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August 13, 2010


Sandy E.

Hang tough! I can see your point. It would be better to not be around the affluent with no income worries.
Love of family will get you thru this. It is a temporary set back.
Meanwhile sew from your stash and make smaller projects like you said.
Blog to vent. Walk your dog to exercise.
Smile, do good for others.
Take Care.


Oh, Nicole - no one deserves what you're going through. These are scary times and the ones who have high incomes seem to be doing fine but the rest of us - it's paycheck to paycheck or maybe not even that. I hate to inject politics into it but I think businesses are reluctant to start hiring because they don't know if the tax cuts will expire, if new taxes are coming, and they don't know what the implication of the health care bill will be (nobody read it so nobody knows!). The government should have given the stimulus money to all of us (it was our money anyway). We then would have saved GM by buying cars and we would have paid off the toxic mortgages. Those people in Washington are supposed to be serving us so why do a lot of them leave office wealthier than when they went in? We need to vote carefully in November.

Sorry, you didn't need to read all that but I am so sick of everything that's happening. This is America! You and your husband are good people and this will all work out. The state of California is in such tough shape, there might be other opportunities elsewhere but I know how difficult it is to move. This too shall pass.

Karen L.


I tell myself that I'm happier, have a wonderful world of people I love around me and can sleep at night because I'm not worried about what will happen to my millions!

Kelly Ann

You could have used this as an opportunity....become a personal shopper for these ladies and their clothes...or personal like clothes, they like to shop for clothes...I'm thinking a win-win situation.


My husband has been out of work for the last year (he just landed a decent contract this week), and it has been pretty tough around here, especially tough trying to keep my eyes on the big picture when I have to deny myself day after day what I never used to think of as luxuries. I'm not normally a Pollyanna, but some recent events in our community and circle of friends have reminded us that money is far from the most important thing. Some of the wealthiest people I know are either suffering from debilitating heath issues or have estranged children. Not that you need me to tell you this, of course! But I hear ya, and I can truly understand where you're coming from. But hang in there - good times will come again!


I'm so sorry for what you are going through. $3,500,000! Even though those types of people are in your face probably on a daily basis in that area, they are really few and far between. I try to look at it like this, how fortunate for her that she doesn't have the terrible financial problems like some do. I wouldn't want to wish that on anyone. When I get on a "Jean Pity Party" and complain that I can't have the big house and the money, I tell myself, "for the same reason everyone else in this housing track can't. I'm no better than any one of them." I made choises so here I am."

The year has been difficult for us as well with health issues, divorce and my son's impending deployment. But through it all I try to surround myself with my good friends and family (and Maggie), treat myself well, and try to treat others well. I usually leave myself last when it comes to care so I've gone to my caring doctor who prescribed medication to take the "edge" off things. I know that some don't believe in that but believe me, it helps. I'm going to take steps to improve my health via medication but mostly diet and exercise.

I know the Lord is in control and I have to believe He has a plan. In the meantime, my mantra is always from the movie What About Bob, "baby steps, baby steps." I know things will get better for you, dear friend, just keep the faith. In the meantime you are in my thoughts and prayers.

One more thing. You don't know how much I admire you for being able to write a post like this. It takes a lot of courage.

Maria Stahl

Great discussion so far... and I would add that I'd be glad she had the money to spend in the shop you work in, so that you get a paycheck (as measly as it is) - I hope all the folks like her keep spending what they earn. :)

(Husband's company shut down 16 months ago, he's working 2 part-time jobs and constantly scrambling for work he can do, manual labor, whatever... We're surviving.)


It certainly does seem like the gap between the haves and have nots is widening. Just remember, however bad it is, it could be a lot worse. Hang in there : )

Barbara Anne

I'm on the slim to nothing bench with you, Nicole. It's isn't fun in the least but I have a stash of fabrics that I love to sew from and that brings me joy.

Due to health issues I'm not sure where the light at the end of the tunnel is for us, but I'm about to apply for disability as much as I hate to consider myself disabled. Lupus fatigue means I cannot meet up to anyone's attendance policies. It stinks!

Hang in there! You're in good company. I'll keep you in my prayers.



