CONFESSIONS OF A BOTTOM FEEDER
by Anita Sands Hernandez email@example.com
Many modern city dwellers who want to give their life over to painting or writing and who work 8 hours a day at their beloved artform, find that they can survive perfectly well without a 'regular job.’ They do the work they adore and pay rent with sales! They live in picturesque, old homes with huge, jungley gardens and pay their way painting portraits, painting junked furniture with faux finishes, doing ceramics, sewing, designing textiles, wall hangings, maybe even painting houses, (again, faux finishes "shabby Chic"-- nothing banal.)
They are artists and not all of them are starving artists, either. They live in homes because they are esthetically pleasing and provide many large rooms for offices, studios, and a big garage for carpentry work. They provide huge gardens in which they can grow food, --a pursuit that is considered a soul-satisfying art form, not an obligation, although it makes eating really delicious gourmet things like nectarines, artichokes, asparagus, and oranges that have hung a full three years in a tree, and are truly ripe, so it makes a really fine life cheaper!
These jungley homes aren't all rented homes; some of them buy homes. How do they afford to when they don't have 'regular' jobs? Unknown but true, the government helps low income people who have no credit report at all, via the Fannie Mae program. First time homeowners who have a bank account, who paid taxes last year, and who have or seem to have savings -- qualify. People paid for freelance work as artists, healers, mystics, organic gardeners or party caterers will qualify for a loan with the Fannie Mae's 'Community Program'. It isn't about altruism. The state hopes that you own property when you're old so they can get paid back for your old age home. The only way your children will inherit property is if they take care of you when you're old and sick! But if you eat nectarines and three-year ripe oranges, you'll never BE sick!
To remake my point, these hippies I describe may even own property But one thing is true about these Bohemians: they never work 40-hour-a-week jobs hoeing another person's row, not unless they love that job; then they happily put in 80 hours.
Drudgery-free artists are easy to spot. They drive to mountain and beach on weekdays, --in old cars it's true, --but with a proud smile because they're glad to be in the .0005% of the populace of the planet who own cars. They brake for sofas left on sidewalks and garage sales, because that's how they furnish their homes. They know that your second-hand, leftover stuff is as good as their firsthand. With a fresh slipcover that they made, and some serape rugs draped over. So they earned their nickname. We are bottom feeders. And I am one and I confess it.
Bottom feeders don't make a good living but we have a great life! We have the dollars for rent and utility money and the leftover change is for brown rice and tofu. We're into quality abundance in things other than cash. Gardens, sun, creativity, art. All we need is just enough income to get by. Often, we 'get by' with the help of our friends. Friends sleep on our couches and kick in rent and food. And in hard times, friends lend us their couches and we do the kicking in. But with any sense you can rent a big cottage, have a roomie and cover the rent and keep the lease going. The trick is to paint the exterior, 2 days, two gallons of remaindered paint! And to paint all the interior rooms bright pastels... landscape Use the FREEBIE EASY METHOD.
BFers don't have savings accounts; we have 'mattress money.' We don't have regular 40 hour a week jobs; we have cottage industries, home businesses. True, we don't make as much as you do in your highly paid drone work, but look on the bright side, our money's all our own. We don't have FICA deductions, pension fund, Social Security deductions and we don't pay taxes. We don't have costly HMO's but not to worry. We don't have high blood pressure either.
We may be forgoing Social Security and Med-I-Care coverage at the end of our lives because we expect --as many government prophets predict, that there will be no Social Security or Med-I-Care by then. Not for you, not for anyone. BFers don't count on Uncle Sam or on pensions. We have learned secret techniques of Surviving on a Nickel that give creativity, earnings and bliss, and bliss is such a super vitamin that we expect to live forever.
Bottom feeders enjoy sunny days at home doing textured wall-painting or digging carrot rows in the yard, or sweating in their ateliers as much as you yuppies enjoy your caffe lattes, Beamers, IRA's and airless, gleaming, monochrome condo-sealed tombs scented with all the formaldehyde in those spanking new plywood boards.
What are the secrets of this mysterious tribe who listens for their own drumbeat and happily live at the bottom of the food chain? What are their methods of achieving a viable lifestyle in Post-Reagan times using advanced Trickle-Down theory?
And who are these people, anyway? Are they just an urban legend? I mean, do you actually know any of them? Let's study their habits, their habitat and decide if BFers might be someone you know or someone you might want to be.
As I mentioned, daytime, BFers are always outdoors. They are a fresh-air lot. They have suntans, smile a lot and have no visible means of support. You'll find them unloading a picnic basket in the parking lot at a public park on a week-day. They carry thrift store tennis rackets, drive old Volvos, VW's or 4 cylinder Japanese cars from the early 80's. Look in the picnic hamper. It's full of SALAD. Bottom feeders are frequently vegetarian, recognizing that cows must know how much good protein is in greens, hence they have ruddy complexions and never NEED medical coverage. Their cuts and gashes actually heal without stitches as they have amazing immune systems.
WHAT, NO HMO? That's RIGHT. Not on a bet! WHY NOT? Because they know that any doctor you see, ever, will want to operate or give you chemicals. And because that care's COST will come out of what you leave your children. So how do they stay healthy? The answer to this is a no brainier. Don't get sick. Bottom feeders stay on the absolute healthfood diet of the planet! No bologna, occasional beef, eggs, chicken, fish, and even gland meats but not often. And always served with piles of greens to balance the acidity.. Catch your own fish, that’s the fun.
In our picnic basket there's a choice of bogus egg salad sandwich, (really tofu salad and tastier than egg salad ever thought of being.
TOFU EGG SALAD.- Mash l lb tofu with 1 tsp curry powder, chopped olives, 3-4 tbsp mayo, 2 tbsp healthfood store no preservative, sweet pickle relish, 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds, 4-10 drops chile sesame oil, chopped celery/olives. Spread on bread. You know how you can tell it's not egg salad? It tastes better! Plus -- tofu is full of youth preserving natural hormones that soy has so your glands don't wither and YOU never wrinkle!) Make your own bread, the 99c tofu on sale, toast all slices, mix up relish, some mayo, six people can eat for a dollar!
MINERALS are thinner in factory farm produce, and show up in testing as 14 times more prevalent in ORGANIC vegies, fruits & salad. Grow your own and have a daily Caesar salad with some protein in it, tuna or chicken. Always schedule raw fruit for between meals. Cheaper than low cost is FREE FOOD. See who's giving away what at the temple where you can feast. The Sikh temples give lungar, free lunch. Hindu temples have weekend dinners. Hare Krishna’s do, too.
FEASTING AT HOME: Steak and spinach salad is for feasts, and then it's always 99c chuck steak on special. Today, in 2006, our Vallarta Market chain is having a Spring .69c a LB. sale on chicken leg/thigh called quarters. Last year 49c an lb on a rare sale by the l0 lb bag, or the box of subsize frozen barnyard casualty pieces, occasional 69c an lb whole bird, fresh. I usually buy 10lbs when they're on sale but today I bought two bags or 20 lbs and washed them, put them in smaller bags of two lbs each and froze them. One can bag/ foil them before freezing for one portion servings but I have a tribe of cats so I simmer it for a slow hour, then add in all my dandelions, not stems, just leaves. When cool, I mush it into smaller pieces and cats get veggies and meat.. Broth gets cooled, fat skimmed, (given to soap makers via Craigs List, free) . If you grow your own winter greens/ kale, chard etc. but not spinach, too much oxalic acid… your pound of chicken dinner will cost you pennies per cat. Or dog! Not too shabby. I mean...it is shabby! And isn't that WONDERFUL! :>) My possums think it’s great. I throw all bones near possum cave where cats can’t go, doing so at 9pm just as they are coming out. Possums finished every snail in the garden here for which I thank them.
So you get the picture: HOW BOTTOM FEEDERS EAT: There is the cheap meat choice (which I do lately finding fishermen who GIVE their catch away when their yacht comes in) so while you’re fishing for bonito and mackeral by the bait tank, you’re waiting to wave to yachts. Then, there's the totally vegetarian feed bag supplied by TEMPLES by the garden, both the bounty from our own organic gardens and from the neighborhood communal garden! AND from local dumpsters found behind the99c store, the super market and thehealthfood store, our neighbor’s gardens, etc. Both menus can be filled with loss-leader items from super markets and free, giveaway produce that the healthfood store actually gives us if we arrive daily and we’ll haul twenty to fifty pounds of stuff away at closing time. I have a dozen families I feed. (Day old produce/ milk, etc.)So we all eat very well!
Also, there are free meals (lungar) at all Sikh Temples in the world often daily…..and at Hari Krisha temples on SUNDAYS. Not to mention cheese giveaways at churches! There are dumpsters in every city. Inspect the FREEGAN SITE and its many webpages which lists some of the great food giveaways and free street faires.
Last, there is the bounty of all God's trees overhanging alleys and offered from front lawns by friendly neighbors. Last, every small non-chain market will box up and give you their wilted vegies if they're certain you'll come at the end of the day. Those that won't will see the hardier of us leaning over their dumpsters, picking.
LEAN AND MEAN. BF'ers have learned that one can be a total vegan with ease if one is careful to combine a small amount of vegetarian proteins with full amino acid foods, either in the meal or in the next meal. Broccoli oddly enough can be a protein if you add a little complementary protein like hummous or dairy so we sprinkle or drizzle bean dip or butter on top. Raw juices, green and gold salads are full of macro-nutrients but it takes sunflower seeds to turn vegies into a rib-sticking protein meal.
With rent so high, some days there is no money for FOOD. When that happens, Bottom feeders don't fret. They eat what's on the shelf. Canned pork and beans are great with a shot of hickory barbecue sauce. A solid poor-day tip given me by one of my nickle-pinching Caesars is to always keep whole grain flour in the freezer. Add water from boiled vegies, yeast, good oil or butter and let that dough rise into crusty bread. Or rub the wheat with water to make Seitan (wheat steak) which I don’t do as GLUTEN IS REAL BAD (clickable url) for 90% of us…. but you can GOOGLE info up on that. Or take soybeans and make tofu. Or make your own Bible Bread and have a dozen subscribers! Three times a week which is 36! Bread is 3$ a loaf so that’s 108 dollars a week. Bake your own sweets. Gluten Free!
My luxury is brown basmati rice, from Persian grocery, on sale.. Arab or Armenian, Hindu stores also sell it. In 2011, about a buck a pound. Once I found a forty lb bag of Hindu whole wheat flour in a parking lot outside a HINDU café. I used a SEITAN recipe to make crow dumplings daily. The brown flour is used for their parantas, a delicious spiced potato pizza that knocks me out. I also fed it to crows as cat broth dumplings. Meaning mix flour and water, a little animal fat. Simmer them in the cat chicken broth ( I cook for the cats daily, vegies and meat together to extend the grub to fifteen cats) I cook the dumplings in that broth and offer them to the crows so they don't plunder songbirds nests! Not in my neighborhood! You yell caw caw when the crows are on your block and that’s a feeding call so they come. They quickly learn your address and your vocal signal.
CAT FEEDING SECRETS: Every dog owner has kibble his dogs won’t eat. I always pick up marked down bags on the “DENTED SHELF” at market. (Rats in super market eat holes in the bags. They tape them, sell them half price. ) I break bag into many smaller, plastic grocery bags, neck tightly wound and store in my dead dryer (I sun dry so why fix it?) --for easy handling. I use home made broth on top of the kibble just at serving time to make the kibble smell appetizing. If you are using DOG FOOD for cats, broth helps the big lumps to break down so that they can be bit into by cats. Then I used to goop it up with 33 cents a can CAT FOOD, 13 oz for that price, at 99c store. But then the CHINESE scare, I stopped buying it. American canned foods have meat-BY- PRODUCTS so I use real chicken. 39c an lb a year ago, now it’s 69c an lb but that’s on sales only. Stewing softens bones which I give to possums and Blinky Ramirez the dog next door with the lower jaw like a Buick grill. .Possums clean my yard of snails. I figure if WWIII comes or the great Recession gets worse, Possums are meat! Actually according to the French, so are snails!
I would even pick up roadkill if it’s squirrels or pidgeons and IF IT smells fresh. If so, defeather it. Throw it into the yard, see what they do. I cook CAT VEGIES: chard, kale, carrots, mash them, mix it with the cat meat. I can find meat under a dollar a pound all the time. Pork at 99c lb for chops, shoulder. Whole Chicken 59c now in 2007. On sale.Whole turkey is 59c today on sale for a month and Every week I buy one, baked it, cool it, put it in20 packages in freezer. Thaw one or two a day for the cats. Turkey Burger in plastic paper bullet was 99c. an lb for years just went up to $1.29 but no bones so it’s worth it, Get it at a KROGERS/ i.e. RALPHS chain store. Usually the 99c store (NDN on the stock market, 6$ a share right now) has a 33c can of cat meat but as MEAT is not primary ingredients, I don’t buy it anymore. It costs more than real meat from super markets. I add GRAINS in small amt to their stewed meat. Stale tortillas might soak up the juices. They get soft, are very high calcium.Other times, I cook basmati rice in my crockpot, make sure it’s soft, then add the meat, cook it some more. The cats eat it so I know that if there ever is a panic and grocery stores are closed as someone hijacked the trucks at city’s edge, I can make my bags of basmati help out the meats. If I had a huge catch of fish, I’d cook fillets for me and the kids, cook skeletons, heads into mush, pick out the bones carefully, throw that over their KIBBLE which I buy with coupons. (doubled) Market I go to gives me 9$ back when I get to l00$ on cats including litter.
FOODS FOR PENNY-FREE DAYS: Keep track of all the fruit trees in the neighborhood. Ask the neighbor, ‘can I have what falls on lawn?” Usually they say, take it all, but I don’t. I want the fruit truly ripe. The true scoop on fruit tree alley scavenging is that it is 100% legal if it overhangs a fence and is on sidewalk or alley. When I first became a Bottom Feeder, having four, fatherless children, I learned to pick lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruit from my own California garden and juice it. I learned to not throw away the peels; they were the best part. I parboiled them, scraped interior pith off with a sharp spoon, getting rid of all the white rind then boiled the outerskins with its own juice and a ton of sugar to make marmalade, which I kept in the fridge in jars and give away at Xmas and sell the rest of the year. When I first began to grow mulberries and raspberries, I found that the sour juice plus the yellow outer lemon rind, carved off in paper thin strips, boiled with the berries added tangy oomph to the jam that makes head spin. For my kitchen art, I probably COULD earn enough money to pay at least the fone bill, every month. But when I tell my star clients about the jam, show them a jar, stick a spoon of it in their mouth to tell them never to throw away lemon peels, they promptly try to buy a jar but I press the recipe and EZ tech on them instead. Jam simmers while I wash dishes, and in 5 min, two jars! Presto Cheapo! Exquisito!
SO LEARN THIS: ALLEYS ARE USER FRIENDLY-Apricots, nectarines, peaches, lemons, limes grow all over the city. The most prized treasure on trees of course, is avocados, beefsteaks on a tree, like having McDonalds give away Big Macs free on every corner. Avocados are friendly fruit. The ripe ones fall on the ground, making themselves available. I can roll down an alley at five miles an hour with the door open, lean out and pick fruit off the ground. Ripe citrus falls off the tree and is the only citrus to eat. If it's still in a branch, it may not have the requisite three years hanging in the sun! Two year oranges look eatable but they're not. They're sour. Unfortunately, that's all you can buy in a super market!
There is one drawback to poaching in alleys: cops. Police will harass you if they see you, but not to worry; if they don't see you, they can't harass you. So be as invisible as you can. Ask your neighbors if they want their pets walked. (Charge 4$ an hour to do it.) Drive pooch to a suburban neighborhood. Park car on the street and walk your neighbor's dog into an alley with overhanging trees. Carry a long prong-tipped or HOOK-tipped stick (nail in stick bent to catch fruit's stem) and some plastic bags. The aggregate visual effect is of a neat citizen returning from the supermarket and walking his dog. You actually seem to live on that street. No cop asks a dogwalker for ID or to see contents of your POOP BAG! No dog? Do it alone. If police wonder what's up, say sweetly, I was jogging and I saw this lovely fruit. Naturally a jogger has no I.D. Say I’m a tourist from Canada, at my Aunt’s. Give them a phony name and your 'aunt's' address nearby. Booking a misdemeanor takes too much paperwork, too many forms, also, other cops would laugh these cops out of the jail for booking someone who was just picking fruit as it is, technically, legal in alleys.And a Canadian tourist? Wouldn’t touch you.
Afraid of the hassle? Then go to the small, independent healthfood store at closing time, (Not Whole Foods, they won’t go for this). Tell the owner that you distribute food to the poor. (You must actually do it, too, or your word's no good. Never fritz with your word. It's the most important thing BFers have --next to pluck and chutzpah.) If you promise to show up daily at the same time, invariably, you will get the store's 'garbage concession.' I did this for years, and was given crates of dairy products, fruit, bags of grains that rats had nibbled, every kind of bean and rice.
If you ever become homeless, if you ever loved Charles Dickens novels and are a stickler for realism, there's real garbage. Many BFers "Dumpster Dive" just as the homeless have always done. Super markets throw enormous amounts of food, cosmetics, medicine, flowering plants into those dumpsters. I met Marty, an 80 year old dumpster diver, a kind of hands-on guy, who gets inside the bins, tosses the treasures out into boxes. He fills his van with food from the supers and potted plants, cosmetics and notions from drugstores and gives regular garage sales making thousands of tax-free untraceable dollars on a week-end. He also has a regular route of delivery customers, Bottom Feeders all.
Frizzy Bob (a reference to his hair) another neighbor of mine, works the alleys of Beverlywood and Pico Robertson and gives the produce to single mothers with kids. I know because I was on his route and often he'd take me to watch him do it but I could never lean up against a dumpster. I have cootie-phobia, so I'm a terrible trasher but if I see the bagels come out of the dumpster in bags, I used to eat bread, but no more, only bible bread, grain soaked, sprouted, then ground into dough. So in those days, I’d toast, butter and eat them, after inspecting them carefully for mold. Slight mold means they get soaked in water, chicken broth and thrown to the crows. L.A. used to have crows before WEST NILE VIRUS. Scarse these days. I'm sure mold can't hurt a crow. What do you think? Eating baby songbirds hurts a crow!And it sure hurts the sonbird so I FEED CROWS!
