The Darwin Exception

because it's not always survival of the fittest – sometimes the idiots get through

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Borscht, Abu Dabu and the National Reserve

Posted by thedarwinexception on December 1, 2007

 The zombie lady has left to go to New York City. She left this morning. Before she made her journey, however, she made a different journey – a spiritual one. One I didn’t quite understand and one I didn’t quite condone, but she made it and apparently she survived it.

She came over yesterday with a can of jellied cranberry, a can of beets and a package of Tempeh.

She wanted me to heat up the jellied cranberry sauce, heat the beets with two cans of water, and cook the tempeh. I had never cooked tempeh before – I had never even seen tempeh before, but she told me that it was “vegetarian chicken” and I was to cook it just like chicken – although the way I cook chicken is to stuff it and roast it and tempeh doesn’t look like it lends itself well to that cooking method. She said ‘fry it in pan”. So I did. That shit is nasty, let me tell you.

So she ate her poor man’s borscht, ate her fried tempeh, and *drank* her heated jellied cranberry sauce, which melted in the pan to a juice like consistency.

It was fucking bizarre. I had asked her if she wouldn’t like a ham sandwich or something other than this weird ass meal, but she explained that no, she needed a high protein meal as preparation for the hellacious night she was going to have to endure that evening. She had run out of propane, and was looking to have a night with no heat at all, since her bank troubles had resulted in her not being able to use her debit card, and she was out of cash.

She assigns the bank troubles to an “unauthorized signature” but I don’t think she understands what that means.. She says that when she goes to any merchant and tries to use the card, the point of sale machine comes up with the error message “Unauthorized Signature”. She thinks that this is because her signature on the back of the card has worn off. I tried to explain to her that no, this can’t be right, because even though we are fairly sophisticated when it comes to technology, there is no way the card reader is looking at the signature on the back of the card and then displaying an error message and denying the sale when it can’t read the signature. I tried to tell her that I have a lot of cards that I’ve never even signed and they don’t get routinely denied. I then said to her “well, if you think that’s what it is, why don’t you just sign the back of the card again?” She said she can’t, because she doesn’t have the special pen the bank uses. So I know there’s no trying to figure this out with her. Not when she starts in with the “they are tracking me” mindset thing she sometimes goes into.

I then told her that she can call the bank – that this might be an easy and fast way of resolving it – but she didn’t want to do that either. I think she also has a “thing” about phones, because she didn’t want to call National Grid, either. She said she would just go to New York and resolve it in person. OK, whatever. Luckily, she already has her ticket for the bus. That cost her the last of her $55.00 in cash.

But it also left her with no money for propane. I didn’t offer to give her cash for propane, because frankly, I don’t want to have anything to do with having that dangerous ass grill in the middle of her fucking living room. Just my fucking luck it would be the tank *I* gave her the money for that fucking blew up or killed her or something.

I told her “Look, there is no reason for you to be over there with no heat at all. You can come here and stay for one night, then go to the city in the morning and resolve the bank issues.” She said no, that staying in the house for one night with no heat at all was something she had to do – that God had spoken to her and this was required for her to prove that she was a loyal American and that she wasn’t a terrorist.

So now I know that the crazy has really kicked in and this was going to be good.

Against my better judgment I say “Ummmmm….what?”

And oddly enough, she has an explanation. Not one that makes a lot of fucking *sense* – but she has one.

Abu Dabu has bought out Citibank. This is HUGE. Citibank had been in a lot of financial trouble and they were foreclosing on mortgages left and right – they couldn’t work with people to allow people more time to come up with money, and people couldn’t afford the mortgages, so many, many people lost their homes. Abu Dabu, after being denied the opportunity to guard American seaports, instead turned to Citibank, and purchased it. Now Citibank had money to work with people and they weren’t foreclosing on homes any more. Abu Dabu, the Arabs, had saved America. And the Arabs were laughing, because now it was typical, middle class, loyal Americans who were funding their terrorist activities – through the simple act of paying their mortgage. See? See how brilliant this plan is? Yeah, I don’t either, but she does.

