Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Today I am THANKFUL!

Pete's VA claim was settled with his rating at 90% disabled! And today we got a payment in our bank account for 6 months of payments in one big lump sum.

It's been a rough 6 months that is for sure, but having this first huge hurdle overcome and having financial ruin averted for the time being is HUGE and I'm feeling much better today.

Also yesterday I registered for my domains, a hosting account, and an SSL certificate. I installed the shopping cart program and started a list of products I am going to sell. My business is on it's way - I am hopeful in addition to thankful!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Good News and random update...

  • Yesterday Pete got a call from the VA - his claim is being finalized. He says the lady told him he was rated as 90% disabled but the $$ figure quoted was closer to 70% so I don't really know which one he got wrong? Waiting for the letter with details so I can figure out what needs to be done. Either means free healthcare for him for life - but 90% means about $700 more a month. Really wanted 100% but guess until he's wheelchair bound that isn't likely?

  • I went to the Radio City Music Hall for the Christmas Spectacular yesterday. It was a beautiful show BUT I spent 7 hours on a bus to watch an hour and 15 minute show - kinda puts things into perspective.

  • In other news - apparently I killed our fish. I did a water change on Wed night and on Thursday he was hanging near the bottom and not coming up for food and by the time I got home Friday he was laying on the bottom not moving. Not sure what I did but now I'm going to have to empty and clean the tank before we can get a new fish because it seems like the water change had something to do with it.

  • I haven't done nearly enough about kicking off my business - Monday it will be treated as my job - I will take the first steps and just get this done! I need an income and with Pete getting 70-90% instead of 100% our monthly income is going to still fall short.

  • Today a double at the restaurant. Gotta get showered and ready now - should be a busy day thanks to a neighboring business having a pretty big craft show. Here's hoping!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Plans - hopeful plans for the future...

I have a plan forming in my head, this plan will take hard work, dedication, time, talent. These are things I have in spades! (well maybe not talent in spades but I have some!)

A website client who is a fabulous entrepreneur and someone I've known and admired for years gave me a wake-up call last week as I was creating another e-commerce site for him. He wondered why if I knew how to create this websites I didn't create a few for me and get myself into the arena. I have to admit I had tossed the idea around BUT what to sell? and to who?

He sells a wide variety of items BUT mainly things related to presentations and printing - binders, binding supplies, custom printed folders, tabs, binders, etc. He has relationships with suppliers and gets great rates - he offered to sell any of his products to me at a tiny mark-up that would still give me plenty of room to make a decent profit. Everything is drop shipped so my only investment would be time and the cost of a website to feature these products, oh and a merchant account to accept credit cards.

So this week (as soon as I launch said client's newest website) I am going to be spending a lot of time at and researching how to register as a woman owned company, how to set up an LLC in NY, how to get a federal EIN number and a NYS sales tax ID, and the costs involved in all of these things. I'm checking out how to bid on government projects as a minority owned company, looking into procurement websites for major corporations, considering hiring an accountant to keep the books for me, looking at what I would need to do to get a grant to get all this started.

Yep - I am formulating plans - plans to never work for someone else again, plans to provide an income, and freedom in my schedule, plans for something so I can feel passionate about my work again.

Plans are good!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Trying out a new look...

I just felt it was time for something new - please let me know what you think! :)

The pictures are of my actual yard - in fall and using a Photoshop filter to blur and stylize a bit. Just wait for winter - snow, snow and more snow should be fun.

My Heart Hurts...

Today we put up Christmas lights - I didn't want to. I'm not in the spirit, I hate hanging outside lights because one no one even sees them and two we aren't even going to be here for Christmas. But my husband wanted to do it so I went along with it.

We had to buy new lights because the ones I used last year got ruined and were not usable. So there goes $25 on lights. Then we had to borrow my dad's ladder because ours is not tall enough to reach our gutters. (I admit here interwebz that when I called and asked to borrow my dad's ladder I had hoped he would offer to come do it, but he didn't and I didn't ask)

So we get this enormous tall ladder unfolded and leaned against the house and quick as a monkey my husband climbs all the way on the fucking roof! I'm losing my mind - he can hardly walk on the ground, he trips and stumbles and falls easily and now he's 20 feet up on the fucking roof? I pitched a first rate royal fit and insisted he get down NOW including real hysterical tears. He calls me all kinds of names, he refuses, I keep insisting, I refuse to give him the things he needs to do the lights unless he gets down.

He climbs down and I breathe a sigh of relief that his feet are back on the ground and that the furthest he can now fall is a few feet off his ass. I tell he he should be glad someone cares and that if his mother knew I LET him climb on the roof she'd tear me a new one. He tells me to shut the fuck up and then refuses to do anything more with the lights. I'm half tempted to just tear them down and be done with it. BUT I climb that shaking tall ladder over and over and over crying every time I do it because I HATE ladders - I hate them. Maybe it's because I'm not a small woman and I figure fat chicks have no business hanging to the top of ladders? I feel like I'm going to fall the entire time.

This ladder is heavy and every time I run out of reach I have to move the ladder over and everytime I move it I'm sure it's going to fall over. One time it does fall over and twists my back and wrenches my shoulder as it goes. BUT I finish, oh and to make things more interesting while I'm doing this my husband comes back out and tells me I take things too far. Then another time he comes out and tells me to get a lawyer cause we're getting divorced. I'm tempted to call his bluff here because I'm so sick of his shit.

I finish the lights. I fold the ladder back up and come inside. I go to my office to be alone, I don't even want to look at him. What does he do? He comes to find me to tell me "I could have done all of that you know!"

