Thursday, July 31, 2008

Dear Son…

There are some things I would like to discuss with you.

1) When you are finished eating you do not need to throw what remains onto the floor, even if you don’t like it. I promise to notice when you are finished eating. If I ask you why you threw your food on the floor, “Uh-oh” is not an appropriate response.

Photo by Me

2) The garage is not your play area; please do not attempt to play out there. If I ask you what you are doing in the garage, “Dada” is not an appropriate response, especially when your Dad is at work.

3) Please do not shut off my computer. I realize I am on my computer a lot; but please understand that I work from home. The alternate option is that I work out of home and you go to daycare.

4) I do not require your assistance cleaning the litter box. I am aware when it is full and I will get to it soon enough. Don’t worry; I will be sure to assign the chore to you as soon as I feel you are able to handle the responsibility.

5) Please stay out of the kitchen utensil drawer. There are many things in there that could potentially harm you. Today you dumped out the silverware organization tray. I realize it could use to be washed, but the silverware that it contained was clean before being dumped on the floor and each piece individually tested in your mouth.

Photo by Me

6) When your Dad asks you questions such as, “what do you think you are doing” or “who said you could play with that” or any similar question, “Mama” is not an appropriate response. Most likely, I did not give you permission to do whatever it is you are doing.

7) I am tired of putting your room back together each night before your bed time. I do not know what is appealing to you to move as much of your furniture as you can to the middle of the room, but it does not belong there. I can imagine it is as exhausting to you to move it there as it is for me to move it back.

Photo by Me

8) Please do not bite me, it hurts, and “Bite” is not an appropriate response when I ask you to stop biting. In addition, pulling my hair is also not allowed and laughing after you do so is not an appropriate response.

9) Please do not fill your mouth with your drink from your sippy cup and then spit it on the floor. This is a very messy activity and each additional time I have to clean the floor is time that we could have spent playing. In addition, when you have made a mess on the floor, please be more selective on what you use to clean it up. Clean clothes from your drawer or the couch pillows are not cleaning rags.

10) The hall closet is not your play area. There is not enough storage in our home and currently the three bottom shelves in the closet are empty. I would be very pleased if I could please have these back for storage use.

My son, I love you very much and I am sure that we can resolve these issues.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Notable Websites Series – Flickr

After the birth of my son, I discovered a passion for photography. I could easily snap a minimum of 300 photos a month of my son. I initially archived my photos onto a CD, but started thinking that if something should ever happen to my house, such as a fire, they could all be gone. I already had an account on Flickr, where I am part of a private online photography group consisting of a bunch of moms with cameras, and decided that was where I would archive my photos. I had to upgrade to a paid unlimited account since I took more photographs in a month then the free account allowed me to upload, but for the peace of mind of knowing I will always have my photographs the cost seemed worth it.

Flickr (part of the Yahoo! company) is a great site for photo management, hosting, and sharing and has recently included the ability to upload short videos. The free account gives users the ability to upload 100MB each month. You select your comfort zone for sharing your photos and have the option to make the photos private, friends and/or family, or public. The majority of my photos are set to friends/family, though I do have some, mostly landscape-type photos that are public.

One of the features I like most about Flickr is the photo hosting ability. Many of the other photo hosting sites provides you a code for your photo as uploaded. On Flickr, you have the option to select the size of the photo you want to host. This is particularly useful when hosting photos for use on message boards. On Flickr, you can upload the photo in its original size and then select between thumbnail, square, small, medium, large, and original for the photo url; depending on the size of the original photo. Very cool!

Monday, July 28, 2008

My Account is in Collections – But I Still Have Rights

This is a personal subject, but I have chosen to share it with you knowing that this information may someday help someone. Let me also warn you here, this will be a long post, which is the only way I can give you all the necessary background and important details. I considered breaking it into Parts and post a new part each day; but for this particular topic I feel it is best to put it all out there at once.

It is no secret to my blog readers that we are in a financial hard place. Many of our debts are in slow-pay type status, meaning the bill still gets paid, just not on time. However, this has not always been the case.