Now we turn to the National Reserve. Despite what many people think, when you pay your taxes, that money doesn’t go to the government it goes to the National Reserve. The IRS collects the money, but right after they collect it, they write a check to the National Reserve. And the National Reserve is a private corporation. Abu Dabu next wants to buy the national reserve. This way, not only do they get money for their terrorist activities through loyal Americans paying their mortgage, they will also get funded through the great bastion of American loyalty – paying taxes. And the fact that the national reserve is a private entity is something that less than 2% of Americans are aware of, by the way.

Learning that Abu Dabu wants to buy the National Reserve was extremely troubling to the zombie lady. She laid awake for several nights wondering what she would do – what she *should* do. Once Abu Dabu bought the national reserve – would she continue to pay her taxes? Would she risk becoming a funder of terrorists and being disloyal to America? Would she risk losing her house if she didn’t pay her taxes? Would this prove that she was loyal? Would living on the streets be worth it to show her loyalty? Zombie lady says that this is a choice that all Americans – loyal Americans – are going to have to face. Either have a home and pay their mortgage and taxes, all the while funding terrorism. or live on the streets to prove that they are loyal Americans.

Then, the answer came, in the form of a message from God. She had banking troubles and was out of propane. This was God himself showing her that she would have to not pay her taxes and lose her home and live on the streets and be cold. And he was testing her and preparing her for this eventuality. She would have to spend one night with no heat to show that she was a loyal American and was not going to fund terrorism. And she would have to survive this to show God that she was prepared to do so.

I told her that I had heard that terrorists don’t take showers, either, and that if she came over here, watched the last part of “Tin Man” with me and took a shower, that might also prove that she wasn’t a terrorist. But she wasn’t falling for that. God hadn’t told her to watch “Tin Man” and take a shower – he made her run out of propane – a sure sign that she must live without heat. I told her “Well, God works in mysterious ways – you run out of *propane* – propane is made with *oil* – the Tin Man in “The Wizard of Oz” needed *oil* – I’m thinking God is saying “Go to Kim’s and watch Tin Man tonight.” She laughed at me – which was really kind of ironic – you know, *her* laughing at *me* for my convoluted logic? Yeah, that’s rich.

But she ate her poor man’s borscht with the crumbled up tempeh in it, and drank her liquefied and heated jellied cranberry sauce, and left – to prove to God she wasn’t a terrorist.


Zombie lady eating poor man borscht with crumbled tempeh.


And I worried about her all night.

She came over bright and early this morning to find out what time it was (her bus leaves at 10), and to let me know that she had a great spiritual journey, and that God was happy with her and pleased with her sacrifice.

And, you know, I guess that’s all that matters. That God is happy and pleased with our sacrifices.

She’ll be back in a week. Unless she gets a new sign from God and has to go on some other spiritual journey to prove her loyalty and faithfulness, I guess.


44 Responses to “Borscht, Abu Dabu and the National Reserve”

  1. Greg (in Canada) said

    I spent twenty minutes writing a long convoluted reply and my internet connection blipped — the reply is gone. Sigh.

    Federal Reserve: I’m a gold bug. I’ve listened to a lot of discussiona about the federal reserve. I intend to buy the book reviewed at . Some people say that the Fed gets interest on all the cash in circulation. That sounds bizarre, but it’s an interesting claim. So they don’t get ALL the taxes, but the interest would be a big chunk of it.

    Abu Dhabi: The Citibank deal is real. They didn’t buy all of it, just 4.9%. 5% or higher would need approval from the regulatory agencies. I’m not familiar with any claims of links between AD and terrorism but I wasn’t aware of such claims between that other country down the gulf till claimed links between Qatar and terrorism surfaced last week as part of the Guiliani scandals — since I detest Guiliani, I’m willing to believe anything.

