Thursday, January 21, 2010

Not sure what to do about this....

Last Friday, my husband's boss ( known from here on out as Mr. Incompetent Or Mr. I, because he can't manage his own damn company) gave the few men that work for him an extremely low blow.

He could not afford to pay them for the previous week and he asked for understanding because he needs to settle with the creditor's first. He also asked the guys to take some time off while he gets some work done himself so he can settle with the owner's and get paid for the completed jobs. Although a few of the guys including my husband have been working here and there for the man but they are keeping track of their hours and per Mr, I. he will catch up with them later.

My husband, however, was paid because he gets his check directly deposited. His boss did tell Chris that the payroll company may try and take back the money. So... Chris moved the money to a different account just so that wouldn't happen. I am no expert, but I don't think payroll companies can do that. I think they would just go after Mr. I. for the money. After all he is the one that owes them not Chris.

Chris has also been working on proposals for Mr. I. for new jobs and he has been putting in some hours to sort of help him out, hoping that it will be a positive thing in the long run.
I am very skeptical of this whole thing. I think maybe that is the reason why I couldn't sleep last night. I am stressed out to the max. I am even thinking of looking through the web directory for a good lawyer because I don't think this is going to end well at all.

I am positive that it is against the law to not pay your employees. Mr. I. anticipates only two weeks of working without pay (for the moment) but I told Chris that if he does not receive a paycheck (direct deposit or not) by next Friday, I am going to do something. Mr. I. also owes my husband for mileage and expenses related to the job. Well over two hundred dollars worth. I think this is very poor business practice. Yes, he is a nice guy but nice guy or not you do not do that to your employees. It is a good thing I am bringing in some money, otherwise I don't know what we would do right now. It's not like there are jobs waiting to be filled.

The Perks of Cleaning...

One of the reasons that I started my own house cleaning business was because I like to meet new people. I have met some very interesting people and some way out there people too.
One of my clients will be leaving to go back home to New York in a few weeks. She only rented a condo for three months but because of the cold spell that Florida had she would rather be home. She is smart and funny and unique. But man can she talk. I think in a few short weeks that I have been cleaning for her, I have heard her life story.
Not that I am complaining, it actually is nice that she feels comfortable enough with me just to chat and shoot the breeze.
I am not sure exactly how old she is. I am guessing at least mid seventies although she doesn't look it and she is fairly active and she is not in short supply of an hgh releaser. She can keep up with the best of them. What makes me laugh hard is when she will actually pick up some of my cleaning products and start to use them herself and try to clean right along with me. She doesn't even realize that she is doing it until I point it out to her.
She is one of the few that I will miss greatly. She has already invited my me and my family to come stay in Hampton's with her and I really think she is being serious. She has given me her phone number and address in New York and she tells me that she will hound me until I actually say yes. I think I might have to take her up on her offer.

What's up with the insomnia?

I can't sleep.
I have tried to just lay down and try to relax hoping beyond all hope that I would just fall asleep. I don't get this way often but when I do it just messes with my internal clock for the entire day.
I will probably be up all night and then crabby by noon tomorrow, or should I say today. I know I will be exhausted today and with the cleanings that I need to do, I am not sure where I will find the energy. One thing is certain though, I will be needing some of the best anti wrinkle face creams because I get major lines under my eyes if I don't get the proper rest. And since I won't get rest at all tonight I am going to look ten or more years older.
At least I have my animals to keep me company while the rest of my family happily slumbers and dreams tonight.. *** sigh***

Monday, January 18, 2010

Extraordinary Measures: A movie review

My friend, Kat, emailed me with an opportunity to see the not yet released movie, Extraordinary Measures with her. Extraordinary Measures comes out this Friday, January 22nd. We had to drive to Muvico Theater in Tampa on Thursday, January 14th since there were no theaters closer to us that were participating. A trip that was worth it in my opinion.

Extraordinary Measures is based on actual events of the lives of John Crowley (Brendan Frasier), his wife, Aileen (Keri Russell), and their three children, John, Megan, and Patrick.

Megan and Patrick are in the midst of dealing with a deadly disease called Pompe. John is desperate to find help for his two younger children since the life expectancy with children born with the disease is 9 years old. Megan has already turned 8. John teams up with Dr. Robert Stonehill ( Harrison Ford), a scientist with unconventional work habits and a stubborn demeanor, to come up with a viable drug which will save John's children. There are a lot of obstacles that they have to go through and with little time to do it in.

I fully expected this movie to be an all out sob story. I even grabbed a handful of napkins from the concession stand just so I would have plenty on hand to wipe the tears which I knew that would be flowing. I used two. Not because it wasn't an emotionally driven story, but because I laughed more than I shed tears. I enjoyed the movie, I loved the pairing of Brendan Frasier and Harrison Ford. They did a remarkable job and their onscreen chemistry was fantastic. This movie also touched me in a way that I had to learn more about Pompe. I never heard of it before. Extraordinary Measures made me aware of how truly devastating this disease is and how I wish there was something that I could do other than just writing this review.

