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Discussion Starter · #261 ·
Yes, the store owner is the store manager, and a very difficult person to deal with, at that. We used to have a small corner store in town to provide a needed alternative, but it went bankrupt this year, so now this other store is the only one in town that sells the groceries. I can still buy a few things at alternative stores, but unless this clerk gets trained better or fired, things aren't going to get any better there for me. It's a sad situation. In the past, I have often found errors on my cash register receipt, which I got them to correct, and got the refunds. Also, they have a habit of placing expensive items into places where the tag reads a lesser amount, and then charging the higher price at the till, without the customer knowing it unless they check their receipt. So, I am not one of their favourite customers, because I always check the prices and make sure they are accurate. I am a quick and efficient shopper, and am polite and pleasant to them, but they don't extend the same courtesies to me; instead, they act a bit surly at times. But I've never encountered such an obnoxious clerk before, so will have to figure out how to cope with all of this. Around here, people usually shop in the city 28 miles away for everything, including groceries, because they can get all the good deals there. They also shop in the town stores just to keep the good will flowing, and for necessary items. But I shop here all the time, having no transportation to the city except via the monthly handi-van senior's shopping trip. And it looks like I will have to avail myself of that again unless this whole matter blows over. We'll see.

For the past few days, I've been quite angry and upset about all of it, but feel much better this morning. During the tension, I worked on my knitting project again...in fact, knitting on the pair of black woolen socks I'd been working on the day I got the notice to move out of my other unit. So I'm back on track there, and feel that at least this much is productive and progressive in the various downward turns in my life these days. The autumn weather is here, and I am enjoying the turning of the leaves. The view outside is gorgeous!
Take care, all.
 

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Can you tell us what state you live in ? Or is it Canada, I forget which. Or by private PM.
If you live in the states, I might be able to send you a few food things in the mail. Can you let us know ? Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #263 ·
Unfortunately, the situation is not some silly little snit...of the kind that crops up for no reason and then just disappears or not.
It's like this; some years ago, I was subpoenaed by the courts and police, to appear as a witness against the manager's brother, for a crime he committed...a brutal domestic assault, which I witnessed while I was living in the other unit.
Ever since then, I have been detested by that family, which also runs the grocery store.

Your words are very kind, ladytoysdream. I live in Canada. But I am still in the process of working this whole thing out as best as I can. Over the weekend, I went to our last Farmer's Market, and bought potatoes, pumpkins and a few other vegetables which will last quite a while. I also got the names of 2 of the sellers, who sell produce at other times, and could deliver to me, and could also deliver seasonal produce once a week on a regular basis (depending on what is growing at the time.) So this might also become a supply for grains as well; I will ask them, and possibly I can get some cornmeal or oatmeal and maybe milled wheat flour.
The town-wide yard sales were on, and at one of the churches, I bought large squashes for $1 each. I also found a yard sale that had pumpkins for $2 each, and got 2.
I can buy milk and eggs at the convenience store. Milk is $7.10 per 4 liter jug, and eggs are $3.60 per dozen. I can get into the city once a month with the Senior's handi-van shopping trip, for the cost of $20 per trip, and buy a hand-cart full of groceries there.

When I was a child, my parents raised all 10 of us kids on very little money, and we had a diet of potatoes, meat (when available), some garden vegetables, fish, sauerkraut (Old German background from the immigration in the very early 20th century.)

This might seem odd, but it occurs to me that this situation could happen to anybody, and where would we go for supplies? It seems like a strange circumstance to happen to me, but I am also working on the process of figuring out how to cope with it.

Through all of this, I am more and more aware of my own failings at human relations. I wish I knew how to have avoided the situation entirely, and how I could have handled the conversation with this clerk better. I did my best, but it wasn't good enough, and only made things worse. And I know that anger only makes things even worse, whether it is harbored within or expressed outwardly, so I am staying away from further contact in this situation. I am afraid I will say something bad out of confusion or anger. So, I have decided to go into seclusion for awhile in order to search my heart, and purify my motives and attitudes.

Again, thanks for the kind regards. It means a lot to have such friendship here on FV; but I will try to work this out without being a burden to anyone else.
 

