Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Looking at the bright side

In all honesty, at this point the "bright side" seems to be illuminated with a 50-watt novelty bulb, but I know things aren't as bad as they seem.

Brief run down of things: the duplex we were living in, on the east side, had electrical issues.  As in, we were awoken one morning by a loud pop to find that suddenly none of the outlets in the living room or the girls' room worked anymore, plus one outlet in our bedroom.  This past Wednesday was the last straw; we had just turned off the lights & were laying there talking when the power went out in our room.  Now, this isn't exactly new.  The breaker flips all the damned time.  This time, no noise from that happening.  Erik went & flipped the breaker anyway, and flipped it back, and I could see the a/c trying to power itself up, but it just couldn't draw enough current to do so.  At that point, we deemed the fire hazard too high to try to tough it out further, so we racked out the girls and went to a motel for the night.

Now, we'd been planning to move anyway.  I set back $1000 from my Pell Grant check to cover deposit + first month's rent.  This should give y'all an idea of our budget.  We really don't have wiggle room in it.  My mother had already said we could bunk with her a little while, having just moved into a larger trailer.  So we've been here a week now, and I hadn't intended to be here past the weekend really. 

This is where the bright side comes in: one, that she was in a position and of a disposition to allow us to do this.  My mother & I don't exactly get along like gangbusters, but she'll come through in a pinch.  It's a bit of a tense situation already, though, because of her negative disposition that I've mentioned several times.  She's not upset that we're here, she just gets on the kids for every little thing they do.

Well, Friday we went & looked at a little shotgun shack over on the west side, just a few blocks from the baseball stadium.  Hemmed and hawed, finally made the decision to go for it...Just in time to learn it was taken.  (Oh, this was after driving to Seguin to look at a duplex that was for rent...$400 a month or no, I expect my next residence to have a toilet that's actually attached to the sewage pipe, not sitting across from it accusingly.) 

So, shit.

Yesterday, Erik went to take the girls from school.  Had some trouble getting back.  Battery ran down.  Had to have it jumped.  Was going to go to Wal-Mart & replace it; didn't make it.  Finally wound up hoofing it to Wal-Mart, buying a new battery, walking back to where his truck was, and installing it himself. 

This morning: repeat.  Sort of.  Wound up having to leave the truck on the shoulder of an on-ramp & take a taxi back here.  Started looking into a tow to FM 78 Auto Care Center.  I took my Taurus to these guys years ago.  They did good work, and I knew they were well above-board, because I had a taillight out because of a loose cable, and they didn't charge me to fix it, just did it with all the other work.  So we're talking about doing this and Erik  was looking at his account balance, which said $6.54.  Well, shit.  Not exactly gonna cover a tow and a new alternator, huh?

But...we didn't get that little house.  So we still had $1000 sitting in the account I share with my mother.

To cut a long story before it gets ridiculously longer...A few hours later, we are out half of our moving fund.  We're stuck here with my mother at least another week.  Erik's entire next paycheck is going to re-stock the moving fund, and we'll probably still be a bit short, but oh well.  My child support the next two weeks will be going into the gas tank, putting a temporary halt on taking the kids out for dinner.

But...Erik works retail.  Generally gets off at 11pm.  The last bus that comes out here leaves the Park & Ride at 10pm.  We have the money.  It hurts to lose half our moving fund, but we have the money to fix the truck, and Erik's not even missing one day of work, and the kids won't miss even one day of school.

A rash of bad luck, yes.  But, not one without mitigating factors.

And for unadulterated good...My darling mother-in-law bought me a Kindle for my birthday.  Being smart, she got the Kindle with Special Offers (that, in the 3G version, costs the same as the non-3G Kindle without the special offers).  This week's special offer from Amazon?  100 Biographies/Memoirs for $1.  And I had $3.24 gift card balance.  Free book!  (Yes, I am that easy to please.)

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