As a parent, I would have done anything to save the lives of my children. I am not so sure I could have had the same affect as John Crowley, but I would have stopped at nothing to ensure that my children got what was necessary to live.

This is a movie that inspires you to want to help and to cheer on the ones actually doing something to help. I will be taking my family to see it in the near future.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

No mirrors please. I don't want to crack them

Since the surgery, I have lost almost 20 pounds. Not quite what I expected but it's still something. I am not sure whether or not I should try consulting some of the best weight loss supplements or wait and see what happens. My doctor told me that I should lose the weight easily, now that I don't have a huge tumor/cyst pressing against my thryoid anymore.

But I feel like it should have already happened and yet it has only been two months today that I had the surgery. I guess I am just pushing myself too hard and wanting results now. But, I am more active and I am cleaning more homes each week and my appetite is the same as it has always been but something still isn't right. The energy still isn't there. I don't know maybe it's just me. I have never been this heavy and I absolutely hate it. I hate the way it makes me look, I hate the way it makes me feel and I hate it that I got this way through no fault of my own. I could understand if I "let myself go" but I haven't and it is so irritating. I am in constant fear that I will always be this heavy and even though it may not be true it is true in my mind now.

It's been awhile.

Since I have had a night out without the family. Not including my two days away when I had surgery. Not that I don't want to spend time with them but I think we all need a break once in a while. So... my friend, Kat, and I will be getting comfy in a few theater seats to watch the new movie Extraordinary Measures.

This looks like it's going to be a tear jerker, but that's ok. I haven't had a feel good cry in a long time. I am so looking forward to tomorrow evening!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Needing Advice

For a very long time I have battled with my daughter's doctor to try and get an appointment with a specialist to see if she does indeed suffer with ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder). Due to the type of health insurance that covers Katie, a referral is mandatory. Even with numerous evaluations from her elementary school stating that in their opinion she does indeed show signs for ADD, Katie's pediatrician keeps insisting that she is quite young yet and will most likely "grow out of this phase".
I am not forcing this issue because I want Katie on some kind of adhd medication. I want to make sure so that all the necessary steps can be taken to help her out more in school. I get daily behavior/status reports from her teacher. For the most part she does very well. Except for when it comes time to read. She does so poorly in that subject and it is not because she can't read but because she cannot stay focus, she loses interest almost immediately when it comes to sitting down and reading a book. You have to constantly keep her on track. It is so frustrating but mostly for her. She WANTS to enjoy reading but she just can't. And although the school will allow her more time on her FCAT ( Florida's lame ass excuse for a competency test)this year if she does not pass it they will hold her back. That means she would have repeated not only Kindergarten but also the Third grade. I am at my witts end with this dilemma. Any suggestions? I am desperate.

Breaking out the Heating Blanket

This is by far one of the worst winters I have experienced in Florida. In the last three days I have felt like I was back living in Ohio, when it came time to hop in my car in the morning to drive Katie to school and then off to work. Why? Because I have had to WARM up the car and scrape ice off my windshield and windows before I could go anywhere.

Today's high was suppose to reach into the 70's but it doesn't feel much more than the 40's and it is already close to 4p.m. Tomorrow is supposed to warm up into the 60's but it will plummet on Saturday into the 40's. Rain is expected on both days. Since today was supposed to be in the 60-70's range I am pretty positive that tomorrow will be more like today.

It was so cold last night that we got the kids and me a pair of gloves and Katie a new warmer jacket. I used my gloves this morning and they did a great job at keeping my hands warm. I cleaned at my parents this morning and my dad was complaining about the reason they moved from Ohio to Florida was to escape the cold weather. My mom is on a cruise with the choir in Mexico and it is pretty cold there too. We don't get this cold weather often in Florida.

I can deal with the cold if it's temporary. And to me a few weeks is temporary. Although I miss seeing snow from time to time, I don't really wish to see it down here. A number of people are guessing that even though it says it is going to rain on Friday and Saturday they are betting dollars to donuts that there will be a few flurries in the air. I don't doubt that myself.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

This just pisses me off!

How could someone do such an unspeakable act as writing a bogus check to the Salvation Army? Yep, you read it right... Someone wrote a $25,000 company check that was from a closed account. The real company would not speculate on who it may have been, but I am sure they are working very closely with police on this matter. What I don't get is why they are calling this a hoax. It's not a hoax it is a fricking crime!

The Salvation Army does quite a bit for people who are down and out. When Chris got laid off they helped us out and when things got better for us I donated more than just pocket change right back to them. This just seems so callous and shrewd and downright cold. You think the bank will forgive the Salvation Army for the NSF Charge that we all get slapped with every time someone gives us a bad check? NO! Fortunately there are people dropping off money to help the Salvation Army offset this smack in the face. I hope that whoever did this is caught quickly and dealt with severely. No more mamby pamby punishments.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Getting my shop on...

Since this is a brand spanking new year. One of the things that I would like to do is trim our spending on groceries and shop more wisely.