I agree with Barbara are in good company because I'm right there with you. My husband was part of a "reduction in work force" last October from the company he had been with for over 20 years and still no job on the horizon. Two kids in college and one a senior in high school, but you know what, this challenge has drawn us together as a couple and as a family. We know that God has the best for us and that's what we focus on.
And I always try remember...If everyone in the world threw their problems into a great big pile, we'd most likely pick our own problems back up because at least we know what we're getting.


Nicole, I love your blog. Thank you for sharing with us so many facets of your life. I began reading because I am a quilter. Then I found I loved to read your thoughts, actually expressions of feeling, about so many things. I admire your ability to be open. Many years ago I read a book called "Why Am I Afraid To Tell You Who I Am?" The answer found within the pages is "I'm afraid to tell you who I am because if you really knew me, you might not like me, and then I would be devastated." It seems to me that a healthy positive outlook is synonymous with "letting others know who you are". You have that in abundance and I have no doubt that you will get past these little toe stubbers and that your victory will be an inspiration to the rest of us. Thank you.


I sure hope our economy improves soon and I hope that your husband is able to find a new, secure job!

Susan Ramey Cleveland

And the gap between the very wealthy and the people like us is only getting wider--and the number of very poor and homeless is increasing. This, to me, is the great tragedy in this country.


I understand. We are in the same boat, so let's hope it does not capsize. I do not begrudge those who are more fortunate. It is just life and I will try to make lemonade instead of sour tarts. I will forge into my left over fabrics and make a quilt for the ages :). The poor ages. However, as long as we are healthy and we have our family, we are blessed. Thanks for your blog.


I don't think I have shared this with many people but I'll put it out there.
I once was without a home. I don't call myself homeless because I never was out in the streets but not having a roof over your head regardless of where you set yourself down to sleep feels the same. I had family I could have gone to but I chose to live three weeks in a shelter and stand on my own. My daughter was barely 2 at the time. I was a college drop out and single mom. I took assistance from the government and with that help I was able to feed my daughter, get childcare and go back to college. Three years later I was a college grad with the world open before me. When I couldn't find a job after graduation I worked 9 months as a stock person hauling boxes in the back of a retail store but in another 2 years I was off all government assistance and paying my own share of taxes. When I bought my own house I sat in the parking lot and cried. I still get teary eyed when I remember that day. My family understood that this was my journey and was there always to support me whenever I reached out. I think the hard times made me very cautious and made me teach my daughter to tread carefully in the world of personal finances. But it also made me teach her that the most important thing in your life is not what is stashed at the bank but what you have in your heart. That your true friends and family are a treasure beyond compare. That you don't need millions in the bank to enjoy your life. When you are up to your neck in bills and you just cannot see the trees from the forest. Just breath. Cry if you may and then get up, wash your face off and move forward because this too shall pass and you will be stronger because of it. Love heading your way!


Money isn't everything. It truly doesn't buy happiness, or love. People with money have close ones who get sick, or die, just like the rest of us. (They can just afford to look better).

This year we are having to be very careful with money - and one of the things I've done is work on all those projects in my stash that I haven't done yet. It's amazing what a stash can yield! I get to keep sewing, and have saved a bundle by not buying almost any new fabric.


I agree with all the sentiments above. "There but by the grace of God go I...." Life would not be pretty if one of us got laid off. It did happen 15 years ago to my husband and we made it through ok. Hugs and prayers and words of encouragement sent your way.

Elizabeth S.

Thank you, Sandy, for sharing your experience. It is good to be reminded that it is all temporary.

Nicole, I went through a situation similar to what you are experiencing. My husband was in graduate school and I had just finished. At the time, we lived outside of Detroit (where the economy has arguably been hardest hit) and I couldn't find a job for fourteen months. I finally was able to get a job with a famous bookstore working part-time and for next to nothing, but we were able to pay some bills. I often had bouts with mild depression as I struggled with my educational level, my PT job (and how people made you feel like crap for working service, I mean, how much education could you have, right?) and struggling to pay the expenses we had. Then the student loans came due... that's another story.

It's a struggle to stay positive when you're in it, but imperative to your health. Just remember to take it one day at a time, be grateful for what you do have, and turn to your friends and family when you need a pick-me-up. That's why they're there.

Good luck.


