Thursday, July 17, 2014

Relay for Life!!

A board member's wife asked me to join the local Relay for Life team a few weeks ago. It's something I've wanted to get involved in for the past few years, but just never actually did. Probably because I didn't really know how to get involved in something like this. Being that I have family and friends that have been affected by cancer, it's something that means a lot. Everyone knows someone who is battling or has battled, survived or lost. Both my grandmother and my aunt have been diagnosed with it. My BFF recently lost someone very close to her after a long battle with breast cancer. One of Mom's best and longest friends is just now starting her battle with breast cancer (hence the Go Team Dot button).
I've never asked anything from my blogging buds out there, except maybe advice or emotional/moral support. What I ask now is that, if you can, please donate to my Relay for Life team. Even if it's a dollar. I believe that it's important to help people get diagnosed, receive treatment, and research ways to kick cancer's evil ass. I don't want to force this on anyone and believe me, I understand not being able to give money. I'm sure some of my long-time followers remember my issues with the United Way campaign at one of my old jobs. But if you can.
I'm walking for Dot, Granny, my Aunt, the person my BFF lost, an old high school classmate, and all the other people in my life that have battled cancer.  Below is my link to my personal page. If you're unable to donate, you can also dedicate a luminaria.

Thank you.  :)

Monday, July 7, 2014

It looks like I have my weekends back

Life has been crazy busy. However, as of this week, it will be slightly less crazy busy. I received an email from the company I work for on weekends, saying that Pro Plan, the pet food that I have been representing for the past year, has decided to suddenly cut back on their Pet Nutritional Consultant contract they have with the company I work for. Effective July 12, over half of the PNC's are technically out of a job. Myself included.

Since I had taken Saturday, July 5th off for a wedding and Saturday, July 12th off for a family BBQ, my only day to work would be Sunday July 6th. Payroll ends on the 5th, so it just wouldn't be worth it to get only $60. So I emailed my district manager and said that I wouldn't be working on Sunday. Basically I tendered my resignation after technically being laid off.

Either way, now I will have my weekends back. For the first time in a year, I will have my weekends free to do whatever I want. Pretty sure I'll be cleaning house or baking cookies or hanging out on the lake.

I had been contemplating quitting the weekend job for at least a month as I've been spread so thin between it, the two water companies and my grandparents publication. And at least half of what I made from the weekend job went to gas.

So now, I have my weekends back.

Also? Boyfriend put an offer in on a house. Eeeeeekkkk!!!!

And what did we do with my first weekend off? Drove to Fall River to see my cousin get married, bummed a night in my parents 5th wheel, had "brunch", drove to my parents house to visit with my aunt and cousin from Georgia and Granny, got groceries, came home and put groceries away and promptly went to Lewiston Lake for a couple hours before coming back home and cooking a yummy dinner of BBQ chicken, beans, garlic bread and salad. 

It was a good weekend. :)

Friday, July 4, 2014

Indie Chick Lit Book Tour!


When love won't show you what you want to see, you will do whatever it takes to make a relationship meet your expectations, even if it means sacrificing your well-being, and throwing yourself down a rabbit hole of denial. Instead of being proactive and building the life you deserve, you settle for the one you have. Why? Because it's easier to try making the pieces fit, than it is realizing you're putting together the wrong puzzle. When it comes to love, the only advice worth listening to is the raw, uncensored truth. How else are you supposed to move on from a toxic relationship? How else are you expected to make sense of the pain and confusion you feel in your current relationship? Rainbows and butterflies won't have the answers you're looking for, but this book does. Take the wishful thinking and get rid of it, once and for all. It's time to take control of your love life again. Think of me as the awesome best friend that finally comes to the rescue and helps you get the romance you deserve. Fight the sugarcoat. You can take it.

I've only ever read a couple books in my life that would fall into the "self-help" category and I have chosen wisely. None of them were the coddling type, but were instead blunt, humorous and honest. And that exactly what Chiara delivers with her book. So, if you're looking for a coddling book and can't stand the brutally honest truth, this may not be the book for you. Although . . . in reality, it's probably exactly what you need. Chiara takes a step-by-step approach through every kind of relationship and potential problems and lays them out matter-of-factly with a bit of humor tossed in. She begins with "you are your own worst enemy" which can definitely be true - because we are also our own worst critics. She also says that "love is not a punishment". She has a list of things no one should give up to be in a relationship. While relationships require work and effort by both people, they shouldn't drain us or make us feel obligated. No one should stand for any kind of abuse and she lists hotlines for those that are in such a relationship. While we have all had horrible break-ups or relationships that may still scar us - this book will people realize they can find love - a love that they truly deserve. Something I liked was that I felt like she was literally sitting in front of me, speaking to me.  I definitely recommend this book if you have had troubled relationships and/or break-ups - I'm pretty damn sure that Chiara will straighten you out!

