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tuesday, november 3, 2009

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site of the moment:
Young Chefs

author of the moment:
Keiko Tobe

words count






Red Lily courtesy of

a lame entry title there, but after no entries for a month and half, it pretty much covers what this entry is all about.

the big thing is the house, which we've lost. last monday, i was told the file was cleared but we needed to find the $2200 for the judgment because the option the lender wanted to do was not accepted by fha's people. the stupid thing is that what she was trying to do has been done before. why they wouldn't do it for us, i have no idea. this would not have been a huge problem if the tax credit for the house hadn't gotten held up, but the problems with that program has resulted in more amended returns with the house credit on them being pulled and scrutinized more closely. ours was one of them and we still haven't heard anything on what they want for it via snail mail. one fellow did tell saxy over the phone that they wanted proof that we had already bought the home. he explained what we were doing and told the guy that we had just done what we were told to, and he said that a lot of people had been told the same. so, the good news is that i don't think we're going to get hit with fraud charges. the bad news is that we're not going to get that money, and that money was key to finally getting the house. as i said, the lender tried to find a work around to the problem, but fha refused to play ball.

anyway, we did manage to get he money together that we needed, or most of it anyway, and we called the lender on friday to tell her we had it, and that's when things fell apart. first she said that we needed to get the last of the paperwork to her so she could clear the file that, as far as i knew, had already been cleared. and i said that to her, and she said, "well you need this." i told her we had that, and she said, "i'm sure there was something else as well, but i'll check on it." okay not a problem. but then she tells us we need gift letters and bank statements for all the money we just collected. there were 3 problems with this. for one, the gift letter specifies that any funds gifted must be from family. only one of the people helping us out was a family member. secondly, bank statements? i understand the whys of it, but most people find that to be too intrusive, even when doing something for family. and three, all of this had to be in that day, which would have been impossible considering where the money was coming from. we talked about it a bit, and saxy finally called and told them that we're done. we just couldn't make it over that final wall.

but i had been kind of grieving over the house since monday. well, before that, actually. we had gotten an ultimatum on a piece of paperwork on the previous tuesday or wednesday, and i didn't think it would make it in in time since someone else was responsible for it. i pretty much had my crash and burn. when it actually did make it in, i just couldn't get excited about the house anymore. the roller coaster had become too much for me, so i just decided i was done with all that. when it finally fell through this past friday, i was upset, especially over the way it had tanked, but i was also pretty much ready for it. it pisses me off that everything went through for us, every obstacle got managed, until the very end there. we put almost $5000 into this whole mess and NONE of that is coming back to us. that's a lot of money to lose. and the house itself was beautiful and perfect. and it's going to be a VERY long time before we can try to do this again. so, yea, this was just down right irritating, to put it mildly. on the other hand, at least now we know what it takes to get a house and how much we'll have to save to go through the process in the future. there's problems with that, namely taz's ssi, but we'll figure it out (or already be off it) when we get there, if we get there.

yea, pretty hard to be positive about that possibility after all this.

one of our concerns with the house was youngest's school. there is, again, good news and bad news with that. the bad news is that she can finish out this semester in the school where we have her, but she can't continue there in january. the good news is that her home school had failed the annual goals the district has for schools (known as ayp), so she will qualify to go to a different school. one of those schools is in another district that we were looking at to begin with. i've called to start the process and figure out what's going on, and not only will this other school take her in january, but they will provide transportation for her. the new school is also under capacity, so i'm hoping that smaller class sizes will offset her difficulty with change. she's struggled a bit at brookwood, but the teachers have done everything they can to help her out. i'm hoping with a small class size, she can get more of the attention she needs to get through the transition. so the bad news isn't quite so bad. hopefully we can find a way to keep her there next school year as well, but the problem there might still be the transportation, especially if we can't keep her in on a ayp transfer but have to keep her in on a permissive transfer (one is school failure, the other is parent choice with agreement from the school; parent choice is less likely to have transportation available).

