Thursday, December 11, 2008

News in Brief

A social worker from Dorothy's new home stopped by today to pick up diapers, laundry quarters and her mail, especially her Social Security card (just arrived) and a stack of letters from DHS about benefits. The social worker tells me that Dorothy has to stay for 30 days, but because "she's young" (i.e. in her 50s) they would like to help her find permanent housing elsewhere. They work with Thresholds, among other agencies. I know Thresholds and respect them.

The current residence does have meetings in the building, and Dorothy is now going to work every day. I don't know where or for what, but she's making $2 a day doing something and getting out of there. The social worker gave me her name and said she could help me find whoever ends up officially assigned to Dorothy.

This morning I ran out to the bank and on the way stopped to chat with some neighbors who sent their youngest to Perspectives Math & Science Academy. "She loves it. I love it," said her mom. That's what I like to hear.

Tony from down the street came by last night and again today. His birthday was yesterday. (Lucky fellow, he shares a birthday with Rod Blagojevich. Though I have a lot to say about that guy, I'll refrain here.) I've been working at home and cooking on the side, so he got quite a birthday meal: lentil soup with saltine crackers, baked potato, lemon pie and chocolate chip cookies. The cookies were at his special request--this is becoming an annual event. Yesterday Tony shoveled the snow off my back porch and back sidewalk. "Yup-yup got locked up," he informed me. That's why he hadn't been around to get the job.

We talked about how he spent his birthday. "I got some beer...I ain't even going to lie to you. I got a bag of weed too. As soon as I had the beer and smoked the joint, I went to sleep and didn't wake up til three o'clock today."

"I bet you're hungry now, aren't you?" I asked. (I was about to go pack him dinner to go.

"Mmmm-hmmm." We both chuckled a bit.

The best news is my new roommate, known here as the Good Elf. She hung out with me this afternoon and organized my utility closet while I made cookie dough, then scooped cookies on the baking sheets and put them in the oven while I got some work done. She already reorganized the front hall closet, washed the kitchen floor, and unclogged the first floor sink and bathtub drains. She's staying here while she looks for work and volunteers some time at Su Casa--for once, they have so many workers they don't need another one right now. But I need a housekeeper/secretary, and so far she's doing a great job.

"It looks nicer in here," Shutterbug observed to me on his way out the door this morning. I just smiled. Yeah, Good Elf!

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