Some Weather: 3 of ?

So we finally have power! But no water yet. There are several burst pipes in our complex and we have to wait until plumbers can safely arrive to the apartments.

The snow and ice are finally starting to melt. I hope we don’t have more freezing temperatures. I booked us a hotel for the night so we can shower. Not being able to feel clean is horrible. We are safe in the hotel and have had dinner as well. I’ve showered and feel so much better. Of course I’ll feel even better once I’m able to shower at home but for now I’m satisfied.

The hotel is very nice so far and super convenient! We have a kitchenette which should come in handy.

View from hotel

Being at the warming center and not being able to bathe for a week reminded me a lot of my times at the homeless shelters. It was a weird feeling. Back then I felt helpless and hopeless. But this time, even though it brought back old feelings, I also felt happy. I felt that way because I knew I had a home to go to, even if it was freezing ay the time.

It made me reflect and appreciate what I have and what I’ve gained. It reminded me of what we’ve overcome. And I’m grateful and finally not hungry.

Some Weather: 3 of ?
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Some Weather: #1 of ?

Well, I figured I would start writing again but I didn’t think it would be about a winter storm in Texas. Like I mentioned in a previous post, TJ and I moved to Texas not too long ago.

I wanted to write chronologically but I’m going to listen to my body. My stomach is currently audibly grumbling. We finally had hot food a few hours ago after almost three days without. We’ve been eating snacks. We have food but it is perishable.

Once the power was cut, the water stopped. I think the pipes froze. We kept the faucets open as per guidance to prevent burst pipes but alas…

I take about 14 medications a day and haven’t been able to take them regularly because I need to take them with food. The snacks we have are running low. We (slowly) drove around yesterday looking for food. No luck.

Today we called around for hotels but they’re price gouging, or not accepting pets. My cat is part of the family. If he isn’t welcomed then neither are we.

This morning I woke up so stiff, I could barely walk. Chronic pain and cold weather? Not a joke. My wife and daughter were in the car, warming up and charging their phones. NOTE: we are able to do this because we’re in our complex’s parking lot. DO NOT do this if you are in your own garage or similar confined space. Carbon monoxide poisoning can be lethal.

We have a fire place but being from the projects in NYC I don’t know how to work them and I don’t know if it’s even safe to have it on.

My cat, who is usually very aloof, is sleeping on my lap. I’m currently under two big blankets and have a scarf wrapped around my head and socks on my feet. I’m still cold. My stomach continues to grumble.

We finally were able to get flashlights and so tonight should be easier. We’ve been using our phones but not much because we want to try to conserve battery.

I saw some Northern jackasses think it’s funny that -sorry, stomach again- Texas is cold and powerless.

You hate the politicians, not all its people.

When you make jokes like that you aren’t hurting Ted Cruz. You’re hurting poor people and BIPOC who are suffering the most right now.

Anyway, my daughter TJ just called me from the warming center. They don’t want to come back home. And I don’t blame them. Not having water causes sanitation issues. For example, we have two bathrooms and the apartment stinks because we haven’t been able to flush.

Because we have no water we can’t shower and because we have no power we can’t boil water either.

Things are miserable. But I know they could be worse. But just because other people have it worse than I do does not mean any of us should suffer.

As of this writing, at 6:32PM central time Wednesday February 17th 2021, we have been without power for about 55 plus hours. We are expecting more winter precipitation. We should finally hit close to 60 degrees on Friday. But can we last that long? Me and my family? Yes. It’ll be hard. I will continue to complain but yes we will live.

Our homeless and more vulnerable neighbors? I don’t know but I am not optimistic. And given the way local and state government have handled any if this so far, well, they don’t inspire confidence in me.

Check in on your neighbors. Donate food and money when you can. If you have special skills for this type of weather volunteer if possible. Let’s try to help each other.

I’ll keep updating and hoping this is all over soon.

It’s so cold in the apartment my color change mug is red! It’s normally white.

Some Weather: #1 of ?

Help My Family Become Whole

Hello readers, Sunflower Punk here.

In the past I’ve written about my life with domestic violence and life after that. I have not updated in a while due to life and disability being JUST THE WORST.

But in the past 6 months things have gotten so much better! I moved! Yup, I left NYC for the South and I gotta say I kinda love it here. I’m much happier and less stressed. 

I also got married. It’ll be 6 months soon. My wife is amazing. She’s just everything I could ever hope for and more. As an Atheist this is silly, but I call her my miracle. Cheesy but true. Before her I didn’t think love like this could exist. Kind, patient, loving, SAFE.

But it is possible. And I’m so grateful. TJ is thriving and doing better than they had in a while.

