Friday, September 2, 2011

September 2 ~ Friday Financial State of Affairs... really?

Let's see. November, DECEMBER!, January, February, March, APRIL!, May, June, July, AUGUST! Ten months since my husband became unemployed.  Coincidentally, ten months of constant worry and disappointment.

Next.  February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September! Eight months delinquent on house payment. Coincidentally, eight months feeling like I could throw up at the thought that the end is near - end meaning, no longer having a roof over our heads.  The gut feeling I get everyday that we are in this house without paying the mortgage turns (flips, gnarls, pummels...) my stomach.  I feel like we are stealing every day that goes by.

Number of interviews I've had since starting job search two years ago:  One.  Not Target material I guess, which is ironic since I've spent tens of thousands of dollars shopping there over the last 30 or so years.

Number of online applications or resume submissions the hubs made while on job search over the last four years... who knows.

Number of interviews the hubs had for job with home building company since being laid off last November:  None.

Number of interviews the hubs been on since last November:  One.  Not sure who is getting his resume, but to be clear, he has never been in sales, insurance, finance...  He works in luxury home building, specifically customer service.  He is not a construction worker.  In Colorado, he was lastly, Vice President of Customer Service, overseeing Western region of U.S. for large American home builder's "destination properties."  His career started at projects in Southern California. He's a home warranty guy who got really good at his job and eventually went on to start up departments at new projects and develop customer service teams to handle new home warranties.  He's very good at this.

Confidence things will get better; this is as bad as it gets:  Sorry about being realistic, but there is NOTHING to save us from the inevitable this time.  It's our "American Depression Era."  What are you going to do, right?

Last time I saw my 82 year old mother was over 5 years ago.  I hate the times I've lied to mom on the phone whenever I call to check in.  Every time I talk to mom, I lie about how things are going, or completely avoid "going there" altogether - much easier.

You know how many inquiries about how things are "really" going or offers of assistance from siblings we've had from either of the hub's three siblings or my one sister:  Zero.

Family members who could have said, "No," when I asked if they could help, but instead sent money asap:  My two (and only) nieces and three cousins.  They gave out of the goodness of their hearts.  They didn't have to.  But they are just like their Mom and Dad, my auntie Mary & Lupe - giving, loving and kind.  Without their assistance, utilities would have been shut off in April.  I've always thought of my cousin Rosie as my second mom; last time she "saved" me was when I had to leave Hawaii to return to the mainland for proper medical treatment for Bipolar, PMDD, Fibromyalgia and all the other stuff that required urgent attention that wasn't immediately available on the small island we were living on.  My calendar was filled with doctor appointments in Palm Desert; I stayed at Rosie's house in L.A. while I worked to get all my health stuff sorted out so that I could get back to the kids and the hubs in Hawaii.

This summer, the most touching acts of kindness have come from friends that I've know since age 7, met at age 12, last saw 15 years ago who have given generously to help us through these hard times (people I've laughed with, ate lunch with in elementary school, enjoyed being around at school) - Ken, Lorraine & Patty helped with prescriptions and food.  Barbara, Phil, Lorraine and Susanna proved that they have not changed one bit since we all attended Marianna Elementary School.  They helped us with food and gas money.  As unexpected as their gifts were, I should not be surprised.  I know their families - Good people.

All this considered, I need for it be time to move on.  I want to be able to repay everyone.  And I wish I knew how.  I wish I could do so now.!

Time for a turnaround... for the better, not the worse.  It's not going to happen that way though.  It's just going to get worse.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

August 31 ~ A Letter to A Sweater

Dear Target Brown Sweater,

So sad to see you go.  It does not seem it's been so many years - four, maybe five. I guess discount, economical brands don't last very long.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you were cheap (even though you were), but clearance priced at $3.98!  Who could resist?  Only wish you could have hung in there a little longer. You've fit me at my heaviest, warmed me whilst I was most ill.  Remember those first, scary asthma attacks just last year?  You kept me comfy cozy.  Whenever I donned you  you looked pretty darn great - especially paired with my favorite Lee Jeans.  (What ever happened to those?)   Who knew brown would look good on me?  Crew neck at that!  You did make me like what I saw in the mirror every single time I pulled you over my head.  I wore you to nearly every choir concert for the past three years! That's quite a statement.  I wonder if anyone ever noticed?  Who cares.  I noticed.  I looked and felt good about myself with you on; perfect match to my raisin tinted Burt's Bees lip balm.

Thanks for the memories, you holey, pill covered softy.  I hope, though never be able to replace you, that I will someday, perchance, glance a Target clearance rack, and behold a close second.

Goodbye, dearest brown sweater.

Sincerely yours,

Sunday, August 28, 2011

August 28th ~ Mixed Feelings or Mixed Blessings?

I am so confused!

Yesterday's yard sale wore me out.  By late afternoon I felt like I'd been hit by a bus.  Advil was close at hand all day.  I think it was more of an emotional toll that I was reeling from... It is so hard putting yourself out there; putting your personal belongings out on the lawn and driveway for the "world" to see.  For the "world" to judge.  I managed okay I guess; the hubs and I even got along through it all.  It helped that RJ, S and E provided comic relief - especially, E - she's the most "monkey" of our three kids.  So in between car loads of people stopping by, E sang, danced, wiggled, hula-hooped, skipped, and failed miserably at riding a two-wheel bike that we've had since Texas!  No... since California!  It was S's bike from age six; it was a riot seeing E's thin, long, spidery legs try to peddle the thing. (I love that she's tall, err... compared to me.)  Cracked up when S read the decals on the bike, apparently it's a "Sweet Talkin' Charmer" model. (funny, yet, creepy, if you ask me.)