Last year, I noted a prestigious Iranian bakery had a truck unloading bread into the dumpster! l00 loaves! They apparently sent their driver to pick up their famed bread (when outdated) at dozens of stores around town, bring it back to the bakery where they threw it all into the dumpster, neatly bagged. Every Thursday after bakery closed, I was there to get a dozen bags which I'd freeze. I cooked 2 lbs of cheap chicken or frozen BULLETS of turkey burger and 4 carrots and 4 chard leaves in water for dozens of cats. I had to do that work. Always had broth left over. So the frozen bread went into the broth and at dawn, I'd throw it out on the curb strip for the crows. They came in flocks. Cute sassy birds! For months after the bakery closed, the poor crows would come squawk at me. So I one day found a 40lb bag of Canadian flour ground like Hindus like it, for chapatis, discarded outside an Indian store, dragged it home, I made dough, did dumplings in the broth and they loved that, too!
FOOD RESURRECTION TRICKS:
BREAD-Put on your glasses. If there's any mold, anywhere, reserve for crows, possums or dump it. Humans cannot eat it. The spores are all the way through the loaf. Maybe you could toast it well if you were starving. If there's a little mold, you can give it to wildlife. Mold cannot be seen, sometimes. TOAST that bread for sure. It kills the ‘bloom’. When shopping, especially in summer, especially for all grain bread, if the bag is puffing up slightly, that’s a bad sign! FERMENTATION is going on.
BERRIES-Float berries on water, save and use floaters only. Out of these, toss ones with any visible mold in a quart of water, smush them into mash with fingers, then plant in a flat of good potting soil. You’ll get hundreds of baby berry plants. . Put sugar on your fresh washed berries to preserve them in fridge until needed. The sinkers have lost their oxygen, are no good for eating but don't let the sinkers go down the drain. Gather them together, plant them. You'll get dozens of vines and berries for years afterwards out of a handful of rotten berries.I would go to 99c store DUMPSTER and get tons of berries. Grow the plants, put them on CRAIGS LIST “Trade berry vines for a bag of potting soil. SUPER SOIL only, The other brands KILL plants. More like MULCH.
CARROTS and all root vegies: Soak overnight in a sink of cold water, turnips, beets, ditto. Next morn, they're firm again. Wish we forty plus ladies could do that to our THIGHS!
WILTED SALAD- Cut across bottom of leaves, soak for several hours. After a few hours your salad is crisp. When we get all salads from store, we should mix a tbsp. of vinegar into a full sink of water, shake it around. The vinegar kills small parasites not only in wilted salad, in ALL salad. Dry before you bag it, by shaking, toweling, draining.
FRUITS-When you dumpster dive or get rejects from markets, you get fruit with tiny rotten spots. My grandmother used to say about men, "Men are like peaches. The sweetest fruit always has a rotten spot." You got the damn thing for free, so now you gauge how long it will last with that nick and if it's not long, cut nick out, chop it up, sugar it, leave it in a bowl in fridge with mint leaves and sugar on it. And "push" the fruit to the tenants and kids. Say 'wowie peach salad in there." If you're smart, you will do fruit salad the second all the 'used fruit' gets into the house as on a fruitplate, it's just gonna mold faster! Plus the kids will spot it and say EEEUUU.... So promptly wash, clean, peel, cut up, throw a half cup of sugar or honey on it and sprig with mint and half cup yogurt, so it looks appetizing and teach kids how to add it to cheap white yogurt. Lasts a few days in the fridge, marinating in the liqueurs. Speaking of which, add a few drops of almond essence to the brine, magique!
POMEGRANATES. Juice on electric juicer, boil with sugar. Save your old soy sauce or katsup glass bottles for the grenadine syrup. Instant drink. Squeeze of fresh lemon, beats anything in a jar.
YOGURT- Why pay a buck a serving? MAKE YOUR OWN YOGURT. Bring that gallon of day old milk you get for free at healthfood store (every store I ask to save food for the giveaway run gives me a ton of stuff and encourages me to come daily,) bring that milk to just under a simmer, so the SKIN forms on top. Turn off fire. Let sit; Bring entire pan down to body temperature. NOT any WARMER! Take big 4 tbsp whack of yesterday's yogurt from container, pour some warm milk into it, slowly, stirring all the time with fork or chopstick or best is a STEEL whipping cream WHIP, then add that to the big pot of milk, stirring in well, again. Cover tightly so warmth stays in. Leave in warm place or on heating pad (I have them for kittens). Stove pilot may do it...Leave 8 hrs. Or use thrift store yogurt maker, probably the easiest thing to find at a thrift store! Has space for only 4 glass jars. Chez moi, 50 spaces would do!
If kids are not kitchen-friendly, the food-respectful parent will 'push' what just came in by serving it up in a festive fashion. Plop a dish on their lap in front of the t.v, or where they're doing homework. Parents will never, ever tell their kids this is dumpster slime or day-old charity from markets. Their egos cannot handle it. They want to be the same as other kids and you should respect their feelings. Lie like a rug. "Oh, Natural Foods had a special on fruit today." That's true in a way, too.
GREEN POTATO- Plant it. They're no good for anything else. The green ones will give you arthritic joints. Potatoes develop a poison (solanine) when they turn green. Sprouting potatoes are fine to use as food if they are not green. Just cut the sprouted tips off with a piece of potato behind it, and plant those tiny pieces. Each one will grow into a plant! Bizarre, no? But you only eat the remaining, gouged up spud. Not eyes or growths. Day you dig potatos, you don’t eat it. You store them in cool dark place to age for a week. Then they’re tasty. They smooth out.
CAFE "DUMPSTER DIVING"-While upper class DD's and BFer's don't go after any cafe consumer's dinner when it's been trashed, the homeless will. Cat owners might…..occasionally do this. Restaurants throw huge amounts of food into the trashcan. Just for an experiment, go behind a cafe at ll p.m. and check. You'll find complete meals, dozens, nibbled on and discarded, well wrapped. THE FREEGAN (clickable URL)
TRAINING WEBSITE goes into detail about where these great dumpsters are and what techniques are used, and most importantly, the morality of grabbing ‘USED FOOD’. FOOD IS FOOD! Restaurants can be great supply links for petfood or feeding starving alley cats, if you rinse the salt off. Myself, I'd prefer to ask the cafe to fill a special bag for me each night, if I had an alley cat route. Realize that all that highly salted food will slowly destroy the kidneys of male cats! But who cares? They live high for a while, check out and reincarnate, pick up another body. Maybe each gourmet year is worth ten ordinary Frisky cat years and pigging out is worth it. However, attempt to wash salty sauces off!
Except for riding shotgun with Frizzy Bob, and my own crow bread routes, for the first twenty years of my hard times, I had no experience D-Diving. (I really started in 2005, just before I qualified for Social Security, that last year or so,) Earlier, when I was a young single mother with four children to feed, I used to drop by the trash bin of elegant Fred's Bakery in Beverlywood and reheat "day's end" (not day-old) corn rye in my oven. Bread never tasted better. So for years afterwards, I went to Jewish bakeries at night, while the Mexicans were baking and asked them for day old loaves. Every visit produced one to ten loaves of the most costly fresh bread in the world, a day old of course and tons of pastries, too. I used to pull up beside people on bus benches and unload carbs on their laps. Once a guy in a Mercedes gave me the high sign for this so I went over to him and said 'let's give this homeless woman a dollar, too, and he did! I laid it on her sleeping body!
DD's and BFers are feeling people. They want to feed their kids abundantly and their friends and make their table a communal one. They want to feed poor mothers in the neighborhood. Many of us are very well educated from fairly upscale families and tend to be elitists on the pride level. We care about our own feelings just as much as we desire a free meal. Dumpster diving can be a little rough on self image. A BFer concerned about waste might visit the back alley kitchen door of a small cafe and ask the cook when the kitchen closes, and if he could come back with plastic jugs, and distribute that huge vat of rice or mashed potatoes, or any side dish made in large quantities, which will go into the trash, saying he's leftovers to the poor and homeless. He will not ask for the food for himself because he'd get bummed out. But he'll eat probably eat part of it himself, later. My friend Jeffrey goes nightly to the Hare Krishna restaurant, Govinda's, and is given gallon milk jugs or huge plastic bags full of curried dal, rice and yogurt raita which he distributes to his friends or fridges to offer to pals the next day.
A BFer will go to the bakery, determine when the baker throws away the day old unsold bread and promise to pick it up nightly, to distribute to the homeless. One night I drove to Pico/Beverly after coming out of alley behind bakery, saw a baglady asleep on bus bench at midnight. Got out, with motor running, put loaves all around her. Guy in Mercedes saw me. “Give me a dollar I said” He pulled one out! I ran over, got it, stuck it in her pocket. ‘Cuz the woman never woke up for any of this. Great moment.
Merchants are food-artisans, and always glad to NOT have to throw precious delights in the trash and welcome the appearance of a 'distributor.' I know, because I was the unofficial 'distributor' for my 3HO (Sikh) healthfood store, the YOGI BHAJAN group in L.A.. I was given forty to fifty pounds of food a day. They knew that the four kids and I couldn't consume that quantity and that I was distributing to the poor so my cheeks were never red. And I did distribute to poor families, doing so until that store closed.
Some days there would be a dozen huge yogurts, five dozen half gallons of milk, massive bags of rice and lentils with rat bite holes. There'd be pounds of wilted greens that would get their stems cut, so that stuck in water, they'd puff right back up. Carrots get a deep bath overnight and they are crunchy as new.
Always ask the store manager for throwaway stuff for your poor people's route. If the manager says no, come back another day when he's not on duty. (How do you find out? ASK!) Go into the back room, carry an empty box, and say to the youngest employee, 'I'm sent by Father McGuire from the orphanage for the dented cottage cheese?' Try for an Irish brogue if you can. Cottage Cheese is the single item most often destroyed by the market staff, which is always sitting useless and dented in the refrigerator room, scheduled for discarding. You'll be out of the market and over the hills with a lot of other things besides dented cheese, stuff the employee and the produce guy pressed on you and long gone before anyone realizes they don't give cheese to any Catholic orphanage.
Another trick of the collecting trade---that weekly Farmer's Market which the yuppies attend has a lot of unsold produce at sundown. Where do you think it goes? Back to the truck farms? No way. If you help the farmer load his truck, he'll comp you. To him, it's nothing. He has eggplants coming out of his ears. If you tell him you know of some poor families or a halfway house or orphanage and roll up a truck, he'll give you enough to set up your own stand the next day but don't be tempted. Cops harass street vendors. Instead, visit poor pals' homes where you'll win brownie stripes contributing farm-grown vegies.
Need fresh food the other 6 days of the week? No problem, the Farmers market moves to a different burrough of the city each day. Or try Supers. All small, non-chain grocery stores have rats. If you ask the employees, you can get dog and cat kibble, flour, rice---true, sometimes there are tiny teeth marks on the bag, or actual rat droppings inside, but they're easy enough to pick out. Anyway, it won't hurt the dog if you couldn't.
Sometimes, you have a dollar, a quarter, a dime and a nickle. In this case, you have to know what foods are the SUPER CHEAP GOURMET HIGH ENERGY and NUTRITION TREATS:GREENS: Dandelions are free up and down the street. Purslane also is too. Collards, mustard greens and Swiss chard are .33c a bunch at barrio stores and at Iranian markets. They cost .89c in the big chain super markets. The butcher always gives me a piece of pig fat for free. Fry this, discard oil (towel mop pan, add slash of grapeseed oil, and scuz it around to get the caramelized flavor,) add drained greens, stir then put those dried, fairly innocuous "chitlins" on top of your greens. When you've got cash, get smoked ham hocks. Simmer for a half hour in pieces to get salt, nitrates OUT of them. Cool, Cut them up, store in freezer, take a few chunks to boil with the greens. Add a little sugar and chile pepper and you'll sing Baptist hymns. Chards, collards, mustard are the super most easy things to grow, so do it year round, collect your own seeds. I share seeds, year round. Do mail outs with cancelled stamps fixed with liqui-erase but never put your own addie on the envelope. Just recipients'. They'll know who sent it! The big smiley with a star next to it!
TOP RAMEN: FLOUR is the most baddest food you can eat. GLUTEN IN IT is astronomical (CLICK ON URL, or simply GOOGLE key words MUCUS and gluten and get every file online on the subject.) GLUTEN is GLUEY & will totally suffuse your lung/sinus mucosa --giving ambience for microbes ergo regular flus, line your gut, prevent your getting any vitamins out of your food as absorption comes thru walls of the bowel. But occasionally, ramen will help you to down a large amount of broccoli! Buy the .33c cup of shrimp ramen. In the produce section, get a bag of broccoli floret and stem, --they’re delicious if peeled, even tastier. Simmer separately from ramen. Your vegies are chopped, a few spinach leaves, cabbage outer leaves and a carrot, dried mushroom if you have one. Chop your vegies, simmer til almost done, add ramen. Or I boil ramen separately and toss the water. Or you can pour the water from vegies over ramen, let sit a minute. Then pour noodles back into the vegies; Add chile sesame oil, seaweed, onion, slice of raw ginger, seaweed, an egg. Let the white congeal. I keep dried mushrooms in the freezer, crunch one up into it. Dashi-moto broth, bonito flakes from Japan, really add to this brew. Top Ramen is really so delicious, often I can't wait for poverty to eat it, so I eat them with bucks in my pocket, rationalizing that I wouldn't eat those vegies were it not for the soup and noodles. The super tasty dried shrimp make this my favorite flavor. I used to give ramen to the homeless until I learned they ate it raw like chips! True, it's not healthfood, but it makes me EAT the greens that ARE so I use it. (I understand the additives give gout so not too often though).
HOLIDAY FOODS: If you get blue on holidays without that turkey or ham, indulge your inner child and have the ham! Easter and Xmas they lower tab to 87c an lb. Cut the soft ham into 20 chunks, boil for ten minutes to et salt and nitrates out of it, chill them. Baggie up & Freeze’em. Every bean/ soup/ egg dish you make gets a few cuts. I remove nitrates and salt by simmering in water first, cut small, then throwing that into my ‘dish.’ You can get hams galore by doing shopping for five or six old people. Supermarkets give hams away if you buy enough groceries to qualify so it pays to make lots of geriatric pals in your neighborhood. Get their shopping list and their cash in front. Tell them they'll get an exact to-the-penny itemization. And ask them, do you want part of the ham or turkey? Next, collect coupons on all the staples that your family loves, frozen vegies, wholegrain cereals, canned soup, cooking oils, sugar, etc. If the geriatric has coupons for what he/she likes, be sure to get them in the habit of coupon clipping for when you make their shopping trips for them. Always mark your little notes on their slip. Divide the purchase in to yours and theirs if you can. If not, then give them YOUR slip and say SEE THIS LINE? The stuff below is my groceries.
Remember to pass on all discounts to the geriatric. Whatever you can do for them, and point it out and explain it clearly for their fuzzy little brain, later. Now, get the food section from the newspapers on trash night. See which market is giving the ham or turkey away free for a fifty-dollar purchase. In Xmas 2007, I had to spend 15$ to get a ham at 87c. or Spend 15 to get a Turkey at 69c an lb. Not hard to do. One store ran out of the cheap turkeys and had to substitute an organic one on Xmas eve.
Holidays, the big super market chains make these fab offers. Easter it’s hams and roasts. St Paddie’s day it’s Corned beef. The ritzy markets want you to spend 100$ to get a deal but there's always a market that will give these meat premiums if you spend 15$. Find your senior neighbor, volunteer to shop and cut your corned beef in half for her or get her one. Together your groceries will hit the 15$ or 25$ required. Go there, shop in groups, keeping items separate in basket. Then, arrange the foods on the checkout stand so that each geriatric's groceries are scanned together in a group, as you'll be showing this receipt to the geriatric later when you give him or her the change and just showing them their circled items. If you're an angel, you'll divide the ham and share it with the geriatrics!
About coupons: CHECK THE SLICK DEALS FORUM to learn about the good offers; they can train you. Read for a while and print out a few coupons. CVS Pharmacies is a good place to shop. You go in, ask for a MEMBERSHIP CARD, it’s free. And start your coupon career there as well as at your local supermarket.
GIFTS for the HOLIDAYS: - EXPENSIVE DISHES CAN BE MADE INEXPENSIVELY, see my FOODINDEX! Gifts in a cellophane wrapped basket knock the recipient out! Jar ... At garage sales, you can buy cookie tins, empty for a dime, all sizes of glass jars for jam. And above all big HUGE sized baskets that you can enamel. You maybe bake the cake and give it frosted or use a quart jar and layer the dry ingredients in it (cloves, cinnamon, allspice, raisins, dried cranberries, although you can pcg. the dry fruits in a bag, tied on the side. Next, CALL it something wild, BETHLEHEM FRUIT CAKE, and attach a little card with recipe on how to make it into a cookable batter. The recipient just adds an egg, some milk, maybe a little butter and voila! They have some awesomely easy cookies or scones or a novel loaf of neat nut bread. The net is packed with recipes for this ... OF COURSE FOOD GIFTS could work as a home subscription business you activate on holidays.
COFFEE- All supermarket coffee mills have a little drawer full of grinds that will be thrown away. Ask the manager, he'll let you have it for free. Find plastic bag in produce section. Often you'll find bags where someone ground a little coffee, then stopped. This ground coffee will be thrown away, so repackage in plastic produce bag and tuck it in your pocket. When I see the coffee supplier come to the mill to clean up all those bags that people ground then left there, I always tell them, you are throwing away pounds of coffee. Find an orphanage with nuns. Nuns love coffee! He always says, ‘lady, you take it.’
DENTED CANS- Some markets mark them down with a black marker. I seek out such a market, carry such a marker and seek out such bent cans. I buy their dented cans, paying 22c for the small tomato sauce, 33c for beans, 59c for canned ravioli. THE BENT CAN RECIPE COLLECTION
THE ART OF THE YEAR ROUND GARDEN, *CLICK ON THIS INDEX It's full of FREE METHODS, EASY ONES that a SENIOR can do. In really hard times, there are always tasty, edible greens (weeds but often not, often things that are cultivated,) growing in front yards. Take a careful look at what you find that is SURPRISINGLY TASTY:
1.) PURSLANE*CLICK ON LIVE LINK HERE…..is highly prized in Middle East and Mexico. It grows everywhere. It's a fat, flat, low-sprawling leafy little octupus like weed with leaves like jade plant, fleshy stems, loaded w. Omega oils that heal the heart. Mexican maids used to bring it into my San Miguel de Allende kitchen in spring as if it were God's gift to man. The way they cooked it, it was. Steam for a minute, add fresh-made garlicky tomato sauce. Scramble in one egg at last minute, if your aorta is not going to be a problem.
