what a year
friday, december 30, 2011
this year's three words: what the fuck?
no, seriously, it's like we got hit by a semi followed by a train. it was a wreck. we thought 2010 sucked, but 2011 proved it can always get worse. or crazier. it was the year of bad and worse and for every good that happened, something else came along and canceled it out.
like the job saxy got with red lobster. started off great! ended 9 months later with him only getting 8 hours a week. didn't even cover the insurance payments. and oh man did it stress him out. from the very beginning, it was pretty obvious the kitchen staff/manager wanted him out. i know we should be grateful he at least had a job and was getting continuing experience in his field, but assembly line cooking was definitely not the experience he really wanted and he might as well have been stodging for all that the pay did us.
before he finally gave it up, i did manage to replace my glasses. unfortunately the prescription was off (i still can't read, which was why i was replacing the decade old glasses) and the frames broke in a month. never going to lens crafters again. lesson learned.
this was also a year of crazy weather: freezing temps, snowed in for a week (we've been here 8 years and have never seen snow last more than a day, and never more than maybe an inch or so deep in our area), a mild hurricane season (at least for us), extremes in temps. of course, those extremes had a really negative effect on our finances, which haven't been good for a long time. how we made it through, i'll never know. check out the winter wonderland here.
we did finally get a car in march (no pictures). not a fantastic car, but it's been running along despite our inability to do much to make it better. it has a steering fluid leak, desperately needs a tune up and wheel alignment, but it runs. no taxis, though i'm beginning to think the taxi was almost cheaper when you factor in gas and insurance. lol still, the car: one of the bigger positive highlights of the year.
kitten got engaged. grand baby turned 4, and my youngest turned 18. i am the parent of nothing but adults, at least age wise. talk about weird.
then came the shit storm with the girls that i'm not even going to get into here. the only reason we're not on the street/in a hotel is because other people have stepped in to cover the rent. that won't last, so we're still in a precarious position when it comes to that. on the 10th, we'll catch up december and pay all january only because the kids' dad is willing to cover it all to take care of the younger two kids. one thing about linnorm: he takes care of his kiddos. i've always been very grateful he and i agreed not to make them a part of the divorce: he pays his support and then some to make sure they're taken care of, i've never had a problem with him seeing them whenever. it's been harder on two different coasts, but those two things still stand. he talks to them every weekend. whatever went on between us, the kids don't deserve the crap most parents toss out there when divorced. there was a lot of ass covering this year. and i'm very thankful for that.
the house has only gotten worse. we're now sure there's a cracked pipe somewhere in the walls. we've sealed everything up that wee can to keep the flood from coming into the house or taking over the garage, but i doubt it will last. and of course, the landlords are too cheap to fix it. or they want saxy to put in some work to fix it. i only got them to look at it by threatening to pay for the work myself and taking it out of the rent. some progress forward was made, then stopped. and by then, my carpet steamer was gone. so now we can't clean up where the cats pee or throw up or clean up where mold is building up or anything, making the house even more toxic than before. i suspect the plan is to let it get so bad, we move out on principle. but the amount of rent prevents that until tax time. really hoping we get a decent return. really, really. in the meantime, half our living room is concrete now, we worry the water will break through the sealant, and the place stinks. and we can do nothing about it.
in addition to losing income when the girls moved out, social security decided we owed them over $10,000 in over payments and taz's ssi was cut drastically. the financial hits this year were just...horrendous. i tried to get it reevaluated, but of course, the decision went in their favor. and they kept my original documents, so even if i could afford a lawyer for my kid, i no longer have proof of anything. we will be paying that money back for a very, very long time. once taz goes to work, i'm sure he'll get literally nothing and we'll be making payments to them.
on the plus side, linnorm has agreed to keep paying support on youngest until the school year is over and for taz for the next couple of years. still, all told, we lost about $1400 in income over the last few months. like i said, the financial hits were bad, bad, bad. when saxy's red lobster job went south, it was a nightmare. i don't blame him for quitting. it wasn't like we were getting any money anyway. it was just...again? thankfully, he was hired by the catering company and has been very happy there, and they seem very happy with him. the season is about to slow down, but it helped cover fall and winter. come january, he'll be looking for a second job, but he likes the catering company so much that he's going to stick with it as a part time job.
a job which helped me get the laptop on which i write to you now. so nice to finally have my own working machine again.
child/adult protective services was called in because we had trouble affording my son's (not serious when dropped off it) concerta. *head desk* fortunately, that was cleared up pretty quickly. it was just completely unnecessary to begin with.
probably the biggest most positive thing this year is saxy finishing school. he almost didn't. there were issues with making payments (as we made none because we couldn't and are now slated to pay $400/month; oh, yea, that's not happening), senioritis, stress and crazy scheduling. but he finished. he walked in with less than a 2.0 gpa. his final gpa? 3.5. i am soooo very proud of him!
as for my writing, it's been abysmal. 3 acceptances this year, only 1 of which actually made it to publication (i had one other publication, but it was an acceptance from last year). and the place that published the one anthology i still earned a small amount of royalties from has gone out of business, as far as i can tell. charms is almost done, and that will start going out in april or may, depending on how quickly beta readers get back to me and how much work it needs. assassin's will start hitting the small press circuit in june) only because there's a specific place i want to submit to that won't be open until then). i did get an editing job towards the end of the year. it's only maybe $100/month, but it's something. as usual, though, i wish the work was better quality. *sigh*
so, yea, its' been a year. a weird, stressful, please don't be like this again any time soon (or any time at all, actually). really hoping 2012 is better. i need it to be better. i've had my fill of back breaking stress, financial ruin, having to rely on others just to survive, family ass hattery, and everything else. i need some good to outweigh the bad in 2012. i'm not entirely confident it will happen, especially with congress determined to aid the rich at the expense of everyone else, but i'm hoping. saxy is finally free to work "any time" and will be job hunting as soon as the holidays are over. taxes should help us move out of the money sink this toxic hole we call a house. hopefully those two big steps will get us on the right track for a long while.