Sunday, November 30, 2008
Saturday, November 29, 2008
We try and celebrate one holiday a year with both sets of parents for a specific reason, to minimize the "getting old" conversations. Or worse, "the olden days were better than now days"
Topics from suffering with fibromyalgia and osteoporosis, and other arthritis conditions and medications. My favorite conversations are when the tables are turned on me or Chris on how we were a couple of hellion children. Of course, our children love to hear these stories so that they can use it against us in the future. One of the conversations turned on me turning a ripe old age of 38 this coming Thursday. My own mother actually called me an old broad. Both sets of parents kidded with me about getting old and how 40 is beating down the door in just a few short years. Jeff chimed in with the "you could be a grandma by the time you are 40" to which I smacked him and told I better not be! Smartass teenagers.
The kids were enthralled by the talk of how things were when their grandparents were young and how they did perfectly fine without all the contraptions that are out there now. Cell phones are a luxury, video games are destroying the youth, DVD players are taking away from the kids using their imagination because let's face it people, all the kids are getting fat because they do nothing all day but sit on their asses. That may be true in some households. But our parents know us perfectly well to know that our children do not do that. They are limited to what they can watch and for how long and our video game playing is more of a family night game event. I think that because they are somewhat out of touch with things that all they can do is sit around and mull that idea around in their heads and then bitch and complain about it.
Don't get me wrong I love our parents to pieces but sometimes I could do without their banter about the good old days. I am sure when I reach their age I could very well be just like them. Here's hoping that I will notice that before it happens.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Well, I think we have all gotten our fill of turkey for the next year. Between my mom and Chris we had two turkeys that had a combined weight of 33 pounds. Why did we have two turkeys? My dad loves his stuffing and he prefers it stuffed in the bird while it cooks and Chris and his dad won't eat just any old turkey. Oh no… it needs to be fried. I have such easy going parents. When I told them that Chris was going to bring a fried turkey the only thing my dad said was, "Good, more leftovers for me". Snicker… I don't think they counted on all the leftovers once the eight of us were finished stuffing our faces. I ended up bringing not only our own leftovers from the turkey, relish tray, butternut squash but also half of their leftovers. I see turkey sandwiches on the menu for the next week.
My mom is known for her pies. She has been baking pies for as long as I can remember. Today was no exception. She truly out did herself in the pie department. She made the traditional pumpkin pie, a blueberry pie for my dad and Jeff and an apple pie especially for me. I wish I had her baking skills for pies but alas, it isn't my calling. It is nice to get together and enjoy the company of loved ones and it was especially nice that their neighbors are so friendly that they invited Jeff and Katie over to play with their visiting grandchildren. I swear they had a game of tag going for over an hour. Not only will the tryptophan put the little darlings to sleep but the exercise they got will also keep them out tonightJ.
I wanted Chris to take pictures of both our families together and he did bring the camera but forgot his memory stick so he couldn't have saved any pictures on his camera because it is full of work pictures from inspections. So… I will have to wait for my mom to get hers developed to get the duplicates. I have been trying to start a family album of holidays shared and it seems to get sunk before even launching it. One of these days it will happen.
Ok.. My eyeballs are drooping and I am getting extremely tired.
I hope all of you enjoy your turkey with all the fixings. My family and I will be going to my parents. This is the first year since we moved back to florida that I will not be cooking. However, I have been in charge of the relish tray. So, I am off to start putting that together.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
If you guess Katie then you are right. Since our home backs up into the acres of land that is the home to two beautiful mares, we have been outside every chance we get when we know the horses are nearby. These beauties are so well mannered and very friendly and they will even come to us when we whistle for them. I have made sure that we keep plenty of apples and carrots on hand so Katie can feed them and familiarize herself with these magnificent animals. Chris was joking with Katie yesterday about getting a couple english saddles so that we can ride them.
That was a BIG mistake. Katie will not stop talking about being able to ride the horses. She says she has seen performers race horses and make them jump gates and fences and how much fun she would have if she could do that. I think I am going to have to introduce myself to the owners of the horses and see if they would be willing to let Katie ride a horse a few times or if they could possibly teach her everything there is to know about taking care of a horse, because I am pretty sure her next question is going to be whether or not she can have a horse of her own. OY!
