Returnjourney’s Weblog

Just so you know

For those of you that bought a foreclosed house recently, congratulations.

But before you move your belongings into your shiny new home, I want you to know something.

You are moving into someone else’s misfortune. Before you were even able to look at the house you are in, someone else was there. And that someone had dreams.

The people that were there before you imagined their children playing in the back yard. They imagined first days of school, barbeques with the neighbors, and playing ball with the dog.

Those people that were there before you, for whatever reason, had to leave. And in your new house, they left their dreams, and their hopes. They left their children’s first school dances and first sleepovers.

So when you back the U-Haul up to your new, shiny, can’t-believe-I-got-such-a-deal house, just remember, you are pulling into someone else’s misfortune.



A quick re-cap
January 6, 2009, 8:47 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

what did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before?
I initiated a law suit against some unscrupulous bill collectors.   I secretly hope to stick it to these assholes.  

did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I didn’t have any last year.  I could barely function last year, let alone set goals.  This year, my goal is simply to be in a better place financially.  

did anyone close to you give birth?

My neighbor but I wouldn’t say that we are close. 

did anyone close to you die?
Not really.  We keep waiting for great-grandma to die, though.

  what countries did you visit?

Ohio.  It seemed like another country at the time. 

what would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
Money.  Definitely money.


what date from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
August 19th.  Erica started Kindergarten.

what was your biggest achievement of the year?
Enrolling in school and making all A’s 

what was your biggest failure?

Hard to say.  The last 2 years have felt like a giant failure overall.  That makes it a bit difficult to pinpoint one specific thing.


did you suffer illness or injury?

Yes, I had pneumonia.  That was super awesome. 

what was the best thing you bought?

I bought food.  And electricity.  And internet access.  Hard to pick a favorite out of those 3.


whose behavior merited celebration?

My friend, Gayle.  What a stroke of luck to meet her at the park!

whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Another friend of mine who shall remain nameless.

where did most of your money go?
Electricity and gasoline 

what did you get really, really, really excited about?
Seeing 2 manatees playing in the river. 


what song will always remind you of 2008?
Single ladies!


compared to this time last year, are you:
happier or sadder?  happier
thinner or fatter?  fatter
richer or poorer?  neither


what do you wish you’d done more of?
gone to the beach more
blogged more
read to the kids more


what do you wish you’d done less of?
I wish I had done less stupid spending.


how did you spend christmas?

At the beach with the kids, riding bikes and throwing the football.
did you fall in love in 2008?
Yes.  With a little black kitty, and my hubby and my kids.

what changes did you make to “green up” your lifestyle?
I bought a reusable grocery bag.  And I started re-appropriating big people clothes for kids.

what was your favorite tv show?
Ghost Hunters and the Girls Next Door. 


do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
I don’t have enough time in my life for that sort of  thing.


what was the best book you read? 

The Secret


what was your greatest musical discovery?
Lelia Broussard



what did you want and get?
I wanted a job that fit into my life and I have that right now. 

what did you want and not get?
Our own place


what was your favorite film of this year?
The only film I saw all the way through was Sex and The City so that wins by default. 

what did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I didn’t do anything on my birthday.  I turned 30.


what one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Just knowing that we were making progress and getting back on our feet instead of slipping further down a financial hole.


how would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?


what kept you sane?
Knowing that even though my life sucked, it could be worse.


which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
oh, how i love me some brit-brit.  girl is a spectacular disaster!  (ok I am stealing JMP’s answer because I totally agree with her)


what political issue stirred you the most?
the economy, mostly because I felt directly affected by it.


whom did you miss?
The Lobbans.


who was the best new person you met?


tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008:
Act as if.   


quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
There’s some hard times in the neighborhood, but why can’t everyday be just this good?

Thanks bits! Continue reading

How much does bankruptcy hurt?
October 4, 2008, 1:36 pm
Filed under: bankruptcy, economy, Uncategorized, venting | Tags: , , , ,

We are at the end of our financial rope.  You could see that from my last post.  We are considering bankruptcy.  We have nothing.  No house, no 401k, no savings, or life insurance policies, no land.  Nothing.  And still we are over our heads in debt.  People call us day and night looking for money.  I wish we had something to give them.

I have heard that bankruptcy is one of the most stressful thing one can go through.  I doubt that it will be any more stressful than what we have been through already.  If what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger, I must be one tough motherfucker.

If this is it, I may cry.
October 1, 2008, 6:19 pm
Filed under: economy, Husbands, marriage, mothers, separation, stress, Uncategorized, venting

The last few weeks have been hell.

My DH has been in California since the beginning of July trying to earn enough money to get a rental house for us and get us over there.  It hasn’t been going so well, to put it lightly.  This used to be a job that earned us a six-figure salary but during the summer the times are always lean and we knew that.  Since he has been there, they leads have virtually dried up.  What leads he gets, he sells but his boss hasn’t paid the full commision on these jobs, something about there not being enough money.  I don’t understand how that can be since DH is bidding the jobs the way his boss tells him to.  So basically we haven’t seen a normal sized paycheck since July.  Most of his paycheck gets poured down his gas tank, $400 a week is what it costs to drive all over SoCal.

