Does Redmond need a “Day Center” for our homeless population?

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A business owner in Redmond sent me some information regarding furniture in the City Hall main entrance which I found a bit disturbing.  Right around this time I happened into City Hall during the day and noticed that the furniture was ‘missing’, however the statuary (IMO not really “art”) was still visible.

 

An email dated June 10, 2016 from this business owner to the Mayor and City Council of Redmond reads: (spelling and grammar not corrected)

Subject: City of Redmond Day Center for the homeless

Mayor Marchione / City Council 

Attached are photos of the City of Redmond 1st floor lobby. I first found out that the City of Redmond had removed their lobby furniture on May 25 from a UPS delivery man, he told me that it was sent out to be cleaned due to the homeless using the furniture and that the City was considering not putting the furniture back to discourage the homeless form using the lobby as a day center. On May 25 I went to City Hall to check for myself that the furniture was gone and it was. I went to the 2nd floor and spoke to a City Employee who confirmed that the furniture was removed due to the homeless using it. Then on the way out of City Hall I spoke to Jane Christenson from the mayors office and told her what I had heard, she said that they were not getting rid of the furniture that it was just sent out to be cleaned.

Yesterday I took the attached photos of the lobby to show that after more than two weeks the lobby furniture is still gone. It does not take over two weeks to clean furniture. I engaged in a conversation with a City employee that I never met before. After explaining who I was and engaging him in conversation I found out that the City has the lobby furniture in a room on the 1st floor (it is not still out being cleaned) and that the City is having meetings trying to decide what to do about the furniture.

At first I took pleasure in the fact that now the homeless problem was in City Hall, and every person that I have told about the City Hall Lobby problem has said good now they are getting to see what it is like. But then I got concerned that Colleen Kelly is advocating that The City of Redmond open a day center for the Homeless. The two reasons I believe that the City of Redmond is considering a day center for the homeless are one the attached Task Force Meeting document from May of this year (on page 2 in red) where Colleen notes that “April, 2016 – Day Center in Bellevue has closed for now: they lost their lease, which was very low cost, and their budget is not sufficient to cover a big increase in rent”. The second reason I believe that Colleen is pushing for a homeless day center in Redmond is the quote from the below article:

http://www.issaquahreporter.com/news/375096911.html

“These men need a place to be during the day,” said Colleen Kelley, the assistant director of community development in Redmond.

If you open a homeless day center in Redmond you should open it in the first floor lobby of City Hall and here are the reasons why:

1) The City Hall 1st floor lobby gets very little use, it is heated and air conditioned the Green thing to do with it is use it as a homeless day center since the space is currently just being wasted. 

2) If City Hall is going to provide services that attract the homeless with the mind set that it is a good thing to help homeless that do not originate in Redmond, and as we all know based on the city interviews and police data 90% of the Redmond homeless is an imported problem. City Hall should live with the problem that they have helped create by providing shelter for the homeless in their own building. You could provide them a gas BBQ for cooking food just outside the back door of the lobby and allow people and business to donate food for the BBQ. Colleen could BBQ for them at lunch time. I will help solicit food donations for the BBQ, and maybe donuts for the morning if the city is short on funds. Some people in City Hall do not think that providing services will attract more homeless, lets test that thought by proving food and day shelter in the City Hall lobby.

3) If the City of Redmond helps open a Homeless Day Shelter in Redmond, all of the business and residents near that day shelter will be given the information in this email that will show part of the Cities motivation to open a day center for the homeless is to get the homeless out of the City Hall lobby. I guarantee you that if I do a survey of businesses to see if they would like to have a homeless day center open next to them or in the City Hall lobby they will overwhelmingly choose the City Hall Lobby.

4) Since City Hall seems to not want to crack down on drug use by the homeless, the City Hall Lobby is a perfect place because it is close to the river and the homeless only have to go a short distance to do drugs and drink near the river.

