Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Spring Break, the Government and a Dog and His Boy!

It begins!!!!! Today starts my spring break! As tired as I am.....I am still just as giddy as a school girl....on spring break. I have really looked forward to this and in fact, need this...more than I can say. My attitude has been less than cheery and I could tell that my irritation level is skyrocketing. I just need some time to not have to worry about the normal day to day stuff and just enjoy my kids.

Speaking of irritation...yesterday morning was an eduction into the Dept. of Education! I spent several hours going back and forth between the Dept. of Education, Sallie Mae, and the head of the VISTA program. I do think I got it all sorted out.....but as usual, I don't come out winning. In a nut shell....once I was able to put all the pieces together....this is what I got:  The Dept. of Ed took my fed. income tax. The whole thing. All they could give me was a dollar amount of what they said I owed, which was even more than my tax return. They couldn't give me anything else, but their number coincided with a number I was given a year ago and then was told by Sallie Mae was incorrect. To top it off....the D of E showed that at no time had my VISTA education award been applied to any of my outstanding debt. So then I went to VISTA! After talking to numerous people and each time asking to speak to a supervisor....I finally found that NO my award had not been awarded. It was however, still there to be awarded, but I needed to fill out paperwork to get it functional again. For whatever reason, their system will not allow me do it electronically. So then I called Sallie Mae and once again started up the chain of command after first being given an amount owed which was much less than what the D of E  had said. Finally....I got to someone who's numbers started agreeing with the D of E. Then I got irate when I asked why I had not been receiving statements from them on what I owed. Instead of disputing it....they just kept saying...."oh!" Three people at Sallie Mae had only the "oh!" response for me. I was livid.

The kicker was....after all was said and done  Sallie Mae had turned my loan over to another company (apparently for collection) and I have never gotten anything from them either! So I call them. I will be getting info from them in the future. So it ended as such. My debt was X amount of dollars because my ed award had not been processed. Because I had been told that $800 was all I owed and I thought the money that was coming out of my check each month was paying that off....I mistakenly thought I was taking care of things. Apparently I had actually been turned over to a 3rd party and I had received no information on this. My fed. income tax has gone to pay the bulk of this. My ed award will pay the rest. And what might you ask happens to the rest of the ed award after the debt is paid???? Wait for it......wait for it.......It gets turned back over to the VISTA program! Even though that money should have been applied in 2009 and because it wasn't I have incurred tons of interest and because of being told that my ed award had been paid to Sallie Mae and Sallie Mae themselves giving me multiple dollar amounts I owed and then not sending me anything to keep me informed of where I was on the debt.....I now get a great big fat nothing! Well...technically that isn't true. If I want to go back to school for anything....the remainder of the ed award can be used, so I guess it is not a complete loss. I guess the upside is that my student loan will be paid in full, they will no longer garnish my checks....oh....and I will be getting IN WRITING from Sallie Mae, The D of E and the third party collection company that my debt is paid in full! After all of 10:30 a.m. I was exhausted!! What a joke! Lesson learned? Stay away from the government if at all possible. They are just evil!

So what is on my schedule for today? Well it is suppose to be in the mid to high 60's but the wind is suppose to be blowing like a banshee. I guess we will play it by ear, but I know we will be going to my dad's for awhile. The kids need some Grandpa time and it has been awhile since I have been told I do everything wrong (did that sound sarcastic?) So I guess it is win win for the kids and Grandpa. Me....well.....not so much. Sorry for the negativity there....but that just popped into my mind as I was writing this. My father is not my biggest fan! After Grandpa fest 2011 is over...then if the weather cooperates and doesn't try to blow us off the planet.....then I am thinking the zoo is in our future. It is the perfect outing. David gets to see all the animals and is fairly content to sit still doing so; Z just loves the zoo; and I get my exercise by doing well over a five mile walk. In this case.....we all really do win! We also get to make a trip to the Social Security office (yay more government) to replace Z's lost SS card, and we have to run a few necessary errands. Possibly we will splurge on a meal out and then who knows what we might find to do? As I said.....just playing it by ear!

Day Two: Your Photo Here...

A Dog and his Boy!

Today's photo was actually taken last night. will likely see a smattering of family photo's along the way, and this one (in my opinion) was just too cute to pass up.

Nothing says photo opp like a dog and his boy.  This is my youngest David with his dog Spud! You can't tell it from this picture, as we had Spud sheared down to his unmentionables a couple of weeks ago, but Spud is part corgie and part shepherd. He is a shelter dog we got several years ago as a puppy and then almost lost because unbeknown to us....he had parvo. Five hundred dollars later.....he was healthy and ours. Well...actually....he was David's.

David and Spud hit if off from the start and they have a mutual understanding of love and patience with each other. David has never gotten the least bit mean or rough with Spud and Spud returns that kindness with much licking and ever vigilant devotion. Spud usually hangs where David is whether that be in the living room watching tv, David's bedroom playing with toys or by his side as they both drift off to sleep. These two just seem to get each other and I think this picture more than gets that point across.

And today....I will leave you with this video. Z showed it to me last night and it was too funny not too share. Hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday. I know we intend to!

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