Name: Becky, aka "Becky"
Posts by Becky:
Great day our with the family. We celebrated Donnie’s birthday at the Odell Weeks park with Josh & Robin. Josh is our youngest son and Robin is his fiance. Aunt Carrie and Uncle Jeff came down from Columbia along with Grandma. Carrie and Jeff treated us to lunch at the Chinese buffet and my mom baked an awesome chocolate cake which we brought with us to the park to enjoy.
Finally some good weather and good health for Amy and Josh to get some good coverage on the roof. In the photos you will see that the best supervisor available is on the job Ms. Quivertail the senior lady is overseeing the project and reporting to me directly. She reports that all is going well and that by the end of the week we should have a new roof on our our home. Thank you again Mom (Susan-Adair Nelson) for helping us over this huge hurdle!
This year we spent the holiday with Josh and Robin at their house. It was a great day and Josh did an awesome job on the turkey!
Last night I heard that the EBT system went down and many were left with full carts of food in grocery stores unable to check out. I thought this was terrible and I thought others would think so too. I went out on the trending twitter thread #EBT and found to my sadness that most people were actually GLAD that the system went down and were saying some terrible things about the recipients of Food Stamps. I commented on FaceBook about how sickening this was and I left some comments on Twitter too. I stuck with that topic through the evening. My rant on Facebook earned me over 3K likes and over 500 shares, then I found another person who reached out to a family stuck at the register unable to use their card. This guy is a musician and instead of looking down on the person or being impatient that they were stuck in front of him in line trying to figure out what to do…he pays for their entire grocery bill. I wanted to share my Facebook post and his to show whoever reads by blog that there really are people who still care.
We have had a bad string of luck with cars and I think..I hope…it’s finally over. We came to Beech Island in 2004 to restart our lives after losing everything. We struggled and eventually in 2009 we managed to buy a decent ’95 Ford Ranger. By December 2010 a driver driving under the influence and on the wrong side of the road plowed into the truck at a high speed. My son and his friend were using the truck that night. My sons friend was driving. Thank the great spirits….neither was injured seriously but my truck was beyond repair. You can read more about that in The Last Charity Run for our Truck
The Ranger cost us $1300 and the insurance company gave us back what we paid since the accident was clearly the fault of the driver on the wrong side of the road. So we went looking for another truck with the funds we had in hand and we managed to find a ’94 Ford F150 in February 2011
This truck ate like it had a hole in the gas tank…we checked…it didn’t. It was just a huge gas hog. It cost Josh half his check without exaggeration, each week just to drive back and forth to work.
We had better income during 2011 and 2012 if you recall from my entry titled New Wheelchair coming soon and renovations are starting . We were able to finally look ahead. We could see this truck was draining our income so we took on payments for a more economical car that could be used everyday and planned to keep the truck for when I went into town because it’s much easier to haul rigid frame wheelchairs (they don’t fold up) in a truck. They are hard to break down and really messes your wheels up when you try cramming them into a trunk. Also…cars don’t haul hay, shavings, and lumber very well. so…
August 2011 We got the 2003 Mercury Sable. Better on gas but again…you get what you pay for. It needed engine work, then the tie rod needed to be replaced and shortly after the tie rod end was replaced the brakes died…master cylinder lost all the fluid in August 2012. It resulted in the car being unable to stop for a rapidly approaching intersection so a last minute action to take the car off the road…rather than plowing through the intersection resulted in the car going airborne over a large 10 foot drainage ditch and through a free standing brick wall sign right in front of my sons workplace. Later…after the car sat in my mothers back yard someone else decided they needed the tires and came in the night, jacked it up, and stole the tires then dropped it down onto the cinder blocks damaging the wheel mount….So this car was off the road a year after we signed the agreement to pay on it…we have one more year left to pay on it.
So now we were left with the F150 that by now isn’t only a gas hog, it has broken down several times, drive shaft, then steering box, then gear shift system, it was on the wrecker more than on the road and was costing us bill money at this point. Our income was reduced at the end of 2012 and we were not prepared for it. We were drowning in problems because we started a bunch of long and desperately needed renovation projects when our income was great in 2011 but by the end of 2012 everything came to a halt and now left incomplete which opened the door to more problems because we didn’t finish the work. Things were not looking good….then a ray of hope
Someone at the store my son worked at knew we had been putting money in the truck, knew about the car wreck, they had a little ranger and wanted our big truck for a work truck. He wanted to do an even trade so we traded out the F150 for a 1993 Ford Ranger. That was in February 2013…it came off the road by March 2013 for repairs. The truck was stalling while in motion and we discovered the master cylinder leaking and the brakes were not working right. After the nightmare of the mercury due to a master cylinder we were not taking any chances. It wasn’t safe to drive.