Here is the other side of the coin, I bet her husband wasn't there for dinner, kids homework, birthday parties, skinned knees and dance recitals. Many people don't realize what others sacrifice to make those high incomes. A fellow I know is rich beyond belief, but he's had 3 divorces, trusts no one, had nannies raising his kids, but yes, he's rich. He is worth billions. I'm not worth 300,000, but I have my home, dog, quilting, friends, and I sleep at night. I lost my mom, then my husband, moved 2 times, went from longarm quilting full time to office work full time, then battled breast cancer and am still dealing with the side effects. But I'm SO happy. My friends are great, my 1600 sq ft house is a home and I can manage it on my own. The less you have in "stuff", the less you have to worry about it. I also have friends who kept buying and buying and buying, I told her, "if your husband has that kind of money to buy this land, I would take it and retire". That was 3-4 years ago. Today, everything they have is in foreclosure, EVERYTHING. Every farm, home, business. So sometimes things aren't always what they seem. Love your hubby, enjoy your new job, love the idea of being a personal shopper, be thankful there are people out there with income that can shop and support your p/t job. You have lots to be grateful for, chin up!

Carol Margrave

Nicole, what I like about you and your blog is that you are real. A real person with real daily life experiences. On occasion I have been envious of your life, so I hope that makes you feel better. Not the part about your husband losing his job or worrying about finances. But I have been envious of the amount of time you have to quilt and your beautiful quilts, the time you have to read, your ability to decorate and the beautiful area where you live. All the money in China doesn't make one happy. It's the little things, the love of family, our faith, the abilty to create with our hands (our quilts, gardens , homes, etc.)
Keep your chin up. Things will turn around. They always do.


I hear ya, I always say it should be against the law for people in the top 2% to have that much money, getting all those tax cuts while the rest of suffer trying to hold on to what we have. It just isn't right. So I fully appreciate what you're saying. I don't have any words of wisdom, just try to keep your chin up, it will pass.


Let me tell you, this too will pass. In the first ten years of our marriage, my husband was laid-off, and took a different career path. This was the best decision he could have made, for our family, in the long run. In the short run, it was hard, half cut in wages, I needed to go to work, cutting back severely, you know the drill. Now, that we've been married over 46 years, and retired, I appreciated his judgement, even more. Was it easy? NO. Was it worth it? YES.


Nicole, I've been a single mom for 11yrs, lost the house and what little financial support I received from their dad was fought for tooth and nail and is still deep in arrears. I too went to college and work as a medical secretary and have a longarm home based buisness. I work very hard and feel like I'm not moving ahead, just treading water. The kids are moving along in their lives and as they move out and I see how tired everything in my house feels and the lack of energy I feel.......well it does get pretty discouraging at times esp when I see how so many other womens lives appear to I'm back to what I learnt many years ago....count my blessings people I love, a roof over my head, a job that for the most part I enjoy. I may never accomplish all my dreams but at the end of my life will it really matter? besides I'll have lots of quilts to leave behind.
I hope that things start looking up soon!

terry cortez

Dear Nicole.... Hang in there. When you hit bottom there is no place to go but up. What amazes me is that your kindred spirit comes through in your blog and you appear not to be bitter. I live in So. Calif., so if you're ever in my area - stop by for a cup of coffee. I also have a huge stash (of fabric) I'd love to share with you. Will be thinking of you and your family.

Terry in So. Calif.

Leslie Myers

Our son (age 47) was out sourced from IBM a year ago where he had worked for 25 years. (because it was to a foreign country he had a very good package to include health care for a year and full salary for 6 months) he and family first cut back all non essentials and discovered they liked the freedom of no Cable TV, dropping the data plan on the phone, eating all meals at the family table, talking with the 2 children about needs and wants etc. The oldest has since graduated from college and the younger sister will be a senior in HS this year. Our son used some money to buy a nice camera and a bird feeder and learned how to be a really competent photographer. He actually won some prize money from 3 of his pictures. He job searched every day on the internet(which they had to keep) and networked with friends and former co-workers. His wife got a part time job. He never got anxious although I suspect his wife did. He finally found his dream job (he is a techie in a town full of techies) as the IT go to person at a small but close knit company only 10 minutes from home. It pays less than his fancy job but they had already learned to live on less and everyone is happy. I am really proud of them and how they handled it.
Re reading this it might not be obvious but the bird feeder was to photograph birds - he had been a birder in the past but with his job at IBM he had no time for hobbies.

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