    Practicing for life on the street: If her home is mortgaged (with no income? Not sane — but what’s new there), and if her bank card is bouncing, then she might be on the street sooner than you might think.

    If the last vestiges of heat are lost in that house, then it’s dropping to “ambient”. She’ll come back to burst pipes and the house will waterlog and be condemned as soon as the spring thaw comes. Get her to turn the water off at the main cutoff before leaving town. Cutting it off at the street cutoff would be better.

  2. Holy Toledo said

    Ha, who’s crazy here, us or her? I’m about to put my money on us because while half of what she says sounds nuts, part of it may well be true. When AD “almost” got the contract to guard our ports, I thought to myself, this is definitely the end of America. I was unaware they bought a chunk of Citibank. Why should that surprise me? We sold Rockefellow Center to a foreign country. I think we have a lot of chinks in the armour.

    Her picture is haunting, Kim. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your fixing her her “last supper” before she set off for NYC. I don’t know where all of this is going but all I can say is I don’t think you’ll ever regret trying to help her.

    And I wish you love.


  3. Val Dalton said

    oh wow i can’t believe she let you take her picture! Im surprised she doesn’t believe it steals her soul or something. You are way to nice!! At least you are safe for a week without the chance of blowing up!!

  4. Holy Toledo said

    I just thought of something a little humorous. You know you’ve been bored with what you cook and asked if there were something you could do to jazz up the mundane….well, your prayers were answered by, of all people, ZL. See how much of that high protein meal Paul can eat.


  5. Florida Fan said

    Hi Kim,

    Been following your blog since July (Spector, of course) and am hooked. Your relationship with ZL is fascinating and touching. Your a good woman!

    Tempeh is not “nasty shit” :), I eat it all the time. It’s best fried in olive oil with soy sauce and garlic salt (my opinion of course!). It’s nothing like chicken. It’s fermented soy beans. I love it!


  6. Veronique said

    I like tempeh. The local veggie deli sells an outrageously good Asian tempeh-noodle salad.

    The Zombie Lady makes me sad, though. Sounds like things are proceeding a bit quicker than anyone thought.


  7. Kim (Canada) said

    It’s funny how – as crazy as ZL’s thoughts and beliefs sometimes are, they do in some way ring “truth” and/or give one something to ponder and/or give further contemplation to…
    As for her pic – Not at all what I had pictured in my mind…She cute in a way, and I’m growing fonder of her with each read –
    (Yes Kim, always fonder of you too…)

    Definately have to show her photo to my girlfriend since I’m forever talking about ZL, and up until now, we’ve had no idea who I was talking about…

    Kudos to you Miss Kim! I’m glad she’s got you in her corner – It speaks volumes on the kind of woman you are!

    With respect and admiration…

  8. Caroline said

    First of all, bless you for caring about this poor forgotten (crazy?) soul. Some of what she is telling you has a ring of truth to it, i.e. Citibank. I don’t know about the other stuff as my reaction to the current state of the world is to pretend I don’t live in it. Now who is crazy? There is so much grief and human suffering in the world, I can’t make sense of any of it so I try and do my part to alleviate it on a more personal basis.

    I am home all of the time taking care of my elderly invalid mother. I live in a neighborhood with lots of retired folks who cannot drive anymore and need help getting to the grocery and doctor appointments and sometimes just a friendly face and a smile to make them feel like they are part of the human race.

    Crazy doesn’t care if you live in a warm house or can afford to eat “real” chicken, there are many people out there who are soooo far removed from the Wallmart present-buying, charge-card-using “normal” folks. This world moves so fast it is easy to overlook those who need some, or even a lot of help. It takes a lot of heart and soul for you to become involved in such a sad and messy life, and you are a whole lot of a good woman to do it.

    God bless you and Merry Christmas!

