Saturday, August 20, 2011

August 20th ~ Goodbye twin wicker-seat pinewood chairs...

I'll sure miss you.  Tears of sadness shed... God, I'm a materialistic jerk!

Just had my son move one of the chairs out of the t.v. room to take to the front of the house, where by design, a formal living room and dining room would be.  Those rooms have always been relatively empty.  Now, they are strewn with yard/garage sale items... hence one of  two cute wicker-seat chairs going in there - the second chair still has clothes for ironing and laundry that needs to be folded piled on it.  I cried when he carried it out of the room.  I bought them soon after we moved into the house, you know, while Rick still had the V.P. of Customer Service job he took with Centex in Denver - the reason we moved here.  I thought the adorable chairs would work perfectly with what I had been planning for the room when the time came to properly furnish it... you know, stuff you plan to do before the rug gets pulled out from under you and you are laid-off from a job with a major American home builder you've been at less than a year.  Yes, I'm bitter.

Next up, I guess I'll start filling a box with emptied picture frames.  I wonder if anyone buys this kind of stuff at yard sales?  After that, I'll empty decorative woven baskets; next after that's done, wiping dust off silk plants and plant holders, and away they go to be added to piles on the floor in the front rooms.  Show us the money, yard sale!  Momma needs a tax person and bankruptcy lawyer.... yesterday!


to be continued...

Friday, August 19, 2011

August 19th ~ Friday Fun Financial State of Affairs *without the fun part

Step #5899 to Financial Restoration ~ schedule 1/2 hour FREE Bankruptcy/Tax Attorney consultation.

But first... Today's numbers.  Year-to-date income:  $ 15,630.00... for a family of 5 (plus 2 dogs)!  For 8 1/2 months!!  Cash available:  approximately $130.00... to last until next Wednesday.  Uh oh, better check which utility bill needs to be paid this week.  Ugh.

Step #5900 ~ Order FREE Credit Report... breathe in... be okay with 520-ish score.  What are you going to do, right?  So future housing lease applications won't be approved; job prospects are diminished greatly... Like, I said, "What are you going to do, right?"  What's done is done.

Yard/garage sale was a bust today when I realized that we would need a hundred bucks in cash in $1's, $5's & $10's, in case someone bought something and needed change.  After today's anxiety filled bankruptcy attorney consult, I'm not sure how up to doing the yard sale early tomorrow morning Rick is going to be.  I'd like to pass on it.  Plus, we still don't have cash on hand.

Anyway, consult in Castle Rock went well enough.  I think drive to and from there was the longest Rick and I have been together alone in a long time.   It was okay, civil - which is always good... at least makes meeting at the table for dinner a pleasant experience again.  It felt like a long day.  Grocery store deli $8.99 family chicken meal deal was a great idea; I did not want to cook.

Money-wise, life may still be crappier than ever, but, at least family life is taking on a tiny bit semblance of normal again, here and there.

Pray for us, that when we do have those yard sales, someone will take nuts, bolts, washers, screws and nails off our hands for a buck each... and the rest of Rick's workshop stuff and my kitchen stuff.  That would totally bring in the $3,000-$4,000 we need for tax attorney and bankruptcy filing costs.  Amen.

**Oh yea!  Just remembered I have $50.00 Target gift card that my beautiful Barbie sent me.  Makes me very happy when I think we've been friends for 40 years.  Thanks, Barb... through thick and thin!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

August 18 ~ Parting with the Rosenthals

It's going to be hard.  When I first saw them I knew they were the ones for me.  I had such great expectations of  our days together.  Disappointed we were rarely in each other's company.  I see them everyday, sitting there every time I open the door... the cabinet door.  The Rosenthals are my dishes, and I'm sitting here trying to come to terms with letting them go.  Tomorrow's our big "NEED TO SELL OUR STUFF TO HIRE BANKRUPTCY ATTORNEY YARD SALE"... Come one, come all; things gotta go.

to be continued.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I have books in my head

Me ~ overjoyed, dripping wet out of shower, no make-up, fever & chills... Over the moon!

