Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Swago Shopping Edition (US)

It's time for another round of SWAGO, and this board is all about shopping! What is SWAGO you ask? It's a bingo-inspired promotion run by Swagbucks, a website that rewards you with points (called SB) for completing everyday online activities. You can redeem those SB for free gift cards. If you've never used Swagbucks, participating in SWAGO is a great introduction to the site. Plus, if you have to buy holiday gifts, might as well get an extra SB bonus for yourself, right?
Here’s what you need to know to get your 400 SB Bonus (and don’t worry, you don’t have to make a purchase to complete a pattern):
  • Shop Swago will begin on Tuesday, November 29th 9am PDT/12pm EDT, make sure you hit “Join” otherwise you won’t get credit for completing the action items. Each square on your Swago Board will contain an action item to complete.
  • Once you complete the action item in a particular square the square will change color signifying the action item is complete.
  • You have a limited amount of time to mark off as many squares as possible so use your time wisely.
  • Be mindful of the patterns and their corresponding bonuses located on the right of your Swago Board. The patterns will vary in difficulty and bonus value.
  • Once you’ve achieved a pattern the corresponding “Submit” button will light up. You can have multiple patterns available for submission, however, you can only submit ONE pattern so choose wisely.
  • The game ends Friday, December 2nd at 12pm PDT/3pm EDT. So make sure to hit “Submit” on the pattern you wish to submit. If you don’t hit “Submit” before the game ends you won’t receive your SB bonus.

Friday, November 11, 2016

I HAVE FINALLY FIGURED IT OUT

You see...when you lose soeone, you are supposed to have time to grieve.  Me, however, I never had that chance...I had to continue and try to maintain some sense of normal..  I had to continue in school, I had to fight for a place to live...I had to survive.

So, for the past year and a half, I've been in survival mode...and not too many people realize that.  They expected me to be OK, but guess what...I'M NOT!!!

It is a daily struggle to wake up and know that I wasn't good enough to be a wife, that I wans't worth the time it took to say "f*** you, I don't want to be with you anymore"...and yet all this time, I haven't been able to grieve.

When I lost Emily, I pretended like everything was OK, that I didn't just lose my only daughter...I tried to go on, and it almost killed me...LITERALLY. 

Then, June 2015 I came home to my current nightmare.  While trying to continue school, and pretend that everything is OK, my life has been falling apart.  You can't build a house on quicksand and expect it to not sink.  The same is true for a person whose heart and soul have been shartered.  I was too busy trying to pretend nothing was wrong that I lost myself.  

My security was stolen, my trust was shattered and my sense of safety was thrown out the window.  What was left?  My faith?  I'm holding on to that by a thread.

And, during this whole time I've not had one person say "It's going to be OK Marci, please just cry on my shoulder"...NOT ONE!

See, inside every adult there is still this little child that wants to be held when they're hurting and scared, and I've lived the past year and a half scared to death.

I haven't had the time to crawl under the table and get my bearings...I haven't had the time to mourn anything.  I've just had to survive...and a person can only live in survival mode for so long before they crack...and guess what??? I'm there!

NO, IT'S NOT THE STRESS OF TAKING 15 HOURS, OR BEING TOO INVOLVED...THAT IS WHAT HAS KEPT ME SANE...I've been too busy to think about what I've lost, and believe me it's a lot more than you think.  When you have a parent that chases you down the block with a butcher knife, you have to take a little extra time to find your safe spot...if you even have one.  I had one, or so I thought...however, I haven't been able to get back there since my life fell apart.  I've had to pretend to be strong because others were counting on me...others were looking up at me....never realizing that that pillar that I was standing on had cracks everywhere and it was only a matter of time before it crashed down.  And yet, when it does crash, I'm still expected to go on like nothing is happening.  

There are very few people that really KNOW me.  I've been guarded most of my adult life because of what happened to me as a child.  When you grow up in an abused house, you have no safety anywhere.  For me, it was always crawling under a table or a desk...some place where I could fit and feel secure.  

