It’s raining, it’s pouring, BGIM is cracking

There are times when to be frank, being an adult just sucks. It sucks long and hard and right now in BGIM land I am not digging this adult thing. Clearly 2012 has decided to end on one of those notes, where it doesn’t just rain, but it fucking pours.

I have worked hard to not allow myself to get too bummed out about life and in recent months, I have tried to refrain from getting too personal online for a variety of reasons. As I have become very aware of the criticism that can be leveled at so-called mom bloggers for the life decisions we make, I decided that I have enough stress in life without leaving myself open to the harsh words of people I don’t know. I tend to brush off most people and criticism but I know when I am stressed, my defenses are down and I am more inclined to take things personally and after seeing my dreams literally needing to be held together with a Hefty bag and masking tape this week, I am feeling vulnerable and emotionally fragile.

Writing is my outlet and it always has been and after weeks of writing in the journal and talking to my inner circle, I am taking my woes public…I admit I have an ulterior motive but rest easy I am not about to hit you up, but I will have a request.

The drama started a few weeks ago when I went to the dentist, if you have been a long time reader of BGIM, you may recall that in late 2010 and in early 2011 I had some dental woes. Back in 2010 I went to the dentist and was told I needed 5 fillings and possibly 1 crown, but we were still struggling to get back on our feet financially, so I needed to delay the work. Not long after that assessment I had not one but two dental emergencies that required extractions and was still saving up my shekels to get the original work well done. It took some time but I did it and trust me when you are struggling to regroup, getting $1800 together for dental work feels good. Only problem is now almost 2 years later, those 5 fillings are now 5 crowns and $1800 worth of work has morphed into almost $9000 worth of work.

I admit I was momentarily stunned, but figured somehow we could make this happen, hell I even looked into going out of the country which is still a possibility since the cost of the work will be almost halved even with travel costs. It’s bad but hey, my credit is on the upswing since it turns out I did qualify for Care Credit, the credit racket to pay for medical/dental expenses that aren’t covered by insurance. The interest rate is only a cool 26.99%, I am fairly sure a guy named Uncle Vinny might be cheaper.

So while I was sitting here trying to save my teeth, shit really happened, some involving family which means those stories aren’t mine to share but the expense meter is running.

The final straw came a few nights ago, when I was standing in my kitchen making a cup of tea and I heard an ominous sounding boom over my head. We live in a single family house and right over the kitchen is part of the Spousal Unit’s office and one of the lower roofs of our multi-roofed house. When you hear an ominous sounding boom over your head and there are no other tenants over your head it is not a good thing, in fact all that boom really means is that your new BFF is about to be a guy called a general contractor.

The long and the short is it looks like we need a new ceiling and while the lovely Spousal Unit has offered to give it a shot, he has many talents but home improvement isn’t one of them. In fact I was more nervous when he started poking around after we saw the ceiling tiles bulging after the boom and we found beams, drywall and wires. However when we realized the tiles were bulging at 9pm at night, with no idea who to call, there was no choice but to let the lovely man poke around and come up with a temporary fix since the area was almost directly over the stove. So tomorrow we start the estimate process with contractors but in the meantime, the man has patched the main hole with a Hefty bag and masking tape. Here in BGIM land we keep it real, fuck duct tape, we got masking tape.

My ole man’s handy work…ain’t it ugly and tacky?

Then just when this week couldn’t get any worse, at 5pm yesterday I get an email from a partner agency that my agency works with, it seems the benefit concert I have been busting my ass to plan is scheduled for the same night in the same complex as our partner’s fall auction. It seems the human whose job it is to know this shit, didn’t realize that our agencies share funders and donors so having our events on the same night is just bad. Oh, and did I tell you about the email I had received an hour before that about the push for fall fundraising. See, the Executive Director of a non-profit especially at a small-medium sized agency is basically just the beggar in chief, oops that would be fundraiser.

So it’s raining, pouring, and just plain old storming in BGIM land, but I have a plan and that’s where I need your help. After mulling it over for a few weeks, despite the fact that I now officially have a full-time job, I need to take on some extra work aka freelancing. I have been in touch with my very real network offline letting folks know I am open to taking on grant writing clients again as well consulting clients, sleep is overrated anyway. Now I am casting my net to my virtual community, I know I have writing/blogging pals that read here and if you have any leads for paying gigs (sorry, I am only working for cash these days) and are up for sharing, please let me know. I had toyed with taking a holiday gig, but my schedule really doesn’t allow me to commit to shift work since the downside of my job is evening meetings and this time of year is one of our busiest with the holidays. Since needy folks tend to be even needier during the holidays but I can give up sleep and write and research.

