Tag Archives: Work

Dandelion Wine

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So much has happened since I last posted on here! I’m currently sitting in my office, attached to the home Dave and I bought, staring into a backyard filled with dandelions. And the only title I could think of for this post was… Dandelion Wine.

I’ve never even had dandelion wine but… eh, it’s my blog and I can title my posts whatever I want, right?

Behind me a beautiful eight month old baby is attempting to get herself into the toy box, and I’m waiting for the cry of distress when she realizes she can’t get herself back out.

At the time of the last post she was only a figment of our imagination. Having already experienced 4 miscarriages in 2012 we never imagined she would be a reality. But then again, most of what’s happened in the last year is a figment of our imagination. We’re now homeowners, business owners, and parents of an infant… Again.

I swear, being the mom of an infant when you’re in your 30’s is much different than being one in your 20’s, especially when you have other children to run around all over the county. I used to think Robert (now 8) had magical powers enabling him to suck any excess energy out of me. I no longer believe that, however the bed has become quite good at pulling me in, even when I only sit down to change into comfortable clothes.

So yea, Dave and I are business owners. At the time of the last post we were thinking it would be awesome if the little side-endeavor we had started would turn into a full-time gig. Little did we know what within two weeks of that post I would be giving my notice at my job and by January would be working at home full-time with more than a full-time workload.

Today business is awesome. God is good and has provided us with clients we love, and even some we don’t. What we’re learning though is that it’s how we handle ourselves with the less-than-pleasant clients that determines our success into the future. (You’d be amazed by how one client told us God led her to us and then she turned around and told lies and refused to pay! What can we do? Be respectful, not post her name on here – as much as we would love to – and keep going)

So Dandelion Wine… All I know is that I could get ridiculously drunk if I made dandelion wine using the crop in my backyard, but for today, this year and this decade I have more than enough work to do to consider that. A beautiful baby needs my love, and clients need time.

The latter can wait until the first is done. Love always comes first.

XOXO

Are We in the 47 Percent?

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I normally ignore politics.  I followed the Obama campaign four years ago because I thought he would be good for America, but ever since then, my following has been just about non-existant.  Well, until the last couple weeks that is.

Dave and I have been working on a couple (BIG) projects and in effort to get our name out I’ve been working on developing a presence in social media.  Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, we’re on them all.  Twitter has been my primary concentration, however, because I’m realizing that in order to build a presence over there, you have to be consistently active.  As such, Twitter has become my news source.

Although not always the most reliable source for the latest news story, I was looking through the posts of those I follow when the video of Romney and his 47 Percent leaked.  Having just come back from laughing my butt off when hearing his interpretation of “middle class” income, my jaw dropped.  I HAD to watch the video.

In case you missed it, you can either click above or read what he said:

There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…These are people who pay no income tax.

Again, my jaw dropped.

When I left my ex-husband, I was unemployed.  Feeling it was necessary to get my sons and I into a safer environment, I looked to the state for public assistance.  Did I expect help?  No.  But I was EXTREMELY appreciative when I received it.

In order to qualify for Ohio’s Cash Assistance program, I needed to be actively looking for a job or be employed.  Let me preface this by saying that it was not my choice to be unemployed.  I am a college graduate with my bachelor’s in interior architecture.  I am an artist, or at least I would like to believe I am.  Two years prior to leaving my ex I lost my job.  While I tried to secure another job in the industry, finding an interior design job in the midwest was, and still is, like finding a needle in a haystack.  I applied at gas stations, fast food restaurants and local stores.  For TWO years I applied to all of these places just so I could contribute to my household.  The response I got was always somewhere along the line of, “You’re overqualified,” or “We don’t want to put time into training you when you’re just going to move on to something better.”

Finding a job after moving out turned out to be a whole lot of luck.  I was in the right place at the right time with the right person, when I secured my first job in more than two years.  But I didn’t get a job because somebody was telling me to.  I was doing it because that’s what I needed to do for the boys and I.  I didn’t believe anybody owed my a job.  I simply hoped somebody would give me a chance.

Every Friday morning, recipients of the cash assistance program were required (I’m not receiving the assistance anymore so I don’t know if it’s still the same) to attend an open interview session at our local job office.  Upon hearing about this I was excited.  I thought it would be my chance to get a job.  I was wrong.  Walking into the office, I was visably one of the very few attendees who cared about getting a job and getting off the program.  First, I had bathed.  My hair and teeth were brushed.  And I had worn a suit.  Looking around, I was surrounded by unkempt people wearing pajamas and sweat pants who looked as though they hadn’t showered all week.  I was flabbergasted.

