Hey guys!

Cracker and I have had a very, very blessed month.

Let me start by saying all is well with my pregnancy and our little drifter who has found home within my body. After 3 consecutive miscarriages since April of last year, we have held our breaths with this one. We got to hear our little drifter's beautiful heartbeat for the first time on July 24th. I've had some issues since then with severe, persistent morning sickness (known medically as Hyperemesis Gravidarum) but we've found the right combination of medications after losing 15 lbs and a few days in the hospital. We have our NT scan on Monday which gives us a guess as to whether our baby is at risk for Down's Syndrome and other Trisomy disorders. All in all, everything is going great with the baby, and we are out of the danger zone for miscarriage.

Camping hasn't been bad at all. In fact, it has been quite comfortable. We've been taking it day by day, and looking for jobs all over town. Last week, Cracker landed a job as a bouncer at one of the top bars in the city. It's a part-time gig, but it's a start. We got lucky one day in the last week and found $30 on the floor in a local McDonald's which fed us for a few days. With Catholic Action Center being closed for a few weeks, it's become difficult to eat in the evenings, but we've been scraping by. Yesterday, I overheard a young man at the library telling the librarian that he is doing a documentary on homelessness. Once he was finished speaking with her, I jumped up and mentioned that I couldn't help but overhear his conversation and if he wanted to talk to a homeless couple, Cracker and I would be happy to share our story.

Over the course of two hours we told our story and answered countless questions that this man had for us. We learned that he is a pastor from a church in Versailles, and his project is going to be a 15-20 minute documentary on homelessness (Adam, if you wanna add something about that, shoot me an E-mail and I'll add it to this post!) We got him hooked up with a street card and got him going in the right direction for dinner. I told him, if he wanted to, he could meet me at McDonald's and I'd get him to the Community Inn for the night to sleep.

8pm rolls around and Adam and I hook up at McDonald's (Cracker was at work.) I answered more questions and we had a good talk about all aspects of homelessness, and I even got to introduce him to a few people who have some interesting stories. After about an hour or more I walked him up to the Inn. In return for our assistance, he gave us a Visa gift card with a few bucks on it. That was God again, making sure we got some grub. I thanked him, wished him luck, made sure he got in and headed back to McDonald's. The rest of the night was rather uneventful, and today was fairly uneventful until this evening.

We're walking back to camp, and a cop spots us going down the side of the overpass. He stops us, and immediately a feeling of dread settles in the pit of my stomach. My anxiety instantly goes through the roof, and it's so bad at this moment that our little drifter goes nuts moving around. I thought for sure we were going to jail. Technically, we're trespassing where we're camping at. After a 20 minute discussion and an I.D. check, the officer comes back and says legally he can't let us stay there. However, his moral compass kept him from running us off leaving us with no where to go. Long story short, this officer got us a motel room for two weeks. I've got tears in my eyes as I write this, because this man doesn't know us from Adam and he has spent $320 out of his own pocket to put us somewhere safe.

His reasoning behind this selfless act of supreme kindness? God.
Cracker has another job interview tomorrow for another security position. If he gets the job, we'll be able to move into an apartment at long last in two weeks, and we can start a new chapter of our lives. If (when) this happens, I can tell you that this blog will not die. Our experiences in the last five months have humbled us, and it has opened a new path for me. I can finally say that I have found my calling.

I have always had a passion for writing, but in order to do it for a living I need to be writing about something I am passionate about. I hope to take this blog and put it on paper in the form of a weekly or monthly publication. My ideas are still in the early stages, but I can't let it go. I cannot turn my back on a community that has shared our struggles over the last five months. I may not like every homeless person in Lexington, but there are so many men and women who have found a spot in my heart and these same men and women deserve to have a voice, an advocate who truly knows what their needs are.

I really hope that we get to share our story at Adam's church to the youth group, because I feel like...if our story can change just one life, and open just one mind then that's one more life that will not fall not victim to the streets and that's one mind that can think forward to the progression the homeless community deserves.

Most people have this preconceived notion that people are homeless because of their addictions and sheer laziness. I'll be honest, that's a significant percentage of the homeless population. You are right to think that. But it's not fair to pass that judgment on the entire homeless community. There are people losing their jobs and homes every day. There are people trying to scramble up out of this hole they've fallen into. Some are hindered by addiction, some are barred by a criminal past. There are so many people in the homeless community that are just stuck between a rock and a hard place. Background checks, security deposits, requests for first and last month's rent, and unreasonably high rental rates make it damn near impossible for some of us to get on our feet.

The average poor worker makes $9,100 a YEAR.
You do the math, and tell me how the hell these people make it.
The welfare system is bursting at the seams because of the criminally low minimum wage rate and unfairly high prices of rentals. I have seen efficiency apartments go for as much as $550 a month. That's ridiculous, especially when someone's trying to support a family.

