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Sunday, July 4, 2010

A look into my life as it is .....So many IF's

First off, Happy Fourth of July! I sure hope you do not even read this till tomorrow, that today you are spending the day celebrating with family and friends. And cherishing each and every moment of that time together. It is a huge blessing and one we often take for granted, just as we often take our freedoms for granted . This is the day to remember and celebrate those freedoms and be so very grateful for them. I know that I am!!

This is the first year , ever that is not happening with my family.

Robert, my husband has to work. He is ok with that, he actually loves to work, gets very stir crazy just sitting around the apartment with nothing more to do than play on the computer. I clearly do not have that issue....Yes, my hubby Robert is a workaholic ...... He has the late shift. He is in car sales and believe it or not, people do come out on the fourth to buy cars ! There has been many a year we have had to wait on him to get off work to start celebrating. It is my husbands favorite holiday, he so loves fireworks. This will be the first year that we will not have had enough money to buy a huge assortment for him to set off in the drive way....but then this is the first year we have not had a drive way. We also will not be attending the big display at the local fair grounds. We used to walk up the few blocks to the grounds about an half hour before and find a good seat on the curb and just people watch until they began. It was tradition for the two years we lived in our cottage. Before that in Texas, we went to the car dealership he managed and there was always a pot luck and the local mall just across the street put on a really neat display and we had perfect seats for that.

Our daughter Chanda is in Texas, and works at that mall, and I am sure tonight will get to see that display after she gets off work.

I am not sure what our middle daughter Rebecca and her boyfriend Jared are doing this holiday, funny when someone lives only 5 miles away, yet you do not know all that goes on in their daily life. Guess that is what it means to have them all grown up. I am sure at some point we will hear from them . Then again maybe not. Jared has a large family, and they have a lot of friends, so lead a very active life ....I am so happy and pleased for them on that aspect.

There is mention of us going over to our youngest daughter's boyfriends condo...Angel and David apparently have a few fireworks and so depending on what time Robert gets off and we get a bite to eat, we could go over there, but it will not be much, as they are pretty much on the same budget as is just that kind of year. But it is always nice to spend time with them. Angel lives here, well her clothing and craft items do....she really does not sleep at home very often , just pops in for a change of clothing or as an in between time killer till David comes and picks her up. But we are ok with that. We understand. We were her age once, and in love, and well we are just the " 'rents" .

So that is our holiday this year....everyone spread about, and me home with the cats writing about it for lack of anything else to do with my day . I think I am ok with it though. I am not sad...will miss the bbq aspect and I love fireworks as well, but there will be other years and right now with how life is, I have to hold onto that.

I have eluded to what is going on in our lives, and now thought I would share , maybe get some feed back. I know it is not a small town tour, or a decor on a budget post or a musing about food , but it is life, my life, and if you are going to come here nearly each day and read my posts, should you not know more about the lady behind them??

You already know that my husband sells cars. You know we lost our dream cottage due to the recession, job loss, job changes etc and that we now for the first time ever live in an apartment. We are coming up on the end of our first year here. October as a matter of fact. It has not been an easy year. Fact is , when we thought things were going to get better, they have actually taken a turn for the worse. Where we thought dropping what we paid monthly by 900.00 would ease things up, we are still needing to drop things maybe by 500.00 more, but that is impossible in California.

We have dropped our grocery bill by more than half, and I have stopped driving for the most part to save on that money. You already know that though , cause if you follow my blog you know that I walk. Walking is very difficult for me at times. I have fibromyalgia and arthritis, iron deficiency anemia and well it all takes it's toll. I hurt constantly on some level, I am exhausted all day, every day, and it is like walking through hardening cement to move....but I do it so I can continue to move. But it is also what keeps me from working to ease things up a bit. I can stand, I can walk, but my upper body does not have much strength or dexterity any longer, and often I have numbness in one arm/hand and that makes things very difficult. It is hard cause to look at me you would not know how I suffer...sometimes I forget on some level, or maybe it is ignore , and I do too much and then pay the price. Even typing out my blog /being on the computer puts me in extreme pain for the rest of the day. Anyway, rabbit trails.... the point is we can not give up much more than we have to make it, or do much more to make it better. I know we do not have it as bad as others, I truly know this, this past week many friends shared with me what they are facing, eviction, serious health issues, barely enough to eat...even our oldest daughter is in the Ramen for dinner club. I always feel such guilt and shame for thinking, and stressing over our life when I hear of such things.