2.) DANDELIONS- Enjoy the smallest, tenderest green leaves in your salad. Bigger leaves get juiced.
3. OUR VINES HAVE MORE THAN TENDER GRAPES:Parboil the delicate new leaves of grape vines 'til soft, fill with rice, burger, nuts, roll and steam. Unusually tasty made the Middle Eastern way, in a brine so check any Arabian cookbook! Try to brine yours a little, first.
4.) CACTUS: *LIVE LINK. The tender green baby leaves (or ears) of cactus are de-fanged with a knife, then sliced in ribbons, parboiled, served with raw chopped onion, tomato and cilantro. A delicacy in Mexican cafes. Later in summer, the tuna fruit is grasped with newspapers, bagged, gas-flame toasted at home to remove needles, peeled, sliced. Plant the seeds! Great way to protect the property from canine leapers (which my cats attract and loathe. They run up into trees and look like fur papayas sitting there.) You can prevent that horror and get delicious tunas or cactus fruits. NOPAL is what you want, OPTUNTIA CACTUS. They grow everywhere. Take the mature pad and root it in sandy soil. NOT the tender nopal of spring. Won't root. Just rots.
5: ESCARGOT: California variety same as French small variety. These were actually brought here from Europe. No need to check garden for SNAROL. If the escargot found any, he'd be slime-tread to the sky, stone cold dead. HOW TO FIND: Spray garden well night before. Wait a few hours, then all night until an hour before dawn, collect les petits slimeballs with flash light. If for human consumption, feed snails cornmeal for a few days, locked in a box, jar or cage. Rinse them clean, drop in salted, simmering water for l0 min. Discard gritty strip, where it's attached to the shell. Heat butter, parsley, drop in snail fillets. Turn off fire, add crushed garlic, raw lemon. Garnish with minced parsley. Serve on toast. Ooo La La! L.A. Times Food/ Nature writer Chris Nygeres says they're better than those available in French cafes. Would you believe it? some writer can make me drool for stuff I wouldn't touch in their habitat without canvas gloves! (this just in. I learned to de-snail a garden without gloves. I use flashlight, bag, can pick up five lbs of snails in ten minutes.)
When they ate my baby cosmos and zinnias, I lost my nausea about touching the shell part! But seriously, for someone who is feeding a few dogs or cats, SNAILS might be something you could do to obtain actual, free meat. Every night I go outside with flashlight and can find l00 or 200 snails easy and do my garden a favor when I remove them. You COULD simmer them, pluck them from shells and add to canned cat food.
Now to feed animals, I find the cheapest meat, I use l0 lb bags of chicken leg quarters at .69c an lb, sometimes even .49c, in a box, on special during certain seasons. Turkey burger when it's on sale, buck an lb, simmer a pound bullet of turkey burger with a pound of mixed carrots, collards which reduces cost per lb to fifty cents and hey, I haven't done it but you could use snails from your yard to get an extra pound or two of calories in there. There isn't one night a year I can't get 5 lbs of snails out of my yard, using a flash light and bag. If a Frenchman eats it, I'll bet your cat or dog would! But…I have not done that yet! NOTE: Feeding the wild possums who came at night all those chicken bones won me an attentive flock of repeat visitors who ate every snail in one season flat so there isn't even ONE shelled critter LEFT an Amazing feat. I hear that if WWIII comes I can hit a possum with a shovel and make steaks of him.
HOW NOT TO BE HUNGRY - When the food supply's small, or dangerous to procure, the trick is-- don't do anything stupid that will make you get unduly hungry like eat SUGAR. Besides too much cold air or exercise, the prime cause of hunger is eating carbs and sugars; Avoid them entirely. They not only don't stick to the ribs, the insulin reaction to them creates bigtime munchies. And if you want to be slim and thin and gorgeous, eat fennel, licorice root in any form, it kills appetite. The seeds are amazing in biscotti cookies which IS fattening.
Dense carbs, fruit excepted, often have no nutritional values. To put them in your body is to miss a GOOD meal for a SICK MEAL. Stick to macro-nutrient-dense vegies, high protein whole grains, not high starch, and of course, eat your proteins. Only eat fruits if you know that you have a rib-sticking meal ready, an hour later.
The magic herb that kills hunger in the body and raises blood sugar is licorice or fennel. It grows wild all over the city. Chew any part, the reaction is instant. All hunger departs and for the oddest, longest time. Licorice root or anise (like celery sort of) both work and yet they are not related.
SKINNY FAT FOODS:Most skid row free meals serve white rice, a slightly superfluous carb. It seems like a thin food but it's all starch and will make you eat like a horse an hour later. All Hari Krishna or Sikh temples have a daily 'lungar'...(odd it should rhyme with hunger) comprised of rice and chapati, unfortunately, all super-starchy carbs. You can eat hand-out food but avoid too much of the rice and wheat foods; instead, load up on pulse which are part protein: garbanzos, beans (black or kidney are preferable to starchy pinto). Take all the lentils you can get, and eat them cold rest of day and night. Welcome vegetable and dairy products. Carbs will fast-flame but then you go into low blood sugar and you start to feel blue and will forget what delirious pleasure it is to be a Bottom Feeder.
RELATED READING: The CHEAP FOOD INDEX PAGE, ANITA’s COOKING SECRETS. THE FRUGAL LIFESTYLE
SOFT DRINKS GALORE-THE SECRET of CHEAP SOFT DRINKS is 1.) SHOP the soft drink SALES at chain stores or super markets. Especially when the newspapers simultaneously offer coupons. You can easily get one litre bottles (cleaner than tin cans, for less toxins,) down to 50 C. 2.) Buy only the one litre size, no cans, as it's cheaper and for the reason you are about to see: 3.) Buy only lemon or fruit drink flavors, (like the punch flavored, red ones) as these flavors you can dose with additions of real lemon or lime juice and the kids won't know they're getting huge doses of terrific vitamins slipped to them in their soft drinks.
If the Children complain that there's no Coke, no Dr Pepper, no root beer, tell them you have health concerns. Instead, feature fruit flavor sodas to which you can add real citrus. Show them how THE REAL THING ( Coke ) will melt pennies and ask them to think what it's doing to their bones. Make them watch a HIP REPLACEMENT SURGERY ontelevision one night!
In California, we get fruit hanging over the fences in alleys, POMEGRANATE in AUTUMN, January to December is CITRUIS time, lime time, lemon time grapefruit and orange time all year round and the trees are lushly covered with fruit. Neighbors give the stuff away. Knock on any door and ask. In alleys, your car drives over fruit rolling on the ground. I go at five miles an hour with my door open, picking them up. Or pick the fruit off hanging branches.
NOW JUICE the fruit ADD that TO JUICE JAR YOU BOUGHT WITH COUPON. Wash the fruit, after all, it’s been on someone’s lawn or in an alley. Juice it, as soon as the kids have had a little of the bottle, start adding lemons. Do it daily. Even when the COMMERCIAL JUICE JAR or soft drink is down to the last few cups, dose it with a half cup of citrus juice. Then turn the bottle into a green house for rose clippings, (Cut in half with red hot knife blade, use both halves).
POMEGRANATE SYRUP. I have ONE pomegranate tree and though Everybody wants its crop, I say 'oh they're still sour' and put them off. Then I cut them all i two, juice them on electric orange juicer, but maybe CARROT JUICER machine would work, haven't tried, Simmer the red juice with sugar for ten slow minutes, then bottle it. I save tamari bottles, glass ketsup bottles for this purpose. Grenadine combines with anything, water, gingerale (Shirley Temples) to make a great fast drink.
REALLY RIPE LEMONADE! I make certain the lemon fell from the tree. Cuz what looks ripe on the tree is only TWO years old. Third year it is edible. Not earlier. I juice about ten of them, or sometimes equal amts grapefruit juice, orange juice and lemons, as we have all in bounteous amounts in this valley ten minutes to the north of L.A. I add sugar and then fresh water to make CITRUS ADE. Then I go pick about ten sprigs of spearmint or peppermint from garden as it makes all juices taste like pineapple Wash mint lightly, crush it into the ADE. If it's a third year lemon, orange or grapefruit they aren't sour. You could do it with no water required. You can drink even lemons straight if they hung for several years on the tree. I try to only take fruit lying on the ground as I know it's ripe. You can't tell a first year citrus from a third year citrus but RIPE CITRUS makes fabulous lemonade. Lotta flavor and vitamins, yet still enuf sour for a wallop, just not ANY TOOTH MELTING sour POWER. You probably never really had a ripe lemon. Commercial pickers grab half ripe lemons. FIRST year it's yellow they want their money so nobody waits til the second year. Try my "if it falls, it's ready" technique on citrus tree.I juice my pomegranates on a JUICER with a basket and plant all the seeds, trade the trees for potting soil. This fruit ripens only in autumn. I add juice to lemon, water, add some sugar. Or I simmer it for twenty minutes with sugar to make grenadine syrup or jam. A store bought pomegranate will give you a thousand baby trees! Dumpster slightly moldy strawberries or blackberries will give you a hundred vines or plants, too.
TEETH HURTING? < CLICK ON THAT URL! It's a WOW! Free dentistry is easy. UCLA and SC both have dental schools and need guinea pigs. Call them up and you'll soon be under a student's drill. Whoppee. Most dentists will let you paint their house, clean their gardens, babysit or paint paintings for a trade. So, when you're dumpster diving and pass a dentist's office, leave a letter. Dear Doc, wanna trade for fillings? Here are snaps of my paintings. (resume, etc.) One more thing, use a blower to make popcorn. If you do it in skillet, you will break your fillings in half. VERY EXPENSIVE! Pop Corn Blowers are cheap, especially at thrift stores. Tricks for no gum pain: Only use cold water to brush teeth, Use real bristle brushes. Dry on window far from toilet. Use IPSAB a Virginia Beach Casey foundation product. Pour ten drops on sink, wet brush, rub into gumline. Clear the bacteria nightly with STIMUDENT stick and a small mirror. You can see the plaque next to gumline with the right magnifying mirror.
AVOIDING CAVITIES: Forget toothpaste. The Flouride is so toxic it takes your immune system 24 hours to recover from a single brushing. It's inhaled thru gums. WORSE, all commercial tooth paste is 95% inert materials, so it sez on label. It's really 95% ALUMINUM, I mean real BAUXITE as it grinds well, and there is an article on that fact, COLGATE TO DEATH, click on this URL above, and go read it. ALZHEIMERS is caused by Commercial American toothpaste!
NOW, to PREVENT PYRHORREA, Mix salt and aluminum free baking soda in a jar. OR Tom's natural toothpaste. Or some other healthfood brand. Dip a truly sterilized (set it in window in sunlight) tooth brush into it, brush under the gum line where pyorrhea starts. Use a soft, thick brush, working it into the gums, trying to make your gums bleed. Change brushes daily, letting them dry in sun between use. When gums no longer bleed when you do this, you've cured the bacteria problem ---for a moment. Brush teeth immediately upon waking, brush tongue, and brush back of tongue provoking a gag which coughs up mucus. Rinse with cold water (also prevents gum disease) after every meal. Floss once a day. While laying around watching TV, use a large sewing needle and tissue to clean plaque off gumline. Then use tissue to rub gumline clean. Do all this, you may never need a dentist.
PAINFUL TOOTH ROOTS- Little known fact. You can back off deep infections in a tooth root. Quit immune-compromising meat, flour, switch to vegie proteins, drop a lot of vit c tablets. The mucus producing effect of milk, flour foods gives mucus which collects in a tooth root.. Double down on Vitamin c-rich fruit and salads thick with garlic. Infections depart by magic. If not, avoid root canals which are carcinogenic. Get the teeth pulled out. Painless, fast and not costly at all. You’ll never notice it’s gone! I never took the pain pills or the penicillin, the things just healed! And later, you can chew nuts just as easily as before. Why? GUMS seal up! They’re pretty RUGGED!
FREE Q-TIPS. Having many cats, I need to clean a lot of ears, often. And when you see darkness in there, that's MITE poop. Regular Qtips too costly and TOO SMALL! Got some hyacinth sticks at HOME DEPOT, to hold up those tall dutch bulb flowers but the stick is PERFECT for a cotton wrap! Wet Left finger tips, wrap it on. My cats see me coming with the 'STICK' they RUN! You can clean out mitey ears with any oil. Add a drop of TeaTree Oil but not much more. It is injurious to cat's tender inner ear tissue if too plentiful. Alternately, I make a toxic to bugs mixture. Grab green walnuts on the tree, the black walnut tree, frondy ferny leaf. Put two or three cut into slices into vodka. Let sit. Beer will do. When you have black walnut liquid, add few drops Tea Tree or Neem oil if you have it, 1 drop, no more, of tea tree oil, more causes cancer in the ears… some lemon juice, cut up smushed garlic. Or you can Use boric acid powder but it's not as potent, on your home made Q-tips. My melia tree gives great twigs, identical to q-tip sticks. So get your flock of cats some hyacinth sticks. Martha Stewart recommends them, from floral supply, to hold up hyacinths in the garden, or florists use it to support weak poppies in sprays.
Take this stick, I sit watching tv and roll scant little tiny fluffed out wad of cotton on each, (smallest bit of cotton, one single ball can last for four q-tips, ) like a weaver turning a small spindle. Identical to what Thai six year olds do at the q-tip factory in Malaysia. You could do them all at once and have a hundred q-tips for FREE. It would barely take 20 balls of cotton. But I do three or four cats a day. So I only need one stick (both ends) per cat. Do it irregularly. Maybe Wait a week or two, cuz they are clever and you don't want to RUN and impale yourself on an oily STICK!. They see the sticks come out with cotton, smell the teatree oil, even that single drop… man, they’re OUT THE DOOR. Sooner or later I sneak up on them and my cats get their ears cleaned and de-mited. Mites drive them crazy, too. Any black residue in ear means you have em that’s the POOP.. and the bus, well, they drive the cat wild.(Wash hands well or mites will get in your own ears! It sounds like water in the ear when they’re in there.)
MEDICAL EMERGENCIES- You think they'll never happen but they do and when you need those sudden stitches, there's no time for comparison shopping, so do that now and be ready.CALL EVERY FRIGGIN' HOSPITAL IN YOUR AREA NOW! EMERGENCY ROOM. Find out the cost! AHEAD OF TIME!
Recently, my son got his hand whizzed around the pulley system of a car. The tendons to one finger on top of hand were severed. He realized he would never work again as a guerilla underground non-licensed electrician /carpenter/plumber if tendon ligature wasn't done. I had to make a lot of phone calls to E.R's in a very panicky ten minute period. Daniel Freeman Hospital, where his pal had driven him, wanted $2,000 in front to even call the hand surgeon in. County General SC wanted l00$ in front but averred the kid would wait five hours in the waiting room before a scalpel was lifted due to the average day's haul of bullet holes. Harbor General already had a hand surgeon there 24 hours a day. No bullets down there so they're never very busy and when the kid sailed in, the doc immediately did the necessary tendon ligature on a local anesthetic without thinking of money and when it was all over, they asked for only 50$. If he doesn't pay within five days time, however, they say they'll dun him for a hefty $1500. They say they're very cheap if you're a fast pay as most people stiff 'em. So, in the LA area, HARBOR GENERAL HOSPITAL in Torrance takes the cake. It's really worth it to do the homework ahead of the disaster. Know exactly which freeway you have to zip over to get to such a heavenly place so that you can do it even when you are semi-hysterical with panic. Can Upronounce EMERGENCY ROOM? if so, DIAL IT UP!
HEALERS-Holistic healers are bon marche and terrific. YOU CAN LEARN TO BE ONE, *CLICKABLE URL… make $100 an HOUR. Giveaway mags at local healthfood stores have tons of ads. Healthfood stores collect business cards in scrap books, will show to customers. Call Sta Teresita Hospital in Duarte and see Marjorie Ward, the world's best. $45 first visit. She could make Mother Teresa so healthy she'd tapdance out of the grave and start making kids drink milk powder again.(which in fact kills the children.)
HEALTHY AS A BULL but NO ROOF OVER YOUR HEAD? Don't worry. This is the one case that proves the axiom, 'misery loves company.' There's security in numbers. How many BFers does it take to screw in a light bulb? Zero if one of the five of you has a propertied relative! ‘cuz the house such a group can rent already has lightbulbs on every ceiling! Have that relative cosign the lease. If he doesn't LIVE IN THE HOUSE, he's not libel later in court, even if you burn it down! Or stiff the landlord!
RENTING BEAUTY! Why own Beauty/ It's enough to rent it! Five homeless bums on a street corner could rent a palace with hanging gardens if they hustle their little assets out onto the street and fone relatives. First, they must all attempt to get a little federal aid. The guy with the lisp and one-eye turned outwards develops catatonia. On him it looks good. The coffee-drinking insomniac finds he has Circadian rhthym disorder. He wakes an hour later, every day, has a 25 hour day, just like on Mars. Those are chump change, 700$ but Mental problems earn you SSI, $900 a month. Fail your physical? You're just too damn healthy? Take those physical problems that don't pass snuff at SSA to Welfare where a doctor's letter is enough to earn you $220 a month and food stamps, plus Med-I-Care benefits. Your mitral murmur becomes 'requires open-heart surgery'; your slipped disc becomes, 'cannot sit for long periods of time.' Unemployable. Always read the online rulebook. Some entitlements require you to be homeless. Others require you live alone. Some require no money over 2k in the bank.
SSI and WELFARE are not a lot of money but even at that miserly rate, (700$ a month if you're crazy or disabled, $265$ a month if you go to WELFARE and say you're on the street....) no matter how low, when a group of you pools resources, you can afford to rent a castle and eat chuck steak and romaine, corn tortillas and find tomatos and chiles in the dumpster for the world's best fresh hotsauce. STUDY THE "HARD TIMES" INDEX PAGE for more tips on ENTITLEMENTS, STIPENDS and SUCH.
The most presentable one of your tribe becomes the ostensible landlord. Another member has the relative with the best credit, or himself has good credit, meaning no credit cards in arrears. (TRW sends you your credit record for free). A third member of the group has the relative with the nicest car. A fourth finds the real estate, circling ads in the paper.
The presentable one visits the different houses. He claims to have a mate and a child who are in France for the summer, or a wife who's at Yale installing the kid. The kid is because if the landlord ever comes and sees the other bozo, hey, that's no bozo, it's my kid! Best is, the landlord lives in another city and never comes. Mail your rent to him ahead of time so he won't be tempted.