So….from March 2013 until today September 28 2013 we have had to depend on the use of my mothers car. Very complicated because we have 3 people all needed a vehicle and all needing to be in different places.
Finally we have the little ranger repaired, tagged, titled insured and finally on the road! Wish us luck, after the last few years….we need it!
A message from Brandon Stephenson: My son Brandon is 16 he went missing on Sunday the 8th 2013. He has hazel eyes dark blond hair he is 5’10 and has a tattoo on his calf in memory of his mom. He was wearing jeans and t-shirt and work boots when I last saw him. Please call me or message me I don’t care what time of day or night. 304-690-1360
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A lowlife thug crept into my mothers back yard during the night, jacked up our car that is in her back yard and stole it’s tires then dropped the car on the ground, on top of the cement blocks they brought with them for the job and ruined one of the wheel hubs and my front axle. It’s going to be real fun to have this car moved to my house now! The whole reason it was at my mothers to begin with is that it has been off the road for repair. My driveway is steep and heavily eroded making it very difficult for the tow truck to get it into my yard…now I don’t even know if we can get it onto a tow truck without more damage to it. Damn!! Will we EVER have a safe running vehicle??? I’m guessing not. This whole past year has been nothing but bad luck, one thing after the other without a break. This is what she looks like now… This post describes happier days and shows an image of her when things were looking good for us: http://rayhawkfam.com/new-wheelchair-coming-soon-and-renovations-are-starting/ Renovations have stalled we can’t afford it, our truck is a piece of crap and off the road, and our car is probably never going to see the road again and we just can’t afford to fix them and can’t afford to get replacements. The lawnmower we bought is off duty in need of repairs that we can’t afford.
Tomorrow will be better…today I’m just venting. I’m just tired of struggling.
Wow, I just realized it’s been a whole year since I have actually sat down to write a blog post. Of course I am always updating my status and taking pictures but I suddenly realized….I have been busy.
In late 2012 Microgiving was sold to another company named Donor Community. Donor Community was impressed with the level of member support I provided to the Microgiving community since 2008 and asked me to say on as the community administrator and continue to provide the same level of member support. I agreed. I have always been a very strong supporter of Microgiving which is simply the public giving small amounts to help a person reach a goal. It seems that Donor Community is pleased with my service. The CEO and IT left very nice recommendations on my Linked in page
Amy and I also help another company Domain Holdings and that really takes quite a bit of our time. They are pleased with our virtual assistant services and a few of the team members left nice recommendations on my Linked in page.
It’s been kind of a slow year. We haven’t been able to go anywhere or do anything exciting due to a string of unfortunate events that left us financially overburdened and without reliable transportation.
In August of last year the breaks failed on our Mercury the car my son drove back and forth to work. He wrecked in front of his workplace, a pretty bad wreck. He realized his brakes were not working and he was going about 40mph toward an intersection. He tried to steer left into the parking lot of his workplace at the intersection hoping the incline on the driveway would slow him down but he was going too fast to make that turn and jumped a 12 foot drainage ditch and went airborne into a brick wall sign. Thank goodness he was not seriously injured. The air bag did not deploy but he was wearing his seatbelt and only endured a wrenched shoulder. We are still making payments on the wreck.
The F150 pickup we had was costing us more in gas and repairs especially with Josh having to drive it to and from work. We thought we had a great deal for an even trade on a 93 Ford Ranger. Well….that didn’t go as well as we hoped. The truck was off the road within a few months and we haven’t been able to scrape up enough money to fix it.
The place where Josh worked was bought by another person and the employees had their hours seriously cut to the point where a weekly paycheck wasn’t even enough to cover the gas it took to go back and forth to work let alone even thinking about paying rent, electricity and water. Josh became another unemployed person in South Carolina.
