Happy House Hunting – House #2­ – 15005 Cherrywood Dr., Laurel, MD 20707

Happy House Hunting – House #2­ – 15005 Cherrywood Dr., Laurel, MD 20707

We pulled up to the impatient looking real estate agent adorned with the sign behind her that read “For Rent, Please Call…” We joked that our fifteen minute lateness would immediately cause her to assume the rumored CPT is in fact true about African Americans. We broke the ice immediately by jumping out of the truck with nothing but warm hellos and reasons of traffic being our cause. Acknowledging her irritated demeanor, we quickly aimed to dispel the myth with overwhelming apologies for the traffic .

She explained that the extra fifteen minutes had cut into viewing the second house we’d planned and my husband in understanding, once again, explained that we had just run into a little traffic. She led us up the outside staircase and we turned our attention to the living room that foyer-ed the front. “Is this a two-level?” my husband inquired. “No, it has a basement,” she kindly replied. As we walked through the kitchen the realtor admitted that she hadn’t been in the basement having no idea what it looked like. I chimed in with the possibility that the basement may not be finished. We came upon the deck which was a nice size but was literally adjourned to the neighboring deck leaving little to no room for outside privacy.

We were surprised to walk down the steps to what we thought would be a basement space but instead found nothing more than the space to fit the washer and dryer that inhabited it. A back door opened to a small half sized patio covered with unkempt weeds.
My husband verified the rent as being $1850 which I though was good for the size and location. The Master Bedroom has it’s own bathroom which is a HUGE plus for my husband and a his and her closet which is a HUGE plus for me. I liked that they had a supplementary amount of closet space not only in the bedrooms but aligning the hallway.

When asked was the house ready to go the realtor responded with a definite yes informing that it has been on the market since May. I thought the house was a catch for the asking rent and was interested in why no one had snatched it up yet. She ignored my surprise and told us that the application fee was $25 per applicant while realizing as she looked at her folder that the house wasn’t $1850 but instead $1950 which made a lot more since to me.
Like any town home the quarters were so close that when you looked out of the Master’s bedroom window you would see the exact clone of bush fronts and similar houses across the way. Neither my husband nor I responded as we looked out the window and when I asked how he liked it he remained silent. I broke the still and almost awkward silence by complimenting the cleanliness of the carpet comparing it to the hideous one we’d seen prior. The walls were freshly coated and it was clear that effort had been put into a new home look.
I can’t help but to wonder however, with the quarters seemingly closer than normal, about the night life, the neighbors, and how many children and teenagers play in the narrow, private, reserved parking lot. I know from experience that a neighbor playing loud music from the home across the way would be a disturbance if done on a daily basis. If a car blasted loud music every night I am not confident that the home would be soundproof enough to shelter me from outside disturbances.
A plus for the Living Room area is that despite it’s small size it didn’t have a shortage of sockets and leaves more than enough option to set up electronics however the tenants desire. We coordinated our schedules so that we could meet up to view the second home that we would miss out on due to our tardiness.  The realtor wasn’t sure whether the next house is vacant but an appointment was made after double checking with the necessary party. Our happy hunting therefore is to be continued….

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Happy House Hunting – House #1, 3411 Memphis Lane, Bowie, MD

Happy House Hunting – House #1, 3411 Memphis Lane, Bowie, MD

I walked nervously to the door with the sound of sirens in the background. My husband introduced us all, three children and myself. The camera caught the realtor off guard and we laughed when she said that she needed me to capture her good side. She made a point to let us know right away that there was no washer and dryer asking whether we’d already owned one or would we need to get one. We answered that we would need to get one but I knew instantly that my husband and I were turned off with that information no matter how professional we remained.

We continued with the viewing and the realtor asked me was I from the area as she jotted notes into her pad. The size of the two car garage was impressive and probably the biggest space of the house, we would soon find out. “What’s this door?” I asked. We opened the side door that led to an asphalt part that could be planned out as a basketball court for the boys. We continued to walk into the quaint backyard that would serve as easy maintenance for my husband if we chose this as our temporary dwelling. I couldn’t however figure out why hoses and cords were hanging from the windows in the back of the house. Coolly, one cord indicated that they had already installed Fios. That’s definitely a plus, but a hose that hung out from the back was strange considering that water was dripping from it and it appeared that the last tenants had taken the washer and dryer unit with them. Why was it still on? These were close quarters and the short steel fence didn’t leave any room for privacy from the adjourning yards.