  9. Holy Toledo said

    I’m wondering if ZL isn’t going to NYC because Hannakuh started today or yesterday and coincidentally lasts a week? Didn’t you say she was Russian/Jewish?

    I just reread your posting. You cracked me up with your convoluted logic about the Tinman and ZL laughing at you. That was priceless.


  10. Leslie said

    God’s not talking to her, he’s talking to us. I’ve been following this tragic story and can’t stand it anymore, perhaps because she has a face, now. I’m contacting everyone I know that could possibly help-Good God- It’s the holidays. If she doesn’t get some fuel, she’ll end up frozen. I don’t think she’s entirely off her rocker, she just looks at the outside world with paranoia because of her life experiences.
    Kim, she reaslly is blessed to have you as a caring(or at least curious) neighbor. Thanks for sharing with us-

  11. I’m contacting everyone I know that could possibly help-Good God- It’s the holidays.

    Well, I hope you know people other than the police, APS, Social Services, Code enforcement, the water company, National Grid and Comlinks – because I’ve contacted all of then and they don’t seem able to help.

    If she doesn’t get some fuel, she’ll end up frozen.

    She doesn’t need fuel – fuel won’t do her any good. And for all we know she has a full fuel tank. But the furnace won’t run without electricity. And there’s no way she’s going to allow National Grid to turn her lights back on.

    When she was here having tempeh I kind of hinted to her that I could turn the lights back on in my name and she could just pay the bill through me – I’d write a check or pay online – that way National Grid wouldn’t be able to trace a thing back to her – she said no because this wouldn’t work – they already know where she lives.

    SO I just don’t know how to help her.


  12. skweekie said

    Kim, have you put any of your complaints in writing? Sometimes they pay more attention if they know you can prove you alerted them in the event something bad happens.

  13. Kim, have you put any of your complaints in writing?

    Besides here on the blog for all of you to read? Yeah, actually I have. I followed up every one of my calls with a letter to the agency. Only so, as you say, I can print out the copies of the letter and say “Look! You knew this was going to happen!” when my fucking house blows up. And, too, when I found out she had a son, I figured, you know, when this lady asphyxiates herself and the son comes to pack up her newspapers and cans of beets, I can hand him all the letters and say “sue them – sue them all for wrongful death and dereliction of duty.” Maybe even criminal charges of murder via the theory of depraved indifference. Because I really think it’s rising to that level.

    I mean, maybe not to *THEM* – they think that “oh, there’s nothing I can do, it’s out of our jurisdiction, let the next guy worry about it, or let some other agency worry about it yada yada yada…” But to ME as a citizen of this county and the fucking US of A – I think it IS depraved indifference to know that someone with her problems and her issues is sitting there fucking freezing because she doesn’t want to be branded a terrorist. There’s just something inherently wrong with a community that will demonstrate organization and community spirit and funds and resources to bring the fucking redneck games to town, but will let their neediest residents be neglected and forgotten and just throw up their hands and say “not my problem” when asked to intervene.

    I can *guarantee* you that if I was sitting in Burlington, Vermont, this never would be happening. There would have been 100 different mental health agencies and community outreach programs over at her house intervening long, long ago.

    But, then again, there are no redneck games in Burlington, so, you know, I guess you do have to choose your priorities and make your sacrifices.


  14. If her home is mortgaged (with no income? Not sane — but what’s new there), and if her bank card is bouncing, then she might be on the street sooner than you might think.

    Her house is paid for. I know that just from the fact that she has no insurance. There’s now ay she could get away with that with a mortgage.

    But a lot of these houses are paid for – they are too cheap to begin with to even get a bank to lend you money for them. It’s rather difficult to get a mortgage for $10K.


  15. Ha, who’s crazy here, us or her? I’m about to put my money on us because while half of what she says sounds nuts, part of it may well be true.

    You know, that’s the really bizarre thing about zombie lady. She has a way of relating her theories such that they actually sound so PLAUSIBLE and she imparts them with such CONVICTION and with such raw intelligence behind her that she does suck you in.