But it got worse.  The employers, knowing this is how people were approaching the mandatory open interviews, had stopped attending.  There was ONE employer there, a gas station, and they were looking for somebody to work third shift.  As badly as I needed a job, I couldn’t work third shift with the boys.

I’m digressing, so I’ll get back to my point…

I work full-time now and Dave is in college full-time.  The cash assistance and food stamps are long expired, and yes, we struggle.  But no, we don’t believe the government “owes” us.  I don’t EXPECT them to give me housing, healthcare and education.  I didn’t even apply for housing assistance when I left my ex.  What I do expect, however, is that all Americans be given the same opportunities for equal care.

I have been employed by the same company for the last 17 months and have been a great employee.  I get my job done and don’t create drama at the office.  I get paid every week and pay for health insurance out of my paycheck.  I repeat, I pay for health insurance.  With that said, paying for health insurance doesn’t provide me with the same benefits as somebody receiving public assistance.  Example: Dave and I found out we miscarried earlier this year and I had a D&C shortly thereafter.  A month later the bill came in the mail.  We owed $8500.  Out of the $9000 bill, our insurance had covered approximately $500.  Does this sound right to you?

When I had the boys 7 and 10 years ago, the entire pre- and post- natal bills for each boy equaled $500.  This included monthly-turned-weekly check-ups as well as delivery and the hospital stay.  For the youngest, it also included an extra week in the hospital for me when he tried to come two months early.

Following our miscarriage earlier this year, Dave and I had two more (miscarriages).  During the third pregnancy, I found out that women who met specific (low) income guidelines could apply for pregnancy health care through the state.  While I didn’t want to apply, I did.  With a bill of $8500 from an out-patient procedure, it scared us to think what the labor and delivery would cost.  Would we be shelling out the cost of a full-year college tuition to welcome this miracle into our life?  Bah!  When I started miscarrying the third time, however, the fear of cost played into my health decisions.  I went through three days of excrutiating pain and dizziness before finally going to the ER.  That bill has yet to come, and I’m sure it’s not going to be pretty.

I can’t say who I’m going to vote for, however I can say that I don’t like being generalized.  Dave and I DO take personal accountability and responsibility for our lives.  Can we always pay the bills we have?  No.  But we’re not applying for assistance we don’t need.

Impromptu Mid-Day Vacation

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At the end of the school year/beginning of summer, the boys’ daycare sent home a stack of field trip forms for us to sign.  Ranging from (multiple) visits to a nearby nursing home or the local Lowe’s to build a birdhouse, Dave and my interest was peaked by a field trip to Ohio Caverns.  Right away we knew Thing 2 would LOVE it, as he collects rocks and is very curious about what he can do when he grows up that involves rocks.  My mind gets excited thinking about the corners of the world he’ll be able to see if he pursues geography, archeology or any other fields that I’m not smart enough to know about.

Right away Dave expressed interest in accompanying the boys on their Ohio Caverns field trip, as the form clearly stated parents were invited.  Despite being radically right brained, I, too was interested, however the thought of not getting paid for half a day made me squash the thought of me going really fast.  As time went on, Dave finished his second session at school and entered his third (which he is currently in) and got bogged down with a LOT of school-work.  I’m proud of him for his dedication as well as the awesome art he is producing.  Anyway, his work-load made it doubtful that he would be able to go.

I was sitting at my desk around 8am yesterday morning, thinking about how the boys were about to go on their field trip.  I stared at my Excel spreadsheet and out of nowhere got hit with a F*** this smack.  It was as if I was taken over by the slacker sitting on my right shoulder.  After a quick (pleasant) conversation with my boss I was given permission to take a half-day, mid-day, vacation and accompany the boys.  I called Dave, told him we’re going because I’d rather spend the day with my gentlemen than think about how I should’ve later, and left work.

As written on the Ohio Caverns website,

Concealed beneath the rolling farmland and wooded countryside of Champaign County, Ohio, the caverns were formed thousands of years ago when an underground river cut through ancient limestone and created vast rooms and passageways that later filled with countless crystal stalactites, stalagmites and other amazing formations.

