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There are worse conditions than cancer. I'll leave it up to each of you to fill in the blank with your own nominations, since what "worse" means is undoubtedly idiosyncratic. Recently, most diagnoses of cancer do not carry automatic death sentences, and most people with cancer don't find themselves stigmatized or ostracized because of their diagnosis.

In other words, things may be better for many people newly diagnosed with cancer here, in the U.S., in the early 21st century, than they were 100 years ago. But there again, I refrain from absolutes, because we can all appreciate that for too many people still, a cancer diagnosis might as well be a terminal one--if lack of medical insurance means no way to get care, of if other circumstances interfere with getting culturally sensitive and appropriate care. We are far from living in a society that supports all of us equally.

Even if all the stars are aligned, however, and you are in a relatively fortunate place--with people who care close to you, health providers who can help you, and money to keep you going--a diagnosis of cancer can be a kick in the solar plexus. Breathtaking, that is, and not in a good way.

Over the past few years, we've published a few diaries as part of the Monday Night Cancer Club series that are aimed to offer advice and support to people who are at the very start of learning how to deal with cancer. Here are a few:

A Provisional Guide to Cancer Support Groups

Getting Financial Help with Cancer Treatment: Part I, Negotiation

What Do You Know Now That You Wish You Had Known Then?

Monday Night Cancer Club: "I promise you. I will not let you go."

There are many more--some of them very personal, others more analytical. If you're new here (or even if you're not), please do feel free to take a look at the list, here.You may find one that you've missed--or you may realize that there's a topic missing that you, yourself, would love to address. (That's my subtle way this week of inviting more guest diarists.)

But the real strength of every MNCC diary comes from the comment threads, in which so many of us have come forward to offer sustenance and encouragement to each other.

Some MNCC regulars have been with us all along, and still chime in nearly every week. Others have recovered well, and they have little interest now in frequenting the series. Yet others, sadly, have died. And, of course, there are still new arrivals, since despite advances in some directions, there have been setbacks in others.

So, if you are new, please feel free to ask questions, about anything you like. Every week is also an Open Thread. If you're a long-timer, feel free to weigh in. This applies to people with cancer and to caregivers alike, let me remind you. But all are quite welcome. We're a hospitable group.

Monday Night Cancer Club is a Daily Kos group focused on dealing with cancer, primarily for cancer survivors and caregivers, though clinicians, researchers, and others with a special interest are also welcome. Volunteer diarists post Monday evenings between 7:30-8:30 PM ET on topics related to living with cancer, which is very broadly defined to include physical, spiritual, emotional and cognitive aspects. Mindful of the controversies endemic to cancer prevention and treatment, we ask that both diarists and commenters keep an open mind regarding strategies for surviving cancer, whether based in traditional, Eastern, Western, allopathic or other medical practices. This is a club no one wants to join, in truth, and compassion will help us make it through the challenge together.
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Motor City Kossacks Banner

A bit of a catch-all diary tonight. First, the DIA excursion for the Rivera/Kahlo exhibit; second, a demonstration about Aura Rosser and fundraiser for her family; third, an online calendar for activism in Detroit.

DIA Exhibit
Our DIA meetup will be SUNDAY, JUNE 7 [thanks, mideedah, for catching the error!] Because I've just learned I have a family obligation late that afternoon, I'm picking a time convenient for me as well: start time at 1:30 PM. That's late enough to allow folks to grab a quick lunch/brunch ahead of time if they're interested, and early enough to let me and my DH get out of there no later than 4:00. Most people take 90 minutes to go through the tour. I wouldn't be surprised if we take longer.

One more option to consider: an introductory presentation, 30 minutes long, just for our group, if we're so inclined. It would be $50 for however many of us take part. (Remember, our group must have at least 15 people to qualify for the reduced rate of $16.00/ticket.) I'm not especially interested myself but could be persuaded otherwise. There is an audio tour to accompany the exhibit which (iirc) is free with admission.

So, who's in? We will want to reserve our spot rather soon now. Once we buy the tickets, everyone who has signed up will be honor-bound to reimburse whoever fronts the money (or find a replacement to pay).
Here's my YES list so far:

1. DoReMI
2. mideedah
3. mideedah guest
4. 2thanks
5. peregrine kate
6. ProvokingMeaning
7. gregsullmich

We're almost halfway to our minimum! Please let us know in the comments or send me a Kosmail if you want to join us.

