Windfall Woman

Life and times of an older Brittany Murphy look-a-like still working as a sales executive after experiencing a life changing windfall a year or so ago

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Location: United States

Friday, September 30, 2005

Being new to blogging, I have been visiting other people’s. At first, I was randomly just hitting “next blog” on While interesting, that method was very tiring. Weeding through all of those blogs! I had no idea that there is so much pornography in blogs! Call me naïve, but I was really taken aback. Now I’m all for First Amendment, freedom of speech and all that jazz but that kind of stuff really is not what I was interested in viewing.

So many blogs are written in foreign languages too! I took French in high school and college but I’m not enough fluent enough to decipher the language completely. Frustrated, I began to search blogs using certain words and phrases. Bingo! I found some terrific reading material. These blogs led me to a treasure trove of even more great ones! I could not stop reading! I commented in a good many of them (and some of you have been kind enough to come visit me – thank you). I really have bookmarked these sites and feel as though I am at the precipice of making some new friends here – even if we just write back and forth. So far this seems to be working with nice commenters as well. If I don’t care for your blog, I don’t comment. I am old fashioned enough that if my grandmothers are looking down from heaven, I sure don’t want them to be disappointed in what I am writing.

I watched Survivor last night and thought of the similiarities between outwitting, outlasting and outplaying this wonderful yet overwhelming windfall. Look at Richard Hatch, the first Survivor. Winning a million dollars plus endorsements! He has now been indicted for tax evasion – imagine that! I mean did he think NO ONE from the IRS watches Survivor? I simply cannot believe it.

Think of all the people who have made it big and lost it all – P.T. Barnum, Dorothy Dandridge, Walt Disney, Mike Tyson, Eddie Fisher, Isaac Hayes, Mickey Rooney, Mickey Rooney, Mark Twin, M.C. Hammer, Kim Basinger and don’t forget – Donald Trump! It’s scary scary scary. That is why I am being so ultra conservative. I mean I have the chance of a lifetime for my family, friends and others. I just can’t mess it up. I just can’t.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

I love Thursdays. The weekend is visible. Since "the fall," I love all days, but my love for Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays are a hangover from my work days. Of course, since I still have my job I guess I should get some slack, shouldn't I?

It has been fun reading your posts and emails about what you would do if you got a windfall too. One of you said you would fly your grandmother to Philadelphia and have her stay in a fancy hotel. I liked that. I miss my grandmothers.

I read the other day about a recent Iowa lottery winner who just had become a citizen. His name is Moses Bittok. He won the lottery the next day! He opted to take the payout in increments as opposed to a lump sum. I've never seen anyone do that before. Maybe he's smart. Read more about his story here

My house is really a mess. Can you believe I don't even have a bedroom suite? I can’t either. I do have a TV, a VCR and DVD in my room but no REAL furniture. I also have pepto bismal pink moiré wallpaper that’s truly ugly. My dressing area and adjoining bathroom have floral pink wallpaper that is really ugly too. So I finally hired a decorator today. She does not know about my situation. I told her to decorate on a shoestring budget. She'll probably recommend stuff from Pottery Barn. That's fine with me. I like Pottery Barn. I don't have to have Henredon everywhere. I don't believe I am not being mean by not telling her, but I want to protect “the fall.” I mean, it came so fast, I worry that it will go away. That’s what keeps me awake at night now. Worrying “the fall” will disappear. Now that I have it, I want to keep it.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

In response to a comment, I wanted you to know that I am not saving and/or spending all the money just on myself. I have decided on some preliminary charitable recipients, but the list is not finalized. Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and our local ballet company are at the top of the list as is the Victory Junction Gang Camp. This awesome camp for critically ill children was started by Kyle and Pattie Petty in honor of their son Adam who was killed at Loudon, New Hampshire. Loudon is one of the race tracks on the Nextel Cup's circuit. For those of you who do not know, the Nextel Cup is NASCAR's equivalent of the Super Bowl. Anyway, here is the link to Victory Junction if you want to read more about it. I had the pleasure of meeting Kyle and Pattie through a corporate event, and they are incredible, giving people.

The most fun part of my donation plan is already in play. It is actually dual faceted: people I know and people I do not know. Let me explain.