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(( Hugs ))
I hope you can continue to figure out things for food. Don't be afraid to take advantage of food pantries. They are there for a reason.
Please don't feel you are burden. What you type may help someone else in a tight spot. One just has to be creative at times and think outside the box.
Do you have a pressure canner or a water bath canner ? You can put up lots of food this way. Fall is a good time of year for produce. Can pototes, cabbage, beans etc. One year I had a surplus of onions, and green peppers gifted to me. I bought some celery and canned the 3 things in jars to use later for stews. Worked out real good :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #265 ·
The Food Bank is not an easy place to attend. There's a certain person attending there who is mentally ill, and is verbally offensive towards people, constantly harassing others. She has been banned from all the other public places around town because of it, and the directors at the Food Bank don't know how to get her to co-operate with their rules.
Quite a few drunken people come to get food there too, and are quite unpleasant to cope with.
So it's a learning process to figure out how to utilize this resource, while coping with the trouble and stress that comes with it.
This past week, I received an allotment of about $15 worth of food from the Food Bank.

My small apartment stove does not accommodate my 2 water-bath canners (large and small), so I have been using my stew/soup stockpot to can jars of jam and preserves throughout the summer. I can fit 3 small jars into the pot at one time, with the water level above the jars, and they stand on a metal trivet at the bottom of the pot, which keeps them from rattling and bursting. My larger jars don't fit, and I am almost out of small jars, but I check the apartment building recycling room glass-bins and find a usable jar every few days.

The Farmer's Market is over now till next summer, so I have only the produce I managed to gather in over the past couple of weekends. The library is featuring a lot of great cooking books right now which are using seasonal produce, and so I have borrowed one about using squash, and one about making rustic European breads. This should add a few more good recipes to my recipe files.

The weather has turned very chilly, windy and rainy, and many of the trees have lost their leaves. Hopefully I'll get a few more days to gather in the rest of my acorn and rose-hip harvest.

I got some winter gloves and a sweater from the Thrift Shop and spent only $2. I find it too hard to knit gloves, as my hands aren't able to handle that kind of intricate co-ordination now. But before we know it, the snow will be coming down again, and then I can wear my hand-knit mittens, which are very warm and comfortable.

The period of time I have lately spent in seclusion has been a great relief for me. It is really nice to shut out the big, bad world and recuperate from it. Ever notice how wonderful and beautiful life is...until someone or something comes along and wrecks it for you? That's why I like to/need to get away from things and people, so I can think things out and figure out how to cope again. Finding one's inner peace is the most important part of any difficult situation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #267 · (Edited)
Have been busy with some baking:
Pumpkin pie
2 Pumpkin Loaf
Porridge Grains Bread

Also researching and experimenting on creating some new homemade bread recipes that save on yeast by using "old dough", as an addition to the new dough. Yeast is now approx. $6 - $7 per jar, so that makes homemade bread fairly expensive. However, it is possible to use only half of the yeast if you incorporate a certain amount of 'old dough' from the previous batch of homemade dough. I've also come across a great way to make bread without the use of sugar or oil and extra flour. This is the French Fold Method by Richard Bertinet:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXV8mayG3W0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GSLwLm1JA2o

ENJOY!!! He makes Home-Made Breadmaking into a Symphony!
 

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Discussion Starter · #268 ·
I've now managed to invent my own good Sourdough sponge, which is live and well at present. I used only 1 tsp of yeast initially, when I made a batch of white rolls. I saved some of the dough and just started feeding it, with a tbsp honey, 1 cup flour to 1 cup water, over a period of a week till it was full-bodied and active. Now it is the leavening for my pancakes, and should also do quite nicely for dumplings, rolls and bread, without any more leavening added to it. The pancakes made with the sourdough only turned out to be as fluffy as clouds, and the ones I made by adding an egg and milk were actually flatter. So in future, I'll remove some sourdough starter sponge, add some sugar and more flour to thicken, then wait about an hour till the mixture is actively bubbling, then just pour it onto the heated skillet and make pancakes.

Also, I came across an interesting note regarding the price of a good loaf of Artisan Bread bought at a bakery(what home-bakers call home-made rustic bread). One loaf of bread can cost about $10.00; isn't that staggering?
It's wonderful to make your own bread; you can add anything to it...fruit, veggies, grains, nuts, dairy products, and get a real meal from it and a bowl of hearty homemade soup.:vs_wave:

Here are some great videos that show how to make breads the easy way, with no kneading: "Artisan Bread with Steve".

