Oh, I get it now…


Nice houses are for Moms who do the full domestic detail!

Ohhhhh. That means happy nice, cooking cleaning and not complaining, right? Oh. Golly, gee and we live in an age where all that was so twentieth century, wasn’t it…. Domestic details are tricky when one is working out of the home base and is no longer hiding under the umbrella of a punishing dawn-dusk commute.
Add to this a very nearly house broken puppy- and I know it’s not his fault and thank god we’ve come away from the nose-in-it techniques of our parents, but still. There are nicer things to do than cleaning up  a beloved puppy’s #@!$% off the living room rug. But perhaps that’s too much information…

This post, on a more sober note is dedicated to navigating the murky waters of climbing out of one’s own#@!$% cesspool. It requires a printer-scanner/fax device, reams of paper, patience and the understanding one has to continue re-submitting again and again. One must make peace with filling out the forms. Not unlike the trailblazers who refused to take no for an answer. Except there’s less creative energy.  It also requires a large bottle of the pet stain cleaner Resolve, some clean rags, water, vineager, baking soda and a vaccum. And forgiveness. More towards the  two legged creatures than the four legged ones. The four legged ones are always logical. I have yet to witness anything they’ve done that I wouldn’t have done were I  a four legged creature too.

The power of forgiveness is so hard to harness. Particularly when one feels oneself to be the aggrieved party.

I should like to be submerged in the cool waters of humility, but nothing weird with a dominatrix or folks in masks or anything. Just a cucumber or citrus fruit mask please, like viscose wherein the aches and pains and hurt feelings gently dissipate, and my beloved spouse presses the “Reset” button in a way that only he can.

The porch before renovation

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“It’s all fun and games until some one gets married or pregnant,” a dear friend observed. Looking at this photo is a reminder that for all the whimsy, optimism and cans of groovy paint, if one doesn’t come to some kind of satisfactory arrangement with the loan service provider, its all for naught, ain’t it?  The following is a list of players in this story:

Countrywide Mortgage

Old Merchants Bank





Making Home Affordable

Freddie Mae and Freddie Mac



There are many websites and blogs and countless stories of heartbreak and loss, which I won’t go into, because if I did, this post would never be published!

So that brings me to The Urban League.

As mentioned in my previous installment, a gentleman named Charles at the Urban League of Union County counseled and advised me through numerous applications and reapplications for a Mortgage Modification which I mistakenly believed was unattainable. Last week, Ocwen- the service provider for Wells Fargo- who ironically has my checking account as well as my mortgage- offered me a Trial Modification according to the Hamp2 guidelines. Which should be all very well and dandy, shouldn’t it?

Isn’t it ironic that when you leap over an enormous hurdle with a loved one,  you’re presented with a new challenge? How do you leap over the next one, together as a team? Look at all those great duets: Fred and Ginger, Lucy and Desi, Dino and Jerry, Simon and Garfunkel- None of them last.

Folks who are so brave and so amazing when times are tough can be so petty and arrogant and rude and generally hateful as things start coming together.

My Dad would say, it’s a conundrum.


But we are different now. Our trials and tribulations have changed us. I hope. So, if we’ve  made this huge circle back, to the scene of the crime, as it were, how do we play this hand so as to come out happy and strong and living comfortably in our kick ass big ass house?

The building department closed us down last week when the barter to repair the porch began.


The IRS wants serious money if we’re going to seriously put that difficulty behind us.


We need a new roof.  It’s such a lot of dough to come up with in such a short amount of time.

When my husband paints the ceiling of our youngest son’s bedroom, it all flakes off and falls upon the floor.

The ominous warning, “More tears are shed from answered prayers than-” But we are changed, aren’t we? Please, God. Tell me I won’t just throw up my hands in tears. Let me find the moxie to take no prisoners and get current with this debt.  Let me steer my ship back to the novel I was writing not two months ago and finish it. And do it justice, Lord. And  please Lord, give me the grace to lighten up a little. Amen.

The only fitting Post Script is that in an effort to continue my march towards gracious living nirvana, I knocked over a can of blue paint on the white broadloom of our youngest son’s soon-to-be bedroom.

The pigment is very- well, durable is a fine word. After scrubbing followed by the Rug Doctor for several hours, the spouse removed the broadloom, and guess what?



The floor is also very blue on the original wood floor now, too.

But there’s no use crying over spilt paint. So, on a brighter note, behold oldest daughter applying silver leaf  to my bath tub. Very nice, very nice indeed. Subtle perfection she calls it. Such a class act.


Woah! Are we talking Zombie House?


My neighbor with the gorgeous garden next door gently asked, “So what’s up? Is your house a zombie?”

20150627_095822          20150627_094032            20150611_101004

I had not heard that term before. After looking into what zombie houses actually are, the answer is yes, friends. My house was a zombie. http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/zombie-foreclosures.html

We couldn’t keep up and we couldn’t get a modification.  We were served the foreclosure notice in June, 2008. The stock market crashed in September. By 2009, I was already on my fourth unsuccessful attempt at a modification.


In March 2010, Saxon informed us, the game was up. Our only alternative to foreclosure was to do a short sale. The house was on the market for maybe two or three days. We accepted the offer and went immediately into contract. The youngest member of the house hold was starting high school, I was commuting to the big city, and there wasn’t time to screw around. We moved.

Then the deal didn’t close. And then the kitchen ceiling fell in.


We put the house back on the market.

Concurrently,  with the downward eddy of our resources, we rolled around in the ups and downs of the mosh pit called Parenthood. Like love, everyone’s an expert and it doesn’t matter who you are or what you have, it always seems somebody else is doing it better. We’d both been previously married, we only added Lucca, our beloved dog, to the equation.


Marriage wasn’t a detail that inspired us. However, when the opportunity to get some health insurance courtesy of my employer came up, my spouse and I hightailed it to the altar, officially declaring ourselves to the bureaucrats and lawyers alike.


Holy Moly!  Stop the presses.

BlogHer 2015 is taking place this weekend…. Must take note and glean insights from afar. Not knowing what the hell I’m doing (it goes hand in hand with biting off more than I can chew- a thing of the past, I swear) I just checked out Goop  http://goop.com/.  It’s so elegant and interesting! Also Over50feeling40  http://www.over50feeling40.com/…. Nice. An entire universe waiting to be discovered…. So exciting.

It’s almost as exciting as my now functioning, albeit un-glamorous, masterbath. Photos to follow. In the meantime, something lovely. The window to the left above the one with the arch, is the bathroom in question.