Find Chiara's book at the Indie Chick Lit Bookstore


Friday, June 13, 2014

Oh What A Week It's Been

Seriously. What. a. week. The phrase, "stick a fork in me, I'm done!" seems fairly accurate.

My last post was about the new kitty I adopted. I had been eyeing her for a month at the Humane Society kiosk inside Petsmart - every weekend I grew more fond of her. I finally convinced Boyfriend to agree and we managed to get our landlord to agree as well. We knew our other cat, Wyatt, missed having Harriet around and could use a playmate. The Humane Society had named her "Starla", but Boyfriend and I both agreed we needed something else. After a few days, Boyfriend came up with a name that I think suits her, and we both like it. "Lacey" is her new name and it's taken two weeks to come out of her shell, but she's a happy cat. Her favorite place is usually under the spare bed; if not there, then the window sill in the "cat room". She now comes out around the house, plays with Wyatt (and usually kicks hiss ass a little, too), and is showing her sweet side.

The weekend that I adopted Lacey, my Nana and Mom both came down with a horrible flu-like bug. Terrible, horrible. One you wouldn't wish upon your worst enemy. Wednesday night, it hit me. At 1:30 in the morning. Fortunately I had been forewarned regarding all that happens, so I wasn't surprised that I had to immediately jump in the shower. I figure I lost close to ten pounds in two days. While I was physically sick for one day, I didn't eat for nearly two and lost a lot of fluids. I went to work Friday morning simply to do payroll, to ensure it got done the way I do it.

The weekend I wasn't feeling well, I called in sick to my weekend job. I just didn't have the strength or stamina to stand/walk for four hours at a time. We made a quick stop at the Peddler's Fair, where I found the gal that makes the soap I love, and bought soaps. Then, we took the boat out on Lewiston Lake, and putted around. The speed limit is only 10mph on the entire lake - the lake is actually a very large river, really. When Trinity Dam releases water from Trinity Lake, it flows into the original riverbed, which was never dredged; and flows to Lewiston Dam where water will be released into the original Trinity River, which goes to Whiskeytown Lake. Yeah, I know, confusing. Basically, Lewiston Lake is barely a lake, it's more a really big river. There I started my tan. It was a nice, relaxing day.

Monday brought a busy work week as I'm trying to figure out our worker's comp insurance, retyped the Rules and Regulations, paid a bunch of bills, and began working on a updated 2014 Budget - with actual figures for the first half and better estimates for the rest of the year. Next up will be working on a budget for the beginning of 2015 and then maybe try to work out a 5 year budget. We'll need that sort of thing for future grants anyway. Plus we had a board meeting and I had to get everything ready for that. Also? We are in dire need of replacing our second river pump - most water companies have some sort of "redundant" system, so that if one pump fails, we still have another to pull water from the River (which is our back-up source in the summer). One of our pumps doesn't work. It hasn't for 15 years. Looks like it will cost a minimum of $15,000. We were hoping to get emergency funds from the State to reimburse us, but since we have some money socked away in a CD, we won't get reimbursed. It's all on us. Bleh.

Wednesday brought a headache in the form of a water pipe buried TWELVE FEET. Why someone would bury it that far down, I'm not sure. But Boyfriend tore up the pipe because he couldn't see anything from the backhoe and the hole was muddy and had water in it. The school, which is where they were digging, has had no running water since Wednesday. Boyfriend discovered that it's a copper pipe and had to order parts. Then he discovered it wasn't 2" pipe, it was 3" pipe, which evidently 3" copper pipe is practically unheard of. While the students are out of school for summer, admin staff are still there and have no water. They are livid, even though, Boyfriend is moving as fast as he can to get parts to fix it. All this to install a meter. *sigh*

We got GREAT NEWS on Wednesday, too. The grant I applied for three weeks ago - just heard back that we are among 8 companies selected to receive money!!! It still has to be approved by the Policy Review Committee, but at least we are in the running. I actually got teary when I read the email.

Thursday night, Boyfriend and I went to see the Eli Young Band in Redding. It was a good show. :)   And don't let my camera fool you, I could actually see his facial expressions, although my camera makes it look like I'm far away. lol We had pretty good seats.

In the middle of the night, Boyfriend woke me up - he was sick. He is sure his is actual food poisoning and not the weird flu-like bug that resembles food poisoning in how quick and violently it hits you. In in the middle of this, he's making phone calls to somehow get running water back to the school since now we can't get parts until Monday. If the school doesn't kill us in our sleep, we should count our lucky stars.

