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.

Anticipating the Day

I just realized that it has been six years since my family and I actually took a vacation. SIX years! When I say vacation, I don't mean a week off from work to do stay home and get the things that I have been neglecting done. 
The last place that we went was to Walt Disney World.  Heck, we didn't even leave the state, just went two hours northeast. I wish we would have made the effort to plan trips outside the state.  We could have saved our money to make it possible, but life got in the way and of course the economy has made it very difficult.

 I would love to travel to different states and see what makes them so great.  I wouldn't mind visiting the Outer Banks or Las Vegas ( I have heard that it is more family friendly now) or I wouldn't mind going back to my birth state, Ohio, to see friends. 

The next really big thing that I am so looking forward to is my friends coming down to Orlando for a few days.  It will only be one day that we will get to spend some time together but I am really, really anticipating their arrival.  I have been hoarding money to be able to afford gas, food and whatever it is we decide to do for the day.  Chris and I have thought of spending the day with them at the Old Town park in Kissimmee.  We took the kids there on our last vacation and we had a great time. 

I am waiting patiently for that day to arrive, for now I will just mark off the days on my calendar like a school kid waiting for her big field trip day to hurry up and get here already!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

What is your name again?

This is what my grandmother keeps asking me everytime I go to visit her.
Family issues with my grandmother are getting relatively serious.  She did go in for her memory test and now she will have to meet with a psychologist to evaluate her before they will diagnose her with Alzeihmers.  She has it, she has all but a few signs of it and it is only getting worse. 
What bothers me is that my mom and her sister are not on the same page.  My mom took my grandmother's car keys to keep her from driving.  My mom has been reading a book that was given to her by the Alzeihmer's Foundation which highlights some key points.  Like, if you would not want your children and grandchildren riding in the car of a loved one suspected of Alzheimers than take away the keys.  My aunt thinks that her mom is faking it.  That she is intentionally putting on an act to get attention.  It is really starting to wear thin with me. 
The last doctors appointment that my grandfather had, the doctor got in his face and told him that if he wants to live longer, than he needs to move out of the house.  My grandfather was taking up to 4 nitro pills for his heart a day. He moved in with my aunt and that lasted all of two weeks.  My grandmother was visiting my grandfather one day.  She got upset and said she was going for a walk.  Two hours later, my mom found her at her home.  My aunt lives 17 miles from my grandmother.  We have no clue how she got home. Futhermore, my aunt never looked for her after an hour had passed.  She just assumed she was pouting and she would return after she calmed down.  
The whole thing with my grandparents is that we know that my grandfather does not have much more time with us.  I will be surprised if he is still here this Christmas.  Once he is gone, my grandmother will have to put into an assisted living facility.  My mom doesn't think that there will be any money left to pay for the kind of care she needs.  I think my grandmother will qualify for a Medicare plan that will pay her arrangements.  I am trying to help my mom work out the details and research the next plan of action.
My grandfather just recently changed his will so that when he does pass, my mom will have power of attorney and control so that my grandmother can't spend all the money or sign away the title to the house.  This happens more than people think. 
Not to long ago, my grandmother opened up her own bank account and withdrew a thousand dollars but does not remember doing it and/or where she put or spent the money.  This is not typical of a person with a sound mind.  Yet my aunt thinks she may have hidden it in a shoebox or something and actually wanted my mom and I to go through her things when we cleaned her house last week. 
My grandmother's memory are from her childhood.  That is all she talks about but if you ask her what she did five minutes ago, she will just give you a blank stare and tell you she doesn't remember.  It is heartbreaking to see her decline like this. 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Surviving... at least it is better than the alternative.

It's been a whirlwind week for me.  Since last weekend, I have not been feeling like myself and seriously thinking that something was really wrong.  I would feel so weighted, like a ton of bricks were on top of me, plus compound that with no energy and constantly being dizzy.  I don't know how, but I managed to work despite feeling like this.  It took me longer but I still did it. 

My mood has been up and down like a insane roller coaster.  There were times when I didn't like my own attitude and I would go into my bedroom and pout until I could calm down.  I hate when I get like that.  It is usually when I feel so stressed out that I can't bottle my emotions any longer and they explode right out of me. Needless to say, that I have learned to realize when I am about to lose it and I just walk away so to avoid any hurt feelings or pissing Chris off with my extreme bitchiness. 

I know that I may suffer from a little depression.  I am so trying to snap myself out of it, but geez, it is tough.  I am a worrier.  I worry about everything, even things that I have absolutely no fricking control over, I worry.
Financially, we are struggling.  Not desperate but still struggling.  If it weren't for Chris' unemployment and the help of our son Jeff, we would most likely be staying with family.  Yes, I bring money in with the cleaning business but after all the expenses that get paid out monthly, there is not much left to live on.  It hurt drastically when I lost the condo account due to them going in house for the cleaning. The business is surviving by a thread and so are we.  I am feverishly marketing myself out to generate more business. It does take time.. A LOT of time to pitch to people why you are better than all the rest out there.  But, I still do it. In hopes that at least a few of them will give me a chance to prove that I am the best.

Chris got a call yesterday from some stupid telemarketer wanting him to take out a personal loan.  Even when Chris explained that he was not working and in fact was going to school, the man on the other line said that he could still hook Chris up with a loan.  No income verification needed just a steady checking account.  It got me to thinking how many unfortunate people out there would get sucked into this?  Sink deeper into debt just to be able to survive.  Isn't that what most of us are doing? Surviving?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Vote For Me Please!

Ok, I didn't have all the information yesterday, therefore I could not post it.  Voting for my submission to the MoMCentral Contest begins today at Noon (EST).  One catch though, it is through MomCentral's Facebook page.  You must have a facebook account to be able to vote. Sorry if this is an inconvenience.
Each person can vote once a day up until April 15th. 

I can't express in words how truly important the $2000.00 grant money awarded in this contest would be.  Other than so many people suffering with Multiple Myeloma would have a helping hand with necessities.

If you haven't read the background story of why I want to start a non profit organization for Multiple Myeloma there are a few entries that explain it all.

Spread the word like wild fire and let's make this happen folks! There are many out there that are counting on it!