Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Home, Sweet, Home. Part 1

First, thank you to all who send messages of love, support and prayers to Mark, Monti and I. Especially those who continued to donate to penpal, despite the post here and there, but knowing all we have gone through.
The beginning of February, we lost internet usage where we lived. This alone almost pulled the plug of this blog, but Mark found various cafes that had free Wi-Fi, so I could keep it up somewhat. We were also in the middle of looking for an apartment. Thanks to the VA, we had a Section 8 voucher in order to get us a place of our home.
While we received it in October, we began to hit walls when we learned that, even with a voucher that means, the land lord would receive their rent, because of the eviction in October 2012 still on record, no one would rent to us.
And then the middle of December, a dear lady from Missoula, the city that the VA wanted to move us to, stepped in and began to help us break down walls. So many people say "support our veterans," but this lady came beside us and began to kick in door. It was this dear lady who went to very door of the Missoula Housing Authority and asked the director to consider helping is get a apartment, to be willing to give us a second chance.
Bless her sweet heart and the director of Housing, they did meet us, talk to us and was willing to work with us.
Mark and his VA social worker wrote a letter to our former landlord, asking if he was willing to work with us as we began to off the past-due rent. He was not only more than willing, but gave us a very nice recommendation, saying we were very good tenets and the only problem was that we couldn't pay the rent. A  copy of this agreement was send to Housing, so they could see we were indeed working off the eviction. But the progress is slow and it meant a long wait.
The beginning of January was a dark period for us. We really needed a place of our own and yet we could not find a place that would overlook the eviction. Mark and I worked hard not to take our black mood out on each other, but sadly angry words would be exchanged. But more often than not, we hung on to each, and to G-d.
There were so many times we wanted to give up, but we knew there where wonderful people praying for us as well as with us. Having not heard from Housing, we were beginning to think this application had also had been turned down.
Thus, I began once again looking for Section 8 apartment that would take the voucher and overlook the eviction.
But renewed hop came the second week of February when, after many teary phone calls, we finally began to get answers. There were a few forms (back ground checks from Virginia, etc.) that Housing was waiting from. But Missoula had indeed approved our application and was willing to give us a home.
Finally! Our own home.

Monday, 10 March 2014

Fire Tower Coffee House

It has been a few days since I'd been here. And we are without internet, so I whenever we are about, I grab a few minutes.
The nice thing about going to coffee cafes is Mark and I are beginning to meet people in Helena and in Butte. While we are still planning to move to Missoula, it is nice to have friends in other cites.
Such as Fire Tower Coffee.

Right in the heart of the downtown Helena area, Fire Tower is an excellent coffee shop in downtown, with super friendly folks behind the counter. Wide variety of options. Mainly a coffee house, but good breakfast and lunch items. We have enjoyed the amazing grilled cheese sandwich, chicken soup with wild rice and my personal favorite, the tomato-basil soup.
And you have to understand; I can't stand tomato soup.
Mark and I found Fire Tower about two months ago and it has become our favor coffee house.
Pity we can't take Fire Tower with us to Missoula.
Locality own and run, it has a laid-back, down-to-earth warmth, reflects its owner, Nord Johnson, who is as warm and inviting as the coffee house itself.
So now, whenever Mark has an appointment at the VA hospital, I hang out at Fire Tower, enjoying a bowl of soul (one of Nord's special coffees) and either work on the blog or now even paint.
Fire Tower in many ways is a slice of Montana, the warmth and openness of the people Mark and I have been blessed to meet.
Montana still doesn't feel like home.
But Fire Tower has gone a long way in making us feel welcome and wanted.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

I am So Over Snow

Well, I can at least report, that since my last post. There has been no more snow.
But it is still March.
Yes, the snow is beautiful, but all you look at after day, after day....for weeks on end, it grows old rather quick.  
The past few days, we have actually had almost Spring type weather. We are even walking about without jackets, though they are always handy. This afternoon, while driving home from an appointment, Mark and I actually spotted Elk.
Have to keep my camera handy.
Here is Montana, that is a clear sign of Spring; the Wild Life coming out once again, looking for food. Which includes Bears. So now I have to add a can of Bear Mace to warn off any attack from tall, furry beings.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

March 2; Snow, Oh Joy

Every once in a while, in my declaration that I hate snow, I am reminded that I now live in Montana.
Snow Country.
This is the snow fall this morning, as I was on the phone with my sister in Boston.
Who reminded me she and her husband will be out to visit us around August.
When there is no snow.
I understand fully.
And it is hard on this Bipolar human, I can only imagine the thoughts going through my little guy's mind....
This picture was taken a few days ago. The snow would cover him now.
I am blessed with friends and family who ask how I am doing, referring to my mental state. The dark, snowy months of Montana are crude on those of us who suffer from any form of depression and there isn't enough vitamin D in the world to counteract the depression. For me, the added stress of waiting for Section Housing as well as not getting out much, only adds to my dark moods.
Dark moods I fight full-time to keep under control.
Mark is great. He gets me out of the house as he cans. He allows me to vent when I feel the walls close in.
And then there is the love of our little dog.
I have also started a daily reading from "GateWays To Torah," by Rabbi Russell Resnik. Mar and I had the honour of meeting Rabbi Resnik several years ago and when the book was release, he not only gave us a copy, but signed it.
I shall share from the book in the days to come.
Soon it will be time for me to go upstairs and make Mark's lunch and send him off to work.
In the snow.
Oh joy.

March 1, Memories and Snow

Well it's March 1.
Not really; I write my post on a Word Document and cut and paste it to the blog when I get a chance to get on line.
I just looked outside my bedroom window and it is snowing.
But this is Montana and snow is part of the course here.
However, the state of Montana hasn't had this much snow in five years, so it is somewhat of a record.
We literally have to clear a patch for Monti to "do his business." It is so cold, he has to wear a Parka outside to visit his little Out House.
Harder is spending Mark out in this stuff to go to work. Not only does the temps drop, but the roads are slick.
I am thankful Mark has a job, but I will be even more thankful when he doesn't have to work nights, let alone travel in this weather.
Today was a quiet day, my thoughts on my dear friend and big brother David Walton. He would have been 57 years old today if he had lived. I give thanks for the memories I have and rejoice he is in heaven, his suffering over. The pain is less, but it still hurts.
Last week, we looked at an apartment. It was an "Green Apartment" everything recycled. It took a few minutes for it to grow on us, but we came to really like it. It is dog friendly and has several doggie walk paths as well as parks to take the little guy.
It's small, yet cozy and welcoming. Once it passes inspection and we sign the lease, I shall post pictures.
But until then, we still live in a small mountain town, waiting to hear if this place will be ours or not.
I am so thankful to those who opened their home to us, but there is nothing like having a home of your own.