Monday, June 23, 2014

Prince William, Princess Kate, and the four MILLION pound remodel

You know, I don't begrudge rich folks their riches.  I don't.  I am a bit put off by the gratuitous extravagance I see, but hey, I'm sure someone could look at me today and find something wrong with my spending habits.  However, when the following story came across my news feed, I admit, the bitterness rose up in a big way.

Buckingham Palace defend spending £4m on refurbishing Kate and Wills' flat

Why bitter?  Because this isn't some busted up, broken down, run-into-the-ground hovel requiring a from-the-floorboards-up renovation.  The place isn't in tatters.  And that Wills and Kate paid for their own curtains?  Doesn't really appease my sour heart.  

We are in SUCH a bad way here, and we're about to drop an application fee and deposit on a place we almost certainly won't get.  The hundred bucks is a throw-away--we'll never see that again, either way.  And the deposit?  If we don't get the place, we won't see that money refunded for weeks.  That's weeks we don't have.  And if we DO get it?

Well, we don't have the rent and truck money.  We're operating on pure hope here.  Hope that folks will come through for us.  Because the alternative is us being utterly toast.

So hey, Prince William?  Princess Kate?  Do you think you could spare .001 % of your remodeling budget?  That would be all we need and more.  It would be enough so we could have someone help us with the heavier furniture, AND we could keep our boy's dog!  So how 'bout it?  Please?  Pretty please?  Just .001% would totally SAVE us, and you might be out one fancy brass spittoon.  

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Twitter? Hardly. Help? Please!

So, I signed up for my first Twitter account yesterday.  Figured it was time, there is now ZERO chance of anyone thinking I joined up just to be cool (wink).  I signed up, chose my moniker, followed a couple of friends, and made one small, silly little tweet (said "guess this would be #myfirsthashtag.").  Probably not too original, but also not offensive by any stretch.  I sign on this morning to find THIS dangling over my now-SUSPENDED account:

Hey Krista XXXXXXX,
Twitter has automated systems that find and remove multiple automated spam accounts in bulk. Unfortunately, it looks like this account, @XXXXXXX, got caught up in one of these spam groups by mistake.
We apologize for this inconvenience. It’s possible your account posted an update that appeared to be spam, so please be careful what you tweet or retweet. You might also want to review our help page for hacked or compromised accounts:// You will need to change your behavior to continue using Twitter. Repeat violations of the Twitter Rules may result in the permanent suspension of your account.

And that's that.  No more Twitter for me, I guess, because I have done the idiot "CAPTCHA" thing a dozen times to "recover" my account, but each time my page comes back up with the "been suspended" banner and I still cannot use the account.  So blow up, Twitter.  You're mean.


Feeling bitter.  Been seeing all the uproar about the handsome, wildly tattooed felon, Jeremy Meeks?  The one up on weapons and gang charges?  The scary guy with the Esquire face?   Well, thus far, women across the country have donated over 100,000 bucks to spring him (his bail is a million).  

ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS to spring a member of the Crips gang.  A guy with a rap sheet replete with charges from gun offenses to identity theft, grand theft of a person (that's a step down from robbery) to drug charges.  $100,000 dollars raised to spring a dangerous felon because he's easy on the eyes (and he is), but here we are, scared to death we're going to wind up homeless.  Yes, a little bitter.

Because that somehow inspires charity and giving more than this:

I don't understand.  All I know is this--the guy up there stole, lied, and poses a clear threat to people.  And Charlie?  None of those things, but if we can't find a place, we may lose him.  Which would break my heart, break hubby's, too.  And it would shatter our boy.  

We have found another place.  It's smaller than this, and the neighborhood's a bit dodgier, but it's certainly good enough.  No yard, and I'll miss my gardening, but we really can't be picky right now.  Fact is, it's a roof, and it's not a terrible one.  The rent is only 100 a month more than here, and, while 1600 a month is steep, it's not steep for the DC area.  In fact, it's practically low-budget.  

The scary part?  100 dollar non-refundable application fee, and having to tender the deposit in advance.  If they turn us down (which they might, our credit is in the solidly "fair" category, despite no delinquencies, no late payments, no judgments, and a pristine rental history),  that's weeks with that money tied up and inaccessible, plus the hit to the credit score for the inquiry, and we're out the 100 bucks permanently.  We are NOT where we can afford this, so the risk is terrifying.

Sadly, we're almost certainly going to lose it unless we throw caution to the wind and post the deposit and application fee without having the money to move in.  We'll lose it like the little house in Old Town; this is going to get snapped up by someone else before we have the money in hand.  Right now, we have the money for the deposit.  In a week, we hope to have enough for the pet deposit and the truck.  Which still leaves us down 1850.  So here I go again--please.  Please, anything you can spare.  If you've ever said to yourself "I wish there was something I could do," you CAN.  Ten bucks would be something.  It would help us.  If every person who reads my blog in a month gave a few bucks, we'd be that much closer.  If every person who reads my blog SHARED our link?