I am still working on my new blog. There are some technical screw ups that I am working on. It shouldn't be too much longer. If I was home more I probably would have had it figured out by now. Anyway…
Today I received three phone calls from potential customers of my cleaning service. All of them have booked me for next week and we shall see if I become a permanent part of their cleaning schedule. One of the new clients had asked me if I was a franchise. I told her that I did not take part in any franchise opportunity and I asked her if that was important to her. She revealed to me that although she realizes the benefits of buying into a franchise it all depends on the company you buy into. Her experience with cleaning franchises, have not been good ones and it was very hard for her to grieve her complaints and get any results. I listened and empathized with her and I did ensure her that because I am a one woman show her requests and or complaints would not fall on deaf ears.
For the most part I am excited about getting more customers but I am also nervous that I will get too many and not be able to handle all the demand. I really do. not. want. to have to hire employees. I am not saying this to be greedy, but I have been in this business long enough to know that this kind of work is not for everyone and majority of the ones that think it is a piece of cake job do not last for more than two weeks. I also would have to run background checks to make sure that I am hiring someone responsible and trustworthy. I have seen way too many thefts and criminal acts to be naïve. Chris and I have discussed the possibility of having to hire at least two people. But, I am not going to count my chickens before they hatch sort of speak. I have to not think about this and just deal with it if it does happen. Otherwise I just get myself all worked up.
Chris and I have had our troubles. It has never been "easy" with him and for the most part I have always thought relationships were hard to begin with. I have learned that I need to be more aware with how I perceive things.
For example: I have this uncanny ability to take something and overly process it so that I can deal with it the most comfortable way I can. Let's take the ex landlord and his ex wife for instance. They have pretty much declared that they will be keeping the security deposit. Their letter came certified but it did not state why or how much the things that they are claiming cost or if they intend to take it further and come after us for more money. I immediately got pissed and stated to Chris that we need to take them to court to fight for our deposit. He sees it differently. Although we both agree that their claim is unsubstantiated he wants to approach it from a different view. He does not think that forking out $300.oo to bring a civil suit justifies the $600 we are entitled to. We put down a $1000.00 deposit and there is a valid claim to relinquish 360.00 for a french door that needs to be replaced due to the fact that our deceased dog, Scooter, damaged during a thunderstorm. Seeing as though the landlord and his ex refused to do a walk through with Chris, we could not even acknowledge that we would've taken that responsibility. Chris wants me to trust him more with handling issues like this and for the most part letting him handle majority of things his way instead of mine because. let's face it, I for the most part, go around like a gun fully loaded looking for a target. My analogy by the way, not Chris'.
I am always assuming the worst in a person. I have seen way too many situations go foul and it's just easier for me to think this way. I just assume that if a person has done something wrong it is usually for one reason only. When in truth there could be several different reasons. I tend to assume A LOT which is not healthy and more importantly not right. Chris wants me to be more mindful and incorporate basic logic into my thinking process. He is always telling me that my facial expressions are monotone and it is difficult for him to know what mood I am in. Unless I open my mouth and then it is known. I also give him looks of disdain quite often. When I think back on this I am shocked at myself. I love Chris. I would never want to hurt him but lately that's all I have been doing. I guess I need to revamp myself not only physically but mentally as well. Do any of you venture to take a guess how long this is going to take me or better yet do you feel the same way about yourself or about someone you love?
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
I am in a bit of a funk today. This time of year it seems easy to get into this state of mind. I don't know what it is about the holiday season that creates the state of depression. I mean, we spend time with loved ones that we may or may not see all too often during the year, Delicious foods with pleasing aromas fill the air and the family unity symbolizes love, peace and happiness right? While I look forward to that I have trepidations because I am just not happy with myself and my appearance. I know that many of you may think it is silly to worry about that because after all family and friends accept us for what we are and not our appearance. But still….