Traditional Videos | No-Knead Bread Central
 

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Discussion Starter · #269 ·
Things are OK here. Just a little short on fresh vegetables, but on the plus side, I've been able to get a squash or pumpkin at the Food Bank twice a month, so this has provided me with vitamins and the seeds make good, healthy snacks.
Now that snow is on the ground, I've got my winter gear ready to go. I was able to enlarge my new thrift shop winter boots by reaching into and also opening the puffy edge around the ankle and removing the foam insulation in that spot, then sewing up the opening with a curved needle. The boots are now a size larger, don't press on the toes, and are perfectly comfortable and warm while wearing a good, thick pair of knitted socks.

I am experimenting with my sourdough recipe, and have so far used it for muffins, buns, pound cake, pancakes, dumplings, bread pudding, bread, buns, pizza and flatbread. This has cut down, or eliminated the need for yeast, oil, sugar, soda, baking powder and eggs in my baking, and has been a huge savings.

Take care, everyone!
 

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Well it took me a couple of hours but I read the whole thread. Peace be with you my friend. You are doing an amazing job overcoming every obstacle that has been set in your way and I admire your spirit. Foraging and eating from nature are admirable traits but I wish it wasn't so difficult at the store. I am praying for you. Please keep writing
 

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Discussion Starter · #271 ·
This year I will be celebrating a very simple Christmas. It's been such a hard year that I've had no time, money or energy to make or buy presents for my family, but I am praying that this will actually be a 'positive' in the lives of my loved ones, as I seek to pass the torch to them. Instead of being the one who is always rising to the occasion and sacrificing for their happiness, my lack of supply towards them will be a change...hopefully one that will help them all to consider their own real values of the occasion and our relationship. All I can give them this year is my love and prayers. It's strange how free I feel with the pressure off...all of the trappings of the way we usually celebrate the Christmas season have always created a heavy burden for me, one that I bore out of love and commitment, but still it was getting harder and harder as the years rolled on.

God bless you all with the simple and profound meaning of Christmas...Jesus, God's gift to us and how we receive Him.
Peace, joy and Christmas blessings!:vs_gift:
 

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I wish the holidays weren't so stressful. I have cut back but not enough yet. I am going to ponder your thoughts and actions, and make some changes in the upcoming year for gifts etc. Merry Christmas!
 

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Discussion Starter · #273 ·
Time for another update:
Due to my simple December & January spending, I was able to save up enough cash to send my kids and grandkids a little something in the mail, albeit a January gift. What happened was...when I heard from them in late December, I could tell that they really missed not getting a Christmas gift from me, my intuition told me they felt neglected and deprived, so I've changed my mind and sent them each a few dollars. I did save a lot of money by not spending a small fortune for mail package-postage, for a change. And I took a much needed break on all the crafting I usually do for my family, and saved time, money and energy there too.

My health in December was terrible: another medical relapse, followed by a case of food poisoning before Christmas from the community supper (salad dressing). Sick for a week.

Answer to prayer:
For a Christmas present, my sister sent me 2 small gift cards to be used at my grocery store (the one I've been having trouble with). She has no idea about the problems I've been having there. I waited till January to use them, then forged ahead. Because I was still sick from food poisoning, I was groggy and weak, and too sick to worry about the people I had difficulties with. I went there with my medical walker, and just staggered around getting groceries, and not talking to anybody. One stocker asked me how I was, and I said "Recovering", and she drew herself up haughtlly and said "From what?", to which I replied..."Medical". And she said no more. At the till, the cashiers were all helpful, cheerfully bagging my groceries, and I was outa there in no time; after paying for the groceries with my sister's gift cards, with her attached note to the manager to verify the giftcard transfer to me, I spent only a total of only $3.90. And I now have oranges, milk, eggs, chocolate chips, apples, cornmeal, onions, margarine and tea.
And it looks like the problem there will be 'water under the bridge', 'least said, soonest mended'. We'll see.
As well, I also made inquiries there about phoning in my grocery order, and getting my groceries delivered. Turns out, that it would cost me only $2 per grocery order to do that. And now I will no longer need to hire my neighbour to get my groceries, paying him with cash, lunches and household supplies.
So, what with all the prayers that have gone forward about this issue, here is the outcome! Thank You, Dear God!

And in addition, it has worked out for the best to have the problem happen, because it drove me to the Food Bank, which I needed to access anyway, drove me to apply for a Christmas hamper, which helped also, and drove me to find alternative supply sources, which is always a good idea...like the old proverb about not putting all your eggs into one basket.

With the start of a new year, I've been reassessing my goals and priorities. I need more exercise, so will be working on that, indoors and outdoors. More cutbacks on spending. More careful spending. More contact with family.
More ME time.