Anybody who really knows me knows I have books in my head; in my heart.  So while I was having my once-a-week shower - soap rationing - I was thinking about my books; the uncertainty of our situation; what might the future hold?  I suppose all our stuff will be thrown out eventually.  I thought, "My notes!"  "My boxes of notes filled with dx stories; the story about bipolar and me?"  It's all going to end up in the trash.  Made me sad.

So, I'm in the shower rinsing my hair (used way too much shampoo; needed it) and thinking about my one finished book.  The one I just happened to mention on Facebook today.  I had just shared it with my friend from back in junior high school, Joseph.  I was thinking if there were anyone who wishes they could help me finally "get it out there." It would be Joe.  He is so loving and kind, J.C. would love to make it happen.  Then, as a team, J.C. (my illustrator, Jan Castro -wherever she is); J.C., Joseph Cardenas, that dear sweet friend; by the power of J.C.... (that's right, Jesus Christ); and me, we would finally bring R.J.'s Blanket picture book to fruition to be shared with children everywhere.  I'm a dreamer.

Anyway, I'm thinking all this as I finish up my shower, and Rick comes in and hands me a package.  "Woo Whoo!  CPK here we come!"   It was a pretty thick FedEx envelope; I couldn't help but think my cousin Gabe had been overly generous with California Pizza Kitchen gift cards this time around - he was sending them for us to use to celebrate R.J.'s birthday.  So, of course, I tore it open while reading the shipping slip.  I was confused.

Hmmm... Not sent internationally.  I reached in to remove contents... A book.  A book, not gift certificates,  from Gabe?

A package from NYC, not Shanghai, China?

No note?


I have books in my head; now one in my hands.  It came from NYC.  From Anderson Cooper.  A journalist, t.v.reporter, humanitarian whose work I've grown to respect and admire over the years.  I'm a huge fan.  Now an eternal fan.  Thanks Anderson Cooper,  for making  today one of my "Best days ever!"


I eventually did find a nice note written in the book a few pages in and it was signed:  Anderson Cooper.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


I think I just hurled the most hurtful sentence I possibly could at Rick.  "It is what it is?  You sound just like a fucking politician."   Oh, and I meant it.  I had a extremely upsetting morning which brought out anger I rarely express.  I was furious...mainly, about our pathetic circumstances.  It was hard seeing Sarah come home destroyed due to not being prepared for a class.

I wasn't prepared for it.  I thought the school books and materials issue had been closed, after all, it was just yesterday that I had provided the school with documentation required for them to waive all fees due to "financial lack."  When it came to the question of textbooks for Sarah's AP classes, I made certain to take care of those matter before school began. I emailed all her AP course teachers to ask if she should drop AP classes if we were not able to afford required textbooks!  I was reassured she'd have books to borrow when school started.  "Sarah should definitely keep classes."  But when she told me with giant tears in her eyes that the book was issued to another student, I had trouble keeping it together.

I broke down.  Thought out loud, "We aren't even able to provide basics for our kids."  Rick said, "Yes we are!" with a look of disbelief.  I think I actually felt rage.  "What, by waiting to see which one of my childhood friends reads my Facebook posts and  sends us gift cards for groceries?"  I shouted.  This is fact.  Last week several of my friends - some from as far back as 1st grade - have been helping us out through PayPal donations, grocery gift cards, and certificates.  They are my family; providing food, medicine, prayers and loving thoughts; comforting my soul.


Yesterday morning my dread was having to face the bank.  I had agreed to meet with accounts manager at Chase about a couple of accounts which were now rarely used.  One was Rick's direct deposit account for his Paraiso Del Mar paychecks to go into.  The other was a savings account.  I closed them.  They had a balance of $1.20.  While there, the subject of unemployment came up, as well as what we could expect now that we are in 7th month delinquent on our house payment; how desperate things are becoming.  Carl, was nice; sympathetic, he was out of work for a year before being hired at the branch.  Well, I was lucky to get Carl, because he didn't seem to be put off at all when I started to break down crying while giving him the low down on our crappy life.  Man, it was 9:45 am and I was spent by the time I walked out of the bank.  Closing a checking and saving account should never be this emotional, right?

Poor old Carl, the look on his face when I told him that I hoped we can keep our car - after bankruptcy - because it's gonna be where we live out of, left him speechless.  I feel bad about that.