My biggest problem is the fact that I am at my heaviest weight since I was pregnant with Jeff. I gained a whopping 60 pounds then. It took me two years to lose it and I maintained the weight even while pregnant with Katie. I gained a healthy 20 pounds with her. Ever since moving to Florida five years ago it just seems like the weight is steadily increasing and the thing that really pisses me off is that I have done absolutely nothing to promote it. I have been increasing my walks in the morning in effort to lose but it's not happening. I have gained 20 additional pounds since March. I am seriously considering taking Phentermine 37.5 mg to help me lose at least 20 pounds that I have gained.
My grandmother who is a retired nurse has always been conscious of her weight throughout the years. She would count calories and really do a good job at sticking to a healthy eating regiment. When she was 40 years old she had a total hysterectomy done because of the onset of endometriosis and the beginning of menopause. Back in those days there was no such thing as a premenopausal condition. She gained weight soon after because she was never put on hormones. She packed on about 40 pounds in just a few short months. Let's face it, after the age of 30 a woman's metabolism severely starts to decline. It makes it so hard for us to lose and maintain weight. She lost it with a very strict diet (which if I can remember right, she was starving herself) and she has maintained and even lost more in the 40 years since. We talked about my problem with not being able to lose and gain with no rhyme or reason. I told her about my walks and being physically busy in hopes to rev up the metabolism. What she told me next shocked the heck out of me. Although exercise promotes our bodies to stay in shape it is not the means to lose it. Watching our calorie intake and eating better foods, not eating fried, over processed, and food packed with preservatives. Family history of obesity is a major factor on how to avoid the inevitable. In her opinion, I could exercise all the damn time and still have a hard time taking the pounds off. I need to give my body a catalyst to help it fight the pounds and that is by eating differently than I have been used to. The American Standard Diet has declined in nutritional value over the years and we are a nation of steadily increasing porkers. I think maybe we should go back to how life was in the 50-60's when we grocery shopped daily to get the freshest of foods and made everything from scratch. I don't remember too many women of the sitcoms of those days being overweight. They were on to something that has been lost.
Monday, November 17, 2008
With the holidays looming over me, I have decided to not give in to the temptation of all the foods. I know it's going to be tough without the assistance of dietpills, but, I am determined to not gain any more weight than I have already. It is getting so dang hard for me to lose it though. I walk Katie to and from school roughly a mile round trip and that is twice a day. I also clean houses that average out to 8 hours a week plus my own house. I am not sure what else it that I can do to boost the metabolism and burn the fat.
I know that I am premenopausal so that is a strike against me but this is getting so old now. I mean there are plenty of women that go through this and not gain an ounce. I on the other hand gain a pound just by looking at something scrumptious. I have the will power but my body fights me all the way.
Correct me if I am wrong, but, wasn't the bailout supposed to help? Citigroup has just laid off 53,000 employees. I am so glad that Chris and I decided not to buy a house at this time. This is ridiculous.
"Citigroup Inc. is cutting approximately 53,000 more jobs in the coming quarters as the banking giant struggles to steady itself after suffering massive losses from deteriorating debt.
The plans, posted on the company's Web site, are being discussed by CEO Vikram Pandit at the company's town hall meeting in New York Monday with employees.
The company said total headcount is being reduced by 20 percent from its peak of 375,000 at the end of 2007; the company had already announced in October that it was eliminating about 22,000 jobs from those levels. The total workforce reductions include thousands of jobs that will be lost when Citigroup completes the sale of Citi Global Services and its German retail banking business.
The New York-based bank has posted four straight quarterly losses, including a loss of $2.8 billion during the third quarter. The company said that in addition to job cuts, it plans to lower expenses by about 20 percent, and that is has reduced its assets by more than 20 percent since the first quarter of the year."
What's next? Pretty soon no one and I do mean no one is going to be able to get a loan for ANYTHING!
Chrysler has come out with their version of an eco friendly electric car that is absolutely hideous and a joke!