Thanks for praying, everybody!:vs_closedeyes:
Happy New Year!
Bye for now.
 

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I have been voluntarily living a simple life for over thirty years. Now that I am retired my simple living is
more required than voluntary. I can relate very well to many of your posts. I never thought I would
be going to our food bank but find that is a wonderful resource for those with limited income, especially
now with food prices rapidly going up.

This was the first year I had to really cut back on Christmas giving to my family. I have always been very
generous and I think it came as shock to them. After some thought I realized it was a liberating experience.
I never really cared for the comercialization and guilt trips Christmas brought.

I like your way of thinking things through and keeping your priorities and goals in mind. Best wishes!
 

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Discussion Starter · #275 ·
The last few months have been so busy for me. Things are working out at the grocery store again, and the cashier is once again bagging my groceries. I finished my income tax. There were issues of vandalism to my laundry at this Seniors' Apartment Building, so I attended their monthly tenant's meeting, and discussed it thoroughly. The result is their support, and I'm preparing 2 letters to send to the housing authorities and the provincial government...one about the vandalism issue, and a request for security cameras, the other letter a request to change our Seniors' building to be non-smoking due to the health issues of the Seniors here. We are in for a fight, but there are a majority of us who have been trying to get the government to listen to us for years on this issue. So far, they've denied us outright, or said that the smoking tenants have some sort of 'grandfather clause' on their tenancy agreement, so they can't declare the building 'smoke-free'. However, the second hand smoke is not containable, and fills the hallways and laundry room at all times, and is circulated throughout the entire building. Most of the Seniors already have heart and lung problems. Anyway, I'm once more involved in writing political letters, through these issues.
I am one of those Seniors who believes in healthy living for Seniors. I am not one of those who wishes to die; I am a Senior who wants to live.
I'm also involving myself with various issues dealing with problems we are now facing in Canada due to our latest federal election. We have a Prime Minister who does not listen to the people of Canada, and does not represent us accurately to the world.
 

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Discussion Starter · #276 ·
Just got a notice to sign in again with my new FV password, so here I am again after a long time.
My health has been getting poor, what with the 2nd hand smoke in this apartment building, so I haven't had many good days to do extra things. I've been researching the laws regarding Seniors Housing and the 2nd hand smoke issue, and attending tenants meetings, talking with other tenants, and also discussing various issues with the government housing authorities, which are now in the process of changing supervisors, yet again. So far, the law states that the smoking tenants can smoke in their own apartments, but the law also addresses the fact that the Housing Authority has the responsibility to take steps to contain the smoke, and help the non-smokers with unit modifications to improve air quality. (These measures are really quite inadequate, because nothing stops the smoke due to the open doors and windows, and ventilation system which distributes the smoke into all units.) But at least it does place some onus of responsibility on the management, instead of the usual useless round of meaningless discussions that don't amount to any action.

Another thing that I've been dealing with is the fact that my apartment has been persistently targeted for break and enter and theft (usually pilfering in small amounts), and over the past 14 months this has ended up as quite a large loss. Immediately after my move-in, one of my purses containing an extra set of keys disappeared for about 6 weeks, then one day there it was on top of the clothing in my dresser drawer. I told my other landlady about this, because it contained my former townhouse key, along with the other keys, but she did not comment on the concerns I had.
As I unpacked boxes, and brought the apartment into order, I began to notice that some things were out of place, and other things were being used up rather quickly, food especially as well as other supplies. In time, as I finished the unpacking and everything had a place, and everything was in its place, I became more aware that things were suddenly missing from the fridge and cabinets, and storage shelves. Several times when I got up in the morning, I found one of my doors (the one that opens to the main hall within the building) unlocked, even though I always check and double check that it is locked before I go to bed. I put some of it down to forgetfulness, and then I thought that maybe the building had a policy to look in on the tenants from time to time to make sure that they were ok, and no rules were being broken. But it did bother me. Then I noticed that more and more stuff was obviously going missing, and I began to keep a detailed inventory of all my food and supplies last summer, made lists on each drawer and cupboard, and also updated them every time I consumed or used anything. I drew lines on the milk jug, detergent bottles, etc. to indicate the fill line. More and more stuff was going missing anyway. I knew that only the landlord and caretaker had keys besides me, so didn't want to accuse anyone, so started posting angry notes around the apartment hoping to prick the guilty thief's conscience. But this thief has none. Then I started putting chairs in front of the doors, and set my tape-recorder to record during any absences to get groceries, etc. Someone was turning off the tape recorder, 10 minutes was missing from the tape. One day, I found the chairs moved back from the door, so I found the caretaker and told her my concerns, that it was the last straw, and that I wanted the pilfering to stop. I phoned the Winnipeg office to report it as a security issue. They took it seriously, and the acting manager was ordered to issue a new set of locks and key. The caretaker was ordered to install them. During this time, I watched her attempt to place the new doorknob into the old hole, and though she put it in and took it out 6 times, screws and all, she couldn't figure out how to install it (because she had never installed one). The lock design was changed a couple of years ago, with a longer deadbolt. It was at this point that it came out that the existing locks and key had not been changed at all when I moved into the apartment, and that many other people actually had access to keys, putting my apartment's security at risk. The key was an old, tarnished one with black tarnish in the grooves, at that. So, that explained the problems I've been having with food and supplies diminishing, and little messes here and there, and drawers not quite closed, and foodstuffs toppled around in the cupboards and fridge. So, the next day, the manager came out from the city and installed the new doorlocks himself. No apology to me of course. No compensation, either.

