finding delight in the mundane since 1936


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I feel like I've been writing and calling every second since 7am. I've been trying to straighten some things out, fill out some forms, stay positive. I flipped out when my computer slowed down for 5 minutes and I couldn't retrieve a number from my cell phone. What did we ever do without these tech-y things?

The photo above is of my great-grandfather's Remington Noiseless type-writer. It sits next to a pile of unread books in my home office. Some keys are missing, it's covered in dust and weighs about 10 times as much as my macbook pro. But I still like looking at it and imagining what it would be like if we still used it to communicate. I'd probably choose to hand write all of my letters. I have an old fashioned phone too, the kind without voicemail, internet, games, calculator, texting, or apps. Old stuff requires much more patience and creativity.

I'm kind of a sucker for old stuff: Old houses, old cars, old furniture, old pictures, old memories.

This photo is from 1904 of my great, and great-great grandfather (the previous owner of the Remington Noiseless).

yes, I have a houndstooth obsession, also! But I've already changed to the transitional spring/summer purse and put the winter scarf in a winter pile.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Grace for today, Hope for tomorrow

This gorgeous photo was taken by a neighbor. His kids found it in the yard. It is so perfect for what I need today, Grace and Hope.

My apologies for yesterday's rant. I might need to start a separate blog for that!

In the meantime, I'm trying to live this day to the fullest and appreciate what's around me.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Eye-Opening Reality

Can I be brutally honest? I am in a HAM program.

It has nothing to do with meat!
That's short for Making Home Affordable Loan (I guess)? It's a home modification program through my mortgage company. I've been in it, on a trial basis, for TEN MONTHS.
I've made ALL of my trial payments ON TIME, filled out ALL of the paperwork, even held my tongue when I've received ALL of the letters that indicate that the rest of the company doesn't know that I'm even IN the HAM program and wonders why I haven't paid the 'regular' payments in ten months.

Last month the HAM program sent a letter asking for a profit & loss statement. I didn't even know what that was. I'm part-time self employed so I guess they need even more than what 3 full years of Tax returns could provide. I googled it, threw something together after a long sleepless night and faxed it over to them.

Today I received a letter from the company saying that the mortgage company is one step away from starting the foreclosure process. I immediately called them and reminded them that I was in the HAM program. They replied very glibly, "Oh yeah, you were denied for the modification but they are trying you in a new program and will probably want that Profit & Loss statement Plus MUCH more paperwork"

Huh? All I could think is, WHY are you all stringing me along and taking my money, while providing me with false hope? I just called last week to make sure they received the P&L statement I had faxed over and they said "Yes, we got it and we're processing your loan, just give us a call in a week!". Now I know, that was a lie.

(insert extreme frustration here)

In the meantime, I am praying that this all goes through. But if for some reason it doesn't, I'm taking lots of pictures and trying to remember the good times that I had here.

btw, here's a letter that I wrote to my congressman:

Greetings. I am writing to you to voice my opinion and perhaps seek help.

In July 2009, I enrolled in the Making
Home Affordable Loan Modification program for my home’s mortgage company, CitiMortgage.
According to the news, many banks received TARP and bailout relief funds last year.

I, however, have received Nothing but empty promises. Ten months later, CitiMortgage’s HAM Program is still stringing me along; asking for unreasonable amounts of documentation, leaving hang-tags on my door and sending harassing letters that they disregard as "normal" when I call them.

For ten months, (as opposed to the 3 month trial period they originally told me), I've dealt with the anxiety that I could loose my home at any minute. A home that I purchased 12 years ago, before my Grandmother and Mother passed away, before I lost my job, before I got drop kicked to the curb by my mortgage company as if I haven't done anything for my community, and as if I'd squandered money like some greedy CEO who doesn't have to pay for his consequences. I am frustrated beyond belief that the burden of this nations' financial crisis has to fall on MY humble, hardworking shoulders.

What role does Congress play in representing and protecting the American people? While you rejoice in your successes, you need to be reflective of the pressure and strain that you have placed on regular citizens, many without health insurance, many without enough money to pay MORE taxes to support the lifestyles that Bank executives AND Congress are accustomed to and make decisions about, and many of whom, will soon be lying in the gutter without one red cent to their name. I pray that even if I loose it ALL, I will still use my voice to the best of my God-given ability, to Scream, if necessary, about the weight of the load that I’ve been forced to carry.