If you disagree with using the 1st Floor lobby of City Hall as a homeless day shelter please tell me why it is not a good location? If you plan to open one someplace else in the City please tell me why the near by businesses and residents should have to put up with the homeless problems of the shelter and City Hall should not have to put up with the problem? Do you think City employees are more important than private businesses and residents?

Thank You
Al Rosenthal


Mr. Rosenthal was answered by Mayor Marchione HIMSELF on June 11th:

Sent: Sat, Jun 11, 2016 12:12 pm
Subject: Re: City of Redmond Day Center for the homeless
Mr. Rosenthal—

Thank you for your continued interest in the issue of homelessness in Redmond.  Homelessness is a problem that is overwhelming King County and Western Washington. Every jurisdiction is dealing with it and no jurisdiction is “inviting” homelessness to their City. Just because you repeat your opinion below over and over ad nauseam does not make it true. 

What is accurate is that City officials want to work with the region to eliminate homelessness. I did not see any suggestions in your email that would help us accomplish this goal. Therefore we will not pursue any of your ideas.

The discussion about an Eastside Day Center is an idea about reducing homelessness in the region. At the end of April, the day center for single men operated in Bellevue by Congregations for the Homeless (CFH) had to close due to the church building they were using being sold.  Because they had access to space at such a low cost, they have had a very difficult time finding another space they can afford, so no day center services have been available.

The City of  Bellevue is working to secure an interim site for the men’s winter shelter until a permanent site is able to be established.  The hope is that this site will also have space to accommodate the day center.  There is a site being actively explored and Bellevue staff hopes to know whether or not it will work out sometime within the next month.

Sincerely,
John Marchione
Mayor

Mr. Rosenthal answered:

Sent: Thu, Jun 23, 2016 1:02 pm
Subject: Re: City of Redmond Day Center for the homeless
John Marchione / Redmond City Council

I checked on Tuesday night and the furniture is sill missing from the City Hall Lobby. Do you still have it locked away in the back room? Have you decided not to put it back out in the lobby because it attracts homeless person to the lobby?

 Based on your reply below and your actions by removing the furniture in the City Hall lobby you do not want the homeless in or around City Hall. Some people would consider City Hall to be hypocrites for not allowing the homeless in the City Hall Lobby or Tent Camps on the grass next to City Hall and the Police Station.

I do think that for safety reasons you should encourage the homeless to stay in the City Hall Lobby and under the over hang in front of the City Hall Lobby instead of the Library. The reason it is safer for homeless to stay in the City Hall Lobby than the library is that there typically are no children in the City Hall lobby and there are a large number of children in the Library. If you provide access to your wireless Internet, access to the showers in the exercise facility during mid-morning and mid-afternoon when the city employees are not using them, and work with the library to ban anyone that is not following library rules (the library mite work with you if they knew that the banned persons could go to city hall), I believe that you could make the Library a safer place and get the homeless to hang out at City Hall Lobby. If you do not do something to make the Library safer and something happens to a child in the Library what will you tell the parent of that child? Will you tell then that you thought it was more important to keep the homeless out of the City Hall Lobby than the Library? Is there anyone on the Redmond City Council that cares about the safety of children at the Library more than they care about keeping the homeless out of the City Hall Lobby?

 The attached photo was taken yesterday of the King County Administration Building at 500 4th Avenue in Seattle. It looks like they are allowing the homeless to camp next the County Building on County property, I may not agree with how the County and Seattle deal with the homeless but one thing that they have going for them is that they are not hypocrites. Instead of permitting tent cities at Education Hill, you should put the next tent city next to City Hall like the County has done in Seattle.

It is not just me that thinks City Hall has done things to attract homeless to Down Town Redmond. Recently when a Redmond Police officer was turning his car around in my parking lot I engaged him in conversation. I told him who I was and about the city homeless data that I had obtained from the City interviews and the police data. When I told him that in the city interviews 21 out of 21 homeless were not from Redmond and that 8 out of 21 were from out of state, he told me that a higher percent than that were from out of state. He also told me that the City of Redmond was doing more than any other East Side City to attract homeless persons. He seems pretty typical of the Redmond police that I have spoken to over the last couple of years on the street.

