Yin and Yangs of Life Make Us Dizzy!

So I have been on track to get everything moving in the right direction. Sure, we live in the shabbiest apartment we can afford, but it’s been our home for six months. We have a place to meet together after work and school, we can cook what we want to eat, and go to bed when we feel tired–day or night. When suddenly, last summer pops into my mind.

Last summer we slept in a car for nearly a week while we waited for an opening in a shelter which we stayed at for six months. It was a tough pill to swallow, but Salt Lake’s Family Promise definitely beats the alternatives. We finally moved into a place without access to our mailbox where the landlord invaded our home through an alternate door whenever feeling like it. Not cool. Of course, it didn’t help that the locking button was on the other side of the door–although we were supposed to install our washer/dryer on the opposite side. Nevertheless, I wound up shelling out over $2,800 dollars to move somewhere that we could receive mail and lock our doors. Sure, we weren’t here but two nights when the front doorknob quite literally fell off in my hand, and it would happen three more times in as many months. Just a smidgen of what was in store, but I won’t get into that. Believe it or not, there are bigger fish to fry. However, I will suggest that when renting an apartment, you thoroughly inspect it first, even if the manager is waiting to leave for her vacation. Oh yeah, and don’t rent at Hill Rise Apartments!

Christina
Watching “grandma” in her diaper is a free added bonus.

Now for the good news, bad news, good news, bad news. We’re finally getting our cold water valve replaced, although it was never available for our washing machine before. I believe it’s because the inspector, Randy Williams, from the Environmental Health Agency notified manager Aubrey of his call to inspect the flooding damage and leaking into my son’s closet and bedroom; it’s still creeping across my son’s floor after a week. I’m thinking they must have a “running tab” with the complex because there are still no complaints listed. But our lease is up and rent rises $50. This still isn’t all. There are a lot of good news and bad news incidents we have yet to go over.

My job informed me that the pay schedule wouldn’t vary much–.30/hour annually, and to have an increase in pay, they suggest attending school for my master’s. Hmm, while being in my 50’s as a student sounds harsh, I’ve never conformed to normalcy. The best part is that all I need to do is pull B grades or pay for it myself. Sounds like a challenge–a challenge I must accept. And so I have. When I started at Ashford University, I was told the best class for learning training skills is Organizational Management. Turns out that isn’t exactly true. Like the name indicates, it is a management’s professional training. Yes, that’s bad news. Despite what my siblings always tattle about, I don’t want to be a boss–I wanna be a star!! (A writing star behind the scenes.)

Good news? We’re moving out, and our therapist has agreed to provide an ESA (Emotional Support Animal) certification on Lucius so she can remain with us. Lucius is, by the way, fully potty trained for the latrine now. (yeah.) And she’s much more of a dog than a cat–but then Bombay Cats are just extremely intelligent like that by fetching, sitting, remaining off the tables and counters (at least when we’re around) and seeking attention constantly.

What’s that? Time for bad news… again? In addition to taking time off of work, which means using my vacation time YET AGAIN for the apartment repairs, chances are slim to not we won’t even be here after next weekend. That’s right, we’re moving. Although the prices are the lowest this side of the valley, Attorney Kirk A Cullimore’s Law Office is doing something the attorney swore to me he wouldn’t do while we were in the courtroom. Yeah, yeah, I didn’t get the promotion within three months as I was promised at work. Therefore, we emptied savings, 401K, and quite literally my veins, in an attempt to support my kids while awaiting the child support order to come through for rent. As luck would have it, I received support from my daughter’s father after we were rendered homeless. The Office of Recovery Services, or ORS, is another government office that screws the poor to feed the wealthy–cause that’s just how it works! Meanwhile, I found this site that finds “lost money,”  that claims me a “casualty.” Go ahead and check it out!

COSTCO FOOD
Tons of tasty treats for snacking at Costco

Other good news is that my credit score is nearly 750, but that’s clearly on the brink of change. And before I discovered the garnishment, I was approved of a credit card through Costco. I’ll be guarding that with my life, right?

Oh, wait! I still have one more piece of good news! We’re bound to make friends! We’re putting our feelers out there to attract another single mom with kids who are compatible with us and our beliefs–it’s sort of like a blind date, right? We found a site that allows this search is on Facebook, but I’ve also offered my services to a new site for single moms called CoAbode to help them become more organized, fluent, and noteworthy. Check it!

P.S. Uh oh, just discovered the government form declaring they found missing money of mine wants proof of me driving a truck for CR England from 20 years ago to lay claim. Damn government! And oh, the ides of summer!

So, what are your big summer adventure plans? You can at least share!