I have no words. I did something I didn't want to do, he turned it into a big ordeal. Rather than realize I have his best interests at heart when making him get off the roof he stews, he threatens divorce. He makes fun of me for being afraid on the ladder, he calls me a wuss for crying when swaying at the top of a big ladder. Then instead of thanking me for doing it or at the very least letting it go, he has to get in one last jab.

Days like this I'm not sure it's worth it to fight him? Maybe I should have just let him fall off the roof and kill himself?

Merry Christmas

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Contest on 2 Hot Dishes!

Win a free scented candle from Celebrating Home for submitting your favorite Thanksgiving themed recipe for the blog. Winner will be chosen at random and all recipes will be posted with links back to their respective blog owners!

Go here to comment and submit!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

More things to be thankful for...

Unlike my last post this one really is more about things I am truly thankful for!

I am thankful for old friends!
  • The ones that have been around for 20+ years, the ones that just love me for who I am, the ones that have watched me make mistakes, listened to me cry, given me advice, never judged me for those mistakes, always accepted me for who I am. These are the friends who you can count on, the ones that will tell you the truth even when it hurts and yet never hold it against you. We laugh together, have cried together, have prayed together, have grown up together, have grown together. Yes you know who you are - and I am so thankful for YOU!
I am thankful for close friends!
  • I have a handful of these, some I have known for many years, others only a few, some I have only known through the internet and yet I have shared with them some of my deepest secrets and darkest thoughts. One in particular has helped me remain sane through this very crazy year and I hope I have done the same for her. I hope she knows who she is - meow.

I am thankful for new friends!
  • I have a new friend, she is much younger than me and yet she teaches me about the kind of person I want to be. She is kind, loving, intelligent. She follows her dreams, she inspires me. I feel honored that she has chosen me to be her friend. She is not yet privy to my blog but I would be remiss if I didn't mention her.

I am thankful for my sister!
  • As kids we fought like cats and dogs (well maybe worse than cats and dogs? for the most part my cats and dog live in relative harmony) but as adults we are true friends. I would do anything for her and I know she would do anything for me. I enjoy spending time with her, I trust her with my secrets, I admire her patience and love with her children. My sister is a special person.
I am thankful for my parents!
  • Both my parents are here and help out, they will do anything I need them to do and I try not to take too much advantage of that. Especially my dad - he is a worker and he has worked for me a lot. I don't know how we would get the things we need done around here done without my dad. My husband wants to move and honestly living in town would make more sense BUT I would hate to move away from my parents - it is so nice to have my dad so close (just a mile up the road).
And even when he is a big ole pain in the butt - I am thankful for my husband. I didn't get the life, the marriage, the dreams that I thought I wanted but I still can't imagine my life without him. He makes me laugh, he keeps me warm at night, he tells me he is proud of me, he loves me for me.

So there - my obligatory Thanksgiving post - but from the heart! :)

As Thanksgiving Approaches...

It's been a rough year here, not much has gone right. The early part of 2009 consisted of my husband going on job interviews and me listening to the after story realizing that he was probably not going to get any of these jobs, or any job again EVER because he just didn't have the capacity that he used to have. Physically he's weak, mentally he's unstable and unpredictable. In March I started researching SSDI thinking it was time to apply and my research led me to the fact that as former air force he was entitled to VA Disability which kicks SSDI's ass. So we started the process in March and submitted his application in April. With high hopes we waited, and waited, and waited, and are still waiting 8 months later. My high hopes are now tempered with a great deal of impatience and aggravation! GRRR BUT the bottom line is he will be approved, it is a cut and dried case so whenever it is finally decided we will get a giant check to pay us back to April and ongoing monthly payments for the rest of his life. This is something to be thankful for, it will save us financially. I just wish it would hurry up.

To add to the rough year - on June 30th I lost my job. This was a bit of a blow to my ego. It was HUGE blow to our financial status. But things that make me thankful - the temporary reduction of COBRA payments to 35% allowing us to keep our much needed health insurance without going into debt to do it. Unemployment - it's not much but it pays the cars and the utilities. We had savings - sure it was earmarked for retirement but it is more important to keep afloat now than to retire later, and we already know my husband will receive a monthly payment until he dies - so he doesn't really need retirement accounts. We could last another year and a half at least as we are if I dip into mine too. It won't come to that - the VA can't take that long, can they?

The upside to me losing my job - well I hated the job and the commute so wasn't really happy go lucky suzy sunshine while working there. In retrospect it was a mistake to take the job and make the change. I liked what I did in the job I had before that, loved it. There were frustrations but I LOVED the work. Also I was someone there, I was respected, I made decisions, I was important. When I changed to the hated job - I was no one, I was a peon, I was a cog in a machine. I hated it. The additional $16,000 a year I made by switching turned out to not be nearly enough for what I was giving up. :( Oh so this was about upside - well I realized it will take more than a big paycheck to make me like a job, and I got to spend a great deal of my summer with my nephews and let me tell you walking into a room to watch this little face light up with joy at my presence? Well it's something special! I have learned that despite what I always thought I really am not a tough, hard driving career woman. The more I think about the future the more I think I want a part time job, something that will give me purpose, and hopefully health insurance! Something that can be flexible and allow me to be there to take my husband to doctor visits, physical therapy, psychologist visits and more. As he continues to decline - more and more he is going to become my job. It's a sad reality for us - but as I embrace it I realize that for the past 4 months I have not missed the corporate BS at all, I have enjoyed sleeping until 8 most mornings, and I love having time - to take a walk, to go have lunch with a friend, to spend with my nephews, to spend with my husband, to play with my dog. Time is precious and I don't want to spend 50+ hours a week doing something I hate just for a paycheck. This is a discovery I am truly thankful for.

I think maybe after all these years I'm starting to find the real me in there somewhere.