God willing, this is a period of transition for us and a sign of better times to come.
I'm going to wrap this post up with this one question...
What can YOU do to help bring awareness to this epidemic?
I challenge you to do something, anything to help the homeless in your area.
If you're brave enough, go out there for a day. Eat at the soup kitchens, sleep in a shelter, get just a taste on your spiritual tongue of what this life is like. I can promise that in some way...it will change you.

Until next time, my friends.
Stay safe!


A Quick Update

I'm so, so sorry I've fallen behind on this blog. Things have been so hectic lately, I just haven't had the time up until now!

As a quick update, the American Drifters are still in Lex, KY. We've moved camp twice in the last month, and have a tight little spot overlooking the railroad tracks (suh-weet!) I took a pregnancy test on July 2nd and we learned that we are expecting! We're due March 6th or March 8th (it's a back and forth struggle for the due dates, ha) and so far, things are going great. After 3 miscarriages, it's nice to have an OB who listens, and I was surprised to learn that they even have a social worker at the office who can help you find resources you need.

It came as no surprise that I was actually listing off some resources to the Social Worker. Cracker and I have an uncanny ability to find the charities and services that aren't listed where everyone can see.

We're trying to hold out hope that my settlement will arrive soon, because we want to do one big drift before Christmas. The pregnancy is high risk, and I don't expect to be able to travel after then, and really I don't want to be drifting at the peak of the flu season while pregnant. We're crossing our fingers tight and praying to the good Lord above that we get the chance to spend 60 days drifting across the U.S., checking stuff out and living a little before responsibility puts an iron shackle on us for the next 18 years (albeit, it's a shackle we're anxiously anticipating.)

I have posts in store over the coming days and weeks.
I don't want to crowd everything into one post, and I know I'll be at the library with great frequency for a while. My plans are to post up some resources, some experiences from the last month, and some articles I've been collecting on my Facebook about homelessness and the way society seems to try to control it instead of abolish it.

Until next time, folks, Cracker is out beating the streets for a job and I'm off to other ventures. I have to admit that time seems to go by all too slowly lately. Maybe it's because I'm already anxious for March to come?



Bad Luck or Bad Choices?

It seems like we've been struck with a string of bad luck.

Either that or we're making choices God doesn't approve of, but we've taken our personal inventories and really have come to the conclusion that our luck was pretty fricken rotten until today. Last Sunday Cracker and I had it out and he wound up going to jail. One of the downsides to being homeless - you can, and often will, find yourself in the jail at least once for trespassing somewhere. I have yet to go, but my poor husband got to spend Memorial Day Weekend in FCDC for it.

I made a poor decision while he was in there, and had no knowledge of why he was in jail or when he would be getting out. To put it bluntly, I had a bad mental breakdown compounded by separation anxiety and overdosed on 100 Vistaril. I'm okay now, my stomach isn't but that's another story, and I may have found a new viewing audience.

Okay, updates out of the way...I'd like to say hi to my new viewers, and thank you for taking a look. This post is inspired partly by a very kind hearted nurse over at Good Sam named Bill who said that as a medic, it's often hard to see what it's like on the other end of the stick with the homeless. I'll tell you what though, it's not just hard for people in the field of emergency medicine but I give them props because they deal more closely with the homeless than many other professions in the employment industry. Emergency rooms are often frequented by the homeless who have minimal access to constant healthcare, and often have greater health care needs due to debilitating health as a consequence of poor nutrition, hygiene and the works. I hope this blog brings some enlightenment to those who are curious as to what this life is really like.

After my umpteenth visit to the ER, I was told that I could be seen over at the Health Department so I managed to set up an appointment today over there to finally be seen for chronic care and a full health physical. Thank you, Jesus! I talked with a MSW (social worker) and my fees will be based on my income (or lack thereof). I had no clue I had access to this, which is why it deserves special recognition in this post.

Health First Bluegrass
650 Newtown Pike (Medical Clinic)
Lexington, KY 40508

HFB offers a full service medical clinic and what I believe is an emergency dental clinic. They work on a sliding fee scale based on your income and offer great service, from what I've seen and been told. Go right in, and ask how you go about being seen for an initial visit. You will need to bring government issued I.D. and proof of income. If you have no income, and are homeless, you can talk to the social worker about getting assistance to be seen.


Now I'd like to take a moment to a show a bit of the Christian-based hypocrisy that kept me away from organized religion for some years. There's a place called the New Life Day Center on Martin Luther King Blvd in downtown. It's a great little program they've got going on and they offer storage lockers, pastries and coffee for breakfast, access to community resources, computers, a phone and several different faith-based classes and movies throughout the week. They have a doctor that comes in to see the homeless, and they have a big screen TV for the visitors to watch while they're there.