Last Friday I was told abut a UPS person was attacked by what is thought to be a homeless man with a knife that wanted his cell phone. The attack took place in the apartment complex adjacent to the senior center last winter. I wonder how safe that makes the senior’s feel? Has anyone from the City warned them about the dangers posed by the homeless?

Last Saturday I called 911 to have two Landing homeless trespassed on the bench next to the front door of my building at about 8:15 AM. When the police were there I advised the homeless that the City does not have a trespass sign up in from of their lobby and that they should hang out under the City Hall overhang. You do not have a problem with that advice, do you?

Thank You
Al Rosenthal

King County Admin Building 500 4th Ave (photo as PDF)

 

I will admit that I hadn’t thought about the connection to Mr. Rosenthal’s email until today when I received an answer from Council-member Stilin, the Ombudsperson of the month.  My email was sent on June 23rd; Mr. Stilin answered on June 24th regarding the City Hall furniture.   The responses on June 27th and today were regarding my construction question and are not included here as they are not about the City Hall furniture.  I incorrectly stated that the “Senior center” was under construction when it is in fact, the Public Safety Building.

Sent: Thursday, June 23, 2016 4:42 PM
To: Council
Subject: City Hall & Construction at Senior Center

I was at the City Hall building the other day and noticed that all the furniture in the lobby was gone!  Wondering if there’s something planned for the space (other than the sculptures) or if there’s a reason for the furniture move?

I’m also curious about the plywood and construction/tape at the Senior Center?  Whatever is going on will be a bit unattractive with Derby Days coming up in a couple weeks.

Could you fill me in on what’s going on?

Thanks!


Sent: 
Friday, June 24th, 2016 2:55 PM

Dear Ms. Norman,

Thank you for contacting the Redmond City Council with your concerns about the City Hall Lobby and the construction taking place at the Senior Center and Public Safety Building.  I am responding as the Redmond City Council Ombudsperson for the month of June.

On City Hall, the furniture in the lobby was removed several weeks ago for cleaning as some of the chairs had become noticeably malodorous for City Hall visitors and for employees working in the Permit Center above the lobby.  With the furniture removed, City staff have been evaluating the layout and potential use of first floor lobby space for a “one-stop” Customer Service Center, an ongoing study effort that is expected to conclude later this summer.

With regard to the Senior Center and Public Safety building construction, I am still waiting for information from public works on how those sites will be secured during Derby Days.  I will provide a response to you as soon as I received that information.

Regards,
John {Stilin}

 

THIS MORNING, I stopped by the library to pick up some items on hold.  It was before 10, so I stood at the entrance with about 10 other people.  While there, I noticed some young people and their belongings cluttering the entrance.  It’s not the first time I’ve noticed people hanging around the outside of the library; except today it bothered me in light of the weather and recent conversations I’ve had with many Redmond residents.

 

Although these could be young adults who have a day off from work or school and are spending the day at the public library talking with friends, studying, looking for work or playing games; it is far more likely that these young adults are using the library as a “Day Shelter” until the night shelter opens up again.

According to the Task Force on Homelessness Final Report, “The Landing, a shelter for young adults aged 18-24 located in downtown Redmond”, is operated by Friends of Youth (p2).  The Landing is the only shelter “for young adults (18-24) in all of East King County” (p5), even though we have a regionalized system for homelessness.

The shelters and other resources in the surrounding areas as identified by the Task Force are (p2):

  • Congregations for the Homeless Day Center
  • Camp Unity
  • Avondale Park Shelter/Transitional Housing (Operated by Hopelink and Friends of Youth)
  • The Sophia Way Shelter
  • Open Kitchen Meal Program (Operated by Redmond United Methodist Church)

The Landing is open from 8:45 PM until 8:00 AM the following morning.  From the “Friends of Youth” website:

“Line-up for the shelter is at 8:30 PM and intake begins at 8:45 PM. Guests are provided with dinner, showers, laundry service, clothing and breakfast in the morning. Guests may stay at the Landing up to 30 nights within a three-month period, with the possibility of extension. The Landing closes at 8:00 AM each morning.”

