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Archive for April, 2008

A day in the life...

April 30th, 2008 at 10:01 pm

In no way am I complaining about my job...I am just speculating on a day in the life...

The assistant the day before a big meeting:

Create an Agenda so that those who will be facilitating the meeting will know the order to discuss important stuff with staff...

Forsee topics that need to be discussed that may have been overlooked and add them to the agenda...

Anticipate the value of a supporting powerpoint presentation and create it so that those who will be facilitating the meeting can provide a cool visual...be sure to compile supporting information and values..find great pictures to add a punch to the presentation...add humor, staff will be trying to wake up and will appreciate a chuckle or two...

Make a list of food to serve to staff...they will be hungry since they are coming in an hour early to work tomorrow...send support assistant to the store to buy food...

Make sure the room is set up properly and that all conferencing equipment is set up and ready to go...

Remember things that the boss wanted to insure were discussed and add those to the Agenda...prioritize and organize discussions...rewrite agenda anticipating bosses priorities...add a few notes of things for the presenters to say...

Email staff and remind them about meeting.

Show boss the finished powerpoint presentations when he gets out of his meeting (yes, it is an hour past your normal time to go home, but his meeting went unexpectedly over)..

Take last minute edits to the presentation home to work on and get to boss before bedtime...yes, working on the finished product is slower at home, but the fam is waiting for dinner...

Finish presentation by bedtime and email to boss...uh oh, it takes WAY longer than could ever have been expected to transmit..stay up until the message has been fully transmitted.get to bed over an hour later than expected...set alarm clock and wake up many time during the night worrying that you have not set the alarm properly...or that you have forgotten something...

On the way to work the next morning, determine that assistant may not have bought enough food and stop at 6:30am (thank goodness for 24 hr stores) and buy a few more containers of goodies...

Get to work and start coffee...then make another pot... set out food, print agendas and make sure all presenters are versed in what needs to be discussed...

Answer staff questions...and make sure boss remembers to discuss key items...

print copies of all last minute information to be distributed to staff...

set up phone for conference calls...make sure all have dialed in successfully...

remind boss that his team is there to greet staff...locate his staff and remind them to greet staff...

wipe sweat from brow and colapse into chair while the meeting runs flawlessly...boy can the boss run a meeting!!!

...congratulate boss on such a great meeting...start clean up...and make a mental note that the extra food was a good idea - since there are very few leftovers...be grateful these meetings are only once per quarter...

When the day is over...head home and colapse again...ready for a good nights rest...

Nap Time.

April 26th, 2008 at 09:31 pm

Oh they both fought it...sleep is the perceived ultimate enemy when you are 4 and when you are 7 months...You might miss out on something afterall. GD rubbed her little red eyes, but darned gramma kept humming away and rocking in the chair...and finally, sleep won out...right there on grammas chest...so we napped for almost an hour...then mommy came and took GD home...and GS (age 4) crawled into the empty lap, REFUSING to consider a nap...but darn-it...gramma just kept rocking and humming...and for the next 2 1/2 hours, GS napped away.

An afternoon in the rocker with sleeping babies..absolutely priceless. Everything else can wait...for today, I was needed elsewhere...

Grandbabies, Sponge Bob and Housework

April 26th, 2008 at 08:11 am

So much for jumping into the housework this morning while GS was sleeping...at about 6:45am, I hear this little voice "Hi Gramma, the suns out!"...drasted sun!!! (But I forgive it...as it looks like a gorgeous day for hanging the laundry!!)

So, we got up to make waffles and low and behold the milk monsters (aka the hub and DD3) had tanked the milk and we have none...Luckily, I froze the extra waffles from last time GS and I made them--so we popped a couple in the toaster and, while it was not his preference, he was satisfied with the results.

Now we are watching Sponge Bob while gramma wakes up and has some coffee.

My youngest GD (7 months) is coming for a visit today too. Her mom has a nail appt and asked if I could watch her...a real treat since I do not see her as often as the other two grandbabies. She is a very unique baby. Does not smile on demand like most little ones ...she holds her smiles for those truly deserving moments...the rest of the time she is carefully studying and considering. I have never seen a baby quite like her...and she is so beautiful.

Thankfully, DD3 is here and has offered to help with the kids today so mom can catch up on the housework..Im not sure how it happens, but it sure seems like no matter how hard I try, the house takes a nosedive each week and I spend way too much time getting back to livable on the weekends. I truly envy those of you who are organized and can do it all (probably with less effort and time than us unorganized folks).