Not once have I had a person just sit with me and let me cry and grieve for all that I've lost this past year and a half...

NOT.
ONE.
TIME.
NEVER.

And maybe it's asking too much of people...maybe its too much for me to say, "look, I lost everything that was my security...please, just let me cry it out, let me be that little girl that needa a shoulder,"

And so, in being expected to just go on with things, I've lashed out...at friends that didn't deserve it.  At people that I've admired, and mentors...

Please, just let me cry it out...please, don't tell me it will be OK because it's not OK...everything is a mess and I would rather you be honest with me than expect me to go on as if my life didn't just come crashing down.  

So, if you see me and I say I'm fine, know that I'm not fine.
I've lost everything that meant anything close to "safe" and by saying I'm fine, I'm really saying, please, I just want a shoulder or a friend.

Let me rebuild, but first I have to grieve...and I haven't been able to grieve yet...so I am a big pile of mess that looks like everything is OK...when it's not.\

I miss my husband, yes he assaulted me, but that doesn't make me love him less...it just means that he needs help. So, even though he's not dead, it seems like it because the person I fell in love with is gone..  And, I'm still grieving for that man. 

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Get the Childrent in your life a Free book and get $8

World Book and Swagbucks have the perfect gift for the little reader in your life - a free book that makes history come alive! World book has a great assortment of vibrant, fun, and informative books about a variety of different historical events, people, and legends that are perfect for grades 6-8. This offer gets you a free book (you pay $1 in shipping) AND you get $5 (paid in Swagbucks' SB Points) for doing it, plus a bonus $3 (300SB) for signing up for Swagbucks through me first. Here's how you can get your free book and $8:

1. Click here to get to the offer. When you get there, if you're not already a member you'll be prompted to create your Swagbucks account - it takes less than 30 seconds.
2. Click the blue "Continue" button
3. Order your free book - that's it! The 500 SB will credit immediately, and if you're a new member signing up for Swagbucks through the above link, you'll get another 300 SB in the first week of December.

So, what's this Swagbucks I'm talking about? It's the site where you earn points (called SB) for things you're already doing online, like shopping, watching videos, discovering deals (like this one!), taking surveys, or even searching the web! Then you take your points and redeem them for PayPal cash or gift cards to places like Amazon, Walmart, Target, Starbucks, and more! In fact, for signing up through me, you can actually get ANOTHER bonus $2 if you spend $25 or more on holiday shopping through Swagbucks this month!

I've been able to get several things I wanted and needed with Swagbucks and it's incredibly easy!! Start earning now!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

TODAY ONLY!!! Get a Free domain plus a year of webhosting for $1

Swagbucks (the online rewards site that puts cash back in your wallet) has an AMAZING offer through Bluehost where you get 3500 SB (which is the equivalent of $35 in gift cards) for signing up. 
 Bluehost is a leading web solutions services provider. You can try it out for 12 months at a special discounted price of $2.95/mo AND get a free domain in addition to 3500 SB by using this link before Friday, October 14th - that means you get everything for just $1! 

It's the perfect opportunity if you need to make a host change to your website or if you've been thinking about starting a website or blog. Haven't tried Swagbucks yet? This is a great way to do it, and when you sign up through the link above and get your 3500 SB, you'll get a bonus 300 SB at the beginning of November. So that's $35 for trying Bluehost, which gets you 3800 SB, which you can turn into $38 worth of gift cards!


Tuesday, September 27, 2016

SWAGO nCrave

What I love about Swagbucks is they offer tons of easy ways to earn SB, which are points that can be redeemed for free gift cards! SWAGO is their version of Bingo, and is a fun way to earn easy SB by completing tasks on their site. This week they're running nCrave Swago which is just like regular Swago except all of the squares are nCrave activities to complete. Like regular Swago, complete as many nCrave Swago squares as you can to get the biggest SB Bonus possible. You’ll get a new nCrave Swago Board each day so come back each day to complete your nCrave Swago Board and claim your SB Bonus. 