When I quit working after the birth of my son, many of my accounts went delinquent. As soon as I started working from home, I began to try to fix what had gone bad. However, it was already too late for one of my credit cards that had been charged off and sold to an apparent attorney. I tried to work with the attorney, but he wanted the entire amount “today” and refused to discuss any other options (he even suggested I take a 2nd mortgage on our home to pay it.) After some time of not hearing anything more from the attorney, the account was again sold (I believe) to a collection agency – National Enterprise Systems (NES). I have spoken with NES a few times on the phone and every time the collector on the other end has gotten “nasty” with me and I ended the call. Just recently, I experienced another of these nasty calls.

The following dialog is to the best of my recollection; however, I do not have a photographic memory, so it will not be word for word and I have omitted unimportant details. The dialog starts after NES confirming that I was on the line:

NES: I am calling about your account that is about to go to court hearing next week.
Me: I am not aware of any court hearing.
NES: We sent you a letter July 9; your account will be in court next week.
Me: Where is the court hearing?
NES: In Ohio.
Me: Am I expected to appear in court?
NES: Not at this time. The reason I am calling is because there is still time to settle out of court. You owe $x but we can settle for $x/2.
Me: That’s great savings but I don’t have $x/2.
NES: Perhaps you should ask your family.
Me: I’m not going to ask my family, they are as broke as I am.
NES: Are you saying that you refuse to ask your family and settle this debt; you would rather go to court? If it goes to court you could be held responsible for $2x including court costs and attorneys fees. The court could garnish up to 35% of your wages and if you do not have the income available you may be arrested.
Me: How long do I have?
NES: Until July 29.

At this point in the call, my heart is pounding and I feel anxiety taking over my body. I ask the lady calmly for all important information, her name and number to reach her, account number, settlement amount, etc. and tell her I will make some calls and get back with her. She informs me that I have until 3 pm eastern time that same day to contact her (I’m not sure what happened to my previous July 29 deadline.)

I have already had a bad debt proceed to legal collections. I was served a summons to appear at my local courthouse for court mediation. I appeared, and the matter was settled during mediation and did not proceed to actual hearing. Because of this, I have not only had some experience with debt collections proceeding this far, but I have also done a lot of research on debtors rights. So, after hanging up, there are a few things that stand out to me.

1) NES claimed that notice of the hearing had been sent to me. I have not been served with legal papers. I searched through my mail over the last month and found correspondence from NES postmarked on July 9; a basic “we have acquired your account of so much amount and you have 30 days to dispute the validity of the debt”. Anyone who has had a debt go to collections has seen this type of letter.

2) The court hearing is in Ohio. I do not live in Ohio. At this time, I am not sure what the laws are regarding court hearing locations, but this seemed strange to me anyway.

3) I was threatened with wage garnishment and possible arrest. I know from my previous research that collectors should not threaten debtors.

With these thoughts in mind, I go to my computer for further information on my rights. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) was created to eliminate abusive practices (and more) during collection of debts. It creates guidelines under which collectors may conduct business and defines rights of the debtor. After reviewing the FDCPA, and many pages describing debtor rights during collections, I felt sure that NES had potentially violated the FDCPA.

I next proceeded to call the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). I described the phone call to the FTC, who confirmed my suspicion that NES may have violated the FDCPA and filed a complaint. The FTC also confirmed my suspicion that any court hearing regarding the matter would be held in my state of residence. I then called my state’s Attorney General (AG), as directed by the FTC and also filed a complaint with them. The AG office told me that I could send a certified letter to NES requesting that all correspondence between us should be in writing, and that any calls from them after the request would also be in violation of FDCPA. And finally, under the direction of the AG, I filed a complaint with my state’s Office of Finance.

During my research of my rights, I learned that any debt settlement offer should be in writing, and no money should be sent to the collection agency until the debt settlement offer is in the hands of the debtor. The reason of this is because if you do not have the agreement in writing then the collector could say that there was no agreement and proceed with collecting the remaining amount. Also, the settlement should be sent to the collector in the form of a money order or bank check. This is so that the collector does not have access to your personal account information. So with this knowledge, I called back NES (about an hour after my 3 pm deadline) and asked for a debt settlement letter.