You'd be saving us.  Quite literally.

So please.  Please help, please share.  

Just a note--we made our goal, the donation campaign has ended!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

And here it is

So, the move we can't afford and don't know where we're going is screaming headlong toward us.  I'm packing, even though I don't know where we're going and I don't know how we'll pay for it.  Our dear friends J & C lent us a grand, and oh, I can't tell you how amazing that is or how grateful we are.  We thought we were good, because a relative stepped up and offered three thousand.

You read that correctly.  Three grand.  She offered, she wasn't asked.  She understood that it would take us a while to pay back.  She said that if you can't help family, what's the point?  I cried my eyes out in gratitude, felt part of this crushing weight lift.  It was the most amazing thing.

That was May 28th.  She said she'd have it to us the following Monday or Tuesday.  I last heard from her June 4th, and she was still very upbeat and reassuring.  Multiple Facebook messages, a post, plus text messages, and nothing.  Fifteen days of silence.  She's stopped even signing onto Facebook, and has not read even one of my messages since the 4th.  I don't want to believe that she's left us hanging, but I'm not sure what else to think.  In the meantime, the clock is ticking, and we're watching the few places we can get go to other people because we don't have the money to put down the deposit and rent.

And what if she does come through?  What if this is just a hiccup, and, because she knows we don't absolutely have to be out until the end of next month, she figures there's no huge rush?  What if she IS going to come through?  I want to believe that.  I love her, and I don't want to think that anything has gone wrong.  But the lack of communication is scary and I don't know what to think.  But what I DO know is this: we are running out of time, and every day that passes is another apartment or house that rents to someone else.

Plus my Mom offered up 800.  Again, that was weeks ago, and no show.  But my mom turns 80 next month, and sometimes she makes offers when she can't follow through because she really WANTS to be able to.  I love her, and I understand that. My Mom is almost 80.  Which makes me almost 50, and this is where I am.

At this point, my stomach is so bad that I am actually worried that the ulcer is going to go totally south.  I can't sleep more than a couple of hours, and I find myself gasping and sighing every time my mind goes there.  Which is often.  And our boy?  Oh, he is beyond panic-stricken.  He knows we may wind up far away from his friends at class.  He knows we may wind up in a place so tiny and so scary that our stuff all goes into storage and we wind up not being able to go outside for walks.  And he knows there's the very real risk of losing our dog.   Charlie.  Oh, man, just typing that has me crying.

And so, the crowd-funding page I set up back in May but never went live with?  Well, here it is.  I didn't go live with it because it looked like we were covered--between J&C and my relatives, plus what we can save, we'd have it.  But now we clearly don't have it, and we're not sure what to do other than this.  I mean, we are stuck, we have to be out.

So here's the page.  Anything helps.  Five bucks.  If every friend on facebook gave five bucks, we'd be okay.  We're not looking to get rich here, we're not looking to take advantage.  We're looking to survive, to have a place to land when this is over.  Anything helps.

We made our goal!  Donations disabled!

We made our goal!  Donations disabled!

This is embarrassing beyond words.  And the terror that my relative DOES mean to come through, but will see this on Facebook and withdraw the offer?   Indescribable.  But if we keep waiting, what if she can't come through?  What if something has happened and she's unable?  And we let all this time pass?  That's where I can't stop going--what if we just keep waiting and it turns out something's happened and she can't help?  Every day is a day closer to the deadline, and every day we wait is a day lost.

We didn't see this coming.  It's not an eviction, the landlord is giving us a glowing reference.  Says we're the "best" tenants he's ever had.  But he has to sell, and that means we have to go.  Being great tenants who always pay on time doesn't really count for anything in this situation.  Please help.  Please share.  And please, no mention on my Facebook wall.  Not yet, anyway.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Yeah, that helps.

So, the landlord never did call, even though the real estate agent told him to.  Hubby finally emailed (email is better, we then have a written record), and the landlord's response was "y'all can call me."  And then he left the wrong phone number.

Not promising.

Luckily, hubby had the landlord's number in his phone, so he called.  And left a message.  Because the landlord wasn't picking up.  And then, a few hours later, he called again.  Left another message.

The landlord finally called back around 9 p.m.

Says we must be out by August 31st.  Says we're "the best tenants" he's ever had.  Says we've taken great care of the place.  Says he really likes what we've done with it.  Says that, if he can't get the place sold by next summer, he'll let them foreclose.

He'll let them foreclose, but he won't let us stay.  Because we're the best tenants he's ever had.


We still don't have the money to move.  Thought maybe we did, but it looks like it's fallen through.  The person who made the offer has gone silent, and isn't answering messages.  We had one pair of friends come through in a pretty big way, but we'll still be drastically short.  So it may be back to the "crowdfunding" idea.  As much it shames me.


