Thursday, January 3, 2013

New spaces, new places

Last day at IWCC today.  Sad to leave all the good people.  Not sad to leave some others!  

Off to the new job next week and anxious to get started.  

A very nice pay raise is making the transition easier.  Finally, back to a reasonable wage.  

Saturday, March 26, 2011


it's still snowing. Beautiful but I'm ready to plant flowers.

The job is wonderful. People are great. Some politics I need to understand but so far so good!

We're about to take in another foster child. Dallas is his name. Seemed providential.

Come on spring time!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

New Directions!

Ok... let me explain. I know you're going to think I'm crazy.

I moved up here to start a business in elder care. I felt a genuine calling to do it. Jacque and I worked on it a couple of months but it was difficult to pay her with no money coming in. So she took a job... well, a couple more months on and there's still no money coming in, so I took a job today, too!

I had just been sort of half-heartedly applying for jobs to make sure I continued to qualify for unemployment. But dang! One of them called me back! I wasn't going to go to the interview because I really wanted to devote more time to getting the marketing plan further along on the business. We've really only given it full attention for two or three months. But I prayed on it and consulted my daughter. That was new. I'm trying to turn over a new leaf and treat them both like grown-ups. Hard to do sometimes.

I checked out the school and it's really nice and cute and small. Fourteen miles from the house. So I listened and went to the interview. There were seven of them and one of me! But they all seemed really nice and they all liked it there. I didn't think they'd like me since I had no academic experience and they didn't think I'd take it because the money was so much different than my last job. But money isn't everything if I really get to make a difference at the school. But it really is low pay... just a few hundred dollars a month over unemployment. Academia does not pay! lol

But the job! It's exactly what I wanted to be doing for Shell. I tried to sneak in a few projects in addition to my regular job but now I can really concentrate on technical solutions to online learning and one of the first projects is to select an LMS! How cool is that!!? So I get to snoop around all these other Learning Management Systems and try them out and check functionality against what we need... so sweet! And develop a train the trainer for online professorship! I can barely sit still!

We're still going to work on the business, just at a slower pace. We can do most of the activities required at night and on the weekends. And when and if we get to the point that we need to decide who's going to quit their job to run it, we can discuss it as a team and decide.

Happy February! Now if it will just stop snowing so I can plant flowers!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

COME ON 2011!!

Thank you, God, that 2010 is OVER!

I sort of hit the doldrums in mid-November and didn't do much for the business. Did get the website up and going. Did some networking but didn't do any cold calls or go back and visit my candy stops. Jacque and I dropped off candy jars at lots of assisted living and elder care facilities. So I need to go back and refresh the candy and shoot the breeze. And you know how well I can do that! So on January 3rd, I'm getting back in the saddle and getting going on more marketing. I know my first customer is out there somewhere!

I think I hit the doldrums somewhat because Jacque got a job. It's not a great job but it has good benefits and reasonable pay. It does take some of the pressure off of me to try to pay her some kind of salary so it's all good. When business picks up she can decide whether she wants to come back or not. But without her to keep me motivated, it was easy to slack off. Now I have to make lists with DEADLINES!

I did use the time well. Spent a lot of time doing kid stuff... birthday parties and school things. Had a great Thanksgiving and Christmas with all my kids in one place, except Randi (still hanging out in Texas.) Cooked a lot of food and probably gained weight but I'll go walking as my knees allow.

Mac is doing really well in school and we read every night for about an hour. He has to read 300 minutes a month to get a prize (free pizza!) so he reminds me if we miss a night. My boy definitely works better on the reward system. He turned 7 on December 20th.

My foster care license for Nebraska has finally been approved so I hope we get another kid soon. Someone to play light sabers with Mac! We definitely had a Star Wars Birthday and Christmas!

I sold my mom's house in Brownwood. Since she passed a few years ago, I wasn't ready to sell it. I had always thought I would go there and retire someday and it was sort of a safety net. No matter what happened, I'd have a roof and a paycheck so I wouldn't be under the bridge. But renting it and and keeping up on maintenance, taxes and insurance is just horrific. Not at all worth the trouble. So finally time to sell... it didn't sell at the price I wanted so the realtor found a good candidate for owner financing with a big down. So I did it... just a 10 year note so it should all be good. Fingers crossed.

