Wow, it's been a while since I've updated.
Let's see. Let's get the bad out of the way, starting with the most minor.
I sold a couple bracelets via a charity auction. The winners sent payment directly to the charity, as was supposed to happen, so I see no money at all and pay shipping and everything. This was expected. Well the winner of one of them is dragging me through the mud because her bracelet hasn't arrived yet. She's in Australia, and the post office here said the bracelets probably got caught up in customs. The addresses were formatted right, but they were declared as jewelry (the proper declaration for a business expense) rather than gifts. Gifts apparently sail right through as long as the value is declared as a small amount, and the post master said a lot of people do this, and the US postal service doesn't really care. The US postal service doesn't get any of the customs money other countries charge. But is I mis-declare as a gift, then I can't write it off a business expense. Since the pearls for the bracelets are bought with my business ID, they need to remain as part of business. Sending them as gifts makes them a personal use of business supplies.
Anyway I told the lady I'd go ahead and buy more pearls and make her a new bracelet. I ordered them as a personal expense (they're natural pearls, this wasn't cheap), and am waiting for them to arrive. They come from Japan, which takes a couple weeks. They should be here this week. Anyway she's dragging the through the mud on Facebook, which has me pissed off. Customs are beyond my control, and so is the shipping time from Japan to California.
Our ex-landlords want more than $4,000 from us. They want us, among other things, to pay for carpet replacement (remember that carpet that's over 30 years old and threadbare in a few spots?) as well as for a new driveway. Not gonna happen. Yeah, the driveway has cracks and some oil spots. It's the original driveway from when the house was built in the 50's. They are literally trying to redo the house at our expense. They said they'll sue us if we don't pay up. Time for hardball. We were considering just letting it all go until that letter. So we've filed in court first. Now they'll be the counter-filing defendants.
My mom's also doing very bad. She had a heart-attack and it's irreversibly damaged a part of her heart. This is very bad news. While she may finally get disability now*, it might be to late. The surgery to remove the tumors would require stopping her heart. This may now be too risky. They'll have to restart a damaged heart, so we don't know if it can be done yet. Her pancreas, where the tumor started, has pretty much shut down. And there's the possibility of cancer. Cancer is a cell mutation, and with what she has with that tumor, cancer can happen because of that. Well, there's the possibility of cancer. She's supposed to get a mammogram and biopsy done, which can be done in the country where she currently is on her county coverage. The tumor can't be removed there. The doctors at that two-bit hospital don't have the skills, but would be happy to try. The doctors who staff the ER have already do NOT let the surgeons on that hospital do it.
*Here's a perfect argument for universal health coverage. When this tumor was first diagnosed, the estimated cost of removal was about $20,000. Since my mom wasn't working, the hospital wouldn't do the surgery and allow payments. No income = where will payment money come from? I'm not the patient, so they wouldn't talk to me about it. It also would have been pretty easy. Now it's going to be closer to $200K, and her chance of living has gone down significantly. The judge is also considering retroactive disability payments going back to March 2008. So 31 months. At even $1,000/mo, that's still $31,000. It's based partially on how much was paid in, and my mom payed in an incredible amount. So to get out of a $20,000-surgery, the government/taxpayers may now be shelling out close to a quarter million, not including the money she'd get from this point on since she'll be out of work for a long time still.
So is not having universal really saving any money?
When I get back next week, we're going to bring my mom down here. Where she is right now isn't really any place to stay long-term. She's with a mother and her adult son right now, and the son is an asshole, but she puts up with it to not be sleeping on the street. To control her, this jerk threw away all of her possessions and clothing. She has nothing of her own anymore.
Okay, the good gets its own post.