On a brighter note, SEVEN people have ordered through my Amazon affiliate link!  In just a few days!  That's almost eight bucks.  I know, that doesn't sound like much, but I'm really excited!  So if you're looking to order from Amazon anyway, please use my link!  Here it is again (family and folks I've had dinner with?  That's a no-go, Amazon doesn't want "personal" orders through my links):

Speaking of Amazon, they have a promotion right now--a thirty day free trial of Amazon Prime.  Amazon Prime doesn't just give you free 2-day shipping on most things, it also opens up a whole slew of movies and TV series for free streaming.  If you've been wishing you'd caught Deadwood, The Wire, or the latest Star Trek Movie, it's on Prime.  And yes, I get two dollars per sign-up.  But here's the thing--that's per FREE TRIAL sign-up.  You don't have to order Prime, you don't even have to stick with it for the entire 30 days (though you may as well--free stuff, right?).  All you need to do is sign up through the following link.  It's a heck of a deal, and you know what?  Amazon Prime might just be something you want to stick with!

Join Amazon Prime - Star Trek Into Darkness Available on Amazon Prime Instant Video

Join Amazon Prime - The Wire The Complete Series - Available on Amazon Prime Instant Video

And that's all of that.  I actually hate doing this, I've never been good at self-promotion of this sort, but we are in dire circumstances.  Anything helps.  Anything.

(Donation link removed--we made our goal!)

Here's this--it's a WIDGET!  Not asking you to order, but if you're going to order anyway, why not through this fancy widget?

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Exciting News!

No, no, we haven't found a new place.  We don't have the money to move.  We ARE expected to be out in two months and have no prospects.  But still, I have two bits of exciting news!

Number one?  SOMEONE ORDERED FROM MY AMAZON AFFILIATE LINK!  They read my review of my fancy Argon Oil Shampoo and Conditioner, and then followed the link and ORDERED!  They didn't order the product I reviewed, but that's okay!  They ordered under my affiliate link!  And yeah, I get PAID!  

Kris's Amazon Link

And the second exciting news?  

I've already forgotten.  In the frenzy of linking and writing above, I've totally spaced.  Have I mentioned how stressed and sleepless I've been?  Packing without knowing where or when or how we're going is scary.  What to pack?  How long do we have?  Two weeks?  Two months?  No more than two-and-a-half, we know that.  

Oh!  Oh!  I remember!

Do you remember THIS blog post?  Where I talk about the cemetery in Old Frisco, Utah and the nameless little boy whose grave has stuck with me since 1994?  


His name was Johnny Staples.  I've known the Staples part for years, but I finally found an old document online that showed the grave in slightly better days (the stone was still legible) with a caption from the State of Utah.  

From his stone:

"Tis a little grave, 
but oh, have care, 
for world wide hopes are buried here.  
How much of light, how much of joy, 
is buried with my darling boy."  

And if that doesn't hit you in the belly, I don't know what will.  Rest in peace, Johnny.  I'm glad I finally figured out your name.  


I want to take a minute to talk about a ring.  Remember the locket?  The mourning locket I'll never find, but I keep looking?   Well, there's another piece of jewelry I keep turning about in my mind.  But this one I have.   I have, but I don't know as much about it as I want to know.

Here are some pictures:

The inscription appears to read "Ms. M. Hanna, March 14, '83."  It may say "M.M. Hanna" or some other variation.  The year is clearly 1883, and the stone is garnet, with multiple seed pearls embedded around the setting.  

This ring was given to my now-80-year-old Mother who wore it every day from the time I was born until 1983, when the stone fell out.  I remember the day--I was moving into an apartment in Midvale, Utah, when she realized the stone was gone.  We turned the apartment upside down and actually managed to find the stone.  She took the ring and stone to Zales, but they said they couldn't fix it.  Here it is, 30 years later, and it's still in that little Zales envelope, and it's still in two pieces, setting and stone.  

Back then, my Mom told me that the ring had belonged to wife or fiance of a famous poet.  But I can't remember who it was, and, at 80 years, my Mom can't remember, either.  I'm not looking to sell it, but man, I would love to know more about it and who it belonged to.  We think it was given to my Mom by a Mrs.  Payson (Jesse?  Florence?  The wife of Horace).  I'm hoping to learn more, but not too optimistic.


Speaking of optimism, we are so in need of help.  We need a place to live.  Someplace close enough to Manassas that we don't have to pull our boy out of his martial arts class.  It's the only place he has friends, and it would be heartbreaking for him.  Someplace big enough for our stuff, someplace cheap enough we can afford (think around 1,500 bucks a month).  Someplace that will recognize that our years of spotless rental history and income is worth something.  SomeONE who will understand that our credit issues are not lethal, and that, had we had the 15+ months to work with we thought we did, we'd have had those issues fixed.  

If you know anyone, please, please let me know.  I've never been in a position like this, and it's terrifying.