Life Is a Bumpy Ride.


Hello all!

Life has been bumpy these last few weeks (months is it now?).  Things have NOT turned out at all close to how I planned them.

Employment.  Yes, I resigned. Now that I’m out, I realize I made the right decision for my sanity and physical health.  And boy, do I looooovvvveee not working (I still keep plenty busy, it’s like I have a full time job taking care of me!) .  But I am not independently wealthy.  My home in CA has not sold (see below) and I don’t have enough savings to support myself for an extended period of time…so my dreams to go back to school are on the back-burner and I need to get job (yes, that heart wrenching wailing in the background is me).  Deep sadness set in… and I got through it.  I put on my big girl pants, assessed what I want to do (no more Customer Success, it’s a thankless, shit job – more on this in a later post).  I figured out what I want to do and the kind of companies I want to work for. Married these two… and voila, found a a job.  I signed an offer of employment this week. It is a bittersweet moment for me.

  • I love the company and what they are doing.
  • Every person I met was wicked smart and incredibly nice.
  • I believe they will be tremendously success at what they do (yes, another startup).
  • I know I can be successful in the role and there is a lot of room for growth.

The not so great part?

  • I have to go back to work (boo), and
  • I have to move back to the Bay Area…

Yes, the cats and I will be moving back to the Bay Area, at least for the first 6 months of 2019.  Not at all sure what this looks like or how it is going to happen… I just know that it has to happen. That I need to make it happen.


O.k.. 2nd big unexpected turn.  Retirement.  My House in CA.  It has not sold.  It’s been on the market since Oct. 17, 2018. I received one low ball offer which I declined.  It has been on the market long enough that folks think something is wrong with it.  As of now,  I own and am paying the mortgage on an empty house in California (not a cheap endeavor).

Here is the sad truth.  I knew the market turning in Northern CA back in early Summer.  I could feel it (I study real estate in my spare time). I approached the agent in June 2018. I was ready to go.  But I let my realtor talk me into two things that I regret. I only bring this up as to remind you that you should always trust your instincts.  AT 47, I wonder why I discount my intuition. Most of the time (if not all times), the trouble I experience in life is because I DID NOT trust my gut. Shame on me.

So the two worst pieces of advice that I followed are:

  1. Remove tenants and stage the house.  I had wonderful tenants. The lived cleanly and took very good care of the property.  They wanted to stay in the home while it was up for sale – they agreed to cooperate with the agent and all showings. My agent said that it was not best for a home to be occupied during a sale.  So against my better judgement, I gave the tenants 60 days notice to move out. It pains me to know that I am paying a mortgage and the costs to stage a home just so it  looks like its lived in.  The irony is not lost on me.
  2. Turn town an private offer – “you are better off listing your home”.  The tenants that moved out wanted to purchase the home. They made a healthy offer.  The realtor recommended that I do not accept their offer and that I put the house on the open market as I am more likely to get more $$ if there are competing bids.  Yes, there is truth to his statement, but it is not the norm.  Not sure why he did this, he probably would have made more commission by representing the both of us in this transaction.

I feel like someone who’s profession it is to read and know the market would NOT offer this advice given the market conditions.   If I were to do this again, I would do it my way, and if the realtor didn’t like it, I would find another realtor.

Anywhoo… the house has not sold, I just put it on the rental market.  Please cross your fingers and toes that I get amazing tenants soon.


Last but not least, I am living through a home remodel in my home in UtahI am immersed in it.  It started the week before Thanksgiving.  The project is to remodel 2 bathrooms.   The first bathroom, the guest bathroom, was demolished the Friday before Thanksgiving.  It is scheduled to be complete by Friday, Dec. 14th.  That will be exactly 2 weeks late, which means the 2nd bathroom remodel is delayed, not set to start until the guest bathroom is done (I need at least one toilet and shower).  This has a direct and negative impact on my schedule now that I have to move for my job (see above).

I do love the fact that I’m doing the remodel and that I found a contractor I trust, but shit, this is hard.  It is so dirty and messy, it cannot be good to breathe in all the fumes and particles.

Cost wise, I’m on budget on materials and labor…

  1. The contractor and I agreed to a fixed labor amount for the totality of each project, so the longer the project goes, the more it eats into his profits.  My guess is that the delay in the first bathroom can be made up on the 2nd bathroom..  He now has intimate knowledge of how the house was constructed and what to expect. FYI – the delay is NOT due to me – all items, parts, pieces, and the like are available to him.  Any timing delays have been due to lack of detail on his part. As of now he has NOT asked me for more $$.
  2. Cost of items are on target with my expectations.  I am a bargain shopper and have been cost conscious.  It helps that I know exactly what I want, so finding it on sale is easy, especially during the holidays.  🙂  BTW, Amazon is AMAZING.  I found some of the best deals on Amazon – prices were competitive, but shipping (2 day prime, hell yes!) was what sealed the deal.  When I say items, I mean tubs, toilets, shower sets, etc… construction stuff.  It’s insane what you can find on Amazon and the prices are very very competitive.