Aura Rosser memorial march and fundraiser

Some of you may recall what befell Aura Rosser, a 40-year-old black mother of three and resident of Ann Arbor, last November. She was killed by an Ann Arbor policeman who was responding to a domestic violence call made by her boyfriend. No charges were brought against David Ried, the officer who shot her.
This Friday, May 1st, she will be remembered with a rally and march starting at 6:00 PM in downtown Ann Arbor--Liberty Plaza, aka Aura Rosser Plaza, 225 E. Liberty Street.
From 7-11 PM, a benefit will take place at the Neutral Zone--B Side, 310 E. Washington. Sliding scale admission, $5-10, but no one will be turned away.

Online calendar for all progressive activity in Detroit: Activate313

Take a look at this ingenious, community-run online calendar of events. A friend of mine started it, and he would love to have as many people and organizations participate as possible. There's a lot going on in our metro area--maybe there's something you'd like to do, or publicize.

As always, this is an Open Thread.

Discuss

Many of you know Chitown Kev, a Kossack who is (among other distinctions) an administrator of Black Kos and Milk Men and Women. He is an astute observer, an effective analyst, and a fine writer whose impact here at Daily Kos is much greater than his relatively limited diary output to date would suggest. If you're not already aware of his work, I'd recommend you take a look at any of his diaries. Two of his most recent are representative of his thoughtfulness and breadth of knowledge, including this one, under the auspices of Black Kos, with a Note on Black Mental Health, or this one, on the continuing relevance of Frederick Douglass. As a black, gay, working-class man with a deep interest in and knowledge of American history in general and African-American culture in particular, Chitown Kev brings an important and valuable perspective to our community. I believe we would all benefit from his expertise and passion if he had the tools to enable more regular diaries and other contributions.

Thus, I am honored to have the opportunity to make this request of our sister and brother Kossacks on behalf of Chitown Kev: namely, enough funds for him to obtain a reliable laptop with basic software and connectivity, sufficient for him to research, compose, and write diaries from anywhere. We estimate that about $500 should do.

Your rec, tip, tweet, and share would help! And so would a donation. If you can, please send funds in any amount to this PayPal account: nevfai@optonline.net (Note that it is NOT an account for Chitown Kev, but for his friend, a well-known Kossack who is known to me personally.)
Here he is, in his own words, explaining the request:
I love being a part of the community here at The Great Orange Satan.  I consider the Daily Kos community thingie we have here vital to my always ongoing intellectual, emotional, mental, and spiritual development.

Simply put, I consider Daily Kos to be a home.

As a rule, I read and comment on computers at the public library. I recently purchased a cheap smartphone, so I am able to read and occasionally comment here at all hours of the day.  The posting of diaries (which usually require some research) and more involved commentary, though, must be done at the library during open hours.

I love being a contributor to this community and I want to contribute and to learn so much more from y’all.

A Kossack asked me, a couple of weeks ago, would I be willing to allow a fundraiser to be held in order for me to get a computer.

I agreed but only under the understanding that I will consider this computer to be an investment of the Daily Kos community in myself; an investment on which Daily Kos will receive a return. I will insist on that and will not chafe if called out on it.

We know that this community is caring and resourceful. We also trust that people will respond as they can to this request: whether it's with reccs, tips, shares, or tweets; whether it's with donations; whether it's with an offer of a used but still reliable laptop. Any and all possibilities are seriously welcome and appreciated.

Thank you all so much for your support!

Your rec, tip, tweet, and share would help! And so would a donation. If you can, please send funds in any amount to this PayPal account: nevfai@optonline.net (Note that it is NOT an account for Chitown Kev, but for his friend, a well-known Kossack who is known to me personally.)
 
Discuss

Motor City Kossacks Banner

Hey hey! For once, I actually have photos to post from a demo I attended! I hope you're as impressed as I am. ;)

Simple and to the point
The "Fight for $15" Demo last Wednesday, Tax Day, was very impressive and well-attended. Special thanks go to one of our own Motor City Kossacks, gregsullmich, who was very involved with the organizing for the event.
gregsullmich, clearly in his element
This demonstration was part of a nationwide effort to draw attention to the need for a higher minimum wage--an idea whose time has come.

