I’m not sure how I feel about the new year yet. The local unemployment agency has been less than helpful in Mr. Loper’s attempts to claim benefits, and at this point I’m assuming that because THEIR instructions were unclear, we’re not going to get any money from them. We haven’t gone and staked out the local office yet, though. But neither of us are sure we want to bother.
It definitely didn’t help that while Mr. Loper got the second cost-of-living-adjustment ‘bonus’ that we weren’t sure he was going to be eligible for, his layoff status evidently didn’t make it through to payroll, and they deducted all the health insurance and FSA payments as if he was still employed.
He spent an hour on the phone with them (being transferred back and forth between payroll and benefits), and they pretty much came to the consensus that the funds probably shouldn’t have been deducted, but they don’t know if he can get it refunded. So we’re out at least $100 that was his former employer’s fault, but who cares. Clearly not them.
And so, the last week or so have been spent scrambling trying to figure out how to feed us, the animals, and pay the mortgage again in March (we’re a couple of months ahead, thank God). Back in 2013, Oklahoma passed a ‘home bakery’ law, which basically means I can sell certain types of baked goods straight out of my kitchen, so long as I don’t make a gross income of more than $20,000 in a year on said baked goods. I also don’t have to have any special licensing to sell eggs from my chickens, as long as its directly to the consumer and they’re sold as ungraded eggs.
So whee. Home bakery is in the works! The downside is that I can only sell from my house, and I can’t sell online. While I’m partially relieved to not have to do deliveries (and have a legit, legal reason to tell people “No, I can’t deliver.” when they ask), it’s also going to be a bit limiting, because I’m not going to sell to anyone who I feel uncomfortable about knowing where I live. But that’s another worry for another day.
In the meantime, I’ve been baking goods to get pictures, and figuring out out-of-pocket costs, and buying bread bags, and egg cartons. And taking pictures, and making a flyer, etc.
Oh, and applying for a sales tax permit. Hopefully I’ll get something in the mail about that early this week. Because I really need to start selling.
I’ve been busy (obviously), which is why I haven’t been blogging. I’ve barely been keeping up with my Blogging 101 assignments.
But if I’m honest, I’ve been keeping myself busy so I don’t have time to sink into depression.
It’s frightening spending money when you know there isn’t anything coming in for sure in the foreseeable future.
It’s frightening the amount of things that break, or get sick (car, dog, chicken…) when you don’t have the money to spare. (This is when your best friend also being your veterinarian comes in really handy, though I’m trying not to take advantage of her, either.) (Note: don’t try to make your veterinarian into your best friend. We were going on 14 years by the time she actually graduated from veterinary school.)
Mr. Loper has two places that he’s expecting to hear something from next week, job-wise. One retail place called him back last week to offer him a part-time position (he applied for a full-time one that was listed as available) AND they wanted a two-year commitment from him, because of his layoff status. We pretty much laughed and he hung up. He’s called back almost every other place he applied, and the positions he applied for have been filled.
Semi-skilled laborers are apparently in great supply around these parts.
Thanks to an offer for a ride from a friend, I was able to go to church today for the first time since November (since we’re driving on a spare tire right now, we’ve been avoiding as much unnecessary driving as possible). The sermon today was on Joseph, and how he brought Egypt through famine, with God’s wisdom. (Genesis 41)
The minister was focusing, mainly, on the wisdom of saving for hard times when you were well-off.
I tried to take what lessons I could from it, but I will admit that I was having a hard time. Because prior to the seven years of famine, they had seven years of unparalleled abundance.
How on earth do you save when you’ve never had excess? Literally every time I think there might be something left over… somethings comes up where we need to spend it. Our ’emergency’ fund has never had more than $500 in it, and we’ve emptied it several times over the past two years.
It’s ridiculous. And I’m tired of it. But I don’t know how to change it.
If you’re the praying type, we would appreciate prayers for:
- Provision (obviously)
- Strength (I’ve not been sleeping well, and three-ish months of slacking on my vitamins are taking their toll – but I’m low on a lot of things, and don’t know when I’ll be able to get more)
- Peace (we’ve both been struggling with depression these days
- Healing for animals
- Wisdom and guidance, especially, as Mr. Loper’s job hunt continues
I’ll hopefully have a ‘Down on the (Sub)Urban Farm’ update later this week – because there are LOTS of updates there. And hopefully I’ll be able to have an Introvert Day soon, as well, because Mr. Loper has been home every day since December 3rd, and as much as I love my husband, I really need a day that’s quiet.