It's been a long time since I've updated, and it's been a very long two years.
Since B's mother has died, we still have not sold the house. Mainly because he hasn't done anything with it. No estate sale, no setting things up with a realtor, nada.
More importantly, he lost his job.
October 2013, his school called me to come get him. He was well above the legal limit for alcohol. I picked him up, got him home, tried to get him help.
We've been fighting this battle for so long.
This past December, he had a grand mal seizure from detoxing, in front of my entire family and a bunch of kids, on the Santa Clause train.
In March, he was brought home by the cops.
We're separated at the moment, and I'm trying to stay hopeful, but it's really hard.
We're meeting with the couples counselor on Tuesday, where there will be ultimatums given, and I find myself looking at the budget and wondering what the hell to do.
I know I can survive as a single parent. I know. We've been living on my income primarily anyway. But there is also the crazy amount of medical expenses due to ambulance rides, ER visit, intake, and 3 days stay in the hospital - and it's under my insurance, so yes, it is my responsibility.
So I'm trying to cut some corners anyway. And because I don't want to talk about my marriage anymore, I'm going to talk about money.
I called Comcast and cancelled two of the premium channels B had insisted on, plus the $5 "insurance" fee that Comcast charges: $25/monthly right there.
I downgraded my Audible membership from Premium to Gold, from 22.95 to 14.95, saving $8/monthly.
I cancelled our forgotten Care.com membership - of course, AFTER we had been billed again, but still, that's $50 every six months, which adds up.
I have a subscription box I can cancel, and if things do go south and B and I can't come to an agreement about his treatment, I can cancel the local milk delivery, as that is mostly for him.
I know I have a lot of options to be able to cut corners without changing much around my house, but I am hoping the corner I don't have to cut is my marriage.
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It's been a long time since I've updated, and it's been a very long two years.
We've made two trips to Brandus' mom's house trying to get the estate worked out - the first one we turned in the probate paperwork and got the worst of the disgusting mess up in the house - and the second we took the probate paperwork to the bank and closed out her accounts, spoke to a realtor, and had a meeting with an estate planner.
We were dreading closing out her accounts because we had no idea how much would be in there. And it's not like we want to make money necessarily, but we DID want to be able to pay ourselves back for the cremation, the cleaning, and the hotel costs - as those were all paid for out of the money we had earmarked for our trip over Christmas to see my family. Fortunately, there was enough in the accounts to cover all of that, so we do still get to go to Maryland later this month.
We also have an appointment with an estate lawyer, as we found out Mimi hadn't paid taxes on their business since they started it. And that they had a stack of credit cards at least 2 inches thick, leftover medical bills from when Brandus' dad was sick/died, and who knows what else.
The up side of this mess is that, as their business was a coffee and tea business, we have all of our holiday gifts taken care of. We have bags upon bags upon BOXES of whole bean coffee, ground coffee, expresso beans...With the exception of Voldemort and his same age cousin, the Critter, everyone we know will be getting coffee for the holidays.
Hilariously, neither Brandus nor I drink coffee. But I really wish we did right now, because I can't help but think the caffeine would really help.
We used the money we had earmarked for getting our leaky toilet fixed to help pay for the cremation - which obviously couldn't be put off. And while we'll be ok, as I'm waiting for a replacement check from a former job, it still makes me rather cranky to know that I have to put off calling the plumber.
I appreciate all of the comments and good thoughts, although I have to admit that I am happily avoiding dealing with any more of this mess at the moment.
Instead, I am baking. Baked goods make all things better.
I'm sitting in a hotel zoning on infomercials while my husband attempts to get the kiddo to eat breakfast downstairs, and I'm still just..blitzed after this week.
Sunday, brandus told me he hadn't heard from his mom in a week. This is unusual, as they usually chat once a day. He called his uncle, her brother - uncle hadn't heard from her since Tuesday. Worried, he called the cops to go check her house, as she lives 5 hours away from us.
She isn't at the house.
I suggest calling the hospital, as her health has been poor, which is why we were moving her down to our town before Thanksgiving.
He calls the hospital, and there she is, and has been there since Thursday. She drove herself and checked herself in with an infected cat bite, but hadn't called because she "couldn't figure out how to use the phone."
Um. Then you could have used your cell?
