Saturday, July 28, 2007

And the CRAP Rolls on...

Got up from sleeping Friday morning. I went out my front door, checking to see if mom was at my house yet. Mom was taking Cassi and I to get her school supplies. She also picked up a few things for us for the house.

I look toward our driveway. Rob was working, but the second car was just out of view on the side of the house. But, you can see the back end of the car. I looked and saw the rear windshield wiper sticking straight out from the car and not on the windows.

Something was wrong. I go back inside and get my shoes on. As I start walking toward the car, I notice a hot dog sitting on the roof of my Ford Focus. I start walking around my car. On the front of my car is smears of butter, on the front windshield, hood, and grill. I also saw another hot dog and ketchup or salsa.

I was SOOOO mad. I know it was the same guys who egged our house Tuesday night. It happened some time between 11pm Thursday night and the morning on Friday.

Rob was working. He was actually on his way to the car dealer to have the car looked at for repairs from Tuesday's accident. I told him he had to call me for an emergency. Told him what happened and that I called the police.

The officer came and did nothing. He wasn't even going to file a report. All he told me was, when Rob works to park my car closer to the house. He also said I need to buy and install motion lights over my garage and should buy and setup video cameras to watch the house.

Why should I have to do ANY of this? He was there and gone. I called Rob and told him what happened. He ended up going straight to the police department. He was furious with them. The officer ended up having to come into the station and file a full report. While this was going on, Rob was texting me back and forth to get the correct information because, of course, the officer didn't write down half of what I told him. Then, I used the phone on the cell to take pictures and send them to him at the station. But, as I did Tuesday night, I took pictures on the digital camera.

So, can you see how bad the week has been for me?

Calgon, take me away!

Lots of love to all,
8^ )

P.S. Hope your week has been better!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

My Life is Filled....

With "Days of Hell!"

Let me setup the situation. It all started on Monday evening. Rob asks me if I had any plans for Tuesday. Well, because of his work schedule, I NEVER schedule anything. He says to me that I have to take him to work and pick him up. He says he told his daughter that he would take her to where she needed to go because her mom was just getting ou tof the hospital and couldn't drive her.

OK. I am never asked. I'm just told I need to do this.

I understand his situation. He hasn't slept a wink, except an hour or so nap in the afternoon. He's working is part-time job Monday night. I knew he would need a second driver because of the little sleep he would have.

So, Cassi and I drive him from our house to his job and back. It actually was a good experience because we found a better way for him to get to work. It costs about 50 cents more, but he doesn't have to deal with "Cleveland" main county driving and a road that has a traffic light, for what seems to be every 50 feet.

But, Cassi and I got home and immediately went to bed at midnight. We had to be up at 6am to go back and pick him up. It took a little to get Cassi up and moving. On the way over, she slept in the backseat of our wagon, but complained first that it was too cold.

We picked up Rob. We had to drive that road, full of traffic lights. For those of you familiar with the area, we were driving in Parma north on Ridge Road, and south of downtown Cleveland.

Then, it happened. At the street before my turn at Snow Road to the left, there is this woman sitting in the middle of the road, trying to take a left turn. This is a 5 lane road (2 each way and a turning lane). Her car is perpendicular to me. I blast my horn at her and slam on my brakes.

Because the road is wet, it is slippery. I go into skid mode with the car and skid into her car. I scratched the left back bumper. At first, it looks like she is leaving the scene of the incident. So, I follow.

She gets out of the car and starts screaming her head off at me. Rob gets out of the car, making sure no one was hurt and on his cell phone to 911 and the Parma Police. She's yelling at me because she has a 1-year-old and a 3-year-old in the back seat of her car.

The policeman arrives and looks at her car and where she had come from. Before she can say anything, he says, "You're at fault."

Turns out 2 things were against her:
1. the street she was coming out of had a Right-Turn Only sign on it.
2. because of the number of lanes in the road, and I was in the fast lane of my side, I did not have to yield to her at all. She was required to yield to me.

