Friday, July 15, 2011

So many doors have opened.

Yes, I know it has been months, since I last posted anything.  There are several reasons why.

*Business is picking up and I am so grateful for that. You have no idea how worried I was about the lack of work. 
* On top of work picking up, Chris was offered a job out of state and he would have been a fool not to take it. The money is good and we are rapidly clawing our way out of poorville. Although this job is only temporary, we both have a feeling that this will lead to other jobs in the near future.  He may put off finishing school for a year or two or he may just finish online.
* We are finally moving from this hell hole. I can not stress enough how elated I am to being mold free and in a home that actually feels like a home and not a thrown together jumble of walls and decay.  We will be moving to another city but will stay in the same county so we will not need the assistance of Branson real estate at the moment unless we decide to move their permanently.
* My oldest has decided to join the military. I am very proud and very scared for him but he is 20 years old and is adamant about his decision. I will support him all the way!
* We have decided to home school our youngest. She has not been getting the education that she needs and it is up to us, her parents, to make sure she excels in the best possible way that she can. This was not an easy decision but it is the right one.

Although my life is one big chaotic mess at the moment.  It is all proving to be the most positive direction we have had to take in a very long time.  I am relishing the packing (believe me that is something that I have never liked).  I am embraced by the madness of having to have everything ready so that when Chris comes home to help with the actual move, that is all we have to do and then we can enjoy his short stay with us until he goes back.  This is going to be a turning point and it is one that has been too long in coming.  Wish us luck.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

If you see the city dump, I live right next door to it!

Our next door neighbors are proving to be pack rats.  Within in a few weeks of moving in, their backyard looks like a city dump.  The back lanai has three sets of mattresses and a filthy run down sofa.  Honestly, who likes living like that?  If you have no use for it then throw the garbage away.  Why hoard it?

They remind me of a family that used to live next door to me when I was a small child.  Their name was Dirtack. Pronounced Dirt Ak. They lived up to their name.  The parents headboard was solely made of empty beer cans.  They had a coffee table that was a semi tire.  Their pool was a cess pool. The water was black! They never cut the grass in the backyard and the grass was almost as tall as my dad's waist.  I don't know how they could find anything back there.  Their front yard looked like a mechanics shop with all the torn apart cars. 

We lived next door to this family for five years.  The city took their house away for non payment of taxes and when the city came in to clean everything up, they were all dressed in hazmat suites.  They found three dead dogs in the backyard along with car parts and lawn equipment that had rusted during the winters. Oh, I am sure there was more but that is all that I remembered.  Even a five year old child like myself knew that wasn't a way to live.

I have now officially named our new neighbors the  "new" Dirtack's.  Yesterday, the man of the house, brought home a rv.  This rv looks like it has been sitting in a backyard for decades with no maintenance done to it at all.  Chris talked to him about what he was going to do with it.  Apparently he is going to restore it and have the rv repair guy over tomorrow to look at the mechanics of it.  Meanwhile, it will sit in the backyard like it looks like it has always done.  The guy was telling Chris that he and his family would like to start camping and the rv is big enough to accommodate his entire family.  I am guessing that the rv will sit until they move again.  I don't see that rv going anywhere anytime soon.

This morning, while Katie and I were leaving, I saw the guy bring home and park in the front yard a food trailer.  The kind that you see at carnivals and get elephant ears from.  I can't wait to find out what he plans to do with that.  Chris will have a fit if the guy tries to feed people from his front yard.  Our yard will look like a parking lot and Chris will not tolerate that one bit.

Out with the old, In with the new (sort of)

Chris has sold the truck that we were given by my parents.Well, not really given to us, I have exchanged car payments for cleaning their home twice a month for three years. Still, that isn't a bad thing. We might not have the truck anymore but my parents still have another year on their cleaning contract. Which is all good. People are starting to take heed of my services in the mobile home park that my parents live in.

