With A Little Help From My Friends… *Limited Time

My time left in my condo is almost over.   I’m a 54 year old single man, with my animal companion named Toby (an aging Corgi ).  I’m a bearded bear of a guy and  a graduate of The Florida State University, Class of ’90.  I am on Long Term Disability from an auto accident in Upstate New York in 1991. I was driving home from Albany, NY to Bennington, VT where I lived when I fell asleep at the wheel.   My car hit the guard rails and flipped 3 or 4 times.  I was thrown from the vehicle I was driving, out of the rear window and landed head first on the highway. I have some cognitive issues since then, and my short term memory is horrible.  I’ve managed, and survived, most of the twists and turns that has come before me in Life, but this is one that was going a bit faster than I thought it was, and I find myself stuck.

I filed for bankruptcy in 2011 and moved out of my condo because I was sure the bank would take it, and I didn’t want to get kicked out. I moved upstairs into a condo that had been owned by a friend who passed in Sept of 2010, after her family had renovated her condo. I was paying $600 a month rent at the time.

In Dec of 2014, the mortgage company that held my mortgage, sent me a letter stating my mortgage was forgiven and the condo was mine to do with as I wished. Well, I was in a contract/lease and couldn’t leave that, and paying rent in that unit meant I couldn’t pay the condo fees. I make app. $1300 a month on disability income.

I moved back into my condo in May of 2016, and once the Board of Directors found out the condo was in my name, they filed foreclosure on me to the tune of $26K in back dues and (mostly) in lawyers fees. The foreclosure hearing was Jan 25th, 2016 and the judge set the auction date for April 19th, giving me time to make payment arrangements with the condo association, pay in full, or save some money and move.

The City of Titusville just contacted me, and they are going to auction off my condo on March 23rd, 2017 for back taxes. I called City Hall and told them of the foreclosure hearing and auction, and they said it matters not. The condo will be auctioned off on March 23rd unless I pay the back taxes.

I always figured this would be the last place I’d live, but apparently not.  This is way too much money for me to try to save, raise, or otherwise get (though I’d love to stay in my little grass shack), so I’m hoping to try to raise enough funds to make a deposit on a new place and moving expenses. If I can’t make this fee, my dog and I will be on the streets literally. Most apartments in my area require first, last, security, and pet deposits; if the rent is $600, then the deposits will be around $1800, plus the $250 pet deposit, and the cost of a moving vehicle and help with electric deposits and the like.

Now I’m finding that having money in the bank isn’t all the issue here; many complexes here require a person to have a certain income (3 x the rent usually), and a few even dictate the credit score range they will accept. Being on disability, and having a disabled income, pretty much eliminates any of these apartments from my choosing.  It certainly isn’t making things any easier for me in my search for a home.

So what was my original move out date of April 19th, has suddenly been shortened to March 23rd and there’s only one paycheck in that time period and most of that will cover my bills for the month as it is.
I’m a nervous wreck having never been in this situation before, and fearing living on the streets.

I’ve owned my condo now for over 13 years and love where i live. It’s convenient, close to everything I need since I don’t own a car and walk or ride my bicycle.  I’ve also worked hard the past few years to improve my health and position only to have this load dumped on me.

I sincerely thank you for your time and help if you can. If you cannot, I understand, but please share if you could. Sincere Thanks.

Peace
Gary

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Mr Whisker 2017

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The Orlando Facial Hair Club had it’s Winter Beard Comp called ‘Mr Whisker 2017,’ and it was a blast! The group did a most excellent job organizing the competition and pulling it off without a hitch.  The charity that benefited from the competition was One Heart for Women and Children of Orlando, and I believe the group raised over $3500 for the charity. Awesome job guys!

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The competition was well attended and received and the host site, Orlando Brewing, was a perfect spot for the comp. The staff is friendly and informed on the products.feb-11-2017-orlandobrewingmensroom

I was a bit late in getting there, and was excited to be there for sure.  I got to catch up with the guys n gals in the group, hugs and love to them, and met new folks too. Always a good time with the OFHC, and they really are the nicest group of folks anyone could have the pleasure of knowing.

I did take pics, but with my phone, and they weren’t the best. I ended up in a few other photos, both with Grizzly Stonewall Jackson’s phone. One Grizz took himself, and one was taken by someone else.feb-11-2017-orlandomrwhisker

Scott Metts left, Gary Norman on the right. Photo credit; Grizzly Stonewall Jackson. Taken Feb 11th, 2017 at Orlando Brewing in Downtown Orlando, FL.