At first, she tried to say that she had Progressive, but told the policeman that she had Nationwide on the report. Then, she didn't want us to report the incident to our insurance. Hmmm? So, of course you know we reported it. Luckily, the woman did have insurance. We got a call in the evening.

So, of course, it was a bad day for me. And, I couldn't drive at all. I was shaking so bad. The accident turned out to be in my wagon, on the driver's side. I'll end up having to have my front bumper and my left fender replaced. The place where we're taking it will also look at my struts in the front. Because of the slide, we'll see if they suggest needing them to be replaced. If one needs to be done, they both do.

We ended up being late to pick up his daughter. (this is a whole OTHER story) We took her to where she needed to go and came home. On our way, we talked with Dan a little.

We came home. Cassi watched TV in her room while Rob and I napped.

In the afternoon, Rob's daughter decided to text Rob and tell him she needed to be picked up later. Rob was uncomfortable with this because mom didn't know the change in time. He told her to call mom. No response. Rob ended up calling mom at about 6, with mom furious about the situation. (still will talk about it in a few) We ended up having to meet mom and boyfriend out near where we dropped her off for them to pick her up.

Of course, Rob wants to make sure he has a trusting relationship with ex. I agree 100%. And, I told ex this. We want her to know that we are not going to lie to her at all.

After we leave them, we go back to Dan's house. Rob helped Dan gut his bathroom to redo it. Last night, they were working to get the first pieces of bathroom drywall (stuff doesn't attract water and mold) to the ceiling.

We ended up getting home after 11:30. Cassi spent the night there, with Dan's kids.

Just after we get home, I'm on the pot, going. Rob gets up and flies out of the house. I finish and get up quickly and go out. He shouts to get him a cell phone and keys. He's calling the police and going after a group of punks boys who just egged the house.


I walk outside to find broken egg shells and crap on my front steps. I go back into the house and grab my camera. I start flashing the camera for pictures. I find they've egged above the window in my office. As he's driving around, the policeman shows up. At this point, Rob is VERY aggravated, to the point of shouting at the officer. He's very angry because the first year we were here, he had grabbed someone who decided to cut all my flowers off my plants. That police officer decided to tell Rob, "Welcome to Elyria. If you don't like it, go back to Grafton." So, that frustration continued with this officer. He adamantly told Rob he would never tell anyone to leave. He's lived in Elyria for most of his life. I thanked him for his time. He took the information, but without the kids, there wasn't much he could do.

About an hour later, we hear this, "WHOMP!" out toward the front door. We had both showered and were in jammies by then.

We fly out the door again. I got shorts on and go out too. I look up the street, toward Cassi's school and shout there's kids up there. Rob takes off and they take off. Needless to say, he didn't get them. But, this time, turns out my laptop bag fell off the couch. That was where the sound came from. The kids who were up the street, in our opinion, were the kids who egged our house.

I ended up being up until 3am, because, of course, I was wired from the incident. Then, I had turned on the TV and started watching One Life to Live, one of my soap operas.

I had to get up at 6am to come here to the flea market. My brain isn't working very well.

Lots of love,
8^ )

Next Story: My Time Grows Short at the Flea Market

Because it is taking longer than imagined to get established here at the flea market, this will be my last week here. We just don't have the money to keep paying for the space. As much as my sister would probably be willing to send me the money to help for a couple of weeks, it just isn't feasible. Besides, I was going to have to leave after the end of August anyway because my classes start on August 25 (for my Saturday classes).

The ladies who run the market are sad that I have to leave, but understand. I'm going to continue working on my Web site. Plus, I've got the craft show booklet for this fall. I'll be heading to craft shows in the fall. I know my stuff will be sellers then. It's a different mind set for crafts at these shows. By being home, I'll be able to devote more time to fixing my online store. Plus, I'll be able to go around to bridal salons, etc, advertising my services. This might be a good thing. And, I made little, business-card sized cards for one of the managers of the flea market. She said she would keep my business card. She also asked if I kept her project on my computer, for which I replied most certainly. She'll be ordering more in the future.

Next Story: First Impressions (oh, yeah FOURTH Impressions) do not help someone get in your good graces.