It looks like a glorified golf cart. One accident in this puppy and you can kiss your butt goodbye! Also it doesn't go over 25mph and its range is about 30 miles. It starts at $20,000 and can come in a one seater, two seater and minivan. It comes in many different colors that remind me of something a Teletubbie would drive.
Also, I have noticed that manufacturer's are reducing the amount of their products but keeping the prices the same. For example;
Pepsi has reduced the amount of their 12 and 24 packs to 8 and 18.
Toilet paper has reduced in roll size.
Some canned goods have the same size can but less quantity inside the cans.
If things do not change soon we are in deep poo!
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Katie and I made it through another camping experience with her troop. We got there without incident. It was a little tougher finding the campground this year because we were driving in the dark. We still made it on time though.
Once we got there I pulled all the way into the campsite to unload our gear and then had to park at the front entrance because there are only two cars allowed at the site. From the time we got there until 12:30 a.m. the girls were on hyper overdrive. It didn't help that the girls had banana boats (which by the way are very good) and smores and some even had a hot dog or two at 9 p.m. I seriously wanted to smack one of the girls in our cabin. All she kept whining about was wanting to PAR TAY! Seriously? A 9 year old was saying this. The co-leader and I got to sleep at about 1:30 a.m. as were trying to get some of the girls to settle down. Surprisingly, Katie and the Co-troop leader's daughter fell asleep as soon as their heads hit the pillow. They were also the last ones to wake up the next morning. However, PAR TAY girl was awake on and off throughout the night. I remember waking up around 5:30 a.m. when the screen door was opened. The Co-Troop leader left to use the restroom. The PAR TAY girl wanted to go with her. Then the rest of the early morning that same girl just moved around a lot. She happened to be in the top bunk and my daughter was on the bottom. When everyone was up and going by 7 a.m. Katie mentioned to the girl that she had been very rude the previous night and she hopes that she will keep her rudeness in check for the rest of the day. I stifled a laugh but what Katie said seemed to work because this girl was polite the whole day.
It rained for some time so we kept the girls busy inside the mess hall with crafts. A mess hall with twelve active girls and four over tired adults was something else to witness. These girls transformed into polite, caring and even helpful little ladies. Once they got all the excitement out of their systems they were actually polite and well mannered girls. It became a joke among us adults that one of us must have put something calming into their drinks at breakfast early that morning.
I actually hated to leave early. Katie and I had to leave an hour earlier than the rest of them because I needed to get my son, Jeff, to work. Chris has been instructed by his company that the car in which he drives should be used for company business only. It's their way of cutting back on expenses. They can't afford to buy another car and this one has to last at least another year. I sure hope it does because it already has over 100,000 miles on it and it had extensive work done on it a few weeks ago.
So all in the entire camping trip was pleasant for the most part but, I am happy we have another year to go before the next one.
For those of you who would be interested in making banana boats, here is the recipe:
Chocolate – preferably Hershey's milk chocolate bars
Peel back on part of the banana's skin
With a knife cut a section down along the banana where you peeled the skin
With a spoon peel out the banana where you just cut
Arrange chocolate pieces and small marshmallows
Replace the skin and wrap the banana in tin foil
Put the banana inside the camp fire but not directly into it.
Leave it there for approximately 15 minutes
Take it out of the camp fire and let sit for 5 minutes. Take the tin foil off and enjoy
I am sure you could do it in the grill as well. I am not sure if it would work in the microwave (excluding the tin foil of course)
Kat*** It may even work on the G-Broil George Forman grill. Let me know if you decide to try it.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
I am not saying that children are deviants or criminals either. I am talking more about attitudes and smugness.
Katie has been a part of Girl Scouts since Kindergarten when she started out as a Daisy. Now that she is in her second year of Brownies the attitudes of some of these little girls is mind boggling. Since Katie has been able to sell Girl Scout cookies (this coming March will mark her third year doing so) most of the girls want to be "friends" with Katie because for the past two years she has been the top seller in her troop. Chris and I do not plan for it to happen but we do participate in more cookie booths and accosting more neighbors, friends, and family members to buy at least one box. We do so because it helps the troop, not for Katie to reap the reward of being the top seller. We have noticed this trend with some of the girls that bombard Katie in the beginning of the Girl Scout season until just after the cookie season is over. The rest of the time in Brownies Katie is pretty much non -existent to these particular girls. We noticed it last year and so did the troop leaders. What is sad is the co-troop leaders daughter is one of them. This year has started out no different.