The downstairs bathroom shower head looked old and rusted but I’m sure nothing a good scrubbing couldn’t fix. We retreated to the living room in which I suggested the carpet be replaced or cleaned. I would think that it only be fair for an asking rental price of $2100/month. The caped in dirt was unbelievably noticeable but it was a nice sized living room, enough to fit the furniture and television and conjugate comfortably with family and friends. The same ugly carpet snugged the steps as we walked upstairs and directly above them was the entrance to the half sized bathroom in which the kids had already warned us about. This mini bathroom would be shared between the two rooms and was barely enough room for me to do a full turn.

The boys had already claimed their space in the room upstairs and our teenager said that her room would be downstairs. I thought the Master bedroom had a nice size but couldn’t heartily claim it as my own when I realized that the door didn’t stay open. When we asked the kids what they thought they asked was this the only house that we would be looking at today. It was good to know that they didn’t want to settle on the first thing. Walking down the stairs the italicized quote caught my attention, “Happy is a home that shelters a friend,” and entering the kitchen, “Live, Laugh, Love.”

The oven was super old and electric. Personally, if I get an old oven I’d take gas knowing that it’ll heat quicker, cook better, and be reliable if there were ever an outage. I did like that it had a gas stove though since I’m not a big fan of electric stoves.

Now it was time for business. The asking rental price for these turn offs would be $2100 a month with a $40 per person deposit. She would run a credit check separately on both of us just in case one didn’t go through. The realtor stated that she would email the application and if we were interested we could meet up with a cashiers check or money order. We inquired about the washer and dryer and she said that she would ask about installation. There would be no HOA fees but we would probably be responsible for lawn care. She wasn’t sure about the utilities but took an estimated guess that they may cost between $200-$300 a month. She would have to ask about the water which we would probably have to pay but the gas would be included as well as trash pickup.

When asked when they were looking to occupy the space, the realtor responded that the house was ready to go. They would need first months rent and the security deposit which is equivalent to the rent. She asked us if we had any pets because dogs are more favorable than cats. We were surprised to hear that so we got a lesson on how cat urine stays in the walls and carpet. Using ammonia is something that you must not do to kill the smell but it is wise instead to get something called Nature’s Miracle. We don’t have any pets so this was just food for thought.

The pickup trash schedule was pinned on the refrigerator and we were trying to figure out how outdated it was considering PG County cut down the pick up to only one day a week. She said that she would check since Bowie has it’s own municipality and may function their schedule differently. If we were interested we would move forward and do two separate application fees. This way, the realtor explained, if one goes through they could give the second payment back.

We waited until we got in the car to agree that not having a washer and dryer was a deal breaker. We couldn’t see ourselves putting down first month’s rent and security deposit, a total of $4200 and still going to the laundromat. Next!

The Silence of a Woman

I put my feet into motion ignoring the fact that it will be six more hours before I can take another Motrin 600. I try to convince myself that this is mind over matter and that the precursor of the pain to come will soon go away. With my energy low, I stumble to find any song that will lift my emotions and give me an upbeat vibe to my morning. No matter what plays, no matter how much bass trebles through my bones my energy remains the same. As in a fog I wonder how I made it to my destination, but only with the grace of God.

*******

I must admit that when it comes to my physical therapy, I never leave out the same way I came. This is good because no matter where you are in life and no matter what door you walk through a change for the better must be appreciated. I am always looking for elevation and am done with anything set before me to weigh me down. I choose my battles by my Father’s standards and I know that these battles that He has fought on my behalf are only to lift me up not to tear me down. Now that is the definition of love!