 

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L to R: Scott Metts, Gary Norman, Grizzly Stonewall Jackson. Photo Credit to Grizzly’s phone, but no clue who took the pic!

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Beard of the day

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Ever Growing Family Connections

As most of my friends know I was adopted and I’ve been on a rather slow, but lifelong hunt for my biological parents; more precisely trying to find my heritage. After taking a DNA test with Ancestry.com last August, I got the heritage information I was so desperately seeking, and was a bit surprised too actually!

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Once you do the DNA test, cousin matches start to show up, and increase in number generally daily. As more DNA tests are done and compared, that list grows. Now the actual key to ancestry dot com’s joy are the leafs that appear. The leafs mean you are in that person’s family tree! Out of over 1200 cousin matches, I’ve only gotten 3 leafs, but for someone who was adopted at 3 days old, those three leafs are a boon!

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The starred matches are something I’ve done. As I go through the cousin match list, I star matches based on location of birth, age, or surnames that are familiar. This is all very fascinating to me, as my original goal was simply to get my heritage, but now it seems I’m very close to discovering who my father is. His last name is known to me, as are his parents, grandparents, and great grandparents, but his name is still elusive.

I’ve gotten no information or ‘leafs’ on my biological mother’s side to date from the testing. I do know she is still alive though, through research by GARR (Georgia Adoption Reunion Registry). GARR contacted her by phone last January of 2016, and she said it wasn’t a good time to talk. Then in June, GARR sent her a letter, to which she never responded.

Since doing my DNA test, I’ve discovered a 1st cousin (whose father is my father’s brother), and since she was also adopted, she doesn’t know her dad’s name. If she finds that, I’ll find my father’s name! I also know that her granddaughter, my 1st cousin twice removed, and I share DNA.

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As of last night (12/14/16) I’ve discovered a biological sister!! Her family tree is where I got my father’s last name from. My sister match has all the information filled out on her father’s side, except our father’s actual name. Her personal profile on ancestry is not filled out, so I don’t know what she looks like, where she lives, how old she is, nor anything else about her, other than we share a Father.

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I look forward to more matches, leafs, and fascinating information as more DNA tests are taken and compared to the vast DNA date base that ancestry.com has. What started simply as a heritage search, after 35 years of searching, is now turning into a fantastic family hunt!

 

GWNorman

December 15th, 2016

 

 

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The Present Makes Sense of The Past?

I’d previously written in a blog that as a child growing up in Augusta, Georgia, I’d told folks I was Anglo-Saxon. (Note Here – I was adopted at 3 days old)  I was around 5 or so when I started saying this, but my folks are not British, directly and I’m not sure where I’d have gotten this idea from.  My Dad was a History major in college, but he only ever spoke of the Normans, of which his family is descended from.  I also wrote that I used to get in trouble in my early years in school for spelling words like the British do. It always seemed odd to me, though I didn’t spend too much time thinking about this as I grew up. It was what it was, and that was that.

Let’s jump from c.1967 to 2016, and I have a DNA test done, and find, fascinatingly so, that nearly 3/4 of my DNA is from Great Britain. There’s also some Scandinavian and Irish in there too, but I wonder does this make sense of my past behavior? (excuse me, behaviour!)

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Beard of the day

Most Excellent!

Fearsome Beard

Fearsome and his buddy Raymond at Vizcaya. Fearsome and his buddy Raymond at Vizcaya.

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The Results Are In!! Ethnicity Estimates

After 47 years of wondering (I was told at age 7 that I was adopted), and more recently attempting to find my biological mother, then anxiously awaiting my DNA results; the DNA test results are in!.dna-results-09-10-16

Being adopted, I had NO idea what the results would look like, though I’d kind of expected the results to be more in the Middle East Region. Looks like I’m more Celt than anything, which suits me just fine! My adoptive family are Normans, and I think my ethnicity estimate fits that nicely!  The DNA results came along with a list of probable/possible family members from 3rd cousins back. The list is over 1000 people long. There are however no family members listed that are more closely related to me than 3rd cousins.  That was somewhat a buzz kill as I’d imagined that my biological mother might have done this test and would have shown up in my results.  That’s probably the only way I’ll ever found out who she is (with or without a meeting) because she turned down a phone call in February from GARR (the Georgia Adoption Reunion Registry), and hasn’t responded to a letter they sent he in June.

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I’m quite excited about getting my results and only wish my folks were still with me to put their two cents in on the results lol

 

 

Explaining ‘Trace Regions.’

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