Let's say I try and bite you. How much is it gonna hurt? I'm...

March 30, 2011

Know Your Options

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Fannie Mae for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

By now it's no secret that  I have had trouble with paying bills over the last couple of years.  Although, the reason why has only recently come to light, it doesn't change the fact that it happened.  I ended up to be upside down in my mortgage. Because I had originally borrowed money in an Adjustable Rate Mortgage, and because the housing market took a nose dive two years later, I owed more on my home than what it was worth. I couldn't make the payments, and I was so far behind that foreclosure was eminent.

would have helped if I had known what options, resources, and tools that were available to me at the time.  A website like KnowYourOptions.com would have saved me time, money, and grief.  I did not know a thing about short sales until after my whole ordeal was over.  A short sale is where you quickly try to sell your home, even if it's for less than what you owe on the Mortgage.  This can help you reduce what you owe in the end.  Another option is a DIL, or Deed in Lieu.  This is where you transfer the name on your deed to the owner of your mortgage to  be released from the payment responsibilities.  Each of these options have their own benefits.

Thankfully, I didn't fall for any scammers who were trying to get even more money out of me.  I had plenty of them call and try though!  Something about a process where you have to spend money to save money just didn't seem right to me.  This is one of the key things to look for when trying to identify a scam, according to KnowYourOptions.com.

I encourage anyone who is considering walking away from their mortgage to explore Know Your Options by Fannie Mae and get to know all of the available options.  If you can gather all of your information, you'll be more likely to make the wisest decision.

Visit Sponsor's Site

March 29, 2011

Sardines: I Don't Eat 'Em.

My Brother, Mikey (While eating Sardines): "You know what's disturbing about these sardines? [nom, nom, nom] "

Me: "Yes. It's a fish in a can."

M.B.M.: "It's that I've seen this exact same picture floating around in my fish tank. A headless, tailless fish."

Me: "I have a different reason."

M.B.M.: "What is it?"

Me: "Finish eating, and I'll tell you after."

M.B.M.: "Tell me, now."

Me: "No."

M.B.M.: "Is it because there's poop in it?"

Me: "Not originally, but that's a good reason."

M.B.M.: "Tell me."

Me: "No."

M.B.M.: "Yes."

Me: "It's that there is no possible way to deworm something that small."

[Long Pause]

M.B.M.: "Ew."

[Long Pause]

M.B.M.: "There goes my appetite."

[Long Pause]

M.B.M: "If these were in Louisiana Hot Sauce, I'd still be eating them."

[Sardine goes down the drain.]


Tethering With Samsung Focus Finally Working!

After 3 days of troubleshooting and digging around on the web, I finally got my Samsung Focus, a Windows Phone 7, to start tethering... In fact, I'm tethering right now to write this blog!

If this post isn't your first step, then you've probably seen the instructions online that look like this:

- Open the phone dialer and tap: dial ##634# and press call
-Once you are in diagnosis mode, dial: *#7284# and you will then have to select Tethered, Modem Call.
-Your device will then have to reboot. Once it is done just plug your device to you PC and and a Samsung driver should install automatically.
- Once it’s done just go to Control Panel / Network and Internet / Network Connections and should see the Samsung Omnia7 or Focus Modem connected.You will then have to change the settings of your Samsung Modem and add your carrier’s info. if required. Here are AT&T’s:
number: *99***1#
password: CINGULAR1

My trouble first started because nowhere did I ever see anyone say that you have to have ZUNE installed to get the drivers to download correctly... maybe because it isn't totally true. You DO however need to have an internet connection. It was a huge hurdle for me because tethering on my iPhone 3GS was my main connection to the internet. In order to get the Samsung Drivers to install correctly on my laptop, I had to use a Wifi network to connect to the internet and THEN plug my phone into my laptop. After that, it worked just fine. I also installed Zune, just in case.

After the drivers were installed correctly, I kept getting an error when I would try to connect. Error 628 which said something about my connection being terminated by Arnold Schwarzenegger or something like that. After much more digging, I found the answer on a MobileTechWorld thread:

Oh, solved my own problem.

In Devices and Printers, right-click on the Samsung Mobile Modem device. Go to Properties / Hardware tab / Properties / General tab / Change settings / Advanced tab. Enter the following in the Extra initialization commands field:

Select Ok, and then in Network Connections, right click on the new connection you created and select Connect.

When trying to find the device to alter, I noticed that there were 3 associated with my phone. I chose the first one "Samsung CDMA Modem", and it did the trick!

Oh, and word to the wise, your cell phone will compress data when you browse the web on it, but not when you use it as a modem. It would be wise to be sure you have a smart phone tethering plan through AT&T before you try to tehter your phone. It's $45 for 4GB, which is the same price as the normal $25 2GB plan plus the extra $20 for the additional 2GB, just like usual. The only difference is that it unlocks the tethering feature on your phone. I don't think you HAVE to have it to get the Samsung Focus to tether, since you have to change the configuration of the phone to begin with, but it would be better to have since you're probably going to be using 4 or more GB every month anyway... I, for example, use about 10GB a month by tethering my phone.

March 22, 2011

8 Days a Week

My schedule at work changed. I used to have Saturday-Monday off, but now my days off are sparatic. Today marks my 8th day in a row of working. Not exactly my idea of working part time, but some of my shifts have been rather short. Since I am part time, I'm here to cover the shifts that need covering, and this is the last month for any of us to be able to take our vacations at work before the rollover time is lost. So, as we all scramble to get our paid time off, we leave our co workers short staffed. It all evens out in the end. Everyone gets a relaxing week away from work and we also all have to deal with a busy time while others are away.

March 21, 2011

Rental Schmental Make Me Mental

Ever since I started living a lone I have been struggling to pay my rent. Times are hard when you're a single mom working part time. If I could go full time at work, I would probably still be struggling.

I started to look for an apartment or townhouse to try to cut costs and live further below my means. The problem is that I need so much room! I have a son and a dog and a cat, and when you add up all of those things, I would pay almost as much to live in a smaller place without a yard. It just doesn't seem worth it. I have started trying to sell some of my things on Craigslist, but I'm not getting any offers. I think I'm going to have to come down in price on quite a few things.

I'm just trying to do the best that I can with what I have, but it doesn't seem to be enough. I wish that I could move away and have a fresh start, but I'm just not going to be able to, I'm fairly certain of that. So there will be no fresh start for Crystal. There will always be this horrible and lingering baggage that I can't shake. I would still like to move into a new place, with a new keyhole, if you catch my drift.


With all of the things that have been going on in my life lately, I needed a break. That's why I decided it would be a great idea to go to Mississippi to visit my family and go to Mardi Gras. I hadn't ever been to Mardi Gras as an adult before, so I was excited to go.

Lemme tell ya, Mardi Gras is magical! I had so much fun, I can't even begin to explain it! We went to parades and caught beads, it was so much fun. There were people everywhere, and the best part was that I was with my family.

I hadn't been back to Mississippi in nearly 4 years and I was long over due for a trip. I am planning on going back in October for another visit. When I go in Oct, I will bring Caleb to visit with me. I am planning on heading down there for my uncle's birthday. It should be fantastic, as usual.

Now that I am back home in WA state, the only thing I can think of is when I will be able to go back to Mississippi again. I love it there so much, and it really does feel like home. I know there are a lot of obstacles that stand in my way in regards to moving, but it would be like a dream come true. I guess right now, that's all it is.

Le sigh


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