Donnie our oldest son had the bad luck of stepping on a nail while helping out with some yard work and he developed a terrible infection that required hospitalization with IV therapy. He can’t stand being away from home so that was really rough for him. Amy and I went up there daily and spent most of our time with him. He was spoiled rotten for those 7 days and got to have all his favorite restaurant foods and Starbucks coffee. Luckily within 7 days the infection was under control and could be finished off with oral medications at home.
There are always rays of sunshine though….You can concentrate on the bad or you can concentrate on the good. We have had a rough year but I like to write about the good stuff so here are the wonderful rays of sunshine.
Josh had a job working as a cashier at a gas station, the one mentioned above in the paragraph about the wreck. He had always wanted a boat, he enjoys fishing and just being out on the water. He also needs to start and build his credit for the future. Here is Josh after securing a loan to get his boat. The boat has been out on the water a few times. Josh took his brother out once. But one time out on the water the fuel pump quit and the guys had to swim for shore and pull the boat in with a rope. Luckily it’s fixable and sometime soon it will be on the water again.
There is always a way to have fun even if you can’t afford to go places.
We were in the parking lot at Kroger having a very serious discussion which was emotionally draining. All of a sudden Amy jumps up, opens the door, starts running toward the entrance of the store telling me to get my camera. I quickly grab my cell, hop in my wheelchair and race for the store rolling all over till I find her….she had found Gandalf and wanted a photo taken with him. The discussion we were having….forgotten, that could be saved for another time.
These little moments…these are the ones that add up and make all the difference in the world.
I can’t forget the mothers day when tricked my mom and managed to pull off a mothers day surprise for her.
Mothers day…we took pains to pull off a surprise for my mom. She wanted a back yard swing. We bought the swing and set it up at home and told her to meet us at the restaurant in Aiken. We had to stop for gas and there was no sense in her waiting….when really….we stayed on a dirt road just out of sight till she left then we pulled into her place when she was out of sight and dropped off the swing. We then met her at the restaurant
I love when Amy spins yarn, knits or crochets when we go out to coffee. Again…little moments that I cherish
My favorite moment…Amy did the most wonderful things to make my 2012 birthday special. I waited out on the patio while she went inside to get us some Starbucks. When she came outside she came with a birthday brownie with a candle in it to celebrate my birthday.
My sister had a wonderful things happen in her life, she was married on March 1 2013. Donnie our oldest son gave her hand to Jeff and Joshua our youngest son stood as Jeff’s best man. Thankfully Donnie had just got out of the hospital and was well enough to give away the bride.
While we haven’t been able to do much this year, it’s the little things that count. Amy and I were going out to dinner and happened to see a turtle rescue displaying his turtles so we got a few pics and left a donation
Donnie had what he calls the perfect birthday party on April 6 2013. We went to grandma’s house where Amy fired up a grill and cooked him his favorite foods, hot dogs and hamburgers, my mom baked a cake and made some potato and pasta salads
Mothers day 2013 Amy and had a nice outdoor BBQ Brats and Beer and our son Donnie came outside to eat with us.
Little moments….that is what it’s all about. With vehicles broken down we were not able to celebrate our anniversary by going camping like we usually do. We haven’t been able to attend any local charity or SCA events. We haven’t been able to do much of anything through 2012 and 2013 but we are a tight family filled with love and we make those little moments count.
I was pleasantly surprised when the SVP of the brokerage team where Amy and I help out presented me with a Starbucks gift card of $100 in appreciation of our assistance. For my birthday a person from a forum I used to belong to remember me with a $10 gift card and the same SVP who gave me the gift card purchased two domain names for me with a 5 year registration each. beckyraymond.com and rayhawkclan.com. These things mean the world to me and remind me that though I don’t have much to offer, what I do have to offer makes a difference to people.
This brings us to the current day. Amy is out of the state right now. Sadly her grandmother passed away and Amy needed to return home to be with her family during this time. I had fortunate experience of meeting Amy’s grandmother and I realize the world has lost a strong woman who is loved dearly by her family. May Hulda Madsen rest in peace and my wishes are with the family as they heal.
Till next time….
I don’t know any living being upon the earth who can with any level of honesty on their tongue ever say that I was selfish or that I didn’t give literally the shoes off my feet or my last dollar, or share my home, car, food, even my electricity…which got me evicted…with someone who needed help.