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Welcome to My End of the Food Chain.

Now that the election is over, I don't watch the news quite as avidly as before, but I still turn it on in the morning to find out what happened overnight.  Most of the news now seems to be on the dismal state of the economy and how it is getting worse and worse instead of better and better.

Welcome to my world!  Since KidThree got shot, we lost our never-very-secure place on the economic food chain and fell right towards the bottom.  The only reason we haven't fallen off the chain entirely is My Parents, without whom we would not have survived.  It's a struggle down here.  When I left my job, there was a reasonable chance of returning to work within several years, if KidThree's circumstances permitted.  Now that chance is probably gone.  This morning I heard on the local news that our large neighboring county's Board of Supervisors has had to cut several million more from the welfare department budget, this on top of severe cuts already made.  I can't imagine how things are these days in those offices.  There is a perception among some of the public that civil servants are lazy, impossible-to-fire leeches, but that isn't true.  Oh, there are a few of those, but most welfare department employees work hard at what they do.  The work is draining, dealing with people in difficult and sometimes dangerous situations, sometimes being able to help a little and other times not at all.  Now, with the economy so bad and money so limited, more people than ever need help and there is less money to provide that help and fewer workers to process the requests.  A truly vicious circle.

For us, things are marginally better now because I've finally started taking care of the babies.  These first several months are just digging out of the hole, but next year we might actually approach solvency.  For now, I don't drink milk much as it costs too much, and don't bake nearly as much as I used to (the cost of butter, eggs and chocolate being so high) and don't experiment much in the kitchen (experiments sometimes fail, meaning grocery money down the drain).

The reason I was watching the local news this morning was to look for info on a shooting yesterday evening.  This one hasn't made the news yet.  It always amazed me how many shootings happen in that large city down the freeway that never make the news, or that barely do.  This one, we don't know if the victim is dead or not--it is likely that she is.  That violence never seems to end.  I wonder how many years it will have to take after Obama's inauguration for attitude changes to be felt by children in the 'hood?

A

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Susan,

Your blog is disturbing and confusing. Who is KidThree who was shot. A member of your family? Or someone from your neighborhood who was reported on the news?

I worked in Urban hospitals in the ER and I learned to my dismay that many rapes, stabbing, and other assaults were not reported by local media. I felt it was purposeful neglect so as not to panic the citizenry.

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Dennis

I hope you'll take the time to read Susan's bio. Her story is heartbreaking, but I admire the way she's writing so matter-of-factly about the adversity in her life. She's dealing with it bravely, taking one day at a time, and I'm so glad she's chosen Red Room to share her stories.

Huntington Sharp, Red Room

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I am too!

And I just found a new hero today. Or She-ro.

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KidThree is my youngest--she

KidThree is my youngest--she is 17.  I was her tutor when she was small, and am now her legal guardian.  She turns 18 in March, at which time I'll adopt her and drop the darned quotes around "mother" in regards to her.  She is from a very violent neighborhood, drugs and gangs all around, shootings all over the place.  She is in close contact with kids still in the 'hood and is almost weekly hearing about yet another shooting (murder, gang fight, burglary gone bad) and many of these never seem to hit the local media.  I think it's because the kids involved aren't blonde and blue-eyed--the media seems to think black kids from the ghetto are fungible.  I'm glad your experience also shows that a lot of crime seems to go unreported--sometimes I wondered if it was my imagination.  Susan

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I wonder as well...

and trust me, you aren't missing much in the news. Sarah Palin's husband gave Greta Van Sustren a ride on a snow machine. That's about it.