You can read more about the history on their website, as I want to share some of my pictures…

Ohio Caverns - 2
Ohio Caverns - 3

Thankful Thursday: July 12, 2012

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Here are a few (of the many) things I am thankful for today…

  1. Besides allergies, my little family is healthy.
  2. Dave is enjoying his classes, and in my opinion is doing exceptionally well.
  3. I have a Senior Manager in my office who was willing to give me 5 minutes of time and his suggestions about how to get hired full-time (and permanently) within the company.
  4. We have money in the bank.
  5. Both cars continue to run, despite the issues that both are having.
  6. I work with people who make smile and laugh all work-day long.
  7. I am married to a wonderful man who makes my heart smile 24/7.
  8. The bills are getting caught up, slowly, one-at-a-time.
  9. It’s been sunny for weeks.  Yes, it’s been hot, but at least it’s not dreary and depressing.
  10. I have friends and family who love and respect me.

People Say the Darndest Things

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Forget kids.  People of all ages say ridiculous things.  Tactless sentences come out of people’s mouths and my eyes explode open with the weight of my jaw dropping, unable to say, “Really!?”

Here’s the last two days…

1.  “When is the baby due?”  This not only happened to me, but also to a co-worker friend of mine.  Undeniably we’ve both gained weight.  Unfortunately for her, she hasn’t been pregnant in four years.  Unfortunately for me I’ve lost two pregnancies this year.  But those last two sentences are irrelevant.  Why do people ask “When are you due?” if the person they’re asking clearly does NOT have a baby bump?

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This is not my belly, but if there’s any question of whether my belly looks like this or if it’s actually housing a baby, don’t ask me when the baby is due!

2.  “Geez, he’s gained a lot of weight.”  Some people are blatantly rude on Facebook, and I let this person know I didn’t appreciate the comment even though it wasn’t about me.  Tact, people.  Tact.  Actually, I’ll make it even easier for you: Don’t tag me or my non-Facebooking-family I approve the pictures.  Better yet, don’t post the pictures until I approve them.  If you’ve got pictures of me, I’m sure I’ve got pictures of you.

3.  This one’s my favorite…  “Those look like poor people pants.  Did you buy them at Goodwill?”  It wasn’t geared toward me or my family, but unfortunately the statement and question came out of Thing 1’s mouth.  Yes, my nine-year-old son asked our friend’s girlfriend if she had bought her $50 jeans at Goodwill.  Surely you’ve seen the kind with the rips built-in.  And I won’t deny that I’ve wondered why people would spend so much money on clothes with holes in them.  But geez, son!  Didn’t I teach you to be polite?

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Dear Unborn Daughter (that I’m not pregnant with)…  When I give you $50 for clothes, do NOT come home with a pair of ripped jeans or you’ll be paying me for the gas we use to go return them.  XOXO, Mom

My Latest Theme Song

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I heard a great song when I was listening to slacker.com at work today and right away had to share it with Dave.  (I’ll share it with you in just a second.)  While it seemed like it written especially for me to share with him, I related to it just that just more because of the line:

Everyday a million things cluttering up my mind

Let me share the song with you, and then I’ll write more…

What Means the Most – Colbie Caillat

Colbie Caillat – What means the most from Miss Whatever on Vimeo.

OK, so back to a million things cluttering up my mind…

I have so much on my mind lately.  My brain never ceases to tease me with a bunch of “what ifs?’ and to-do items.  My to-do list feels as though it’s a million miles long, and by the time I get home from work I really don’t feel like working on any of them.  My brain is exhausted from thinking all day and I just want to veg out.  Unfortunately that’s not how I work.  Here are a few of my many thoughts…

  • How many words can I write in my book tonight?  Yes, I finally started writing a book about a month ago.  I have the general story line worked out in my head, but how to get from here to there is puzzling to me.  I’m about 3,500 words in, and from what I’ve gathered on the internet, an average size chick-lit starts at 60,000 words.  So, yea.  I’m struggling.
  • I have an idea for another non-fiction book, however I believe it would be best written under a pseudonym.  While my family and loved ones will know it’s out there, I’d rather that a big part of my past doesn’t.  I think the fear of its discovery has kept me from starting to write it.
  • How do I get hired permanently by my employer?  I’m working my butt off, as I have for the past 14 months, and would like to be a permanent associate.
  • Do I want to pursue another degree and open my job opportunities up tremendously?  I’ve been applying for jobs at a local (great) university in hopes that I will be hired there and be able to pursue another degree for free.  (Yes, they pay for employees to take up to a certain number of classes for no-cost besides books).  My only dilemma is that I have no idea what field I would want to pursue degree wise at that university.  I want to be creative and not pursue a field just because I could make more money in that field.  I just wish I knew what creative field I wanted to go into.
  • What do we need to do and how do we do what we need to do to buy a house?  Plainly said, we’re paying too much rent for what we’re getting, but other apartments in the area are even more expensive than ours.  However, we could buy a decent sized house and pay the same as we are now.  Unfortunately I’ve heard that a temporary job (even if it’s 14 months long so far) doesn’t get viewed as a “real” job by mortgage lenders, and my credit score is…  less than favorable.  I know I need to work on the credit score, however the job situation takes me back up to “How to get hired permanently
  • Four short years ago I got paid double what I do now and was tremendously unhappy…  And broke.  I was living off credit cards, unable to pay their bills, and paying thousands of dollars of year in bank fees due to interest and a constantly overdrawn bank account.  Now, we still live paycheck-to-paycheck, however I have learned to budget.  No, not all bills get paid every month.  But rather than pay tons of money in bank fees, we’ll deal with phone calls reminding us that our payment is late…  again…  But I’m happy.  We’re happy.  TREMENDOUSLY HAPPY!