I was happy to run into many of my union brothers and sisters at the event, including a local AFT activist who I met at Netroots Nation 14, of all things. Unfortunately, I did not ever find mideedah, who was there with many of her SEIU colleagues, though we traded texts afterwards. That's a good indication of how many people were there, not being able to find each other in the crowd.

The basic message is straightforward. With higher wages, we all do better. It was encouraging and uplifting to see so many people gather for the sake of promoting solidarity and economic justice.

Because it matters and we are worth it.
That's one part of the "good" in the diary title. I don't have a "bad" to mention at the moment. I do, however, have an "ugly" to reference briefly. That would be the preposterous plan by the city leaders, including Mayor Duggan, to recommence water shutoffs throughout Detroit beginning in May.

Curt Guyette, one of the best and most reliable reporters covering this story now for many months, has a recent update: "With Detroit's Water Payment Plan a Massive Failure Mayor Duggan Plans Changes."

From that report:

According to the most recent numbers provided by Detroit’s Department of Water and Sewerage, 24,743 residential customers are enrolled in a payment plan. Of that number, 24,450 are at least 60 days past due on their payments—meaning that their homes are in danger of losing water service once the city resumes shutoffs.

Stated another way, only 300 of the 24,743 customers put on the mayor’s payment plan were able to keep up with their payments and ensure their water will keep flowing.

“You didn’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure out what the outcome would be,” said Maureen Taylor, chair of the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization. “If people are already unable to pay their bills, how could you expect them to keep up if you add past-due payments on top of that? The plan was fundamentally flawed from the beginning, and we said that.”

Despite all evidence from the beginning pointing to just this sort of failure, the mayor persists in rejecting an affordability plan. This position is reflected in a recent Detroit Free Press article about the issue:
Mayor Mike Duggan has remained adamant that water service cannot be provided for free without raising rates for all, and that the city has no way to create a system that charges for water based on household income, an idea advocates and some city officials have urged his administration to consider.

The city has tried to make it easier for residents to get on payment plans to get out of shutoff status. Water customers can do so by paying as little as 10% of their overdue bill on top of their regular monthly bill.

But that model of assistance is flawed....

"These assistance plans are Band-Aids. They are not a solution," said Lynna Kaucheck, a senior organizer with Food & Water Watch who has closely monitored shutoffs in Detroit. "If you can't afford to be on the assistance plan, it doesn't matter if you know about it."

There's much more to be said about this looming disaster, on top of many others (the collapse of Detroit Public Schools and the boom in foreclosures expected this year, to name only two). But I can tolerate posting only so much at a time. Please feel free to post your own input on this crisis in the comments, and let me know as well if you'd like to cover some aspect of the subject in an upcoming diary.

Below the orange wave, please join me for a brief review of our plan for a group outing to the DIA to see the Diego Rivera/Frida Kahlo exhibit.

Continue Reading

Mon Apr 20, 2015 at 06:20 PM PDT

The Cancer Closet

by peregrine kate

I do enjoy Susan Gubar's essays on living with advanced, metastatic cancer--not because she's ill, of course, but because she's so fierce about living as well as she can regardless.

Her latest is a reflection on what it means to disclose (or not) one's status as a person with cancer, a decision that is more difficult and less voluntary for some of us than others.  

At this point, I am just about as "well" as I was before my cancer diagnosis. Perhaps even better, since no doubt the cancerous tumor was growing for some time before it made its presence impossible to ignore. I'm not thin; I'm no longer bald; I don't have any obvious permanent effects.

But, of course, the damage from the disease and its treatments still persists, both physically and emotionally. That means I frequently must decide about disclosure. Should I share my experiences of serious, life-threatening illness or not? And if so, to what extent should I discuss it, and for whose benefit am I doing so anyway?

Sometimes I decide to do so for myself, because I'm interested in noting a landmark event or date, and share the news with others. There was nothing for my beautician to gain, necessarily, when I had my first haircut post-chemo this winter, just after my fourth anniversary of surgery. My explanation of my delight in my new look, however, seemed worthwhile at the time, and not inordinately self-centered. I figure it's always encouraging for people to know of cancer survivors who are doing well, just in case they have questions.

