Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Finally my Crochet Blanket is finished - Blanket Number 2 is ticked off my list!!! YAY

Wow, have I had trouble accessing my blog!  I am thinking of actually scrapping this one due to the never ending dramas I am having with it and starting anew.  I want a new blog not full of complaining like this has turned into lol, but one of crochet and cooking and gardening and you know, fuzzy bunnies and sunshine etc.....  Will see how it goes, or maybe I could just do a facebook page, hmmmmm will have a think!

Anyway back to my blanket.  This blanket was started over a year ago, before we moved to Victoria, before our lives turned upside down.  This blanket has grown on car trips to and from Adelaide to pick up children and take them back.  This blanket has been loved and, yes indeed, it has been hated.  This blanket felt like it was never, ever going to end.  But last week, I picked up my crochet hook and sat determined to finish it off.  I do believe I swore never to make another blanket ever again.  But of course, the internet seems to have thrown me many pictures over the last week of beautiful crocheted blankets and I have thought that maybe, just maybe, there may be another blanket or two, or three in my future lol.

For the moment though, I am going to do a few smaller things, things that won't take me a year (hopefully) to conquer!!!

Well here she is, here is my blanket of torment that has haunted me for so long.  In the end she has ended up being almost a queen bed size as you can see in the pics.  Not quite as large as I would make for a queen bed but almost there.  I took the pics on my son's queen sized bed as his room had the best light on this rather gloomy day.  The pics don't show the true colours but pretty close.

I am pretty happy with the way it turned out.  I still prefer my original blanket but this one isn't too bad either.  This one used up my stash of wool which was my intention so that is great :)

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Restless Feelings that won't Go Away

Do you ever feel so restless that you just don't know what to do with yourself?

I am feeling like that at the moment.

We, well I should say I, lol since Hubby is still working at his regular job,,,,,,have started up our business.  We are in week 6 (I think?) and it is moving along.  Not as fast as we perhaps would like but I have it making enough that is covering our costs almost.  It is covering our franchise fees and some of the fuel costs.  So I feel like I am working for nothing but I'm not working a full time equivalent, I am only doing one job a day at most and even then I don't do 5 days a week.  Last week I only worked 3 days, this week it is 4 days.  The customers I have picked up are lovely and most of the houses are pretty good to clean.  I only really have two houses which I don't like doing, simply because they are pretty cluttered, hence making it alot harder to clean.

So the business is growing slowly.  I have been a little fussy with where I will travel to.  I don't seem to be getting much work locally and this is bothering me a little.  With a few of my jobs being up to an hour away, I feel that my day is taken up in travelling,,,,,,which of course doesn't earn me money!  So I am starting to only quote on jobs that are closer to home.  We are going to do a few letter box drops in our local area to try and drum up a bit more local business.  We have so many new houses popping up around us that it seems silly to be driving further afield to do work when I am sure that there are plenty of potential customers within a ten minute drive of me (the best bit of course is that these are all newer houses so they are so much easier to clean!!)

After seeing other people's houses, it has made me more determined than ever that our lives need a good declutter.  Prior to moving here, hubby and I were selling off stuff from around the house, and we had boxes of things that needed to be listed on Ebay.  Well they moved with us and of course as things would turn out, life has taken a few different turns and our enthusiasm for online selling has dwindled and we still have boxes of stuff cluttering up our shed.  We have gone through the boxes and pretty much halved the amount of "stock" we had, donating it all to charity.  Now of course, with the start up of our business, I don't have as much free time as I did, and I am seriously considering just donating the rest as well.  Having said that though, we have sold an incredible amount of stuff over the last couple of months between Ebay and Facebook sites.  I had a wonderful collection of novels (about 250 or so) which have all gone.  I think I ended up donating about 30 books, the rest I sold.  Even though majority of them only sold for $1 it was still a great feeling getting that little extra cash and being able to clear off a full to the brim book case.  We have also sold many of the kids old Playstation 2 games which had been unused since the boys all "upgraded" to the xbox 360.  Also quite a few of the dvds that have gone unwatched for quite a while have left the house.