FYI – I spent a LOT of time trying to shop locally to little avail.  Its too bad as I do not want a world where we don’t have local options…


All of these elements is not what I expected or envisioned for myself.  But this is how the cards are folding for me.  I have made decisions – the best decisions I can based on my options at this point – so now it’s a matter of moving forward.

Ever forward.

I have so much more to share, but this is a lot to absorb in one post.  For those of you that I owe a response to, I’m sorry for my delayed response.  I have been super busy and a bit overwhelmed and stressed with everything going on.

Last but certainly not least, please keep your comments and words of encouragement coming. Hearing from you makes a difference to me -makes me feel connected, tethered, to others…    so thank you for those that have reached out. I greatly appreciate it!!


Family And Money Never Mix. Just Don’t Do It.

bad-tatooAs you all know, I am very close to AbFab and her kids Mayonaise and Shanaynay. These ladies are from my twin sister’s lineage.  Although I did not birth any of them, I love them like my very own.  What I’ve probably not shared as of yet, is that I have two other sisters that are much younger than me.  They are 9 and 11 years my junior.

I was friends with my sister that is 11 years younger. For blogging purposes, we will call her #4.  I liked her, loved her son Bubba to the ends of the earth.  She had such a great sense of humor.  For whatever reason, she has decided to end all contact with me. This happened a few years ago.  I don’t know why… I’m guessing it’s because I still communicate with my parents (she doesn’t).  I still don’t understand the dynamics between she and my parents, but I do know that we got along, that I enjoyed her company and I loved her son.  Why she cut me out I’ll never know.  Its been years since I’ve seen her.

The other sister, the one who is 9 (#3) years younger, is a piece of work.  She has, for whatever reason, always been my dads favorite.  My parents have done so much to help her, but its never enough, they continue to give, she continues to take.   They are always “saving” her, most of the time it’s from herself.  Growing up she was a mean, angry kid – she would lie to my parents about our interactions, and my parents would just believe her.  For example, one time, as kids, she told my parents that I did something to her. I don’t remember what she told them, but it was fabricated; completely false.  She looked me in my eyes, confirmed whatever it was with my dad.  My dad, without question, made me eat bits from a bar of soap (Irish Spring cut up into pieces for just such an occasion).  #3 watched with a smile on her face, like she had won.  That’s who she is.  I stayed as far away from her as I could.

Fast forward a few years.  I moved out of my parents house when I was 17.  #3 was 8 years old.  I don’t know her, she doesn’t know me.   She gets pregnant (on purpose), lives with my parents with her kid while my parents go through one of the roughest periods one could face: my dad was in an accident, he almost died. It took him 2 years to recover (had steel pins put in his legs, couldn’t walk, had to go through painful physical therapy, etc).  In the meantime, my mom took care of him AND worked 2 jobs.  #4 was still in high school, shocked by it all.  #3, what did she do? Sat on her ass and didn’t do anything.  Did she get a job?  No.  Did she help with trips to the doctor, physical therapy? No.  Did she cook dinner? No.  Will she tell you that this is absolutely not true? Yes.  She has  skewed view of “help”. If help means sitting on your ass in a basement apartment, watching TV, and sending your kid upstairs to be fed by the grandmother during her 2 hours between jobs, well, then yes, she helped.

Fast forward a few more years. My wedding.  My parents really wanted all of us sisters to get along.  #4 didn’t come to the wedding (I wished she would have), #3 I invited of course.  I also invited her son to be my ring bearer.  My dad said it would mean a lot to him so I did it.  I paid for her accommodations.  What I learned later was that she was angry about her son being a ring bearer.  My parents had to agree to take her new-born (drive to/from Utah to/from CA).  She was a complete bitch at the wedding; acting as if she couldn’t wait to leave. Well, it’s because she couldn’t wait to leave.  After the wedding I received a scathing letter from her, telling me that she hated me, that I “used” her son, that she never wanted to see me, and never wanted me to interact with her kids.  It confirmed my belief that she didn’t want to be at the wedding, but it was way over the top.  I make a hard copy of the letter (no snail mail in those days) and send it to my parents saying she should seek medical help.  That’s the last I heard of anything.  Seriously, whatever.  She’s unstable and needs help.

Fast forward a few more years.. I’m hanging out with my parents, AT THEIR HOUSE with all the grandkids, #3 and her kids show up.   I don’t know what to do so I go to a separate room and wait for her to leave.  Then I think to myself, fuck her.  I’m in UT from out-of-town, staying with my parents, she knows it.  If she doesn’t like it, she can take her kids away.  This moment was a defining moment for me – this is when I decided I would no longer stay at my parents house or deal with her bullshit while visiting with my parents.  This is when I decided that owning my own place in Utah was a good idea.

