Well, I finally was contacted by SoulKat on the Katbox forums, and the black mark on my account has been removed. I will be returning, but not right away. I've went through a lot of emotions during this whole thing, and I still need to sort through them before I can come back. Give me a day or two.
My mom has also finished most of her paperwork regarding her unemployment, and will be on unemployment insurance starting next week. She has been getting a few job offers, but given her physical condition (partial paralysis in her hands and feet), very few of them will work out. Cross our fingers here that something will come along.
I've also been practicing with my new tablet. I recently got Manga Studio Debut 4 for $10 on eBay, but I cannot get it to work in the way I want to, nor can I get Gimp to work as I want it either. Looks like I'm staying with Paint.net until I can learn how to extract lineart in either program (as all the methods I tried from the tutorials I found either required drawing the lineart (and I'm not talking about tracing it), or just flat out did not work when I tried them).
I am looking into doing more model making this year, particularly the painting and customizing of miniatures. Although this will have to wait until the weather gets warmer (I use spray primer and sealant). I have a few miniatures here that I can't wait to get started on (including one I got when my local hobby store closed back in 2008). I also have plans to do more custom Munny figures, with will be a lot easier to do now that I found that my local Barns and Noble carries them (removing the need to order them online, although selection is more limited).
Anyway, the darkness I have been in the past few weeks is starting to lift. I just hope things can turn around completely. Also, I still have commissions available if anyone is interested.