need ironing.

The food eating situation has not gotten better. I still eat out too much and don't have a way to cook. I have two aides working in my class with me, so I really can't bring out the electric skillet like I did at my last school. I think, though, that I could go in on Sundays and cook with the skillet, chop fruits and vegetables, and prepare some lunches/breakfasts for the week. I could keep them in lunch bags in the school fridge.

I could cook and store rice, mixed vegetables, spinach, and soup. I have 3 lunch bags.

Life is good.