These young men and women spend their evenings in the shelter and then leave at 8 AM each morning to spend their days doing what?  Accosting UPS drivers?  Shoplifting from grocery stores?  Playing video games?

Between the panhandlers on many corners around Redmond, the increase of loiterers in and around public buildings and spaces, and crimes that are directly or indirectly related to the homeless; is it any wonder the citizens of Redmond are irate about encampments and the increasing homeless and transient population?  If you have the ability to play video games or hold a sign on a street corner ALL DAY LONG, you have the ability to work a job.

I think the Council and Mayor should begin to rethink their ‘strategy’ on reducing homelessness in our city.  The current approaches don’t seem to be working; in fact, the populations seem to be increasing.  The ‘gorilla’ is in the room now and is encroaching upon the furniture.  If the “noticeably malodorous” condition of the lobby area requires that the City remove the furniture or send it for cleaning; however the furniture has not been returned in more than 2 weeks; either the City needs a new cleaning service or they need to lock the doors of City Hall.

It appears that the City is unwilling to offer City facilities for day uses for the homeless, however are more than willing to have them roam the streets, vandalize and damage public and business buildings or spaces.  After all, we certainly can’t have the homeless spending their days loitering around in the chairs of City Hall!  It would be embarrassing for the staff and Mayor to explain their presence to visiting dignitaries and developers interested in foisting more unaffordable housing on the city.

It’s better to have the homeless hidden inside the library building where they are only a threat to other patrons and library staff.  Perhaps the groups standing in front of the Library with backpacks and luggage are only waiting for a bus, instead of idly hanging out. And let’s not forget those that have been ‘asked to leave’ after trespassing on private property; or those that repeatedly shoplift from retail establishments; because the Redmond Police Department is ‘discouraged’ from actually protecting the public as the City is concerned about possible litigation.  Who cares about PUBLIC SAFETY, when it’s much more acceptable to give into the shaming by advocates who only want to help these poor, misunderstood people.  Why not have them ‘temporarily’ encamped in Redmond’s most populated neighborhood area (See “Demographic Character link, Exhibit 4-3) instead of requiring that services and housing are more accessible?

Several recommendations have been made to work towards solutions; by the Task Force on Homelessness, business owners and by private citizens.  The City needs to consider the safety of their residents by:

  • Providing reliable Day Centers that protect both the homeless populace as well as residents and businesses in Redmond.
  • Setting the standard by requiring developers to provide more than the minimum 10% of affordable housing in all projects.
  • Using vacant / unused spaced in downtown Redmond to provide temporary housing, services and resources for homeless people.

If the City of Redmond is really interested in working toward a remedy for the ongoing homeless crisis; they have a long way to go to prove this to the tax-paying residents and business owners in Redmond.

 

Links:  

May 4, 2016 Redmond Community Homelessness Task Force Meeting to Review Progress
Task Force on Homelessness — City of Redmond web page
Public Safety Building Renovation
Other City projects and plans
Task Force on Homelessness Final Report
Friends of Youth
Interview with residents of “The Landing”
COR Population “Demographic Character”
King County Administration Building encampment

 

 

 

Eastside Republican Party Dinner

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Dear GOP:

  • It’s the year 2016 and we have smart phones, websites, calendars, jobs and families.  Please don’t assume that we have nothing else to do.  Time is valuable, so is communication.
  • If you’re George Clooney you MAY be recognizable to a large group of people; but if not, you might want to tell people your name.  Please don’t assume that people know who the candidates are.  It’s common courtesy in a meeting format to either introduce yourself by name or have someone do it for you.
  • If you take the time to set up a meeting, you should provide as much information as possible as soon as possible if you want as many people as possible to attend.

