I’m a Winner!

I won $4.00 in the lottery! Or, actually, I did not win. I just forgot to buy the regular tickets that I normally buy…..and, of course, I checked to see if my numbers came up. They didn’t. So, I guess I can consider myself to be a winner – saved four bucks by not playing numbers that didn’t win.

I’m getting desperate. I bought one of those scratch-off tickets today. I have never wasted my money on those, and, of course, it was waste of time, money, and effort. Not a winner. That’s not true. I am a winner, big time. I have a healthy, beautiful little girl. I have food in the fridge. I have so much more than many. I know it. And I am grateful. If it wasn’t for this one little problem – the ticket, I would consider myself the luckiest woman alive.

Does anyone know how long it takes to get evicted if you don’t pay your rent? I mean, I could pay the ticket right now, but I would not have money to pay rent. Which one is better? To be able to earn a living by having a driver license, or having a roof over your head? Which one would you pick? I guess the license would give me a better chance to earn more money, but the thought that they might evict me before I get there is scary. I have never lived under a bridge – and I would rather die than take my little girl in a homeless shelter, even temporarily. So, I guess I will pay the rent after all.

I remember what it was like to sleep like a baby. I miss it. Lately, I have been waking up at least two times a night, feeling nervous, anxious, just unable to go back to sleep. It’s a terrible feeling. I know I’m not the only one with problems. Many people face the same problems and are able to somehow manage. Or not. I don’t know. What should I do? What would you do in my shoes? Would you pay the rent or the ticket?

I spoke with my boss, asked for more work. Actually, I didn’t ask, I begged. He said it’s very slow in my area, but he has plenty of work elsewhere, good paying work. He said he can give me a load of work if I’m willing to drive to North Florida and South Georgia for a week at the time. One trip like that would turn my situation so much better. One few-day trip would mean a complete turnaround in my life….. but I can’t take the risk and drive all that way….my boss doesn’t know that I don’t have a driver license. If he would find out, that would be the end of the world. A personal Armageddon.

So far, $33.00 towards the ticket from the Ebay listing. I am grateful to the people who donated 1-6 dollars, and it really helps, but it isn’t enough. Please, donate a dollar or two if you can. It would make a huge difference. Truly.

Here is the link again, just in case if somebody has an extra dollar.

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THANK YOU!

First of all, a big thank you to all of you who have read this. Thank you also for your kind and supportive comments. Thank you to Efar for posting the listing for donations on Ebay.

And most of all, THANK YOU TO THE SEVERAL PEOPLE WHO WERE KIND ENOUGH TO DONATE A DOLLAR TOWARDS GETTING THIS TICKET PAID. This really helps! I have received $33.00 already!

I have now sent out 12 “YOU ARE MY HERO!” Certificates to 12 people who helped me by donating $1.00. I sent out 3 “YOU ARE MY SUPERHERO!” Certificates for the 3 Angels who donated $5.00 each. I had to create a special “YOU ARE MY SUPERDUPERHERO! Certificate to the Angel who donated more than five dollars. In fact, her donation was $6.00!!!!! The total on this campaign is now $33.00 dollars – $699 dollars to go before the ticket will be paid. Honestly, I did not believe that this would work – but I am happily surprised to see how kind and helpful people are. This all makes me feel so grateful and humble. Thank you!

Here is the link to the Ebay listing for further $1.00 or more donations:

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HEY, THERE ARE STILL GOOD PEOPLE IN THIS WORLD!

This is unbelievable! After seeing my blog here, an Angel came forward with a wonderful idea. Selling $1.00 Angel certificates on Ebay to get the money together to help me pay this fine. I hope this works. I really do, since it seems to be the only way back to being an honest, good citizen. We will see. Here is the Ebay listing

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=220645790736

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CRIMINAL’S THOUGHTS/WAITING FOR ARREST

Really, HELLO, WORLD! How are you today? I am doing great – at least I like to think so. 

I am a CRIMINAL in the state of Florida. Let me tell you how I became a criminal – good old me, a single mother , always volunteering to help others, a certified guardian ad litem volunteering my time to advocate for abused and neglected children….. Yes, it is true. By law, I AM A CRIMINAL, and it is only a matter of time before I get arrested.  This is what happened:

June 24, 2009, I was driving too fast on the highway in Martin County, Florida. I was pulled over, and this nasty and cruel (in my opinion….. somebody else would probably say that the lady was just doing her job) female cop gave me a speeding ticket for $278.00. Yes, she was doing her job. The problem is that what is pocket money to somebody, turns a single mother’s life upside down. $278.00 is more than I spend on groceries in a whole month. Yes, it is possible to live on that little. I am the MASTER of stretching pennies : ) We always have what we need. Not often what we want, but always what we need.