*******

Still no music moved and I continued to drive in a haze hoping that something would finally jolt through me and cause me to want to hop out of my driver’s seat. I continued to drive and instantly became nauseous at the Washington Post announcement backing Angela Alsobrook. I remember the family and I making a decision to make the local votes just as important as the federal after she personally reopened a case involving a close family member who’d been fighting for his life because a stalker used the courthouse as her personal playground for false domestic violence cases. This chick was so crazy that she would not only stop at him but would also drag other family members down if they chose to speak out. We had never seen anything like this before and couldn’t figure out how she’d been getting away with this for over 12 years. According to the sympathy of one of the Sheriff’s, they’d worked another state for years and found it unfortunate that PG County did no investigations in these matters. Nevertheless, a wise judge saw through this particular case and dismissed it, but unfortunately for my family, domestic violence incidents had hit the news hard and Alsobrook would soon have a series of public interviews to speak out on how serious this issue is. Absolutely! We saw firsthand that abuse could go both ways and we no longer viewed this a gender issue. Imagine our surprise to see that one of the cases where he’d had to fight for his life had been reopened by Alsobrook. I felt disguisted hearing this ad for her running for County Executive disagreeing internally with how great and responsive she was as a State’s Attorney. One simple click on the name of the accuser would’ve shown a five page record, with lists as long as arms, of all the false accusations she’d been running since 2005. This incident was in 2015 and now that we have taken the steps to bring this to light my family has yet to receive an apology for the torment they’d gone through. Although I say no to Also, I am no fool. I know that she did what she had to do by any means necessary to prove a point, even if that meant stepping on a little person to appeal to the masses of those who now back her.

It’s unbelievable what people think they can get away with but you never know who’s watching. The ways of the wicked are destined to be exposed and when you play with His laws His words will ring true. Let those who have ears to hear hear what our Savior is saying. The grown folks used to tell us that little white lies will always turn into big white ones. They would tell us how once you tell it you would have to remember it and there was always a chance that you wouldn’t. This scared me enough to not lie and despite my faults a lying tongue wasn’t one. However, I’ve always had a way of knowing when people are lying and it comes so easily that I would often times get frustrated at the disappointment of not wanting to know about certain people. I guess it is true: some people would rather you lie to them. This is also known as telling people what they want to hear.

I was always too honest and had learned young that honesty is the best policy. I grew to be frustrated at how true honesty is actually censored or dimmed down and I realized the older I got that there were less and less people who’d live by that saying. I had to learn how to tame my tongue because I learned that being too honest can be as hurtful as not being honest at all. When pursuing a degree in Communications I would learn how to speak correctly and effectively, and to choose my words wisely. This helped me, partnered with experience, when it came to the true battle against good and evil; justice and injustice; truth and lies. We never know how our Father is using us or what He is preparing us for in our present moment. I never knew how persistence, speech and writing would assist me in this battle. Father had put me in a position to reach back and fight on the behalf of my family member and had teamed me up with some of the best defense attornies who’d also been flabbergasted at the constant mistreatment of the legal system. I am but one woman who was accompanied by a small team but with the power of my Father I was covered and He would allow His glory to shine with each trial. God is a God of justice. I know the battle is not over but I am assured that it will be won.

In the meantime, I can’t help but wonder the seriousness of the court system in holding perjury charges. I want to know because I need to feel confident that domestic abuse is taking seriously on both ends of gender. I personally know and have been involved in domestic abuse and I have witnessed it with both genders more than I can count. I seemed to have grown up in a culture where it seemed to be normal circumstances when people get too drunk and fight each other. This could be 2 cousins who hug it out everytime, the aunt and uncle that everyone talks about, etc.

Why do these false claims bother me so much? The same way it should bother you. When someone openly tells you that if they don’t get there way they will use the system against you, then they are the abusers. They have learned to work on a first come, first serve process and any statement written will put you in an guilty until proven innocent state. You could get picked up at your job and lose your main source of income to provide for yourself and your children if you have any. There are no questions asked. This is reasonable for actual victims who fear for their lives; People who want to take action but don’t know where to turn; People who have been suffering in silence too long and have decided to take a stand; People who are our true victims who’ve decided enough is enough.

