Woah….. six months since I last posted?? How insane is that?
Ok, it’s been a busy six months. Getting my feet back under me after the whole health thing in April…. good news is that at my 3 month check up we reduced my meds by half the numbers were that good, the bad news is that coming up on my 6 month check in I’ve gotten sloppy about my record keeping, the numbers I think should still be good, but I need to keep my spreadsheets up to date. Also, having trouble keeping to the exercise routine – working nights makes scheduling havoc. Good news is I’ve lost 50 lbs – well 75 if you count the highest I hit (2 yrs ago), bad news is that seems to have plateaued now. Maybe getting the exercise routine more routine will help that. Good news is no apparent nerve damage in the feet or the eyes, eye doc made me buy glasses for driving, can’t stand wearing them all the time (same story of my life), but I do wear em for driving and sometimes watching TV. Bad news is I think I’m fighting another case of plantar fasciitis (had it once 30 yrs ago), combined with the arthritis that is always present, the pain in my feet, especially when working, is excruciating. Unfortunately the only cure is rest and time, rest I won’t get – my job requires me to be on my feet 8 hours a night. And as for time – been going on 2 months now. I’m hoping that a couple light weeks over the holidays will help. I’d been thinking about the diagnosis, the scheduling and now the foot thing and talking to the doctor when my 6 month review comes up about getting me onto Employment Insurance on medical grounds. However, that’s a risky proposition – I’d been meaning to have a market stall for the the cordials and drinks up and running for the Christmas boost, but it just didn’t happen in time, so that’s going to have to wait until the spring.
Which leads to the always difficult money discussion. Finding work for us both, while only part time, did mean we were out of the fire so to speak – there was still a lot of detritus in it’s wake that needed cleaning up. Still it wasn’t BAD, just .. not good. We figured a small mortgage – clean up the financial mess and the house mess and get both houses in order. Didn’t quite work out that way, almost a year of headaches and false starts and ….. stress, we ended up in a mortgage situation that was by all accounts toxic, but at least it would be something to build on. But it wasn’t what we needed to clear the house situation, although it did take care of the bad debts, but the terms were horrific and it cost us almost $10K to get there. This year we went looking for a better deal….. well it IS better … its a fast pay out at least, but we’re into another $8K just to land the deal, still no money to work on the house and the payments are double. It does put us seriously into the “we’re gonna be eating a lotta kraft dinner and hot dogs” territory. The new lender does have a different approach and is all very patronizing and paternalistic in their approach and is all “you naughty children, we’re doing this for your own good and…” yeah. But… again the process dragged out to the point where our feet were to the fire and there wasn’t a lot of choice in the matter. Good news is it IS a fast pay out, it was a bit of a wake up call regarding personal business stuff here, and it’s a 5 yr term, so we don’t have to go through this again next year unless we want to pursue a better loan option. The frustrating part is that each time we go through this process it costs us thousands, and we’re now into a $45K loan situation and still have never seen the $15K we needed to the work on the house, and until we put the work into the property, we’re not going to see an increase in the value to extend any further credit to. The payments are deep enough that I just can’t risk taking any kind of medical leave from work. I’m just going to have to suffer through it, and hope it starts clearing up and pray that something better turns up that’ll get me off my feet.
Yeah a bit depressing.
That said. Here’s the important bit. James and I are madly in love. I *am* managing my health well, we’re stressed but we have each other and Jessica and the dogs and our friends and our volunteer work – we’ve got the important stuff. The rest is just money. And as much as our lender would sneer to hear us say it – it IS just money, and money has never been that important to us (I suppose that’s how we ended up here). We’ve lived through NO employment, NO welfare, and selling off furniture to eat. We’ve had money and spent it, and we’ve been broke and done without. We will get through this, things will get better, and we are on our way OUT of the mess, it just wasn’t quite as neat and tidy as a nice wee $55K mortgage at 7.5% over 20 yrs and $450/mnth. MAYBE if we can keep this going for a year or two, and pay it down some, and put the bad debt further in the past … we can eventually find a lender willing to do $65K at 7.5% over 20 yrs… that puts us in the $500/mnth range ($600 with taxes) …. which is a $200/mnth saving over where we’re at now, and will actually get the work done on the house. The new lender would have a cow – they’re all very “NO DEBT, NO DEBT, NOOOOOOO DEBT!!!” and I’ll agree, no, or little debt is a very fine goal and one we DO keep in front of us, but ya know – adding heat to the upstairs is also a very fine goal. And if we keep to the payment schedule and are able to dump a little extra cash into it now and again we might even be able to keep that down to the original $50K plan – now that would be nice, but I’m also keeping in mind that sometime in the next 5 yrs we’re gonna need a new roof as well.
The other carrot we’re keeping in front of our noses, is the promise we made to Jessica to do all we can to get her into Aardman Studio’s Master Class in Character Animation for the 2018 semester. Between her savings (if we can keep our paws off it) and our savings (yeah right) and maybe a little help from family, and a GoFundMe we can make that happen. We’ve already had some very kind help getting her a kiln to work on her character sculptures – which should be paid back in the next week.
So right now it’s just getting through the holidays, always a busy time personally and financially, waiting on the mortgage and how much out of pocket that’s going to be, waiting on the income tax – hopefully any day now, waiting on another cheque and a couple of larger contract jobs James has in the pipes to pay out, and get David’s airline ticket for the holidays and arrange the time off to go pick him up and….
Taking today to clean the decks, catch up the paperwork, turn over a fresh page and make sure nothing gets lost in the hustle and bustle. There’s still a lot of plans on deck, stuff in the pipeline so to speak. Much to do on the PETSCORT scene and I’ll talk a bit about James plan to do Fixit workshops at the market, possibly alternating with me doing a set of DIY workshops, sticking our toes into the whole Maker / Teacher / Workshop coordination “Nouveau Arts and Crafts Movement” vision.
Speaking of which … this was supposed to be a Market Day Post but *snerk* it went in an entirely other direction. That’s ok… Market Day Post and recipe coming up.