We have an overnight camping trip on Friday. When the cabin roster was posted and the girl's parents found out that their daughters were not bunking with Katie, they threw a fit. I could not believe the tantrums these parents were throwing. One mother actually complained that her daughter has no chance with Katie as a friend because they are purposely keeping them apart. Seriously? If you really want your daughter to interact with Katie than where were you in the summer when Katie would call to invite said girl over to play? Or better yet why would you not allow your daughter to come over or sleep over? This truly does not make any sense. Out of the 11 girls in the troop, Katie would make the 12th; Katie has four girls that are consistently friendly and truly wants to be her friend before and after the cookie sales.
Last year our troop was given 20 slots for different booths on certain weekends throughout Sarasota. Two girls per slot time which is roughly two hours give or take. Chris, Katie and I did 11 slots. We participate in the cookie booths to help raise money for the troop in whole. For the last two years since we have been selling cookies, we have made enough money for the all girls' dues each year, pay for camping and other activities, and throw parties. None of which is an out of pocket expense for us parents. We think it's a great idea to do so and that is why we volunteer to do so many booths because we know Katie can sell (she inherited that skill from her dad) and we like that fact that we are not shelling money out every time the kids would like to do an activity. It's an added bonus for Katie "if" she makes the top seller. Truly though, it is not her goal. Katie works harder than most of the girls that shared our booth. She was spunky, cute and very attentive to the people that she approached. The other girls complained, whined and pretty much pooped out after being there for only 30 minutes. Some parents didn't even stay to help out which left Chris and I in charge of someone else's kid. That will not happen this year. If the parents aren't willing to stay than they can just take their daughter with them. That was mentioned last year at the end of the year party. The troop leader was pissed to find out we were also babysitters.
I am not sure how we are going to deal with this coming year but I do not want to segregate Katie from the troop come Cookie time. It is not fair to her.
Monday, November 10, 2008
Tell me what you think:
Friday, November 7, 2008
I posted earlier how Chris and I have been having our difficulties. I think what we need (besides me readjusting my attitude) is some alone time. We don't take time for ourselves. We do almost everything with the kids. I am not saying that is a bad thing but sometimes we just need to be alone.
It would be nice just to pick up the phone and make some Las Vegas hotel reservations and go away for a weekend. However, with the holidays around the corner, it would not be the best time. I would even settle with the grandparents taking turns watching the kids while Chris and I stay home. Hmmm… maybe that is a good idea after all.
I started a new blog. Well more like an advertising blog for my cleaning business, but, with a little more substance. It will have more than just how to contact me if you live in Sarasota about cleaning your house. I will post about short cuts to cleaning and letting you in on the products I use. Maybe even how to get them for yourself. Not sure which route I want to take with that. Kat knows how well they work and she is really good at selling something that is worth selling.
It's not 100% ready yet but I will definitely post about it when it's done.
I for one procrastinate on getting some of the boxes cleared out and put away. Chris informed me yesterday that I shouldn't have put the dogs' Heartguard and flea/tick treatments under the bathroom sink. Potentially one day that sink could possibly leak and therefore all the medications for the dogs would be ruined. He has also questioned my logic for putting other things away. Then, just before bed, he proceeds to tell me that he is used to me doing things wrong. Maybe I should just stop doing anything all together.
There are a few things I could point of to him but it would fall on deaf ears. Apparently what I say doesn't matter so I am going to vent them here.
My dad has a motorcycle that is 28 years old. Right now it is sitting in our garage. Chris and Jeff both have mentioned many times how they need to get a few Harley parts to get the ol' girl in running shape. It has been sitting in our garage for over a year now.
Chris on more than one occasion has mentioned how he would like to trim up the hedges that border the walkway to the front door. I asked him this weekend when he planned on doing that… he told me once he fixed his character on WOW (World of Warcraft). The trimming never happened.
