Monday, March 31, 2008

It's a Good Thing

I have always been a huge fan of Martha Stewart. Until that nasty little prison term for whatever she did that was illegal. But I do still admire the fact that she has her own chickens and irons her linens and adorns picture frames with simple things such as acorns. For serious, I watched an episode where she glued acorns all around a basic frame and it was beautiful. Anyway - in her old show, she used to have a segment and she would end it with, "It's a good thing." So here's my tribute to Martha. There are several good things from this weekend. First off, it's a good thing I have been sterilized. My friend and neighbor Keri had her little baby boy five weeks early on Friday. He is so tiny. And so are his socks and all his little baby clothes. In an effort to be helpful upon his unexpected early arrival, I washed a load of said tiny baby clothes. I had forgotten the pleasant aroma of Dreft. Like I said, it's a good thing I can't have any more babies.

It's also a good thing to be beaten into a pulp by your biggest rival in tee ball. I mean, some may say it sucks to lose (and it does), but I would say that a good loss every now and then just humbles you and makes you work harder. This is David's first real loss. Last year, he enjoyed baseball, but he really did not understand it. This being his second year, he has immersed himself in the sport and is loving every minute of it. When his little team got drilled into the ground on Saturday, he was very disappointed. And so were his parents. We want to see him and all his little team succeed. But I feel it will be a valuable lesson to him about hard work and working together as a team.

Orange paint is also a good thing. Especially when you can put it back in the garage along with all the painting tools because you are finally finished painting your son's room. I didn't think I would ever finish. And I still have some touching up to do on one of the walls, but it's nothing that the eye of a six year old little boy can detect. Me and my dumb rear made the mistake of telling my husband, "Wow! Wouldn't it be cool to pain the ceiling navy blue?" At first he didn't agree, but after seeing the orange on the wall, he understands my vision and is all psyched to do it. I have never painted a ceiling but can tell just from plain common sense that it is no easy feat. Hopefully, I can stall him for a while, because to be honest, I don't want to hold another paint roller for quite some time.

And one more good thing from this weekend is that I can now walk without a limp and put on regular shoes. Which means that this morning I will get dressed and go to purchase some better footwear for running. I only hope I will be able to run today. Running; it's a good thing.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Not Ready for This

Wednesday night, David had just gotten out of the tub. I had put Madalyn in to play for a minute, and I walked in David's room to chat with him. I have been working on painting his room this week (finally!) after talking about it for about a year now. And we were discussing how much he likes it and so forth. And then the ZeroMeth commercial comes on. David had asked me about a billboard once before that is near our Publix. He asked me, "Why did they put that ugly girl on that picture?" The billboard is just a close up of a young woman's face, and her lips are cracked and she basically looks like death warmed over. So I gave a little blow-off reply of, "Well it's about a drug that people do that is bad for their body." And his little innocent response was, "Why would anyone want to do that?"

Anyway, he sees the commercial Wednesday night, and it's the one where they show people snorting meth and being all nervous and basically looking terrible. And I know that David has no comprehension of anyone snorting anything, but it still bothers me that they put it in the commercial, though I fully understand it is to scare the crap out of kids and keep them from using meth. I will be honest; these commercials scare me. They are frightening. My whole being shutters to think that a substance can take hold of your body and soul and turn you into a slave who is willing to do anything to get more. I mean, if that doesn't scare you, then I don't know what would. So, David questions me about the commercial.

"Are those bad people?"
"Well, they are not necessarily bad people, they are just doing bad things."
"Like what?"
"Well, they did this bad drug that your body can get addicted to."
"What's addicted?"
"Uh, well, it means your body thinks you have to have it."
And as the commercial comes to a close, he begins to read the screen... "Zero... what does that say, mama?"
"Meth. ZeroMeth. Meth is the name of the drug."