    And to tell you the truth, I’m so absolutely fucking ignorant when it comes to politics and foreign relations and war and politicians and all that shit that all I can do is stand there and nod my head. Whereas a more informed person could stop her and say “Look, Abu Dabu didn’t buy 100% of Citibank – they only bought 4.9%” and challenge some of her arguments – I just can’t. Which is maybe why she tells me some of her theories – maybe other people stop her or challenge her or question her arguments – and since I just stand there stupidly and nod my head she thinks I am agreeing with her.

    And there was even more to this long drawn out tale – but it had to do with politics and our entry into the war and some financial advisor to Clinton guy, but I hav ethis mental block wherein when you talk to me about politics, all I hear is the Chrlie Brown teacher voice “wah wah wha wah wah wah”. I don’t retain it, and there’s no way I can repeat it.

    But once she is outside the political realm – like the “they are out to get me – they track me” stuff, well, that’s easier for me to challenge. Just because I don’t think God spoke to her and told her to freeze for one night to prove she’s faithful and loyal. And I can challenge her on that. I mean, I went to Catholic schools for 16 years and God never spoke to me – and she’s from Russia – and they didn’t even believe in God until quite recently. What’s God doing talking to her?


  16. oh wow i can’t believe she let you take her picture! Im surprised she doesn’t believe it steals her soul or something.

    Well, to be honest, I didn’t even ask her – I just took the picture. When she realized that I had taken her picture – she did start to protest a little and I told her “Look, you are going to the city – if you get mugged or something happens and you don’t come back, I’m going to need a picture for the milk carton.”

    I don’t think she got that because she said “Oh no, I no drink meeeelk, I take the calcium peel, no?”


  17. Tempeh is not “nasty shit” :), I eat it all the time. It’s best fried in olive oil with soy sauce and garlic salt (my opinion of course!). It’s nothing like chicken. It’s fermented soy beans. I love it!

    Do you eat the same kind? Is there more than one kind? Is this packaging familiar to you? Does yours have the little brown spots in it that look like rat shit? What is that?

    And of course, I bet yours isn’t frozen – hers was frozen since it had been sitting out on her shelf.


  18. I’m wondering if ZL isn’t going to NYC because Hannakuh started today or yesterday and coincidentally lasts a week? Didn’t you say she was Russian/Jewish?

    That could very well be. I am not sure. I don’t know if she celebrates Christmas or not – maybe not, which would be good. I was going to buy her something for Christmas, and I was racking my brain trying to come up with something appropriate. I’d like to get her something to help keep her warm – I’m thinking electric blanket is right out, though.


  19. Holy Toledo said

    Kim, this all just breaks my heart for reasons nobody would understand or care. It’s ancient history. ZL will always being able to *outlogic* you. I was *outsmarted* for 20 years. People who are psychotic/paranoid are extremely intelligent people. They understand politics, electricity, government and all the other vague things in our society and can use that knowledge masterfully. You’ll never outwit them. They are mental giants in many ways albeit crazy. They focus on this shit 24/7. Remember mental illness is not a 24/7 phenom. It comes and goes. They have lucid moments/hours/days. I did have to laugh when ZL talks politics, you only hear wah,wah, wah. You crack me up.

    I’m glad you’ve written letters. How grating though that no one will “do” anything. I just read Pres was in Omaha when the kid opened fire in the mall but Pres was attending a fundraiser. There’s American politics all wrapped up in one tidy ironic package.

    I think you’ve gone beyond what most people would do and I applaud you. Sure, a bunch of us could come up to Malone and buy her a wood stove, clean up the garbage maybe and some other feel good stuff. Then we’d leave and it’d start all over again. The wood would be wiretapped or some outlandish claim. I often think how horrible it would be to go through life with a tormented mind; the never-ending thoughts of persecution and fears someone’s out to get you. Now that’s hell.