Anyhow, this ticket was way more than I could afford at the moment – so, I went to the courthouse of that county and asked for a court hearing – thinking that, with justice for all and the court system being fair and all, they would either give me a payment plan, maybe lower my fine after I tell them how tight money already was in our family, or even let me do community service to pay my debt to the society.

The clerk (important person behind a bullet-proof glass) said they will send me a letter in the mail with the trial date when I need to appear in front of the judge. I went home. I did not receive a letter from Martin County the following week. I called the clerk asking if a court date had been set. She told me I will be notified via USPS as soon as the date is set. Another week went by, and no letter from Martin County Court. I called the clerk again. Poor clerk – having to put up with idiots like me constantly calling and asking stupid questions. I don’t think she even bothered to check in the system if such date had been assigned. She told me to wait for the letter in the mail. So I did.

Certainly, I did receive a letter in the mail – a month later, saying my fine had been upped to $500.00 dollars for a failure to appear in front of the court. Right. Failure to appear to a hearing I knew nothing about. Nobody notified me. So, here I go again – calling the overworked clerk and trying to explain what happened and asking if there would be any chance I could possibly get another hearing date. The clerk sounded really tired. I almost felt bad for her. She said a letter had been mailed to me via USPS, and since THE LETTER was never returned to the Martin County Courthouse, I must have received it. Their system shows it was mailed. Their system says it didn’t get returned back to them. I MUST HAVE RECEIVED THE DAMN LETTER! There is no other explanation. Right.

So, I explain to the clerk what my problem was – that I couldn’t afford to pay the original fine, $278.00, and now my trouble has doubled. My income still hadn’t doubled, and since I couldn’t pay the original fine, I would not have a chance paying $500.00 in 30 days. The clerk said I could write a letter to the magistrate, that they could reconsider the case after receiving my letter and maybe lower the ticket, or even give me another day in the court. YES! There was  a chance after all!

I spent my whole afternon writing and re-writing the letter to the magistrate – I needed it to be perfect. I explained what my situation was. I attached proof of my income – which was barely over $20,000 for the previous tax year. I respectfully asked if I could pay my debt to the society by doing community service – I explained that I am a certified guardian ad litem, and more than happy to help any way I can. My hopes were up when I licked the envelope and dropped it in the mail. Surely, the magistrate person would understand and let me pay the fine either little by little, or even let me pay it by working for the good of the society. I felt much better.

Right. I should have understood that the magistrate person would consider me to be a liar. Of course! How else could it be? After all, NOBODY can live on the little money I claimed to earn. Nobody. Besides, the LETTER with the hearing date had been mailed to me. The system says so. The system also says it never was returned to them, so I MUST HAVE RECEIVED IT. So, I was a liar. Big time. And, for that reason, my letter from the magistrate had a word in it that could not be misunderstood. DENIED. My plea for a new hearing date or lower fine had been denied. To make matters worse, all this letter mailing back and forth had caused my ticket to be past due. What does Martin County do with past due unpaid tickets? They sell them to a collection agency. So, by the time I understood that my pleading was DENIED and that there was no other recourse to try to settle the matter, my ticket had been sent to a collection agency, who, in turn, had added their own fees on my ticket. The ticket now, with the collection fees added, is $732.00. This is how the justice system works. They make the rules, we have to do what they tell us. Otherwise they suspend our driver license. It happened to me. My license has now been suspended for over a year. I have tried my best, but, with the economy as it is now, I cannot come up with that kind of money. So, what do I do? I break the law, every time I drive to the supermarket. Or pick up my 5-year old from pre-school. I am a criminal, and I know that next time I get pulled over, the police officer has a duty to arrest me. So, I will go to jail.  I really hope it won’t happen when I have my little girl in the car with me – it would be too traumatic for her to see mom in handcuffs. It really would. And where would they put her while I’m in jail? Foster care? Over an unpaid traffic ticket? Please, somebody, anybody, tell me if this all makes sense to you? Don’t they have real criminals to fill their jails with? I don’t hardly even drink – I don’t do drugs, or anything else that would be considered criminal. Never robbed a bank, I swear! Never stole an old lady’s purse! Nothing! And yet I am facing the threat of being arrested every time I am on the road.

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