If I was a goddess, I’d obviously be Durga

As a single parent, like a lot of single parents, what’s on the forefront of my mind 70% of the time is my family. Yeah, there’s a small percentage, according to national polls stating I think about sex 18.6% of the time and men are thinking about it 34.2% of the time. Think of that in a fraction! But the other part is considering supporting the decision of sex. This means the other 11.4% can be spent wondering about traffic and what I’ll do with all that “free” time after cleaning my house, shopping, and paying the bills. The remainder I get to dedicate to myself is about 2% for sleep and showers.

Screen Shot 2018-05-05 at 11.52.39 AM
Who even has time to “make babies,” much less care for them?

Back on the subject of my family, because I had to have my car inspected and registered, the impact of -$250 total added a bit of strain on our month’s finances. I felt voiced to force this concern to my kids when my daughter asked if we could buy her a onesie to sleep in this summer. As it was, we’d be canceling Spotify, the HealthyWage weight loss contest, internet, and scrimping for gasoline so I can get to work. Food will be another animal. Rent must be first, and catching up on my car payment will be second before trying to get a jump on utilities. You can see I’m a few inches short of being the financial wizard I need to be in order to make this situation work. It’s fairly frustrating.

Wednesday afternoon, my cell phone buzzed. I quickly stole a glance at my device on the way to the restroom and saw my daughter had called me in the middle of the day. Odd. I answered it, but there was no voice. I quickly called her back several times and it went to

Screen Shot 2018-05-05 at 12.02.01 PM.png
Who’s the freak filling her voicemail?

voicemail. I did the level-headed thinking that if “it really is an emergency, she’ll call back or leave a message.” We’ve all been there before, right? Wrong, no message or call. Then again, Nikki’s the typically unpredictable sixth grader. Who knows how she thinks?

 

At 4:00, I tried again. This time, her voicemail was full. (What lunatic’s been leaving so many messages her storage is full?) I figured Cameron would be home and tell me his sister had just arrived. Mysteriously, he didn’t answer or return my call, which is odd.

I left a message on his phone — every half hour. At 5:30, I left a message on his girlfriend’s phone as a last resort, telling her how worried I was about him. I nearly left work to come home. I was shaking, sweating, and had no concentration. My mind was going on about how Nikki didn’t arrive from school. Cameron must have found her body broken and beaten. He found it was her friend who had assaulted her before Cameron loss all sense of reality, beating the kid within an inch of his life. I was in a frenzy.

At 5:45, Cameron texted me to tell me he’d been working on his grandpa’s farm to get money so we could pay rent. I get it, I should be relieved right? I’d been worrying for nearly seven hours — two of them were intense. If I’d have left my job during my training, I would have been fired. But if I’d come home to find my daughter had been dead for seven hours and I never got suspicious, I never could forgive myself. So I was a combination of relieved, thrilled, angry, and proud. The weirdest combo I’ve ever felt at one time in my entire 51-year life. I didn’t know if I should scream with joy or go to my car and take a nap. Unfortunately, it didn’t end there.

Durga
Durga is a protective mother who promises to aid her devotees against all of the troubles in the world if only they have the bravery to stand up and face them.

Cameron said he’d gotten $30 and would donate $20 to rent. Our rent was a total of $1235 and I was short about another $30. I made an appointment to donate plasma on Saturday the fifth. That would barely allow us to pay rent on the deadline before late charges ensure, but worse, credit dings. Not good. I was hoping the Office of Recovery Services (ORS) would grace me with the full amount in time. Cameron could keep his money and we could eat! Yeah! That didn’t happen. The ORS did their typical FAIL!

What did happen was unthinkable!

Thursday, sitting at my desk and hoping some bank truck loaded with cash would crash in the parking lot just before I went home, my phone vibrated. The bank sent a message stating the amount remaining was $2.25. What?!? NO! Who in their right mind took all of the money? And nightmare of all, how in the hell would we pay rent now? Have you ever been so upset you couldn’t cry? That’s where I was.

I was distraught and didn’t talk to anyone the remaining two hours. I dragged my feet out to my car, wondering what I was going to tell the kids. This was disastrous!

Slouched in my seat, I pulled my fortune-telling phone out and peeked at my account. I don’t know why I insisted on seeing that gawdawful number staring me in the face again, but I did. I swear my heart stopped for a second. The notification I received wasn’t mine.

One-third of American's finances are up and down
With America living paycheck to paycheck, the government controlling our finances should ensure better healthcare, higher wages, and funded education.

It was letting me know Cameron had added $2 to his account. We were going to be okay. I thought. Until early this morning, my car insurance of $79 was removed, and my finances took another bite. Back down on life’s rollercoaster again like many families.

I’ll be donating a couple more times to cover the late fee and final amount. Looking at the bright side of my credit taking a hit, we’ll be able to purchase groceries. It’s not all bad. If there’s a lesson to be learned from this, share your experiences!