NES: Sure, what is your fax number?
Me: I do not have fax available to me.
NES: You don’t have fax anywhere that you can access?
Me: No, could you please just send it?
NES: If we send it, it will not reach you before your deadline.
Me: I’m not going to give you any money until after I have a debt settlement letter.
NES: You could postdate a check and we will send the letter. Then, if you don’t receive the letter you can cancel the check.
Me: (I am confused at this point) I’m not sending you money until I have a debt settlement letter.
NES: Are you saying you are going to let this matter go to court because you refuse to pay the settlement? We could have the letter faxed to you in 10 minutes! (The woman then proceeds to get nasty with me with a raised voice; then, in a much quieter voice.) My supervisor would like to speak to you.
NES Supervisor: I understand you are interested in settling this debt.
Me: Yes, I would like a debt settlement letter, first.
NES Supervisor: Could you provide a fax number?
Me: I do not have fax available to me.
NES Supervisor: Can’t you go to Kinkos?
Me: That costs money.
NES Supervisor: It’s only a quarter.
Me: Just mail me the debt settlement letter.
NES Supervisor: If you send it to us and provide us with a fax number we can have it to you in ten minutes.
Me: Excuse me? It sounds like you expect me to send you something before you send a debt settlement letter.
NES Supervisor: Yes, you need to post date a check before we will release the debt.
Me: I refuse to send you any money until you send me a debt settlement letter. (This is the end of this call.)

After hanging up, I call the FTC back to add this incident to my previous complaint. The FTC informs me to send a certified letter with return receipt to NES requesting that all correspondence be in writing, and a second letter requesting a debt settlement agreement to be provided to me in writing.

This is what I have done since: Remember the letter NES sent to me dated July 9, that states I have 30 days to dispute the debt? Well, the 30 days is not up yet, so I sent a letter stating that I dispute the debt and I am requesting it be validated. The collection process cannot continue until validation is sent to me; meaning they cannot sue me next week (which I think was a scare tactic lie anyway.) Even though I know this debt is valid, it is still my right to request the debt be validated; besides, what if my memory of the debt faulty and my actual debt is actually $500 less.

I also sent a letter stating that they are not to contact me via telephone and all correspondence should be in writing. Both of these letters were sent certified mail with return receipt, this is important! By sending certified mail, the document becomes submittable in court. If for some reason they do not accept the delivery, I will have that as evidence in court that they refused to work with me. If they accept the letters and violate FDCPA and do not follow through with my requests then I will have that on my side in court.

I have also prepared a letter stating that I would like to settle the debt for x amount of dollars and if they agree with the terms to send me a letter of agreement. I do not intend to send this letter until after they have followed through with my request to validate the debt. My letter looks much like this sample. In addition, this page has numerous sample letters for many things credit related.

If you or someone you know is forced to deal with an impossible collection agency, remember that you have rights, too. Consumers have the right to not be abused over the telephone (and more); do not let this happen to you or anyone you know.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Notable Websites Series –

Everyone with email has received those forwarded messages. You know the ones, they warn you that thieves are stalking parking lots with plots to get you, they warn you about products that you may use everyday that could kill you, they claim that Bill Gates wants to share his wealth with you, and so much more. Yep, you know the ones. Admit it, how many times have your read these emails, took them as fact, and forwarded them to everyone in your mailbox. What if there was a way to check the validity of these emails, a site to refer to that looks into these messages in Mythbusters-style. Well guess what, there is!

This brings me to a site dedicated to urban legends, a term that (on embraces common fallacies, misinformation, old wives’ tells, strange news stories, rumors, celebrity gossip, and similar items. I recommend this site, not only to check the validity of your forwarded email, but also for pure entertainment.

You would not believe how I first discovered this site. I received a forwarded message in my email, I can no longer remember the message it included, only that it claimed it was true as seen on (with a link.) The funny thing was, when you clicked the link to, the page clearly identified the email as being false. HA! I guess who ever started the email figured that if they referenced the recipient would take the email as fact without checking the link. (This brings up "the chicken or the egg" type question - which came first, the false email, or the page that identified the email as being false.... hmmm?)

So next time before you hit the forward button, check first. You may potentially save yourself some embarrassment.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Murphy is Camping in My Spare Bedroom

In The Total Money Makeover, Dave Ramsey states in regards to the emergency fund, “This beginning emergency fund will keep life’s little Murphies from turning into new debt while you work off the old debt. If a real emergency happens, you can handle it with your emergency fund.” If you are asking, “who is Murphy?” this is from Murphy’s Law: if anything can go wrong, it will.

