Friday, July 9, 2010

Huh. Whadayaknow.

Just walked in the door from taking David to his freshman orientation at Cumberland University. Feeling a little sad and wistful.

Not because he's moving out.

Not because he's suddenly so old.

Not because of the financial stress.

Not because I'm worried about him "making the grade."

Because I wish it were me.

I so long for an adventure. Something NOT related to "how are we going to feed the family for 27 days on $80. Something NOT related to "how can I help child A overcome this horribly disfiguring illness or child B overcome her moody selfishness." Something NOT related to "I'm surrounded by people 24/7 and yet am so lonesome I could cry."

Friday, May 7, 2010

What could be better?

I was thinking today about my life. If I could change one thing to make a significant improvement, what would it be?

Move? No, too expensive and honestly, unnecessary. Yeah, I hate it here, but I can deal.

Lose weight? Oh, please. That's idiotic.

Get out of debt? Boy, that would be awesome, and would sure lessen the pressure some, but there'll never be enough. There will always be surprise emergencies that put us right back where we are now.

Find a quiet spot and hole up until Jesus returns? Now THAT one is tempting. But, my family "needs" me.

The desperation suddenly set in as I continued thinking. Not only is my life what it is, but nothing is going to change it. There is no improvement. There is no...hope.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

If I lived alone

If I lived alone...

I'd make macaroni salad.
I'd shower every single day.
I'd open the windows first thing in the morning.
my toothbrush would never mysteriously disappear.
all my thoughts would be thought through to completion.
there'd be grass on the ground in Animal Crossing: City Folk.
there would be entire weeks where the TV never got turned on.
the good scissors would always be in the pencil box on my desk.
I'd sleep 9 hours every night in complete darkness and total silence.
the car seat and mirrors would always be adjusted to my preferences.
I'd pick up the house on the way to bed so I'd wake up to a clean house.
the toilet paper would never run out without a replacement in the closet.
there'd never be leftover undone dishes in the sink or laundry in the dryer.
I'd never open the refrigerator to find the cereal box, or the cupboard to find the milk bottle.

If I lived alone...

the stress from working to support myself AND keep up a house would make me insane.
the silence would accentuate the ringing in my ears, worsening my insanity.
I'd go entire weeks without laughing, good, hard, belly laughs.
no one would ask me if I'd like another cup of coffee.
I'd probably forget how to speak entirely.
I'd eat standing at the kitchen counter.
I'd be lonely.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Lord understands taxes

Well, I knew He'd come through and help me render unto Caesar. We were notified yesterday that we have a little money in a retirement account that we knew nothing about. The disbursement should arrive on the 14th.

It's not going to be enough to pay the full tax bill, but I think we can get a compromise from the IRS. The big problem with a compromise is that we have to agree to keep our taxes 100% current for five years or the rest of the bill comes due immediately. I intensely dislike promising things like that. Marriage is about the ONLY long-term commitment I've made because I am so averse to going back on an oath. Some say I'm flaky that way, I say it's because I take it so seriously.

But, I am really, really jumping-up-and-down kind of rejoicing about this "found" money. That's just like God, isn't it?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Do we need another revolution right now?

Well, 3D television has been launched, I'm sorry to say. It's estimated in five years, all televisions will have 3D capability. Now, all my teen readers are oohing and aahing and dancing and saying "cool!" and such, but wait.

I'm one of those that get a headache from watching 3D movies. Two hours of a film every couple years is sometimes worth the headache. Several hours a day in my own home? That's another thing entirely. And in case you're wondering what the headache is from, I wrote a post on my other site about it. You're actually tricking your brain and your brain is fighting back. Even if you don't get a headache from 3D, can you imagine subjecting a growing brain to it?

I'm no Luddite, but I don't think this is a good use of technology.

One word: Homeschool.

This School in England Is the Worst School Ever

During a fire drill at a middle school in Worcester, England, students aged 10 to 13 looked on in horror as "as a man appeared brandishing a gun and appeared to shoot dead Mr. Kent, their science teacher, as he ran across a field." It was only ten minutes after the shooting that teachers revealed the whole thing to be fake. The exercise was apparently "intended to teach Year 8 pupils how to investigate, collect facts and analyse evidence." They couldn't have just pretended to lose the class rabbit, or something?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Back at the end of the rope

Well, things were putting along rather well, all things considered. True, we had to "eat" the debt snowball, but the new contract hubby signed was more generous than the last, leaving us with a smaller shortfall each month than before. I've been getting numerous assignments, and although several all-nighters have had to be performed to meet deadlines, the cash was handy. We still don't have enough to get new clothes for the kids (and by new I mean Goodwill, not new new.) But, the mortgage is paid and there's food on the table. Hubby's been working 16 hour days, 8 hours on the book that pays the bills, then another 6 hours at night on assignments that have paid the property tax and other once-yearly expenses. We're all pretty wiped out, and most of us are ill. But we're hanging in there. I'd set aside a little money in a savings account for taxes, but didn't anticipate we'd have a big tax bill. After all, in past years, we've always had a good-sized refund.