As promised earlier in this post, I wanted to elaborate on part of our day yesterday. According to Rob, ex was told daughter was going to her boyfriend's house to be with him to go with him for wrist surgery. He had broken his wrist and was having surgery to put pins in his wrist.

I told Rob as we were arriving to their house, did mom know she was going to boyfriend's house? My assumption was that we were taking her directly to a medical facility, where he was having surgery and had to be there by 9am. We pick up daughter and her friend and take them to boyfriend's house.

Wait a minute, boyfriend? She doesn't have a boyfriend, according to mom. Obviously mom doesn't know what daughter is doing.

We are to pick her up at 7pm from boyfriend's house. We get there. Rob asks why we went there.

"Oh, the surgery isn't until 2pm. We're going to wake him up," daughter said.

Huh, again? Where's HIS mom in all of this. But, Rob complies, not really asking what to do.

By 4pm, though, she sends him a text message, saying that the surgery was going longer than planned. Instead of picking them up at 7, pick them up at 8:30pm. Rob put his foot down and saved the text message, telling her she needed to call mom and let her know of the change.

Like I said earlier, Rob called mom to make sure she knew there was a time change. Because of his need of keeping a honest relationship with ex, he wanted to let her know. Not sure what phone conversation consisted of, she was DEFINITELY mad. She didn't know about a BOYFRIEND. Nor was she aware of daughter going to boyfriend's house. They both thought she was going to the campground their family camps at and would be picked up and taken to the medical facility, not to some boy's house.

So, mom says, please meet us at such-and-such location before the campground. Drive us down to where you dropped her off. We'll pick her up.

When we met them, I came right out and told them, before Rob could, how we wanted a honest relationship with them. Because of the newness of the relationship with daughter, we don't want ex to be suspicious of us in any way.

Rob walks over (because at that point, he's talking with the accident person's insurance adjuster). He tells ex and boyfriend the same thing I just said.

We go down where she's at and come back to the same location. At that time, I tell him, she's playing both parents against each other. She's lying to both of them. Who knows what she actually did.

After mom comes back with her, she tries to say she didn't have cell phone service. But, it appeared that her friend did. She chose not to call people or text people. She was doing what she wanted to do.

Rob got upset because, as she says it, she hates her mother.

I told Rob he will never take her anywhere again. He isn't going to get played like that. If she wants a relationship with him, it's going to be honest and fair.

But, of course he was upset.

So, my first impression turned into my fourth impression. It wasn't exactly how I imagined it would be, but close. Mom said she was taking the daughter's cell phone away for the week. In my opinion, not long enough. Also, I feel she shouldn't have a cell phone at 16. Believe me, Cassi won't get one unless she's working and it's for her job, like I required one because I traveled.

And, I warned Rob that I didn't want Cassi around her to get these bad traits. If I EVER catch Cassi doing what his daughter is doing, I will BEAT her within an inch of her life! That's a guarantee. Hopefully, I'm raising her to be different.

With that, I'll close this now. This post has helped me stay awake so far. We'll see how everything goes. If it stays slow, I'll make an excuse and leave early.

Lots of love to all my friends and family,
8^ )

P.S. If I haven't commented on your blog lately, it isn't that I haven't been to your place, it's just been HELL at my house.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Good Shopping Day...

Today, Rob and I were at the mall. On the way home, we saw that the Dillard's store was open. This store in the mall is closing. For the prices, you would understand why.

We tried on another day because we heard the prices were so good. Everything had a sale price tag on it. Then, from that price, 50% was being taken from it.

We were able to pick up new winter coats. I really needed one this year. The one I got from eBay was ready to go. My coat is of course a man's coat. But, it's light enough but a winter coat. My coat was originally $300. We got it for $75. Rob also got a coat. His coat originally cost $200, but got it for $25. Then, we found a third coat. This coat we bought for my dad. Shhh! Marie, don't call and tell dad. I'm trying to surprise him tomorrow when he gets Cassi for the weekend. His coat was worth $125, but got it for $17.

These are REALLY good coats!

