Monday, August 27, 2007

Sneak Peek For T!

I couldn't resist giving a little peek of what's in store. She's been waiting a year already!

BubbaLou keeps asking me "Where's mine? Dis is for T..., I need my own."

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Our house is a very, very, very fine house....

Well, it is on it's way to being a very fine house.

For those of you who don't know, Sy and I bought a 1870's -ish farm house last May and in July ripped half of it off and started rebuilding. Let me just say, going without a kitchen for 4 months with an 18 month old is not something I would recommend. Unless you're crazy, like us. What we ripped down was an addition to the original house (22'X16' one floor) that contained a kitchen and dining room. As we were tearing down, it amazed us that it was still standing.

Bye-bye kitchen/dining room. Hello all-in-one bathroom and fridge in my living room!

Throughout the monsoon-like rain of last summer we had a new crawl space excavated, new foundations poured and Sy (almost single-handedly) built a 2 story plus attic, 22'X24', addition containing my kitchen/dining room, mud room, new stairway, laundry room, and master suite.

It's a start. The foundation is actually concrete on this one!

Getting there. Sy doesn't have to worry about the rain anymore.

In early November 2006 I had a functioning kitchen back, and by December I had a dishwasher and washer and dryer installed (HOORAY!!)

I just love a blank slate. So much potential. I've never ever had a kitchen this big.

Now, more than a year later I can say that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. It's a dim light, for sure, but it's there. The master bedroom is done, except for some trim and small touch-up details, the master bath is perfectly functioning, but the walls need to be finished, trim put it, and permanent vanities built. (Sy is custom building almost all of the cabinetry.) As of a couple of weeks ago, I have all of my upper kitchen cabinets installed (except doors), the base cabinets are almost all built, my double wall ovens are in (and work like a dream) and the best part of all....MY HARDWOOD FLOORS ARE IN, UP AND DOWNSTAIRS! Until you've lived on plywood sub floors for a year, you will never appreciate real floors as much as I do. I can finally sweep and mop and make a difference. BubbaLou will not go through the bottom of slippers quite so fast!

This weekend Sy built the roof on our front porch. No railings yet, or "real" stairs, but they're coming....hopefully before winter. At least with the roof I won't have to shovel the entire porch off! We're also hoping to get the siding on before winter, but we'll see. With Sy going back to school and me going back to work, there's not a whole lot of time to get things done. I'm really hoping that within the next year we can call the new addition "done". And then gut the original house. Hey, I won't have to give up my kitchen again! And since we're just gonna gut it, we can do it one floor at a time (in theory.)

Today. The porch will be stunning when it's done. And the barn has fallen down. And the original house isn't yellow (we're going traditional white, red doors, sky blue ceiling on the porch.)

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Something to do...

A new fabric shop has opened here in Sunapee Harbor. The selection is small, but beautiful. I just couldn't resist buying a bundle of fat quarters in pretty pink and green vintage-ish prints. I think this will become a pillow for BubbaLou's new room.

The shop is called Pins and Needles and they will be offering classes. My family is full of quilters and they've all been saying I should learn...just what I need, another "fiber" hobby. Let's face it, it's just an excuse for me to collect more fabrics and notions! Better than gambling, I guess. Hopefully there will be enough extra money for me to take a beginner class this fall, I really would like to learn the "proper" way to do this instead of fudging along. And since I live in the freezing northeast, I can always use another quilt...or another sweater, or fleece jacket, or wool socks! My beading hobby has taken a back seat until Bubba is old enough to do a little better job at helping me. Picking up thousands of seed beads off the floor is not fun. For me. But I can't blame her...they do look like sparkly confetti.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Fanconia Notch

We hiked around The Flume in Franconia Notch, NH on Sunday. We had a wonderful time and BubbaLou loved it! I'm happy that the basis for the "Unprofessional" blog came about after this little adventure.


I am livid. And I don't care who knows it, including my employer. But let me start at the beginning...

Sy is going back to school in less than a month. Actually in a week and a half. This means I have to get a "full-time" job, put Bubba-Lou in daycare :( and apply to the state of NH for some financial assistance. But we're all very excited he's going back to school.

My current employer is well aware of my current situation, and we have discussed increasing my hours from 16 to 32 a week. Perfect. Work 4 days, spend 3 with Bubba-Lou. And the added bonus is that her daycare is just down the street from work, so I can drop her off right before I go in, and Sy can pick her up when he gets out of school. My current employer and I had an hour long sit down meeting and discussed what days I could work, what responsibilities I would take on, etc. All was decided.

So I thought.

Meanwhile, I called and turned down a job offer (with a past employer) for more money, because the hours would mean Bubba would be in daycare before 9am, and I wouldn't be home until right before her bedtime (not to mention the longer commute and more gas $). More money is not always the answer. My family is the most important thing to me, and I have to do what's right not only for my checkbook, but them.

Jump to today...4 days after the sit down meeting. I get a phone call during which my employer states that after some "soul searching" and "reviewing the numbers", she just can't give me 32 hours a week. I can only keep the hours I'm currently getting. My employer goes on to say how she really doesn't want to lose me, because I'm such a valuable employee, and even though I already stated I would not work 2 part-time jobs she really wants me to work 2 days for her. Oh, and she bets that my former employer, if I called back, would understand and give me the job I turned down. No, I refuse to lower myself and beg, how does she think that is going to make me look? "Hello, sorry but I've changed my mind and do want the job. I hope you haven't hired anyone else, but maybe you could give them a call?" How unprofessional, how imature. I should not have even been told I could have what I needed, if she was still deciding if she could afford me. I was upfront and honest with her about other opportunities I had and that I really wanted to stay employed with her. I'm one of the lucky people that loves their job, and it makes me a better employee. Until I get screwed with only 2 weeks to find a job that is willing to work with a limited schedule (due to daycare constraints) and is willing to pay me enough to survive.

Okay, I understand not being able to afford me. I make more than anyone in the shop, but I also have more experience. Hell, I have more retail, sales and business experience than my boss. And I tell you what, she could afford me...if she knew how to cut corners and make a business run efficiently. She's been in business for about 2 years now and she usually only works in the shop on Saturdays. She pops in and out the rest of the time when she's on the way to her office (that she pays extra rent for, even though I've been told she has a great office at home.) I'm sorry, but if this were my business and I wanted it to be a success, I would be willing to pay qualified help, I would work every day if needed in the store, and I would do my paperwork and bookeeping at home until midnight if I had to to keeps costs minimal. I have worked for some very successful, very dedicated business people and I know what it takes. It takes perseverance, dedication, a very strong commitment, and the understanding that your "free time" doesn't exist anymore. Creating a successful business means that you have to work through exhaustion, burn out and illness because you don't have a choice. If you're strong enough to make it a success, you get a second wind, you don't burn out because you love what you're doing, and you don't get sick because you don't have time. Anyway, if you get burnt out in less that 5 years, why did you start a business to begin with? What were you planning on doing in 10 years? Retiring? Who wants to buy into a failing business, or for that matter, a business that isn't reaching its full potential? No one.

On a happy note, Bubba just informed me she "pooped big" on the potty. Hurray for potty training, it gives me a great reason to applaud wildly and yell "hurray" everyday!