I am very pleasantly pleased with our budget and savings/spending plan. It seems to be working!!

The Black Blob of Doom won and I am $400 poorer...

April 25th, 2008 at 08:16 pm

That was one expensive uh-oh. A while back my LCD screen on my laptop was damaged and slowly, the black blob that followed took over the screen...each day, a new blob shape...not unlike ink blots you would find in a shrinks office...each day, I would cringe as I noticed, first a guppy and finally a whale of a blob taking over the screen...first I lost the abilitiy to see the date in the lower right corner, and then the ability to scroll, and then over half the screen took on a life of its own....so I took it to the repair shop where it currently is--until the $400 in repairs is done.

So, I have been bringing my work puter home and at least can stay connected...but I am looking forward to have my own pc back.

I have been putting in lots of hours...and finally today, had an opportunity to come home early...and as often is the case when the kids get wind mom is home, I am babysitting. GS will be here to spend the night and will be here all day tomorrow (I see waffles in our future!) I will be very tired tomorrow night...Sunday, is the day to relax.

My moms tests are all done...the most serious remain undiagnosed...suspicious, but because of her age and health the doctors want to "wait and see"...so six months to know for sure. At least we didnt get definate BAD news.

I am looking forward to catching up to all of your blogs now...cant wait to hear how everyone is doing!

Weekend- sunshine and snow

April 20th, 2008 at 08:57 pm

I did something completely out of character today...I slept until 10:30am. wow. What a wonderful feeling to wake up when your body says OK, youve had enough sleep...and then have that wonderful feeling that you really have had enough sleep!!

Yesterday, I hit the dollar tree and found a ton of stuff for the hubs b-day this summer. We are having a luau and they had a huge supply of things that I can use to decorate, all the plates and glasses, etc. I was really happy with everything. I spent $42 --and would have spent at least 2-3 times that if I hadnt found these things at a dollar store!

Last night the hub and I got to go to another company sponsored event. While our tickets were paid for, it ended up being a $206 night. The event was a fund raiser for the kids club here. Included was a silent auction...and the hub was the winning bidder on what turned out to be a wonderful basket of goodies. Two childrens fishing poles, a big bundle of camping and fishing supplies, flashlights, glow sticks, bait, tackle, two kids chairs, a gift cert for $20 for whatever we didnt get in the stash (although I doubt there was anything we didnt get) and 2 night stay in a Yurt at one of the county campgounds...I know the grandbabies will LOVE using this stuff...and I see memory making in the future!! Best of all, the money went to a great cause.

Today was GS's 4th birthday. We woke up to snow everywhere...um, this is April??? but it melted off by noon.

We went to a fun center and then to a pizza parlor..A wonderful afternoon with all the family.

Tonight I am getting everything ready to go back to work tomorrow. What a fantasic weekend this was!!!

Nanas bday, and some tough stuff.

April 17th, 2008 at 10:12 pm

Tomorrow is Nana's 71st birthday. I have already made plans to take her to a nice little Italian rest. for Chicken Picatta (our fav). This will be her first bday without my dad since she was 18...boy- I am sure it will be a tough one for her.
I will be doing whatever I can to make this a special day...this weekend is also GS's 4th (on Sunday) and a fun job sponsored night our for the hub and I Sat night...

DD3 (16) had decided she does not like me anymore because I enforce the rules and boudaries...boy, I had almost forgot how much fun the last few years in high school could be...ugh. I suspect DD3 is trying some things that I dont want her trying...it is a tough job to raise a teen in these days...much more of a challenge than even 6 years ago when I was trying to get her brother and sis graduated. and I am now much older... (ugh again)

Work...well, I love my job, I am getting a new, really cute, newly built office in the next two months...and I have a great boss. I think considering all things, work is my sanity right now.





Two 13 hour days = tired, tired Ray

April 16th, 2008 at 09:27 pm

This has been a killer week. Because of evening meetings, I put 13 hour days in both yesterday and today...no OT because I am salary- but it washes on days that I have to leave early and get paid for a full day anyway. I am pooped.

I sent our taxes in yesterday. We paid (a lot) but it is because of the kids business (long story) and eventually I will be paid back...but it still hurt to write checks for over $7k (wrong or right, I took it from my IRA---but the kids know this + penalties has to be paid back down the road)...ugh. There's just something about mailing in a check at tax time that makes you question all the frivulous spending our govt does. I dont mind paying for things like schools, libraries, etc...but it irritates me big time for all those expenses that make no sense...(like $1200 rebates to stimulate the economy??? huh???)