Fast forward a few more years, her husband helped me out with the first condo I purchased in Utah (helped me remodel a few things). He is a very talented contractor, and specifically a very skilled wood worker/cabinet maker.  I really like her husband…. they have their issues (we all would have issues with her), but he hangs in there. He is still with her.  Anyway, they asked to borrow money. Against my better judgement I did it.  I did it because I liked hubby and I wanted to help out.   This was .. lets see, somewhere between 5 – 10 years ago.  Over the years, I’ve requested the money back.  Every time I asked for it back, she goes ballistic.  So, I put in my yearly request, via Facebook message this time.  Below is the exchange – Keep in mind a few things:

  1. She and her family (hubby and 3 kids) are living in my parents 3 bedroom very spacious and nice basement apartment.
  2. she hasn’t held a steady job ever.  Always an excuse not to.  She will go to school sometimes, sometimes she will hold a job for a month or so… I think the last time her husband told her to get a job she got pregnant.
  3. my parents always bail her out, to the detriment of themselves.
  4. her husband is a hard worker, nice guy, and honestly, must have the patience of a saint. I wouldn’t know what it’s like to be married to him, all I do know is that all my interactions with him are pleasant.
  5. Given #1, 2, and 3, they go on a long vacation to California (as we all know, vacations and California are not cheap).

Anyway, enough said, here is our exchange (my comments added for clarity):

Paula to #3:  Hi #3.   I hope you are well. I’m not going to beat around the bush. I’d like to get my $5000 back. Given that you have enough $$ to go on vacation, I think that you and your hubby have enough money to pay me back the $5000 you borrowed. You can pay me $417/Mo for 12 months, $210/mo for 24 months…(providing guidelines on how to pay, I’m helpful like that). Of course I would take a lump sum as well (like you promised many years ago).  Please let me know what your plan is wrt returning the money you borrowed from me. Thanks.
Paula to #3 Follow-Up:  Hi #3.  Any update on this? 
# 3 Response:  Paula, all I am going to let u in on is there is a reason why we are living with parents (really? Shocker (not, this is sarcasm) . I know we owe u money and I’m sorry we haven’t got it to u yet (she takes ownership of the loan) but as of right now there is nothing I can do. If I have any extra money I’ll send it your way! 
Paula to #3:  XXX doesn’t have a job and manages to pay $100/mo. You seem to be fine – after all you aren’t working, you don’t have a mortgage, and you were able to take a vacation (maybe a little bit judgmental  but shit, it’s all true).  Just do whats right. Figure out a way that you can pay me back. If you can’t do a lump sum, pay me $100/mo, and when you get your taxes back, you can pay me back. After all, that was the original deal – you would pay me back when you got your taxes back.
#3 Response:  U don’t know what’s going on in my life so please don’t assume. That’s good for XXX her situation is completely different from mine. To be honest with u I NEVER wanted to borrow the money from u, if u remember right this was a deal u and hubby made. (now all of a sudden it’s a deal between me and her hubby).  I am doing what’s right (really? Is stealing from your parents retirement income the right thing to do) . Like I said if I have extra money I’ll send it right to u. I’m not living the high life, we pay rent, utilities and have bills to pay yours included. Please stop with your accusations, like I told u before ill do what I can.
Paula to #3:  What accusations? I’m just stating the truth – you owe me money. I need it so I’m asking you for it. I don’t want to be asking as much as you don’t want to be asked. There is no need to be defensive. Let’s just get through this. I’m asking that you make it a priority to pay me back. $100 a month is a good place to start. If you feel it’s better to wait until tax time OR there is another time, great. But please just give me a plan… something that works for you, that I can count on. Thank you.
#3 Response:   I’ll talk to hubby and he can let u know. I’m at school  (yes, so many years at school, no degree ever, it’s a past-time until no one is looking, then she quits) and don’t have the time or patience for this. If I HAD an extra 100 I would give it to u. My kids didn’t get school clothes u don’t afford that for me I guess that’s just Ashley’s girls (Ashley’s kids were not even born when she told me to stay away from her kids). PLEASE STOP ASSUMING AND ACCUSING ME OF BEING WRONG. I don’t deny we owe u money never have. U don’t know my situation (and don’t care to know, does it really matter?) so please take my word when I say if we have extra I’ll send it your way! (trust her?? really??)
Paula to #3:  Why are you yelling? And you are the one that told me to stay away from you and your kids. Yes, please let me know when you can pay me back. Thanks.
#3 Response: The only reason I told u to stay away from my kids was because of your attitude and favoritism in front of their faces (I’ve seen them maybe a dozen times in the last 10 years).  They never did anything and were in an innocent party to your pettiness. I’ll talk with hubby this week since he is home with just having surgery. (the “my life is so tough story. He’s probably in surgery because he works so damn hard to support her bitchy ass).  One of us will let u know “the plan” by the weekend.(Awesome!!). 
Probably not the best thing to blog about family and money, but shit, I’m soooo tired of the elephants in the room (this is just one of many)..  Isn’t it time we just admit that we all don’t get along and just open the communication gates?  It’s ok to not like each other.
So, this is my very long-winded, sharing of a personal experience, on why you should never, ever lend money to family.
The meaning of the picture? It’s perfect – its a return image from the google search “family and money don’t mix”.  Mixing family and money is worse than this Epic Failure tattoo…  🙂