 You’ll want to read the following because nCrave Swago will work slightly different than regular Swago. Starting Monday, September 26th at 1:00pm PDT/4:00pm EDT through Thursday, September 29th at 11:59pm PDT/Friday 2:59am EDT head to your nCrave Swago Board and hit “Join”.

 Each square on your nCrave Swago Board will contain an nCrave activity to complete. Once you complete the nCrave activity in a particular square the square will change color signifying the nCrave activity is complete. Be mindful of the patterns and their corresponding bonuses located on the right of your nCrave Swago Board. The patterns will vary in difficulty and SB Bonus value. Once you’ve achieved a pattern the corresponding “Submit” button will light up. You can have multiple patterns available for submission, however, you can only submit ONE pattern each day so choose wisely. 

Each day you will have a NEW nCrave Swago Board which will appear at 12:01am PDT/3:00am EDT. This means that you must submit your nCrave Swago Board before 12:00am PDT/3:00am EDT each day to claim your SB Bonus. Yes, that means you will be able to submit your nCrave Swago Board 4 times, once each day. The game ends Thursday, September 29th at 11:59pm PDT/Friday 2:59am EDT so make sure to come back to your nCrave Swago Board EACH DAY to complete nCrave activities and claim your SB Bonus.

Get 400 SB when you get a $0.99 SIM card from FreedomPop

Swagbucks, the online rewards site that puts cash back in your wallet, has an AMAZING offer through FreedomPop where you get 400 SB (which is the equivalent of $4 in gift cards) for buying a SIM card for just $0.99!        FreedomPop's Global 3-in-1 SIM gives you free voice, text, and data in the US *and 25 other counties). Buy the $0.99 SIM card, get your first month of FreedomPop for fee, and earn 400 SB. If you stay subscribed for 3 months, you'll get an additional 1000 SB! Get yours by using this link before Wednesday, September 28th!  It's a zero-risk offer that pays you to try out a new, less expensive way to use your mobile phone.      
Haven't tried Swagbucks yet? This is a great way to do it, and when you sign up through the link above and get your 400 SB, you'll get a bonus 300 SB at the beginning of October. So that's $4 for trying Bluehost, which gets you 700 total SB, which you can turn into $7 worth of gift cards!


Friday, September 23, 2016

Am I really worth so little?

So, I figure before I’m silenced, I will tell what has happened to me from the apartments.  They want me to drop the Fair Housing complaint, and sign a confidentiality agreement. 

FOR $3,500. 00

Apparently this is all they think I’m worth.  All the things that they’ve done, how many times I’ve asked for the handicap parking spot.  The times I’ve had to call the police.  Even the time I had to get an escort into my own apartment from the police because the manager let other tenants stand behind my car, and wouldn’t let me back out. 

Then I got this email from the lady at Texas Workforce…

The Respondents have made a counter offer:

1.       My clients will waive the amounts due and owing from Ms. Cook as set forth on the ledger;
2.       My clients will pay $2,000.00 to Ms. Cook;
3.       The parties will sign a settlement agreement prepared by the undersigned to include a full release and confidentiality provision, among other things; and
4.       Ms. Cook will withdraw her Fair Housing Complaint (no conciliation agreement)

The offer will be available until the end of the week.

As I stated below, I have discussed my recommendation with management and legal. I want you to be aware that they may not agree with my determination.  If that happens the case will be dismissed no cause. If they agree and the case moves forward it not likely that the damages will be anywhere in the range that you are seeking. If the Respondents make a reasonable offer TWC may move forward without you and settle for public relief. As far as the determination I should have managements’ response by next Tuesday afternoon. Either way I will contact you to let you know.