My newly revised budget is working!! I have refueled the yearly escrow and emergency fund accounts and have started saving for DC. We even have a small long term saving account started!!

My mom has had two of her tests done so we should know some of the results early next week.

I hope life is good in your lives!




Lately, I am the poster child for how NOT to do things

April 15th, 2008 at 09:42 pm

Thank you friends for all of your support regarding my mom. We are taking things one day at a time and I will post as we learn the results...

Now about my mind lately...I truly feel like the "before" picture lately...or the poster child for what you dont want to do.

I finally took care of the Netflix issue..NO, I did not mail the movie back because it somehow got misplaced after I delegated the mailing to DD1...so, after procrastinating 5 months and then just paying for the darn movie, I figure I spent $60 dollars..the ironic part...I NEVER WATCHED THE MOVIE. ugh.

Oh well, I can check that off the list now.

Today, I took my books back to the library...unfortunately, there were a few I could not renew online as they had been reserved by others...I should have returned them before vacation, but got busy and completely forgot...so over $10 in late fees today...and again, ironically...for BOOKS I DIDNT FINISH READING! ugh again...

again...at least I am not on the most wanted list at the library anymore.

I think the biggest irony is that I often counsel others on budgets and finance...and have helped several friends and family get on track....and then I do really dumb stuff like this.

Aich...I need to walk my own talk...I need to practice what I preach...I need to do as I say instead of as I do....

50 lashes with a wet dollar bill--and a commitment to do better now that I have a fairly clean slate.

geesh

Asking for prayers once again.

April 14th, 2008 at 09:03 pm

My mom is facing diagnosis on 4 serious health issues this week. I won't go into details but three of them are very serious. (breast and skin cancer, and another blockage to her heart) She learned about 2 of them the day we left on vacation(the doc called as we were walking out the door to the airport...and scheduled the second exams to confirm his suspicions) Symptoms started on the other two while we were gone. All I can do is be there for her and try to keep her spirits up. We should know by next week just what she is up against. Today was a bad day for her..she is missing my dad and is very scared.

I feel like I just climbed back on a very dark rollercoaster without a seatbelt. I can only imagine how she is feeling.

I am at a loss of what to do except be there when she wants to talk and try to keep her from worrying. (um, yeah)

Sigh.

Can't think of anything financial that is even registering tonight...

Adding a DC line item to the budget!

April 13th, 2008 at 07:24 pm

I talked briefly tonight to the hub about saving for our DC trip next February. I have blogged a little about being invited to attend a conference there for my job.

We will have a week there, all expenses paid...but I will be at the conference each day--which won't leave much time for all the things we want to do. So we are planning to take an extra week and see some sites in DC and surrounding areas...but I have also always wanted to visit NYC. So, we need to budget this in so that we save an ample amount oof money. Problem is, I have no idea how much we should save- and the best way to plan our extra week. Any suggestions?

I am excited to make these plans now so that we are sure to have enough money saved to get to see everything. Smile

CATS and the final day of vaca

April 13th, 2008 at 09:10 am

Dinner was wonderful, CATS was phenomenal...the costumes, the music, the dancing!! What a fun "free to the hub and me" night!

I am on the final day of my vacation today. I feel rested and I am ready to go back to work.

Today will be a spend day- we are needing a good grocery shop to restock and prepare for the busy schedules.

I am planning to spend the day today decluttering and doing laundry. I love having a whole day ahead of me with the sun out- and no place to go. Just enjoy doing what I enjoy doing. Smile

I hope you all have a good one!

Hats off to you City mice who are frugal!!

April 12th, 2008 at 08:56 am

I recently left the country life for the big city to attend a wedding. I stayed with a dear friend who I've been buddies with since we were 12.

I moved to the country, she stayed in the city---and I can't help but compare lives when we get together. Not to determine who is better off, but just to compare the CHOICES in our lives.

I have to say, CHOICES have the potential for more spending.

For instance, I live about 25 minutes from town...something that discourages last minute meals out--My friend lives in town and there are restaurants on every corner to temp and entice. Where we have a dozen choices...she has hundreds...

CLOTHES--I definately think Princess Perky is on to something when she blogs that they have fewer clothes so that the propensity is not there to have laundry overload on the weekends... Our stores definately get the leftovers from the big cities...we do not have the amazing variety-- but with variety, again, comes the urge to own.