But what about the abusers? When falsifying reports and signing on the signature line that you have full understanding that by lying you are aware of the perjury charges? What about the abuser who writes just enough to get you thrown in jail for pure satisfaction and then drags you too court with a smirk and says welcome to my world? What about the abuser who has repeatedly written these same accusations on person after person after person over countless times and no one sees the red flag? What happens to that abuser?

If Alsobrook wants me to be confident in her work as a State Attorney, then I need to see that the court will put fear in those abusers of the system, open up a perjury case and take action. PG County is too easily manipulated and I guess with any system it leaves another side unprotected.

Rest In Him – The Winning Team

(We can learn a lot from sports: Offensive and defensive plays exist in our lives. No matter which side we end up, we have to learn to play the game, and then we learn to strategize for the win. – Tika Moore)

#OurFatherknows #thewinningteam

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Am I supposed to fight? You told me to be still and that my part of the battle with the Post Office is over and that You would take it from there. I guess technically, at this point, the issues now lies with the Department of Labor. I do not know who to look towards in who is at fault. Had all my paperwork been turned in by the Post Office or is it just sitting on someone’s desk at the Department of Labor. I do not understand the slow responses with the federal government. I do not understand the thinking of people as been dispensable, as just another number, another file. I have reached out in doing my part, and as I expected no call back from the case specialist has been received to the message I left. They have a 14 day response time to the denial for funds letter, I don’t know what can stop them from not receiving my communication until time expires, if they choose. I have concluded that the federal government’s plan to obtaining these rightful injury benefits is to take you in a complete circle with each process, hoping that you will get dizzy enough to pass out and give up. If that doesn’t work, why not just avoid someone until time expires and then claim that they didn’t respond because that fight will be just as hard; it will be their word against yours. I have seen the evil ways of the federal government and quasi federal (the Post Office). I had never seen this much evil and experienced this much abuse in all my working years. I do not know what to do, Father, but I ask that You continue to guide me, in the mighty name of Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Thank You, Father. With one phone call and You have given me comfort. I thank You in knowing that the response will be taking care of and I pray that she will do her due diligence and keep her word in following through with the Department of Labor. You remind me now that I must send an email to Human Resources questioning how to retrieve my leave pay out. It is amazing how things are set up so systematically to make it unnecessarily difficult for people to get what they claim should be yours but when time to access it will do whatever possible to not get it to you or make you jump through hoops to get it.

This reminds me of the time I needed help with food. I had just lost my job after the budget cut and had been advised of all the assistance that was available to me. I remember never feeling so violated. I was no longer a person who’d just lost there job but I was a candidate for “welfare” and would be treated as such. The ONLY thing that kept me through the procedure was knowing I had a mouth to feed as a single mother. I knew that at the end of the day I had to disregard the attitudes and vibes giving from staff. Someone made a good point one day and said that for all we knew they were a check away from assistance themselves. This was probably true. I remained sympathetic at first but was still so uncomfortable with the process of being treated as though I was some ghetto rat riding the system, that I vowed to never return to that place again. Unfortunately, another job loss put me there and no matter how fast I would get another budget cuts seemed to plague every company one way or another. I see now that You never allowed me to get comfortable. I would see myself in every position until I’d retire and moving within the ranks of whatever company until I parted my farewell after 25 years. Although this type of stability has been deemed outdated I was still determined to live comfortably, peacefully, and stable. This was not Your will Father and now that I walk with You I no longer curse my past but I thank You for it because it is through my pain that I will prosper. #purposeinthepain

I do not know the complete test. I do not know the emotional that I try to control instead of allowing them to control me. I do not know. I know that wisdom is gained and I will spend a lifetime learning. Help me, Father, for the challenges in relationships. I know that You want honesty and truth. I know that You are the head of all. I don’t know however how to pray on a situation that has clearly been a bother to me but will never will be to Him. You know my heart, Father. Search it as I seek You. Teach me how to walk, how to talk, and how to pray. #imlearningwhilewalking. It is times like this that I pray for complete independence. I feel like sometimes we as woman won’t acknowledge things to keep peace because we don’t know where to go from there. Is this Your will? I don’t think so. You have already told me that what You have brought together no man put asunder. Teach me, Father how to walk, how to talk; teach me how to live. Amen.