    I’m hoping she stays in NYC…..for your sake.


  20. Holy Toledo said

    Well, there are battery operated foot warmers but she’d be suspicious of them too probably. I’m thinking maybe clothing made out of thinsulate, gloves, neck scarves, etc. although the picture looked like she had those. The Toledo baglady wore 3 fur coats and she survived many winters and summers wearing them. I have a fur coat my dead aunt left me (go ahead and laugh) if you think she’d wear it. Shit, she’s probably got a room at the Waldorf and has her laptop hooked up, reading all this and laughing. OK, maybe not.


  21. Kim (Canada) said

    Hot water bottle little cuddlies available nowadays….guess she’d have to come over for some hot water fills though….

    I did do some checking on the other hand….
    I could be in Malone in 5 hours / 35 minutes….
    A little bit more time than it takes me to get to Montreal….Not a big deal – Do it all the time to visit family since that’s where I’m originally from….
    Like HT – I really feel like we need to do something…. I love to clean, and have a real “handy-andy” side to me…The fact that a face has been put to ZL – And that she has so consumed you (and us) seems to make it all mean that much more…

    Hey – What about Dr. Phil? Or Opie Winfrey? Montel, Maury, or one of those gossip bags that just love to reach out and HELP someone….Just a thought – We don’t get none of those here in Canada, and they seem to love splurging to assist in situations….
    Even more so if they can get a show out of it….

    Speaking of which – What if her son sees the pics of mom on the internet? Think he might be inclined to kick up and give her a hand with getting some sort of proper, safe balance in her home…. Again, just a thought….

    Lots of them since she
    became so “real”….

  22. Hactar said

    I had a lighter-fluid handwarmer a while back. It’s about the size of a hip flask. Cost maybe $6. Take off the inner and outer caps and light the screen. Before use, replace the outer cap and put it back in its felt “sock”. But that’s good, no exposed flames. Didn’t try inverting it for a long time to see what would happen, so sleeping with it may be contraindicated. But for hanging around an unheated house, it works.

  23. Katprint said

    Holy Toledo is on the right track re a good Christmas gift would be clothing made from “engineered” fabrics to stay warm. REI sells some great stuff suitable for extreme cold weather use. They could equip a winter dogsled excursion to the North Pole.

  24. skweekie said

    Kim, I think there are some sort of heat pack things that are used for athletic injuries or people with arthritis. You snap them somehow and they emit heat for hours. That might work for her as they don’t require batteries or electricity.

  25. Marianne from Ohio said


    I have never posted to you in the past, even
    though, I have been enjoying your blog since
    the beginning of the spector trial…heck…at
    this point I feel like we are best friends.[
    don’t worry I won’t be dropping in…grin]

    I have read all about your escapades with your
    neighbor ” the zombie woman” and have found myself worrying right along side of you…
    [U talk tough but you have a heart of gold girl]Last night after seeing her picture and
    the soft smile [2nd pic]I have to admit I found myself unable to sleep comfortably with
    her picture running through my thoughts. Today
    I spent the afternoon looking thru google…
    from corn and wooden stoves to generators.
    Do you think she would be comfortable with
    using one of these ? If so, I know that these
    can be a pricey expenditure[ outset] but would
    she be able to afford something like that?
    If not…How about setting up some kind of fund for folks to contribute to? I am not rich by any means but I would certainly like
    to share some of my meager means to help.

    Does she need clothes? Any idea what size she is? I have many sisters and we could probably fill the gambit of sizes just from our closets alone…I could help in that aspect too.

    How about low tech ideas? Gosh…how did our
    ancestors survive long, cold winters 200yrs ago? How about old fashion bed warmers? Does
    she like dogs? How about an old fashioned 3 dog nights???? [ grin] or Men????…..couldn’t resist….

    Seriously I would like to help….