another bad/good situation is saxy's transportation job: he was fired the same week the house fell apart. the previous week he received 2 write ups for refusing to do pick ups. the first write up was for a day when he had already been working 11 hours (longer than the legal limit for drivers, btw) and they wanted him to do another run which would have taken 3-4 hours longer. now, you have to understand, he's only being paid $70/day unless he makes more money in mileage, which they seem to make sure the drivers never manage to do (which has a lot to do with how they count the mileage; they don't count going to the pickup even if leaving from another client's location, they only count from client's home to drop off and back, that's it). the second write up was because he signed off at 2:30 to get home in time to get ready for school, something the job had agreed to (after initially telling him he couldn't go to school if it would take him off work early all week, the agreed to "letting" him go to school on weekends and "accommodating" school on monday nights). now the two write ups alone shouldn't have gotten him fired (it did get him suspended without pay for 2 days), but then, 8 hours before he was to start his shift last monday, they told him he had been fired because a client complained and said he was rude. now we know this is bogus because saxy is NEVER rude to a customer. he never got a copy of the write up, and we're waiting now for his final check (should be thursday) on which they claim they do not have to pay unused personal or medical leave time.

yes, the plan is to report these idiots to the department of labor and to sue them. we're having some issues with all that though. for the department of labor, we have to mail it all in—they won't accept it walked in for some reason, plus we're going to need copies of all that paperwork for us and for the lawyer. the problem is that our printer/scanner is down. not a huge deal since kitten is getting her second disbursement around the 15th, so we'll just replace it then, and we'll back in business (and not just to get the paperwork copied; oldest needs it for her classes, husband needs it for her classes, i prefer to work my revisions on hard copy, and we've needed something to work with the new vista machines since we bought them earlier this year). the other problem is getting a lawyer. we've tried to contact a couple and haven't been called back, so getting a lawyer on board to sue without needing a major deposit beforehand looks like it's going to take a little work to find. but we'll keep looking and see what we can do. we're seriously ticked at the way this job has treated him and the crap they think they can get away with. and while he is MUCH happier not working for these people and being fired allows him to apply for unemployment (which i'm almost positive they're going to try to deny), we can't let this bullshit pass. so, we'll just keep looking. it'll be easier to do so when we have the new wireless printer/scanner and he's past midterms.

which brings me to some of the best news: saxy is indeed in culinary school and absolutely LOVING it. and from the feedback from his teachers, he's doing REALLY well. they have noticed him in a positive way, which really is no surprise. saxy is really passionate about cooking and this has been a dream for him for some time now. one of his chefs even said that he might not actually get an 'a' in the class, but he is an 'a' student. he's taking his culinary education seriously, and the only problems he's had has had to do with software things here at the house for projects. his comp was giving us some problems as well, but i think we've managed to solve that in his settings. everything else is going wonderfully for him though.

and the treats he's been bringing home have been woooonderful. you can see them in my scrapbook at lj.

right now, the only other struggles we're having have to do with the monthly payment (which we hope will be reduced one way or another fairly soon) and making sure we have the ingredients he needs to practice on hand.

he is looking for work in the industry, but not a full on, out 8 hours a day, job search yet. one reason is trying to get past his midterms. it's his first time back in school in years, so he wants to be focused. second, the school will have a culinary specific career fair a little later this month, so he's going to try to use that connection to find something that will definitely work with his school schedule.

kitten is having some difficulty with her online school—she has discovered that she and i.t. don't really get along as well as she thought. unfortunately, she has to make it through this quarter with passing grades so she can go to the arts institute for something more up her alley: illustration. we're in the early stages of getting her over there, but at least she has something she's more interested in to aim for once this quarter at phoenix is over. the plan is to have her take classes at the same time as saxy to help cut down transportation costs. and having her in the same school as saxy will give them both a $300/quarter break on their tuition. the hope is that the break will bring our monthly payments down to next to nothing.

and that's pretty much the big news. we're focused on getting back to some kind of financial stability (well, as best we can when saxy doesn't have a job), and a big chunk of that should be taken care of around the 15th. i've been very proactive in getting the husband and kids on their educational paths that they need. loss of the house and the job are both upsetting, but all we can do from here is move on and focus on what we need to do, which is the plan at this point. and the reduction of stress has already been a good thing. just have to get back on the meds we let lapse in an effort to pull the money together, and then i should be as close to 100% as i can be at the moment. there's not much to catch up with my writing—a.c. continues forward, most everything else is at a stand still until i have it off to beta readers. helping everyone else with school, watching the boy, cleaning up the house, they're all taking time i could use for writing, but it's okay. and some more time should free up once youngest changes schools and we're no longer transporting her back and forth. forward progress is better than no progress at all, so i'll take it. and at least i feel okay about things. no, don't like where we currently live, but we can manage, if just barely. and right now, that will have to be enough.


word of the moment: exurb

a region or settlement that lies outside a city and usually beyond its suburbs and that often is inhabited chiefly by well-to-do families


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