It was important that Chris had the truck earlier because he was working.  Now that he is unemployed and going back to school, the truck wasn't an economically sound vehicle to have. We are not down to one vehicle, we were given Chris' parents Exterra.  Chris' mom bought a new vehicle ( I can't remember the name of it right now) and they had no need for the Exterra so it was passed onto us. 

Exactly like the one we now have

It is a lot better on gas than the F250 and I will be the one driving it mostly since all my cleaning supplies will fit much better in it than my Malibu, which was also given to us by Chris' parents 4 years ago. The Malibu is a 2001 and only has 82,000 miles on it.  The Exterra has less than 53,000 and it is a 2004.

Surprisingly the Malibu's trunk is deep enough to store most of my equipment in but it made unpacking and repacking the equipment a time consuming chore.  Not that I wouldn't keep doing it if I didn't have the Exterra. The Malibu will be the car that Chris drives back and forth to school in.  A lot less money wasted in gas, that is for sure.

I am extremely grateful to have the kind of parents that we do.  They have saved us from the headache of having car payments and/or allowing us to barter other services so that we could have safe and sound running vehicles.  That is what family should do for each other.  That is what we have always been taught and learned by example.  If our kids ever need that kind of help, I am hoping that we will be financially sound to be able to do help just as our parents have helped us.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

I love her but she is driving me insane.

My grandmother has been on a paranoia trip lately. She keeps insisting that people are breaking into her home at least once a week.  She has called the cops on every one of those paranoia occasions.  The police force know her well now.  Yet, every time she calls, they are required to respond. Nothing like wasting tax payers dollars right?  I am really hoping that the visit with the psychiatrist pans out and that they officially diagnose her with Alzheimer's, otherwise the police are only going to get busier with her constantly calling about men dressed in ninja costumes threatening her life.

She is now insisting that my grandfather buy and install home security cameras for her well being. She is very adamant about it. She told my grandfather that unless he wants to find another place to live, he will do as she asked.  Her demands are getting increasingly over the top and when she doesn't get her way she pouts and throws tantrums like a toddler.  Her emotional state is so high, that she will cry at a memory of her older sister dying over 80 years ago.  She remembers those details so vividly like it just happened, but she can't remember what she ate five minutes ago. 

I just can't understand why it is taking so long to get the ball rolling on her behalf.  Diagnose her already so we can make the arrangements of putting her in a facility equipped to handle her.  My grandfather, mom, aunt, me and the rest of the family can not provide what she needs, no matter how much we want to be able to.

Talk about having your own pharmacy..

I cleaned for my grandmother (the one with Alzheimer's) recently, and I could not get over the fact that she has so many pill bottles in her medicine cabinet, and it has overflowed to her cabinet under the bathroom sink.  Very few are prescribed medications.  Most of the bottles she has are supplements of one kind or another. She has five different kinds of daily vitamins, vitamin b complex, black kohash (used mainly for women in menopause, which she is well over it by now), ephedrine pills (seriously) and the list just goes on and on. 

The thing with my grandmother, is that she doesn't take any of it anymore.  She just doesn't like to throw things away.  She grew up in the depression and most people that lived in that era, do not let go of anything. She has clothes from when she was first married that she still wears. Fortunately for her it never went out of style either that or old people can wear what they want and no one notices. She has bed sheets so thin you can see right through them. Yet, she still washes and irons them and puts them on her bed. Her freezer, up until a few days ago, contained food that had been in there for years. When my mom decided to clean out the fridge, my grandmother actually argued with her that the frozen food was still good. Never mind the fact that pork chops from 2000 were grey, it was still good because it had been frozen.  My grandmother at times can be quite comical in her thinking. Not necessarily funny, just odd in the way that she perceive things.

While I was cleaning her bathroom, I somehow kneeled wrong and my knee was killing me the rest of the time I was there.  She lovingly went into her cabinet and took out a bottle of pain killers and she attempted to hand me one.  The bottle had an expiration date of 1989. I graciously took the pill from her but never consumed it.  I nonchalantly threw it in the waste basket.  Nothing like your own grandmother trying to kill you with outdated narcotics.