Among my friends, all of whom do know fairly accurately what I went through to recover, my experience can serve as a useful resource. I'm happy to provide referrals and recommendations, albeit always with the caveat that no two people, and their treatments, will be the same.

Beyond that--maybe not so much. I tend to be rather reserved, so to fly under the radar in terms of cancer status suits my habits better than not. I am more than a little thankful to have avoided, so far, any major impact on my appearance. And now, I'm even more grateful not to have reason to bring it up except on the rare occasion it's truly relevant.

How about you? Do you have the luxury of choosing whether to disclose or not? Do you find it generally positive, negative, or something in between when you tell someone now for the first time? Any advice you'd like to share?

And please remember, as usual, this is an Open Thread.

Monday Night Cancer Club is a Daily Kos group focused on dealing with cancer, primarily for cancer survivors and caregivers, though clinicians, researchers, and others with a special interest are also welcome. Volunteer diarists post Monday evenings between 7:30-8:30 PM ET on topics related to living with cancer, which is very broadly defined to include physical, spiritual, emotional and cognitive aspects. Mindful of the controversies endemic to cancer prevention and treatment, we ask that both diarists and commenters keep an open mind regarding strategies for surviving cancer, whether based in traditional, Eastern, Western, allopathic or other medical practices. This is a club no one wants to join, in truth, and compassion will help us make it through the challenge together.
Discuss

Motor City Kossacks Banner

Before I leave for the "Fight for $15" demonstration in midtown Detroit, I wanted to announce a call for interest in a group MCK outing to see the Rivera/Kahlo exhibit at the DIA. It's here till mid-July, but we figure that pressure on tickets, especially weekends, will become heavy by mid-June.

So what say you to a Sunday afternoon rendezvous at the DIA? Tickets per-person for a weekend tour--as long as we have 15 in a group--are $16. We have a Motor City Kossack who is willing to front the money, but everyone taking part MUST commit to the expenditure, obviously. Let's aim to have a date set and group assembled by two weeks from tonight. By the way, non-Kossacks are of course welcome to join us for the event.

Take a look at the DIA link to the exhibit here. Rumor has it that a group tour might have special elements not part of the ordinary walk-through. I've provided a few choices in a poll below. Please indicate your top preference, plus your other feedback, in the comments.

I'm sorry to post this on the run. I'm even sorrier not to have posted much of substance about the last few weeks and months of political news, but life intervened. I promise to post asap a photo diary report on our last meet-up, last Saturday, at Sweet Potato Sensations in Detroit. It was small but very lively.

Of course, as always, this is also an Open Thread. Please post away....

Poll

What date would you prefer for a Rivera/Kahlo group tour?

0%0 votes
0%0 votes
0%0 votes
100%1 votes

| 1 votes | Vote | Results

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Motor City Kossacks Banner

What:   $15, Full Time and a Union for All Workers
              Rally and March

When:    5 p.m. Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Where:   Come together at the Wayne State University Parking Lot #11, Cass and Antoinette. We'll join marchers from all over to demonstrate at the McDonald's on Woodward in Midtown and other nearby sites.

Why: Direct action is one necessary component of getting workers the wages we need. Come join us! It's fun to take to the streets!

Continue Reading

Motor City Kossacks Banner

My thanks to DoReMI for hosting a couple of weeks back, when I was otherwise occupied. The personal matter that interfered with my participation back then was major: my father died on Tuesday, March 24th. He was 94 and in very poor health, so it wasn't entirely unexpected. But it was sudden, in the end, and it was still sad.

I'm just now emerging from the immediate aftermath. His funeral was last Thursday the 2nd, and I had key duties to perform in relation to it. Fortunately, we had some excellent family time with all the children and all the grandchildren but one being able to attend the service, and with their presence it was a healing time. Still sad, especially for my mother, who is losing her husband of--wait for it--73 years. Astounding, isn't it?

Anyway, I will be sorting all of this out for some time to come, no doubt. That doesn't mean the same degree of absence, of course--and besides, I'm glad to have the opportunity now to go to a meet-up!

