I'm two months into a four month fundraising effort and felt it was time to offer an update. Unfortunately, there's not a lot to report!
Contributions started off strong with great support mostly from old friends, and a few new ones, but has slowed to a few in the last month. And with everything going on in the world, and all of the serious issues people are facing, I can hardly complain if my rather murky needs don't make the cut.
Still, I'm hopeful that more support may be forthcoming. We're finally making progress on the leach field on our rental property that will, I most sincerely pray, stop our having to have the septic tank pumped regularly at some expense. We had a week's work stoppage -- unfortunately coinciding with Belizean municipal elections, the Ruta Maya canoe race, and Baron Bliss Day (a national holiday) while we sought and obtained a permit for the work. This also involved unanticipated fees; I'd been told no permit would be needed but... as my friend Richard Lee used to say, "There's always one more piece of paper!"
There's also a bit more site work to be done to prevent damage to our existing driveway/parking area; another unanticipated expense and one that will be hard to estimate in advance. And so it goes...
I've also been doing some extra work, thanks to my editor at the American Botanical Council, and although I'm still seeking some other writing or editing work, the question begins to arise as to just how much work I can do every month without sacrificing quality of work or quality of life! On a more personal note, my need for cataract surgery is gradually but perceptibly increasing. Can't work if I can't see, so this will soon become a priority.
In general, then, things are going OK but need to be better for me to get back on my fiscal feet. I'll continue doing everything I can see to do to bring that about.
If you're in a position to help, even with a small donation, it will be penny-pinched hard and greatly appreciated! The best (cheapest) way to give is through my PayPal account: [email protected] If that doesn't work for you, please e-mail me at that address and we'll find another way!
Wishing everything good to everyone who reads this post -- One Love,
I launched this fund appeal at a time of great stress, feeling overwhelmed with problems large and small. The response to date of a small number of very special people has been most gratifying, and has for sure helped lift me from the Slough of Despondency to a more positive place! Thank you, one and all.
Especially kind have been the inquiries into my well-being, expressions of concern, suggestions for long-term remedies, and best of all, pledges of future support.
Again, I want to stress that my problems are almost entirely financial and 100% on me, unless I want to blame Lady Luck; I do not. Many people have bigger problems they did not bring on themselves; not to mention many pressing social causes everywhere. I don't want to take anything away from any of these needs. I'm used to being on the giving side, and I plan to be on that side again, if you will help me.
Priority One is putting a leach field on our property. Currently, costs of having the septic tank drained regularly are eating up rental income. The problem originated from a design flaw in our planning process. I had no previous experience with septic tanks and what are here called "soak-aways," separate, unsealed tanks that allow dispersal of filtered sewage underground. But I DID have access to people with experience, and had I been a bit more questioning and a bit less eager to start construction, the problem might have been avoided. It was not, and that's the reality I have to address. Some well-meaning folks have suggested I might blame someone else for this error -- there are several candidates! -- but there's nothing to be gained, and much to be lost by such accusations; better to get busy and fix the problem!
Plans have been drawn up, materials are being priced, labor is owed to me, and we're just waiting for the sun. Thanks to the folks who've helped me so far, this part of my financial mess is, I'm pretty sure, FUNDED.
Other needs are being priced and prioritized. I won't get real detailed here but will let you know through updates like this how it's going.
I'm also actively seeking writing and/or editing jobs. This is what I really need for long-term viability! All jobs considered, reasonable fees!