Then I was sent this email:

I will tell you that the Pre-Determination will be a Mixed Cause finding.  Meaning that we do not have enough evidence to the allegations of Failure to Rent and Harassment.  If you have additional evidence that you believe supports the allegation then please submit it now.  If you have witnesses who witnessed firsthand the harassment allegations, then provide their contact information. I still have not heard from the witness you state wanted to remain anonymous nor have I been provided with their contact information. Your other witnesses have either not responded or their contact information provided was not in service.

Then I got this email:

Respondents have counter offered by raising the amount  on item 1. from $2000.00 to $3500.00. Items 3 and 4 will stay the same.

Respondents state that  the offer is good until Monday, September 26, 2016 and it is their final and best offer.

Either way, they want me to sign away my soul for $3,500, when the dollar amount of things that I lost when they evicted me were over $12,000.  This is a property that is targeting SFA college students.  And, since I’ve moved out, I’ve talked to half a dozen other tenants that have moved out for various reasons, EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM  was sent a bill for over $2,000. 

I wish I could afford an attorney to fight them.  I wish I could tell the world what they did.  I wish I could have back some of the stuff they threw away.  Right now, I’m fighting to just survive.  I can’t afford my rent right now because I had to move to a place more expensive and further from school.  I only eat one meal a day on average, and that’s only because I got a 50 block meal plan.  Soon, that will be gone also.   I don’t have internet at home, I’m living on the bare essentials, with a little splurge here and there.  I’m trying to find a job, but no one really wants to hire someone in a wheelchair lately. 


I want to shout that I survived the harassment that the apartments have put me through.  I want to tell Texas Workforce, that this should have been decided months ago.  This fair housing complaint was filed in FEBRUARY!! The law states it should have been settled in 100 days.  We’re going on six months.  My offer to the apartments was $15,000.  That would have gotten me everything that I lost, and a little left to actually try to pay all my bills.  There was a blatant fair housing violation, and they’re getting away with it.  I don’t know what else to do.  

Sunday, September 18, 2016

SWAGO Pie Fest!



Strawberry, Pumpkin, Apple, Boysenberry, the list goes on! Craving pie? It's time for SWAGO: Pie Fest! What is SWAGO you ask? It's a bingo-inspired promotion run by Swagbucks, a website that rewards you with points (called SB) for completing everyday online activities. You can redeem those SB for free gift cards. If you've never used Swagbucks, participating in SWAGO is a great introduction to the site.
Here’s what you need to know to get your 300 SB Bonus:
  • Swago: Pie Fest will begin on Monday, September 19th at 12pm PDT/3pm EDT, make sure you hit “Join” otherwise you won’t get credit for completing the action items. Each square on your Swago Board will contain an action item to complete.
  • Once you complete the action item in a particular square the square will change color signifying the action item is complete.
  • You have a limited amount of time to mark off as many squares as possible so use your time wisely.
  • Be mindful of the patterns and their corresponding bonuses located on the right of your Swago Board. The patterns will vary in difficulty and bonus value.
  • Once you’ve achieved a pattern the corresponding “Submit” button will light up. You can have multiple patterns available for submission, however, you can only submit ONE pattern so choose wisely.
  • The game ends Monday, September 26th at 12pm PDT/3pm EDT. So make sure to hit “Submit” on the pattern you wish to submit. If you don’t hit “Submit” before the game ends you won’t receive your SB bonus.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Swagbucks Team Challenge

I know you've heard me mention about Swagbucks in the past, and this is how I get some FREE gift cards!! Seriously, guys...it has helped this poor college student out a lot in the past.  Sooo, with that said...

Swagbucks is having another team challenge!  This is a chance to earn extra Swagbucks...read further for details!