It really is a great program, I loved it up until the owner proved to be a spiteful liar.
He claims he paid for our tickets to Portland, OR (that trip as y'all know was a flop. We were supposed to stay with Cracker's sister, she was a no show, we got stranded and got the idea to set this up for those who don't know.) and refused to hear why we returned to Lexington.

The very next day, we found out that God's Net actually paid for our tickets.
Steve still claims he paid out of pocket, and we're now banned from any services at the day center.

"I'm sorry brother, I can't have you back here. Too much trouble." Those were his words to my husband. Now, people have been banned and given permission to come back. We've watched certain people cause numerous disturbances there in the last 3 months. We have not caused one disturbance. But we're banned.

It's alright, everything happens for a reason. But I have one question...why would you approach someone, allege to be their brother in Christ, allege to be a Christian yet pass such a hearty judgment upon another? Where is the love that God wants him to show all people? What have we done to personally offend him? Maybe one day I'll work up the courage to confront Steve face-to-face, but until that day comes I have to blindly forgive his misjudgment.

But just for future reference, don't refer to us as 'brother', 'sister' or whatever if you're going to kick us out the door. That's contradictory and rude in my fair opinion. I wouldn't ever go up to my brother and say "Hey bro, I can't have you in my house because I spent some money on you." You get what I'm saying?

For now, the American Drifters are doing fairly well.
Cracker got out on a steady ticket today through the labor pool, which is great, and I have another 5 hours to kill somehow. I finally got a chance to check out the last book in a series I've been reading, so hopefully I can go sit somewhere and read...and hopefully it won't rain today.

Until next time, folks!!



Real Statistics

I wanted to do something a little different with this post. I have 15 minutes left to write it, so there's going to be a lot of cutting and pasting.

I got these statistics from The National Alliance to End Homelessness so forgive me if they are wrong in any way. I often look to the NAEH (I like to abbreviate everything) for statistics and stories on homelessness.

Economic Factors Lending to Homelessness in America:
-The number of poor households that spent more than 50 percent of their incomes on rent – defined by HUD as households that are “severely housing cost burdened” – increased by 6 percent from 5.9 million in 2009 to 6.2 million in 2010. Three-quarters of all poor renter households had severe housing cost burdens.
-The number of unemployed people increased by 4 percent from 14.3 million in 2009 to 14.8 million in 2010. The unemployed population increased in 32 of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Unemployment rose by 10 percent or more in 11 states.
-The average real income of working poor people increased by less than one percent, from about $9,300 in 2009 to about $9,400 in 2010. There was not a single county in the nation where a family with an average annual income of $9,400 could afford fair market rent for a one-bedroom unit.
-Foreclosure activity continued to increase with nearly 50,000 more homes in foreclosure in 2010 than in 2009. Foreclosures increased from 2.83 million units in 2009 to 2.88 million units in 2010, a 2 percent increase. Nationally, 1 out of every 45 housing units was in foreclosure in 2010. In Nevada, 1 out of every 11 housing units had a foreclosure.

Demographic Factors (this report examines four populations at increased risk of homelessness: people living in “doubled up” situations, people discharged from prison, young adults leaving foster care, and people without health insurance.)
-The “doubled up” population (people who live with friends, family or other nonrelatives for economic reasons) increased by 13 percent from 6 million in 2009 to 6.8 million in 2010. The doubled up population increased by more than 50 percent from 2005 to 2010.
-In addition to people living doubled up, people recently released from prison and young adults who have recently been emancipated from the foster care system (aged out) are also at increased risk of homelessness. The odds for a person in the general U.S. population of experiencing homelessness in the course of a year are 1 in 194.
For an individual living doubled up the odds are 1 in 12.
For a released prisoner they are 1 in 13.
For a young adult who has aged out of foster care they are 1 in 11.
-The number of people without health insurance increased by 4 percent from 47.2 million in 2009 to 48.8 million in 2010. Nationally, 1 out of every 6 people is uninsured.

The odds for a person in the general U.S. population of experiencing homelessness in the course of a year are 1 in 194. Look around you, I'm sure it wouldn't take long for you to count up 194 in your immediate surroundings, unless you live in Bum Fuck Egypt, heh. One of those 194 people is likely to experience homelessness within the next year. Hell, for the Facebook junkies that could be 5 or 6 friends! You never know when you're looking the homeless in the eye sometimes. Most people are shocked to hear that my husband and I are homeless because we are two average-looking individuals amongst the general population of the U.S.

I'm going to wrap up for now. I think there's enough power behind these statistics to get my point across: Even though the homeless trend wavers, you cannot deny that it is a rising epidemic and it's due in part to the rising costs of living in America. The line between poor and middle class is being washed away. The line between the middle class and the rich is being drawn in the ground deeper and deeper with every fleeting minute.