I think life was easier when David couldn't read. So then I had to go into the fact that as he gets older, there will be a lot of things that will seem like they would be a lot of fun to do that are really bad for your body. And that he just needs to remember that as he grows up. Oh, boy. I am so not ready for this.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Self Diagnosis

Isn't the internet a wonderful thing? All the information you need for diagnosing your ailments right at your fingertips with no copay involved. I put on my white coat and diagnosed myself yesterday with retrocalcaneal bursitis. Let's all say that together ten times, very quickly. And I believe it is from improper fitting shoes. It is certainly not from over training. I have only been running every other day, and even though a mile seems like a lot to me, I don't think that is a tremendous stress on the human body. So my plan is to be fitted for some shoes that will meet the specific needs of my foot. And I am sure they will cost a small fortune. Thank God for income tax returns.

In other news, my nose is healing up quite well. I am beginning to sound like an old woman. Bursitis and precancerous nose. If I mention my hip anytime soon, someone please get me some help. I digress... My nose is looking better than it has in about a year. I have had this brown spot I believed to be a freckle. I guess it wasn't. I guess it was precancerous. Whatever it was, it is gone. The big scab peeled off my nose Sunday night and it is all fresh skin underneath. But I just sat there looking at this scab and thought, "Is that all of it? Did they freeze it all? Is this the only threat?" Because that is what it feels like. A threat. Some sort of uninvited invader. And it was only precancerous. Can you imagine how I would feel if it were the real deal and it had permeated below the surface? I don't ever want to know how that feels. So I will find a skin cancer specialist and get a second look at my nose. I also want someone to look at my back and my shoulders and chest. Anywhere that there could possibly be more. I am not worried about it. I just want to know. And if fixing it is as simple as freezing it off, then freeze every spot you find and get it off my body. So to you, my thousands of devoted daily readers, don't forget your sunscreen. And better yet, don't forget to put it on your children's little noses.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Stalled

Well, my running efforts have been temporarily stalled. I don't know what is going on or what I have done, but it hurts to walk much less run. Thursday, I had the best run, running the furthest I have ever run outside (which for me seems to be more challenging than the treadmill). And then Saturday, I couldn't even run a whole mile. My ligaments or tendons, whichever they are, behind and under my ankles are so sore, and I don't know what to do. I am so disappointed. I never thought I would be disappointed about not being able to exercise. But I just feel like my body has come so far and it was all beginning to feel more natural to me. And now I am afraid that I will lose my headway and have to start fresh again. I am thinking of going to some sort of shop that custom fits inserts for your shoes. I am beginning to think that might be the only way I will ever meet my goal. I know that I over-pronate with my left foot, and I have huge feet with huge joints that ache even when I am not running. So maybe it's time to bite the bullet and go seek some professional help. I think anyone that knows me knows I need all the professional help I can get.

On a more positive note, Madalyn is off to preschool this morning, and the house is silent again. I will cherish these sacred moments, because it will end all to quickly. I do love her dearly, but the past few weeks have been a never ending battle of writing on the walls and putting stickers on everything and whining. And it is so pleasant to sit here at the keyboard and not have her sitting behind me in a chair that is only meant for one person. I know I will miss her preschool years when she is grown, but I don't think I will ever miss her climbing behind me and wedging her little hiney behind my big one in this desk chair. Okay, on second thought, I probably will miss that one day. What seems irritating in the moment is somehow cute when you type it out.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Back to Normal


It may sound ugly to some, but I was glad to drop David off at school this morning. And will be equally ecstatic to take Madalyn tomorrow. A whole week of entertaining the both of them, as well as the husband being off work for a few days, have left me utterly exhausted. We had a good time, but I am glad to return to the mundane everyday of actually getting the laundry done.


Friday, we visited Desoto Caverns. I am a nerd at heart and secretly relish the history and science behind wonders such as these. I also had a surprising trip down memory lane. As we were waiting for our tour of the cavern to begin, I noticed this group of teenagers running about acting like, well, teenagers. And when the announcement came on overhead that there were only five minutes until the next scheduled tour, here they all came to get in line with us. I looked at Scott and said, "Great." They were so loud and annoyingly bubbly. And obnoxious. I mean, I really didn't like teenagers when I was one. So, I really don't like them now. When we got inside the cave, you sit down and they talk about the history a little and then turn off all the lights for you to experience total darkness. They request that you turn off all your cameras and cell phones that might radiate light so that you can truly experience the darkness. Of course, one of the teenagers was the only one to flash their camera during the dark time. And they were shamelessly flirting with our tour guide who looked, at best, fresh out of his teens as well. Did I mention how loud they were? And obnoxious? I commented to Scott, "I hope I didn't act like that when I was that age." Oh, but I did. Especially the flirting and loud part. I can remember every where I went flirting shamelessly with anything or anyone that closely resembled a male. It was ridiculous. And I know that I was loud. And I laughed loudly at really stupid things that didn't make any sense to the majority of the human population. And I had fun. So then I realized, was I irritated that the teenagers were being loud and obnoxious? Or was it because the obnoxious teenagers were having a lot more fun than I was? Hmmm...