I was snoozing ever so soundly when DJ walked into the bedroom, “Someone broke into the truck, where is the camera.” I immediately sat up in bed, “What? In our neighborhood?” We live in a quiet neighborhood filled with many elderly retired people. I tell DJ where to find the camera and dress myself so that I can go outside to see the damage. Damn, it was not some cruel joke to get me out of bed (not that DJ ever does that.)

Photo by DJ

As you can see they did a lot of damage to the passenger’s side door. There were finger prints visible at the top of the door above the window and a foot/shoe print below the window. This makes it appear that they grabbed the door at the top and physically pulled it down using leverage with at least one foot on the door.

While a police man was here taking prints, a neighbor walked by and asked if the truck had been broken into. She then stated that her neighbor across the street from her had their vehicle stolen overnight. This gives the impression that whoever broke into our truck had the intension of taking the whole thing, and for some reason gave up and moved on to easier prey.

The truck is currently at the shop waiting for a new door to come in. The damage is covered by our insurance, everything over our $500 deductible, that is. If we had an emergency fund, this would not be such a big deal. An example of why you want an emergency fund.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Notable Websites Series –

I do not visit this site as much as I use to and will not say much about it. is a message board focused on identifying scams. It is a great resource for anyone about to be involved in or considering any form of money exchange that you are not 100% sure is legitimate; work at home jobs, paid surveys, emails that claim to give you money, home business opportunities, and so forth. The “search” feature may (or may not) be your friend on this site. The search button is located just below the sign in box, far right.

I am a registered user on this site, but have not posted much. I learned quickly that even though the information here can save you from being scammed out of your hard earned money, the members of this site can be tough. Perhaps they harbor hard feelings from having been scammed, I don’t really know.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Notable Websites Series –

After six weeks of maternity leave following the birth of my son, I started doing some work from home with my then employer. It was agreed upon that I could telecommute for 3 months before returning to the office. This agreement “spoiled” me and as the date of my return neared closer and closer I knew that I would not be able to find the strength to leave my son and return to the office. I also knew that there was no way that we could afford for me to be a stay at home mom, I had to find work.

While searching for legitimate work that I could do from home I came across, the online magazine for work at home moms. I have to admit, I have a love/hate relationship with I love this site because it has a wealth of information for anyone wanting to work at home (WAH) and it is on this site that I found my current job. I hate this site because it tests my patience with slow downloading or refusing to load at all. I have recently learned that has been sold. The site is not expected to change other than moving the site to “bigger, faster servers”, so hopefully there will be improvements to the site soon. However, even with the current slow server, I continue to visit the site frequently and would recommend it to anyone interested in WAH.

My favorite feature on this site is the message board. This is where people get together and discuss all things WAH. You can find information about potential WAH jobs, identified scams and how to avoid them. One comment regarding the message board, if you leave a message, only hit the “submit” button once – even if it takes forever for the submit to occur. If you hit submit more than once your message will be posted an equal number of times in the thread.

One final note on, you will notice “Ads by Google” posted all over this site. The “Ads by Google” are from Google’s AdSense. If you are not familiar with AdSense, an optional feature here on Blogger, AdSense is a “pay-per-click” program that scans the content of your page and then places ads relevant to the content. The site owner is then paid for each click of an ad (no, I do not know how much it pays.) Sounds great, right? Well, this is actually a potential problem on Because contains content focused on WAH the AdSense ads on the site are related to WAH and unfortunately, many are scams. I once saw someone ask why a site that is focused on legitimate WAH would have ad links to scams. The answer is simple, the owner is not able to select or refuse an ad, but since the ads generate revenue for the free-to-use site, the ads remain. The thing to remember for WAH, you NEVER EVER have to pay for a job. If they want money from you, it is a scam.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Notable Websites Series – Dave Ramsey

If you have been reading my blog then I am sure that you can predict that I could not do a “Notable Websites Mini Series” without including the official website of Dave Ramsey. I typically visit Dave’s site once a day, Monday through Friday. My favorite feature on this site is the Dave Ramsey Radio Show. You can listen live if you tune in between 2 pm and 5 pm eastern time. I however, found that I prefer to listen to the archives at my own pace, so I listen one day behind.

Dave’s site contains a wealth of information where you can visit the online store, learn about Financial Peace University, read Dave’s column, and get information on where you can see Dave live among many other things. And if you have some spare money to spend, you can join the My Total Money Makeover online community.

