Friday, December 28, 2007

Another exhausting day ...

Such an innocent face, such a sweet disposition, such a loving young lady; what in the world could cause her to be so unhappy? Perhaps an absent parent, perhaps a protective mother, perhaps the absence of a best friend, perhaps the teasing of family members about her weight. Whichever of these causes, I am hoping we will be able to find a way to make it all work for her. We've talked at great length and we have some talking to do with others involved, but bottom line, she has to learn to have confidence in herself and learn how to choose to do what is best for her emotional and physical health.

Last night as we fell asleep, our eyes were swollen from the tears, our heads ached from the crying and all of the thinking that had to be done, and at the end of the night we were both praying to avoid getting a migraine headache. Neither of us needed that added to the stress of the days events! Perhaps tonight will be a better nights rest ... at least one can believe for the best!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Does Your Sink Stink?

Some sinks stink and some sinks sink, but Kohler sinks make one think that perhaps now might be the right time for a new sink, you think? Mine stinks, not literally, but it has no real appeal, dull, drab, fake porcelain top glued to a fake wood cabinet. Sounds great, right? Not even great! I'll be glad when the landlord starts fixing things around this house that are in dire need of repair, and as you can see from this picture the wall looks worse than the sink. In fact, the sink looks pretty good compared to the wall. Oh well, until then I'll do my best to dress it up a bit. Wish me luck!

Monday, December 24, 2007

A Play on Words Video

What do remembering things on a day-to-day basis and a memory foam mattress have in common? Check out this video assignment to see what I mean:

"Remembering With Memory Foam Mattress"

Thanks to Ryan, Jennifer, and "Mr.D" for all of your help in making this video possible, without you it would have been much more difficult a task.

Hope you all enjoy!

Comments and suggestions are always welcome!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Holiday Travel Proves Hard Drive

Although this holiday season will be warmer in the south than that of my friend in Massachusetts and a lot less snowy, the traveling for my boyfriend will seem a lot more tedious. After spending several days here with us on the east coast he will travel southwest to GA to see his children for the holidays and then back home to western NC. Why then is this a hard drive?

Well, as we continue to age the idea of having to travel an extra fifteen hours over a weeks time on top of the nearly 15 driven all week to and from work tends to wear on a body! All of the sitting tends to make the ride hard or hard on the bottom ... LOL! I wonder if a foam seat cushion would ease the ride?

Perhaps he'll find something special under the tree this year from a certain KrisMsElf! He is not only a great dad, he's a wonderful boyfriend! We're so glad to have him come visit, because every visit is a holiday when we are together!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

What do I want for my birthday? Sheepskins Boots!

Tomorrow is my birthday, and yes I am up way too late thinking about the holidays, tasks that need to be completed over the next few days, and what I want for my birthday. Why? Well, my parents asked me what I wanted and I told them I needed a new pair of shoes for work. However with the weather being colder lately, and our office being drafty, I've been eying a sweet looking pair of sheepskin boots! Ahh ... the thought of my feet being snuggled up warmly in those boots is such a comforting idea. Now, if only I could find a sheepskin seat cover for my desk chair, I'd have it made!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Las Vegas or Atlantic City?

Where would you go in the off season? Some of the ladies from work spend part of their spare time each year visiting casinos in Atlantic City and in Las Vegas. It seems they enjoy the east coast casinos in the fall before tax season and the casinos out west in the early spring as tax season winds down. Imagine spending your nights in a room which oversees the local scenery in one of the posh hotels in Las Vegas courtesy of the casino. The night lights would be an awesome sight to behold, at least for this east coast girl. I wonder; have they already planned a trip to Las Vegas for this coming spring? I'd love to go with them!

Who knows? Maybe I'd even see Elvis!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

A day at Grandma & Grandpa's ...

Friday night Lisa (my eldest daughter) and Steve (her husband) came down from their home in Virginia to visit before the holidays, since they will be spending them in the mountains to go snowboarding! How fun is that?! Will ask her to send some pictures of their trip for everyone to enjoy. When they arrived we promptly got things set up for a good night's rest.