Plus, Rob and I spent time together today. Rob picked up a part-time job. But, after this evening at work for his full-time job, he's quitting. I told him in the long run he'll be better off at this new facility. They don't even have one third of the facility filled. As they continue to fill the openings with patients, the more nurses they will need. Yes, the pay overall will be less, but, it is a 40 hour a week job. And, he'll be able to get overtime. AND, the benefits are better.

I told him in the morning, he should contact the new facility, tell them he wants to come on full-time after he turns in his paperwork to quit where he's at now. That means he'll leave the current full-time job permanently.

Ok. I gotta go. Need to potty.

Lots of love to all,
8^ )

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Some Updates

Good afternoon to all my blog friends and relatives!

Instead of continuing to cut out my note cards, I decided it was time to do some blogging. My right hand is sore from cutting.

But, some major changes are happening at the house:

1. the window guys came to look at our windows. There are scratches on the front 2 BIG windows plus screen issues with the 2 BIG windows and the window in our room. The guy told me they would have to order replacement parts. In about 2 weeks, we'll get a phone call to schedule for the repair on our windows. After spending $6700 on windows, it's a good thing they're fixing the windows.

2. Rob picked up a part-time job. The nursing home he is working at is experiencing loss of patients. He is guaranteeing that he will not have a problem if they send him home for no work. This new place has only been open since April. They've already told him there's bucko extra hours he could pick up. They have asked him about working for them full-time, but at this point, they don't want to offer him what he's making now. If it gets to the point he has to go to them, then he'll have to take what they offer. But, for now, he's staying where he's at.

3. I can't wait to go back to school. Even though I'm trying my hand at this business, I miss being in school. I've got to remember to get all the documentation together for the PTO as I will assume the reigns officially this year.

Things are ok with my step-daughter. Rob and I have found out something that Rob's not liking at all about how she was raised. It hasn't been confirmed, but something we're working on. I'm hoping it's not true. Sorry, can't tell more.

I did throw a hissy fit at Rob last night. Because I was bringing extra goodies here to the flea market to sell, I was trying to talk to him about specific items. When he did want to answer me, as I was standing right behind him, I walked away. I got so mad because I wanted to talk to him. Instead, he was sending and receiving text messages to his daughter. Guess she was more important. Because he had been up for over 24 hours, he went to bed. But, I got really mad at him and told him, "Just go to bed. Good night," and walked away. He said he didn't hear me. How can someone not hear you when you're standing right behind them and talking. I was so mad about it.

Oh, he's been wanting to upgrade the cell phones for unlimited texting. Because his daughter is on Revol, text messages are not in the "in" plan for him. With the current plan we've got, his phone has 1500 out of network text messages. In a week, he's sent and received 400 messages. I looked yesterday at the pricing. SORRY! Not doing it. Once he gets to 1500, he's done. The cost for the unlimited on up to 2 lines? 160.00 ABSOLUTELY NOT! Sicne I've had this phone, my plan is for 500 out of network text messages. I've not had ANY problems with people sending me messages. All of my texting happens within the network. Am I justified or what about the pricing?

Okay. I'm gonna go now. It's about 2pm. I think I'm going to eat some strawberries as they are calling to me to eat them. What a wonderful SMELL!

Lots of love to all,
8^ )

Just at the Flea Market Today...

I'm out at the flea market today. Nothing sold yet today, but I added some stuff from my garage. Oh, yeah. One thing did sell. I made some customized cards for one of the managers of the market. I actually got them designed and printed today because I've got a small printer I can carry with me when I come. She approved them and really liked the color I chose for the background. I'll take them home this afternoon, cut them with my cutter (that I left at home today), and laminate them and cut them again. I figured if I cut them they would last longer. And, with the laminating plastic, they won't fold like they would without it.

So, I charged her $10 for 20 cards. The cards are a smidge bigger than a business card. They are REALLY cute. This would be a custom thing.

I made some colored dividers for my recipe cards. I was able to cut them out and exchange them for the divider cards I had with the recipe cards before. I'll turn around and use those cards for other print projects.