I have one question to ask you: are you going to do anything to help bring these fluctuating numbers down?



Icehoused Hangovers

I wanted to post yesterday.
Really, I did. But we wound up going to take showers and then going right back to camp. I'll tell you what, I've drank a lot of alcohol in my short 24 years, and I've had a few hangovers to tell about but nothing compares to the hangover given to a 5'4" 125lb woman who's drank 6-7 of the bitches. SERIOUSLY. Besides, I prefer tequila or whiskey over beer any day. I truly forgot how wretched a beer hangover can really be until yesterday.

So anyways, the night before last we went over to this carpet place and got some carpet padding to put under the tent. Talk about feeling like you're sleeping on a plush bed! Compared to that hard ground, it was heaven to lay back on that carpet padding.
We finally got things a little more situated in our tent, and even built a small fire last night to enjoy for about an hour. It also helped to chase off the monster mosquitoes we have at camp. I thought they were big and bad in Florida...these guys come in a close second to the Floridian species of mosquitoes. Seriously, some of these bitches might just carry me away one day...

One place I need to mention in this post is Calvary Baptist Church. For $10 a month you get a membership to their recreational center, and this is for anyone, and they have showers open for card holders on most days from 6am to 8pm. Not a bad deal! The public homeless can come in and take a shower from 6am to 8am Monday through Friday. I'm honestly not sure about the weekend hours, I'm pretty sure weekends are card holders only, though.

They provide soap, shampoo, razors, towels, washcloths etc. and the water gets nice and HOT. You gotta fiddle with the knob though a bit. I found out the hard way that the red markers on the plate do not indicate that's where the hot water is. The first 5 minutes of my shower were spent in frustrated confusion, trying not to swear and asking God to forgive me my errant frustrations. I was about ready to give up and take a hot shower when I turned the faucet to the 'cold' section of the back plate and finally found that nice, hot 120 degree water. Mmmmm, yeah buddy!

We're slightly screwed on food stamps at the moment. We've already blown through them, but luckily Cracker got out at the labor pool today (been there every day this week at 4am!!) And I'm out at the library trying to kill some time.

I'm thinking of having him go over to God's Net to talk to Ginny so we can go back into the Community Inn if they don't shut it down tomorrow. We won't be staying there, but it'll be nice to get in there and get a somewhat hot shower with horribly under-pressurized water and then leave for camp. At least until we can afford for the both of us to get a monthly membership at Calvary Baptist. It's pretty cool that they offer those services to everyone, including the homeless. Not only do they have hot showers, but they have an indoor basketball court, game room with pool and fooseball, an exercise room upstairs and who knows what else. It's a nice set up and I'd like to get in with some of that exercise equipment and start toning up a bit more. Walking has done my body great, but it's time to firm up these flabby bits of muscle and start looking fit and trim again.

Anyways guys, we ain't up to much. Being our ol' cracker selves up here in the bluegrass. I can't wait to post some pictures of the camp, and to post some pictures of the tent we're saving up for. Our camp will be the most pimped out spot you can possibly find in Lexington, believe that!!!

Until next time folks...



Hectic Times

Sorry guys, life has gotten really hectic and crazy in a span of a week. We safely touched down back in Lexington, KY last Monday. We were put up overnight in Indianapolis by Greyhound because we missed our connection there which made us miss our connection in Cincinatti. It was nice to have a night of respite.

Shortly after coming home to Lexington, we were informed we had to move so...the American Drifters are back on the streets and this time for a good minute. We've got a pimp ass spot off the railroad tracks, but we were in a rush to set it up our rinky-dink baby tent (it's a 2-man 7x7) because it was pouring down rain all day Sunday. We're getting more situated now, and hopefully I'll be able to post some pictures of the homestead soon.

We got a chance to add some clothing to our wardrobe, too. There was a Redneck sale going on at Wal-Mart and all Real Tree and Mossy Oak camo pants and sweaters on this particular rack were only $5 a piece so we indulged. I love livin' in tree camo, especially in the woods. Now I'm working on getting a tree stand and a paintball gun...

Yes, sir I have devious ideas at hand ;)



Meeting Portland's Finest

Getting arrested isn't fun regardless of where you live, but it really sucks when you're kind of STUCK in a big city. Yesterday, the cops rolled up on us while sitting under the awning. We needed a break, especially our backs and feet. Apparently we were sitting right next to a 'NO TRESPASSING' sign, which neither of us noticed to be quite frank, and Mr. Big Bad Cop was having a pretty bad day. We were immediately frisked (mind you, these were men and they were supposed to call a female officer out), cuffed and separated. Cracker was soon loaded into the cruiser, and I vehemently prayed that I was next. If he was going to jail, I needed to go too, or so I thought. After searching our bags for any obvious problems the officer who frisked and questioned me finally uncuffed me, explained my husband was going in, I was to be never be seen on the property again.