Brandus talked to the nurse, and told her of all of our concerns about his mother's health, which included her getting out of breath easily, her inability to walk more than 6 feet without having to hold on to something, etc. We were told they weren't sure when she'd be released, so Brandus made flight arrangements to fly up Tuesday morning - leaving Monday to arrange lesson plans for the week.
We find out Monday at 4 or 5 that she was released from the hospital at 1. We hadn't heard from her. We called several times, called and checked the kennel where she had not picked up the dog.
We waited until 7 or 8 before calling the cops again.
They went past her house - the car was there. The lights were on. They could see into her bedroom and she wasn't in bed.
We authorized a "dire need" entry, and they found her on the kitchen floor. She had fallen and hit her head, and she was dead.
4 hours after she left the hospital, she was dead.
Brandus is grim faced and easily irritated - we've been up here dealing with everything since Tuesday - we managed to get his plane ticket refunded and drove up, all 3 of us. She had told us multiple times that Brandus' name had been put on accounts and on the house and that she had a will, but all of that was a lie.
Voldemort has been a rockstar - he shouldn't have to know that we have to clean up the blood where his Mimi died. He shouldn't have had to see the condition of the house - where it was so bad the first day we wouldn't let him come inside. He has been kept happy playing with my husband's original transformers and hot wheels and helping us by counting all of the change we found in the house ($36.78 at last count).
We managed to get a lot done - cremation done, animals found and relocated to a no-kill shelter, cleaner hired to help, estate salesperson shown the house - but there is so much left to do.
The issue at this point is that we can't access her accounts yet, so everything has to be paid out of pocket. The cremation was almost $2000, the cleaner was $300 (and worth every penny for me not having to deal with the toilet and the bathtub and the cat feces everywhere), the kennel for the dog was $98, the cost of staying in a hotel for 4 nights, eating out, gas, etc...The rest of the month will be very tight. We had to split up the cost of the cremation onto two different credit cards - we couldn't pay for it out of our account or else we wouldn't be able to buy groceries for the rest of the month.
We'll be back up over thanksgiving, and we hope to be given access to her accounts then - we can't afford to pull up and replace the carpet by ourselves, and the cleaner needs to come back to deal with the deep cleaning.
My head hurts. So much to do.
I have an anxiety disorder, which mainly manifests at work and stress about getting into trouble at work and then getting yelled at and/or fired.
I also have a 40 minute commute each way, and yes, these two things are very related.
In my 40 minute commute, I have way too much time for the hamster wheel in my brain to spin, and it goes around and around about what could go wrong that day (on my way in) or what did go wrong (on the way home).
I'm medicated, which helps reduce the spinning, but more than anything else, audiobooks are my savior on the long drives.
Audiobooks give me enough to focus on that I don't have any extra brain cells to focus on the spinning of the wheel.
I've been getting most of my audiobooks online - generally through amazon or the free ones through [url=http://librivox.org/], which has all kinds of books in the public domain free for download. I've also been gifted some, gotten some from the library, and found a few online in other places.
I've listened to some I've really liked, some I've tolerated, and a few I've just given up on in irritation or disgust. I couldn't finish The Da Vinci Code during to hysterical laughter over the eight thousand things Sophie was keeping in the pockets of her sweater, for example.
I would love some suggestions of books or places to look for books. I mostly tend to stick to science fiction, fantasy, young adult novels, and "chick lit." I don't want anything political, or anything that will make me yell at my radio.
Any suggestions would be awesome!
The last time I updated was over 3 years ago! I decided it was time to revamp the place a bit. We're moving from The Money Pit - when we were moving from state to state with reckless abandon - to Frugal on the Weekends - where we now own a house, make more money, and can focus on our frugal actions in order to pay down credit cards, save for a new car, and get rid of student loans.
Both Brandus and I work full time plus as teachers - I teach preschoolers with special needs, and Brandus teaches middle schoolers with attitudes. We both commute 45 minutes each way. In opposite directions, of course.
At home, we have a Kindergartner of our own. Five year old Voldemort is hilarious, weird, and way too smart for his own good.
By the time we make it home, we cook dinner, do homework with the kid, and collapse in exhaustion. There is very little frugal activities during the week.
But on the weekend? We have time. We have energy. We have...dirty laundry, a messy kitchen, and a wild child to entertain.
Here's our experiences trying to get the new house fixed up, fight the HOA for a clothesline, and entertain the child, Voldemort!