I admit for a moment I had thought about doing a crowdfunding thing but honestly there are so many people doing em with so many things that need to be funded, that really what’s special about my shit? Not a thing and my past experience in online begging  tells me I better stick with what I know, which is grant-writing , writing and consulting. That said, if you just won a million bucks, feel free to use the tip jar on this blog, I am not turning down nothing but my collar at this point!

Lastly if you are a good thoughts/vibes or prayer person, keep the BGIM clan in your thoughts, good thoughts mean a great deal at this point. So if this space suddenly goes dark or posts aren’t as often as they have been, it’s probably a good sign that I am busting my ass with work.


PS: As for the dental issues, I have looked at all low cost options which in Maine as a rural state are greatly limited and no we don’t have a dental school in Maine. When I tweeted the dental drama as it was happening, I received many good suggestions but the upside of running a social service agency is that I know all about social services in my area.


Tuesday Reveries

It’s Tuesday and apparently Mother Nature is really mad or something because despite the fact we are mere days away from May, it feels more like late November. Oh yeah, we have had a few teaser days where the sun comes out, you break out the flip flops and start doing the happy dance only to be put back in your place the next day.

Anyhoo, just some drive by thoughts today, no rhyme or reason just shit that has popped into my mind that I thought I would share with you.

First up, why did I wake up this morning to a neighbor’s rather large dog, running loose up and down the street with no master in sight? I make no bones about the fact that I am not a dog person in fact I get down right scared when I see a large dog not on a leash and with no human owner near by. I blame this on the fact that at 8, I was chased fast and furiously by a dog and damn near got bit. Since then, I have had no love for the pooches though having 2 kids who are dog lovers has made me at least tolerate smaller dogs with a couple of breeds such as this one and this one almost winning my heart. Emphasis on almost but by and large me and the pooches are just two things that won’t ever go together.

So thanks to Mr. Pooch running up and down the street he put the kibosh on my plans to walk to the dentist for some much needed exercise. Instead I had the man drop me off and I did a smaller walk afterward, straight to the café for some much needed breakfast.

Speaking of the dentist, it was time for a return visit. Despite my misgivings about returning to the original dentist who referred me to the oral surgeon from hell, I have simply invested too much money in this guy to start the search for another primary dentist. Today’s visit was caused by the tooth that needs a cap deciding to give me some trouble…well after yet another round of x-rays (damn those little photos are costly) we have decided to go the extraction route. Seems that pesky second molar officially needs another root canal which with the cap would mean that one little tooth way way in the back of my mouth would cost damn near $3000 to fix. Even the dentist said if was him he would be hesitant to put that kind of money into a tooth that has already had a root canal. Damn, I am a speshul snowflake, how many folks need to get a root canal on tooth that has already had one? Yep, that’s how I roll.

While we are on the subject of money, why did the office staff at the dentist office seem perturbed that the dentist only charged me for the x-ray and not the exam? Cool ya roll as my Granny used to say, it’s not your cash. Gee, it’s about time this fella starts cutting me a deal; I am going broke just on x-rays and exams.

So while we are talking money, I decided a few nights ago to revisit all my debts to see where I am and the running tally is $224,827.23. Nope you read that right, yeah I am bumming, seems despite my frugality the interest is accruing faster than the debt is getting paid off. Needless to say I am exploring my options and thinking I may be taking the leap from thinking about calling a bankruptcy attorney to actually making that call. Yep, looks like the girl is officially going bankrupt. A friend asked me how I felt about that, I said if it happens it might actually be a relief since when I calculated how long it would take me to get this paid off at the current rate of payment I will be 63, the man will be 68 and we will have no retirement account whatsoever. Seems like a sure fire recipe for senior years spent dining on Fancy Feast. So that’s what’s on my mind today.

PS: Not all that debt is not credit cards, it’s actually student loans, and back taxes medical bills and a very small amount of credit card debt. So it’s not all dis chargeable by bankrupt but if I have done my homework well enough of it is, that it would give me a clean enough start.