I have been trying to cut more coupons and to remember to bring them when we do our weekly shopping. I have made myself a coupon holder and categorize the coupons so they are easier to file and find when I need them. I would also like to cut down on our shopping trips to just twice a month. Sure we may spend a extra hour or two at the grocery store but we will save on gas with less trips. I do more meal planning preparation than I have done in the past and making my grocery list out according to the menu has helped tremendously. We stock up on the basics and adding them to the grocery list as we run out helps to make sure we do get those items on the next trip.

When we do our grocery shopping we always go as a family. It helps cut down on time and believe it or not it cuts down on impromptu spending on items we may want but don't need. Although Katie never fails to beg for certain items. Sometimes I allow it but most times it's a firm no. Unless of course she gets to her dad first, then I usually end up a little irritated but I won't make that a battle.

I also found that eating before we shop helps with keeping our spending down. You NEVER want to go shopping hungry, you end up with way too much junk food and less money in your wallet. I have done way too many times.

I always carry a calculator with me so we can keep track of our purchases so far and see where we are with our budget but I think it would be an absolutely fantastic idea is if grocery stores provided programmed barcode scanners so all that you have to do is scan the item and know where you stand with your spending. It would just keep track of the spending for you. I wouldn't even mind having to pay a small fee or better yet a deposit to use one. When I lived in Ohio and shopped at Aldi's, you would have to pay a deposit to be able to shop with a cart. The deposit was only a quarter at the time but you would get the quarter back when you returned the cart.

I also try to steer clear of convenient stores. I only step foot in one if it absolutely necessary. Milk tends to be the same price as what you would pay at the grocery store but soft drinks are over the top at these places. Not to mention toiletries and vitamins. And yes I do know you could earn points or store dollars but to me it is not worth it unless you shop there all the time and can afford the inflated prices to begin with. It's common sense to me. Spend a little more time once a week at the grocery store or constantly go the EASY( because that is why the call them convenient stores) route but pay more.

I would love more ideas on how to save and come out on top, so if you have suggestions, I am certainly open to them.

Monday, January 4, 2010

A new year, a new beginning.

It's hard to believe that the year is now 2010. Where does the time go?
I don't think I could ever forget the year 2009. So many life changing events occurred and much to my dismay not all of them were good.
Chris got layed off in June. We really had to cut back in a lot of expenses and habits. Although we were a little put off by this, I think we came out a much stronger family for it. We haven't gone back to our old routine for fear that although he may have gotten another job, nothing is permanent. We relish our family time at home. We rarely go out unless it is a special occasion and we are fine with that.
My health was an issue for most of the latter months of 2009. Although I am coming along fine and healing every day, I am still aware that it could have been far, far worse and I am thankful that it wasn't.
With 2009 now behind us, we can focus on our goals for 2010.
Chris and I would like to start doing more things as a couple. Although we love our children deeply, we know that we need to have some time to ourselves. Jeff is getting more mature now and he has watched his sister for a few hours at a time without any mishaps. This is a true sign that he is growing into a fine man. Believe me, even though he is 8 years older they could fight like cats and dogs. Now they get along much better and Jeff actually enjoys spending time with her.
My cleaning business is growing fast and hopefully it will last longer than the season. I do have three clients that will require me year round. For that I am grateful. I know that the best customers to get is by word of mouth and so far it has worked.
Chris is enjoying his new job. He has learned so much in so little time. He has even began getting side jobs from his boss. Jobs that his boss just doesn't want to take the time to do himself so he refers them to Chris. Sometimes it sucks not having him home all to myself on the weekends but the money is good.
And with that we are finally starting to save again. It really bothered me that we had to deplete our savings the last part of 2009. But I am glad that we had that money. It made having our cars repaired and the little things that needed to be done a whole lost easier to deal with.
Chris would like to go back to Washington this year to spend some time with his daughter. Even though his ex is in contempt of court on her part of the deal, he still feels it is important to let his daughter know that he does love her. She would like Katie to come this time so she can get to know her. That to me is a positive step forward in their relationship. Before she wanted nothing to do with any of us. Which is understandable considering what her mother told her. Which by the way was all lies. But that is not my story to tell. I am thinking of getting travel insurance for the both of them when they go. No telling what could be happening in the world by the time they go, which will most likely be in the summer.
Jeff is starting his second semester next Monday. He is happy and content with how he is doing in school and I am happy for him. He will be turning 19 by the end of the month. I am not ready for that, but I know I can't stop it.
We have many house projects in the coming months to do.
With the help of Chris' boss we will be putting down wood flooring in our living room, stairs and upstairs landing. I am so excited to get this done. I absolutely hate carpeting in main rooms. The dust and crap that carpet keeps a hold of is nasty.
We plan on ripping out the tub in the master bath and making it a walk in shower. Neither Chris or I take baths and to have a nice shower would be heaven. Chris' newly acquired tile skills will come in handy. Jeff and Katie both want their rooms painted. I am not exactly thrilled with their color choices at the moment but I know that by the time we are ready to tackle that they will probably have changed their minds a thousand times.