September has been a difficult month so far and it isn’t over yet. The difficulty is in the complexity of everything. It is a month of getting not what I had hoped for but little somethings that together may help us make it through this.
The bank has finally offered us a deal on the house. The deal is, they will restructure the loan if we will literally agree to re-buy the house. This means we go back to square one of the loan on their terms. So, there is a lower interest rate (awesome and thanks be to G_d) but there is also a new, longer, term that starts over. So these first five years of payments are kind of just gone. The principal goes back up to close to the original amount and the payments are spread over 40 years instead of thirty. Starting now. As I said, I’m repurchasing my house. But I might just be able to make it.
Also, it is time to separate the health insurance from my husband. So I’m in the process of shopping around for health care. Fortunately a good friend of mine is an insurance broker. I trust him and his staff to come up with the best plan available for the money. Hubby will stay on COBRA. Hopefully that will last until the end.
And lastly, my beautiful piano has just sold.
It’s time to abandon the hormone therapy. That means twelve weeks of chemo. I don’t know what is next if this doesn’t slow it down. I’m trying to keep him from feeling how I feel. But things are better now. And I don’t want him to be alone.
I’m lucky enough to have parents who are willing to help. The mortgage company is determined to have us on the street. They refuse to do anything. I really don’t know what they think will change. But, as I said, my parents are trying to buy a house here so that we have a roof over our heads. I don’t know that I will ever be able to pay them back for this.
As a general suggestion to Uncle Sugar, do us all a favor and stop calling it “Making Home Affordable.” Call it like it is and just say, “Making Home Impossible.” If the banks don’t have to help widows and orphans then it’s time to pack it in altogether. Your administration is a FAIL, sir. Not angry, just realistic.
Recently hubby became much more like his old self. It worried me. To me, that meant that the hormone therapy was not working. As his PSA began rising the doctor continued to tell us not to worry. Now, even he cannot ignore it anymore. So we are saying goodbye to the hormone shots and starting a round of chemo. This is the third type of treatment that we’ve tried. Hormones and radiation in addition to the surgical corrective procedures worked for a little while. So now we hit the hard stuff and see if we can slow this monster any further. If not, then at least we are more prepared emotionally to deal with the next stage, together. It’s good to have him back.
My devotion the angels is rivaled only by their devotion to me. Today I was soundly smacked upon my greying pate with the realization that I owe taxes even though I’ve already filed my extension. I have never had to pay quarterly taxes in the 15 years I have run my business. Hubby’s withholding from his paycheck has always covered the tax bill. But, so far in 2010, hubby has no paycheck. Ergo no withholding. Ergo I must file quarterly. Now, since I’ve never done this in my life, and I’ve already filed the extension for 2009, I figure someone upstairs must be responsible for my sudden realization before the filing date. So, as they say, the check is in the mail. I find it only slightly ironic that the IRS wants the same amount to go away as the doctor wants.
One might think this post is about my son’s best friend who pretty much lives with us 50% of the time. However, he sleeps on my son’s sofa in his room. No, the person now occupying the guest room is me. As lovely and soft as the sofa in our room is, it is still a sofa and designed to be sat upon, not slept upon.
This has resulted in a new, albeit very odd, turn of phrase during conversations. Hubby now says “my room” instead of “our room.” Since we have frequent guests, I don’t think I really have a room. Not that I’m complaining; I still have this house and that means a great deal. Besides, the only thing we have more of than sofas is desks. That means I can always have my choice of sleeping arrangements when actual guests come to visit. It just depends upon the guests.
My parents, who have been more than helpful, know the situation and so I just stay downstairs. However, some friends from hubby’s high school are coming in a couple of weeks. I’m thinking the sofa in the master bedroom will be put to use again just to avoid the questions.
Major milestone was hit last month! Thanks to the generosity of George D. Greenberg, Esq., hubby and I have completed and filed our wills and trusts. Up to this point hubby had refused to even talk about making a will. The level of relief this brings me is considerable to say the least. Our oldest just turned 18 and our youngest is only 11 and has a disability. Making sure that whatever is left of our estate is left to them in a trust was a major concern. Also, there are certain items (motorcycle being one) that are registered to my husband only. For the love of Pete, did he think that just because he dies all that stuff goes to me without probate? Enter Mr. Greenberg. For nothing other than the filing fees, he provided us with all the documentation and legal paperwork for our wills, our living trusts, trusts for both the kids and conditions under which money may be drawn, homestead documents, and DNR documents. I cannot thank him and his assistant enough for the peace of mind they have given us.
Anyone need a piano? This week’s task has been to look around at the larger items that we do not use on a daily basis and try to come up with a list of what we can live without. As much as it pains me, the piano is at the top of this list. I love our piano. But the boys no longer take lessons and it is worth a lot of money. Hopefully I will be able to sell it for a reasonable amount.
In yet another attempt to keep a roof over our heads, I have filed the paperwork with the mortgage company for the Making Home Affordable program. I have yet to hear of anyone that has been approved for this program though I know certain friends have tried.
The form itself was 8 pages long. Not too bad. Then there was the 4506T-EZ, the utility bill copy, the profit & loss business statement, the previous two years’ tax returns, the W2s, the pay stubs, four months of personal checking statements, four months of business checking statements, car loan statement, vehicle title copies, and the signature in blood.
So now the game is this: I call every week until I get an answer. The first call was right after the half hour faxing marathon to make sure all the pages came through. My fax machine is SO not happy with me and may need replacing. The second call came the week after the fax. And, as I say, the calls must continue weekly to let them know that I am serious about the kind of hardship we are in and that, with the help of this program, I can survive.
The catch is, it is now taking up to a year to be approved. A YEAR! We will have lost more than the house by then.
With 2009 coming to a close, I thought it best to start going through some tax stuff now. Glad I did. It gave me the chance to realize that we were sitting on the line of the 7% cutoff for medical write-offs. So I made sure to pay a couple more of those bills to shove us pretty well over the line.
What I didn’t realize (and you may not either) is that in order to get the write-off on your taxes for medical bills, your expenses, not including insurance premiums, must exceed 7% of your Adjusted Gross Income, NOT your taxable income. That is a huge distinction. Many thanks to my brother for pointing that out.
Just one more tidbit of trivia that only comes in handy when you wish it didn’t.