Missing posts:

My Freelance Project:

Since I'm at the flea market, and I love my veggies and fruits, I went outside and purchased my veggies and fruits. I was able to pick up some MONSTER zucchini for 2 for $1. I also got green peppers, peaches, a half flat of strawberries, and potatoes. I watched Paula Dean last Friday night where she had a recipe for Peach Cobbler. I plan on making it tonight. I'll let everyone know how it turns out.

Yesterday, I spent the day working on my computer at home, printing out goodies to bring with me today. I've got some custom-designed note cards and matching envelopes. All I need to do with the envelopes is fold them and glue them together.

On other fronts, everything is the same. Same crap, different day.

More soon,
8^ )

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Back Online...

Real short post today. I've got 3 others I'll be writing about that will come before this. But, I need a day to recoup.

But, wanted to let you know an update on the invitations. As it stands, they have not come yet to get me to do the invitations.

However, after this happened Saturday, Rob suggested that I find a standard contract they would be forced to sign. All done and ready. And, my pricing went up. First, I'm increased my price to $2.75 per set. And, I'm going to charge her $125 for the wedding programs. I thought I would do something nice for a fellow flea market dealer. The programs are completely printed. Some programs are already pre-printed with a graphic on the cover. My programs have a wedding photo on the front and would have 2-sided printing.

In the contract, I included the payment schedule, including the percent due and how much that is, along with fee for insufficient funds. Rob and I agreed that originally I asked for half up front and half when finished. Rob said they would probably try to give me a second check and stop payment. With this contract, if they do that, I can sue them and receive punitive damages.

Okay. I'm going to close for now. I'm a little hungry and it was a long day at the flea market today. It poured this morning, making flea market day short.

Lots of love to all,
8^ )

My Freelance Project...

I've started writing freelance stories.

A few weeks ago, when I visited my English advisor about my completing my classes for my degree, I stopped in to see my Tech Writing professor. However, she wasn't in. I had a few tea bag envelopes to give out. I left one for her in her mailbox.

This little "ditty" put me in her mind when someone came to her, looking for someone who could do technical writing. Little did he know, was that he also needed the same person who had newspaper writing capability to write news columns.

Professor Mary referred this gentleman to me.

His name is Michael Valentine. He runs a business that helps others start their own businesses. His company helps others produce their business plans.

This is what I'll be doing for him. Each week, we'll be working on a new article concerning matters of business plans and how each step is necessary. This is a weekend project for me. On the whole, it looks like it will take a few hours to research the topic, interview, and write the story. And, the good thing is, I get to do this completely from home.

I'll get paid $15 per article. Not much but the perks are going to be amazing. Because I just started my own business, he will also refer his clients to me who could use my business. He said he wished he had known me last fall as there were a number of his clients who needed someone to design wedding invitations.

He is also working on writing a book. I could help write this book and be a co-author. Plus, because of the nature of my business, creative services, he thinks he can use me in other ways going forward.

This endeavour is going to be a win-win situation. Oh, the articles I write can be added to my online writing portfolio as I am considered a working individual now.

Ok. Thought everyone would like to know.

Love to all,
8^ )

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Wedding Invitations...

OK. I made the samples of the wedding invitations (2 samples), wedding envelope, response card, and response card envelope. These invitations were going to a dealer here at the flea market. The couple is already married but wanting to renew their vows.

Along with all the invitations, I also included in the package deal wedding programs. I was charging $2.50 a set. So, for 150 invitations, the total cost would be $375. This also included finding a peach rose. I found the rose and used my graphic design skills to match the leaves of the rose to the couple's colors. Then, I custom-designed the flower into a corner piece. On all of the invitation pieces, the corner graphics would be printed.

I gave the samples to the bride this morning. She told me she loved them but her husband would have to approve them. She brought them back, telling me he didn't want to spend more than $250. Well, as it stands right now, I won't be doing the invitations.

And, to top it off, I KNOW they won't find someone who can give them full-color and full graphic design for this pricing.

I found someone on eBay who does invitations like me but charges $3.73 each for 150 invitations. And, the bride mentioned that they were going to go to someone in Lorain to have them done before meeting me and seeing my samples.

