Tuesday, November 10, 2009

And now I vomit on my keyboard

Last week was bad. Now, yes, I realize that it could've been worse and technically I have no right to complain and whine around, but it's my blog and you've decided to share in this splendiferous journey known as My Life, so settle in and listen up, childrens. Momma Diva is tellin' a story.

On Halloween my biological dad told me that he has five tumors on his thyroid or parathyroid and they were going to have to do biopsies and surgeries and essentially the doctor said, "You'll have another 20 good years. By then you'll be 78. That should be long enough." Kind of callous and cold if you ask me. While my relationship with my father isn't as close as I'd like it to be, he's still my father and I do love him. Parental mortality isn't a subject I care to dwell on at any time, much less when everything else around me is crap.

I haven't said anything about it here on the blog, but if you're my friend on Facebook you've seen me mentioned a few times that my little sister is moving. As in away from me. I don't like to talk about it because it sucks. I've had many little meltdowns over the past month or two, but Tuesday of last week I just lost my stuff and went and blew a freakin' gasket. Unfortunately I lost that stuff all over my momma and because she is one of the two people I can tell anything to, she got the brunt of every emotion that had been bubbling up inside. There are more issues than just Sis moving and let's just suffice it to say that it all sucks a big ol' bunch of sucking.

Wednesday Sam had an orthodontist appointment to get another round of metal installed in his little mouth and an hour later Kady had an appointment with her PA because her eczema is causing her to scratch like a puppy with mange all the livelong day. I am so tired of her scratching to the point of bleeding and so is she, bless her heart. Because we didn't know how long Sam's appointment would take Paul drove his truck to town, too, just in case I had to leave before Sam was done to take Kady to her appointment. It ended up that timing-wise we were fine so when Sam was done Paul just took him to get ice cream and go home while Kady and I headed across town.

Now, because there are signs all over the waiting room that scream TURN OFF CELL PHONES BEFORE ENTERING EXAM ROOM I did. I really wanted to concentrate on what the PA was saying, too, so really my cell phone was forgotten for the 30 minutes we were in there. With prescriptions in hand Kady, Conner and I made our way to the van and as I reached in my purse to turn my phone off vibrate I felt it going off. Before I flipped it open I noticed there were about eight missed calls. That is never, ever good in my world. I answered with a trepiditious "hello" and was greeted with my husband's voice angrily asking, "DID YOU NOT PAY THE ELECTRIC BILL? Of COURSE you didn't because WE DON'T HAVE POWER!"

See, it's one of those months where it's a decision - pay the electric bill and have power or pay my van payment and have transportation. Oh and throw in food and water and toilet paper. I know we're not the only ones who have had to make such a decision. We can't be. I honestly thought there was enough time to skate by on the electric bill until the next payday, but apparently I was totally wrong. We've received a cut-off notice a time or two in our life, but they've always given plenty of notice of the impending doom and managed to get things righted. Guess they just decided we needed a big ol' wake-up call this time.

I asked Paul how much it was going to take to get it turned back on and he informed me that he had been too angry to ask. He had called to report the outage and was informed that his wife is horrible at pooping money and therefore didn't pay the bill. So I hung up with him, took a deep breath and did what I had to do - I called my momma. I was composed until I heard her voice and that's all it took. I lost my stuff yet again. She didn't judge, she didn't scold, she just said, "How much do you need?" It was 2:35 when I called the power company and was told that if I made the payment before 3:00 I could avoid $60 MORE on top of the insane amount they were already charging to turn it back on. I went from Mom's office to her bank, to my bank, then to a parking lot to call the nice lady at REC who managed to get my payment in at 2:58.

I called Paul back to let him know we'd have power by 5 and apologized for being irresponsible and asked him to please not yell at me because his yelling wasn't going to make me feel any worse than I already felt. He was so sweet and said no, there would be no yelling. Strangely enough, his compassion and understanding made me cry more. So by then I had cried myself into a pounding headache, had managed to calm Kady down who had started crying shortly after I had because she has a strict policy that no one cries alone in her presence and decided that power or no power I needed a Sonic sweet tea. Kady and I scrounged around the van (a fun, distracting game) and found enough change to get me a sweet tea, Cousin Courtney a diet Dr. Pepper and her a cherry slush then we took Conner home where I sat on Courtney's couch and cried for 45 minutes while we waited for Kady's prescriptions to be filled.

That night Paul and I sat down and looked at our spending and made some decisions. Man, it sucks being a grownup.

Last year we bought virtually all of our Christmas online at Walmart using BillMeLater, paying it off with our income tax return. Sunday I sat down to do my shopping and BillMeLater denied the purchase because apparently we have a "seriously delinquency" on our credit report, i.e., the $400 hospital bill we have tried to make payments on and they sent our check back because it wasn't the amount they wanted us to pay.

Fortunately, Paul's momma bailed us out on Christmas. Instead of having ham or turkey for our holiday dinners we're going to be eating humble pie.

While talking to Cousin Courtney this weekend she asked how my NaNoWriMo project was coming. I told her I just couldn't do it and I had quit. She immediately started a supportive and uplifting speech then stopped and said, "Wait, which do you need me to be right now? Supportive and understanding or do you need tough love? I can do either." I love her so much I can't even begin to express it. I told her I needed understanding and that I needed her to tell me that being a mother is more important than writing a novel this month. She wholeheartedly agreed and instead turned her pep talk around to encourage me to try again during a month of MY choosing. Have I mentioned how much I love that woman?

