Prairie Home: Surviving Hard Times

$2,082 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 58 people in 67 months
Greetings! Our names are Bill and Trish. We are partners living a self-sufficiency lifestyle out of necessity in this hard economy. Both Bill and Trish no longer work outside the home due to health reasons. Times are hard for many people, including ourselves. We have not only had to borrow from Peter to pay Paul, but sometimes Paul has waited, or not gotten paid period. We are raising chickens, gardening, cut all but the bare bones of our budget. Despite that, we are very close to going under. We hope that we can raise sufficient funds to pay off enough debt so our disability income will cover the basics (housing, heat/electricity, transportation, food - we have no cable tv or smart phones/land lines).

Our goal: Pay off our vehicle, freeing up funds that can be used for other necessities such as repairs, emergency fund, and medical bills. Anything extra will go to our fund for re-siding our small home, which badly needs it.
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Things have been quiet here on the fund-raising page for some months now. Not that we don't need to continue raising funds, but mostly because we have been scrambling to survive. The latest crisis was just this past week, when our wood pellet stove quit working during some of the coldest weather this winter. Bill kept the place at around 40 degrees inside the house with the kitchen stove, then got a room electric heater that brought it up to 60, which was still too chilly to feel warm. After a lot of hard work tearing down the stove, and buying parts we couldn't afford by borrowing from Peter to pay Paul, the stove is once again working. But to be honest, folks, we are really hurting financially. Since our last update, Bill is now permanently off his old job, and was determined to be disabled by his work. He is waiting to hear from the Social Security Administration on a disability application with them, but that will take many more weeks if not months to be resolved. In the meantime, any donation you can offer to help us until then would be greatly appreciated. It's been a tough 18 months or so, with some months ahead of us until we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. You generosity means a lot to Bill and I!
Stove, all fixed and working once again!
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We apologize for being so quiet this spring. After my January Social Security disability hearing, we waited to hear my results. About two months went by, and it was good news: I was awarded disability!

It was an incredible relief to know that we didn't have to worry any more about making ends meet.

It took another month or so before my benefits began. Since then, we've been catching up on bills. Sadly, we still did not have enough to replace the siding on our home, which continues to deteriorate. We tried to do it with what little we could put up ourselves, along with a home improvement loan, but no one will loan to us. That is the way it is for many people like ourselves in the situation we are in. So we muddle on, thankful we can cover the basic needs.

We are having additional medical problems. They are of a long-standing nature that came to a head recently. The outcome of which is still unknown. We will keep you posted...
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We had a (another) blizzard this weekend. The temperatures this morning are in the cellar again - -20F with -60F windchill. Keep that in mind with what I am about to write...

Bill shared this from work this morning, "About a 1/4 mile from work I feel a weird rumbling sound, I slowed down and was able to limp into a parking lot. Here the tire came off the rim."

I responded to him, "I am very thankful you got to work o.k., Bill. If that had come off when you were driving at speed, I shudder to think what might have happened..."

That is the kind of thing that happens due to severe winter weather. To get our spare on will cost around $100.

Friends we need your help. We are SO close to getting on our feet, but for now, we are still struggling, and we do NOT have the money to cover this. This is our only vehicle, and how Bill gets to work.

We ask that you consider an emergency donation today!


P.S.: The stress we are under right now due to finances, work stress (Bill), health issues (both of us) is incredibly frustrating, painful (mental and physical), embarrassing, etc. We don't want to ask for help, but we don't know what else we can do. We are being incredibly honest here, and it's not an easy thing to do.
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We are in the middle of a record-breaking cold spell. We've seen cold like this before, and even worse, but not for many years. I remember cold like this when I was growing up, and my grandmother told me of brutally-cold winters with deep snowfall, in her childhood.

For now, all of us here at Prairie Home hunker down and do what is necessary to conserve the heat we have. Layers aren't a ski-slope fashion statement here. No, Sir. They are a life-necessity. We have underwear and T-shirts with heavier pull-overs, sweaters, or shirts over that, and then a hoodie over that, plus long-johns and pants, and two pairs of socks. And that's just for the in-doors. Beds have 2-3 heavy blankets or quilts. Ovens, when done cooking, are turned off and opened to use the remaining heat in the kitchen instead of wasting it, losing it up a vent to the outdoors. Entertainment is online, tv, or reading done in bed beneath covers, dogs, and cats. The bed gets a bit crowded, but we have a lot of fun snuggling.

THANK YOU to all of you who contribute to us. We literally don't know how we would be surviving right now without your generosity.
Despite the cold, Gandalf stays warm...
It is cold, but the crew still must eat
Cold doesn't stop turkeys displaying!
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$2,082 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 58 people in 67 months
Created August 11, 2013
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