The horses are doing fine despite what has been some pretty cold weather. They're very hairy and love their paddock mates so they all huddle up and like each other.

I was GIVEN two more sugar gliders right before Christmas! I was just cruising Craigslist and this girl had 4 listed so I sent her a note and she ended up just giving them to me with a HUGE cage so my little Ruby will have some company and a bigger house. Sugar gliders do better when they have company and can actually not flourish due to loneliness. So they're living separately for now but I will put them together in a few more days.

I have to say that 2010 has been eventful. Lost my job. Didn't find a new one I wanted. Tried to sell my house. Didn't. Decided to stalk my kids. Found a business I wanted to do. Still working on that. Left Texas for Nebraska. Bought a house. Spent ALL my 401K. Some events stunk but more were wonderful, God given blessings so I'm a happy person.

I wish all of you a hugely happy and healthy 2011!!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Another month has rolled by. Lovely fall weather... I am enjoying it so much.

Mac is excited about going trick or treating tonight with Jacque. I'm going to stay home and pass out candy. Mac is going as Woody and we have a costume for Pickles, the pitbull, too. She's going to be a bucking bull with a cowboy on her back. It's too cute. If she will just wear it!

We've done a lot of work on the business but still don't have a customer. We have found out that the hospitals and geriatric clinics have their own companies so they won't be looking at us. The senior centers won't let us solicit there. I can't get government contracts until I can put a nurse on staff. So we're punching up the advertising and networking. I attended a Veteran's in Business breakfast and met with a couple of businesses that could partner with us. So we'll just keep going and see what happens.

Jacque has found a job it looks like for a prescription call center. It will be easier on me to have her working and have benefits rather than worry about something happening. And she'll still be able to stay involved with me working on her off days when she can. When things pick up to the point she can quit, she can decide then what to do.

Jake may have found a job, too. He is in the last phases of interviewing with TSA. I just hope he keeps up his college work, too. He and Megan came over for supper last week, first time I had seen them in quite a while.

Not much else going on here. Just counting the pennies five times a day. But trying to count my blessing more than that!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

It's Official!

The business is officially open. Check out the website and give me your honest feedback!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Fall in Nebraska

OK... I'm an idiot. I thought there was something wrong with the trees. They're changing. I definitely stayed in the tropics and sub-tropics too long!

In the meantime, we are doing GREAT! I'm still sleeping 7 or 8 hours and now that the weather is cooler, I'm really enjoying it! In fact, I sleep with the windows open and the fans on and it's REALLY cold by morning! More quilts for me and the yellow lab is happy on the bed!

The business is really launching! We did our first staff interviews and hired about six ladies. Then we starting making marketing calls to the senior centers and some independent living facilities. Holy crap! I hope I can afford some of those we saw. Movie theaters, valet parking, 1,2, or 3 bedroom apartments, wonderful food or cook for yourself! So fancy! I was afraid to ask how much it costs! Next week we start on the harder nuts, the geriatric practices and physical therapy offices... neither of us want to do it so Jacque and I go together and take turns! Oh for the days when we can hire a marketer! LOL

We're set to go... just need a few clients! Send up a prayer for us.

Mac is doing fine. He lost TV privileges due to a beginning addiction to Cartoon Network so I thought I'd just nip that in the bud and ban TV on school nights. He's going through withdrawals but he'll be ok in time!

Big fight with CPS because they wanted me to drive him back to Houston to have his fingerprints done for his INS application! Do you see what I mean when I say they have no common sense in that entire department! So I squawked and raised dust and they agreed it might be ok to fingerprint him here but I'd have to take him back for the interview. He's flipping SIX! Really?!?! So I have another battle to do for that phase.

We're still poor. There are a lot of expenses in starting up a company. But I should be doing ok IF my unemployment is extended. If not, who knows. God will provide.

Until Halloween!