The reason I’m writing this is to ask for your help. My wife would love to adopt TJ. TJ would love for my wife to be their new second parent.

As I’ve mentioned, I’m disabled and I worry that one day I will not be able to properly take care of TJ. My wife helps with all that she can but when she’s taken TJ to appointments because I was ill, they called me to verify that my wife could make decisions on my behalf. If something were to happen to me, legally my wife wouldn’t have any rights. I fear TJ would end up in the system or with their biological father.

I have written about Jekyll before (see links above) so I won’t rehash it. While he is willing to sign the paperwork necessary for this process to continue he is insisting we do it all through court. He could just go get some papers signed in front of a notary but I guess he just doesn’t trust it.

So here we are. I’m asking for your help in covering attorney and adoption fees. All the relevant information is in this link to the Gofundme.

If you are able to help financially, please do. If you are not, sharing the fundraiser helps a lot too.

Thank you for your time and for reading my posts. I hope that now that I’m in a better place (in every sense of the phrase) I can come back to writing more regularly for Mandesty and general social justice posts.

Much love and peace to y’all. Stay safe out there.

Sunflower Punk aka Alex R.

Ohana means family. And family means no one gets left behind or forgotten.

Help My Family Become Whole

Mandesty: American History Edition

Thanks to my friend ED who alerted me to this one historical portrait of our first president. George Washington was known for his wooden teeth, being a racist and I guess also being president as I mentioned.

But did we know that he was also a slut? Obviously he didn’t know that his “dick bulge” would be memefied. But he of course must have known his penis was visible in those sinful pantaloons? Is this where Bill Clinton got his inspiration from? Shameful!

He was just waving it around like America waves around freedom. Just shoving it in people’s faces not caring who gets killed.

Just as shameful is the person who painted this. Can you imagine just standing there cock a-breeze and you just keep painting? Obviously the painter is just as perverted.

This is the history we must teach our children so we may not repeat the sins of the past.
This is why we continue to fight for Mandesty. Please join me in this fight.

Mandesty: American History Edition

SO MUCH TO DO!

Things have been intense.

As I mentioned, I was accepted to UFV to study Agricultural Technology.

It’s a really exciting move for a lot of different reasons.

The program itself seems amazing. Part of it includes a certification in Livestock production with many of the classes involving actually working hands on with different animals. So far everyone I’ve met in the department is really nice and helpful. When I was visiting my boyfriend, they even showed us around the school barn building where they had piglets and chickens, and a whole greenhouse full of student grown projects.

It would mean a chance not just to learn about farming both from the technical side and business side, but also means a chance to make connections with the agricultural community itself which could mean opportunities to fulfill my dream of a little piece of land to farm and live on. Continue reading “SO MUCH TO DO!”

SO MUCH TO DO!

The Facebook page for Splain You a Thing was taken down and I don’t know why

 

The saga seems to begin with a post written by Sunflower punk, after her child was harassed by men while walking home frm school. Her child is nine years old, and yet was deemed an appropriate target by adults. They scared her, and took away from her some of her freedom.

The post auto-posted on the page like all our posts, and there was no problem. We weren’t notified of any issue. People who shared the post, however, suddenly found themselves having the post removed from their walls.

Still, we were not notified on the page that there were any issues with the community standards. The only reason we even knew about the post having been removed elsewhere is because friends of ours let us know.

Then one morning, suddenly, the page was unpublished.

I went to the page, and saw a bar announcement over-top of the back-end of the page saying that the page had been unpublished for violating page terms and conditions. There was no explanation of what the specific violation was, nor did the actual terms page provided yield any insight. We had not even had a post removed from the wall, the page was just completely unpublished.

We suspected it was because of this previously mentioned post.

The pop-up offered the option of filing an appeal, so I clicked on it. I was offered no space in which to ask questions or offer any sort of rebuttal or anything. Only a button saying filed appeal. Click. Appeal filed. Still, no actual idea of what exactly we had done to violate the community standards.

Then one morning, both of us are logged out of Facebook and upon re-login there is a notice saying that this picture violated community standards.

A cartoon picture of Ania and Sunflower Punk holding spoons and a banner that says social justice garden. Sunflower punk is a Latinx person with sunflowers on their dress, and Ania is a white woman with an onion on her dress. The cartoon avatar is surrounded by words saying that this post violates their standards.

There was no specification of how it violated the standards, or what those standards were. The picture is one I made myself, I am the artist and so have complete license over the picture. The picture is directly related to the blog, it’s right there on the logo. The picture is not showing nudity, it’s not showing anything offensive, so what exactly was wrong with the picture.

This time, there is no option to appeal.