Yesterday was nice. We dressed in our Easter outfits that were intended for last year, the year both kids got sick with the flu, and headed to the 11:00 service, which is so much easier to get to than the 9:30. And it was a beautiful service, not really even the typical Easter service, but really very challenging. And the music was just phenomenal. But I am so fortunate to go to a church where Kevin Derryberry is the music minister. He has an amazing and inspiring story and just a truly God-given talent for music. Well, it was just a nice day. Easter eggs and too much food and the works. But like I said, it's back to normal today. Which is better than any sun-filled day you could give me at this point.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Nose

Well, it is just as I knew in my heart. I have precancerous lesions on pretty much the entire surface of my nose. And I was extremely freaked out by it this morning when I got home, but I am at peace with it now. It is just precancerous, and he did freeze it all off this morning. Once it all heals, I plan on making an appointment with a dermatologist that specializes in skin cancer just to have a good look-over. I just didn't really gel with the doc today.

So now I will have to be even more cautious than ever. Scott makes fun of me the way I chase the children around applying sunscreen all day. Now I will be even worse I am sure. And I will have to be very careful of my own nose. The derm I went to said it is a bit rare to see this in a woman of my age and skin tone, but it must not be too uncommon. I'll have to find me a wide brimmed hat and sit out by the pool drinking mint juleps or something. I am going to feel (and look) like a total idiot with a big 'ole hat on all day. But I guess that's better than removing the nose.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Bowling

Well, we went bowling today. And it really went well I would say for David's second time and Madalyn's first. There was just this one little problem - Madalyn. And she may be small in stature, but she has a giant spirit. If she is in the room, everyone knows it. We were eating dinner with some friends the other night, and she started her squalling about something, and someone said, "She needs help." And I responded, "She needs help 24 hours a day. If she's awake, she needs you to do something for her." And Scott laughed and agreed with me (which is rare that we ever agree about the kids because I spend too much time with them and he not enough). But it is so true. She is just so high maintenance and demanding and constantly requiring something. She will scream for a certain cup to drink from. I'll get it down only for her to then want a different one. So, I'll get that one then for her to go back to the one I originally had. This is why I don't need any more kids. I cannot deal with these types of things. My level of anxiety has been through the roof lately, and I know that it is linked to my dealings with Madalyn.

Now, I will be the first to admit that I completely understand that I am in control of the general mood of the house. Being the adult and all, I know that I have choices and decisions to make about how I react to my children and therefore teaching them how they should react to me. But I will also admit that I am failing horribly with my children lately. I would just love for my kids to obey me the way I obeyed my parents. If my father said to me, "Take this yellow piece of paper and put it to the left of the stapler on the desk." Well, by George, that's what I did. There was no "Why?" or "I'll do it later." There was no discussion. You just simply did what you were asked to do. Granted, I was afraid of my parents, and I really don't want my kids to be afraid of me. But maybe it wouldn't be half bad for them to be a little scared from time to time. And it is more so an issue with Madalyn, because she just doesn't care. If I say that it's time to put on clothes to go somewhere, she starts running around the house. Unfortunately, my laundry room connects between my master bath and my kitchen. So she literally runs in a circle, and if she doesn't fall or stop, I can't catch her. So, I have started spanking her and then making her follow through with what I have asked her to do. Then I always follow up with, "When your crazy mama asks you to do something, you do it." Well, maybe I don't tell her that I am crazy. I don't think we need to spell that out. Even the kids are quite aware.

