Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Manor House is Happy

I repossessed a house in Manor, TX.  I got it back in horrible shape, but it could have been worse.  I cleaned it up and sold it for cheap.  I don't have time or resources to split my time.  The girl who bought it has a father and brothers who work in construction.  The very first week she owned it, they leveled the house.  They added new beams and piers and lifted it about 9 inches.

Original unlevel 710 square foot home.

Leveling....  the house originally only had 3 beams, they added 2, replaced the others and had to place piers for the 2 new beams.

Completely redone exterior and front door and windows.

This WAS the car port!  Now enclosed for an extra 200 square feet of living space.

I am impressed.  I'm guessing they will be moved in by Christmas.  Way to go!!!

Sunday, July 06, 2014

The newly single

So, you find yourself newly-divorced or recently single from a long term or seriously heart-invested relationship.  There is no measure by which any of us can be judged.  No one can say one is worthy of certain grief while another is not.  Everyone has reasons for having loved; everyone has reasons for moving on.  There are no requirements, and there should not be any judgments.  Of course, we all know there ARE judgments and standards to which others feel we should adhere.

Oh, you were only married for 3 years?  You don't know pain.
You're thinking of divorce?  Imagine the things you will miss.

Break-ups of any sort are highly personal and rarely taken lightly by the parties involved....  and they are no one's business.  Keep your judgments to yourself.

Oh, you're dating so soon after divorce?  Don't you think you should wait?
Oh, you're dating so soon after divorce?  Well, good for you.
Oh, you're dating so soon after divorce?  Didn't you learn anything from that horrible heartbreak?
Oh, you're dating so soon after divorce?  [Insert judgmental positive or negative comment here]

Everyone has their opinion about your love life, even you.

I learned a few things along the way.

1.  Being judged in the middle of your own break-up crisis is not fun.  Break-ups make a person feel very very sad and lonely.  When you add to that the judgment of outsiders, you add loneliness, alienation, sadness.  Don't let friends judge you or tell you what you should or should not do.  And god forbid, do not let them tell you what you should have done - the past has passed.  Some people love and support you by being judgmental.  Find the friends who ask thoughtful questions and allow you to answer and explore your own thoughts.

2.  Breaking-up is losing an investment you made.  You put time, love and energy into a relationship, and now you feel broke.  Somehow, that investment is lost.  It doesn't matter who did what, or who was the leader in ending it, there is loss.  Yes, you feel lonely and sad.  That means you loved.

3.  Because you feel lonely and sad, you may want to solve that by finding a new partner as quickly as possible.  By my choice and by not being chosen, I managed to outlast that feeling.  I encourage everyone to try it.

4.  Feeling sad and lonely is extremely uncomfortable.  It is the place that wonderful music and art is created.  YOU can be that music and art if you sit back and take time to know yourself better.

5.  Taking time to know yourself, to learn what did or did not work, looking deep inside to discover what you were denying can help you become a better, stronger person that can contribute to the world alone or can contribute to a relationship in a more complete way.

6.  Needing another person for the sake of filling a void is addiction.  Fill the void with an activity, with love for yourself...  then if you find a person along the way, they will be icing, not just a wound patch, which can fester and re-infect if you haven't healed from the original wound.

7.  Give yourself time to truly heal.  It's no one's business if that takes one week or 15 years.  Be true to yourself, honest to yourself, and gentle with yourself.  If you don't truly know yourself, how can you expect anyone to love the true you?

8.  Make a list of what really matters in your life and how someone else may be able to contribute.  Then stand up for those things.  Don't say, close enough.  If it was important enough to write down, you are important enough to deserve what really matters.

9.  Sex is just not that important.  There, I said it.  It matters in different amounts to different people.  I encourage everyone to get past the addictive feeling that sex is the holy grail of humanity.  Needy sex is not sexy anyway.  See 5 and 6.  There is more to life than chasing sex.  The world needs you, whole, healthy, loving you.

10.  Forget everything I have said here and live your life the way YOU want to live.  My lessons won't be the same as your lessons.  Write your own damn list....  seriously, write.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014


I did it.  I went through the process from start to finish of gathering information, writing bylaws, answering all questions and providing written documentation to the IRS to be labeled 501(c)3.  I was advised to have lawyers or accountants do it for me.  I looked into spending $3000 for an organization to walk me through the process.  I almost caved and did it.  But something kept telling me to continuing plowing.  An accountant informed me that the forms deliberately try to trick people.  I read and reread and re-answered every question.  I took my answers and forms to my board members and asked for their approval.  They stood behind me.  Experts thought I was being foolish.

I received the first IRS letter letting me know that they had received my packet and that they would let me know if further information was needed (and it usually is).

The next letter I received was full acceptance.  All of my work, all of my words, all of my written descriptions, all of my budgets and plans had been approved by the IRS.  June 25, 2014.

In December 2013, I decided that this organization would be better off as a private endeavor.  "My" board supported me as I weighed the pros and cons of non-profit vs. nonprofitable money-sucking sole-proprietorship.  The two things that make the non-profit organization not work for me are 1. All assets of the non-profit must be dissolvable, and 2. I hate begging for money.  What the first means is that my buildings would have to be removeable should I ever move the organization or sell the property or dissolve the organization.  It is OK for me to personally own the land, and even the buildings, but it would not be OK for me to use donations to build permanent structures on my own property.  Therefore, either the organization would need to own the entire property or all buildings would need to be mobile.  The second is as simple as it sounds.  I began writing my end-of-the-year letter for the organization, and I wanted to tell about the progress but I had no desire to beg for money.  When I tried to insert a statement about donations, it sounded forced and irritated or canned....  because it was.  Everyone gets letters begging in December from every organization under the sun and everyone hates it.

Nothing about the plans or services of this organization are changing at all.  The only thing that changes is that this is MY property, and MY HOME with my own timeline as my own finances allow me to build.  Anyone who wishes to contribute time or money can take pride in helping an endeavor that will offer people (for free) a look at possibilities.  I will never charge people to come compare and gather ideas.  My mission in life is to learn and share.  This does not change.

Thank you, IRS for your boost in my own confidence.  I am intelligent and organized.  I have a good idea with a worthy cause.  I will frame your letter and remind you that the organization as a non-profit has already been dissolved.