We are however facing , sooner than later possibilities of things getting worse . We know that our rent will go up. Being that we have just barely squeaked by for many months now. That prospect has me searching for new apartments. The issues there are if we downsize there will be no where for our daughter to sleep and store her belongings. She will be forced to store her stuff at Rebecca's and to sleep over at Davids....she does not have a car as of yet. Poor kid has had a bunch of health issues and dental work done over the past year and she has paid for all of the bills on her her car fund has gone way if we down size, we will have to give her Robert's car till she can buy her own. The other issue is we do not have the money for the deposits it takes to get into a new apartment , and needing of a storage unit adds to that cost. We are lucky to have a garage here where we are now.

This fact brought on a few things. I let go of my pride. I begged a family member for money to get us into an apartment or help us maybe move across country. He turned us down. I understood. It is a lot to ask of anyone, knowing that we can not pay it back any time soon. So then, I wrote a dear friend to see if we could move in with him, and if he could get a job for Robert in that area, so that we could bank the money and move back or relocate ....but he sadly had to close that door, as his in-laws are moving in from another country . I went to my parents, harder still to do, as they have given us so much in the past and because of the economy, it is all gone. They too are on a tight budget. They do not have it to give right at the moment , but IF they can sell the town home that my Grandmother used to live in , they would....but will it be in time???? If it is not, what then?

I mentioned relocating. We have spoken about going to Texas. We left for a life style and a job promotion, neither exists at the moment. We do not regret it as Rebecca found Jared here. The love of her life. Angel found her career and David, and for a time, we did have the dream, the lifestyle and the money to enjoy all aspects of life. For that I am grateful. No regrets.

But in Texas, I left behind a huge group of friends, who I blindly did not realize meant the world to me when I was there. I had a life that I sadly thought I was not enjoying, and now realize, and actually realized quickly I was missing here. Sure I hated the bugs, did not enjoy the sweating from high humidity, the yearly scare and stress from impending Hurricanes...and well all the rain....I was a California girl and missed my mild weather and beaches....but where we are now, there is what we got here was no humidity, close to wine country ( a plus for my hubby), great shopping, all very close by and our daughters found a life they did not have in Texas. But with no money, our lifestyle does not exist.

I am a simple girl, and it was ok to let my hair go gray , give up my artificial nails, and pedicures. I am a burger joint kind of gal, so giving up eating out at fancy places was easy too. I do not need for clothing, as long as I can stay my size 6....which is harder and harder as I get older. Plus who needs to dress up to walk or stay at home?? I have enough for the times I need /want to. I was smart and bought mix and match basics. I could even probably pare down even further.

As you see , we have managed to find ways to go wine tasting, and eat a few yummies here and there. And there is good weeks when I was able to go shopping for the apartment....not much room, for more accessories, so now just big items left, but we are not in need, that is a want. But it is the basics, the cutting back in our groceries, the worry that we will not make our bills and rent, or God forbid there is a dental or medical emergency we have no insurance, and with my teeth and health the way that they are , it is a HUGE and very real fear that it could occur.