And now, I'm starving, so I think I will have some leftover fish tacos I made a couple nights ago. Pretty sure Boyfriend won't eat anything; food poisoning or the flu will kill whatever appetite you have. I'm hiding in the bedroom while he's sleeping in the living room. I don't want my typing to disturb him. However, dinner will. It's a catch 22. Oh well. I just hope next week is better.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Introducing "New Cat"

After toying with the idea for at least a month, Boyfriend and I decided to adopt a cat. Well, I made the final decision. Sort of. Technically we had to ask out landlord since the Humane Society would be calling him to make sure it's okay.

About a month or so ago, "Starla" was brought in to the Haven Humane kiosk at Petsmart, where I work on weekends for my Pet Nutrition gig.

This was still when Harriet's disappearance was a fresh wound and the sight of this new tuxedo cat sent me to the ladies room to calm down and dry my eyes. Each weekend since I was less upset and liked her more. While she does look a lot like Harriet, she has a different face, the shape of her eyes are different and her white markings are a bit different. And she likes to play. Harriet rarely played.

Boyfriend and I are contemplating a new name for her as neither one of us are too fond of the name that Haven gave her.

She's not overly fond of Wyatt just yet, but I know they will get along in a few days. She was always kept with other cats, so I know she gets along with them and will use the same litter box. Just the same, I bought her her own box, and set it up in the third bedroom with her own food and water.

The gal at Haven was so happy to see her go. I told her last weekend I was getting fond of her and she thought the other adoption agency was going to take her. I showed up on Saturday and she was still with Haven, which made me happy. The other agency was still looking to take her today (Sunday) and the Haven gal told me she'd tell them no until I had heard from Boyfriend about the landlord's decision.

Everyone at Petsmart was happy to see me adopt a kitty from Haven. I got a coupon booklet and got a free bag of food (from the food I represent and oddly enough, the food I fed Harriet for 10 years and Wyatt likes as well), bought a litter box, a large bag of food (and used one of my work coupons), some more cat litter, a food bowl, collar and a name tag. I figure "Starla" will work on a name tag for now in case she should get out. I saved about $40 between the free bag and the coupons. Not bad.

Hopefully, we'll come up with a new name for her that suits her better. Also, Boyfriend's horrible ex had a cat named Stella and Starla sounds too close.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Indie Chick Lit Book Tour!

Unfaithfully Yours: Confessions of a Cheating Bitch

My name is Chrystal Rose and I’m a cheating bitch. I’m not the first woman to cheat and I won’t be the last. I’m just one of the few who’ll admit to it. Forget what you think you know about cheaters. You think once we are, we always are. You think it’s all about sex. You think we’re whores. Maybe we are.
Maybe we’re just looking for the right one, the right one to keep us faithful. Maybe that’s you. Or maybe it’s no one. 
Either way, I spent 6 years with a man I wasn’t in love with, but promised to marry. And I cheated on him, mercilessly. This is my story.

This is my second review for Indie Chick Lit, and it's the second time they've taken me outside my comfort zone. First with vampires, now cheating. And I'm loving it.

Unfaithfully Yours is a memoir by Chrystal Rose, who lays it all on the line. She tells it just like it is and there is no sugar-coating option.

What I loved was that the book didn't begin with Chrystal as an adult, cheating away. It begins with her childhood and the how the events of her childhood shaped her beliefs, her thoughts, her ideals, and how to lie. Another thing I enjoyed about this book was that I went full circle in my feelings about Chrystal herself. I started off liking her, then I felt bad for her, then I wasn't sure how much I liked her, she aggravated me, I felt happy for her, I felt bad for her, and in the end, liked her.

Anyone who can survive a "therapeutic boarding school" that removes you from your bed in a "covert ninja-style operation where I was snatched from my bed rather than allowed to discuss it like a human" gets a lot of brownie points from me. But essentially, this is where she learned to how to lie so well. After surviving boarding school, she sets out in the world at age 18 to find her place in it.

She admits that she loves alcohol and sex, and not necessarily in that order. She always manages to have at least one job (in some cases three jobs at once, which I can completely relate to as I currently work three jobs and I totally applaud her for it, because, trust me, it ain't easy), and keeps her life in order.

I felt bad for her while she was with Shark Boy for so long, the man she "spent 6 years with, wasn't in love with, yet promised to marry". I never once felt sorry for Shark Boy, oddly enough. And I saw everything she didn't with Abaddon.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I laughed, I giggled, I facepalmed, I shook my head, I got angry and felt relief.  I give Chrystal brownie points for having the lady balls to write a memoir about her cheating past. She did it in an entertaining way, all the while, giving you pointers, tips, and do's and don'ts and how to tell if your guy is a "mama's boy". I enjoyed her tale of her life thus far and hope that she will do more in the future.

Where can you get your copy? You can shop with the Indie Chicks at their online bookstore!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Just Keep Swimming

And that is exactly what I've been doing. For the past two weeks I have been buried in work. 