Oh, I am rambling in a horrible way. All of this to say, I don't know. I don't know, I don't know, I don't know. I wish I were that mom who just dripped with sweetness and oozed affection every second of the day. But I am not. And I wish I had more patience that could last me through walking down the gutters of the bowling lane three times to fetch a ball that didn't make it all the way down. But I don't. And I just inwardly struggle between the kind of mom that I am and the kind I want to emulate. And I guess I am doing an okay job. Even though at the end of most days I can find more that I have done wrong than right. But I do see that they both love me dearly. So, at the very least, I have taught them love. I think.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

We're Making It

Somehow, we have managed to make it nearly half way through the break. It has been relatively uneventful, though I must admit that the kids (particularly Madalyn) are absolutely exhausted. The weather has been perfectly spring-like, and we have spent most of our time outside. Tomorrow the rain will be here, but we plan to go bowling with some friends. That will definitely be an adventure worth writing about I am sure.

Other than that, life is just ordinary and boring. I have an appointment with a dermatologist on Thursday. My nose has been peeling and flaking for quite some time now, and I finally decided it was time to have a doctor take a look at it. You know, before I spend the entire summer out by the pool. I just hope it checks out okay. I don't want to have it cut into or big chunks cut out of it. Okay - time to switch the subject. I also have a hair appointment Thursday as well. Nothing big - just a cut. But I am so ready to cut it a little shorter and have a cute little spring cut. I'll be sure to post pictures of how ravishing I look after I have my nose removed from my face and all my hair cut off.

Friday, March 14, 2008

The Final Chapter

At last, the drama is over. My dealings with Quicken Loans have officially ended. I think. My dearest Marilyn called today, which was a bit of a surprise. For a moment, I thought, "Did I already write that letter instead of procrastinating like I normally do?" I had been planning on writing a rebuttal, but to be honest, I just needed a break from it all. Anyway, she left me a message that she needed to update me on my case and let me know there had been a "new development". So I phoned her back, and she explained that every now and again, her department gets together with their CEO (one of the men I wrote a letter to about three weeks ago) and they go over complaints filed and their resolutions. And upon discussing my case, the CEO thought the courteous thing to do would be to refund me the entire $500. You know, I am always a sucker for a courteous man. Common courtesy can get you a long way with me.

I can't help but breathe a sigh of relief. Not only because the money will be refunded, but mainly because I was really not looking forward to more back and forth with them. And I just assumed that this could go on for quite some time. But just out of the blue, the very thing I wanted in the first place happens, both unsolicited and unexpected. And finally, I can close that book. Thank God.

I had battled in my mind about the entire Quicken situation. I really wanted to pursue it. I really wanted to find an attorney who could nail the bastards and expose them for who they are. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that nothing would change. Nothing will ever change. People are dishonest. They lie, they cheat, they steal. And I am by no means perfect. Who am I to go on the rampage for morality and goodness? I don't know why, but I just wrestled with the idea of immersing myself in a litigation process that would make no difference in the world. And today, I can put all those thoughts aside and just forget about the whole thing. And I can rest easy in the old adage: "What goes around comes around."

Thursday, March 13, 2008

1.25

It's not much, and it is only a fraction of my goal distance. But it was mine today. Every last tenth of a mile. 1.25 miles. Officially a quarter over the mile mark. I am so excited. I kinda thought I could do the half marathon, and I mainly have been trying to convince myself. But today, when I was able to run past the mile mark without dying, I really believed that I can do this for the first time. Really believed it. Did I mention that I am a little excited about it?

So we are officially on our spring break. We've been at it now for about thirty minutes. We are all still living and breathing and no one has been injured. Yet. I have no idea what we are going to do for the next ten days. We have a practice game tonight with our baseball team. Scott is off next Thursday, Friday and Saturday. But in between, there's a high chance that my brain might explode inside my head and ooze out of all the openings of my upper body. My children have been on my last nerve as of late. Well, probably the last six years to be more accurate, but severely on my nerves the past couple of days. We cannot make it ten minutes without a fight, a squeal or screech at high decibel levels, or bloody wounds. I don't know what has gotten in to them, but it seems that all out war has been declared between the two of them. And then there are these odd moments here and there (when they have apparently called a truce) and they truly enjoy one another's company. But it is short lived, and then they are kicking and screaming and whining. So, I will have to find something to do with them so that all of us can make it through the beloved spring break alive.

