Monday, October 26, 2009

Money is the root of all evil that makes the world go 'round

It's no secret that we all need money.
Unfortunately, we no longer live in a society where bartering is acceptable or even possible in most instances.  Can you imagine going into your local electric cooperative and being allowed to trade them an item you've grown or made for their electric services?  How about walking up to the cashier at the gas station and hoping they'll take a beautiful hand-knit shawl in exchange for a full tank of gas?  Yep.  That probably wouldn't fly, either.

Thanks to my divorce and the not-so-just justice system these days, that's the kind of thing I've been wishing were possible.  

Crazy-Kinky Boy was ordered to pay temporary child support until the divorce.  It's such a small amount for three children that it doesn't even qualify as a pittance.  It's barely enough for food, some gas each month...but not much else. 

His attorney sent me a letter saying that it was to cover my food, fuel, power bill, phone bill and any other expenses I might have.  Let me just state for the record that if I paid my phone bill with that child support money, I wouldn't have enough left for the power bill - much less food or fuel.  He also instructed me to sign my children up for governmental assistance, as well as myself.  

I know what you're thinking - Why is my husband's attorney instructing me to do anything??  He's just that cocky - exactly like my husband;  they're a perfect fit for each other.  No doubt they think they have this thing all wrapped up with a pretty bow on top.  I'm ok with *letting* them think that.  For now.

As for governmental assistance - I've been there.  Done that.  When I was pregnant with my first son I went and put myself on Medicaid.  Crazy-Kinky Boy was working two jobs and we still didn't have any money for doctor's visits.  However, as soon as he got a good, full-time job with insurance, I removed myself from that program.  There were others who needed it more than myself, at that time, and I'm not the kind of person that takes advantage of things just because I can.  You'd never find me "living off the government", as so many in this country do.  My husband remarked many, many times over the years that we would never use government assistance unless we were desperate and have no other choice.

I'm there, no thanks to him.

But I'm not beyond asking for help when I need it.  Such as now.  I went to the agencies in charge of food stamps and state-sponsored children's health insurance program.  We definitely qualify for those assistance programs right now.  And we NEED them.  But I was turned away because I do not have my children's original birth certificates.  They will not accept copies.

I've repeatedly asked Crazy-Kinky Boy and his father for my kids' birth certificates, only to be lied to and told they 'don't have them'.  I watched my father-in-law take them out of the safe when he came to retrieve my husband's belongings.  He refused to give them to me when I asked for them right then.

So, without those little pieces of paper I can't gain assistance.  I have to go and get new ones from the county.  Which guessed it.....MONEY.  

Money I do not have.  Money I've tried to keep from spending, but have had to go get food, instead, to put in the bellies of my children.  Each time I try to put a little back, someone gets hungrier or has to go to the doctor or needs new underwear.  That's life, right?

Only, it's a suckier life when you're working with pennies to begin with.

In steps a beautiful, wonderful, new-found friend from my past.  I've shared with her all the dirty details of my sordid affair.  She's listened for hours, offered advice, been angry and frustrated for me.  
Made me laugh more times than I can count.  

Today - she made me cry.  More than once.  Please go check out her blog and see just what a friend was willing to do to help out another mother.  

In mere moments, my faith in others have been restored.  I've been let down tremendously by those that I would have thought would be a source of support through all of this mess in my life. I've been abandoned by family, people I *thought* were friends and even the church I was so invested in with my kids.  

But through the selfless actions of a true friend - today my faith in people is bolstered and reignited.  Because of Kim's post, total and complete strangers have made it possible for me to get those birth certificates that will allow me to get the assistance for my kids that I so desperately need at this time in our lives.  

We may even have some left over for an ice cream cone @ McDonald's!  That would be a major treat, right now.

Some of you may be wondering what I'm doing myself to increase our familial funds.  As I said when I started this blog, I'm a homeschooler.  My kids are at home with me 24/7 and I teach them myself.  It's been a hard road, but one I know has been the right one for them.  It's amazing what we've all learned the past (nearly) two years.  I wouldn't trade it for the world.

I've considered going to work at night, but I'd have to pay a babysitter.  More MONEY, gone.  I've also come to the realization that for me to be able to bring in any kind of income myself, I'll have to put them back into traditional school, eventually.  I don't like it, but am prepared to do it.  

Only thing is....if I took a job outside the home, I'd likely have to pay for after-school childcare.  Then I'd be working to pay that and bring little home, in the end.  Not to mention the fact that time with my children would be whittled down to nothing.  

So, I've decided to put my God-given talents to very good use.

I learned how to sew a few years back and have gotten quite good at it.  It started with beautiful clothes for my baby girl - the kinds of things I couldn't afford to buy in stores.

It's evolved into making aprons, table linens, handbags and market totes.  With the occasional fancy little girls' outfit or super-hero cape thrown in for good measure.

I've sold quite a few to friends and family over the years.  I even had a local boutique that carried my goods for a while.  That is, until Crazy-Kinky Boy decided to go all schizophrenic on me and it was a little too much for me to handle.   

I've recently been gifted (through my father) a website.  It's all in the works right now.  I'm in the midst of production of my first line of products.  We have a photographer in Atlanta (friend of the family) set to receive my first set of samples for their "shoot" in early November.  

Things are coming along, though a little slowly...but still coming along.

Please visit the Fan Page on Facebook for 
Bayou Kitchen and become a fan!

We'll be having a FANS ONLY Kick-off Sale soon with more info on purchasing, available styles and updates on the website to follow.

I'll leave y'all today with a super-grateful heart.  And hope for the future.

"Thanks" is not adequate for the gratitude I feel.


BeautifulWreck said...

:) I am so happy I could do something to help you out. It was my honor to do so.

Becca's Dirt said...

I came across your blog through Kim. I am sorry for the difficulties you are going through. The worst comes out in people during times like these and your ex is testing the waters. Everything will work out for you. I know it is hard to see from one day to the next what to do to help your situation. It is going to be hard for you - no doubt - but you can do it. I failed to see where you are. I am going to check. How can I send you some money? email me at

Samsmama said...

Oh, Jennifer, I'm so sorry! I went through a horrible, LONG divorce and can relate on so many levels! I was also receiving food stamps and state assistance because, like you, the temporary amount of child support wasn't enough to pay all my bills. I know this is cliche, but try to hang in there! It will, and does, get better. If I can help please let me know.

P.S. Here via Kim's blog.

Hit 40 said...

Divorce is hell. My friend is still wrapping hers up. She supposedly closed the deal but the final papers have not shown up for her.

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