What's your favorite part about county fairs? Is it the rides, the food, the games? I love it all!Starting Monday, September 12th, Swagbucks invites you to participate in their Midway Team Challenge. Pre-registration starts today! How will you contribute? Watching videos, completing surveys, shopping online? These activities and more will help your team get ahead. If you've never used Swagbucks before, it's a site where you can earn cash back on everyday tasks you do online. Now is a great time to join, especially if you participate in the Team Challenge because it's an opportunity to win an extra bonus for trying out the site.            

 All members who participate and contribute at least 400 SB to their team’s total will receive an SB bonus in the form of a rebate on their next gift card! I can’t wait to help my team come in 1st place for that 50 SB rebate.             

The challenge lasts until September 16th so log on or make a free account! Pre-registration is open now!


Monday, July 18, 2016

Yes, I am #blessed

So, I get emails when a lot of people post their blogs, and I got one today that I had to reply to.
Another advocate of a special needs family member posted a blog about being blessed.  And, while I agree with most of what is said, I do have to argue about the faith, and praying.

You see, when I was homeless, I thought I was still blessed because I at least had a car to sleep in.  I had a pastor that cared about me so much that he let me sleep on the couch there instead of in my car during the coldest months last year.  I am blessed because I had friends to stand by me.  

Because I am so blessed, I learned a lot of things.  

1.  There are people worse off than I am.

2.  I know who my real friends are.

3.  I know I'm a survivor.

4.  I know what I am made of.

5.  I know that God hasn't abandoned me.

Yes, I do live in fear of several things because of what has happened.  I live in fear of becoming homeless again...EVERY.  SINGLE.  DAY.  I live in fear that if my ex gets out of jail, he will assault me again.  I live in fear that DTI Investments will get away with the harassment and discrimination that they put me through from December through May.  Mostly, I live in fear that I haven't grown enough this past year to see all the every day blessings that happen.

Now, to get back to the part of what I don't agree with.  Yes, it may seem that you have been punished, but in reality, you were given a gift.  Your daughter is a wonderful person because you have been blessed with a strong marriage and family support.  I have nothing.  I have no family to help me out, I have no family to cry on their shoulder, and I have no family to care about me.  

My family is cut throat, and will do anything to screw up my life.  I have an older sister that I don't talk to because she thinks that my ex did nothing wrong, even when he assaulted me.  Her first words to me were "what did you do to make him assault you?"  I have a father that chased me down the street with a butcher knife when I was younger. I have a mother that was (and still is) a hypochondriac.  I have a little sister and little brother that I don't really talk to, in fact I don't even know where they live.  I have a daughter that I haven't see or heard from since she was 4.  And I have a son I haven't seen in person since he was 5, and he has his own daughter now.

I've been wanting to start blogging again, but haven't figured out how to adjust things to my new life.  I'm single again...at 40ish.  I'm still trying to finish school, and I'm struggling.  

But, my life is #blessed because I refuse to not see the small blessings.  

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Why I Chose to Fight for a Parking Spot (Or why I got evicted)

You may think that I should have just let it go.
You may think that I was asking for trouble for standing up for myself.
And...you're probably right.

But, if there's one thing that really upsets me, it's when people feel they can walk all over others because they're in a position of power.

Yes, I'm talking about my apartment complex.  

When I moved in, I told them there would be days when I would have to take my wheelchair into the apartment.  That I had a handicap placard, and would be using it.  I thought it was really cool that there was a handicap parking spot right outside my apartment.  Then...this happened:

Yes, that would be a car parked in the striped no parking area right next to the handicap spot.  On a side not, I usually parked a little over the line to give the person next to the handicap spot room to open their doors because the spots were so close together.

The next morning, the car was still there...it was there so late the next morning that I was late for a final exam...I couldn't get my stuff into the car.  When the guy went into the office, and came out, he said the manager said he could park there.  

I'm thinking to myself, wait a minute, this is a no parking zone, and yet the manager just said he could park there.  Something's not right.  So, I decided to look at the Fair Housing Laws, and confirmed that an assigned handicap parking spot is a reasonable accomodation.  And, it would eliminate people parking in the striped area...or so I thought.  