Day 3 – God speaks

“I know the plans that I have for You. My child’s prophecies will not fail. His path will be like Paul and he will only see me when he has to walk the path of Straight. I know who has led him astray. I know who took him off of his path. I know who cut him off, for he was running a good race. You have trained him up in the way he should go and he will never depart from it. Leave him in My hands. I only appointed you for this, that you would present him to Me after birth. You gave him to Me out of obedience and I will never leave him nor forsake him. You must put him in My hands, for the days of childbirth are over though you may still bear the pains of it. I am here.”

 

Silence is golden – Day 2

Random thoughts in a day of silence

A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. (Luke 6:45)

You constantly remind me of the healing powers in the foods You have created. Often times I emulate the knowledge that You passed down by my grandmother as well as my mother’s healthy cooking days. It is clear that cooking at home has been and always will be the healthiest option. I have to constantly ask myself how do I keep getting back to this place in my health. Oh how easy I forget until the pain reappears. For years I have chosen my eating habits, whether healthy or not, but easily fall out of healthy eating options. I continue to revisit the questions, “how?” and “why?” And it always boils down to two factors: time and money. I have realized and realize again that once I feel better I allow my schedule to increase naturally feeling that more can get done. I rarely factor in that more on the schedule cuts into more money for travel, etc., and less money for the proper foods. Less time also factors into grocery store runs and I deceive myself into thinking that it’s easier and quicker to get something fast enough to fit into my schedule. To top it off, economic depravation plays a bigger role. It is a fact that if I am only stretching a small amount of money that has to last for a large amount of time, it is realistically reasonable to get a cheap “health killer” combo for that moment. A lot of my fast food runs are in just trying to survive. With that said, what is the solution to those of us who are econically deprived? How can we continue to maintain a healthy lifestyle if we are to economically challenged to feed our families?

I need to feed my hunger BEFORE I get into the grocery store. Admittedly, I feel the difference within the past couple of days since taken the multivitamins. Thank you, God. For you are constantly restoring me and I praise Your name. For You are worthy to be praised! It was the prophet that spoke how stressed we could be and not realize the effects that can have on our health. I hadn’t thought of it until now because even though I agreed I didn’t not realize that this prophecy would refer to me right now. I thought I had gotten a sense of control with my stress level but it is clear that having a troubled teen does not allow enough time in between stressors. It is clear that You have my health in mind and I see now that this stress has been a huge contributor. He is now 18 and I’ve done all I can do. My hands are clean and I must now make a decision to choose life or death, and as Jesus instructed me, I choose life.

This is why I wanted to buckle down and get the business plan locked down. T will have to understand that administration tasks takes time, hours on end, drafts, and proofreading before the final copy. I feel like he has not allowed that time and I have being playing tug of war between his need for attention and my health. I know that my health is the biggest issue and once in order I will have enough energy in the day to focus on the prior. It is a must that I follow Your instruction. I have to apply for a federal grant as well as a state grant. These will be essential to our funding. With that said, possibilities will be impossible without a completed business plan. Somehow I must learn how to balance my days because even on the days that I’ve had free are normally taken up with other things, i.e, taking Joey to school because he missed the bus, doc appt, lost paperwork that takes ours to search, and even the emotional drain that causes me not be focused. Next week I will be doing my 3 days of physical therapy back to back because of Friday morning appointment. This will only leave Thursday. Help me, Lord, for Your time is of the essence. Sunday will be busy as well with my mother’s gathering but I will not dwell on that too much because it Your will that we fellowship.

Does my silence serve as heartbreak from my child? Maybe. I try to remain silent but am forced to speak. I try to keep responses to a minimal but am probed to elaborate or forced to converse more thoroughly as before. I am challenged in taming my tongue but I am determined to continue because I rest on Your promise and Wisdom.

Only speak when spoken to; only speak when necessary. Tame the tongue. Life and death lies in it’s power.

Out of all the places hiring in our area, my child still claims that he is going out to look for work. I will believe it when I see it. My faith is not in man and I must see manifestation of the promises he continues to speak.