We still have a long, long way to go with the clutter but I can see that we have made a start.  I'm still unsure as to what to do with those other boxes of stuff, it seems silly to just give it away when I know that we could get a bit of money back but then again, it takes time to list the stuff.

It doesn't help that hubby bought a second hand drum kit for Mr11 for Xmas.  It is stored in boxes in the shed at the moment and supposedly by Christmas we are supposed  to have the shed set up nicely so that the drum kit can be assembled out there,,,,,,,,,,aagghhhhhhhhhh.

Man!!!  Do we have some work ahead of us!!!!

Monday, July 15, 2013

So Close Now......

I know I said I would blog more regularly and have a look, it has been almost two whole months since my last blog!!!  Where has this year gone???  It is going by so fast it is just unbelievable.

Really though this last 15 or so months have been such a rollercoaster ride for us that it truly doesn't surprise me.  With the announcement that we would have to move interstate, to having to repaint our old house, get it on the market and sell it and then find a house to buy here, move here, my dear Mum passing away just two weeks after we did move, then the juggling and trying to work out a school holiday routine with all the kids, Christmas, Hubby's never ending overseas trips for work, Hubby's dear Dad passing away in NZ and having to make a trip over there and then us deciding to take on a business, it has just been so overwhelming and truthfully something I never thought we would have to deal with in such a short space of time.

Deaths in the family are never easy on anyone, but I think that is how we decided that we needed to do something to hopefully enable us to work together in our own business.  A franchise wasn't necessarily the way we wanted to go, but as neither of us have ever had our own business it seemed a safer option at the moment.  We still have no idea of really how to run a business but I guess it will be something we learn along the way lol.

Our official start up date is next Monday.  I am more than a little nervous, I tell you!!  Since it is going to be only me running it, I am very aware of the fact that I need to make enough money to actually pay the franchise fees each month.  Even though it is house cleaning, something I have been doing for many, many year, I am really nervous about doing it and expecting to be paid to do it lol.  I have no idea why!  I just think that there is a vast difference to cleaning your own home to cleaning someone else's.  In my own home, near enough is good enough.  I'm not a cleaning nazi and I tend to have many dust bunnies occupying various corners of my home and I am fine with that.  Cleaning someone else's home however, they will for the most part want their dust bunnies evacuated and I will have to be much more fastidious than I am at home.  Can I do this?????

The other thing I am nervous about is that I am not a salesperson.  I have always hated feeling pressured to buy something and I refuse to place pressure or sales tactics on people.  I go by the theory that if someone wants something they will buy it and no amount of pressuring is going to make them buy something from someone they don't like.  So having said that I will be going into this just being me.  I figure people will either like me and want me to clean for them or they won't.  Simple as that.

Another lady in this area recently took on one of the franchises a couple of suburbs over.  She has been running it for about two months with the same desire to build it up to enable her husband to leave his job and work with her.  I have been told that she hasn't needed to advertise herself as yet, she has just been going off of the leads that the company have given her and she is at the point where she needs to take on a part time cleaner to help her out.  I have my fingers crossed that I too will be able to get to that point, just as fast as she has.  The only difference is that she is offering lawn mowing (courtesy of her husband, doing it after he finishes his normal job) and also carpet cleaning which we are not offering at this point.

I will be offering house cleaning, vacate cleans, dog walking, ironing and holiday pet minding services.  For the vacate cleans we will have to either hire a carpet cleaner or get someone in to do it for us.

I guess at the end of they day we just have to think positive about it all working out.  We have the comfort in knowing that hubby's income is fine for us to live on and all I need to do is get the business expenses covered each week.  Its not like he has left his job and we are having to live on the income from the business, now that would be really scary!!!

Geez I can ramble on can't I!!!  Lol sorry.
I was going to share school holiday happenings but I might leave  it there and make a real effort to get back in the next day or two and share some photos etc with you.

Hope everyone is happy and well.
Take care!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Lost in Life......for 3 months!!!!! Sheesh where did that time go????