Where we come from, you get a written warning before you go to jail, sign or no sign, so this was an absolutely shocking experience. The tremor on the right side of my body was violent, I couldn't stop crying for 20 minutes and I had to get somewhere with two heavy backpacks, two heavy Duffel bags and a heavy purse. Once I got composed, said a prayer and cleaned make-up off my cheeks I started off for TPI (day center), and I was carrying 200lbs of property on my back, shoulders and arms. It was a slow process and I could only make it in half block increments, but I eventually made it to the rail and then the day center.

Now I take the liberty of showing y'all what I saw online last night:

It was really nice to see his face and it's really not a bad mug shot. I was missing him bad and I called every hour to see if there were updates in his status. When the officer finally told me that he'd be released between 8 and 9, I relaxed. I took my ass over to the Salvation Army Drop-In Center and waited for him to call. I got the call around 8 and we were reunited a few minutes later.

Skipping the little bullshit about going to bed, waking up etc...

It's a very wet, very cold day today. We're fixing to leave TPI for the Mission since they're serving snacks til noon. I'll update some more after court at 1:45pm. Now we get to see the house of Portland's finest...yay...




Over the River and Through the Woods...

It has been quite the afternoon!
Coming out of TPI, this dude hollers for a light. Then he asks us if we wanna make money! We politely declined, saying we might call them later, and headed on our way to Union Gospel Mission to talk to them about our bus tickets. He put in the cheque request, and now we have to wait for it to be approved sooo...we're in Portland for at least another day and we found ourselves on the adventure to remember. Over the river and through the woods (mountains, on/off ramps, over passes etc.)

So, the dude that offered us work from earlier had given us his number, so we called him. He needed someone to help him move furniture, and we had told him earlier we might call him. So we agreed to help him, he came and swooped us up and we made a quick 30 bucks which lands us up to now. 8:51pm. We farted around downtown a little, talked to the guy holding our stuff and discovered we need to come get our Duffel bags by tonight. We're finishing up eating McDonald's right now (yay! We got a food reward, lol.) And then we're headed back to retrieve our four big-ass Duffel bags. We have no clue what we're going to do with them. Probably do some rearranging, keeping what we can carry in two backpacks and prioritizing to reduce down to one or two bags. Plus our backpacks. Plus my purse. I haven't got a clue what to do right now. We can't go to tent city because of our bags and it's dropping well into the 40's tonight.

I'm a relatively new believer in God, got saved this past Christmas Eve, and this is a big test of faith. I've failed previous tests, but I'm getting the idea. God tests my faith, I catch God testing me, I bend my will and my life for him and God takes control. So at the present moment, I'm sitting in this booth in McDonald's, my will bent, twisted and knotted every which way and trusting in my Higher Power. God's got my back, this time I know it. I was so scared my first night here, and after a long prayer and repentance of my sins I asked him to help me stand strong in His image. God gave me strength, and I have persevered so far. I wish I could've figured this out back in February.

So God, if you're reading this, just know that I'm functioning solely on primal instinct right now (eat, smoke, be merry, lol) and waiting for that profound moment when you light my way. I'll be waiting for your light down here, just don't forget about me. Kthxbai! <3

Haha okay, sorry. If you can't tell, when I'm stressed I sometimes make bad funnies.
We're outta here folks. It's getting late and we need to get our bags.
Until next time...

--Cracker and Rabbit

posted from Bloggeroid


Shower to the People!

It's another cool, grey day here in Portland.
We're about to the end of our trip, leaving today or tomorrow. It might be a week, we're waiting for our tickets. So we're over at the day center now chillin' after taking a nice hot shower over at tent city. This guy does the showers on Tuesdays and Fridays of every week. The tank in his van holds 300 gallons of water which he doesn't even use all of! The water is nice and hot, and the showers are very clean. When you get there, you just step into line and wait until it's your turn to go in. They provide you with soap, shampoo, brand new socks, brand new underwear (my ass looks good in the tightie whities), feminine hygiene products if necessary and toothbrushes and tooth paste.

You are not under the pressure of a time limit (It's very hard to take off two zip-up hooded sweaters, two thermals, a t-shirt, undershirt, shoes, socks (sometimes two pairs), pants, boxers and tightie whites and still have time to scrub your ass), nor do you have to worry about foot-eating fungus as bad. I've noticed that the public showers at the day center aren't inspected between bathers, whereas these showers are. Peter is the executive director and he makes sure to provide you with a quality experience. Peter, if you're reading this, thank you for everything you do! People like you inspire people like me, especially right now.