About a month ago, my Board of Directors wished me to fill out an application for the IRS to change our company's status to Non-Profit. One of our Members had filed an extension on our taxes, saying we had to wait for our tax preparer to be less busy after tax season; the reason I mention this is that the application required the finances for the current year, and the previous three years. So in order to complete it, I needed our 2013 taxes. And I have never done corporate taxes before, and I honestly believe it's best for a CPA to do them. About two weeks ago, I got a notice from the IRS saying they had rejected our application for extension. I automatically called our accountant and was informed that the deadline for corporate taxes was March 15th. The Board Member didn't mail the extension in until April. *sigh* I then asked her about doing our taxes and mentioned I was told we had to wait until she wasn't as busy with tax season. She seemed a bit confused about that. The next day I got her the information she needed. A week later she called to say they were done. I picked them up, got ahold of said Board Member to sign them and I will take them back on Tuesday for them to be submitted. Now, here's the thing: apparently last fall, a board member and the previous office gal had submitted a grant application to the California Department of Public Health, for planning funds (for upgrading our 60 year old system). The CDPH will not award funds to a For-Profit company. This Board Member knew about this for the past 6 months or so, and has been twiddling his thumbs and sitting on his ass. I show up and have it completed rather quickly, especially once the taxes were done.

Before this whole fiasco, I had typed up all the answers into a Word document so that I could copy and paste my answers into the form online and then print it out so that I could send it in. Now, pause this application for just a moment.

Also, two and a half weeks ago, Boyfriend asked me to go to a seminar that he couldn't make it to, regarding planning and funding. I agreed to go, believing it would be a snooze-fest. Oddly enough, it wasn't and it was super helpful on top of it. I learned of a grant that our company could apply for. As a For-Profit company (still), we are very limited in grant funding; only one agency will even consider it. And as it happens, this is one that did. Unfortunately, it was due in two weeks. I have never written a grant before, so this was going to be fun.

For two weeks, I have thought of nothing but this grant. I decided to not work on the Non-Profit application until the grant was finished. I had hour long phone calls with a gal who was my contact for assistance with the grant as she answered my questions and explained things. I lived and breathed this thing. Holy shit those things are hard! And this was a fairly "easy" one. I spent hours putting together supplemental documents and trying to track down agencies that would write a letter of support at the last minute. The grant was from Prop 84 funding for drought preparedness. As most know, California Governor Jerry Brown declared a State of Emergency due to the extremely dry winter we had. And previous not-so-went winters as well. Our little water company needs money to install meters on our customers. At the rate we can afford, we might be able to install two meters a month. That would take us a minimum of 6 years to complete. Our customers are on a flat rate for "unlimited" water and we have no way to enforce conservation. Our well production numbers are declining and we had to turn on the river pump a least two months earlier than normal to meet customer demand. Should this drought continue, it's possible our wells will start drying up and if the river  is too low, we won't be able to use it, either. We'd be up Shit Creek without a paddle. Hell, without a raft as well. We'd just be in Shit Creek. Installing meters is a very important first step for us - once we have meters, we can do a proper rate study to see how much water each household is using, come up with a new billing system, and we can enforce conservation. With grant funding, we could have all the meters installed in just a few months.

Last Monday, I got a call from a Board Member that he would like to take the Non-Profit application down to our contact at the Department of Public Health Drinking Water in Redding for review before sending it to the IRS. He was going to Redding on Friday and would like it done before then.


I juggled the two for the week. On Thursday, I finished up the Non-Profit application and made copies of all required documents that had to be sent in. After lunch, I worked the rest of the day on finishing up the grant application. I wanted to send it in early, in case there were any issues. The deadline was 5pm on the 26th, which for those of us in the States is a Federal Holiday - Memorial Day. The gal I needed to email it to (the gal whom I had been in contact with) wouldn't be at the office. Just before 8:30pm on Thursday, I emailed the grant in.

I felt like the weight of the world had been lifted off my shoulders. I hadn't realized just how stressed I had been for two weeks. I actually cried a little. And I was suddenly very tired.

Friday morning my grant contact called me and said we needed to fix a couple things. I fixed (hopefully) the issues and emailed it back to her.

Our contact at the Department of Health Drinking Water emailed me Friday to let me know that at a cursory glance the Non-Profit application looked good.

It's now out of my hands.

Talk about acquiring new job skills. I can now add grant writer to the list of things I can do.

I've learned that with this job, it's sink or swim baby. Deep end only. No shallow end and no kiddie pool.

My grant application. At least an inch thick.

The Non-Profit application. Right around an inch thick. On top is an "expedite letter" so that hopefully by telling them the one thing holding up grant funding is out status.