Hi everyone, I can't believe its been 3 months since I last posted!  I have been reading blogs here and there but just haven't really had the "oomph" to actually write on my own.

Life sure as heck hasn't been any easier these last three months, I am still waiting for our life to turn around and put smiles on all our faces for a change.

Settling in here just isn't as easy as I thought it would be, but I think that has mainly to do with all the things we have going on in our lives.  I'm the sort of person that can't really settle until I have all my little duckies in a row so to speak lol.

Hubby has resigned from the job title that we moved here for.  After being told just 3 weeks after that last trip to China that I mentioned on here, he was informed,,,,once again with just over 24 hours notice,,,,that he was off to China yet again for another 8 days.  The toll on our family and our relationship was just getting too high.  None of us were happy and something had to give, so when he returned from that trip he resigned as GM and is now just Director of a smaller part of the company.  He has lost his office and is now in a share office downstairs with two other guys.  I felt terrible that he resigned but at the end of the day, all of the promises that had been made to him regarding bonuses and pay rises hadn't happened and we are acutally worse off financially here, due to the higher cost of paying child support and the costs of having to travel back and forth to Adelaide 8 times a year, so it just wasn't worth the extra stress on all of us.

At the end of March, my Hubby's dear Dad passed away over in New Zealand.  This came as a complete shock and it definitely wasn't a good time.  I had to pull the boys out of school and we had to drive them over to stay with their Dad in Adelaide so Hubby and I could fly out to NZ.  We were in NZ for 6 nights before heading back.  The funeral was lovely but very hard.  Hubby wrote his eulogy with my help but said he didn't want to read it out and I bravely offered.  I have never been a fan of public speaking so I was very nervous but at the same time was determined to do it for him.  I got up the front and put my head down and slowly made my way through it.  I couldn't believe I actually made it through to the end but I did!!  I even managed to pronounce a few of the Maori names without tripping over them lol so I was very relieved.

Since we have been back home, we have also had problems happening with my Hubby's two kids.  I can't share on here what has been going on but lets just say it has been very stressful.  First of all it was his Autistic son and that problem is pretty big, bigger than me I feel, and is going to be a long drawn out affair.  Then we have his daughter that has just decided that it is her turn to cause problems and of course her mother isn't helping at all, so this too is going to be a pretty stressful affair too.  I am trying to keep my cool and keep Hubby calm about it all too but I tell you,,,,,some days grrrrrrr!  The whole thing is just heart breaking and I know that if we had still been in Adelaide, these problems would be minute in comparison :(

Yesterday after talking to my Ex I discovered that I may have a problem of sorts which will arise with my boys too in the very near future.  I am trying to remain calm and I know that at the end of the day I will let my kids make their own minds up, but it is waying heavily on my mind at the moment.

On a hopefully happier note though, Hubby and I have decided that working together is the way to go for us.  And although I am more than a little nervous about everything we are going ahead and are determined to make things work for us.  We are taking on a cleaning franchise.  We were able to get in really cheaply due to one of the other guys who lives on the other side of Melbourne, branching out on his own in a slightly different direction to what the franchise deals with.  We are taking over his franchise and starting it up from scratch on our side of town.  Naturally, we will start with no customers at all but hopefully we can make this work.  Hubby will continue working at his job and I will be starting up the business on my own and attempting to grow it to the point where Hubby can leave his job and come and work with me.

Hubby has also taken on an Ebay Shop selling covers and mounts for phones and ipads and tablets etc.....All these things look the same to me lol but he believes that he can grow that business into something worthwhile.  Once again we were able to buy the stock very cheaply as the other guy had to get out of it in order to do his demolition/rebuild of his home.  So far so good with that, we have only had it up and running a few days and have had a few sales already.  It seriously needs sorting out as they guy only had a basic computer knowledge and kind of has things all over the place but I think we will be able to work it all out and fix it up eventually lol.

I also have decided to start jewellery making (I know,,,,like we really need something else to occupy our lives right??? lol).  I am doing memory wire bracelets, earrings and necklaces,,you know the sort you see at craft fairs with the beading etc.  I find it quite relaxing and I am really surprised how easy it all actually is lol.