    An aside from a first time poster….Thanks
    for many an evening of laugh out loud entertainment …reading your blog is really one of the highlights of my day…ok…I know I really should get out more but I really do
    mean it…

  26. Buckeye Belle said

    Kim …. Have you considered buying the poor woman a kerosene heater? No electricity required and they heat quite well, along with giving off some light. They are very safe and we have used them on several occasions during power outages. Here in Appyville USA (Portsmouth, OH) there are many people who use kerosene heaters as their only source of heat.

    I would be willing to contribute to the purchase of one if you feel this is a good option.


  27. Florida Fan said

    “Do you eat the same kind? Is there more than one kind? Is this packaging familiar to you? Does yours have the little brown spots in it that look like rat shit? What is that?

    And of course, I bet yours isn’t frozen – hers was frozen since it had been sitting out on her shelf.”

    I eat the same brand. That company makes a few different versions. I’m not certain what the rat shit looking things are – could be sesame seeds or something. It will have black stuff on it sometimes. That’s the mold or fungus used to ferment it. I know, sounds nasty, but think of yogurt and cheese!

    No, mine isn’t frozen. 🙂

  28. Florida Fan said

    P.S. I just checked their website – the rat shit is brown rice.

  29. BayBee said

    I’m wondering how does she KNOW all this political/economic news if she doesn’t have a TV, phone or even mail delivery. I’m pretty well read and paying attention to world events but I didn’t know about the Citibank deal. It may not be GOD but it does seem like someone is talking to her.

  30. Holy Toledo said

    ‘mornin Kim,

    Wow, look at the response about ZL. The pictures of her touched all of us readers I think. Do you have any idea how special you have to be for a person with that kind of paranoia to develop a trust? There you have it, you sweet little marshmellow that writes tough.

    I don’t know if you want to take on more responsibility but I’m wondering if people would contribute to a trust set up at a bank and the money could go to Grid, do you think that would work? I’m willing to send the first $100

    Hey, Buckeye Belle, I’m heading for Portsmouth tomorrow for a quick visit.
    Look for me!!!


  31. Mort Snerd said


    Have Paul run an extension cord (if distance is not a real problem) from your nearest outlet. This way the “National Grid” could not track her as it is your power and and she could have a light, TV, possibly a small heater. A 15 amp line will not power her whole house but could make a large improvement in her quality of life. If you have a “PayPal” account or a PO Box number, I would be happy to send a couple of months of payments for a 15 amp service.

    Thank you for caring,

  32. mary c said

    Kim, you are truly a special person. You care, you shared your caring, and now we care. That, my friend, is God working in this world. Please let us know what we can do, if anything, that will help this woman.

  33. Marianne from Ohio said

    Today I did a little more checking on ebay.
    I was mostly interested in a wood stove that
    you could actually cook on too. [ kill two
    birds with one stone kinda thing]…Found one
    at buy now for $ 129.99 and to have it shipped
    to your area would probably be another $100.

    Its a Vogelzang 96,000 BTU Cast Iron Boxwood
    Stove, heating up to 800 sf…can use a skillet or kettle on top.

    There was also a Vogelzang 106,000 BTU covering 1200sf for a bid price now of $170
    [again would also need shipping cost]

    I also checked for Kerosene Heater-
    23000 BTU, 1000 sf heating runs 12hrs on one
    fill up for $ 123.00- this can be found at

    I don’t know much about either to say which
    would be a good solution…maybe other’s can
    make comments….Just some viable options…

    Just thought that one of these may be a safer
    option for the neighborhood and your piece of
    mind …

  34. BayBee said

    Sometimes you can get woodstoves at but someone would have to pick it up and install it SAFELY. She does seem like she might be a woodstove kind of person. It is kind of putting a bandaid on the situation but at least she won’t freeze to death or explode the neighborhood.

  35. luvgabe said

    Kim, count me in if a charity fund is established to help ZL. The photos of her are haunting; she already looks like a homeless person. And, God bless you for your kind & compassionate heart.