I searched Switchboard for invitation places in Lorain and found one with a Web site. After reviewing their pricing, it costs over $400 for invitations that are BLACK text only and no graphics.

The ladies who sit next to me feel my pricing is OUTSTANDING. And, they think these people will be back when they find they will have to pay out the ASS for invitations. AND, that doesn't include wedding programs.

I know they need the invitations now because their date is August 25. Etiquette states invitations be mailed 6 weeks prior to the date. I'll be interested to see if they come back.

So, no invitations for now. But, I do have a good set of samples to put together and put in my binder.

Ok. Had to vent.

Lots of love to all,
8^ )

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Everything is Good...

After being ignored for most of the day Sunday, Rob came around. He painted the trim once, then I did it again. We also took the door off the coat closet. He sanded down the door and I painted it white. The door needed to be sanded because of the old shalack-y stuff on it. Otherwise the paint likes to peel right off. However, for the door trim for that door and the front door, we're taking our chances. He just painted right over the shalack. He also painted in our entry and put a new light bulb in the light right above the door (yep, I've got 2 outdoor lights right at the door). And, all of the painting is done in the living room.

I'll post pictures soon.

The lawn is cut and the hedges are trimmed. While trimming the last hedge, Rob found out we've got a robin's nest in the hedge with babies (a couple of eggs).

Sunday night and Monday night, all of the furniture was put back into the living room. I brought up all the stuff that will end up in the living room. There's much that will end up staying in the basement.

Last night, we enjoyed the fireworks with Dan, his girlfriend, and daughter.

On the Business Front...

Today, I finished some design of birthday magnets for a customer from last week. I'll have them ready for her on Friday. And, she wants to order some Watkins Products from me.

I've got my first wedding invitation project. The person is a dealer at the flea market. I should make out pretty well with the invites. I'll have the samples to her on Saturday. Then, I'll have the finished product to her within a week as she needs them pretty quickly to mail out. She and her husband are renewing their vows on Aug 25.

Plus, a bride-to-be and mom came by the booth today. I got her name and email address to keep in touch with her. Her wedding is next May so she's got time. But, she liked the wedding verses and things that I've got. Plus, as I told the first wedding project, I looked on the Internet today to compare my pricing. I'm charging a lot less than if you got off the Internet. As a bonus, I do full color, along with graphics. I found 2 places on the net that charges $214 for 150 invitations that have no graphics, just black text and are for the wedding invitations ONLY. My pricing is $2.50 for the wedding invitation, envelope, response card, and response card envelope. This includes my time to design the invitation with color and graphics. And, I will still make money on the projects.

Okay. It's about 3:30 on July 4. Happy July 4 everyone. I'm finishing printing some stuff on my computer then I'll be going home. And then over to Dan's for a cookout.

Lots of love,
8^ )

Sunday, July 01, 2007

I Screwed Up...

Yet again, I screwed up. Last night, while talking with Rob, I asked about putting the wood putty on the trim.

Update: This week, the new trim was put on the floor. The front side of the room was puttied (by Rob) and painted over the putty spots (by me). The front of the room looks beautiful.

I told Rob last night that I needed to go to bed early because I was having a migraine. Indeed, after being at the flea market all day with little sleep on Friday night, I needed to go to bed early. Rob tried to explain how to do the putty, but I told him to wait until the morning.

This morning, I woke up early (because I fell asleep early). I got up and figured I would do the putty by myself and surprise him. Well, I didn't know the complete job on how to do it. I missed watching the: after you put the putty in the hole, wipe down the area to remove the excess putty on the wood OUTSIDE of the hole.

So, now the back side of the room looks like someone with a BAD case of pimples. Worst part? The putty on the outside of the hole won't come off without removing the paint too.

Rob is TOTALLY PISSED at me for this. He worked last night. Came home to this. Stopped talking to me. And went to bed.

I guess I can't do construction.

So, I washed the windows. But, I sense he'll get up and find the problems with the way I cleaned them.

Sorry to be a downer.

Lots of love,
8^ )