 

This is the first time I’ve attended a dinner or meeting for the Eastside Republican Party; however I’m sensing a theme after attending the District and Regional Caucuses for the party.  My overall impression is that the GOP on the Eastside:

  1. Assumes that people already know all the candidates (including names, districts, precincts, etc.
  2. Assumes that people have a wide open calendar for attending meetings on short notice
  3. Assumes that people have a grasp of all the intricacies of the political process.

 

Is that harsh? Maybe.  But after several attempts to look up things on websites, contact people about meetings or activities happening or sitting in meetings and having no idea who(m) I was listening to; I think it’s a fitting impression.

My evidence to this is following.

Our District Caucus (48th) for the 2016 Presidential Election year was held February 20th.  In January, I asked my friend who attended 4 years ago if she had heard when the date was.  We both tried to look it up online for several weeks; and finally she found a brief mention of it on the King County GOP website about the middle of January.  No mention of time or location was given.  We both put the date in on our calendar and kept checking for more details as the date drew closer.

I sent an email to the webmaster noting that I’d had a very difficult time finding ANY information about the caucus.  I received an email from the webmaster noting that he’d place a link for specific district locations on the website.  By that point, my friend contacted someone she knew so we had time, location and a bit more general information.  (I checked the site today and there is no link, but it may have been removed because it’s after the fact).

For someone who is busy, or someone who needs to arrange transportation or someone who doesn’t want to sit all day in a VFW Hall or the parking lot of same, the lack of information would be troubling.  For someone who is fairly OCD (okay REALLY OCD)  about their calendar, it bordered on anxiety.

We arrived early and as we had offered to help set-up, we began doing that.  There was a lot of confusion about how people would be registered.  Did they need ID AND their voter card?  What if they didn’t HAVE a voter ID card?  What about people who weren’t registered voters?  And the press?  There seemed to be no clear ‘leader’ but eventually some sort of agreement was made. In the end, business was conducted fairly quickly and we were out of there in time for the other event we were both scheduled to attend.

Turnout was EXTREMELY low.  There could be a number of reasons for this; 4 years ago there was Romney and the Mormon/LDS community was out in force to get him elected.  This election there were no clear candidates, and frankly, Conservatives in a Liberal state are sucking air for presidential elections anyway.

As I signed up to be an alternative delegate for the Regional GOP Caucus in March, I expected to get more information about time and location within a couple of days.  Again with the OCD Calendar Anxiety mentality.  The Caucus was scheduled for Saturday, March 19th in Bellevue.  Again, no specific time or location was listed.  On March 7th, I sent an email to Cynthia Cole asking for specifics.  She told me “KCGOP sends out the information 10 days prior to the caucus, so our info will be sent out on the 9th. There are 4 caucuses this coming Saturday, so the KCGOP staff has their hands full.”  The notices are sent out so late because all the delegates had to be checked first.

**SNARK ALERT**   I’m sorry that the KCGOP was so busy that they couldn’t let me know more than 10 days in advance of the event; after all, I’m just waiting around with nothing to do except check my email for the chance to be a delegate.  It’s not like I had an afternoon event that same day or anything!   Note to self, next time I won’t agree to be a delegate, although as there were only 4 of us from our precinct in attendance, there weren’t many others to take the spot.  (Side note, the other gentleman that agreed to be a delegate did NOT SHOW UP at the March 19th event.  Apparently he wasn’t waiting by his email either…)

So I go to the Regional caucus and walk into the foyer of Interlake High School.  There are no signs directing me where I should go, it’s early in the morning and it’s a big school.  I follow the voices around a corner and find about 10 people standing around some tables.  I walk up to one of the tables, give her my name and she directs me to another table to my right.  There are no signs on ANY OF THESE tables, but I move to that table and give him my name.  He asks if I’ve checked in yet (Gee, Wally, I thought that was what I was DOING) and sends me to another set of tables.  All of these tables within 20 feet of each other.