I still love my crochet but haven't made any new things for a while.  I am trying to get a blanket finished that I started about a year ago and am so bored with but I am determined to finish it before starting anything else lol.

Anyway, I need to go and pickup my little cherubs from school.  I just wanted to update you on the "Days of Our Lives" happening in our neck of the woods.

I am hoping I can get this little blog of mine going again and be a more regular blogger once more.  I just feel like all I have done for the past year is share dramas and that wasn't what my blog was meant to be about, not at all.  So from here on I hope to be able to share fluffy bunnies, sunny smiles and pretty flowers or the like and breathe some sunshine back into blogland.

Maybe I will share a few photos of some jewellery I have created,,,,and hopefully this darn blanket very soon too lol

Talk again soon, Take care everyone :)

Monday, February 18, 2013

Discovering Costco

Well we finally did it,,,,,we succumbed to temptation and went on our first visit to Costco!

After living here for just over 6 months, the place called to us and we just had to hand over our $60 membership and have a look.  I hadn't bothered before because I kind of begrudge handing over $60 or our hard earned dollars just to go shopping,,,,,but well I had to go and see for myself if it was worth it.

The result,,,,,,well yes and no.  The kids loved it because of all the food samples they received along the way.  Hubby and I were impressed with some things, not so with others.  We ended up spending about $130 on things that we didn't necessarily need right now, but which will save us money down the track.

The store wasn't as big as I had imagined it would be.  The electrical equipment prices seemed pretty ordinary, I really don't think they were any/much cheaper than elsewhere.  The clothing, well I didn't really pay alot of attention to it, but from a distance the prices didn't seem that great, as for the shoes.  Furniture, well they don't have much of it and the prices, once again are ordinary.

I did buy myself an awesome set of melamine mixing bowls, set of 4 with lids for $23.  They are fantastic bowls and so big!  I was in desperate need of some more mixing bowls and I wanted sturdy ones, so I was pretty happy with that.

Also bought a 4 pack of those flame gun thingies (you know the things I mean you don't need matches).  They cost about $4.50 - a bargain compared to buying them individually!

Food prices were a little hit and miss.  I didn't thinnk their fruit and veg was that great, price wise, as with their meat and bakery section.

We found the real savings to be in standard food items which was finally where we decided that we would continue to come here maybe once a month or so. 
We got a large tub of Marshmallow Fluff (yummy,,,,I love Fluffernutter sandwiches!!) for just $4.20,,,a jar in Coles is worth more than that for about half the amount.
We got a twin pack of Hersheys Chocolate Syrum (1.4L bottles) for around $7.
A jar of peanut butter for about $4 - I'm talking a very large jar!
A small bucket of Vegemite for $11.
Large packets of Doritos (500 grams) for about $5.80 and the list goes on.

I basically only bought things that I knew were cheap.  I will pay closer attention to my shopping for the next few weeks and maybe jot down prices of things we buy regularly so that I can compare.  We may or may not renew our membership next year depending on how much we save overall.  While the savings on these items are great, it will also depend on how fast we go through them as to whether or not we have saved enough to recoup our $60 membership.

The kids did find it quite fun though and the fact that they do have some different things to try made it fantastic in their eyes.

On the way out we stopped for lunch at their cafe.  This area was a bargain.  We paid $16.50 for the 5 of us for lunch,,,great value!
Three of us had hotdogs and the younger two had a slice of pizza (we are talking american sized slices here! Mr10 couldn't even get through his whole slice and that is unheard of lol).  We all had refillable soft drinks.
The hotdogs were $1.00, pizza $3 a slice and drinks $1.50 for the refillable cups.
Next time we will go in the afternoon because they had the most amazing looking berry sundaes for just $3.50 I think it was lol.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Work Headaches and Life problems as usual

Wow, well at this rate it is going to take me all year just to catch up on our Christmas events lol......lucky I don't have much else going on to talk about right now!