Here's a few pictures of tent city. We stayed there again tonight in our favourite spot by the wall in Office (the name of the tent). We got another awesome night's rest again have met some really awesome people. I totally support their cause ( http://www.facebook.com/pages/Right-2-Dream-Too/291307830880922 ) and I hope they can go through with their plans to provide non-discriminatory services to the homeless. Everybody has a right to dream, don't forget that. I know I won't :3

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Once I know when we're leaving, I'm going to post a summary of our trip, sort of like a review with some of our favourite resources photographed and detailed. I'll be posting it as a wrap-up post and of course for the next month we're going to be preparing for the next trip. We need ideas on where to go, our technique is a little flawed. Throwing darts at a U.S. map lands us frequently in the boonies, haha!

Keep in it real and weird.

posted from Bloggeroid

Cleaning Out Pipes and Other Extreme Sports

Well, we're under the awning which is close to where we started here in Portland.

Cracker and I first found the awning while exploring shortly after touching down here in Portland. We had no where to go until we found R2D2, tent city, and they were full. We had seen some people sleeping here at the awning earlier, and the guy on security at tent city advised us to go there. So off we went, and broke out our expensive feather down comforter right on the streets of downtown Portland. Now we're sitting here again, winding down, pullin' some nice resin outta the pipe and smokin'. We'reprayin' hard that everything goes alright tomorrow, since it's our last day in Portland. We're ready to get warm, get dry and come up with a game plan for the next trip. Sponsorship is flitting through our minds as we realize just how desperately we want to do this.

We love the suspense of living on the edge with the despondent and crazy. It's not so much that we enjoy being homeless, it's just a life-changing experience to go through as an adult. It's even more of an experience doing it from our angle. We have experiences with homelessness, but we have a home and for once can live pretty comfortably. Why not do something productive with that life? We're still young, and we have the means to travel the U.S. and let's face it, the tourist traps really aren't as fascinating.

It's not all Smiley faces in this life either. Danger is very real, and in the city it's very scary. We come from an area where you square up face-to-face out in the yard. In the city, they fight with guns and knives. Pickpockets roam on bikes (we saw one last night), drunks are stupid and loud, and the things that go bump in the night are everywhere. You really can't judge a book by it's cover, especially in big cities like Portland, Dallas, Washington D.C. and others.

We see drug addicts every day, had a conversation down by the waterfront with a guy tweaking on Meth. We saw a heroin addict in O'Bryant Square who absolutely out of his mind. He was also pulling a needle out of his arm and skin popping in the park. Cracker's talkin' to a kid now who's been on Meth. We see addicts, completely whacked and slap-assed drunk, on a daily basis. We see scary cases of running across people who are crazy AND high, and with those types I'm tellin' you that they'll stab you and walk away. Laughing. You also see very sad types. Addicts who are so far gone, you can only feel pity for them. We have a very good friend like that, and so we always feel strongly for people like that. Shit, we feel for all of the mentally ill, chronically homeless, hopelessly addicted and just about anyone feeling shunned by society.

Heroin is a really big thing here. Everyone either talks about using it, or talks about someone using it. There are several needle exchanges available to addicts in the city. The area in front of Greyhound (behind the day center) is called "Crack Alley". They say all of Chinatown is crack (big surprise, eh?) And weed isn't too hard to find. There's really no reason for Marijuana to hide due to the lax attitude about it. Everyone who smokes is smoking it openly, and everyone who doesn't smoke doesn't care. Back in Lex, the big things are Meth and pills. Drug addiction is a problem everywhere, but on these streets it's a lot of hard drugs by hard abusers.

Okay guys, we're out. Gonna go check into tent city for the night. <3


Lunch in SW

Okay, so we did lunch in the SW portion of the city. We got to see the Pearl District, and while we were walking through we saw a filming crew all set up at the Federal Building on Glisan. That was pretty cool to see!

Anyways, we caught a street car down to Taylor Rd where they were feeding, and the street car was pretty neat. It's just like the light rail, but drives with traffic on rails and is much smaller. It is meant to connect the smaller neighborhoods within the downtown area. I have to say, Portland takes the cake for transportation!!

Lunch was a freaking awesome. Another pile of food that was hard for my clumsy little self to handle. I actually managed to drop something this time: my dessert. Down went my apple pie! I picked it up after putting my plate at my table, and they thankfully gave me another piece. The meatloaf was awesome, the salad was kinda funky, the corn lacked flavor and the baked potato was awesome smothered in sour cream and hot sauce.

All in all, it was another great meal at one of the soup kitchens in downtown Portland. That's where Portland takes another cake, this is some of the best food I've ever eaten on the streets!