Some in my family have been thoughtful and helpful. I remember what they have done for me, and they will be reaping ten times the return on their generosity. Isn’t that an interesting thought? I wonder what people would truly give if they knew they would receive ten times their gift in return. My formula is going to need some sort of adjustable algorithm, because some gifts, while small, deserve more than the ten times formula. I will have to think about this more.

You know, it is an interesting situation -- being able to pay back people for nice things they have done. There are two mentors in college that saw me through rough times -- one of them a religion professor. I will not be forgetting a special doctor that wrote off some medical bills. I have never forgotten them. These people saved my life, and they comprise the first group of individual recipients -- the ones I know.

Perhaps a more fun group of potential recipients are the ones I do not know.......unsuspecting individuals. For example, the lady who works the drive through window at McDonald's for breakfast? She has virtually no teeth. She is always there and always smiling. Even with just a few teeth. She deserves something.

I met a lady in the ballet lobby who drove quite a distance for her daughter to dance at a more premium dance school. She had brain cancer. Her husband had left her daughter and her. She was living with her mother still trying to hold down a job. I alerted the ballet to her situation, and they offered her daughter a scholarship. I paid for her daughter's Spring Concert costume unbeknownst to her. Over the past year, I occasionally slip some money in an envelope with no return address and mail it. I never had the means before to help much. I want to do more now.

What about the waitress at the Waffle House? (In my part of the country, we call it the "Awful House.") Looking tired and frayed and making no tips. How would she react to a $100 tip? Or the one eyed cafeteria worker at my daughter's school who makes the hot entree'? The one who lights up when someone actually chooses HER creation over a hotdog or sandwich?

I enjoy pondering these types of questions.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

I am at my office today. I bet you are wondering why I am still working. Well, I have not made up my mind about how I am going to handle my benefits yet. They are expensive. Besides, I am not too taxed right now. Why not continue to pull down my six figure salary with benefits included while I still can?

Work is fun when you realize you can just walk out of there any day you want. There is real freedom in feeling like you can say screw it. Today, I virtually was asleep with my eyes open during my weekly meeting. It is time to start planning lunch after the meeting. I have some girlfriends who are having lunch together today. I could join them.

There is a woman at my office that no one likes. Everyone tiptoes past her desk and whispers where we will meet for lunch so she will not hear where we are going. She just was promoted. That is not why we don't like her. She is very abrasive and self focused. I can’t wait to watch her throw her weight around as she is drunk with her new power. She will feel like fainting when she finds about about “the fall.” It makes me laugh to think of it.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Many of you probably wonder what did I buy first after the windfall. Amazingly enough, I sat down and took the extraordinary pleasure of paying off every single bill. Over the years, I had amassed assorted Visas and Mastercards (3), a Delta Skymiles Amex, a regular American Express, Nordstrom’s, Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, a home equity loan, a car loan, etc. I cannot imagine what my mailbox will be like with virtually no bills any longer except the recurring utilities’ ones. Nor can I imagine what it will feel like not to have to lay awake worrying about that crushing debt.

I live in a modest house that I began working on several years ago. Most people would immediately move elsewhere but I have not made that choice yet. The yard is awful. First, I am going to resod it beautifully front AND back and have an unsightly basketball goal taken down. Our deck has been about to fall off the house so I am getting a new deck that does not have to be painted installed. The house needs repainting immediately, and I have contracted for that all ready. My outdoor lighting on the house is in disrepair so I have an electrician coming to fix that. I am finally getting the laundry sink installed I have always wanted along with a new washer line installed. Also, the garage is just awful so I am paying this company to come in and repaint it, arrange it and paint the floors. It’s not really that bad. Boy, it is going to feel good to see the outside looking so fantastic.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

The First Day

It has taken six months to arrange my life after what I refer to as "The Windfall." Accountants, attorneys, IRS, etc. now all settled. Amazingly enough, I did not quit my job as soon as I found out about it. After spending some years in the corporate rat race, I am going to savour my separation from it. I have managed to keep "the windfall" under wraps. That was one of the conditions of employing the aforementioned accountants, attorneys....I did not want people knowing my business. I also did not want the inevitable hounding by "organizations" either. I prefer to see how my family, friends and affiliates will react on a more gradual basis. That is why I am chronicling my "new life" in this blog. I hope some of you out there reading will enjoy it -- at least vicariously. Life is truly good.

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