Sunday, December 06, 2009

Once Upon A Life

Last year, at this time, my husband and I discovered that, we, along with many others had lost our life savings in the biggest Ponzi scheme this country has ever seen. We were certain that we had enough money to live on for the rest of our lives with plenty left over for the children. Surprise! In addition to losing all of our money, our 2 year old home had lost more than 1/2 it's value. Therefore, selling it was not an option.

One's first reaction is complete shock and then disbelief and denial. Denial is such a good place to live. I chose to live there for a couple of days. Soon, I realized, denial was not going to pay our bills. Of course, I had no idea how I was going to pay our bills. We were accustomed to living a very comfortable lifestyle with all the toys that go with it. Now, we were going to have to live on our social security checks.

How in the world would we do that? I quickly learned. Fortunately, for most of my life I've collected Lalique and Baccarat. After taking pictures of my beautiful pieces, I posted them for sale on eBay. The pity is that I hadn't learned how to sell on eBay prior to posting all these pieces of art. Unfortunately they sold for very little, however, it was more than we had coming in and the people who bought my little treasures, I believe, love them as much as I did.

Being a quick study, my learning curve for eBay didn't take as long as one would think. We were able to live from eBay sales for the first 4 months of the year. I also had beautiful jewelry. My hope had always been for the girls in my life...granddaughters, daughter in law, step daughter, adopted daughter and her daughters and my niece to inherit my jewelry.

That isn't going to happen. It was all sold! However my foresight served me well. You see, I have always believed that I didn't want to wait until I was dead for my girls to receive the jewelery I loved. So over the years I've given them various pieces of jewelry and love seeing them wear something of me. Once again, we had money to pay the bills.

We have also had the generosity of family to help us out financially. There are not enough ways to say "thank you" to the people in our life that have been so open and kind to us. Since January I have been looking for a job. We know that there are very few openings out there. However, I believed that with the years of experience I have, it wouldn't be difficult. It's not's impossible! 20+ years in my own business, doing every job, hasn't seemed to help! Searching for a position is very different today than it was in the "olden" days.

One cannot call to make an appointment. One has to email a cover letter and resume. I am convinced that if your letter and resume do not have neon lights and dancing girls, it doesn't get seen. Yet, I still send out my letters and resumes and go to every retail store in the area to apply for a job. My experience includes everything from Laboratory Technician (abnormal hematology) to public speaking...from packing and shipping boxes in my factory to selling my products at trade shows...teaching classes in customer service (one can tell I no longer teach these classes, because there is no customer service anymore) to answering phones. I've been an accountant, an assistant controller and a plain bookkeeper.

There is no job too big or too small. I will do anything and have, as long as it was legal. People say "you're overqualified". I believe I am "fully qualified". It is now a year since we realized our investments were gone! This is a tough month. I haven't run out of things to sell. It's just that my Judith Leiber and Kathrine Baumann bags aren't being auctioned for another 5 days.

If you're interested go to and do a search for Judith Leiber or Kathrine Baumann. You'll see the bags I have left. The beginning prices are great for these exquisite pieces of art. Hopefully, they will all sell for a lot of money and in January we will be able to pay some bills. Until then, I will be grateful for my health and that my husband is healthy and count my blessings.

Thanks for listening,


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