Always rent houses not apartments, for two reasons. 1.) because you can use their yards to grow food, and 2) you can fit a great many people into a house and end up paying no rent at all. If you're generous, your chums will pay the going rate. That cuts your share of the rent to a fraction of that sum.
Homes are private. No landlord or next door neighbors right on your neck. Anyway, don't you hate when the phone rings and you run and it's not your phone? So get a large, private space and put several rent-payers in the space. Read the DO NOT GET SNOOKERED INDEX PAGE and you'll be sure to put a genuine heavy duty LOCK on your personal closet and hide your silver service in there and lock your bedroom door also, (when you're out of the house). And keep your phone in this locked room, too. We know your pals are cool but your pals' pals are as untested as they are invisible… at least when you're OUT. I've had garden workers come inside and use my PC when I was out buying them their groceries. A dead bolt lot is about l0$ at Home Depot. To get the right one, bring a tracing of the HOLES in your door. Measurements.
Make certain the owner of this home, your landlord, doesn't live near you. ALSO, avoid a young landlord as they are energetic, hence on your ass like white on rice. Best is aging landlords who won't hassle you about your cats, your orchard, tearing out the lawn for the vegetable garden and then fencing the entire front of the house and putting two illegal aliens in a tent on your lawn and another two in the garage. Ideal is a landlord who is wheelchair bound and lives in Bum Fuck, Idaho and can't come by to check how green the grass is or isn't. Or in my case, if the lawn is still there. It won't be. Lawns are a YAWN is my motto. Parterre raised bed in the rain, dizzies my head like champagne.
Apartments are for kiddies who break away from the parents and are glad for a closet as long as it has a nuptial bed. For long term, serene living you need a huge garden to plant with trees and vegetables, roommates you can live with, paint walls with, lay linoleum with, enjoy as friends. It's a myth that living with strangers brings grief. Living with family does. No, I joke. Grief is spread evenly thru the universe. Friends and family will hand it out to you equally. But you can choose your friends. Not your kids. So choose friends based on one thing. HOW LONG CAN YOU STAND LISTENING TO THEM TALK? That is the yard stick. WHOMEVER you choose to live with,
RENT CAREFULLY! HERE'S THE SECRET OF WHICH HOUSES TO AVOID: Avoid houses offered by REALTORS. They're overpriced and the perfectionists who own them have already remodelled everything to within an inch of its life--and in just the banal way you don't want. (Lengthy shudder here.) For years, their owners have done assiduous yard clean-up, hence there's not a drop of humus in the soil. It's barren, and well sprayed with costly chemicals that render birds, bees and your children infertile. Worse, because they're so proud of their neatness and taste, they won't cut you any slack for being a decorator, landscaper--and, in fact, will hold your creative intents against you! And last, they think their digs are worth top dollar. Forget such demented dweebs. They always ask a price tag that represents tomorrow's prices. In addition, they play tricks. Here's what I learned, saw with my own eyes. A really big lady realtor in L.A. owned a dozen homes which she rented. I met her, leased one. Day we signed lease, she smiled and took the lease I’d just signed. “My copy?” I said “Oh I only have ONE COPY” she smiled. I’ll mail you one!
I thought it odd, but she said she'd mail it. Well, turns out she didn't send me the promised copy of the signed lease. A year later, she doubled the rent. I paid but fought her in landlord court. She showed judge a lease with added on clauses that I hadn't agreed to. She'd fitted them in somehow, just typed them in. I told judge how she'd refused to give me a copy of lease and the reason WHY must have been that she was planning some clause-changing. How could I prove she didn't give me a copy when she swore in court that she did. (Landlady was LYING by the way, very blatently.) The judge sensed something was off, found me liable for no rent but when a homeowner wants you out, you gotta go. Not apartment, but home.
A year later another client put her in jail for doing precisely this shabby trick, KITTY MURPHY was her name, shamrocks on her biz card, a famed realtor in L.A. and this time (!) she was prosecuted and had to do public service! I wish I'd been the one to do that to her. But I had NOT xeroxed the lease when I signed it, which I should have done. AVOID anything to do with career real estate agents ‘cuz they are so aware of the opps to be crooked, the holes in the law… that they can do illegal things like that.
So instead, you must find the geriatric owner whose mind recalls the prices of several years before, as this uncounseled person hasn't a clue what yuppies are paying nowadays. Who is grateful for your lovely two copies of a decent lease.
You want some ancient, gem-in-the-rough house with overgrown bushes and trees, owned by a peasant who couldn't afford gardeners, with a lusty garden that the geriatric has been putting his parkeet's POOP and his cat litter on for forty years, a yard that hasn't seen yard clean up in a hundred years. (A sign humus is left under all bushes, hence a sign of very good soil) where birds happily roost in pesticide-free trees and reproduce in happy solitude? And who knows, where fairies may even dwell.
If you want that, you're looking for a landlord who who couldn't pay to keep everything clipped back. You're looking for a landlord who's a little abashed about all this mess, who can't see the gem underneath for shame. A landlord who thinks, apologetically, that he's got a mess on his hands will underprice its rent for just that reason.
You find houses for rent by looking at people dumping garage content on the front lawn. Ask 'who's selling, who died, and 'is there a broker?' ‘cuz if there is, you leave. If not, make an offer.
When I see such houses, (oh, I'm renting. I don't have a down payment saved nor do I have a job on paper, so I don't qualify even for the minimal rules of the Fannie Mae.) But when I'm looking to rent, which I've done various times, I'm on the one hand tempted to screw the owner to the wall of his own shame saying, "I wouldn't pay your high asking price for this mess, I'll only offer X" but the candid side of my nature always wins and I find myself saying, "this is really beautiful and charming. I'll take it." I currently have four bedrooms and huge front and back yards, 8000 sq. feet for 995$ a month rent. Landlord who brings Sees chocolates Easters and Xmas and has not raised rent on his other 21 tenants ever. And when they get fired, he waits a year for rent! So I am in heaven. PRAY for the health of DICK DELANEY!
THE LEASE- SECRETS OF---- The lease is done with the help of the roomie that has the family member with best credit. That roomie becomes the 'on paper landlord.' The person who has the relative and the same last name or a name that resembles a relative with good credit, and who signs the lease --- need not be the person who is the most presentable and charming. As in life, the condition of being the most presentable and the condition of being the most well-fixed with family credit and the condition of being the one with the best car never coincide in the same person. SO SHARE THE THREE!
In real life, gifts are always dispersed by God. They are spread thinly. So, too, with our rental team, but the conglomerate effect, which the landlord sees coming toward him, is of a single, well fixed person with a nice car, lots of credit history, and beaucoup references and the phone numbers of a prior landlord who adores him. Naturally, your references are all your friends from high school. In my case, I use my movie star astrology clients. A list handed over in a blasé manner, with famous names for references works miracles. I can just see this Valley landlord saying 'Mr. Carlos Castaneda?' Sally Kirkland? Courtney Love? Yogi Bhajan? And not knowing who the hell these folks are. What a waste.
WRITING YOUR OWN LEASE- This is important, no matter what landlord throws at you, you have your version signed to show in court. It states five years, not one, because (have the lease state it,) 'as tenant is a gifted landscaper, tenant does not wish to be thrown out in one year after having done a $25,000 garden without a pre-determined value to the garden affixed at $20,000 for each year of labor'. Little throwaway codicils like that. You are not doing it to stiff the landlord but to protect yourself from the hubris of landowners. From their arrogance and profiteering.
WHERE TO FIND HOUSES: I always go to the place where there was the worst earthquake, and all the chimneys fell down. Rent is CHEAP, there. Yep! I currently live in the infamous Northridge. This place was a disaster in l994. Landlords here remember it. True, we are not all so lucky as to live in cities with major earthquakes. (sigh.)
Find a borough of your city that needs gentrifying. Racially mixed. Gangland shootings. Drive bys. Subscribe to the local throwaways for a month, the Recycler free ad type papers, and get Sunday dailies. AND USE CRAIGS LIST for your city, RENTALS page! Forget about using Real Estate agents as their properties have super high rents. Forget about subscribing to a Rent Finder Agent and ignore any ad that says 'agent/fee'. Sometimes a loose-wallet pal will have subscribed to one of these home finders and you can get lists for free but don't worry, there are plenty of homes for rent and ads in the newspapers.
LEASING TECHNIQUE: Get a large COMPOSITIONS notebook or copybook. Glue tabs to the right side of pages saying 'this borough' 'that borough' leaving space for 5 or 6 Burroughs of the city, to confine driving each section of city to one day each burb. Each listing goes in a two or three line blank space. You need the space to make directions/maps. Left hand column is the price. It has to be first as when you scan classifieds, you'll search for the price to see if you have this listing already. Next comes 3+2, bedroom bath. Next comes features: garden, 2 car garage, water paid, den, garage office/ large yard. Last Phone #. THEN A ONE INCH SPACE left blank. As you answer them, affix a code. One dot next to price means you left messages. Two dots means you talked to a human and you have map. Map is filled into a space immed. below this.
Day you visit the burrough, you draw map for all streets, keep on car dash next to your TRW credit report, all the credit cards you can borrow from your family, in a wallet holder, a sheaf of cash, a letter from your pal at the bank, letter from former landlord, cancelled checks to former landlord and a pre-filled out application to rent with every question they can think of, answered. And one more thing, as you drive around and see nice areas, you'll frequently see nice vacant homes for sale. Bring a pre-fab letter in an envelope to be given to people selling houses that you'd like to live in/rent, saying I could show the house and find you a buyer plus pay you rent. This always brings a much reduced rent. That's great if you don't have 14 truckloads of stuff moving day.
CO-SIGNERS?Always be kind and polite to your relatives. Their good will is crucial. You often need co-signers on leases, utilities, and as co-signers when you need kitchen/laundry appliances. (or for variety, sometimes let them buy the washer and give them a dozen post-dated checks.) The co-signer is in no ways in line for legal problems IF HE DOES NOT LIVE IN THE HOUSE. I got it from the judge, found that out in court while landlady was screaming at my 90 yr old Dad who sat blithely in front row. She was saying that he had signed the lease, so she should have a judgment against him. Judge said 'never happen, no matter what he signed if he didn't live there.'. So they should be aware that a co-signature has no rattlesnake recoil. Kitty Murphy didn’t know that part of the code, somehow. I was lucky.
ROOMIES? REMEMBER THIS. If they are on the lease, you cannot evict them. That privilege would fall to the landlord, who isn’t going to do that for you. So you’re better off signing your own lease, with grandpa, who has credit, won’t live there, and can’t be sued as he does NOT live there. Use Grampa’s credit statement, but present the roomie. And if you ever want to evict the roommate, you can. Legally.
To get a utility turned on, you need to make it look as if it's the property owner-relative's second home. A propertied relative can be the number one asset of a BFer. Your interest on a truck or washer may even be lower for having a solid co-signer. And most important is to use relatives' credit histories for signing cable contracts and home leases. Cable Corps require no driver's license or bank account. Just say house where it is to be INSTALLED is your brother's or uncle's. Only ....on Thanksgiving, don't have your bills out on the desk! Put them in a drawer! I asked my Dad to sign for my cable. He used my Brother's credit profile and name. My bro came for turkey, saw the bill lying on table and goodbye cable. GOODBYE BROTHER!
Years before I'd convinced my super square, propertied, many bank accounts older brother to give me all his credit history for my lease. He said he'd do everything but SIGN my actual application to lease a house. He wouldn't go that far ---as he said I'd end up in some awful litigation with the landlord and the judgement would land on him. Actually, that doesn't happen if he doesn't live there. The judge forgives the co-signer all responsibility. You may quote me on that when you screw your relative to the wall as a judge told it to me personally.
Having my brother's permission to use data on his credit report, I took numbers of his Shearson accounts, his Paine Webber, practically his DOW JONES report and I hit the streets. Landlords love such a voluminous credit and job history. Then the day they ask for a lease signing, I wheel in my father who has the same name as my brother on his driver's license. Dad signed the lease, (my dad owns very little) and nobody even asked him for the driver's license. They saw the big fancy new Honda Acura and figured we were a pretty spiffy couple. The young woman and the old man. Guy must be rich, right?
For years Dick Delaney thought my father was my husband. Then one day after two years of the whole rent sum on the first, perfect like clock work, I just told him the truth "no, Dick, I just wanted Dad's credit report." He was ok with that as I am a good tenant. I always landscape houses to the max so no landlord would ever try to sue me. (See my jungle by Googling Anita Sands at u-tube.) Nonetheless, many PREVIOUS landlords have evicted me for reasons that run the gamut: being stunned when I removed their back lawn and created Victorian, parterre, raised beds for fruit trees, vegies and flowers, tulips my pals in Holland sent me, etc..This million dollar WLA style garden offended them. Heck, the SPRINKLER HEADS were in a basket in garage!
Then there was revenge over my 'fix the damn plumbing' demands. Also Irritation, because when my demands weren't dealt with, I called the health department and cited them. (After trying this once, trust me, you never want to do this. Eviction is no fun. A momentary pique, and the momentary pleasure of zapping a landlord with the health fuzz can never tip a scale in favor of this reporting to Health Dept act. It is well weighted with the leaden pain of the eviction process. So do Good Cop threatening about the health dept, but never actually do it.
I have suspected landlords of evicting for even lesser reasons. Carol on Sherbourne did it because she'd only rented to me to get redwood fences built. (I promised in my Fantasia Contract to have my co-tenant son build fences). She went to see other fences he'd built in our burb, which were amazing and wanted him. When her brother nixed my cocky kid (the world's BEST fence builder) spotting my kid's meshugenah spacecase aura, Carol thought, 'oh well, now we don't need YOU guys! In fact this house is harder to sell with you in it," and the moronic judge supported this demon whim.
Judges are as bad as codebooks, landlords and the law itself. All equally bad as the entire process supports the landlord who frivolously wants OUT on the contract. I've also wondered if my Jabba the Hut landlady in the Valley really didn't evict all her tenants to collect the fat security deposits she demanded, though some feel she just want to get the garden back from me so she could go on to rent or sell the house at higher price due to the new orchard and all the hollyhock, iris, tulips and Canterbury bells. I thrashed that by leaving the yard a lunar landscape. Packed the soil itself into huge trash cans and in the 14 truckloads, two a day, carried soil to new house.
If, for the case of argument, a landlord evicted, and I wanted to do the high penalty eviction tango, screwing the landlord to the cross of his own avarice, fighting him in eviction court, being untouchable on the judgment part by taking all my cash out of my own bank account and putting it into an account I share with my kid, and then going bankrupt and making the critter wait 6 rent-free months to even get her house back, (which you can do to a landlord in an eviction if you do legal bankruptcy) and if that landlord then sued me for 6 mos. of unpaid rent, which they can do to a tenant in an eviction) the landlord could not legally land a judgment or lein on my brother or place liens on his Paine Webber account for two reasons. 1.) he never signed the lease in her presence, or was present for the signing. And b.) the big one, he never lived there. That's the law. But here's the catch. The brother would have to show up in court and say 'I didn't sign any lease. I wasn't there.' How much does your brother love YOU? ‘cuz if he's not in court, then the eye of the state falls on YOU. False credit reports are illegal. You'd have to say either, ' but he was my co-signer' that's all, or 'but my brother was going to live with me and at last minute he changed his mind so I gave that credit report without ill motive.' Either would work. Scofflaws are the anathema of the entire court/judge / legal process. You can be a scofflaw; just don't get CAUGHT being one!
THE FINE TRICKS OF WORDING HOUSE LEASES - The BFer trick is to write your own lease with the MAIN THING you want hidden somewhere in the lease. For me, that's the privilege of staying at least 5 years, maybe ten, as I landscape gardens, and make jam only from the fruit of MATURE trees. Hell, no other kind HAS fruit.
Most landlords will NOT give that kind of time to you and there are no leases that give it to you. ALL leases are ONE year and one year only. So your job is to create this fantastically generous lease that gets in the word OPTION TO RENEW is at disposition of tenant. That secures you a multi-year lease without so stating. You get an option to rent at the close of every year of lease time.
Next, get your new landlord to sign one copy. You do not have to give him the other as he might throw a rod when he reads it carefully later. Just say that you'll mail him a copy and don't. See, Jabba, you hennaed frog, you witch, I learned puh-lenty from YOU, you captain of larceny named KAT!
Be like Jabba. Write a lease that has landmines hidden in it. A seemingly generous lease. If you bring your new landlord a well typed lease, (in ten point or less font) he'll be glad to scan it and be pleasantly surprised. Point out the many features, rent amount to be filled in by him, security deposit amount to be filled in by him. Penalties have been pre-filled in by you: i.e. ANY DAMAGE and they get to keep security deposit. You promise to pay promptly. You will never seek relocation fees no matter how long you live there. Promise the world. Here are some surefire lures: TENANT promises to take care of all drain clogs not involving ingrown roots, at personal cost. (Better have a plumber's snake if you want to promise that one).Tenant will pay all utilities. Tenant will mow lawn if he decides to keep lawn in the planned landscaping. Which you do not plan. Tenant will fix thermostat on gas water heater if it breaks (5$) but not buy the entire new water heater if it explodes due to old age. Tenant will take care of garden, mowing, vine clipping, topping off trees so they don't create rot in the house's eaves, doing garden clean-up in autumn, tree pruning. Get a real long list of chores here. Pad it vigorously.
Announce in this lease that you will be responsible for all ROOM painting, walls, ceilings, with top quality paint from Home Depot. But not exterior paint, although you might want a new color, so if you do, say you will paint the exterior once if landlord provides paint. I once did a four room house exterior in a day. One helper. A broom handle extension, a pal, a boom box, a single day of sunshine. Not a problem!
For clues on how to write a lease, get the usual dunce lease at a stationery store, or from a library book or online. Rewrite it to fit your profile. For instance, always write in a paragraph to cover your ambitious landscaping plans. "In no way will the landlord penalize the tenant if he turns the yard into a vegetable garden and orchard. Tenant will be allowed to install as many fruit bearing trees, vines and vegetable producing plants as he wishes. He will not be prevented from landscaping or installing boulder or brick borders and walls, low-voltage lighting, water sprays, fountains and waterfalls."
This advertises to the landlord that you're serious about landscaping, which they love as they reap the bounties when they sell the house out from under you, later.
Announce your intentions about laying linoleum, installing valuable lighting fixtures, sanding and poly-urethaning floors and carpeting the back rooms. The GORGEOUS TREATMENT for the WALLS, See POMPEII PAINTERS.