  36. Leslie said

    Since your original post, I’ve emailed my contacts at National Grid and Adirondack Energy. No responses- All I can say is “WTF”. I, too, will contibute whatever I can to help this woman AND my children have told me that they don’t want Christmas presents- just to help ZL. They can’t believe and neither can I, that this is happening right down the street. Kim- I know you’ve taken on a lot already but if you decide to open an account for her, let me know 518-521-3357.

  37. Buckeye Belle said

    Kim …… Would you please forward my e-mail address to HT? I will be free Sunday afternoon and could meet her at Tim Horton’s.

    Thanks much!! 🙂

  38. corn and wooden stoves to generators. Do you think she would be comfortable with using one of these ?

    Well, I am really happy that so many of you have offered to help. And I don’t know if she would be comfortable with a corn or wood stove – or a kerosene heater – or even with having her electricity turned back on. So here’s the plan as it stands:

    When she comes back from NYC I am going to sit her down and have a talk with her – and I am going to flat out ask her and I am going to expect a straight answer to the quesiton “what do we need to do to get your electricity turned back on?”

    I need her to be straight with me – if she can – and tell me if some of the ideas all you innovative and smart people have put forth will work for her – should I turn the lights on in my name? WOuld that put her demons at rest? If the lights are in MY name, would that stop National Grid from persecuting her?

    Is it a money issue for her? Should I just call National Grid, get the account number and then set up an online account at their site for “online payments” where we all can contribute? Would she accept that kind of help?

    But I need to ge tsome kind of answer out of her about how this issue can be resolved because frnakly, I’m sick of worrying about her. And my house. And she HAS to get the lights turned back on SOMETIME, right? I mean she can’t be expecting ot just NEVER have lights again. She’s Russian, not Amish, for Christ’s sake.

    But that’s the plan. I’m going to flat out ask her what we need to do to resolve the situation. And I WILL get an answer.


  39. P.S. I just checked their website – the rat shit is brown rice.

    I LIKE brown rice.

    This looked like rat shit.

    And I don’t like that.


  40. I’m wondering how does she KNOW all this political/economic news if she doesn’t have a TV, phone or even mail delivery.

    She listens to the radio constantly. Which is why I think that the light bill isn’t a problem for her to pay. This woman goes through D cell batteries for her radio like I go through boxes of Little Debbie snack cakes.

    And batteries are EXPENSIVE. Her battery bill in a week could easily pay a month’s light bill.

    But she listens to some talk radio station out of Montreal. She’s forever quoting it. It’s like gospel to her. If they say it on “Radio in Montreal Station”, well, by God, it must be so.


  41. Since your original post, I’ve emailed my contacts at National Grid and Adirondack Energy. No responses- All I can say is “WTF”.

    Well, don’t say I didn’t warn you. I’ve talked to them, as well. There’s nothing they can do. They can’t FORCE her to pay for a utility and it’s not illegal to live without them – even if you are crazy.

    They can’t believe and neither can I, that this is happening right down the street.

    Well, you and I have talked about this before, but there are LOTS of things happening in Malone that don’t quite make the headlines at the Chamber of Commerce.

    I’m glad you are out of there. I’m not sure that anyone can work there *and* be aware of “the real Malone”. I mean, the two seem to be contra-indicated. And I think that you can do more good for the “real citizens” than you ever could have done for the 1% of the population that the elected officials seem to be interested in serving.


  42. Would you please forward my e-mail address to HT?



  43. Leslie said

    Just so you know, I have nothing to do with the Malone Chamber of Commerce, anymore. I wouldn’t want anyone who reads your posts to think I’m mis-representing myself.
    When does ZL come back?

  44. My heart breaks for ZL…can you imagine what goes on in her mind?

    Count me in on contributing to whatever you see fit.

    Kim…you truly are an angel on earth.

    With friendship,

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