I am working for my mother part-time and I am making $250 a week.  This, needless to say, barely covers the necessities.  Electricity and water are running $250 a month so I have to buget for that, plus internet since I am going to school online (to help us get out of this mess) that runs $40 a month.  The only splurge we have it cable and that is $50.  So that is $390 a month in bills.  That means I have to take $98 a week out right off the top.  I also put $25 a week away for a rainy day.  There goes 1/2 my check.  Now it is $75 to fill my tank up so that leaves another $75 to feed and clothe myself and the kids.

Did I mention that we have car payments?  Well, those haven’t been getting paid so everytime I look outside I am more than a little relieved to see that my car is still in the driveway and not towed away by the repo man.  Car insurance?  We used to have that but that falls under the heading of “More Shit We Can No Longer Afford”.  We don’t have health insurance so of course, we all need to see the doctor.  Isn’t that the way it works?

Last week, the lights were shut off because I didn’t budget enough.  I had to ask for an advance from my paycheck to get the lights turned back on so last week I didn’t get a paycheck and this week I won’t get a paycheck.  Now my car needs brakes so I will be using that paycheck to get brakes.  I had to file for Food Stamps.  I hope we get approved.  If we don’t, I don’t know how I will get the kids winter clothes.

Our backs are so far up against the wall, my husband is contemplating re-enlisting in the military.  The thought of this makes me sick because I know that he will be deployed and there is the chance that he won’t make it back.  He has applied everywhere but no one is hiring.  Not Home Depot, not Lowe’s, nowhere.

Now my mother is on my back.  She has always been on my back about certain things but this last fight just takes the cake.  For the last 10 years she has wanted me to go back to school.  As soon as I enroll and get everything situated, I tell her.  The first words out of her mouth?  “We wanted to help but you waited to long.”  WTF?  I didn’t ask for help, I just wanted a pat on the back!  Since I am pursuing a degree in psychology I know that I will be continuing on with grad school.  But since I am not as dumb as I look, I have also looked into jobs that I qualify for with a BS in psych.  I have also considered getting a certification for substitute teaching while I purse my Masters.  Mother thinks that I am not being practical because I vetoed her idea of becoming a special ed teacher.  That started WW3.

I will just give you the highlights:

1.  She thinks I don’t take responsibility for my actions.

2.  She thinks that I am just like Aunt Nancy (this would be her now deceased sister whom she thinks made every dumb decision in the book)

3.  If it wasn’t for her we would be homeless.  This is true however, I go out of my way to help them when i am here so I think this is just a low blow.

Here are the grievances I have against my mom.

1. David was always her favorite.  This has been confirmed, she said it herself.  I am not trying to take away anything from my brother.  He graduated college and he has a good job.  Good for him.  What I don’t need to hear, especially now, is how smart he is, and how he is making all the right choices, and how she is so proud of him.  By saying that , she is essentially saying the exact opposite about me.

2. She never spent time with us as kids and now that I have my own children, I am trying to do the opposite of what she has done.  And when we are on better financial footing, I think we have a pretty awesome little family.

3.  I hate the way she will tell me little tales of how smart one person or another was.  I try to not be defensive but I am starting to take them as little digs.  It is as if she is pointing out how smart someone else is and how stupid and irresponsible I am.

4.  I am sick and tired of hearing her talk about my husband.  He is my husband and I am the only person allowed to bitch about him.  Got it?  seriously, I don’t need someone else telling me what Eric needs to do or not do.  He/we are doing everything that we know how to do.  Now get off our backs!

Am I overreacting?  Maybe.  But right now I am doing the best I can with what I have.  These are crappy times my friend, crappy times.  The best I can do is muddle through and hope I don’t die from a stress induced heart attack in the meantime.

What we did at the beach
August 30, 2008, 11:15 pm
Filed under: hobbies, trips | Tags: , , , ,

Today we went to the beach.

You can drive right up to the water. 

It is cool until the tide comes in.  Then you have to move your car back every 10 minutes.

We played in the sand. 

We saw a man sailing.

We saw a re-enactment from Alfred Hitchcock’s, The Birds. 

And then we saw one of these. 

It is a spinner shark.

It was doing this. 

We decided it was time to go home.

A bit of a ?
August 26, 2008, 4:26 pm
Filed under: food, great big ?, hobbies, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , ,

A list of things that I don’t understand.  This is not a complete list.

knitting and crochet.   I understand that at some point in history this was a highly desirable skill and artform.  But let’s face it, nothing crocheted or knitted has been in style since 1972.

Doll collecting.  People actually want to collect things that could become posessed by the devil?  And even if they are never posessed, they still stare at you with those glassy, lifeless eyes.  Creepy. 

People that don’t like sushi.  Really , this should be considered a character flaw. 

People that don’t like animals.  See above.

My son’s facination with public urination .  I am the mom at the park whose son is peeing on the playground equipment.  He must get that from his father.

I am sure more will come to me later but I have a dinner date to prepare for.

What would happen if I won the lottery?
August 25, 2008, 5:57 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I have always considered myself pretty unlucky.  I am the person that gets the losing ticket just before the winning one.  If I sat down at a slot machine and played for hours, I would win $5 and the next person that sat down would win $500 (actually that did happen to me in Vegas).  So the question is, can I change my luck?

What if I said that I am a very lucky person?  Hmm…do you think that things would magically go my way?  I am going do an experiment for a month on my luck.  I need some parameters.  what constitutes good luck?