If you don't do all these projects later, they can't legally get you for breach of promise. That's not what the lease stated. It only stated that you were to be allowed to do these things.
But most important, get a phrase in there that's key to any future possibile litigation, the fact that landlord may not evict you for any reason in the next ten years if you are current with rent, and landlord may not raise rent, nor sell house out from under you without reimbursing you from sale money for all betterments you installed. Put that 3/4 of the way down as people only scan the first half of a small print document.
Bring your customized lease with you when you look at houses. The trick with renting houses is to know this fact: underpriced houses are RENTED the first hour the newspaper comes out, so you or friends who subscribe, have to be no top of three newspapers every morning. Noon won't do. Every paper has new ads daily. You've got to spot their first appearance. Sunday papers come out Saturday afternoon. You've got to be on the curb waiting.
Then, you must show up at the house, story in place, your gorgeous lease in hand, credit application filled out and a few thousand in your checking account and checkbook in hand or forget it. The tidal wave of applicants will be right behind you.
KNOW YOUR OWN CREDIT PROFILE: Call TRW 800 682-7654 or write them: PO Box 8030 Layton UT 84041. Ask to have your free, once a year credit profile mailed you. If there's something you don't like, take it out this way. Call the robot automaton employee, say: "Line number 9 says I didn't pay my Student Loan. That's not true." TRW will write college, asking for the true scoop. A week or two later, they'll have the info that you indeed owe it. BUT as you're in a dispute, you'll get a second profile from TRW for free. If line 9 is still there, insist that they call the college again. These people are total robot automatons and will dutifully do it. The second time, however, the college will note that they've sent the information a week before and IGNORE the request. Within a short time, line 9 will magically erase. So always insist a few times until any distasteful item erases. Disputes get you free print-outs every time.
Another tip. Don't go looking for credit at the local Discount Store because each time you're turned down, it shows up on your TRW. Inquiries stay on for 2 yrs. So think back. When were you last begging for credit? You can only be the master of the TRW report if it's more than 2 yrs ago. Don't go asking for credit. You don't want it, it destroys you in so many ways, don't go asking for it! Got it?
WANT TO BUY NOT RENT? BFers don't have downpayments and they get gooseflesh if you mention loans or some bank getting interest. They don't pay taxes and don't need deductions thank you very much. They like to make homebuying a person to person thing. They look for a house which has been on the market for more than a year, something a real estate agent can spot on the computer. They ask the owner if they can buy the place with a 'land contract.' It's a kind of installment plan only the bank is left out of it. And so are all those piles of interest that double the price of every house. The old owner retains title to the house until you've paid every drop. His property taxes stay the same (and that's nice as you're paying them). You see, there's been no transfer. You, the new owner, get a quit claim deed which will become valid when you pay off a given sum, say his asking price. (You don't lowball a man who's going to give you his home, friend.)
There's no transfer of title until it's paid off, so the old owner doesn't get a huge lump sum of capital gains on which he must pay income taxes. You pay whatever monthly sum you can afford, maybe in cash that he doesn't even have to declare. You do this on a monthly basis. If he were to die while you were paying the house off, you wouldn't have anything so what you do is, buy a term policy life insurance payable to his heirs. If he dies, it pays a huge amount to his heirs and you get the house because that's stipulated in a contract he signed to you. But here's the so hot bonus for him; his heirs do not have to pay any taxes on life insurance. They would have to pay it on any house they inherited. But not on this trade. So you see, as is true throughout nature, the most beautiful is the most economic and vice versa. A paralegal with brain impairment could make up the deal memo contract on one page. Wheel this baby out on the streets, you'll see it flies.
WRITE THAT LEASE WRONG, you're going to need a pro-bono LAWYER later. FOR an EVICTION. There are pro-bono legal angels all over the city and there are Legal Aid Societies, (they all demand you have a super low income, like 900$ a month total.) But you won't need legal advice if you remember this one word. When given an eviction notice, ANSWER. Not the first 30 day eviction notice but the summons that the CITY sends. Answer the day after it is served you.
Get a good ballpoint pen, take the summons that was 'served' you, go downtown to the City Housing Department, Rent Stabilization division either in the downtown court building. In my case it was downtown L.A. where the first, infamous OJ trail went on. (Low cost parking was found on the block immediately south.) If you're in the VALLEY, you'd go to Van Nuys City hall. West L.A. would be to West L.A.'s Purdue's Municipal Court, Room 102.
There you will ask for the proper FORMS TO do your ANSWER. They consist of a FORM TO WAIVE FEE (so you won't have to pay for the answer) and the ANSWER FORM ITSELF. To file an indigency petition you will need to have a driver's license with your photo on it or some other photo I.D., passport. And to fill out the waiver form, describing how low your income is. So there's no high (87$) answering fee. Regulations state that you must be dirt poor, earning under 1025$ a month, so if rent you're paying on paper is high, admit that there are three or four of you, and you also have a tenant leasing the sofa so you only pay $300. Claim your usual, modest traceable income not the untraceable. They used to ask what you spent on food, laundry. Latest forms I've seen do not.
Bfers spend 30$ a month for food, as they grow their own produce and eat brown rice. And they spend zero on laundry. After you get the waiver, which takes 30 seconds, you will file an 'Answer.' This is something more lengthy, times four, so you might want to take the FORM HOME and get it back the next day. I use coupons for triple size Colombian coffee. Use coupons for oats. The rest I grow or get on sale and never buy anything if it is NOT the LOSS leader for the market. I.E. ON SALE at super low prices to attract shoppers.
THE ANSWER is literally that. You ANSWER whatever the landlord put in his complaint. He says you don't mow lawn, say you did and say that Exhibit A will be photos of what you allege. Exhibit B will be letters from witnesses or neighbors who are not party to the action. Letters aren't good unless these witnesses come to court. Then they can be entered into evidence.
If LANDLORD put two names in the eviction notice and complaint, BOTH MUST ANSWER. Even if one is your co-signer who lives in a mansion, He must answer. If your co-signer wants to waive fees due to indigency, and he's a millionaire, you may end up paying his 87$ just so you don't have to drag him down to the court house to make this answer. Then, you can fill out his papers for him, his answer, and just have him sign it and file it yourself. By the way, a co-signer is not cash-liable for anything you do to the house .I am not certain if the eviction process will later appear on his credit reports. It could on yours.
In your legal Answer, state which laws landlord broke, how landlord is a cheating rat and why you deserve to be in that house. The judge will read this document and this one only so write it SHORT AND CAREFUL AND PRINT OR TYPE it BEAUTIFULLY!. Clearly state how you did not do the offenses landlord alleges, how landlord is seeking to rent the place for more money. How landlord is retaliating as you called the Health Department. Your answer must be neatly typed, not on legal paper, not required. Xerox it four times and go back to City Hall and file it with the forms you've filled out.
Next, whatever photographic evidence you promised the court in your Answer must be shot and developed. Photograph the dump; INSIDE, use Black and white and flash to catch all the unfunctioning, broken things. Get letters from APPLIANCE REPAIR MEN citing what it will cost to fix it. Have someone come out to the house and look at the damage, get their estimates. BUT better than all of this is one report from the Health Department, BUILDING AND SAFETY Department or the FAIR HOUSING Council. Get them to come out and look at the place, get some form or paper from them. THE GAS company will come if it's gas related. These are free ways of getting evidence. The DWP will also come out and cite and condemn non-working electrical things. To find more people to report landlord to, call the Consummer Affairs Guide to tenants. All these bureaus' reports are worth GOLD. PAPERWORK is GOD in a court.
Collect your graphic evidence. Or, you might get reputable witnesses. The actual presence of friends in court, who say 'Poor Bottomfeeder has no heat, the dishwasher waters the floors, the pipes leak into the yard. " etc. Affidavits will not do. Only their presence as witnesses in court will work.
In L.A., if landlord is asking you to relocate after years of living there, they have to pay you $2,000. If you have a doctor's letter saying you're invalid, or have a dependent relative, it's $5,000. Maybe even $5k for both disabled tenants, a fiver for each sad invalid. Investigate with your local Dept. of Housing.
If you'd like to request this payment, state this in your written 'answer.' The court will give you a copy for the landlord's lawyer and ask that you have someone who is NOT PARTY TO THE ACTION mail this and fill out a form so stating. KEEP THAT FORM. Get a friend to sign it. You can actually do the mailing. You should have some stamps as you must mail landlord's lawyer that copy within 24 hours. I'd do it as soon as you leave the building. It does not have to be mailed registered or special delivery. Court demands that a disinterested friend does the mailing to 'witness' that it was sent, and that friend fills out a simple form which court gives you. Never send anything registered assuming it helps your legal validity. It won't. Give the extra money to Mother Teresa if you want to throw money away. Courts assume that the mail gets through. If landlord claims he never got it, it won't hurt your case because you'll have that form that friend gave you with his signature stating that he mailed it and it makes your landlord look like a lying jerk.
Now, the city will write you in a few weeks, give you your day in court within a month so get your exhibits, letters, photos ready to prove all your allegations.
YOUR HOMEWORK- To create a total verbal inquisition of the landlord which you will do in the court room, before the judge. You may not realize this salient legal fact: you are not allowed to talk, not to address the plaintiff landlord or the judge. You can't ask judge to give you time to live there longer, or decide in your favor or give you any concessions. COURT IS like slamming into a brick wall, once a second for an hour. You may do one thing only --- question witness in the manner judge instructs you to do, either relative to his original complaint (always super thin) or his statement as court opens. This questioning process you must do effectively, backing them into verbal corners. As you do it, observe RULE # ONE: Never ask a question of witness or plaintiff to which you don't know the answer that he'll give. RULE #2, show nothing but dispassionate interest, no anger. And RULE #3, double up on the info in a question so you get it ALL IN AT ONCE, i.e. build your entire case with one question because JUDGE will not give you more than one or two questions! EXAMPLE: "when I first met you at the house, did you tell me security deposit was only $1,000 and take this check for that sum, and then later write lease to reflect another sum entirely, one we had NOT agreed upon??? (Hand bailiff the cancelled check to give to judge as proof, doing so in same second.) See, one single question and you ruined their case!
The landlord will stammer and lie like a rug here, and allege it was this absolutely huge, larger sum of $2500. Persist in questioning. How do you explain fact that that day, when I first met you, I gave you THIS check for security deposit and it was only l000$ security deposit and you accepted it. "Well, YES," landlady prevaricates: "but that was only partial payment. On the lease I clearly state $2500 security deposit and you signed that lease." "But I didn't have eyeglasses that day. Do you remember that? I signed it because you said it was a thousand only. Then, Your honor I have a witness here in court who will testify that this landlady assured me that the contract reflected the verbal agreement of 4 days earlier, when she took my cash. In truth, it did not."
ONLY THEN, when it is LINEAR AND SEQUENTIAL --will you be allowed to bring in a witness. Judges don't know what they're called but they hate 'non sequiteurs.
Now, bring in your witness. And keep it linear. "So, after you swore to this witness and me that your contract reflected your verbal agreement, you added that weird codicil at the bottom only I didn't initial it, did I?' So maybe you added it later? As you never sent me a copy of the lease and didn't give me one that day?" STUFF a single question with four damning facts. That's the trick. STUFF THE STUFF IN FAST and HAVE papers to back it up and witnesses too.
LANDLADY will say, " SO what? You signed the lease." Then you're allowed to answer that. "Yes, but that codicil wasn't on there. "How would you know if you didn't have glasses?" I don't know it. but there, your honor, she's just admitted that I didn’t' have my glasses."
You've got her THERE! So stay sequential and see if you can't be a Perry Mason. Go for the awe-inspiring parry and feint as judges are so hateful and bored. ANYTHING banal and USUAL to them, they will squelch. But this kind of pyrotechnics they'll watched in stunned delight.
And as a final fillip, you hold up the endorsed check that indicates security deposit was only $1000 and landlord cashed it 4 days before you signed the lease. Then you can address the court. Your honor, this proves fraudulent intent. She knew I couldn't see the lease. She gave me no copies of the lease after I signed. Here's my check showing what our true, verbal agreement was. Only $1,000 was to be security deposit. The other 3 thousand was RENT. A first and last month is what she told me!
Then, here's the final fillip. Bring out the landlady's email. (it can be doctored to any degree you wish by using a text editor to enter browser's email collection.) "You see, your Honor, she told me to cut the vines, cut the trees as they'd rot the roof, but see here your honor where she told me 'fix the plumbing yourself, you broke it? This proves she knew on this date about the broken toilet and would not fix it."
You will win even if you get evicted because usually the judge can give you perks. Like not make you beholden for the three months rent since you've been fighting eviction, or give you credit for landscaping, or give you lots of time to get out. Rent-free time. You might even get relocation money. If you're lucky, they'll give you value for the garden you installed. That happened to me.
But only if you have friends in heaven will an eviction court judge let you live out that money, meaning if garden is worth 5k, stay 4 mos. That is not really going to happen, gang. The only way you can get more than a few weeks is BANKRUPTCY COURT.
Yes, that's the court of last recourse. If something goes wrong and the Sheriff gives you a 5 day warning that he's coming, relax for three days, then take 160$ to Federal building's Bankruptcy Court office (In L.a. it's down at Spring and Temple ) get the forms and fill out a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
MANY CHOICES HERE: it's up to you which creditors you want to list. You can do it with no creditors but the landlord and his judgment and rent you think you MIGHT owe. You can throw in a few magazines you never paid for, or a credit card or the utility bills, cable bills that you can't pay due to this eviction and while you're at it, throw in a few pals. But go up to twenty thousand owed and the IRS, which reviews these filings, is going to say 'how did you get this kind of money?' Because they are never exempt from money owed, no matter how bankrupt you are.
If you don't want to go bankrupt, which one of the tenants on the summons do you want to declare legally bankrupt? It doesn't have to be you. ANY tenant on the original summons who lives in house will do.
As far as actually completing your bankruptcy, wait until this is about to go to court and dismiss the bankruptcy. When landlord hears about it, and reactivates her eviction and you get that sheriff's warning, declare bankruptcy again. Do this for a year until landlord goes legally insane. That will give you puhlenty of time to look for great digs and to earn the money to pay for it and you can dance on landlord's grave to boot so it's a real win-win situation.
ONLY WAY YOU CAN LOSE on a bankruptcy. The papers they give you are all about payback. They're very interested in how much money you make a year, and how you're going to pay back what you owe. Now, get this. THE IRS reads all the bankruptcy papers in the land. If you say you earn 30k and they never saw the W-2's, the IRS will come looking for you. So tell the court you only earn 3k a year and yet you intend to pay back this debt. All these debts. ‘cuz you don't want the IRS looking for you.
As for how lousy a bankruptcy looks on your future life? Bottom feeders are not going to go through with the entire bankruptcy. They file but they never show up for the final hearing. They are just buying time. Those three months are rent free. And what if you did go thru with it? Next time you buy a house, do it in a relative's name, with their credit. JUST LIVE in it until you die and then it reverts to them. Again, you gotta have relatives you love, trust, or vice versa. Who love and trust YOU.
THE FUTURE SCOOP ON TOTALLY FREE HOUSING: In California, there's a trend toward what is called "housing takeovers." Hank Aguilar, a UCLA biz grad and ex-con read about an old California squatter's law called "adverse possession" which allows anyone to move into an abandoned home. You can find this article on the Internet as LA Times lets you into their files. Aguilar found lists of foreclosures, put new locks on the buildings and rented them to tenants without informing the banks that he had done so. As 90,000 homes went into foreclosure in California last year there were abundant homes to pick from. It's a well known fact that eviction courts are gentle with the poor and loathe to move them onto the street, so many tenants found they could stay in their posh new homes for years. Unfortunately, Aguilar got greedy and filed fraudulent quit claims and was prosecuted but another company, Windsor Pacific, continues to operate legally, finding vacant houses in foreclosure and renting them 'as is.' The California law states that the new tenant must improve the vacant property, pay taxes on it and live in it for five years. Then, they get to keep the house. If someone comes to court with a superior title, before the end of five years, the possessor is out of luck. Even if that's the case, worst case scenario is, an empty house is lived in for a while until the bank sells it. Seems to me that everybody wins.
CHEAP URBAN LIVING ALSO IS GOOD. You can live in the urban center of your city which once was the ‘downtown’, but which now is decayed and needs gentrification. Generally a downtown has theatres, city hall, courts, and nearby warehouses and train rails. This area is the real estate FUTURE of the city. These areas gentrify real well. And you and your chums can be in on the bigtime real-estate in the future, if your finger is on the pulse of the DOWNTOWN! Read the URBAN RESIDENTIAL HOTEL FILE!
DECORATING ON A DIME: You've got the house. However you got it, now that you've got this gem, use every trick I'm going to give you for achieving FREE DECOR. Decor is very important for high morale. The main trick of the Nouveau Goodwill Impovero-Deco design is to swim life's river the way it's pointed. Let everything funky be restored to its original funk. Don't remodel one bit. Use the "This Old House" Bob Villa method of leaving the antique just as it was.
GRUNGEY WALLS?Use that buckled wallpaper and grungey walls as 'texture' under mixed paint can ends. (I brake for paint cans on the curb). Always put the textured, sandy, gritty outdoor paint on first, slaphazardly, doesn't have to be everywhere. Just in places. As it's slow to dry, wallpaper comes loose, and you tear random pieces out of it. READ THE COMPLETE ARTICLE “HOW TO DO WALLS”.
When wall is dry, you're going to put a good thick layer of the DARKEST COLOR first. I like a copen blue, myself. This is the only coat with complete coverage. The rest will be 'kissed on.' The dark coat takes a gallon, the rest quarts. So, second coat is pale blue, 'kissed' on with light, brushy layers of different pale lavendar and another kiss from pale pink. We light-brush and dry-brush the lighter layers onto the rich texture to show the copen blue off as background. Your third coat is medium color, fourth coat is lighter still, fourth is very pale, fifth is white, dry brushed on like white 'snow,' catching just the highest points of the texture.
The wall ends up looking like Pompeii in the light of a Mediterranean sunset. Spectacular. And all the torn or wrinkled wallpaper areas are the best part of all. No, the best part is this: the fact that you realize that you can live anywhere. Life can not throw you any more curves. No matter how delapidated the building, it's better than the best brand-spanking new house a rich guy has. You cannot be challenged by grungey architcture. The weirder it is, the better it will look when you finish with it!