Enough already with this stupid economy!

Generating new business is proving to be a difficult goal right now.  Everyone is wanting you to come down on your prices. However, my prices reflect not only me as your house cleaner but also the products and the equipment that I use. I own a Green cleaning company and all my cleaning supplies follow that mantra as well as my equipment. So giving a discount just to give a discount is not going to happen.  My prices are lower than most larger companies to begin with. However, I have given my customers an incentive to save on their own house cleaning bill by giving them coupons to pass out to their friends.  If their friends use my service just once, they receive a $20.00 discount off their next cleaning.  I think that is a pretty good deal. It is a way to market/advertise without me having to spend the money to do so and in return my prices do not increase. I also customize a cleaning plan to fit any budget.  Although if your budget is so tight, then hiring a cleaning service should probably be the last thing on your mind. Not everyone can afford to have their house cleaned professionally.  I understand that.  However, there is still a  need for this service and as long as the need is still there, I am going to fight for that business.

What I think would benefit people the most would be a price reduction in the basic staples of food. The food in most of the grocery stores that I have shopped at are steadily rising. Pretty soon no one will be able to afford the necessities, however, I am seeing a lot of cigarettes and black and mild cigars discount signs popping up in most gas stations and convenience stores. Hmmm.. such priorities we have right?

With all the disasters of this year so far, our food prices are going to jump.  The hard winter up north will ensure that.  Many farmers will have a total loss on their crops and we the people will suffer greatly for it.  Bananas are at an all time high, can't wait to see how tomatoes and potatoes will fair.  Bread is ridiculous and meats are inching up in price. 

Food pantries and soup kitchens are going to be very busy in the next several months and I am sure that most of them will run out of supplies a lot faster than usual.  People receiving food stamps are going to have to do a better job budgeting and making meals stretch farther than they already do, because their food stamps won't be increased just because the cost of food has risen.  This is crazy.

Another MM Warrior has fallen

Geraldine Ferraro died a few days ago from complications of Multiple Myeloma.  She battled this cancer for twelve years.  It breaks my heart every time I hear of someone succumbing to this awful disease, and I have a very dear friend fighting it right now.  I have mentioned Phil before, and because of him, I have taken up the cause to start a non profit for all MM(Multiple Myeloma) Warriors in need. We call them Warriors because they are fighting a battle of their lives.
Starting a non profit is no easy feat.  To raise money you need money.  Same old, same old.  I have entered a contest in hopes of winning a $2,000 dollar grant in order to get this non profit off the ground.  The contest is via facebook and offered by MomCentral.  If you have a facebook account, I urge you to seek this contest out and vote for my submission: Starting a Multiple Myeloma non profit.  There are so many people suffering with this cancer that would benefit greatly from a non profit like this. 
Also, I am accepting donations for this cause. If you have ever wanted to be apart of something great, this is it. This non profit foundation would strictly be utilized for helping victims of MM and their families that are struggling financially. 
Phil and his wife are the perfect example.  He gets $1400/month in disability benefits because the disease has rendered him incapable of working.  His wife, Jen, is a nurse but their combined wages do not cover all the necessities.  Phil's disability covers his medication and services that their insurance doesn't cover.
You see how important a non profit is here?  Imagine struggling with a disease so debilitating and relentless. Now imagine trying to battle this disease, while trying to make ends meet every month, not knowing if you will even have enough gas to make it to your next Chemo appointment, that is so detrimental in your fighting this cancer.  I want to alleviate that stress and allow the Warriors to concentrate on their battle.

Please take a few moments to either vote (you can vote daily on a 24 hour cycle until April 15th) or donate.  Your time and/or money will be the key to someones life that is struggling just to be able to live.

You may donate via paypal though the donation button located to the top left of the side bar. Located under the Vote for Me badge.