The official Dave Ramsey website is a must visit for anyone on a total money makeover.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Thermostat Wars

In our quest to be debt free, we are trying to cut back anyway possible. Sometimes even the smallest thing that only saves pennies at a time can really add up in the long run. According to the Department of Energy: “Households that lower their thermostats by 1 degree Fahrenheit (1° F) during the current winter heating season may realize average savings of $15 to $40 or more” and this is based off of data from 1997; I bet those figures are higher, now. I also think it is safe to assume that this can be applied to cooling in the summer season.

Some months ago we replaced our faulty manual thermostat with a programmable digital one. It is designed so that we program temperatures into it and it will provide either heat or air depending on which way the actual temperature moves. The thermostat will turn on the system when the actual temperature is 2 degrees above or below the setting; so if the setting is 78 degrees, when the actual temperature reaches 80 the AC turns on and when the actual temperature drops to 76 the heat turns on. Now the big question came, to what temperature do we set it at? This is a huge debate in our home; if I am comfortable, DJ is roasting; if DJ is comfortable, I am freezing!

What is a comfortable temperature, anyway? Have you ever noticed that in the winter you are comfortable at higher temperatures, but in the summer those same temperatures feel too hot? We initially set the thermostat to 78 in the day and 76 at night. This was in the spring and I quickly discovered that 78 left me feeling cold. After talking with DJ and discussing the potential cost savings, we adjusted the thermostat to 80 by day and 78 at night.

Spring quickly became summer and our comfort zone altered accordingly. DJ found his sleep disrupted and changed the thermostat to 75 at night, leaving the day temperature at 80. This made me curious and after a quick Google query I found a page that stated that at 78 degrees sleep is disrupted. This means that DJ has a viable argument and so this has remained our current temperature settings for some time.

Of course, now summer is here in full force and I am finding the once comfortable 80 degrees is too hot, though still freeze my butt off at night. The thermostat wars are never ending.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Notable Websites Series – Simple Mom

I thought that I would start on a website review mini series. I will write one post per my favorite websites. These are websites that I frequent or have found useful and may be of use to you.

The first website I want to review is Simple Mom. This is a blog that is on its own domain. The blog is updated with a new post frequently. The author of Simple Mom is known in the blogosphere as Toblerone. In her words, the blog “is a cross between a mom blog and a productivity blog.”

It is the Simple Mom site that first introduced me to Dave Ramsey and his Total Money Makeover. However, this site is not solely dedicated to finance. The focus of the blog “is for the mom who needs that extra nudge of motivation to manage her home in a productive and balanced way.” Topics to look forward to on Simple Mom include: managing the household, budgeting and family finances, healthy cooking, quality entertainment, organizing, sewing, gardening, and living greener.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Total Money Failure

The question has been asked, how is my total money makeover progressing? Well, it is not. This is why I emailed the Dave Ramsey Radio Show and exactly why I should call the show and speak to Dave.

As mentioned in many of my previous posts, Step 1 of the Total Money Makeover involves; a) be current with all of your creditors, b) write a budget, and c) save the $1000 mini emergency fund as fast as possible. So where am I? Struggling with “a”. I could easily pay my creditors and be current if only they would quit sending a new bill each month! Yes, I know this will not happen.

In Dave’s book, The Total Money Makeover, he discusses that it takes gazelle intensity to be successful in the plan. I have seen gazelle intensity in reading some of my reader’s blogs. I have read about treadmills and other unused objects being sold.

I think everyday about how I can bring in more money. What do I have to sell? DJ and I are not possessions-rich. We do not have expensive toys, recreational vehicles, exercise equipment, excess furniture and both of our vehicles are low value (per Kelley Blue Book). I can only think of one item that DJ and I own that has any value and is not in use, a generator.

Photo by me

On another’s blog, I recently commented that even while working your total money makeover, that sometimes it is ok to spend a little more money on something if it brings you peace of mind. This generator is an object that gives me peace of mind. We live in hurricane central and since we purchased the generator we have not been threatened by a hurricane. It is just our luck that if we sold the generator, we would find ourselves in a hurricane and without power for days or even weeks. If it was just DJ and I, this would not so much be a problem, but now we are a family. We have a child to think about, so I will not be selling our generator.