Hubby has had the last two days off work, lets call it a couple of "mental health days" shall we?  He is pretty down about the way this job is turning out and the way his boss has been treating him since Christmas.  He is relieved to realise that others at work have noticed it and it hasn't just been his imagination.  None of them can work out what is going on at all.  Even the older guy who Hubby took over the job from, although he hadn't known how bad it was until Hubby had a talk to him on Monday, is shocked.  The older guy has also been getting treated badly too though.  He is a consultant for the company now and basically is mainly there to do overseas consulting and only works 2 days a week.  He has been told that when he goes to China on his next trip that he will only be paid for the 2 days a week he works even though the trip will take him away from home for about a week!!!  Needless to say I find that disgusting, its not like he is going on a holiday, he is going to get business for the company!!  I'm sure this is against some kind of workplace law.  I said to Hubby that something must be going on for the guy to be treating people like this.  I have a feeling that he has used hubby for his knowledge though and has gotten whatever it was he wanted from him and now is trying to make him leave.

Hubby is desperate to do something together, just him and I but I have my concerns about that.  We are looking at the moment at a cleaning franchise and have a guy coming out tonight to give us some information.  They do car cleaning, house cleaning and a few other different franchises.  They are very cheap franchises and it would mean we wouldn't have to take out a loan which does take away one worry.  I don't see it making enough money to support us though.  Child support is our killer each week, it basically takes over a quarter of hubby's take home pay and after a conversation with the Child Support Agency the other day, if hubby starts up a business and it doesn't give him the same earnings that he is getting now, that is just too bad, he will still be stuck paying what he is now, even if his earnings only end up being $30,000 or so!  They call it him deliberately downgrading his income to avoid paying child support and he has a higher earning capacity.  Basically they said that it doesn't matter what we want to do, his children require him to pay this money and its not fair on him to deny them that.  Now don't get me wrong, I have an ex as well who pays child support and I think that parents should support their children and I would never not help to pay for his children's welfare BUT having said that, I also believe that parents are entitled to be able to do what they want to do in their lives too.  If we had all remained with our previous partners we would have been able to do whatever we wanted and just because you have a relationship breakdown, why should you have to stick at a job you hate just to support your children.  Our biggest annoyance is that we believe his ex is earning money and a decent enough sum that they can run two cars, both only a couple of years old, both petrol guzzlers, they can afford Ipads, brand new phones (stepdaughter has gone through 4 Samsung Galaxy 2 and 3s in the last year!).  They have 4 people in the house using mobile phones and stepdaughter got told that her bill was ok each month provided it wasn't more than $100........We sure as hell can't afford to run 4 mobile phones with a $100 bill each in the month!  Stepdaughter is always getting new clothes, haircuts are done at hairdressers on a regular basis, the ex can afford to get tattoos and hair extensions, they have take away numerous nights of the week and go out to hotels for dinner at least every couple of weeks and movie tell me where the money is coming from and her partner has been unemployed for a few months too!  (Child Support have been told this but they say unless we can come up physical proof that she is earning we can't do anything about it,,,,ggrrrrrrrrr)

So back to my original point, I just don't know if us starting a business together is going to be wise from a financial point of view.  I'm off to ponder things for a bit today and try to come up with some ingeniuous money making idea lol,,,,,maybe we could come up with a plan to take over the company ourselves!!

I will leave you with a few more photos......

....or maybe I won't,Blogger has decided once again it doesn't like me today lol, maybe next week we can have photots!!!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Catching up Part 1

As I said earlier this week, I thought I would play a little catch up with my photos that have escaped getting put on my blog due to the unco-operativeness of my blog lately lol.

These pics were taken all the day back in early December when we decided to take a little venture into the city to view the Christmas displays of lights.  As you can see we arrived in there a little early to take in twinkling lights so we grabbed a bite to eat and went for a wander to start the night off.

We discovered this fantastic stick house just down from Federation Square which we hadn't seen before.....not sure if it was newly put here or not but it was new to us.

It was called "Stickwork Ballroom".  Absolutely amazing and must have taken a very long time and a heck of a lot of patience to construct!!