A few days later, while quietly knitting for hours in my unit, footsteps came to my inner hall door, someone knocked heavily a few times on the apartment door directly across from mine. No answer, that person was away. Then the sound of a key into a lock, and some rattling and banging as the person tried to open the door. Then I heard someone trying multiple keys into the door lock (it sounded much closer now and I felt sure it was MY doorlock), rattling and shoving the door, but failing to get in, then after about half a dozen attempts of this she softly said....hmmmmmm. and walked away. And I think that was one of the thieves.
Being partly paralyzed, I couldn't get up right away to get to the door to look out to see who it was.

I thought this would solve the issue, but I have since found that things have continued to disappear while I am away from my apartment. I am continuing to keep an exact account of inventory, but am being thwarted anyway. I have complained about this to the new manager, and have stated that I'm going to get to the bottom of this. I've also posted No Trespassing signs on my doors. The outside of the building is now under construction for a make-over, so I am also having issues with 2 of the workmen who I caught looking through my bedroom window for about 10 minutes, When I went outside to confront them, they briefly said that they were measuring. No signage on the truck they'd just parked in front of my apartment, and no knock on the door to tell me they were going to measure, they just parked, got out, and went straight to my bedroom window and looked through the curtains, while talking in a foreign language. Have since found out they are the reno workers. But they have also been stopping work to stare at me in a prolonged fashion every time I leave the apartment to go for errands. They stop work to stare at me coming and going. I've told the management about this, and also that if the reno includes indoor entry, that I will not allow it unless I am there, and I want to be told in advance. To which, they readily agreed.

People, the main reason I'm telling you all this, is to say bluntly that it's a fact that when we are Seniors we are more easily targeted by those who will scam us or abuse us in some way. We cannot ignore these issues, they will only grow bigger, and we could even be in real danger. We cannot even assume that others are doing their part, we must check it all out for ourselves, in order of priority. So, we have to communicate effectively and often enough, with those who are in authority over us, and express our concerns verbally and in writing, until they are properly addressed. If we are going to survive, we are going to have to do that.

Bye for now. Will keep you updated how it all comes out, hopefully.

PS: Doesn't hurt to check out some Cane-Fu Instruction, either. Just type it in, and there are various videos. Then, we won't feel so vulnerable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #279 ·
My apartment building exterior is currently in the process of being renovated this summer. Everything is now in utter chaos and a complete mess. We tenants are hoping that the finished result will be some improvement, but it will not look like the stately, restful Seniors apartment building it was before. They are replacing the exterior with cheap plastic siding in 2 contrasting colours, the panels are being laid without any continuity, so the finished result will be a visual nightmare of contrasts. The yard areas are now a complete wreck, the trees chopped short, the bushes hacked. They've turned off the AC for 4 weeks till mid-August, and the hydro from time to time. They ripped up the patio blocks and dug up the front of my apartment side for narrow cement driveways. Not allowed to use our outdoor doors now. No end in sight, because it's raining almost every day. I've salvaged my plant pots and set them all on my patio table and chairs on a tiny bit of grass in front of my apartment. They're doing great.
Found some saskatoons and raspberries in the woods, and froze some and made some wonderful jam!
Made it through a terrible storm a few days ago, though a tornado touched down a few miles away in a grassy area.
Take care this summer, everyone! Bye for now.
 
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