I know that it will be ok. I will figure something out and begin progressing through the steps. I have been looking into other sources of income and ways to cut back on spending. It will all work out, somehow.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Dave Ramsey Radio Show – Still a “No Go”

If you have been following my posts you likely remember that I posted about my “invite” to go on air with Dave Ramsey on his radio show. I was asked my phone number, of which I provided; however, if they have called me then I have missed the call and no message was left.

I have been trying to find the strength to call on my own, which is certainly possible, but I can’t bring myself to do it. I don’t know why I can’t do it. I’ve been listening to the radio show enough now that I have an idea what he will say.

If in the future I make it on air, I will be sure to let you know how it goes.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Binky – All Gone!

It was his ultimate soother. It was always there when he was in distress. It was his entertainment during boredom. It was his bedtime companion. It had a name; he called it “B”.

Photo by Me

Our pediatrician said, “No more pacifiers after 12 months”. That sounded reasonable to me, until his one-year birthday arrived. How can I take away this one item that he loves so much? Perhaps it was me that did not want to let go of this symbol of infancy. So I let him keep his binky, but only at naptime and bedtime. It was not difficult to keep it away from him unless he saw it, “B, b!” he would say while pointing at it.

Weeks fly by and I continued to hear the pediatricians words nagging at me, “No more pacifiers after 12 months”, so I stopped allowing him to have it at naptime. Still not much trouble, since his nap is immediately following lunch and he frequently starts to nod off while still in his highchair.

Again, the weeks fly by and his 15 month appointment dawns closer and closer. I know the pediatrician will ask, “Is he still taking a pacifier?” I am an honest person, and I would have to tell the truth if asked, so, no more binky.

The first night was not as bad as I thought it would be. As he sat on his daddy’s lap with his sippy cup of milk, he demanded, “B!” But there was no binky and he finally fell asleep. The next night, instead of demanding for his binky he quietly asked, “B?” But there still was no binky and he again fell asleep.

Nights turned into weeks, and it now appears that his “B” has been forgotten. My baby is now a little boy.

Monday, July 7, 2008


My son's favorite game is "Peek-a-boo". He could play it for hours. He has enjoyed the game since before he had any control over his body and could play along. Oh, how the game has evolved as he has grown!

Photo by me

This last week, he has progressed from hiding in a blanket to using his hands to cover his face. He usually does not cover his eyes, I assume he wants to see your reaction. Instead he will cover his ears or mouth much in the "hear no evil, see no evil" kind of way. In addition to this new hand action, he has started to say, "peek" in the sweetest, tiniest little voice that makes my heart melt. My baby is growing up.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Meal Planning

I would like to start meal planning. I know that if I plan meals and write out a grocery list according to those planned meals, we would likely save some money and answer the nightly question, "what's for dinner?"

Photo by secret.genius

Grocery shopping may also be more of a pleasure if I have a list and know what to buy before I go into the store. It’s not that grocery shopping is an uncomfortable experience, but it often goes something like this:

DJ: "Do we have chicken?"
Me: "Yep, we have plenty. Do we need mayo?"
DJ: "I can’t remember, we better get some."
Of course, when we come home we discover that we have plenty of mayo.

I have an idea of what to do, but I don’t know where to start. Do you do meal planning? Do you know of a great blog about meal planning that I should read? Have you posted a blog about meal planning? How about any useful (free) sites on the topic?

I look forward to your comments…

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


Last night I sent an email to the Dave Ramsey radio show. I explained as briefly as possible my current financial situation, how I felt our situation was hopeless, and asked how to proceed when it seems impossible to catch up where we have fallen behind. Shortly after submitting my email I received an auto-response, “Dave receives hundreds of emails and even though he addresses some on air he cannot possibly reply to them all”, along with links to FAQ’s and such.

Today I listened to the first third of the show (I will listen to the rest tomorrow) and about 30 minutes into the show; Dave starts to talk about hopelessness. Even though my email or name was not mentioned in this segment, I felt that he was talking to me; our forest is so thick we cannot see out, we need a lumberjack.

Then later I received a reply email from a representative for the show. They want me to take my question on air with Dave. I replied that I will go on air. I have to admit, I am scared; but I know there is hope. There is light at the end of the tunnel, and it is not a freight train.