How much of this is emotional stress and how much of this is financial stress? How much of the stress is quickly contributing to my health issues? I don’t know but what I do know is that I will walk in Your word and Your word is true. I will healthy, wealthy and of sound mind.

He makes me so happy. Despite my ups and downs he always tries all he can to make me happy. I see now that when I’m down the most he calls more. This is love 😄.

When asked are you hungry, just say “yes.” Do not elaborate unless asked. Just answer yes, plain and simple. #tamingthetongue is challenging.

I’m hungry. I’m thirsty. I more of You, Lord. I desire more…..
I am bothered by the reaction of many who comment on those who have committed suicide but have money that according to the comments should’ve made them happy. This shows the ignorance of our people, and without knowledge the people perish. I remember being so offended years ago. I was only a young adult in my mid-20s when my friend and I were discussing someone they knew who’d tried to kill themselves. She’d heard about the college girl from her mom who told her the girl tried to jump out of her dorm window. While I was saddened and empathetic to this story she was disgusted that anyone would allow anything to make them go to such lengths. I tried at my young age to explain to her that it’s not that easy and in my young aged words explained it to be an illness, but I was too young to specify it as such. I was empathetic because I too had dealt with depression and several bouts of suicide but I had no one to talk about it. I wanted her to understand because this would’ve been a great door opener for my confession. Her reaction, however, made me embarrassed to talk about it and even ashamed that I’d even dealt with those type of feelings.
Depression is a mental illness and does not choose people by economic class.

Silence is golden. Let this be therapy for my soul.

 

The Truth Behind the Post Office

Preface

“Thank you for your interest with the U.S. Postal Service!”

I remember the excitement I felt when I’d received the letter that I was accepted as a Holiday Clerk Assistant (HCA). “**ABSOLUTELY NO RESCHEDULES**” it read, but I was more than willing to take off from the dead end job I was working in order to attend. I had been trying to get my foot in the door of the USPS for years but everytime I looked they wouldn’t have anything available…until now. They let us know that the interview would take 2 hours so I sketched out the day to make room for my interview.

The day came for my chance to shine and I was surprised to see the front filled with so many people. I was glad that I arrived early because we were lined up according to how we’d signed in and were seated that way. I assumed that they wanted to see who was on time leaving all the late comers to sit further in the back. This seemed less of an interview and more of an overview of the hard work that would go into the position, but the bigger payout of not only money but of benefits and positions throughout the large sized organization.

Moving forward was contigent on whether or not you could pass your drug test and for those who were worried would be informed that they had 2 weeks to do it. I was called back for the processing part 2 weeks later and was assigned to my station with a beginning and end date, start time, and rate of pay.

In the meantime, I felt like I was in there, so I began to apply to a few positions that were open and taking the required tests. I was not considered for the positions but I planned on working my way in nonetheless. The whole process before hire took about 3 months.

I worked for about 4 to 5 weeks before all station managers received an email that holiday workers would be dropped a few weeks before the end date. I was disaapointed not only because it was 2 days before Christmas but also because when my manager asked me to bring the paper with the end date so that she could confront them on it, they denied ever given that date that was so clearly typed out. They went further to tell my manager over the phone, as she looked at the official paper, that they had no idea where I’d gotten this information from. The Notification of Personnel Action described the “TERMINATION – LACK OF WORK” which I would have appreciated more as a response instead of playing me as though I’d somehow magically created the dated specified on the processing paper. Later I’d gotten another Notification of Personnel Action described as “Resignation — ALL OTHER” which I had no idea what that meant, but I was over it and had to move on with other employment searches. I was back on the market quicker than I expected and seemingly had not gotten my foot in the door but was only used for a quick moment to help with overflow and then dismissed.

It was a rough year for employment and I swallowed my pride and jumped at another chance of getting in, so I applied for the open City Carrier Assistant position remembering how much overtime they would make. The process was the same taking about three months. I was finally in as a non-career employee which was a step up from seasonal and what I perceived to be more stable.

Continue reading “The Truth Behind the Post Office”