Finally, I get my name checked off, my name tag, my sticker(s) and go stand in line.  There are actual people standing guard at the doors to the gym so that no one can sneak in.  While waiting, I had PLENTY of time to look at the photos of athletes from Interlake.  John Olerud graduated from Interlake, by the way.

I sit on the hard bleacher seats for quite a while.  Fortunately, I sat next to this nice young man who introduces me to the wonder of Twitter.

(Point one:  Yes, I realize I sound like an old woman when I say ‘nice young man’.  Point two:  My youngest son rolled his eyes when I said I joined Twitter and then ‘banned’ me from Instagram and Snapchat.  Neener-neener.)

After my Twitter class, the actual caucusing starts, except, well it doesn’t because they’re not sure if they are going to let the candidates (for state offices) talk about themselves or not.  Finally they decide and then jump right into the caucusing.  After 20 minutes of rules.  (If I’d had Wi-Fi I’d have downloaded the Twitter app on the spot and started tweeting immediately).

So, out of the delegates there, we have to vote in the actual representative delegates.  There are all of these names on the list and each delegate gets to talk for 2 minutes about who they are, what district they’re from and who their candidate is.  At this point, only Ben Carson has abandoned his run for president, so my method of voting is ANYONE WHO ISN’T SUPPORTING TRUMP.  Highly selective, I know.  We are reminded several times that we can only vote for a certain # of delegates, we can only hand our codex sheets into a member, no mistakes, blah, blah, blah.  I need to leave, so I missed the 2nd vote.

So, back to this dinner for the Eastside Republican Party on June 7th.  I found out about it from the “Meetup” app (not a dating site).  I marked it on my calendar, RSVP’d that I’d be attending, showed up and there are two tables.  One with name badges and one with a man and a list.  I walk up to the man with the list, give him my name and he tells me I’m not on the list.  He writes my name down, takes my $20 (for dinner), then tells me to get dinner and find a seat.  Here’s where my impression of the GOP was confirmed.  I sit at a table covered in political brochures.  Some people have pre-printed badges with their names, others like me are hand-written.  I smile and say hello to my table mates, who return my greeting then return to talking to each other.  Apparently they all know each other.

The meeting starts with a prayer and pledge to the American flag.  It was an ACTUAL prayer, to GOD (not little “g”). The MC drops some statistics and then brings up the first speaker.  I met Ramiro Valderama a few days before the meeting through a mutual friend.  I found Mr. Valderama engaging, knowledgeable, down to earth and willing to listen.  His speech at the dinner was much of the same information we discussed; however, he like all of the other candidates that spoke did not introduce himself or the position he is running for.

I took notes from the evening (I left early as I had a catering event to prepare for); NONE of the candidates that spoke introduced themselves, nor were they introduced by the MC.  (The MC didn’t introduce herself either so I have no idea who she is).  The MC even asked how many new attendees were there that evening; there were about 5 of us that raised our hands.

I asked a few table mates, read some of the brochures on the table and looked up some names during my note taking.  But honestly, it shouldn’t be that difficult to introduce yourself if you’re speaking to a crowd.  It’s not an assumption that they ALREADY KNOW who you are.

As far as I can tell, the people who spoke that evening were:

Ramiro Valderama; running against Andy Hill for State Representative
Scott Nazarino running against Patty Murray for US Senate
Doug Basler, running against Adam Smith for District 9 Representative
Chad Magendanz; running for Senate Seat #5, Legislative District (currently empty seat).
Erin Aboudara running for 11th seat State Legislative District.
Marty McClendon running for Lt. Governor.

Bill Bryant (represented by someone in the audience) running against Jay Inslee for State Governor

I did not attend the King County Convention or the Washington State Convention due to previous conflicts (and the price to be honest).  But I can only suppose they were held with as little organization, advance notice and information as the caucuses.