Little League Baseball Bull****

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It’s hard for me to believe that it’s been over fifty days since I last wrote on my blog.  I must admit that a main cause for the absence stems from the fact that my work days have been filled with…  Work!  My planner and monitor now each have a Post-It with the word “Focus” written on them.  It’s not that I wasn’t focusing before, however I was allowing the temptation of what I wanted to do overtake the need to do what I was (am) being paid to do.  Strangely, I rarely find myself counting down the minutes until leaving time, and my work day and week often fly by.

Many evenings and Saturdays in the past month-and-a-half have been filled with little league baseball.  Dave and I took on coaching roles for Thing 2’s team and the experience has been anything but dull.  In a league that is supposed to be teaching the children good-sportsmanship, the basics of baseball and an overall love and appreciation for the game, we find it amazing how other parents and coaches can become monsters in the ball-park.

Our team had a record of 1-13-1 in the regular season.  It was dis-heartening to the coaches, parents and kids that we did so poorly, especially considering how close many of the games were.  When the tournament came around, however, we won the first two games.  All of a sudden we went from the back of the field to tied for first.  The opposing teams’ coaches were pissed.  They walked onto the field planning to beat us and as soon as we got ahead became ruthless.

For example, we have  an autistic boy on our team.  He has made TREMENDOUS progress this year, and is now responsible for many runs and RBI’s.  Unfortunately he gets upset when he gets an out, and has sat out for innings after an out due to his upset state.  The board of the baseball league has been aware of the situation, and has told us since the beginning that it is our responsibility to teach him, work with him, and also watch out for the safety of all players.  And that is what we have done.

Unfortunately opposing coaches aren’t always sympathetic, especially when they are losing.  I must mention that our league is for 6-8 year olds, a far cry from the competitive high-school teams.  This is the first year a lot of these kids haven’t played tee-ball and is still parent (coach)-pitch.  So, when our special needs player is having a rough inning, it should be no-big deal to have him sit out and put the next batter in.  The other coaches want us to take an out, however.  It’s appalling to me that they can be so obsessed with the game and winning that they won’t give another team a break, as we would do for them.

You’ll be happy to know that Dave and I have been the cool coaches this year, both temper-wise and  fun-with-kid-wise.  I’ve worn my baseball cap inside-out with the kids in effort to turn the game around, and at yesterday’s game we wore eye-black with our team to try to intimidate the other side.  Yesterday, however, the game was babysat by league officials due the tremendously bad temper of our opposing coach.  One of our other coaches removed himself from the game before he was tempted to punch him.  Yes, it was that bad.

We entered yesterday’s game, our third in the tournament, ready to play the team who ranked #1 after the regular season.  We did NOT enjoy playing them the first time due to their jack-hole of a head coach.  Dave and I have already decided we will not let our boys play for him…  EVER.  After three innings we were miraculously ahead of them, 11-4.  (or some score like that).  It felt amazing.  With each run we earned, however, the other coach became more of a prick.  He yelled at his players, broke the rules, and targeted our autistic player claiming his batting style was illegal.  Our players became increasingly aware of the tension, became stressed, began messing up on plays they should have made, and…  We lost.  It sucked.

Our game got a lot of attention.  A lot.  Especially when parents and coaches (Dave and I excluded) began fighting.  And you know it got attention when you go out for dinner and the people at the next table (who weren’t even at our game) are talking about it.  But they weren’t talking about us.  They were talking about the prick of a coach on the opposing team and how out-of-line he was/is.

Sigh.  I feel like I’ve given this guy too much of my attention, and I’m somewhat tempted to delete this entire post.  But I won’t.  For all of my readers who are little league baseball coaches, remember what the game is about.  It’s NOT about YOU.