We've been toying with the idea of flying a sign. We just spent our last dollar on my refill, we're out of food stamps and fixing to take a 2 1/2 day journey East on a Greyhound with no means for a meal (or smokes, lol. I'm a smoker, he's not) and we said we'd do this experience the way any homeless person would. We know plenty of people who fly signs back in Lex, but we've never personally done it. I've panhandled and I don't ever mind doing it to be able to eat, so I'm sort of intrigued about this "sign flying" idea and let's be honest - I wanna try it! I think my first sign is going to say "Why Lie? I Need Smokes! (Donations Appreciated)"

I love to stand out from the crowd, so it's only natural for me to put a comedic spin on it! Anyways, we're out at the Central Library now using their computers. This building is big, and it is old, and it is very beautiful inside and out. I love libraries to begin with, and this place is like a candy store for me. I can't take my eyes off the old books overhead!

Alright y'all, I'm out for now. Off to explore more of Portland! Keep it weird! --Rabbit

The Day Center

We wound up turning in really early last night at tent city, but not without some fear being felt by the both of us. We crossed over the Hawthorne Bridge by foot which was miserable for Cracker since he doesn't like heights. We checked out the drum circle for a few minutes and then headed in. We started out looking for the metro rail, but we wound up crossing on the floating pedestrian walkway back over the river. This time we were under the steel bridge and a train decided to chug on through when we were halfway across.

I swear on everything good to me I nearly crapped myself.
I never, EVER want to do THAT again which means crossing bridges on foot in Portland will no longer be happening and will not be blogged about.

This morning has been pretty good. We left out of Tent City to grey skies and wet streets at 6:30am. The air was bitter, cold, damp but I was in a really good mood. We both had a great night's rest last night. We took a trip down the river to under the Morrison Bridge where we sat down to smoke and I quickly changed my pants (I wear a pair of shorts under my jeans, just in case, lol) before we headed on to the Rite-Aid in Pioneer Square. I ran into a problem with my medications and needed a refill ASAP, and luckily the Pharmacist was able to help us out. After that we went to eat at the Portland Rescue Mission, stopped and got a snack and coffee at the Union Mission and then proceeded over to the Blanchet house to wait for lunch. It's a never ending cycle of hurry-up-and-wait here in Portland. If you don't get in line an hour ahead of time, it'll be an hour or two before you eat.

Breakfast was decent, I'm not a big fan of eggs though.
Snack was awesome hot coffee and a cinnamon roll quarter with LOTS of icing.
Lunch was bomb-diggity - a bird leg, rice, green beans, salad and fruit salad...yum!

Now we're at the Day Center chillin', chargin', bloggin' and waitin'.
Everything up here requires you having a TB card saying you've been tested and are in the clear. Both of our TB sites look good, so we'll be getting our cards signed off in about 25 minutes. After that, I dunno where we're headed. The sun shines through for a few minutes then the sky turns grey with more clouds. We know of a place that serves at 2, so we'll probably check that out and update y'all on the type of meal offered there. Blog about this cold, wet weather and probably some new photos of the weirdness that fills the streets of Portland. We've been tellin' everybody about the blog, and in my next post I'm going to feature people we've taken pictures with since Thursday.

Ta ta for now, viewers.Until next time...keep it weird!

--Rabbit & Cracker

Down by the River

O'Bryant Square put on a fabulous show with Potluck in the Park!
We were meal tickets 195 and 196. Within 20 minutes we were being served. My plate started out with fruit salad (mmmm strawberries and mango!!!) Then a spoonful (big cooking spoon) of awesome potato salad, Spanish rice, and a hot dog. I put lots of salt and lots of pepper on my fruit, potato salad and rice, ketchup and mustard on my dog and headed on. Deserts...oh my god deserts...a HUGE yeast donut with tons of messy chocolate, a piece of chocolate cake with icing, and a little tiny cupcake with frosting. I had no clue WHERE in my body I was gonna put all this food, but it was all going somewhere.

After eating, it's safe to say we consumed a days' worth of calories in one meal and in a span of twenty minutes. Now we're down by the park, layin' in the grass and enjoying this really awesome weather and this really awesome bud. To anyone who hasn't figured it out, we are conoisseours of marijuana and yes, we do advocate for legalization. By the way Portlanders - we wish we could sign your petition! We've had to turn down several because we're not Oregon Registered Voters. I'm actually thinking about signing one when we get back to Kentucky.

We just talked to couple of guys who were smoking under the tree next to us and they told us to check out the drum circle. It's the next bridge down (these people say that like it's the next street (which it usually is, lol.) So we're gonna go check it out here in a bit. I'm extremely excited, my mum took me to one when I was younger and it was the most amazing experience EVER. I really can't wait!

It is so nice down here by the river. The weather's nice, the park is nice...I really could curl up and take a nap here, heh. We're out for now, gonna head down to the Rescue Mission to eat dinner, then off to tent city!