Drum roll please....

Motor City Kossacks Spring Meet-up
When: Saturday, April 11, 5:00-7:00 PM
Where: Sweet Potato Sensations
17337 Lahser Rd. Detroit 313-532-7996
As was pointed out in a previous diary and a couple of comments, Sweet Potato Sensations is quite the hit. They have a menu centered around sweet potatoes, and I hear their sw pie is fabulous--but there are other things to eat as well.

So, let's have a lovely Kossack crew this Saturday!

From what I understand, these are the yeses and maybees. Please pipe up if I've misplaced you, or if you need to be on the list! The cafe folks just told me they can accommodate a bunch of people at once.

YES:
1. DoReMI
2. Mideedah
3. BFSkinner
4. peregrine kate

MAYBE:
1. dconrad
2. LakeSuperior
3. 2thanks

I hope you'll excuse this rather rudimentary diary. I am definitely NOT back up to speed.

But let me add one more event FYI for this Saturday. I believe everyone here will be familiar with the terrible disappearance of the 43 Mexican students from their homes and families last September. This Saturday, April 11, a delegation of protestors (including some parents) who still seek answers about the fate of their children and classmates will be in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti. The #Caravana43 members are making this stop as part of a national tour to raise awareness and put more pressure on the Mexican government, which so far has not been willing to devote the time and attention necessary to this tragedy (let alone to the thousands of other desaparacid@s of the past several years).

Please visit this link--Facebook page--for more details. At the moment, I myself plan to attend the rally in Ann Arbor and participate in the walk from Ann Arbor to Ypsi. I'd love to have some Kossack company. Let me know if the FB link doesn't work for you.

And as always, this diary is an Open Thread. Looking forward to hearing from you....

Discuss

Our main topic for tonight is how to make sure you get the sleep you need to stay (or get) well. Some time ago, I wrote about Cancer-Related Fatigue, a consequence of cancer and its treatments that has never really gone away for me. We had a lovely dialogue about how to deal with CRF, but we didn't talk much about sleep itself, and how to facilitate a good sleep regime. Hence the revised focus for tonight.

I'm happy to report that to some degree my fatigue may be lessening, which may be the result of me going off of my hormone therapy last October. But I still do need what seems to me to be an inordinate amount of sleep. Unless I get eight solid hours at night, I'm a wreck the next day. And even if I do get my eight, I still need a good nap.

When I do get that good night's sleep, I awake in the morning feeling rested and ready to get up. What a concept, right? Otherwise, I get up because I must, not because I feel ready to face my day's responsibilities.

My younger daughter has suffered for years with irregular and unpredictable sleep. It's a torment not to get good sleep, so we've investigated a lot of options. That means I do have a large repertoire of techniques to use to improve my sleep, including but not limited to:
* Starting to get to bed at 10 PM, so as to be able to sleep in synch with the body's circadian rhythms
* Eating my largest meal in mid-day, not late
* Drinking a warm, soothing tea such as chamomile before bed
* Avoiding screen time for an hour or so before getting ready for bed, to help quiet the mind

But do I actually FOLLOW these suggestions? Ha! Not nearly as often I would like. After all, I'm often here these Monday evenings till midnight or later, which means I'm not complying with the first and last points above (at least). Yet on those rare days when I do awake feeling refreshed, it feels so good I want to do it more often. I just find it terribly difficult to break the bad habits of many years' duration. Know what I mean?

I've just had the reassurance of another clean CT scan (well, with the exception of my chest CT, which hadn't been read by the end of the day) so I feel renewed enthusiasm for my self-care routines, including good sleep hygiene. That might mean a couple of things for our scheduling here at the MNCC, or at least for the length of my first-round participation.

Please join me for more on this topic, plus some meta, after the jump.

Continue Reading
Help keep them together in their happy home. (Charlie and Abby, top to bottom)
Please help our sister Kossack, snoopydawg, and her two beloved dogs, Abby and Charlie, stay in their home. She needs to make a mortgage payment of $780 this coming Friday 3/20 to avoid triggering foreclosure.

We need your Recs, your Tips, your Republishings to special DKos groups, your Comments in Community and Open Thread diaries, your Shares, and your Donations to make this possible for her. Snoopydawg has just put up a GoFundMe page, which you can see HERE. Donations are welcome there—but she gets to keep a little more of the money you send her if you donate via PayPal.