ICKY CARPETS? The mattress where you lay your face and the carpet are two places where grunge isn't appreciated. TRY HOME SHAMPOOING: Two people rent the machine, 20$ and each does their house by themselves. The night owl at night, the day person by day. Only do this when weather is dry. Any humidity in the air and you'll buckle your floors, put mold in your lungs. First, use PUMP spray carpet cleaner on all bad spots. This stuff is a miracle. Next, rent a steam cleaner. Avoid those expensive carpet cleaners and costly laundry detergents. Get a bottle of discount detergent, strengthened with a little ammonia. Costs one fiftieth of the other chemicals. Move every bit of furniture out of the room. Start at back end of room, farthest from bathrooms where you leave the dirty water. Go over every area twice, dumping the muck down the toilet at regular intervals. NOW go thru the entire room a second time with acid water, like vinegar and water. Buy a gallon of vinegar at the S&H cheap place. One cup to each vat of hot water in the shampooer. That cuts the detergent alkalis and rinses. Turn on a space heater and toast the room overnight.(Never mix bleach with ammonia or use them same day)
If that carpet is not gorgeous and wonderful, tear it out, install it out in the garage where you'll put your computer room or carpentry workshop. Install it on top of plastic tarps, so no grease gets on bottom side. Sure, sawdust gets in it, but when you saw, put tarps over area. Anyway, sawdust vacuums up easily. The comfort of carpets in a garage makes you paint, spray, saw, write in luxury and is worth it in the end. In the living room, start over. Free carpeting is a cinch to find. Every rug shop in the USA has tons of it. Arrange with them to give it to you. You will haul. You will clean.
HOW TO SCORE FREE CARPETING AND CARPET WASHING SECRETS.ACQUIRING: Visit a carpet store just after closing time. The bins in back are filled with rolls of carpet they've pulled out of homes. Be prepared with a truck. Load up. Another good place is curb, trash night. Many home owners tear out 12 x 8 carpets.
I have found three paisley PERSIAN carpets, nearly room sized in my neighborhood in last six months. Just rolled up on the curb! All looked almost new.I hang them over a gate or car and wet them down, wait til they’re dry, install them. And I cannot tell them from the thousand dollar rugs at the store! The spectacular one was 8 x 12, pumpkin background, lit up the room like a candle.
WASHING: Get carpet to your rented home, lay it on a slanted driveway. If there is oil anywhere, put down a plastic tarp. Use spray carpet cleaner for the stains. The commercial one in the super market that starts with the letter S is better than the one with R. I'd like to shout out the name but I resolve not to favor any one product in print. Now, spots all gone? Wet the carpet down well with a dozen buckets of soapy ammonia water. Wrap a foot long 1 x 4 plank in plastic, use it as a squee-jee scraping the soapy water out of the fibers, moving downhill. Do this several times, then rinse. All the water and dirt will slide downhill and down driveway to curb. If air is dry, in a day or two the carpet will be be top dry enough to pick up, flip like a pancake, orr hang on a line or fence to finish air drying. Voila. NEW carpets.
PRO CLEANERS ARE CHEAPER, LESS WORK: Call the carpet cleaner that has the ad, 3 rooms for $17.50. (Year 2000) These guys are real punks but they'll come with their little scammer machine and tell you it needs costly de-spotting. He'll want more money, more like $37.50. Keep pointing too the floor and speaking bogus Swedish or Russian, depending on your coloring. Say 'one room only' in broken English. Flash the $7.50 in cash. No matter what he says feign being perplexed, then when he starts screaming at you, be very angry. Demand that work be done for $7.50 like the ad says only demand it in broken English. No matter what he screams at you, be like a wall he can't get through. Grab the phone and mime calling cops. Speak much better English as you say, 'Mr Policeman? ' Swear foully in Burmeese until the greedy bum cleans the carpet.
LAYING: All carpet stores have freelance carpet layer artisans who call in daily to do jobs, sit on curb or in parking lot. Get chummy with one of these types, have your address on your card, ask him to stop by after work. They are so used to doing carpet that they can kneekick goods into a few rooms in a few minutes, and be glad for 30$ each room. Don't bother using padding unless he can score it for a few bucks.
DECORATING SECRETS: FURNITURE- The best stuff I ever owned was found in the garage of a geriatric. Call every ad in the Recycler ads for anything---old coffee grinders, old posters, plants. Listen to voices, waiting to hear a geriatric. When I get a geezer, I ask about the item he's advertised, but then I go roundabout and finally ask 'do you have any old furniture in the garage that you'd let me look at if I bring a flashlight and do the moving and bring cash? If yes, I drive right over. They always have glorious stuff. And always ask them if there's any pottery or dishes, vases on top shelf in kitchen.
GRUNGEY OLD TABLES OR VARNISHED GOLD? I found a Monterey California 20's Arts & Crafts table in an old man's garage. It was scratched so he gave it to me for l0$. An antique dealer who came to one of my garage sales told me he could get $500 for it, and I shouldn't think of refinishing those scratches. Just an alcohol wash, which I describe below.
TRADE-TIPS: I put my own ad in papers to gift baby fruit trees and bulbs and plants; I only ask that they give me a bag or two of potting soil, depending on what they take. I have pots for them to take their baby fruit trees away in. Years of picking up people’s throwaway plants gave them to me. One time, an antique dealer answered. She was on a gardening jag and was willing to part with truly rare pottery for boulders, flagstone and plants. I drove them to her house. Her rooms were literally double and triple lined in breakfronts filled with treasures. I ended up with china and worked in her garden trading for things. She had a dozen rats. She said they were smart. Once her boyfriend started slapping her around and the rat ran up onto the bureau then leapt at the guy’s face! So trading is an endless fount of abfab events!
Start now, collecting old furniture. Keep it in the garage. Start watching all those home improvement shows on ION TV. The FURNITURE GUYS (used to be on The Learning Channel) They recommend that after using paint remover and a scraper, then a sander, use naptha or paint thinner to clean piece well. Use it with a scrub pad. Then brush on a lst coat of richly colored varnish. Let dry, then sand w. 320 paper. Meanwhile use lacquer thinner on knobs, hot vinegar if brass. Use a tack cloth on the sanded wood, then apply another coat of stain with brush then wipe with rag. Sand w. 320 paper, wipe with tack cloth and varnish again. Now, sand lightly, again with the finest paper, wax, let dry then buff.
STAINING FURNITURE that is SANDED DOWN TO WOOD with ANILINE DYE is the most gleaming, hot method! You get a real 'POP' of color.
Perk up the finish of old, varnished furniture with the ANTIQUE RESTORER'S METHOD, rubbing w. Mineral Spirits on cheesecloth to clean, then denatured alcohol to polish, then 'air swipe' (like a plane almost landing) with pad of cheesecloth and real shellac.
PREVIOUSLY ENAMELED FURNITURE should not always be stripped. It can be left kind of rough, cottagey and artsy-craftsy by sanding in spots until wood shows through (Google SHABBY CHIC). I flipped out one day at a swap- meet booth on Melrose Blvd, run by a clever kid. His merchandise was junk he'd picked up at garage sales which he'd made hip in a Victorian kind of country-fied way. WHITE painted furniture was easy to enhance into a country cottage look. He sanded spots bare on it, taking off the white paint in places, showing the natural pine underneath. Nothing more. He sold it that way. Where he'd found old brown, varnished furniture, with country lines to it, he'd enhance that country look by stripping it all the way down to the wood, varnishing then waxing it. Or painting it white enamel, then removing paint on edges.
Another variation is to paint a piece with a different shade of flat enamel, then sand off half the color, showing the different paint layers and a little bare wood as well.
For inspiration and techniques, check Jocasta Innes books in fine book stores. A true bottom feeder won't buy those books. They're 25$ each. We sit in the store reading, and take notes. GOOGLE HER UP. Get the books USED at ABES. A buck each. Speaking of which, Learn how to BOOK FIND and make extra money being a book finder, with ABES.
Last, the savvy kid at the Melrose Swap Meet found funky, redwood patio furniture, made of planks just like old fencing, which years of rain and exposure had stripped, eroding its grain into fissures. He brushed DIFFERENT bright color dyes or clear pigment paints, I'm not sure which, so that some of the planks were viridian green, others henna reddish orange. He used flat, acrylic varnish (so clothes won't stain) to finish. He SOLD it to hip people for living room furn. It was SO DYNAMITE. This kid didn't work 40 hrs a week hoeing somebody else's row. He had his own creative cash biz, probably paid no taxes. His days were spent in ecstasy, every furniture piece a different creative challenge, doing it all in his carpeted garage listening to Vivaldi with a 29$ Sears Sander! Hallelujah for humans!
This guy inspired me. When my landlord Dick (the next house after KITTY JABBA THE HUT MURPHY) decided to take down 200 feet of redwood fence planks, 50 yrs old, weathered, I stacked them on risers out doors to turn into bookshelves. The finished item has the grain of a moving river. I once put them at craigs list for 3$ a plank, so many people answered I saw they were worth l0$ a plank and I instantly said, sorry, they’re all gone. I still have them. Gonna do the sale one of these days if my Kid doesn’t start turning it into book shelves.
I had my Honduran build me a book shelf and we wire brushed the grain a little, ragged dust off, then used maple color stain. Then varnish. Redwood gussies up beautifully, the older she is the better! The Meryl Streep of WOODS!
ARTWORK: Hey, if you don't do some 40 hour a week dull job with 2 hours torture traffic time daily tacked on and if you know some pretty spots worthy of landscapes, and you can create time to OIL-Paint up easy NAIVE painting like Rousseau or easy impressionism, French Impressionist fakes that sell for big money, do it! Matisse is easy to copy. Dufy, too. One library book could inspire a hobby that could turn into a super living. All big cities have art galleries where Frankly Counterfeit sells for $400-1000 each. The only caveat; you're not allowed to forge Dufy's signature, it has to be your own.
When you've collected a lot of 30's artware pottery, glass, knick-knack shelves, teacups, group them in a still life with a gingham napkin and bowls of fruit and vases of flowers, set against a curtained window with landscape outside, put the cat to sleep in the foreground and do a kitsch painting you can sell for a few thousand in the decorator's district.
HIT GARAGE SALES, BUY JUNK & fix it. People give away computers as they’re always upgrading. CRAIGS LIST has a “FREE” section. Read it daily! You can easily dust out interior, sell them to students whom you instruct. Buy huge, wooden spoons, bowls, old frames, boxes, and papier mache them with scrunched up newspaper strips. These shall be your Christmas gifts. Always buy goose down quilts, they wash up easily, which most people don't know, and fluff up fine in the dryer. Most people throw these away the second they get spotted. Yuppies are such jerks.
OLD UPHOLSTERED FURNITURE:This is the article most frequently thrown on the curb trash night. If you've watched Furniture Guys, you know that ripping the old fabric off a couch and putting on new takes nothing more than a razorblade-knife and a staple gun. Of course, you blow beaucoup bucks if you use expensive yardage. I love decorator area swap meets because you can buy 25 yards of cloth for 5 bucks. I do it all the time. I tie dye the plain fabrics or block print or paint them with dye.
TIE-DYING-Plain fabric shows wear fast. Tie-dye, paint or dye anything you're going to use on chairs or sofas. A library book shows you all the tricks. I seek out thrift store, enamel refrigerator drawers or use huge jam processing enamel pans. You don't want to use metal near dye.LEARN TIE DYING FROM ME. (*clickable URL) As you can't tie dye anything over five yards, CUT OUT your back, front, sides first. If you've ever sewn, you know that to fit a muslin pattern, you drape and pin with the seams on the outside. Leave one inch seams. Unpin, dye, dry and iron, then repin and baste. Tie Dye sheets and make quilt covers.
CRAZY CARPETS- Squares of canvas get stencilled, freehand painted, then varnished.
LIGHTING: LOW 40-60 watt LIGHT bulbs in abundance make house look elegant and cozy, end up being cheaper in utility bills. If the lamp is a Salvation horror, cover shade with a moth-eaten paisley scarf in orange or a textile of old calico in orange...so entire room glows. Scrumptious!
HOUSE AND YARD PLANTSThere are three secrets to a garden stocked with flowers: your NEIGHBORS' trash for his empty, plastic MILK or soft drink BOTTLES. Next, NEIGHBOR'S GARDEN for his PLANTS, seeds and especially CUTTINGS. Next, NEIGHBORS' TRASH BARRELS FULL OF his YARD CLIPPINGS makes a fine compost pile. Every week, wheel it to your drive way strip, dump, get grass and every autumn get leaves. Hit the chicken farm near you for buckets of fresh manure. Farmer PAYS you to take it away!
LANAI - The patio is the party spot of the backyard. People do not want to be under the stars. Sink four sticks in cement, give them a roof of bamboo.
CONTAINERS. You have to start plants in some kind of a nursery. Babies in the ground are vulnerable to snails. (unless you have possums around, but they eat all your fruit trees and kitties so if you do….queens must lay litters indoors. Fruit trees need neck collars.)Seeds or cuttings must go into a pot covered with a sheer, plastic bottle, a container or a clear bag. Trash night on my street, it takes me five minutes with two huge trash bags. I can easily find four dozen root beer bottles, milk bottles, cat litter bottles, ammonia and opaque bleach bottles. THE CLEAR ones will become DOMES. THE OPAQUE ones will become pots for the plant.
Next, I heat a knife on the stove's flame, and cut through the plastic, decapitate these bottles and place put four small stab wound-holes in the bottom of each for drainage. Be very careful that your hand isn't in the path of the knife which can slip off the plastic, sideways with all that pressure you're exerting. Use a sink of HOT DETERGENT to rinse milk bottles of butterfat. Some bottles I just cut in half and put over rose clippings in the bed or field. The most fragrant roses get replicated. Makes a green house.
CUTTINGS - There isn't a bush or tree that won't clone itself. Gardening books show you the technique and timing, which isn't much. Put good soil in any pot. Stick twig in soil after immersing bottom in ROOTING HORMONE. (Make your own by soaking a lot of crushed willow twigs in water. Willow has the active ingredient) Bury the cutting's bottom 1/4 inch. Cover with dome made of a clear, plastic bottle so a small greenhouse is formed. Sometimes you air layer woody bushes, by breaking stem a little, bending, wrapping wound in hormone, soil and plastic. Impatiens grow lustily from an inch long piece. As my neighbor's garden will give me 400 pieces, and my street can give me 400 bottles, I could have 800$ worth of plants from thirty minutes of work any night of the week. Then-- next day I go to dumpster, get berries that are going bad, fruit, take all the seeds out and plant them. CITRUS must be planted while it’s damp. Let seeds dry, no trees. Pomegranates, berries, every fruit gives a baby. PINEAPPLE tops create new plants.I have many huge lichee fruit trees, gave away, traded a few too.
SOIL:The GREAT gardener's secret is real humus, none of that 8$ a bag potting mix that's as nutritious and dead as Weber's white bread. (Except SUPER SOIL, that one works!) Fact is, I’ll take all the SUPER soil you can give me as it’s great for amending soil, giving it friability, lightness and super for seedlings. Instead of buying the potting stuff, I TRADE baby fruit trees for SUPER SOIL, (Craigs list ad, ‘FREE BABY FRUIT TREES, come OVER WITH POTS FILLED WITH SOIL and a bag of SUPER SOIL for me. You get avocado, citrus, walnut, palm, mulberry…” reads my ad. How I supply is, I sow every orange/ lemon seed, stratify drupe fruit seeds, 2 mos.in fridge in wet toweling, in zip bag.), go out under bushes and dig where the sun don't shine, where black soil hides. Fill up a cardboard box with this black gold, then shake it through a one of those black plastic plant flats, which acts as a sieve, onto a plastic manure bag or tarp. Fill your pots and root beer bottles. My driveway is 30 feet long, going from curb to garage. Beside it is a six foot wide strip of soil. Want to know what I DO WITH IT? READ RUTH STOUT books. Used online or for pennies at Garage sales.. Read up on her work online, free. PERMACULTURE is another google word. These are the two secrets of gardening without work or expense. The third is use everybody's green trash and mulch it. See MULCHER VULTURE
TRASH NIGHT-I PICK UP everybody's GREEN barrel, wheel it to our driveway strip, dump it. Ten feet high pile of leaves, grass clippings, melts down to one foot in a few months because I throw bags of manure on it. In hot weather hose it, keep it wet. Find worms? Throw them there. Imagine how many huge bags of compost this strip gives. l00 bags? At 8 Dollars a bag? Are you kidding?
I used to visit WLA College, southern parking lot on the hill. Twenty huge compost piles. Ten buckets in my hatchback and I'm gone. Hamilton High has a track. Their back gate admits you to the many sandpiles used to make the track. Sandpiles, buckets, beaverline, chutzpah, not necessarily in that order.
HOUSE PLANTS: Go to thrift store, buy those 40's pottery cache pots for a quarter each. Fill with your freshly made humus cut with sand or cat litter Ask your neighbor if you can UNROOT a few baby ferns from those HUGE CLUMPS in neighbor's yard. Get SPIDER plants as they multiply fast and are effectively splashy in those old pots, and multiply like bunnies from runners that hang from the plant. If pot has no hole, put some aquarium charcoal, peat moss under the plant, on the bottom to prevent soil's souring. Always under-water your sealed pots! Keep 'em dry!
DUMPSTER DIVING FOR PLANTS: Most stores, drugstores, nurseries throw their ding-ed or semi-wilted plants in bins behind store. NURSERIES do also. Sunday nite nursery has wedding tulle, ribbons, paint cans, wedding bouquets and table arrangements. Scout 'em down. Synagogues throw away fabulous plants. Private homes do likewise. I have every tired palm tree that ever appeared on Yogi Bhajan's trashpile because I live on his street. I unwilted it in a shady, moist lanai. In a year it was like new. .
FINE ROSES-Really, fragrant roses are a rare thing. On my street, I have visited several hundred rose bushes when I walk the pets. All of them are more flash than cash, commercial junk, paltry aromas. But there's this one bush in my neighborhood which was a truly fragrant rose---a dark red thing, its contours ordinary, but one of these magical blooms perfumes the entire night. A single bloom filled any room with intense, celestial damask fragrance. I never knew what it was, an Abe Lincoln or a Crimson Glory but I knew I had to have it. How? I couldn't justify uprooting a neighbor's rose. I got a tome on replicating roses and found my answer. On an autumn day, I went over there with pruning shears and took off every branch in the right place for an early winter pruning. People do this to roses to get them to flower better the next year. You must prune roses. I took the cuttings home, razored out the buds and budded them all onto all the crummy rose bushes on my property. When they 'took', I cut off all branches but the prize ones. LATE SPRING, Mid SUMMER you can cut branches and grow them as cuttings.Martha Stewart says put a 1 liter bottle with neck cut off upside down, over it. Take red seed pods, fridge with soil two months, plant, you get big bushes in a year.