I go to try to find the page and it’s gone. I can’t even access the unpublished back end. There is no record of complaint, or appeal, nothing in any support inbox, no indication of what the bloody hell happened. Pictures we had on the page are gone. Comments, messages, reviews, and otherwise, gone. With no explanation as to why.

Since when is one post or picture enough to get a whole page unpublished? What about this picture violates standards? If I did violate standards because of some misunderstanding regarding the standards, or by accident, why am I not allowed to know how or what it was that did so, so that I can avoid triggering the same problem on future pages.

Why is my, and other writers for this blog’s, livelihood being threatened and why are we not allowed to know the reason? Why is there no record of any of this on our profiles? Why is there no notification or record of the decision on the appeal, or any record of the page even existing.

What exactly is going on?

The Facebook page for Splain You a Thing was taken down and I don’t know why

Patreon Update

Hello Everyone,

For the last few months, I’ve only been posting my posts and guest posts to my Patreon account. I’ve also been trying to work with both of our new blog members to create their own Patreon accounts; however due to all three of us dealing with issues of spoons and too much to do, we’ve been delayed somewhat in our ability to create the necessary content for their pages.

All three of us struggle with poverty issues related to disability – issues which can make it difficult to write and can make depression worse.  Additionally, even if the Patreons were set up, it can take months to build up donations. For all of us, the situation is near desperate. The social programs we rely on are not enough to live on since it doesn’t cover enough for us to be able to have housing and internet at the same time, and you can forget about replacing clothing that is falling apart, buying a winter coat, or even in some months, having groceries.

Continue reading “Patreon Update”

Patreon Update

Messes and Mayham

The past few months have been a struggle. As you know, my ex and I split this summer after 7 years. Over the past few years, I’ve come to rely on my partner to help me with household chores I find difficult because of pain. Being newly single has meant trying to handle those tasks despite my impairment.

The result has been varied.

Things like laundry, in particular, are difficult to manage. Between the actual motivation barrier imposed by executive dysfunction as well as ADHD, and the physical burden of carrying a heavy load downstairs, bending over to both pull out clothing from the hamper and to put it into the machines, transferring the whole thing into dryers, hauling it back upstairs, and then standing and folding – it’s been a hassle and a half trying to get it done in a reasonable time period. This week even, I had to ask for help in getting it done, since my back just couldn’t handle it.

Other things have managed to become a bit easier thanks to the help from my new roommate in making things more accessible.

For the past month, we’ve been working on trying to consolidate our things while still leaving enough room in the kitchen to actually prep food. This has meant countless hours, designing and building shelves, installing pegboards, trying to figure out appropriate storage containers for all and sundry. Because of my new roommates schedule, it’s been a strange mix of two days a week of being able to unpack and consult together, followed by the rest of the time being the only one home to try and make sense of things.

In addition to trying to organize and manage the common spaces, I am still working on my room/office. Trying to organize things so that I can easily manage by ADHD, work on writing, switch to artist mode, work on some home improvement task, and record videos, all while keeping in mind my difficulties with frequent bending, lifting, and also making space for things like sleeping and having clothes, has been a challenge. Trying to balance all that with still having to get things done involving my various art supplies, has been particularly entertaining to navigate.

I feel like I’ve been living out of boxes and mess for months, though I haven’t stopped working on cleaning and organizing in all that time.

Continue reading “Messes and Mayham”

Messes and Mayham

New Beginnings

The summer is drawing to a close and the new school year is about to start or has already started. For as long as I can remember, September has always felt more like the “New Year” for me than New Year’s ever did. Every new school year was a chance to reinvent yourself somewhat. It was a new beginning.

It’s fitting then that the public announcements of the big changes that have taken place this summer coincide with this time.

Continue reading “New Beginnings”

New Beginnings

Bit of an Update on Us

It’s been a bit of a rough month. For those following along at home, I went to New York at the end of July to help a friend who was dealing with criminal levels of negligence from her doctors and therapists, which was interfering with her ability to put her life back together. Returning back home, I had a plan for August, to make back some of the money we had lost to the trip by working on promoting my book and art, and looking into additional income streams.

Coming home, I got to work doing just that, only to be met with several unexpected expenses: a flat tire, an unexpected credit card fee that led to a whole bunch of additional charges, and so forth and so forth. At the beginning of summer, I had been hoping to use some of our money to be able to can some of the local produce we get here in Ottawa. Help us eat healthier and more local over the upcoming winter. Instead, we ended up in a situation where we couldn’t really do groceries and so are working off the store of food that we do our best to stockpile when we can.

Continue reading “Bit of an Update on Us”

Bit of an Update on Us