So thank God for E goofing around and providing enough distraction that I didn't take too close notice of the snarkiness in one man's voice as he walked around looking at stuff we had brought out in hopes of selling.  He parked his car right in front of the bikes we had set up nearest the sidewalk.  Man to the hubs, "Looks like someone lost interest in riding, huh?"  The hubs just laughed and said, "Good morning."  From the porch, I thought, "Jerks!"  I never lost interest in bike riding.  The hubs never was thoughtful enough to actually bring it down from the garage rafters... every time I asked; every time he came home to visit when weather was nice.  Three years I asked!  No, actually more like five or six years I've been asking that he bring it down for me to ride. Makes me mad to dwell on it, but we did sell the bike after all.

A good thing that came from the sale of that lavender, Schwinn mountain bike that the kids and the hubs had given me for my birthday a few years back is that it was purchased for a sweet little girl. Probably around nine years old, she seemed excited at the thought of  "a new bike."  I loved that she took it for a "test drive."  It suited her perfectly!  I hope it serves her well for a long, long time.  It was a pleasure meeting some nice neighbors we otherwise never would have had the chance to.  The little girl's parents asked if we had just moved in.  "No, we are the Christmas House people." I told them.  And they seemed very happy to finally meet us; our Christmas Winter Wonderland has always been a treat for them, they love that they could enjoy it from their back deck.  It was disappointing informing them that last winter was it; foreclosure on the house and no where to go from here, and no idea where to put our stuff, will put an end to outdoor Christmas decoration displays.

So back to Mr. Unpleasant, as he walks by my fitness gear: dumbbells, toning balls, jump rope, core ball...  He goes, "Looks like someone lost interest in exercising too."  Again, the hubs, "Ha ha."  Me thinking, "Ass."  Then, as he makes his way nearest where I'm standing on the porch he takes notice of the pots, potting soil, planting tools and baskets and offers this tidbit, "And looks like someone gave up on something else too."  The hubs just laughs again and says "Yup."  I'm really surprised with myself and that I let his stupid comments and the hubs's idiotic replies just fall by the wayside.  Because once I was inside and had a few minutes to dwell on the morning's activities, I started to feel mad and hurt.  Mr. Unpleasant did buy something:  one of the hubs's old drivers; paid a buck or two... I hope his golf game gets shot to hell.

I'm totally shocked that it didn't even occur to me to speak up - I'm kinda expert at that.  I never lost interest in any of those past times and activities.  We need to sell our stuff.  We need to do everything we can to raise the money needed now to get a proper handle on serious financial matters - meaning filing bankruptcy, and yes, prison is a possibility! - That happens when you are behind on filing taxes or owe the world loads of unpaid bills, right?  I'd give anything to have had planted a beautiful array of flowers in all colors and fragrances this spring and summer... BUT WE COULD BARELY AFFORD FOOD, Mr. Unpleasant.   We put out whatever we thought might sell, and there's loads more where that stuff came from.  It's all over the house: in cabinets, on shelves, in drawers, in boxes which were packed when the hubs first was laid off in 2007.  I don't want to feel angry.  I hate feeling hurt.  I just want to feel like we can start to move on...  where ever that is.  We raised $100.00. Nine thousand, nine hundred more to go - international tax attorneys and bankruptcy lawyers sure do make good money!  With no sign of job anytime soon, all hope is lost.

The other thing that did make me happy was selling RJ's bike to a military mom.  The bike was in top condition, originally priced at $250.00, purchased on sale for about $125.00.  Nearly ten years later, another dear sweet boy will have it to ride and enjoy.  We knocked off a few bucks; $20 sounded like a good deal.  Happy Birthday, military kid!


I decided, I hate yard sales.  I know... bad attitude... karma's a bitch (and so am I).  We're doing another next weekend. Joy.


I  love what someone tweeted yesterday about dreaming.  They mentioned how they hoped that a previous night's dream would pick up and continue where it had left off, on the following night.  That put the idea in my head how cool it is to control dreams, so I decided I would think about specifics I wanted to dream about and hit the sack - or pushed-together ottomans (and pillows so old and flat, it's a miracle I sleep at all).  Lovely images in mind, I fell right to sleep. Watching a favorite movie helped put me in pleasant spirits; so my dream even had a "movie" feel - my brain does good cinematography.  Anyway, it worked! I tweaked my dream to feature what I wished - had a great cast!  A "surprise" special guest blew me away.  Of course it was still a dream, therefore could never actually happen; nonetheless, it was good... relaxing even.  Interesting considering the t.v. was on most of the night tuned to east coast hurricane coverage.

I love dreams that bring back time when my kids were little, and where I'm sharing unremarkable moments in the company of loved ones I haven't seen in ages.  Last night's dream filled me with a sense of security - calm and assuring, it was like good medicine.   The best part:  I napped in my dream!  Two naps, even.  How great is that?  Might even qualify as a "best dream ever" as far as I'm concerned.  Ha ha.  I dreamt about sleeping.  And I awoke with a smile on my face.


I've been pleasantly informed via Twitter - by a wonderful lady who took the time to research what dreams mean - that:  "dreaming of yourself sleeping means peace and favour from your loved ones," followed by " x x x "   Love ya, Berni!   Can't imagine anything better than that.  More smiling.