My friend's homeowners assn bans things like washing your car in your driveway, garage sales, and hanging your laundry on an outside line...My husband uses one of our two acres as a log deck and wood processing business. :O

Our entertainment...well, we have two theaters, a miniature golf course, a couple of wonderful live theater venues and an expo for home shows and rodeo's...and then we have lakes, rivers, mountains and an endless supply of wildflowers...My goodness, my friend has dozens of theaters, Disneyland, Knotts, museums, zoos, almost every inch of land is put to some kind of use...and on and on...

We both have nice wineries...the difference is that the city wineries are at the end of a long traffic jam and are very popular and crowded--here, unless it is a special occasion, there are usually just a handful of folks to converse with and you take a two lane country road to get to them.

And talk about fast food and coffee shops...whoa boy...I am certain that my friend could try a new place everyday for a full year and not have the same thing twice!!

Please don't think I am saying one is better than the other...I am not. I am only observing that living in the country means fewer choices- which leads to less temptation--I applaud those of you who blog about frugality from big cities...you are clearly more disciplined than I could be with all those wonderful, expensive CHOICES.



Vacation Ponderings

April 11th, 2008 at 04:25 pm

I had a wonderful time on vacation!! All of our flights were on time- our hotel that we stayed in the first and last nights whie we were in vegas, while very inexpensive ($39.99 per night) was nice (I've stayed in nicer, but also paid a lot more than that.)

Going to Vegas first and then driving to SO calif saved us money and allowed everyone to go where they wanted/needed to go (each of us had different So. CA destinations)

The wedding was beautiful. The bride has been deaf her whole life and has dreamed of her wedding for years...she wrote her vows when she was 16 (she is now 23). She wanted to give her husband something special, so she learned how to play a song on the piano and played it during the ceremony. It mattered not that it was off key in spots and that she lost her place in others...it was the most lovely song Ive ever heard--as it came from her heart.

DD1 took the pics and got some beautiful shots..

My friend and I went wine tasting, to the ocean, shopping, got in lots of girl talk, and I came home with a few bucks still in the wallet...so all in all, a great time!

I have enjoyed the time away- but there really is no place like home!! Today I babysat GS and GD and Im worn out! Tonight and tomorrow I can rest some- tomorrow night I get to go out to dinner and to CATS (a gift from my boss)...and Monday is back to work!

Vacations are way too few and far between arent they?? My next is a 4 day weekend in June....(Im already eager for it!!)

Last Entry for a while....

April 2nd, 2008 at 08:03 pm

I am leaving on vacation for tomorrow afternoon and will be gone until the night of the 10th. I will be missing all of my blogging buds and will keep good thoughts for each of you!!

I was having a little bit of BA's blahs today. Many reasons, none of them good.

How many of you have some sort of life list?? Things NOT money related that you want to accomplish...

I would be very interested in hearing others life goals.

I think I spend so much time working and caring for others that I lose site of what I want...as in "do I even have any idea of what I want looks or feels like??"

Sometimes I feel like I get lost in the needs of everything around me and I honestly have no idea what I would ask for if I had a magic wand...is that something to worry about??? or am I just so darn satisfied that there is nothing I want??

I dunno...I just think everyone should have some sort of wish list....but I do not. Perhaps its time to start one...

Oh, vacation...take me away!

hugs to you all!~!!

Craigslist...Here is the end of the story

April 1st, 2008 at 08:15 pm

The final results are disturbing. A couple, aged 28 & 29 decided to burglarize a home, stealing saddles and other items and immediately sold them over the internet. To cover their crime, they posted a hoax ad on Craigslist saying that the owner of a home had left the area quickly and was posting his stuff free for the taking on Craigslist. Lots of folks showed up and were taking what they wanted when the owner came home and discoved all these stranger going through his stuff.

The perps have been arrested...but the owner is out several thousands of dollars worth of stuff because of the crime. Unreal.

I am getting ready to go on vacation...I cant even begin to describe how much pressure there is when you are responsible for a CEO and are leaving for 10 days....To make it worse, he is gone this week and so I am communicating via email with him to finalize everything. My saving grace is that I have an AWESOME employee who will take over for me..but I want to make sure that she is prepared for anything that will come up with...in any case I am READY for this break. We fly out on Thursday...and I fully plan to RELAX for at least two hours...(just kidding)...I fully plan on totally relaxing while I am gone so that I am ready to tackle everything that is waiting when I get back.

Oh well, that's aworry for a different day..tonight is all about making a good packing list....just incase I make it through the next couple of days with the sanity intact.. Wink