Still Keepin' It Weird

It's feeding time on Sunday.
Hot meals are harder to come by on the weekend. Mostly because everybody wants to take a little time off from the homeless, or else they might feel insane within a year. This shit is just absolutely amazing though because the park where they're feeding is just like Phoenix Park back home in Lex. Oh jeeze, it's 12:30 and Cracker just informed me that we are not gonna eat until after 3. Sometimes, I really have to just take a deep breath and go with the flow. In Portland. Where it is rainy and cold.

Actually, today really isn't too bad. It's a little cool and windy, but it was fantastic down by the waterfront on the Willamette River. It's no wonder they call Portland the "City of Bridges" by the way, they have 8 bridges in this place! And our first night downtown in Chinatown introduced us to the nickname "Beervana". You could hear a woman puking at any hour of the night, money guaranteed. Also this city reeks of beer on the weekend, haha. I have to say it again...I can NOT believe I am on this crazy journey!!! Thank god for my husband and my sister Mary Jane.

I'm watching these people prepare for lunch(Potluck in the Park) and I'm completely blown away by the size of this production! You don't see things of this caliber in Lexington and this shit don't happen at we're from, the Southern Florida swamps. Back where we're from in Florida, there is one homeless shelter. They are the only place that serves a hot meal for lunch and dinner. Their shelter comes with a lot of rules and minimal options for the chronically homeless. The community views the homeless with a critical eye and the homeless endure some of the cruelest treatment not only by the community, but by law enforcement. My husband and I have been homeless, living in a tent and always stressed about our stuff or the law kicking us out. It sucks down there, and it's almost impossible to get on your feet because the cost of living is so high.

It's areas like my home that I'd really like to see motivated to really help the homeless which is why I say I'm on a bit of a mission. We are going to be home in Lexington until we decide our next mission.

Anyways, back to Portland.
Something else that's different is that a lot of people are homeless with their pets. Usually dogs, but it wouldn't surprise me if I saw a homeless guy walking a pig down the street. What's even more amazing is the quality and health of these animals. We've seen some very nice lookin' Pits up here on the streets, and I even noticed a Boston Terrier that's of AKC quality (though I still don't understand what people see in those weird-looking little guys...) What's even more amazing is that the dogs (or pig if he's walkin' around here somewhere ;) are allowed inside of some of the soup kitchens! The first time I saw that, my jaw hung open! Again, it's something you don't see back where we come from.

Another difference is the dismissal of marijuana.
They just don't care if you smoke it here (yeah, some of my friends are wondering why I'm going back, haha!) I can't tell you how many people I've passed on the street here who are openly smoking a joint - one right outside the doors of the mission where they feed! Again, you don't really see that shit where we come from.

Okay, Cracker was just talking to the women who hand out the meal tickets. Wait until you hear this...
Potluck in the Park begins serving meals at 3pm in O'Bryant Square on Sunday afternoons.
You start picking up your mealticket at 1pm.
In 10 minutes they serve 100 people. That's 600 people, needing a hot meal, served in an hour!

posted from Bloggeroid


Keepin It Weird in Portland

My husband Cracker

Me and stewie's new friend in Denver, CO! Sup Audo!!
Hey y'all.
I'm Rabbit, I'm 23, married with two daughters and a stepson, and I am what you'd call a drifter. I have a home to go to but I spend part of my time with my husband drifting in different states. Call it a weird social experiment, but we've been in poverty for years and we are intrigued by the way poverty has stricken America.

Right now we are thousands of miles away from home - stranded. In Portland, OR to boot. You wanna know how Alice felt when she fell down the rabbit hole? Take a couple from Smalltown, USA, from the dirty South to boot, and stick them in weird-as-hell Portland where the slogan is none other than "Keep Portland Weird!" This place is crazy, and the first day or two was flat out scary (in my opinion), but this big ass city has found a spot in our country-fried hearts.

We have adapted quickly and quite efficiently. We have Tent City at the entrance to Chinatown to lay our heads. There are a dozen places to get a hot meal, and we have already found ourselves a Street Roots guidebook.

Look, this is how crazy Portland is.
Yesterday the preacher at the Mission said he would get us on a bus on Tuesday back home. We decided to celebrate with Mary Jane. We ask a random guy on the street if he knew where to get some...AND HE SMOKES US OUT RIGHT THERE ON THE STREET! Right at damn Pioneer Square! Then a COP tells us not to light up there (with Mary Jane!!!) and the guy invites us over to his house after hearing our story!

So as of now we are nice and stoned, full on McDonald's, got some bud to go (and pipe too) from our new friend Roger (Thanks Bro!) and I even have a fresh pack of smokes to boot!

Well...we're leavin' McD's now to go burn some of this wicked Oregonian bud in our resin-packed pipe.

Until next time...Keep Portland Weird!
I know we are!