He vehemently told me when we were moving to remind him to put the pictures up on the wall so that they didn't sit around for months like the last time. I did what he asked and guess what… they are still sitting around.
Our bedroom is so cluttered it is unreal. My closet is already set up but Chris' is already cluttered. We have three boxes and a big tote all full of Chris' belongings that have yet to be put in their spots. Our room is pretty much his. All his stuff has a spot and there is barely any room for mine. Chris' book shelf is set up next to my bed because he has no room for it on his side. But there is nothing on it. He actually got mad at me because I asked him when he planned on putting his stuff away. He told me that everything in the boxes went on the bookshelf but he is not sure if he wants to put it back on the bookshelf so I need to back off and let him think on where everything should go.
He thinks that I do nothing all day. Never mind that he always has clean clothes. Never mind that he always has food to eat. Never mind that dinner is roughly on the table shortly after he gets home. Never mind that the house smells clean and fresh (because it damn well is). Never mind the kid's homework is done before he gets home. Never mind that there is not one spot of piss or poop from the animals anywhere in this damn house ( because I make sure the dogs go out every few hours and the cats litter box is cleaned out at least three times a day before he gets home).
Ok.. I am done ranting… It's time to go clean the litter box…
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
If John McCain can concede with dignity, so can I.
Now I am quite interested in what Obama is going to do and I am even more interested in the change he promises. Quite frankly I didn't feel he explained it all that well. I am relieved to hear that his first priority will be the economy. Either way I am pretty sure that would have been the first priority no matter who won.
I will say that I do have respect for Obama. Not necessarily his politics. But, that is why America is so great. We can agree to disagree and we are not a nation of conformity. Everyone has the right to think what they believe and the majority of the Americans felt that Obama was the best choice. It was an extremely close race and I knew it would be.
John Mc Cain told Barrack Obama that he would help in getting our Nation back on track. They both have the right idea. Putting aside our differences and helping one another. We as Americans need to do the same.
Monday, November 3, 2008
Since the company has downsized and let go of their office manager, they are down to just two employees and the partners which is Chris' dad and good friend. They have enough work to sustain Chris and the other guy and they are really hoping to weigh through this economic crunch that we are in. Tightening of the belts and seeking more contracts is their main focus right now. I think they will pull it off.
Now I am focusing my energy on getting the new house organized and settled. I still have some boxes out because I am not quite sure where to put all our crap. Can you believe it? We had a garage sale before we moved and I think we will need to have one in the near future.
Jeff and Katie are settled into their new routine. Jeff now takes a bus to school instead of being driven by his dad every morning. It gives Jeff more time to get ready in the morning and he can now take showers in the morning instead of the night before. He likes the fact that he gets home earlier from school. Normally I would pick him up but by the time he got to my car and we would have to wait for the buses to leave before we could inch ourselves into traffic.
Katie and I walk to and from her school. She absolutely loves that. I like the fact that I am getting good old fashioned exercise. I may even shed a few pounds doing this. That's of course if I do not have houses to clean. I don't have all my days booked just a few. Tuesday's and Thursday's are my solid days. I am hoping that word of mouth advertising does the trick. I know it takes time to establish and grow.
The dogs and cats are really getting along well. Except that the cats find the birds and hamsters a little too interesting. We lost a hamster last night. Cuddles was trying to get inside their cage and knocked the cage off the table and it flipped and landed on it's top. Bear survived but Pooh did not. Katie was upset and I felt so bad for Pooh. She was just so tiny and what an awful way to go. Reese whined the whole time while we wrapped Pooh up and cleaned the mess from the cage. Every time Cuddles tried to come over and investigate, Reese would chase her away. I checked on Bear this morning to see if he was still with us and apparently Katie had the same idea because she beat me to it. She was so cute when she explained to me that she worried all night that maybe he had "eternal bleeding". She is something else.
Ok.. I am off to get more done and I need to clean out our water cooler for Chris. The office is cutting back on their water delivery and Chris is bringing ours in.