Congress should be ashamed for representing THEIR OWN interests, not the interests and welfare of the American People.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

My house is NOT busting at the seams

Every time I watch ABC's "Extreme Makeover Home Edition" I find myself fighting back the tears. There are so many people, so willing to take in children who need a home, even if their own home isn't perfect. They are such selfless and caring people who are living under dire conditions. Tonight, "Extreme Makeover Home Edition" built a home for the 13 member, Hill family. It's not hard to get swept up in the love this family has for one another.

It is there that I usually stop myself and say, "I can't do that as a single woman, I need to work and the kids would just be carted off to day care all day long" or I'll say "I can barely support my self and my little dog, let alone a family".

During my last house renovation, a woman in the neighborhood was admiring the changes I had made. She said, "I can tell that this is what you're passionate about." I thought about it for a moment and replied, "I'd really like to provide affordable yet stylish housing by just recycling old, ugly or abandoned homes, making them functional again." I couldn't believe those words came out of my mouth, because I still have no idea HOW I would do that?!

My mom taught me many things, but mostly not to be a naysayer!
Mark 10:27 says, "With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God."

There are things that I'd like to do my home (take down some dead trees, do some much needed landscaping, repair some rotten trim, fix the basement, add more bedrooms and bathrooms, etc.), but who would that benefit? Though I am content being a S.I.N.K. (single with no kids), I often wonder if I'm being selfish with all that I've been blessed with.

In a nearby town, whole neighborhoods have been devastated by the foreclosure crisis. Some of these bank owned homes are listed for sale from $11,000-$50,000.
Hard to believe, right? Why do we have so many homeless families AND empty dwellings?
These houses need some TLC, but would make wonderful homes for so many families.

This adorable house recently went under contract! It's asking price was $29,000!

Meanwhile, I dream of seeing a whole neighborhood transformed and "recycled", and perhaps, God willing, that I may serve as a Foster parent or adopt some children that are in need of a loving family.
Then, maybe, MY home and heart WILL be busting at the seams!

btw, I just saw a segment on the local news about Warrick Dunn, whose mother died when he was young. She had always wanted to purchase a home of her own. Warrick, who is a Falcon Football player, has assisted more than 85 single parents with becoming homeowners!
He's realizing his dream!

Monday, April 5, 2010

What's in a Name?

This morning a sudden realization was placed on my heart.

What does the word Glorious really mean?

1. Exhibiting attributes, qualities, or acts that are worthy of or receive glory; noble; praiseworthy; excellent; splendid; illustrious; inspiring admiration; as, glorious deeds. [1913 Webster]

These are thy glorious works, Parent of good ! --Milton. [1913 Webster]

2. Eager for glory or distinction; haughty; boastful; ostentatious; vainglorious. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]

Most miserable Is the desire that's glorious. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

3. Ecstatic; hilarious; elated with drink. [Colloq.] [1913 Webster]

kings may be blest, but Tam was glorious, O'er all the ills of life victorious. --Burns. [1913 Webster]

During his office treason was no crime, The sons of Belial had a glorious time. --Dryden.

Syn: Eniment; noble; excellent; renowned; illustrious; celebrated; magnificent; grand; splendid. -- Glo"ri*ous*ly, adv. -- Glo"ri*ous*ness, n. --Udall. [1913 Webster]

Sing ye to the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously. --Ex. xv. 21. [1913 Webster]

I speak it not gloriously, nor out of affectation. --B. Jonson. [1913 Webster]

Source: The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48

Above all, these verses, in particular, stuck out:

"Blessed be your glorious name, and may it be exalted above all blessing and praise." Nehemiah 9:5

"Praise be to his glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen and Amen." Psalm 72:19

In fact, the word glorious is used more than 50 times in the bible, most referring to God and his name, presence, grace, joy, throne, riches, splendor, beauty, crown. If Glorious refers to God and his holiness, who am I to use it to describe the delights of things that I can only see: earthly, material things that can burn up in a fire?

As a child, my grandmother sang the "count your blessings" song to me, and she lived by example. She also taught me to stop and smell the roses on a regular basis. So, I am trying to appreciate those things that I would otherwise take for granted.

My original idea for the name of this blog was to show how grateful I am for the small things, in this time of my life when I don't have plenty, when loosing my job, home and "things" is a real possibility. Rather than wince, I'm trying to simply appreciate my surroundings and circumstances "today" and dwell on the things that are eternal. Finding delight in the mundane causes me to view average/everyday stuff as glorious, but temporal.

So, as I contemplate my blog name, and the increasingly large pile of things I have to do this week, I'm in a temporary holding pattern until I get some clarity on the subject from the one whos name is Glorious.

have a great week!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

He is Risen! Hallelujah!

May you have a happy & joyous Easter!