Today, I had broken down in tears by 9:50.  My beautiful darling girl shows up from school in tears.  Sarah rarely cries.  She didn't do her homework.  She couldn't do her homework.  The AP book the teacher was supposed to lend her was given to another student.

This is new territory for me.  Sarah, also rarely misses school, but today, she skipped AP stat class.  I know it's killing her to do it, too.  This is not what an exemplary student does - tarnish or risk 4.0 GPA standing.  It's killing me, trying to conceal my concern.

I had to act... NOW.  Just like when R.J. came to me and said he "Couldn't do it."  He couldn't go back to school.  "Mom, you have to take me somewhere."

"I want to leave."

"Where?  To Mexico with dad?  Do you want to go with grandma?"

"No.  I don't know where.  I just feel like I have to run."  "Mom, please help me."

Wow, that was about a year and a half ago.  I acted as quick as I could.  Called people I hardly new but felt I could trust.  I had to find a doctor for R.J.  He was speaking a language I am all too familiar with.  Sounded like anxiety, depression brought on by unmanageable stress.  I acted, we acted.  We took care of matters together; made adjustments.  He was back on track with school and focused on taking care of himself.


With Sarah, it is so different.   She's my little rock.  Strong, determined.  What's happening with my girl?  Probably, what's happening to all of us, only now she's more fully aware of the extent of our limitations.  So I did what comes natural...tried to make it all better for her.  By 9:48 I had started the ball rolling; what were we going to do to correct this problem.  Emails were exchanged; name of person to contact was provided.

But, that's when I crumbled.  It happened so fast, like lightening fast.  I was fine when speaking with the person who answered the phone.  But by the time I was connected to the person who's name I was given, I cracked.  "This is Mrs. Carilo." "My daughter needs an AP Stat book."  "She was..."

"So sorry."

"I took care of this before registration."  *sobs*  "I'm sorry."

"She was supposed to..."  *cough* "I am so so sorry.  I can't do this." *sobs*

"I'm trying.  You try to protect them.  Provide..."  "Sorry.  I'll have to call you back." * hysterical sobs*

Rick came downstairs.  He took the phone from me.  I had broke it when I slammed it down on the desk.  He fixed it.  He took care of the rest.  Cleared things up.  Finish what I couldn't.  And by 11:49 it was all done:  the matter handled. An extra book was located.  Everything possible would be done for her to be able to do homework.  (Even if it might be illegal - copying textbooks.)  Sarah's not the only student who didn't have a textbook, but I didn't know that.  All I knew is that we were told not to worry, she could borrow one when class started.  An apology was made.  Not necessary; I wasn't blaming anyone.  I was just thrown back by the unexpectedness of the whole situation.  Glad there are many helpful, concerned educators who have our kids' backs and patience to deal with "this" distraught mother.

After all, I just want my kids to be happy, and when that happiness is being the best student they could be, and I'm not able to secure that for them by making sure they have a goddamn book!  I can't help but feel I have failed them.

Good night, my little princess Sarah, rest your magical, mysterious, amazing brain.  You are the smartest person I've ever met.  I love you.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

August 14th ~ Deja vu. Oh no! Not again

Let's go back and compare:

AUGUST 2003, Explanation of Financial Hardship letter Rick provided mortgage company indicating reason for not being able to make our monthly home mortgage payments. He checked: Unemployment; Reduced income (only my social security disability benefits); Too Much Debt; Job Relocation.

He also wrote: November 1st 2002 (WHAT IS IT WITH HIS ALWAYS GETTING LAID OFF IN NOVEMBER?) lost job after 17 years with same company. Have been unable to find job for past six months in Houston market. Have exhausted all financial funds available including 401k, severance account, and unemployment benefits. Started temporary job but income is not enough to cover current mortgage payment and living expenses. All job opportunities I have been pursing are out of state and it looks as though I will be forced to relocate out of state. I had the house on the market for the past year and have not received any offers due to a slow market and large "new home" market. Please refer to attached documents and thank you for your consideration.

What I wrote to prescription drug manufacturers was this:  *** (transcribe letter for free meds here) ***

Flash forward to present day:

AUGUST 2011 it is deja vu all over again! But, just a tiny - okay, enormous - bit scarier.