IMPORTANT: For you FBers, we need help circulating the GoFundMe page too! If you can Share this link -- http://www.gofundme.com/... -- we would be especially grateful.

Here is snoopydawg's PayPal information: snoopydawg@earthlink.net

In two previous diaries, FloridaSNMOM (here) and I (here) reviewed snoopydawg’s predicament. Bottom line: she is permanently disabled from a workplace injury; she is awaiting an SSI determination that should go her way; she’s exhausted her savings trying to keep herself and her darling dogs safe and healthy for the past four years of unemployment. Juggling bills with no income for the past few months has meant she put food and her dogs’ medicine before her mortgage. I think many of us can understand how awful that choice is.

[Some clarification about the GoFundMe page for snoopydawg: If you do visit it, you'll see that she is asking for significantly more money there. Two reasons: first, it's a longer-term effort over there, easier to continue to push than a diary here; second, it's a much larger potential audience, with the corresponding possibility of bringing in that larger sum over time. For us here today at DKos, what's at stake is the house payment of $780, due by 3/20 to prevent foreclosure.]

snoopydawg has had a tough row to hoe for a decade now. In her words:

I bought my house in 2004. I kept working for 8 months after my injury [in 2005] until I could hardly walk and that's when my doctor took me off work since it was making me worse. Then they kept denying sending me to a surgeon for over 2 years who said that I needed surgery. Then it was back and forth to their doctors who said nothing was wrong. Then  my doctor would send me to the doctor she chose who said that I needed surgery. It took over 5 years after I was injured until I had surgery. By then the damage was permanent. I was on work comp for 6 years.  After I exhausted work comp and my savings, and IRA, I got a job but was let go after 6 months because I missed too many days because of my pain.
Like all of us who have to cope with disability and job loss, snoopydawg would rather be healthy and working:
I was an ophthalmic photographer and loved my job. I took photos of the veins in the back of the eye and I self taught myself to learn about ophthalmology. And I miss it.
This is what snoopydawg used to photograph when she was working. No, it's not the moon; it's the inside of a human eye.
A universe within
Speaking of photos and eyes, let's have some more eye candy so you can get a better view of those who are important to snoopydawg.

First, there's Abby, her lab, who clearly loves the water:

In her favorite element!

And then there is Charlie, her sweet beagle, who feels rather differently about water:

Why won't Abby get out of there? she wonders.
snoopydawg's wonderful Aunt Kay with a couple of pups
Besides her dogs, snoopydawg has few people to count on in her life. The one reliable relative she has is her aunt Kay, who does what she can to help out her niece.

I sincerely hope we can help snoopydawg out with this short-term pressing goal. She is close to stabilizing her situation, but she is not there quite yet. If we can get her some breathing room right now, then she can work on meeting the fundraising goal she set at the GoFundMe page. But that’s a campaign for another day—unless we have some very generous donors!

We thank you all very, very much for whatever you can do to help. If you can't donate yourself, you can still help spread the word! (For that matter, if you CAN donate, then sharing that information is even more powerful. ;) Every rec, tip, tweet, share, and donation makes a difference.

Here is snoopydawg's PayPal information: snoopydawg@earthlink.net
Here is the link to snoopydawg's GoFundMe page -- http://www.gofundme.com/... -- for which every FB share will be a huge help too.

Please Kosmail me for snoopydawg's name and snailmail address if you prefer to send her a check or money order.

Kossacks are the best! Please help snoopydawg stay in her house with her beloved dogs, Abby and Charlie.

UPDATE 4:12 PM EDT: THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO HELPED TODAY!! Snoopydawg just told me that the goal HAS BEEN MET. YOU are the BEST!! ::Mwah:: to you all!
Discuss

Motor City Kossacks Banner
And you know, folks, that's what it is tonight. An Open Thread.

I will repeat my suggestions for meet-ups during the spring and into the summer, but that's all I can provide for you this evening. There's plenty of news in Michigan; I just don't have the time to recap it today. My apologies!