Saturday morning, as soon as everyone was ready we headed to my parent's house. When we arrived we fixed some lunch and then headed out to work. Since my dad had surgery last week to repair a hernia he was not allowed to do anything strenuous for a while. Mom had mentioned that he had been talking about how bad the yard looked with all of the leaves on the ground, so our visit was two-fold, to visit and to clean up the yard. As you can see in the picture below we finished it off just in time for Bubby's visit.

Jennifer had been practicing with her color guard rifle when he arrived and so he just had to play with it too! Jenn and David (Bubby's dad) are in the background watching on, while Ryan and Lisa take it easy as Sheriff Bubby talks to them about his new job as an officer. He is such a serious little man! As the youngest of three great-grandchildren, he is nearly 3 1/2 years old and a very bright young man. His favorite thing to do when he comes to visit my parents now, is to ask his uncle Greg to show him his computer. Greg plays games online and Bubby thinks that is just too cool!

Before we left Mom & Dad took us out the the workshop and proceeded to pass along some Christmas decorations for the house and yard to us kids and grandkids. It was perfect timing as Lisa was about to go shopping for tins to package up her annual "Christmas Cookies" gifts. She makes the best "Pumpkin" cookies! We also picked out some boxes to store our ornaments in after the holidays are over. Jennifer showed up and chose the lighted sleigh and reindeer for our front yard this year. As we were about to leave Mom took Ryan aside and gave him the pedestal "fog lamp" out of the living room; he was so surprised! I can see it now ... black light ... fog lamp ... playing his electric guitar ... his own private rock and roll stage!

This time Lisa & Steve they managed to see not only Grandma & Grandpa, but also those uncles and youngest cousin Lisa usually misses. Today was a good one for everyone. We got to visit, share a meal, work together, play and laugh, and share our love for each other. Here in the photograph to the left are Bubby, Lisa and Sandra (Neal's fiancée), and Jennifer, Neal, Ryan, and Steve.

When we arrived home from our visit with the grandparents, we settled in for a home cooked meal, a surprise birthday cake and present, and a movie. Time for some rest, we've a Christmas parade tomorrow and it's supposed to be 70 degrees!

Where is "old man winter?" Shhhhhhh!

PS We miss you "Mr.D" ;)

Thursday, December 6, 2007

"Sweeney Todd" in Theaters Dec. 21st & on MySpace now!

Yes, that's right! Only 14 more days before its debut and we are so excited! If you can't wait until the 21st to see the movie, you can visit Sweeney Todd on MySpace and familiarize yourself with the cast of characters and get a glimpse into all of the wicked excitement.

Just two weeks from now Tim Burton's Sweeney Todd is opening in theaters around the country. Rated "R" its not a warm and fuzzy feeling, compassionate film for the entire family to see preceding the holidays, yet it remains to be a highly anticipated performance starring Johnny Depp. In this film he portraits a young man who is arrested, tried, imprisoned, and taken from his family in the prime of his life. When he returns to the place where both he and his family met with misfortune, he plots his revenge against those who took part in making his life life miserable.

There is a lot to be said about the power of revenge, and though many may not agree on whether or not it can have a positive end, oftentimes revenge takes on a life of its own. What more sinister way for this character to carry out his revenge than to lure in his victims under the guise of being a barber? "Welcome, sit right down and relax while I give you the shave of your life. Or shall I say for the life of the shave?"

Do you think you know why he did it? Perhaps you've already figured out what he does with his clients? Why not visit the official Sweeney Todd movie site for a taste of what's to come? Then again, if you enjoy surprises, the rush of fear running through your veins, make sure you go see this movie!

Johnny Depp is sure to be a delight as he sings for the first time in this thriller! See you there; I'll be the one with my hands over my eyes and ear plugs to deafen the scary music. LOL!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Matt White & Lee Nadel Perform at Hooligan's

On Sunday December 02, 2007 I had no clue who Matt White or Lee Nadel were, that is until they sang Matt's new HIT song "Best Days" at Hooligan's in a concert sponsored by All The Hits BOB 93.3! They came out on the stage as the opening act for another band and to my surprise, they were really good! As a parent of two teens I am often introduced to new music all the time. Little did we know that we would get to see two awesome performances. Matt played guitar and sang several songs from his debut CD. After Matt and Lee finished their performance they headed out to the lobby to sign autographs and talk with the audience. When it was our turn to thank him for his performance Jennifer had no problem cozying up to Matt for a photo opp!