Did I already say that I am stoked about running the half marathon? I am forever a nerd.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Mr. Governor

Unless you have not turned on the television or you simply cannot understand the English language, you must know about the dear New York governor who paid over four thousand dollars to get laid. I mean, just the thought is insane to me. Four grand could get me a lot more than laid. And I am always blown away by the poor wife that has to stand there during the press conference for her low-life husband. Does anyone remember the governor that had to come out and admit that he was gay (I can't remember what state and it has been well over a year ago)? I watched in horror as he comes clean with the nation and his precious, cute as a button wife standing beside him in absolute embarrassment. I mean, can you imagine? If my husband was stupid enough to pay a prostitute $4,000 for sex or to have an illicit affair with another man whilst acting as governor, I just don't think I could ever stand by his side again. Not even at a birthday party, much less on live television.

What is Spitzer thinking? Oh, wait... he's a man flooded with testosterone and power. He's not thinking. Obviously. Four thousand dollars for something he could have gone home and gotten for free. And I won't pretend he got the kind of relations from the call girl (apparently that's the politically correct term for a hooker these days) that he would have received from his wife. But isn't the end result the same? And now, he must face not only his wife but his two teenage daughters. Can you imagine how betrayed they must feel? The man that has taught them to respect themselves and how they should be treated by a boy on a date has resorted to paying a woman for sex. Talk about mixed messages. I know as parents, we are all guilty to some degree of sending mixed signals of what is right or wrong. But we don't all put ourselves in the position for public scrutiny. There is just a different and higher level of responsibility for public officials, whether they like it or not. And I don't really see many reaching the bar.

What a sad world. I know it has always been this way, and will be until the end of time, but I am just discouraged lately at such blatant immorality.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Oh Dear

Madalyn has a bit of an upset stomach today. This is the first intestinal issue we have dealt with since toilet training. She has already soiled one pair of Little Mermaid undies. Good thing I saved those pull-ups last week when I was cleaning out her closet. I knew they might come in handy one day. Cause if she craps her pants again, were moving to the diaper.

Oh, dear Lord, be with me. My patience is already nil.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Lovely Sunday

Saturday morning, we awoke to a light dusting of snow. Blah. I am tired of the cold and, frankly, don't even want to see snow if it's not enough to get out and play in. So, I sent the kids out on the deck (that's really the only place it stuck) and I pulled the blinds up so I could monitor them in the warmth of the house. It didn't last long, as this was more of a wet snow, not at all like the beautiful snow we had a couple of months ago. David came running in after fifteen minutes and his hands were freezing. He then said, "I'm ready for summer." Amen, brother.

And then, just twenty-four short hours after the falling of snow, came the most beautiful day ever. You've just got to love the South. We were heathens yesterday and didn't go to church. Our little alarm clock (aka Madalyn) slept in and we did as well. And we just played outside the whole day. Literally, the whole day. We even ate lunch on a blanket in the front yard with our neighbors. We were sitting there and cars were passing by and I told my neighbor that we must look like the American dream. Well, last night, I had a baby shower to attend at 5:00. When I arrived home around 7:30, I was hoping to find the kids all cleaned up and ready for bed. No such luck. And their little faces were so sun burned. Who thinks about sunscreen the day after it snows? I asked David if they had eaten dinner yet, and he replies, "Yeah, we had some Cheetos and I ate two Pop Tarts. Oh, and I had a little bit of steak." Oh, well. I guess that counts.

I did get a run in yesterday. I am really getting into this running stuff. There's just something about it. I thrive off a challenge, and getting my body to run is definitely that. I feel like it is getting a little easier, maybe. I just need to work on my endurance and stamina. I am really excited for summer when I can get in the pool and swim laps. That will really build up some endurance. Okay, I officially have a boring life. When you are excited about running and swimming laps, you have reached an all time low.

Friday, March 7, 2008

I've Been Tagged

I am still so new to the blogging world that I feel special when I am tagged. It makes me feel a part of things and like the cool kid I never was. Sad, isn't it? Unfortunately, the only bloggers I know have already been tagged, but I will still share my delightful answers with the world.