Sam and Kady are both playing basketball this year and from now until February we will be living at the gym at least two nights a week and all day on Saturdays once games start. Not to mention that for the next month Sam has Little Theatre practice as well, meaning that Thursdays you will find one or more member of the Hoover clan at the elementary gym from 3:30 until 7:30pm. I don't begrudge one second of this because this is something our kids want and we will make it happen if it means giving up even more. Those kids are my everything and no novel will ever hug me at night and tell me it loves me more than soup. Everything I do in this life is about them, even when I think it isn't.

Now before anyone gets all preachy at me about money -- Paul and I talked about me going back to work again and it still doesn't pay us for me to do that. We like me being at home and until we get to where we can't feed our kids it will likely stay that way. We're in that uncomfortable spot just under the poverty level where if you stay where you are and scrape by the skin of your teeth, paycheck to paycheck, you keep medical insurance for your kids and free school lunches. If you add another income you lose all that and you pay more than you make in insurance and food and gasoline and clothing. See, I can still wear my old holey sweats and save us money!

We made a choice several years ago to give up any and all credit cards. We do our absolute best to only buy what we need and pay cash. We didn't do as much this last summer, we don't run out and buy the iTouch we want so desperately we can taste it, we only get our highlights touched up every 9 months because we don't have a credit card BUT by March of next year we will also own our vehicles, have no credit card debt and while it's hard now, we know there's a light at the end of this really poor tunnel.

Why am I writing about this? It's not for sympathy. I guess it's to let anyone out there who has had their power cut off, who has had to tell their kids that even Santa is feeling the pinch of a rotten economy, who has had to give up TLC, Disney Channel and Spike which means no more Duggars, Hannah Montana or WWE, who has had to lean on family to get them through.... well, you're not alone. You really aren't. You can ask for help if you have a support system, you can swallow your pride and admit things are tough, you can send me emails and I will cry with you.

This Thanksgiving I think I'm going to be more thankful than I've been in years. Yes, it's tough and I've seen happier days, but I am blessed with three healthy kids, a husband who puts up with my poor budgeting skillz, a roof over my head and no one in this house has ever had to miss a meal.

And my father just called - the biopsy showed no cancer.

Thank God.


One Gray Hair At A Time said...

I just found your blog about a week ago and I'm sooooo upset with myself because I hadn't found it sooner. Your post is so real and I love that you don't make your reader feel that they aren't normal because they aren't perfect. I hear you about choices and about staying home because in the long run you are ahead that way. Just know you're not in this alone you have sisters in blogland going through it with you.

Robin said...

I'm thinking I may go back to work, or prositute myself out for a new Camaro.
My breakdown was a few days ago too.
Mine is wrapped up in being almost45. And whole bunch of other poop too.

Hang in there.

I love the new look.

TrailerTrashQueen said...

oh yes... you are so not alone. A month ago I came home to having no power because the way our bills played out and paychecks being scarce- it just didn't get done... so now i pay that bill first- because what are the bills that are essential? My list goes- 1- mortgage, 2 power, 3 food and gas...

but i still have all the others- cell, internet, direct tv, netflix... blah blah blah...

my husband is an iron worker- work has been slow. life has been tough. But I busted out my great grandma's great depression cook books and started life as a blissfully hard roller coaster ride.... sorry for the book! haha

Rae said...

For a funny woman, you sure can make me cry...
Several years ago we ran a business and the electric was turned off. I put a sign on the door that said temporarily closed and then I hid behind the counter and cried my eyes out! Luckily, my Dad came to take me to lunch and offered a loan.
We, too, have paid off all our credit cards. But it's hard sometimes. My oven went on the blink
last week and I am at this very moment cooking meatloaf in the
smoker outside. lol (I tried an apple pie in there and it came out tasting like chicken!)
Good luck. Your positive attitude makes you richer than most.

Kathy's Klothesline said...

I know exactly how you feel! I have had to use all my cash reserves for winter to pay my son's burial expenses and buy a means of transportation to get us to the memorial service. I hope and pray I can sell it when we get back. Winters are hard here with very little revenue. I think you are right about a lot of folks being in the same situation. We make just enough to not qualify for anything. My husband works at a convenience store so that we have health insurance and that takes up most of his paycheck there. It could be a lot worse, though and I amthankful for the roof over my head and the garden that filled the freezer. Bless you, you are a good mom!

Anonymous said...

I know with the kids it is hard to get a full time job and keep it but have you ever thought maybe partime like a substitute teaching at the school. tehn if they call and your kids are sick you can always say I cant

GERBEN said...

Honey I so feel your pain. Some days I feel like I’m all alone and I cry whenever I get a minute to myself. It sucks and I hate it! Thank you for reminding me that no matter how rotten the situation may be, we never really are all alone. (((hug))) Oh! And YAY for no cancer!!!!!

melyssa said...

I hear ya, sista sleighride. I was going to go on and on about just how I hear ya, but that's all you need to hear: I hear ya.

Anonymous said...

I just want you to know what a blessing you are to the family and I am so grateful to have your hand in raising Conner. I pray he will have the same sense of humor and kindness that your kids have. You know we are here any time we can help - although right now I am broke too but we won't go there. Love you girl.

Kate B said...

Oh Honey, I feel your pain. My light at the end of my tunnel is also in March.
Hang in there. Know the Good Lord is faithful, and will take care of you and yours.
If I lived closer, I'd swing by with flowers and hugs.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post. Going through the same thing-pay to pay-if we're lucky it will stretch that far. Your honesty is inspiring. I have some very giving in laws when we run in to trouble. THANK-YOU for the post!!!!

MamaKBear said...

Right there with you, my friend! Next year will be better...it just HAS to be, I swear!

Sending you love, hugs, and the strength to carry you through!

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