Chef Sheila’s Open Letter To President Obama

Dear Mr. President,

I’m a poster child for today’s economic turn.  Believe me, this is not where I had expected to be and this is not the letter I would have liked to write you.

I was debt free 3 years ago. I was making great money after having a “Nose to the Grindstone” attitude to make something of myself in a second career.  I am a veteran. A single parent and while all of these have impacted my place in society, I thought of myself a blessed and happy woman who was proud to be a good citizen of this country.

I was finally in a place where I could buy a home for myself.  I was feeling that is was finally my turn and So, I found the sweetest little condo that gave me such peace and for a very reasonable price. I made sure that I had a 30 year fixed loan.  I didn’t think that a loan for some renovations was a big deal because at the time I could afford it.  I bought some furniture. My credit cards were not over the top in debt.  

However, the downward spiral began with a medical loan I was forced to take out for a life threatening problem that Blue Cross Blue Shield considered elective. 

Then my dad passed away and I my mother fell ill.  I felt I had no choice but to come home to help my  sisters with her care. But looking at my finances, which were tight, I still thought I could safely relocate as long as I had a renter or got a sale.  I was going for the renter.

Mr. President, I left my home in Royal Oak Michigan in the hands of a realty agent who said that she could probably get it sold through short sale because of the circumstances of my move.    I had a prospective buyer when the market plunged and that toppled.   Hanging by a thread….Foreclosure is going to happen if I can’t find a buyer and the market is preventing that.

President Obama, there is nothing anyone can do for me. I have to weather the storm right along with millions of other people sir.  

However, there is something you can do for all of us.  The majority of us who are enmeshed in this mortgage crisis are upstanding and responsible Americans.

President Obama, I don’t suppose you could remind others that people like me are not losers and are worth more than all the blame that is being laid at our feet.  Please remind the country that not all foreclosures or bankruptcies belong to bad evil irresponsible people.   They belong to people like me who spent a life time making something of myself and could not have known that banks and corporations were playing around at our expense.   



Sheila Stone



Filed under Uncategorized

38 responses to “Chef Sheila’s Open Letter To President Obama

  1. dog's eye view

    Well said, Sheila. You should post this comment on several blogs.

    For the record: every word Sheila writes is true, and it breaks my heart to see her lose her beautiful home. (Never saw it, but did see pics and it was an elegantly decorated and beautiful little respite from the world, with soothing colors and understated, comfortable furniture.)

    It’s too easy to blame irresponsible borrowers, and not acknowledge contributing factors (healthcare bills, job loss, economic insecurity, outsourcing when building a local economy with adequately compensated consumers/citizens would be best for long-term growth, sheer greed on Wall Street, short-term thinking with as little regulation as possible, denial, fear driving an incompetent administration to worse and worse conclusions.)

    Sheila’s economic turn for the worse was driven by — surprise, surprise — a health emergency, and this despite VA benefits as a former service member.

    Having located her home in a dying region — Michigan — compounds.

    This is societal. It’s not merely personal.

  2. dog's eye view

    WaPost front page profile of Michael Bennet, Colorado’s junior senator replacing Ken Salazar.

    NOTE: Senator spells his last name with one “T”; unusual and vaguely 00 dare we say? — French…

  3. BevnTempe

    Sheila – a heart-wrenching and eye opening story that everyone should read. I think dog’s response also reinforces what you are saying. I hope this crisis slows, however, headlines on CNN say that Home Depot is cutting jobs.

  4. dog's eye view

    Caterpillar and Sprint Nextel cutting 28,000 jobs. ING laying off 7,000.

    Anybody want to include a sidebar with current job loss numbers on this blog, for our reference?

  5. Morning peeps,
    Sheila a great letter, very heart felt and as you said we all have to weather the storm together. Great picture too!

  6. dnd

    Great letter Shelia. The reach of the housing crisis extends well beyond those who bought more than they could afford.

  7. chefsheila

    THanks kids!! As long as I have my birthday, I’m happy. A little shaky at times, but happy all the same.

    Please extend it to anyone you hear is having “ME” for breakfast.

    I have had to take a lot of crap already from the ignorant who are branding me and others.

  8. chefsheila

    ….HA! Almost said, “Hey, isn’t that supposed to be NUCULER?”

  9. horsedooty

    good letter Sheila. Sorry about the condo. might be the best thing thou given the real estate climate.

  10. chefsheila

    Thanks Doots.. Could be. As is, its the only option now without going bankrupt.