What was I doing 10 years ago? Well, I was married to my first husband, Tom. We were still newlyweds, if you want to call it that. I don't really remember much about my day to day life then. I guess my mind has permanently blocked some memories. We were living in Columbus, Georgia, and I was still commuting to AUM for school. Yuck. I really don't want to think about ten years ago anymore.

5 Things on my To Do List today: I have to purchase a baby shower gift for my neighbor's shower this weekend. I need to get on the treadmill because this is the first day after a run that I can walk without excruciating pain. I need to work on that freaking letter to Quicken. And I fully intend to just spend a little cash because we got our federal refund today.

Snacks I enjoy: I am so into pepper jack cheese with wheat thins right now. I am trying so hard to be a little more healthy. And nothing can compare to a good snack size 100 calorie bag of popcorn. I am hopelessly addicted to Diet Pepsi Max, though I only allow one per day. And Special Dark Hershey kisses are the perfect way to finish off any meal (I guess that would be like a desert, but it could count as a snack too).

Things I would do if I were a billionaire: I would pay off our bills (house and everything) then the bills of all our family members. I would give the church here that we attend a lump sum for their building projects. I would give a huge sum to breast cancer research. And then, I would buy us a great house on Lake Martin (that is my husband's dream - to live on the lake one day) and have room enough for my family to come anytime they wanted. Okay - back to reality now.

3 of my bad habits: Eating, or I should say, eating too much. Yelling and losing my cool with my children. And my beloved Captain Morgan Private Stock.

5 places I have lived: Montgomery, AL; Greenwood, Arkansas; Zachary, Louisiana; Marianna, Florida; Columbus, Georgia; Alabaster, AL (I had no idea that I had lived that many places.)

5 jobs I have had: wrapping Christmas gifts at Eastdale Mall (I can't believe you didn't list that one Erika), I was a Gap girl, Barnie's Coffee and Tea, I worked for Regions and I really couldn't tell you what my title was but I did clerical stuff, and I worked at the Dillard's customer service desk for literally four hours. This was when David was six months old, and I just wanted a little part time job to help out with Christmas expenses. After my first shift, I quickly realized that I had no desire to learn how to work the switchboard and use double sided tape to wrap gifts (this was right before Thanksgiving and I would be learning in the heat of Christmas shopping). I called the manager the next day and told him that it was more involved than I thought and I wasn't interested in working there.

Okay, so that's all about me. It has been fun getting the dirt on everyone. I wish I had more blogging friends and I could spread the fun! Thanks Kristin!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The Saga Continues

Well, now that we have solved the grammar crisis of the century, we may all breath easy (or should I say easily?) and talk about something a little less heavy.

QUICKEN LOANS. I received my resolution from a dear precious soul whom I will refer to as Marilyn*. I dare not use her real identity as I feel certain that my devoted readers would seek her out and cause her bodily harm. Basically, Marilyn* just read off a bunch of lawyer prepared bull-doody and fully anticipated that I would buy into it. I do not. Apparently, Quicken is a company full of confused and mistaken people. I guess that is how they got to be so big and have made so much money over the years. Perhaps thousands of very confused souls can all put their mistaken and misunderstanding minds together and rape the wallets of America. Can anyone sense that I am a bit passionate about this? According to Marilyn*, my representative did not lie to me about our second appraisal. He simply was confused due to some new Fannie Mae guidelines that had come out during the same time period of our loan. Well, I can completely not understand how new mortgage guidelines and the first page of my certified appraisal could be confused, but I guess I don't work for Quicken, therefore I am not confused enough to understand something that complex. Also, Marilyn* commenced to tell me that my husband was the one who suggested that our home was worth $250,000. I then told her that I found that hard to believe and that I would love to hear the tape. She then played me back about a five second sound bite in which it sounded to me like Scott was responding to our rep's suggestion that our home was worth that much. Anyway. I could go on and on. Marilyn's resolution to our problem is that they will refund me $107 of the money to cover the cost of the first appraisal and pulling our credit report. I told her that this was completely unacceptable and I wanted the full refund or I would just take it to the next level.