A bud surgery involves an easy t-incision in the host tree's bark, then you open the bark like little doors. Stick the bud in; a little electrical tape binds the bud into the wound. A month later, when you have sprouts, you cut off the top of the host tree's branch, letting the bud go crazy and 'become' the plant. Voila, thousands of magic blooms for me and my neighbor's tree is better than ever due to the pruning. This non-invasive transfer tech is a metaphor for all that Bottom Feeders do. Martha Stewart doesn't bud, she just uses the pieces as cuttings. So you have two ways to clone the roses you like.
GARDEN ART: The best art in a garden is ROCKS. Boulders. To find the, go anywhere there are mountains. Picnic in riverbeds just east of the San Gabriel Valley; Fill the truck bed up with boulders. Repeat the picnic every week. Cement them into rows to hold up the flower beds. I also hang paintings in the garden, and gaudy signs. When I find broken crockery or tiles, I set them in homemade, cement form stepping stones.
I recently walked through a defunct nursery. They'd left 5 dozen cement Greek Key, inscribed borders or EDGERS made in the 40's. They now edge the garden beds of my antique house.
FLOWERS FOR VASES, - My house is filled with huge, Renaissance bouquets. How do I do it? Week-ends, after hours, I drive up in that alley behind the posh florist shop. Guaranteed, tons of spectacular flowers from week-end weddings, or merchandise leftovers, will litter the bins. My son leans in with a flashlight, loads up a bag or box. We scoot home, I clip their stems under water, load into vases for all the rooms. I always add a little lemon juice and sugar to the water so they last until the next trash night.
Florist bins are also full of the props they use at weddings, like fifty yards of white silk organza, vases, and glittery decorations. You might need these when you give your own wedding or give a garage sale. Florist's bins are also full of potted orchid which have outgrown their containers and are no longer saleable as they've fallen out of bloom. I divide the plants, put them in a larger pot full of my magic homemade black soil, set them on my compost pile to stay warm and root, stand back and watch them slowly come back into bloom. Did you know orchids outlive people? Once, a few weeks after Easter, my fav florist's dumpster had 12 potted, perfectly fine hydrangea plants. WOW, I'd always wanted ONE and had never been able to afford one. I went home and planted all twelve by moonlight! Those turn into regulation garden variety hydrangaes, too! Winter, you'll get hollies and poinsettias. Spring, you'll get forced bulbs just after they bloomed and were not sold. Get them out of the pot, into fertile soil and there's a good chance they'll recover and naturalize. Tulips don't live over in California but the rest do.
More than any other kind of trash, with flowers you have to know what day the truck comes to pick up the trash so you can be there the night before, when the bin is piled high and the goods are highly fresh and accessible. The day after trash is picked up, the flowers are all 6 feet down in a well. Nobody likes crawling into a deep, dark MOIST bin. Even bottom feeders are refined. Which reminds me of a story. Phyllis, a classic bottom feeder and inveterate trasher, (and totally strung out on meth---she 'hung paper' meaning she wrote her own drug prescriptions..well, it was the early 70's), stuck her head into a large bin and just then her drugs wore off and she fell sound asleep. She was awakened and chased away by the store owner the next morning. Even Phyllis was appalled at how low she'd sunk.
So now we've decorated our house, how do we enjoy it best?
GET UTILITIES TURNED ON. Let there be light (phone, gas, water,server, cable) and relatives with property who already have contracts with the utility company as co-signers.
NOTE: There are ways to BE OFF GRID: http://pennypincherpersonalfinance.blogspot.com/2010/08/living-without-utilities.html
Then, after account name is switched over, go back to Dept of Water and Power and have THIS person apply for a "Residential Low Income Rate Application." You get it at the office where you pay your bills. Make certain this person you've switched your account over to can prove ill health with a doctor's letter, a very low fixed income, (either from welfare or a SSI check and they want to see W-2's and Letters from SS admin). Find a roomie who has had prolonged joblessness or hey, what's wrong with no earnings at all? Gramps maybe, living on a fixed income. Or a crazy son on SSI? A daughter who is jobless? Putting utilities in their name will half the DWP or natural GAS bill. Same with phone but you can only have ONE line in the house per person.
Some Utility companies ask to see your salary check stubs or W-2s. Photocopy them, fill in their application and you'll be pleasantly surprised by having your gas or phone rates go down. Some want you to sign a notarized statement about your low earnings. Some want to see that you're on a fixed income due to SSI or at least see a doctor's letter. Give em what they want as it will get your rates lowered to a quarter of what you were paying.
Never let the DWP categorize your rented home as a Commercial property (two units or more with one being the landlord, the other the tenant) because DWP rates assigned that way will be double! Even if you're renting the guest house, when you open your account, it is residential. The worst is to rent the house of a landlord who has called it commercial. He's in the guest house, you're in the front house, and he's set it up so your utility bills are double. When you turn on the juice in that house, tell them he moved, and it's a single house and you don't rent your guest house, it's your child in there.Always ask utility companies to give you the poverty rate. You will have to prove to them with paperwork that you are a senior, do get SSA or SSI check, (keep all paperwork from SSA,) that you have no job, (W-2’s) and are invalid, by having Xerox of doctor's letters. Then, they will half your utility bills. In case of PHONE, only one phone can be in your name. There may be another person in house but don't tell them about that phone when you apply for low rates.
CABLE TV SERVICE OR RENT VIDEOS? Don't try those costly illegal boxes. Cable companies are on to them. Get basic cable for 30$ a month (CNN, Discovery, Comedy Channel and The Learning Channel are all anyone really needs) and with a few yards of cable in the house, spread cable around to all the tubes in the house. Clip video store coupons to rent movies for a dollar. I used to pick up every junk mail ad on Fridays. My neighbors threw them into their trash. I found dozens of coupons, dozens of dollar movies. Another way, rent'n share. One group rents the thing, sees it right after work, the next sees it after dinner, the third group at bedtime. They all pass .33C to the last guy who returns it. Last, in L.A., we all know Academy members. They get thirty of the best movies on video a year, and will rent to you for gardening help, cooking, home made bread, etc. Sign in and out in a permanent SITE, like inside a book or on a big notepad so there are no forgetful space-out accusations of 'didn't you have TWO movies last week?
BETTER THAN CABLE ROKU! NEARLY FREE MOVIES. Best way to watch FREE TV: Imagine your TV giving you movies at will, no cable fees. You can do it with a little roku box,
HULU and NETFLIX then will give you movies for 8 or 9$ a month
with your ROKU box. What cable does for 30$ when you sign up,
100$ later after your trial period is over.
OPEN SOURCE TV http://streamfree.tv/tag/roku-channel/
Always USE RELATIVES' names to get free installation without deposits. But here's the final fillip. After you get the account up and running, SWITCH the ACCOUNT over into the name of someone LIVING WITH YOU who is totally low-income. It could be YOU of course. But choose someone who has not had income to declare or had to pay taxes or who has ill health and a doctor's letter that he can xerox.
TELEPHONE- This can be inexpensive unless you are 'lower income' and only have one fone line in your name. TO do this, if your house has two phones, put them in two different names as then, each user, can get the LIFE LINE low rate. I was for a while required to have two phone numbers as I worked on a Psychic Hotline (ask me for file on this) which got me into a two phone habit which I maintained later as internets were in. Two lines are handy for many reasons but say goodbye to LIFELINE rates if they're both in your name
Then there's FREE FONE for tech savvy folks
Perhaps you want 'real phone' & can justify the expense as a teenaged child who is talkative would
block the line & cause you business losses. Or, one might like to surf the Internet without friends and clients getting a busy signal. Or, on one line you might like having multiple phones while the INTERNET line is just that one jack in the wall.
Two lines or one, the way to handle A.T. & T's huge charges for installation of multiple new lines is--do your own. If I learned, anyone can. Have a 50 foot spool of Radio Shack's best telephone wire (the kind that won't pick up Mexican radio stations) and a Radio Shack Phone jack, a hammer, a sharp paring knife for peeling wires, and a screwdriver --all ready to go. When the A T& T telephone guy comes to install your phoneline, tell him you want to know how to run some wire into the house to create a second jack, or maybe more than two, depending on how many garage sale phones you have. He will be working outside the building on a gray, covered box (which he has opened). He will point to the different terminals, show you how to peel back the wrap, exposing the plastic-wrapped copper wires, separate the two wires, wrap them and screw them down to the terminal. He'll also show you where and how you insert the opposite end of the long wire into a jack. While his instructions are fresh in your mind, run back into the house, and do it. Pin down the two wires, close jack. Hammer a hole with nail, screw it into base shoe at toe level. Don't ask phone guy for help. He'll bill you a huge fee. He might inspect your finished work, for free, though, especially if you're a babe and make good coffee and have cookies in the house.
SAVING ON PHONES- Call your phone rep, say ‘did you know I’m old, living on 334$ a month social security? Your phone costs are so high! They ask you to fill out a card saying that you live on under 15k a year and bingo, they cut fone bills in half! Ditto Dept Water & Power. Gas for furnace or stove too. LIHEAP is Federally funded UTILITY HELP CHARITY.
SAVING ON UTILITIES: Cook food half way, turn stove off, cook the tail end with the steam that's already inside the sealed pot. In every room, use 40 watt lightbulbs only. Rationale: hotter ones can cause fires. In workroom, a ceiling flourescent fixture from a thrift store is low juice. Line-dry clothing in sun, then, spin-dry 5 min. to fluff. Dryers chew fabric up, leave your costly duds in the lint filter. Use dryer as little as possible. It's an animal at using juice. In Winter, turn the fridge off when you go to bed, first person to wake turns it on in the morning. In winter, heat the room until comfortable, turn off until first complaint, then start over. Summer, turn furnace gas pilots off. Ditto stoves.
COSMETICS/BEAUTY ITEMS- We Bfers work for the wealthiest families in town, as astrologers, massage therapists, landscapers, fence builders, house painters, or portrait painters. These super-straight people are attracted to us for our zest as well as our low prices. They know we're poor and on their own, one day will offer us used clothing and test the waters to see if we'll go for half bottles of perfume or shampoo and old shoes. When they see that grateful smile and realize we will use costly things that shouldn't be thrown away, and that we joyfully cherish the Gucci quality of these products ---and when we convey that we couldn't afford them on our own and are enthusiastically grateful, and will mend the moth holes with joy, they become super generous at regular intervals. My wealthy client, Judith, married the 800 million dollar man. She has Virgo rising and cleans her shelves and closets and drawers andwardrobe so profusely that I am forced to find poor people myself, to pass on the overflow! She loves my email describing who got what and how they loved it. I reward her generosity with these e-letters. Nothing worse than giving stuff to people you HOPE can use it, then never hearing what happened, how they used it. NOW, if I didn’t have JUDITH I’d buy make up at the 99c store where lipstick or mascara or liner is 99c!
HAIR CARE TIPS- I use empty toilet paper rollers as hair curlers. Leave a little paper on them so you don't get the GLUE. After a party, I capture that last inch of beer in a bottle and fridge it for future setting lotion.
SAVING ON SOAP- I save all chicken fat, and do five pollos a week for cats, a coffee can of fat in a week, easy. I put an ad at CRAIGS, “FREE TALLOW” for soap makers and "HOW TO MAKE SOAP" text and get 1 bar of their own soap from them if they have one to give. Next, I buy dish detergent and laundry powder at 99c stores, as it's always half the price of super market. I only go to supermarkets for loss leader items when I have really fat coupons. I do both laundry and dishes with the same, liquid dishwater detergent and save money by diluting it with water. Keep old bottles around so that new bottles can be diluted immediately. I dilute shampoo, conditioner, too and without telling the kids, either. Everything is a tenth as thick as it was in the market, and a tenth as costly to use. I use dishwasher soap for laundry. Highly diluted, and a shot of bleach. Goes further than dry soap.
CLEANERS- I use bargain rate scouring powders, and dilute my ammonia to 1/4 strength by keeping 3 extra, empty bottles around. "One becomes four when it comes in the door". Avoid those sponges with raspy stuff on 'em. It's been saturated with anti-fungicide, which is poison to aquarium fish and to US too, as we also are living things.My new age pal sez shine those bleach powders. He says only BON AMI is holistic and pure. My neighborhood drunk left a full bottle of vodka on curb strip. I emptied it into a double size jam jar, put it under sink. I sterilize surfaces with it. Was going to roll out pie crust, VODKA- cleaned surface first!
HEAT/FURNACE TECH- Turn the home's furnace totally off. Have the pilot light snuffed by the Gas Co. You can't afford the toll of its indiscriminate blast in the many rooms of a big house all year long. Use an electric hot oil radiator, which is very inexpensive, much longer lasting than an electric heater, which dies every few years. Oil radiators are effective to take chills off rooms within minutes of your occupying them, if you TURN THEM OFF when the room's warm enough for you. Also, they only cost 60$. If room approaches really warm, put on a sweater and turn the thing off until you can't take the chill again. The nice thing about these oil radiators is that you can keep a teapot warm on them. They'll heat a flannel nightgown, sweats or slippers in 15 seconds. And in the bathroom, use them for hanging chilly towels and bathrobes so when you emerge, you can terry and toast up.
AIR CONDITIONERS SUCK-JUICE that is. Never turn one on. Instead, hose down every tree up to 20 feet high. They will act as a refrigeration grid. Plant vines on every column in the lanai you put outside the house. Spray them. Spray patio floors, sidewalks, grass, plants. All of it chills the air that moves into the house. Roses, snapdragons and squash cannot be sprayed late in day however, they mold. SO plant far from house only!Then turn on the AC for ten minutes, it really chills fast as the air outside is already cold.
RENT HOUSES WITH CHIMNEYS-The cozy mood a fire produces is worth the misery of a downdraft in winter. Fire wood is available for free on every street in the city. Gardeners love you to haul it off saving them going to the City Dump. People with tall Palm trees always have fronds, which burn hot and long. Landscapers have great piles of wood at their yard and will give it away to any who'll haul it away. Use the fireplace often but be fussy. Try to avoid pine which dirties chimney flues more than any other wood. And when there's no fire, block the hole!Make landlord clean the flue if it gets bad.
MAGAZINES? PAPERS?All magazines offer you a few months for free. Hey, they want my biz so bad??? I take them up on it. My neighbors subscribe to all the major dailies including New York Times and Wall Street Journal. The friendly ones stack the papers outside their back door at my request. Strangers leave them on the sidewalk trash night and I swoop by, nailing a stack of magazines of every stripe while I walk the cats at midnight. NEVER spend 8$ a mnth on newspapers. Fave one I ever found was ROCK AND GEM. Lapidary. Great stuff. Makes you want to go pan for gold and mine opals. Then as for news, you get the news for free on the INTERNET, CNN.com. You cannot even tell me that the paper version is faster to read, or that the internet doesn't have local market ads. Cuz markets send ads to your house nowadays. There is no excuse for wasting 100$ a year on a newspapers. But I still get the 27$ a year Thurs thru Sunday subscription cuz I scrimp so much that I feel sort of rich.
BOOKS- The right thrift store near me has paperback books at l9c. GOOD WILL asks 3$ for paperbacks. Garage sales. Bartlett’s Quotations, 50$ on cover, 50c.at garage sale, weighs 20 lbs --History of England 75$ at store, cost me a quarter. On and on, the best treasured books are from garage sales. Get online "BEST BOOKS EVER WRITEN" to know which titles you have to acquire. Do it for non-fiction, mysteries, novels, history, economics. Use abebooks.com to acquire specific titles THEN USE ABES to sell books, and make a living doing it.Oh and when you use ABES, go straight to the dealer so he makes more profit. SECRET HERE.
HOW TO DO LAUNDRY?Good dollars go down the drain at Laundromats.Good money, too as a load is $1.80 with a dry. BFers launder for free. How? They get a second use out of bathwater. Try it. After you bathe, drop in some cheap borax, (eco-health nuts swear by it, eschew detergent as being carcinogenic) or they put diluted detergent in the tub, (not anti-bacterial that stuff is toxic to your skin) but regular dish washing detergent in the tub. Expensive TIDE-soap is a hoax of the public. Its chemical toxins are absorbed by skin and are rumored to cause cancer. The most toxin-free of all cleaning agents is Borax. Rub some into the wet clothes, scrub; let them soak while you drop in more clothing. When it's all boraxed, go back to first item and start scrubbing spots and extra rubbing armpits and crotches. Your nail brush will work fine on spots. Rinse first time in that tub water. Drain tub, roll up wash into one corner of tub floor, squeeze semi dry. Stand on it. Tread the grapes. Now, fill tub again, rinse with 1 tsp vinegar, much better than costly softeners which are actually toxic to the body. Swish the borax out. The acidity helps. You can use lemon or lime, strained. Squeeze the wash dry, carry in basket to tree branches where cords have been permanently hung, and line dry. But what about the nice fluff? This is so important, it bears repeating: NEVER put wet clothing in a dryer. Dryers EAT cottons up and wet clothing destroys the motor! Look in the lint filter, you'll see why your beloved, soft cotton garments get holes. Dryers chew up and swallow cotton thirstily. Instead, line dry and next morning, when wash is almost totally dry, bring wash inside and spin dry fluff for the last five minutes. That's how to use a DRYER!That and to spin the cats when they’re bad. Oh yes, never store anything breakable in a dryer. Cats have a way of starting a dryer on their own. I lost a collection of valuable antique crystal saltshakers that way.
The Bottom Feeder method saves money FOUR ways. You spend less cash on terrible chemicals, you save on doctor bills from not having detergents coming in through your pores; you get more wear out of your costly duds and fourth, you save on the utilities as dryers use a lot of juice. See: the "HOW TO CLEAN A HOUSE FOR CHEAP INDEX PAGE"
THAT FRESH LOOK- The ironing board is permanently set up in front of the TV set with an Indian or Guatemalan textile to the floor, so it looks pretty and so everybody looks spiffy all the time and they catch all the TV they want without guilt because they iron as they watch. Verk Arbeit Frei.