After our chat with Matt, Jennifer headed back in as the other band was almost ready to begin playing. At this point I also took the opportunity to thank Matt's sidekick, Lee for his performance. Though Matt does all the singing, Lee accompanies him on the bass guitar. During their performance Lee wore a light colored woven cap which prompted the girls to insist that he "take it off!" He complied to their wishes as they burst into a resounding scream, all the while he teased them with the idea he might toss it into their midst ... no such luck ... a man and his cap are rarely separated ... at least not for long. Both were friendly and personable young men, and as I spoke with each they responded with a heartfelt "Thank you! It really means a lot."

You can find them both on MySpace, and while you're there why not give Matt's music a listen, and Vote for his song "Best Days." Right now it's VH1's #8 video on VSpot's Top 20!

You might be interested in reading the article titled "Matt White "Best Days" … and Getting Even Better" by Ronald Sklarat at for more information about this talented young star!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Cell Reception in the "Boonies"

In about twenty minutes we will heading out to pick up all of the gang to go see "Boys Like Girls" at a concert. One of the teens lives way out in the boonies, and I pray we have adequate cell reception in case we need directions. This will definitely be an adventure! Well, I had better finish getting ready or I'll have two mad teens of my own to deal with ... and goodness knows I don't want that! ;)

Christmas Vacation Planning

It's just weeks now before the holidays and we are considering a trip with as many of our children to see my boyfriend's family in TN. So far we made trips there with just the two of us, and not yet on Christmas. It would be so cool to see everyone all together, my boyfriend, his sisters and their families, and our children all celebrating being together. If getting everyone together in one place doesn't work for this holiday celebration, perhaps we can plan a camping trip this summer to the TN river with everyone.

Either way, not to worry, it will be all right, and we'll figure out a plan that puts a smile on everyone's face!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Did you know this about real estate?

An acquaintance of mine once told me that she and her husband had to pay taxes on property they used for a business that had been repossessed for non-payment. They were operating a small business on the side and decided to call it quits as it was not generating enough income to offset the expenses. Since they still owed money on the property at the time it was repossessed, they were sent a form requiring them to pay taxes on the portion of the debt that was forgiven them by the finance company.

As I understand it, the same is true of real estate when it comes to foreclosures. If you were purchasing a home and the bank foreclosed on it for non-payment, if the bank sells the property for less than the fair market value of the house, you are responsible to pay taxes if there is a loss.

Like this:

Fair Market Value of Home - $150,000.00

Less Selling Price by Bank - $70,000.00

Your Tax Liability - $80,000.00

On the other hand, if the bank sold the property for more than the fair market value you would have zero tax liability.

The first scenario seems so unfair. If you lose your home to foreclosure that means you didn't have the resources to pay for it. Charging you with a tax liability for the difference in what the bank cannot recoup seems like a kick in the teeth. It was bad enough you were down, but should they add insult to injury?

News like this almost makes one afraid to buy a home or start a new business. Scary!

Business Meeting or Free- for-All?

Today our office met with at least three of our satellite offices to go over the 2007 Tax Updates. It was an excellent informal meeting and there even though there was a lot of information to learn we all seemed to understand the changes. There will be stricter guidelines for income tax preparers, and penalties for oversights on compliance issues but overall it won't effect the professional preparers who correctly do their job. It was nice getting to meet everyone and to have the meeting be informal, however, there were two preparers who insisted on chatting to each other for a majority of the time. I sure hope that they are more professional in their office when they are dealing with clients, but it was disrespectful to our owners to chatter while they were conducting business.

Though my coworkers insist that I am the "Queen of Chatter" in our office, I gladly relinquish that crown to these two today! I am sure my coworkers are just kidding about me ... really, they are!