Don’t even get me started on being asked to be on the committee to vet candidates…

 

 

GOP Candidates for Washington State Office, Congress and US Senate
GOP Candidates for Washington  State Senate
GOP Candidates for Washington State House
Washington State Committee   (Click on County)
https://www.kcgop.org
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Olerud

Rabbit Trails

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This is not a post about rabbits.  Although they are furry, cute and apparently their feet are good luck, it’s not about bunnies.  It’s a post that begins with college and ends with seat belts.

Youngest son wants to go to college and he is the only one that has actively pursued his desire to attend college other than Jr./Community college. Child #4 wants to be an astronautical OR an aeronautical engineer.  He also wants to play football.  For reasons that would take another blog post to describe, he will probably not be able to attend a school with a D1 football team in a large conference.

So, he’s been making a list for a while and as he’s a Jr. this year, we thought we’d visit several and combine family vacation and college wish list.  MLK weekend in January we drove to Portland and visited Portland State and Oregon State.  OSU is his DREAM school and he’d love to go there.  But they are a D1 athletic team in a huge conference and he’d suit up but never play.  A guy’s gotta dream.  During a rainy, grey weekend in Portland and Corvallis we ate some terrific food, watched the ‘Hawks lose to the Panthers and visited both campuses.

Next up was Arizona, so we stayed with my nephew, niece and their 2 boys and flew down over President’s weekend/mid-winter break.  80 degree temps, sunshine, fantastic food and great company.  The guys went shooting, we drove to Peoria and viewed the fields (too early for any games), toured ASU, then made a lightning trip to Tucson to see UA.

Then for spring break, we flew to Texas.  Well, we flew INTO Dallas/Ft. Worth, drove to Denton, then to Austin, San Marcos, San Antonio, Nacogdoches, then Houston and flew out of Houston.  7 days, 6 colleges.  Plus we saw the Alamo, the Riverwalk (and cruise), took a glass-bottom boat cruise, visited LBJ Space Center and looked out over Houston from the 60th floor of the Chase Tower.  We also spent a day in Austin with a friend and her family, had a terrific dinner with a gorgeous sunset and did the touristy stuff like the capitol building.  More sunshine, beautiful weather and great food.

So husband wants to know how much all the travel cost.  I spend the day making a couple of reports.  Not as bad as I thought, but not what my credit card balance would like to be burdened with either.  In between contemplating which bank I’m going to rob to pay off the card and returning the supplies from the “Chicken Palace”, my mind wanders from lack of money to lack of seat belts.

Still with me?  No?  Hang on.  We spent $$$$ on the College Tour and $$$$ on the Chicken Palace.  I lost a client in March because she no longer needed me to watch her teenage son.  I also have a part-time client who is taking a long vacation this summer, so I’m short $$$ every month.  This means I need to get another client.  This means I need to have the car seats — ergo — seat belts for the little darlings to sit in while I’m driving around dropping children off and picking children up from schools.

I have two new kids starting this week for 3 days a week, which works out until August when the part-time returns.  In October I’m supposed to start watching an infant full-time.  So I’m losing the income of $$, but gaining the income of $$$.  This means I break even through the summer with the changes in kids I watch, but I’ll need to have more available seats eventually.  So the new seat/booty/belt count if you’re lost is:

Monday – Thursday 5, Friday 3.  Most weeks.  Until mid-August and then it’s M/W/Th 5, Tuesday 6 and Friday 4.  And then it all changes in October again.

This means I start thinking about changing the vehicle I’m leasing.  My 2 year ‘leasaversary’ (not a word) is August; so maybe I’ll upgrade to a bigger car to take care of the additional needs.  This means I will probably pay more $$ for the lease, but I’ll be making more $$ because of the 2 more kids, then the infant in October.  So then I spend 2 hours researching cars.

And now you understand the rabbit trail.  Budget to college to travel to chickens to car seats to seat belts to new cars.