HOW TO BUY A COMPUTER. Remember the old joke, how many Poles to screw in a lightbulb? Four to turn the table? One to stand on the table? FIVE total? Well, how many BFers does it take to buy a computer? The answer is THREE. The bottom feeder is the motivator who says to his pals, 'guys, we need a computer.' The second guy has the credit; he gets to usethe computer as much as he likes. A third fellow makes the payments, 21$ a month, he gets to use the computer all he wants, too. The bottom feeder got to keep the computer at his house because he thought of it, and because he has super home security, (an enclosed yard, tall fence and then there's that big German Shepherd) and because he motivated them all and found the lowest price machine, a demo unit fresh off the showroom floor, pre-loaded with 150 kinds of software, from KREX or Tiger Direct (800 info for Number. But you and I don’t know these machines well enough to do that. I recommend the HINDU PC FIXER ON A BACK STREET Every city has one. HINDUS are amazing with PC’s. They fix them, all the businesses they work for GIVE them machines, free! Then, research using a PC online. LEARN TO BE YOUR OWN TEKKIE.
If your city has an ALL classifieds newspaper like the RECYCLER, just page thru it, writing down phone numbers. I never buy it, as it’s way over a buck now. Though someone told me they turned around and made part of it free, Not sure if PC part. NEXT, use the FREEYCLE ORG in every city now. No cost, just register once. You get about two or 3 free computers offered daily in a big city like mine. FREECYCLE GROUPS are in most States in the USA and most of UK. Google that word freecycle + groups You will get ten freebies a day offered you. It comes in your email. Today I got email offers ofbaby clothes, computers, printers, scanners all offered me totally free. If I wanted to drive I could pick up merchandise all day and night. Ilisted my 10 quarts of chicken fat/ cooking grease on there for soapmakers, got more answers than at Craig’s list. Many more. So this FREECYCLE thing is HOT!
Last AND BEST OF ALL, use CRAIGS LIST online,to find the FREE, GIVEAWAY SECTION which is an amazing gold mine. There are a few PC’s a day given away free in my city. You have to answer the ad within minutes of the guy’s putting it up and get in car and go there. Rich people dump setups which are Internet readyfor 100$ complete with all peripherals, printer, and always ….the software. So go for it. I just looked in the FREEBIES at CRAIGS LIST in my city, found many PC’s PRINTERS/ KEYBOARDS MONITORS scanners, copiers they were giving away. CHAR THE RECYCLER tells me that all those machines people leave out on the curb trash nite WORK FINE. She says it’s a 99% good statistic. (Note; NOT IF IT RAINS!)
MY REALLY FAVORITE WAY TO BUY A COMPUTER- I found a PC fixit shop on a back street, not on a pricey boulevard shop where the guy’s getting soaked for rent. BACKSTREET. Hindu Guy inside, BHANU PATEL, had dozens of pcs there. He said the big corporations just said ‘haul them away’ when he came in to do a fix job. Being from CALCUTTA he reamed and cleaned, sells them for a few bucks. He gives me copies of all the software in Christdom. Loads the version I love. I PREFER MICROSOFT WORD 1997, less byte intensive than 2000 or later. I cling to NETSCAPE browser vers 4.7 which has COMPOSER for HTML creation. I write in WORD PERFECT for DOS for speed, sometimes, less lately... save it as WORD PERFECT FOR WINDOWS, then save it and finish it off in WORD. . Today, I USE NETSCAPE COMPOSER to FINISH off all HTM text as it's easier to add graphics with it. I get NETSCAPE VERSION 4.5 or 4.78 online or off cd's I've stashed it on. I teach my Micky Mouse methods for websites AT MY WEBINDEX. Bhanu always throws in speakers, gives me used printers that are like new. Your city will have a BHANU. Avoid ASIANS. They are mercenary and tough and don’t like us. BHANU looks like KRISHNAMURTI, Saintly. A light comes off him.
HOW TO GET A FREE COMPUTER- CRAIGS LIST has FREE section. Many PC's there. Though the PC section for sale, has them for as low as 20$. EVERYBODY wants to pay you to haul away their old PC. Dumpster dive behind Businesses or INDUSTRIAL Parks, which are in train track area. You'll find them, elegant landscaped groupings of buildings with shipping docks and big dumpsters. Manufactaurers want to put their offices near the rail road tracks, so get a street map. Now, Seek out PC product related manufacturers. As you drive in your city, keep eyes open for NEW BUSINESS SECTIONS and all PC businesses. Get a Big strong but light weight flash light, a three foot tall stool & you're good to go.A hat with a flash light attacked would be really good. My Pal Charlene finds dozens of PC's weekly. Printers, Monitors, the works. She's also a known recycler, signed up with the DEPT OF WATER POWER in their annual GREEN query (ask your Dept Water/Power about this,) Last she reads CRAIGS LIST daily so when schools want to give away their PC's or huge amts of donated PC's she's called.She rented a UHAUL truck, carried away dozens of really near new PC's.
YOU NEED AN USB. A USB flash U3 is very handy - My pal Char who is extra cagy told me "USB? I had one - 4 gig - equal to about 4 cigarettes - compact... but they are easy to lose, even with the tether... Hell, I don't know where mine is... Left it in the library once (near closing thank you) and retreived it the next day - there were only 8 other unclaimed flash drives in their drawer...! need a free one?go claim you lost one, eyeball the color/brand in the lost and found drawer and come back a couple days later (to a different clerk/cashier) and describe one you saw.
COMPUTER PAPER: Need paper? Behind Office Supply and computer shops you find all kinds of treasures. A dumpster diver of my acquaintance found a ton of school notebooks in perfect shape, and took them to an orphanage. He found a box of computer paper with a serious dent but the paper inside was perfect. The downside is that he's still writing the great American novel and hasn't seen daylight in years.
COMPUTER SUPPLIES: I used to send out a dozen ribbons at a time for re-inking, at 2$ each instead of paying 8$ new. Software: BFers are never the registered user. They inherited the software from pals or those Hindu tekkies who sell used Computers. I buy a used PC from BHANU, he loads it with any software or Operating system that I want, Windows 98 SE.They bought the hardware, which makes their use of it legal.
FREE INTERNET ACCESS: participate in marketing surveys, read E-mail ads and your E-mail can be free ordiscounted. That means you can type your way free of long distance phonecalls, converse in written words with allthe people you now call Long Distance. GOOGLE "CHEAP SERVERS" Call www.juno.com orwww.cyberfreeway.com or www.hotmamil.com or www.netaddress or usa.net.
FLOPPY DISCS: Pals might get a BIG GIG drive and throw away a lot of old 3" floppies. Announce to all your fellow keystrokers that the day they want to dump, you will pick bring round a truck The big Line Servers used to send computer software on 3" floppy disks asking one to sign up with them. I erased the text (i.e. right click on A drive and instruct it to FORMAT them and you will re-format them). Then, use again. If it doesn't do it, see that little pair of square holes on the end? With a needle, slide left one shut. Then, it will format. For the one in a thousand that still won't, use X-tree to erase every file on it. Or use DOS. Then format it. As CD's won't reformat, and you can't re-burn them, use in fruit trees to scare birds.
DESK SUPPLIES- The transnational corporations nickel and dime you to death when you want to buy this stuff. Only it's not nickels. It's BIG, FAT dollars. A glue stick is cute but at two bucks, it's not a great improvement over paste ESPECIALLY when the little suckers have deliberately loose tops which dry them out in a week. 99c store has 'em two for a buck, which is better. I, however, do a lot of gluing so I mix a tablespoon of flour with some waterin a teacup, keep it on my desk full time, soupy so it won't dry out, with a Q-tip stuck in it for quick application. Fridge it when not in use. If I forget fridging and the paste gets moldy, I throw it out and start over. So paste isFREE. I find pens in every office or business I visit. Paperclips on floors in banks, sidewalks outside..
THIS JUST IN: I have just come in from my first nocturnal expedition to an INDUSTRIAL PARK taken by a pro dumpster diver, my chum CHAR the CAGY ONE She knows where clusters of these parks are located in the San Fernando valley. Each park has a few dozen businesses and as many dumpsters. This girl has high quality light weight flashlights, a stick with a hook and that’s all you need. We found a thousand marker pens in their wrappers, a good keyboard. Other days she’s found PC’s.You enjoy Taco Bell a lot more when you’ve worked up an appetite in the fresh air, and those taco places are open all night!
PETS- Don't bother. If you didn't have one, you'd be forced to give all that love to humans, where it might actually do some good. BFers avoid animals. Pets tie you down, multiply, cost huge money to heal or board, then they die on you, break your heart just like humans but they're much more frail so they do it more often. In short, why bother? Some people say they're like eye candy. I say, adults don't need candy. The second someone leaves a starving pet near you, put it on CRAIGS LIST.
If you have pets, keep them healthy of course. READ THE HOLISTIC PET INDEX No canned Pard made of offal by-products. Feed whole chicken quarters, (69c an lb on sale) cooked with real, fresh, chopped carrots or non-oxalic acid greens like kale or collards, .33c a bunch at barrio markets). Remove bones, for the Possums ...if Cats, they can have skins, Dogs don't need the fat. Add a few squeezes of fresh, raw garlic, or garlic powder and a codliver oil capsule just before serving and fleas will move to the neighbors' house.
Care for the cat without expense by avoiding costly cat litter. Supermarkets are full of box ends which they use for can display. Line this tray with a sheet of foil, then a flat newspaper. Cat's claws would tear the foil if the paper weren't there. Next, tear up newspapers, shredding like spaghetti. Add crisp autumn leaves or fresh dirt for its earthy scent. You have disposable cat boxes.
I personally used to avoid any garden soil but now I use a little. I objected to garden earth in cat boxes as the cats might make foot prints of earth through the house. Well, they'll do that with germs and litter, too and frankly, I'd much rather see the prints so I can leap on it with my dangerously carcinogenic anti-bacterial soap. So now I've been known to make a fragrant mix of leaves, paper, soil as Litter costs more than 4 days of catfood! I micky mouse cat boxes with shallow, plastic lined boxes from the 99c store, a lot of newspapers, a little bit of their 99c. a bag litter.
I have found a way to get use out of litter. Remove turds with a bag on your hand, and an empty bag to collect them. PUT in trash. Take the wet, ammonia soaked litter to yard, dig it in. I have the problem of hard clay soil. This litter has taken that problem away. I FIND worms all thru the soil in a few months so it is not antipatico to nature. The soil is never hard clay again! It is amazing stuff. MIND you I do not get the CLUMPING LITTER which is useless outdoors. THEY SAY a pregnant woman can never handle litter or garden soil where cats have lived. I promise I will warn the next family to live here about this habit of mine. A pregnant woman can garden with a shovel, but not touch soil.
THE BEST POLICY FOR cats who get dirty paws…is that the cats are not allowed to come past the kitchen door. They can go into one wood floor hall, but no bedrooms, no living room, dining room because any unneutered male cats, (the little fiends) will spray and think they're leaving you a valentine and doing you an immense favor as enemies won't attack the area. Your friends will stay away in droves.
My monsters' little paws are allowed to track a little mud on linoleum. I can wash tile with bleach. I can't wash my carpets as easily so they stay on the hard floors. In Winter, the cats have their little rug in the kitchen, in front of the stove and for variety, they have perches in the breakfast room windows, where rags are spread. They don't go outside in winter except on warm days. In summer, they live outdoors.
I know a lot about cats. Recently a friend introduced me to her pals as 'the lady with fifty cats.' I shook my head. 'How she exaggerates, I only have ten.' which brings me to my next subject. THE POUND.
If anyone ever reports you for that chicken or those cats, or those excess goats, the pound will want to eyeball your house. Control their penchant for arriving any old time, (and ensure that you're ready for them with all animals off the property) by putting a sign on front door. 'WE WORK GRAVEYARD SHIFT, SLEEP DAYS. DO NOT RING DOORBELL BY DAY. CALL on PHONE; MAKE APPOINTMENT.'ALSO SAME SIGN ON GATE and you lock the gate.
Animal Reg may take you up on that appointment thing. If they do, on day of appointed search, cage your animals in the basement as pound doesn't make a very good search, or use a pal's shed. But the Pound has learned to be wily. They will come to your house repeatedly when you don't answer door...and sooner or later, catch you with front door wide open. They are endlessly patient and will deluge you with notices threatening mayhem. This isn't good for your health. In this case, you need to face the issue. When you see them pull up, quickly put all cats in basement, then open the door, pretend to be startled when you see the officer standing there. When he tells you that he hears you have a lot of animals, say that you have fed all the cats on both blocks regularly for years, and the wild cats now collect on front lawn at sunset which is when you put the pan out. (there should always be a greasy pie tin on your sidewalk to prove this.) Then, invite the officer in to show him there are no cats around.
The pound employee will go through your entire house. Always confess to ONE or two, even THREE cats as your litter box is a dead giveway. Tell him you just have three adult cats. (You are allowed any number of infant cats).
The officer will stroll your house, see that clean litter box and see that you're just a pathetic character feeding strays and not a genuine 'cat nut,' the kind with furry bodies on every square inch, cat-turds all over floors. He'll tell you that you have to stop feeding ferals as those strays will be considered YOURS. Feign horror, say that you had NO IDEA and that you'd be glad to stop. It was expensive. Thank him for giving you a reason to stop. This charade will get you out of this 'rep' for having cats plus make him happy that he 'transformed' your life. He'll check your whole garden for cats, of course, and then go away. Last time I did it, I was in such shock afterwards, I forgot to loose the cats which were in closets, basement. Hours later, it suddenly hit me! Anyway, after I wrote this, I found out that you don't have to open the door to a pound employee ever. A guy near me with twenty thousand chickens on an acre of land told me that's why his front fence gate is locked. It's a legal right few of us know about! He ignores all mail outs. CONSISTENTLY. Tears them up, uses them for cage lining!
NEUTERING:There are organizations which will help you. In LA, it's Actors and Others for Animals (818) 755-6045. PETS ASSISTANCE (818) 709-0900 (213) 896-8110 Amanda Foundation (310) 278-2935 are 3 groups that contribute as much as half of the 40$ fee. I used to do my cats for 5$ each at Humana Holiday on Reseda Blvd. In by 8 out by 4 .But they closed. SO when cats are three months old, you put them in free RECYCLER newspaper. “FREE TO GOOD HOME.” I can’t but you can. NOTE: right now I found some cat activists who know how to use city free coupons and the FIX NATION neutering hospital. Every city has a group of pet activists and they are hugely informed on who’s doing free neutering.
Keep the Bowser or Fluffball you've got fit but don't go looking for babies or new pets. Pets prevent you from traveling which should be your main source of eye candy.I can't tell you how many huge trips I've had to refuse so I can stay home and cook for the cats!
4 TIPS TO TRAVEL THE WORLD CHEAPLY. 1.) Only go to cities where friends will let you throw a sleeping bag on the floor. Now that there's INTERNET, we can make good pals all over the world. If God meant you to spend 150$ a night for a room, he'd have made money grow on trees. 2.) Fly SKY LOW not SKY HIGH. Check with airlines to see if they have reinstated the good ole Stand by Policy where you could FLY at the LAST MINUTE for PENNIES but it seems to be totally KAPUT. The 90's analogues are price wars, which travel agents follow. Internet is full of info on this. 3.) Call the Bus company, train or airline and compare the three different prices. Trains are l0% higher than bus lines but they often have hidden costs, 3 meals a day. Compute what it will cost you to eat on the train or on a long, cross country bus trip vs. a 5 hr. plane ride. 4.) Check the travel section of Sunday newspaper for latest airline offers.
FREE TRIPS: Las Vegas is free if you can get there. Five people share gasoline from L.A. it’s not much. Make sure it’s a good car as there’s the BARSTOW CLIMB, a 20 mile hill. Once there, get a motel room for 15$ a night. Half of you sleep on cots or in sleeping bags. Now, the show is the hotels, casinos, watching the gamblers, but not gambling. For the entire span of your trip you can eat for free on the Strip. HOW TO DO THAT.
FREE CRUISES: My friend the indigent Jeffrey, a total Bottom Feeder, who's slept in his car with several sheepdogs for years, heard his Uncle was coming home from a cruise to South America. Jeff the Neph met him at the pier, asked him all about the trip, especially the downside. Then Jeff wrote the company a scathing letter on his Uncle's stationery about the spitoons being dirty, toilets backed up, used my address and in return mail, got a ticket for a free cruise for two, free! The other way I saw on Oprah was book passage for the Premiere Cruise. Ships are never delivered on time so when the ship isn't ready they send you full refund and a free cruise ticket.
LECTURE ON ANYTHING? Cruise lines let you travel for free if you teach, read palms, teach palmistry, do massage, etc.THE COMMUNICTY COLLEGE in your area has a catalogue they send to every family within l0 miles, offering classes in bead stringing, yoga. Become that teacher.
BECOME A COURIER:FRUGAL Sylvia, THE TEMP SECRETARY, offered her services to Midnight Express in L.A. and became a courier. She went to Europe every few months, at the drop of a hat until she could tick off the numbers on buses in Edinburgh or Minsk with equal ease. All big cities have courier companies listed in Yellow Pages. Call them. Now I see why she's a temp and won't commit to a permanent job.
DRESS TO KILL CLOTHING TIPS.The quality of the garments that society women pay thousands for has declined to what anyone can make on a sewing machine hence the sewing machine is also in front of the TV permanently, a good cutting table nearby. As any Cherokee or Sioux can attest, sewing trim and beads is an incredible mind-clearing meditation device so you save on gurus, too.Dressmaking can be a great business.READ UP ON THIS. And Knitting is a way to have a 700$ Fisherman’s cardigan sweater for very little money.
NOTE: Continued in Part II or just click on http://home.earthlink.net/~astrology/confes2.html and you will go there in one second!
Dear ANITA SANDS! LOVED the CONFESSIONS OF A BOTTOM FEEDER FILE, & I hear you also have a dynamite HOLISTIC HEALING SECRETS course, fifty files long? Could you email me that and the entire EASY PATH TO BE A MILLIONAIRE SEMINAR (How to avoid taxes, how to run a lucrative Cottage Industry, Frugal living. Frugal Gardening, Building a Farm Home, RECESSION TECH SECRETS, Urban Survival, List of all Future "THINGS TO COME".) Here's TWO BUCKS by PAYPAL!Send the entire SEMINAR to me byEMAIL as soon as you get my payment. I will send you my e-mail address ---well, actually Paypal includes it when they send you the note that I sent 2$. I understand that Ican freely share the seminar with my pals! And forthat I THANK YOU! CLICK ON THE word PAYPAL and you GO THERE IMMEDIATELY and in a few keystrokes, get piles of additional, valuable info sent you. ASTROLOGY@EARTHLINK.NET is email to use when I send donations, right? GOT IT!
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