  11. dog's eye view

    Napa Valley restaurant French Laundry’s chef Timothy Hollingsworth competes for Bocuse d’Or this week. He’s 28; worked his way up through the ranks; no formal culinary training.

    Go Team USA!,0,1576413,full.story

  12. chefsheila

    VERY TUFF. I don’t think I remember an American getting it yet, so good luck to him.

    The Bocuse is pretty big.

    …..The Chef is kind a big too….thats Paul Bocuse…lol

  13. Tom DeLay Finds Obama Stimulus House of Horrors

    Do we need any more proof it’s the right thing to do?

  14. Obama Administration To Engage In “Direct Diplomacy” With Iran

    United Nations — President Barack Obama’s administration will engage in “direct diplomacy” with Iran, the newly installed U.S. ambassador to the United Nations said Monday.

    Not since before the 1979 Iranian revolution are U.S. officials believed to have conducted wide-ranging direct diplomacy with Iranian officials. But U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice warned that Iran must meet U.N. Security Council demands to suspend uranium enrichment before any talks on its nuclear program.

  15. GOP Chair Candidate Attacked With Fake “Whites Only” Newspaper Cover

    Are they sure it was faked?

  16. dog's eye view

    Tim Geithner confirmed as Treasury Secretary by Senate. Awriight.

    And what a prize now for having been confirmed.

    Any guesses on when we might see our first 6- figure job losses day?

  17. dog's eye view

    The NYTimes takes up the Bocuse D’Or too. Iron French chef tournament up this week. Knives will flash. Dishes will be garnished. Time will run out, for some.

    NYT: “… In the previous 11 contests since 1987, a Frenchman has won the gold medal six times, a Norwegian three. Sweden and Luxembourg both won once. The Americans have never even won the silver or bronze; the best an American placed was sixth in 2005.

    “I hope they will win because we’d really like this competition to cross the Atlantic,” Mr. Bocuse said, in an interview, speaking of the American team. He called its leader, a 28-year-old named Timothy Hollingsworth, “extraordinary, awesome.”

    Mr. Bocuse heaped even more praise on Mr. Hollingsworth’s 22-year-old commis, or apprentice, Adina Guest, who will work by his side during the competition. “They don’t say 10 words to each other in five-and-a-half-hours, but they work together like a fine timepiece,” Mr. Bocuse said. “The chef is very good, but his assistant, the young woman, is exceptional.”

    Go Tim and Adina!!

  18. Meet the Ku Klux Klan’s seamstress of hate couture.
    Photos and text by Anthony Karen
    Audio produced by Peter Meredith and Gary Moskowitz

    really spooky, listen to the audio.

  19. Hey Shelia,

    Nice letter, but so sorry that you had to experience all that first hand. I appreciate your “making it real” for those who do not understand, for those who relish in judgmental slams, maybe some will open their eyes and recognize the truth and scope of our country’s problems.

    One thing is true, we all have struggles that are beyond our control, many times too difficult to explain and when ignorant comments fly… it really can sting and anger.

    bright side….bright side……repeat after me….. 😀 ….You know what I mean.

  20. Sometimes you just gotta hold on no matter how bumpy the road gets!

  21. I made homemade chicken noodle soup…..for the first time in my life……lol…..Thanks for the recipe ( can’t remember which one of you charming men posted the link) but the link got me motivated to attempt making it from scratch.

    Plus the fact that when I was sick, the soup I was eating tasted like the metal can it was packaged in….gross.

    Simple pleasures…… to a bubble bath……and a magazine….

    Have a great evening everyone!

  22. “I made homemade chicken noodle soup…..for the first time in my life”

    Obviously not a Jewish mother!

  23. Obama’s interview on al-arabiya tv was fascinating.

  24. Obama On Al-Arabiya: First Formal Interview As President With Arab TV Network (VIDEO)

  25. Good post, Sheila. I think I have a better understanding of the mortgage problem simply by reading your post.

  26. The layoffs really are shocking. Whats even worse is the fact that the outlet stores around the biggees like Home Depot are going to suffer quite badly as well. The nail shop and local pet store is going to go under, I am afraid.

  27. RE; Brian on Tom Delay. Yeah, when you have old grease head lining up against something, you know whatever it is has something good to it.

  28. chefsheila

    Steve, I’m sorry I woke up too late! Good to see you sir.

  29. dog's eye view

    Northern Virginia report: winter wonderland outside, and snow coming down rapidly. Very beautiful. Think we have about an inch.

    Local kids have today off for teacher workday (as yesterday too); so good that they can enjoy and think “why not tomorrow instead?”

  30. chefsheila

    Kick back and enjoy it. 🙂

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