The quandary my friends , IF we were to relocate back to TX, IF my parents could lend us the money, our youngest would still be between couches....she would still have no car, or if we were to leave ours, we would be , and it is harder to not have one in TX. We would be 2000 miles away from not one daughter, but two. The only one one day who wishes to get married and give me a gandbaby , Rebecca, would now be too far away for us to come back to witness either. PLUS! Here is a couple big IFS, we do not know if we can qualify for rent elsewhere , what with the short sale of our home impacting our credit . We do not know if Robert would do as great in TX at his job as he once did , or would it be the same ? OH and another factor the rents are basically the same in the town we are looking in as I can find right here. Sure they are bigger for the money, a few more perks for the price....but is saving the same amount of money there worth owing my parents money we can hardly hope to ever pay off before they pass away , leaving our two youngest daughters and the state we love worth the risk of it all still being the same and then being stuck there??? IF it was not, would we be happier, simply cause of the love and support from friends that does not exist here ? Would it over ride the difficulties? This is what we have been struggling with daily, nightly, 24-7 and no end in site. We can see a light at the end of this dark tunnel, but we fear it is a train coming our way and we are tied to the tracks!

We are not giving up, not laying down and taking it, though it is taking a lot out of us. Robert is filling out applications to find a management job in cars that would allow us to stay, even maybe in this apartment for another year. Giving Angel time to get a car, and her and David to afford a place that is big enough for two. We have considered going without a washer and dryer to afford a smaller 2 bedroom so Angel can stay in the family fold as well. Even if it meant the inconvenience of going to the laundry mat and knowing that every day my husband had off , we would be there, since I am not physically able. It would mean less money borrowed from my parents and that is a good thing all around....but also yet another down grade in lifestyle, since the places I can walk to would be limited with the places I have found apartments.

I enter contests daily, hoping and praying we will win just enough cash to not have to borrow...or more than enough to turn our life around. I write the ELLEN show and Oprah !! Never giving up hope!

I pray and "chat" with God daily hoping he will show us the way, the answers, but I know he is very busy with so many people suffering in the world today. I do see his work. I see a few answers. When our friend could not take us in , well that is a door closed. A message. When my cousin said no....same. When my parents said maybe....also one.

You never know when the right person will read this and give us the aide that we need....not that I am begging or expecting, with cluing you all in on our lives, but it was odd....I was not going to write a blog this weekend, and yet today, felt moved to do so. I could have posted all my decor pics....sought out and posted patriotic symbols and decor to celebrate the holiday....maybe posted a recipe or two... so many options for this post....but something moved me to share with you what we are facing.

I did not write this to make you feel pity, or grief or a plethora of other emotions , gracious enough I feel enough of that roller coaster each day. I think in many ways I wrote this as a way to remind myself and maybe you, to count your blessings in life. I need to remind myself of that daily. To be grateful , to say THANK YOU LORD for what I do have. To appreciate the wonderful country we live in, even if it is hurting many of us to the core, it is still a wonderful place to live, and I know we often forget that fact on a day to day basis. So on this 4th of July, Independence day, if you are taking a break and reading this , for those of us in the USA..take a moment to be grateful and thankful and celebrate all that you do have that many do not....even if it is not a lot ....I know I do. For those that do not live in the USA, you too can count your blessings and be grateful for things big and small in your life that you may not appreciate as much as you should ...I am sure that you can find something.

Thanks for stopping by, thanks for letting me share my life with you. I promise a decor post tomorrow...something light hearted and cheery ....something for the decor addicts out there....already have it all planned out.

Now IF you are reading this on the fourth, eat a Hot Dog or Hamburger for me , light a few sparklers and do a funny dance , smile, laugh and hug your family and friends and then share your wonderful day with me...cause I would love to have you do so, even if it is via a comment or two.


  1. Not doing much, im sure I will be kept awake by fireworks tonight.

  2. Ruby, it must have taken a lot of courage to write what you did. And at the same time I think you have let go of holding the pain in, which is always a good thing. I know with your attitude good things will happen. Something wonderful this way comes. I toast your courage and wish you good fortune, and good things.

  3. **HUGS** I wish I had the means to send for you and bring you to Colorado, even for a few that we could just forget all our troubles, drink a few (ok probably many) glasses of wine, and laugh together! You're one of my most favorite people in this world and I'm so happy that you shared this with the blog world! Courage is a sign of strength, and I know you're strong! :)

  4. i enjoyed the blog and showed it to your dad. we are both very impressed.


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