Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Food Stamp Saga - part 8

preface - I apologize if this sounds too wordy or jumbled. I had countless interruptions as I was writing this post.
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I got the food card and went in to Walmart. This post picks up from the last post on the January 2nd outing after we had left the food stamp office.  I only wanted to get a few basic items at that point because I wanted to make my biggest grocery purchase at discount and closeout stores in the next town.  I spent approximately $10 in Walmart for a total of about $33 of groceries up to that point for the month.  We were supposed to go discount grocery store shopping in a  few days, so I didn't get any more than that.

Forty days later, I still had not gotten to get any more groceries! If I could go, he had an excuse that he couldn't. A large part of that time, though, I could not leave because I had puppies to watch.  It was cold and I had to stay close to keep the momma dogs and other dogs from accidentally smashing the puppies in their effort of trying too hard to snuggle close to keep them warm.  We had the puppies because T L Ogre put the dogs together, then bailed on us all, but that story will be for another post series.

So over the next 40 days, I lived on the "stock up for emergency" foods I had tucked away.  Oh was I ever glad I had gone food dehydrator happy last Summer and Fall!

Of course, T L Ogre had to periodically brag about how good some of the things he was buying and eating were during the time I was getting really burned out on stale, out-dated, old tasting foods. (But I was truly glad I had them on hand) He did offer to share some bread or fruit a couple of times.   I did not like the feeling that gave me so I took a piece of fruit once and that was it.  His tone, body language and expressions all felt like he felt sorry for me and was giving me a hand out.  Something in that just wasn't right.

A couple of times a couple of my elderly relatives made the long drive out here and brought me a "care" box with a little fresh food and basic essentials.  I appreciated that more than I could ever express!

I could get T L Ogre to pick up pet supplies for me (my cost) because he finally understood that I would call animal welfare if he didn't, but not groceries.  He might have picked up an occasional item in town, locally, if I begged hard enough, but it would have cost more than where I usually shop.  I needed to stretch what I had left on that card, out as far as I could!  There were signs all throughout that long stretch that he had been to the next town over and he had been to those stores, but he never let me know he was going so he could pick something up for me.

So, I lived forty days without going to a grocery store, only got a few grocery items at the beginning of that stretch, and it had been about a month, also, prior to that  that I had not been to a store and he had only picked up a few dollar's worth of groceries (for us) during that time. I didn't like it, but it sure was an excellent test of how well I am doing with my emergency food prep skills and what I need to work on more.

Last Saturday, I finally got to go grocery shopping and use up all the funds I had left on that food card!  It was a beautiful, unseasonably warm day, only one puppy is left and big enough I could leave for the day.  T L Ogre needed to go over to that town for a few items, also, and said I could go if I helped with the gas.  I had to stifle a laugh.  He didn't  have enough gas money to go on his own!  I was still very sick and after the first two stores, realized I was still much weaker than I thought, but I pushed and got my shopping done!  And no, he would not help me load my groceries into the truck, either.  He just sat in the cab complaining that his foot hurt and he didn't have any money to get anything.

I also had to unload all of my groceries back at 'home' by myself.  My hand and knee were in agony, but I finally got it all unloaded and tucked away in storage totes.  I think I am enjoying my big box of fresh fruits and vegetables, best!  I was sooo salad hungry.  I was so thankful to have my tucked away stock of dehydrated veggies, but you just can't beat that fresh produce!

Throughout that day, as we drove around from store to store and on the trip home, he made mention of several times he had been, himself, and purchased this and that at the various stores.  I said,
I didn't know you had come and gotten groceries here." He replied, "It was when you had to watch the puppies and couldn't come." Ugh! I knew he had, I had found the signs of it, but now he had to rub it in. He had the food card with him, he had my funds on it, too, he came to the stores I needed to go to for groceries, but NEVER, during that 40 day period, did he tell me he was and ask what I needed picked up! What an azz! I could have given him at least a short list each of items those times so that I didn't have to pick mold off of my bread and cheese and all. He knew that I was having to do that, too.  He had to offer me some of his bread, instead, during that time so he appeared like he was doing something nice and sympathetically wonderful for me. Grrr.....

I really stretched the dollar out as far as I could, but I will need to still be thrifty and make it last as long as I can, as I am still at "$0" income and no longer have food stamps.  About two days before the day they told me to come back in to apply, I reminded him and asked if he could take me on that day.  He said, "No, just apply online. You can do it that way."  That will mean a phone conference, a conversation he has access to listen in on, leaving no way for me to get opportunity to speak freely with a human services worker, which, I am sure, is why he insists I sign up online.

I'm gonna be okay.  I will get through this.  I will once again earn a good income and, with that income,  I will purchase all of my own groceries where I want, when I want .... what I don't grow myself, that is.

Thanks for stopping in and for your support. Have a beautiful day.

Signed - Betty Sue

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