We did the taxes this weekend and I am swinging between anger and depression. We didn't really think about being "self-employed" when hubby got laid off. We just scrambled for cash. We are still just scrambling. We're sending out resumes constantly, but there are no jobs. It's not like we've started a business, we're just trying to keep the kids fed and stay out of foreclosure.

The IRS doesn't see it that way, unfortunately. They see us as self-employed, and want to charge us a hefty penalty because we can't find employment. Here I thought I was doing a good thing, staying off public assistance. But we'd probably be better off if we were.

The final numbers look like this:

We had $20,000 in taxable income
We owe $6,000 in tax

How is that even possible??? The measly little chunk I set aside is not even going to put a dent in that bill. And we're already late with the first quarter's payment for 2010. We could sell the car and walk every day to the grocery store, forget about church and send David packing the four miles to his work everyday. That would take care of about a fourth of what we owe. We could sell the house, but that wouldn't help because I found out last month we're upside-down in the mortgage (meaning we owe more than the house is worth.)

I'm just beside myself. I am so very angry that I didn't remember the "self-employment tax," that we were so woefully unprepared for this, that we've been scrambling so hard and so fast to wind up so far behind. I'm so terrified about what's going to happen next. I'd rather be dealing with the mafia than the IRS. I don't see any way out of this mess and the hopelessness is dragging me into a very unhappy place.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Christmas may come now.

I have seen a cardinal in the snow. Christmas may come anytime now. I tried to get a photo of her mate, but he was so shy that every breath scared him off. He was a beauty, though.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Yup, we got it.

Well, at least the last 19 days of quarantine haven't gone to waste. The two littles did come down with chicken pox. No sign of it on anyone else, so I'm thinking that it's the "regular" kind and not a "superbug."

I gathered up all the loose change in the house for grocery shopping. I was able to plan meals for three days for $50. I'm thinking surely something will shake loose by then. Right?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Okay, well, it's been a really interesting month so far. My toe/foot is still very, very painful. I can be up and around for about 20 minutes before I MUST sit, though, so things are starting to get done again.

Hubby went to the doctor to get refills on all his prescriptions. Without insurance, just walking into the doctor's office cost $120. He's down to four Rxs now, and thankfully, the expensive one has gone generic, so instead of $500, it's "only" $300. Yowza. We can't even afford to pick them up, so I have no idea how he is going to get through the next 1o days of no sleep.

Several other unusual payments have come due this month, and with 13 days left in the month, our bank balance zeroed out. We gathered up all the money we were given for Christmas (thanks, Mom!) and deposited it, so at least we're not in the red. But I have no idea at all what we are going to do for food and gasoline for almost 2 weeks.

February is going to be even worse. In February, our property taxes (of $1000) come due. We also have several other major expenses that put our budget out of whack by more than $2500. I can't wait to see what God does to rescue us from this annual pit. Yeah, sure, it'd be real good to set money aside all year for the February pit, wouldn't it? Sure, if there were no such thing as car breakdowns, sudden medical costs, and the like.

I've asked for all the hours I can work, which means bad food, unattended kids (no, not really, we both work at home so they aren't unattended, just not as attended as they usually are) and stress. Yuck. But I'm thankful for the hours that will bring in a teensy bit of money. It's not enough for groceries even (nope, not even beans and rice three meals a day) but it's something.

Then there's chicken pox. When the Christmas break was over and the public school kids were ready to go back, we had a snow "storm" (half an inch) that cancelled school for three days. My two youngest got to play with a friend they haven't seen in a year. She's just been through a divorce and there's no time for friends anymore. Three days later, we get a call: she's got chicken pox and my girls have been exposed. Oh, and the little girl had been immunized, so we have a 50/50 chance that the variation we have is beyond our immunity.

Back in October, my mother in law and I began planning a big surprise birthday party for hubby. He turns 50 this year and LOVES parties. This would be his first since our marriage. Of course, with a pending plague in the house, we had to cancel the party. And the plane tickets his brothers bought to fly out. And his mother's plans. And, and, and...


I've been kind of low the last couple weeks. I'm sure glad it costs nothing to lay in bed because that's just about all I'm interested in doing right now.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


We got a note that our health insurance has been cancelled. The Lord took good care of us, 20 months without paying for insurance that we were covered due to "admin error." And other than a few prescriptions, we haven't needed it. But, the error has been found and corrected so we are now on our own.

The most expensive prescription is hubby's sleeping pills. He thinks he can switch to generic, which will save us some money over the $500 retail price.

But I've broken my foot.

It's not awful, at first I thought it was just a broken toe, which doctors can do nothing for. I know this because I've broken my toes a LOT in my life. This time the bruising and swelling are not just on the toe, but the top of my foot all the way to the ankle and the sole of my foot, too. It's been five days and it hurts almost as much as that first day when I step on it. The house is a mess, the chores are not getting done (because no one is checking them) and I'm getting really antsy.