What is the next level? I am so disturbed by this whole ordeal. I have found two websites with all these complaints about Quicken, and in reading them, I have found so many stories similar to mine. I cannot/can not believe that there is not a class action lawsuit filed against these people. I just feel so strongly about this, not only for myself, but for the hundreds of thousands who have been effected by this crap. It is just so ridiculous.

So, I am not done with this. I am going to work on another letter to the chairman and the CEO. And from this point on, I am not going to have any phone conversations with them. And I am seriously thinking of contacting a class action attorney. And that is so not me to contact an attorney about anything. This company is making money in an unethical manner and blaming it on their customers and their own confusion. It just needs to be stopped.

I am quickly loosing my faith in mankind, if I ever had much at all.

*identity has been changed to avoid libel and harassment lawsuits in the future

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

A First for Me

This morning, we had the air conditioner on. It is nearly 12:30 and the temperature outside has begun to drop. So, I had to cut the heater on. Now, I have lived in the south my entire life, and there have been many days where I have had the heater on in the morning and the air conditioner on in the afternoon. But I cannot recall a day in all my thirty-one years in which the AC came prior to the heater. You have to love this Alabama weather!

Here's a little grammar question. And it's only because I cannot imagine David's teacher, who has been teaching for close to twenty years and is presently writing her dissertation, could possibly be wrong. Anyway - she sent a little memo home on Friday and used the word/words can not. I always thought it was cannot not can not. What sayest thou, oh wise and educated readers?

Oh, one more thing. I really love that the spell check is operational again!!!

Monday, March 3, 2008

A Disappointing World

The past week and a half has really been a draining whirlwind of emotion. And it seems so strange to say that about a mortgage process, but it is the only way I could describe it accurately. We have gone from excitement about freeing up some money each month, to disappointment and confusion about our house being in a declining market, to absolute anger because we had been lied to from the very beginning. I am, by nature, non-confrontational. So dealing with Quicken Loans, who owns a basketball team and arena and makes more money than should be legal, has proven to be exhausting. But I am determined that good will prevail this time. This company will not get away with their unethical practices no matter how many phone calls, letters, or emails it takes.

Here's the short of what has happened: Our rep from Quicken got all our information over the phone (which was what appealed to us - you do it all over the phone and then schedule the closing which can take place inside your own home) and sent us two Good Faith Estimates. I called him with questions and he answered them. But he didn't tell me the truth, or the complete truth, and we agreed to pay Quicken $500 for our certified appraisal and the title research fee. Our first appraisal came back a little low, and he encouraged us to get a second appraisal at no additional cost to us to try to get more money back at closing. Then, they told us our house was in a declining market. Because of that, we would have to pay the closing costs out of pocket or the loan would not go through. Something just didn't feel right, and we started making phone calls. Two mortgage brokers told us that the loan we were promised could not have gone through. There are strict federal guidelines on mortgage lending, and right now, guidelines prohibit a company from lending over 90% of the value of a home and receiving cash back at closing. So, that is when I started calling and asking questions and found myself in a he said/she said battle with the rep from Quicken. He claims we lied to him about the value of our home because, apparently, he inflated the value in his computer to make the figures work on paper. In complaining and raising hell with the rep and his "team leader", I demanded to see a copy of the appraisal. And, to my surprise, they overnighted it to me. On top of the appraisal was a copy of a press release dated November 29, 2007 that generally reported on the decline of the real estate market throughout the entire country. I read every word of the appraisal, and the appraiser had marked that we were in a stable market with stable values. Basically, we were lied to about the appraisal and about the loan in general. So, I spent the bulk of my time last week making phone calls, typing emails and letters, and going over phone calls in my mind. It has truly been a draining experience. I guess I knew that things like this went on, but I just never dreamed it would be this blatant. To lie to someone and then send them written proof that it was a lie is pretty bold. And I can't help but think about the hundreds of thousands of people who just take a loan rep's word for something and end up being taken for thousands of dollars.

I do expect a call today from Quicken. It will be interesting to see what they have to say. And I have emailed all the information to the appraiser. I also wrote a letter and attached a copy of the email sent to the help center to the CEO and Chairman of their company. I mean business. I am getting my $500 back and bringing these unethical practices to the attention of anyone in my path. But honestly, I will be glad when I can put my brain back in a box a relax a little. I am certainly not accustomed to this much brain activity.