When I asked the manager for the assigned spot, I was told that they'r'e private property and they don't have to provide that accommodation.  So, I checked the law even more.  And this is what I found:
Requires housing providers to make reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities. A reasonable accommodation is a change in rules, policies, practices, or services so that a person with a disability will have an equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling unit or common space. A housing provider should do everything s/he can to assist, but s/he is not required to make changes that would fundamentally alter the program or create an undue financial and administrative burden. Reasonable accommodations may be necessary at all stages of the housing process, including application, tenancy, or to prevent eviction.

Example: A housing provider would make a reasonable accommodation for a tenant with mobility impairment by fulfilling the tenant's request for a reserved parking space in front of the entrance to their unit, even though all parking is unreserved.
*Here is the link if you want to check it out* 

So, I printed it out, and went back to my apartment manager, and showed it to them.  I got "we will let the attorney's know".  That was it.  In the meantime there continued to be people parking in the striped spot and the handicap spot itself...without a handicap placard.  

This is when I started keeping records.  On more than one occasion I had to call friends to take my things into my apartment because there was not parking. And, several times, I couldn't get in my car.  And, Yet, I continued to ask for the parking spot.  

By the middle of February, when I filed the complaint, I was so frustrated and overwhelmed that I started looking for another apartment.  I wanted to first have all of my ducks in a row before I gave notice and broke my lease.  

In March, it started to get to the point where I felt I was being harassed because I kept asking for the parking spot.  I started staying at school later and later...the Student Center stays open every night until 11 PM.  Then I would go to McDonald's and waste time there.  It got to the point where I would stay gone from my apartment until I was literally falling over because I was so tired.  And I would turn around and get up early, and be at the Student Center when their doors opened at 7AM.  

Then in April, one of the new tenants called the apartment manager and said I followed her to school (the apartment is half a mile from the school) and that she was scared to come home.  Scared of ME...who sits in a wheelchair all day, and am usually in so much pain, I really don't want to mess with anyone.  

It's hard enough for me to carry my Smart Drive into the house, let alone try to find out exactly who this chick was and where she lived.  I could care less about that at this point.  And...I got home that night to an eviction notice.  Yep, you guessed it...lease violation.  I'm such a scary person.

I knew that my Fair Housing Complaint was working it's way through the system, and I was hoping that it would get through the system in time, but it didn't.  

So, I went to court, and got evicted.  And, I asked for some time until the end of the semester, when all the housing would open up.  

And, the apartments wouldn't budge.  I do have to say that I talked to the Regional Office earlier this week...they said they would let me have my parking spot, and let me stay.  I said Thanks but no Thanks because I want them to learn the law and I want them held responsible for every night I had to leave my stuff in the car because I couldn't carry it in, or every night I couldn't charge my Smart Drive.  

So, thanks to some very awesome and wonderful football players, my stuff made it into storage.  I may not have a roof over my head, but I know I can take a stand and fight for what I'm legally entitled to get.  

And, this is where I am not.  I'm homeless again, and I'm fighting for my rights.  

Fair Housing is coming here to Nac in June, and I have about NINE pages of paperwork to fill out..  Personally, I just want this to go away.  Yeah, I think I may be strong enough to stand up for my rights, but there are days where just standing up is too painful.  It's why I use a wheelchair, and why I asked for that parking spot.  So, in the coming days, I'm going to probably post some of the pictures and videos.  And, I will try to keep you updated.  But, right now, there is very little fight left in me.  I just want to finish my education, and get a good job, and provide for my son.  

Here are a couple of the pictures of cars parked in the handicap spot, and the spot next to it.  The gray car is the maintenance guy, who said the striped spot was his "assigned parking spot".
  






This is one of my favorites...To be able to feel that privileged.  
I'm also uploading a video to youtube.  Personally, it sums up the past 5 months for me.