The Quicksand Story

Our story through the quicksand of our own financial crisis

Archive for the tag “children”

Health Insurance??

We had a bit of a scare last week.  My 10 year old son got bitten by a bug and it got infected.  It is bothering him but he waits a week to tell me.  It is high on the back of his leg and he is embarrassed, I can understand.  BUT…… we ended up with an issue.  By the time I saw it, it was a yucky blob of infection so I took him to the doctor.  I am thankful that we have health insurance but I know many families out there do not.

We got him on antibiotics because the the infection was a little too aggressive and the following day we ended up with 1/4 inch bleeding hole where the bug bite had been the day before.  It is almost gone now a week later but we found out over the weekend that it was a MRSA infection.  MRSA is an antibiotic resistant strain of staph.  It can be really bad and scary.  I have known people to be seriously disfigured from MRSA infections.

After this experience I began to think about what I would have done without health insurance.  How many times do kids get bumps and scrapes where we as parents shrug it off as just a kid thing?  We are lucky to have health insurance, but more so we are lucky to budget $500 per child for emergencies.  When we lived without health insurance, I used to live in fear that something would happen.  I relate to the tons of Americans out there who do not have it.  If you are one of the people out there who do not have it I would recommend you set aside approx. $500 per child for emergencies.  Stash it in your house if you need to.  Start small, but grow it, because how valuable is the peace of mind that comes with knowing you can afford to take your child to the doctor if you need to.

I do not want to think about what could have happened if we did not get treatment for my son when we did.

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Loyalty

I have grown up believing that loyalty is a great thing to have.  And I agree.  But I also believe that it has been manipulated on us for to help those who have perceived power over us as people.  Be loyal to your job even though they cut your pay, decrease your benefits and increase your workload….  Don’t go and work on a business in your own time that will increase your wealth and not theirs.  Or this thought,  I can’t start a direct sales job on my own time, it is against company policy.  Who cares that that policy doesn’t give a hoot about you or your family.

I think it is time to redefine loyalty and who we give it to.  Be loyal to your family, your immediate family.  Your wife and children family.  Be loyal to yourself.  If you feel badly about doing something you are asked to do, don’t do it.  You have to sleep with yourself and your family at night not your employer.  You would think this is commons sense.

How about when it applies to your bills and mortgage.  It is not so clear cut.  You are underwater on your house so you can’t sell it yet your credit cards are calling you 5 and 6 times a day and you need to feed your family.  I know how it is to have trouble letting go of a house from loyalty, I also know how difficult it is to receive those call from our friend, BILL.  Ultimately be loyal to your family and yourself.  Look at Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.  The greatest responsibility is to feed and cloth our families and put a roof over their heads.

There is no shame in Bankruptcy or short sales if it allows you to care for yourself and your family.  Don’t lose hope, there is always a way through the quicksand.

Rice Salad (Yummy Yummy)

Like any one eating on a budget is not an easy thing to do.  Or at least eating well and healthy on a budget.  Fast food always seems to be the fall back when on the run with children.  Even fast food isn’t always cheap or fast.  It takes forever for our children to decide what to eat when faced with any menu.  It can be frustrating at times.

When going to a picnic where you need to bring an item I became really good a digging in the pantry to put something together.  This recipe I recently brought to a function and I was asked for the recipe.  So I am giving it here.  I got it from a friend and adapted it for us and what we like.  Most everything I get from the farmer’s market.  One of those little holes in the wall that have fresh local produce at inexpensive prices.  I love going to these places and buying a weeks worth of fruits and veggies for about 20 dollars.

1 Onion

1 Pepper

2 cups Wild Rice medley

1 or 2 sticks celery

1 Apple

1 cup Garbonzo beans (optional)

Salt and Pepper to taste

Balsamic Vinaigrette ( You can make your own if you want)

Cook the rice in 4 cups of water for 20-25 minutes until the water is absorbed.  Rinse the rice under cold water when done cooking and put into a bowl for mixing.  Chop the vegetables  and apple small so that bits of veggie get through the whole salad.  Mix all of the veggies, rice, beans and apple together with the dressing until it is all coated.  Add Salt and Pepper to taste.  (It may need a little more than you expect.  The rice can get bland.)

This is a really hearty cold salad that I find goes a long way for me.  Enjoy and feel free to play around with it.  Add whatever your family will eat and enjoy!

 

 

Survival

Some days and weeks I went the whole day with only a piece of toast. I would move my dinner around the plate and put it in the fridge for someone else the next day. That was a big sore spot with Paul and of course we would argue. He said I wasn’t eating enough and I would argue that I had to eat last so everyone else could eat. If there was enough I could eat.

When we would get an extra twenty dollars in a week I would run to the store and buy protein. Buying meat on a bone meant I could use the bones to make stock. We had broth in the house and there were times when we would have six containers of broth in our freezer. Adding rice to the broth could make that one piece of meat our food for two weeks instead of one. Broth was our protein and I got creative. I added sour cream and cheese to rice cooked in broth for Special Rice for the children. We ate that a few times a week and when the sales were right we would also have ground beef in our Special Rice.

Chefs often recommend making your own stock. It is more flavorful and uses more of the meat and bones. For us it was a cheap source of protein to feed our growing children. I did what I could to feed my family. If that meant I did not eat then so be it. That was fine as long as the children were healthy and full. Sometimes I wouldn’t eat anything for a day or two. Life is tough when you haven’t eaten in two days and are still too embarrassed to go to the food bank. In those days I couldn’t tell you where to find a food bank.

If we were in that situation again I would go simply to keep my family fed and myself healthy. Survival.

No Matter How Much I Love My Children

My children are the light of my life.  They have in one instant change my life forever and do so again and again everyday.  I would do anything for them, but our minds play evils tricks with us.  We have been through hell and back.  We have survived our quicksand and yet I torture myself with the; What If…..

Really it is about Emily.  We chose to have Emily and I am so happy for that decision.  But, what if we had made a different decision.  Sometimes when in my darkest times I would look at her beautiful sleeping form and wonder how our life would be different, easier without her.  I gave up so much to have her.  I could work like normal if not for her.  Getting a house would have more options without her.  Because of her we need at least 3 bedrooms, yet, 2 bedroom homes are so much cheaper…..School is so expensive and we haven’t started saving for college yet.  Usually at this point I am crying because I love her so much that even the thought of life without her is physically painful.

If we never had Emily I would not have the giggles when the three of them are goofing around.  We would never have the flowers picked by her from the yard.  We would never have the little pink shoe hanging from our Garage door to remind us of how stinky her feet would get after wearing Crocs.  I never could understand how such a compact, cute, bubbly little girl could have such smelly feet.

After following this line of thought and having a good cry, it is at this time that I know that we are on this path for a reason; to help others.  I am not alone in having these feelings.  I am not alone in knowing that I would trade everything again for her, it still doesn’t make it easy to swallow.  It helps to know I am not alone.

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