At long last, we have a day and time for our March meet-up: Saturday, March 28, at 5:00 PM, at Taqueria Mi Pueblo ( 7278 Dix Rd, Detroit, 48209; 313-841-3315). Should be good, right? Let me know in the comments if you can attend.
We have a suggestion from 2thanks for an April meet-up: Sweet Potato Sensations, in Northwest Detroit (on Lahser, across from the Redford Theater). Here's their FB page.This restaurant is starting to create a lot of buzz, so it might be a great place for us to check out. Not too inconvenient for us west-siders who are outside of the city, too.

Lastly, for now, let's keep in mind the special exhibit at the DIA: Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in Detroit. The exhibit opens on March 15th and closes on July 12th, so I'll be flogging it pretty regularly till we decide on a time to go together. ;)

OK, I will suggest another theme for us tonight: any harbingers of spring by you? This afternoon, I heard a male cardinal's territory song. That was exciting! And somehow (I don't know how, since it's still snowy and icy where I am) the birds have not been besieging my feeders so much this week. So there is hope for a turn of seasons, soon.

I'm going to put up a poll, too, re Daylight Savings Time, due to reappear this Sunday. My vote: LOATHE it. Wish we could just stay on it all year round.

All right, now the floor is yours!

Poll

Daylight Savings Time:

9%1 votes
18%2 votes
18%2 votes
54%6 votes
0%0 votes

| 11 votes | Vote | Results

Discuss

In mid-February, FloridaSNMOM posted an appeal on behalf of our longtime sister Kossack, snoopydawg. That diary did have some success, raising $500 for which snoopydawg is extremely grateful. Her two dogs (the closest family she has right now) got the vet care they needed, she paid off an old past-due water bill, and she paid off her auto mechanic who was willing to take payments over time.

But the biggest need--about $2500 to bring her mortgage up to date, to avoid foreclosure proceedings that are set to begin on the 18th of this month--is not yet met. Thus this diary.

Here is snoopydawg's PayPal information: snoopydawg@earthlink.net
Please Kosmail me for her name and snailmail address if you prefer to send a check or money order.
There's no denying that snoopydawg has a tough row to hoe. She's been disabled for several years now, stemming from a workplace injury over ten years ago. But her Workers' Comp benefits ran out after a few years, apart from a bit of help she still gets for medical treatment. Not surprisingly, given her injuries, she's been basically unemployed, living on savings, sale of almost all of her assets, and a little bit of help from an aunt, for the past four years.

This lack of recent work means that she cannot qualify for SSDI, but must survive on SSI benefits once they are approved. (More about that below.) As you may already know, SSI benefits are quite low, and one cannot have much besides a house and an inexpensive car to be able to meet the means test as it is.

But, through all these trials, snoopydawg has been able to hold on to her house. That's no small accomplishment, and she's doing the very best she can to make her budget work from this point forward on the SSI benefit she expects to be awarded soon. By the way, though there are no guarantees, her application is solid enough that her state of Utah has granted her a small amount of money to help tide her over until her benefits start. Once those benefits do start, she will be able to move forward on renegotiating her mortgage, and take other steps to safeguard her house and dogs.

So, that's how she got to where she is today. In a better, more mutually-supportive society, we wouldn't have to make a request like this. But we don't have a society like that, and so it remains up to us to help each other when we can.

The current request is for $2500. $2379 will go for her overdue mortgage payments, bringing her up-to-date and buying her more time to take her next steps, and $121 for the next three months of medications for her dog Charlie, who was just diagnosed with Addison's disease. (I didn't know that dogs could get that, but unfortunately they can.)

I think we can do this for snoopydawg. She's been a long-time Kossack, approaching ten years on the site, and she doesn't really have anyone else to ask. Unfortunately, her mother is very ill, and snoopydawg can't even visit her now due to a hostile step-father. She has plenty of heartache and stress to handle; we can all make a huge, positive difference in her life by pitching in a little bit, or a lot, right now.

We thank you all very, very much for whatever you can do to help. Every rec, tip, tweet, share, and donation makes a difference.

Here is snoopydawg's PayPal information: snoopydawg@earthlink.net
Please Kosmail me for her name and snailmail address if you prefer to send a check or money order.
Kossacks are the best! Please help snoopydawg stay in her house with her beloved dogs.
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