Will be back soon to show you some of the other Christmasy things we saw this night (I do remember that we had very sore feet,,,,,,we walked for kilometres that night lol).

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

I'm actually here,,,,,,,,,I can't believe it :)

Hi everyone :)

Well after spending the christmas break frustrated because I couldn't access my blog, finally after help from the wonderful, fabulous, incredibly helpful Niki, I am in!!!!!  Thank you Niki you are awesome!!

Of course I have absolutely nothing to say today, because I hadn't expected to be able to do this but I just wanted to say that yes I am alive and yes I do still love blogging and I will return with my usual grumpy moods and moaning and groaning very soon lol.

I now have to actually remember everything I had been going to talk about over the last couple of months!! 

Right now I can say that my Hubby is in China yet again :(.  This time it is a ten day trip, he returns home at about 11pm Saturday has been a very loooooong trip.  Once again it was last minute notice and this time even he is disheartened with the company and feels that he needs to leave (I know........we only just moved our family here and we can't afford to move back to Adelaide!!!).  He was supposed to be on holidays until Monday 4 February but got a call last Wednesday Jan 30 at 6.30pm saying that he was going to be flying out to China the following day at 4.30pm!!!!  We both feel that this is beginning to get just ridiculous.  The boss also turned around to him and said that he doesn't get holidays like everyone else, in this position he is on call 24/7 and even if he is on "holiday"  he is to still answer phone calls and emails.  Needless to say Hubby and I are less than impressed. 

Hubby wants to find a business that we can work together.  We enjoy being together and all this travel has made us realise that even more.  When he returns we will look into it further.  Right now the only business that I can think  of us affording is a cleaning business or something along those lines,,,,,,,,looking at the state of my house I wonder if I could clean other people's and still be smiling at the end of the day lol......then again cleaning someone else's house is never as bad as cleaning your own I find.

Hubby called me last night saying "I don't think I can work for this company any more".  Apparently the guy he went with (the accountant of the company) who is a very straight laced kinda guy generally, got absolutely blottoed when they went out for dinner last night with the supplier they went to see yesterday.  The supplier organised a dinner at some Chinese restaurant.  There were quite a few people there, including the supplier's family members and Mr Accountant took up the offer of some chinese rice wine.  They have been travelling with one of the Chinese girls from their work who acts as interpreter for them and she warned about the potency of rice wine.  Mr Accountant has been on many trips to China in the past so he was more than aware anyway, but he drank some,,,,,followed by some red wine,,,,,and then followed by some yellow looking wine.  He got up and sang karaoke, he got angry with Hubby for not drinking (hubby rarely drinks and if he does he really only drinks a beer or maybe a spirit).  Anyway by the end of the night Mr Accountant managed to throw up on himself.  Hubby and one of the supplier guys half carried him out to the car, where he promptly leaned out and threw up yet again.  They had a 40 minute drive to their motel where Hubby had to check them in.  They got Mr Drunk Bum up to his room where he started crying and begging the chinese girl to stay in his room to keep an eye on him.  She obliged and got a fold up bed brought up so that she could sleep in there too....she even washed his clothes for him!!!  I said to hubby I would have just walked out of his room and left him to lay in his own stench, I think she is crazy for doing what she did personally lol.  As hubby said to me though, what kind of impression did this behaviour give to the supplier people.  As far as I am concerned, you travel for business, then you are the face of the company and you don't get drunk to the point where you can't walk! They guy is in his late 40's and definitely old enough to know better.  He kept saying to hubby that he "took one for the team" because hubby wouldn't "man up" and have a drink..........if Hubby gets a talking to by the head boss when he returns next week, I think I will give them a piece of my mind myself,,,,,sheesh for all they know hubby may have been a recovering alcoholic (which he isn't), they don't know!!!

Anyway today they are off to the next city, Hubby just called saying they are about to leave and he hasn't seen Drunken Bum yet but apparently he is ok to travel,,,,,,,,,,will be interesting to hear about the day later lol.

Ok, well for not having much to say I have certainly rambled on lol.

I will return later this week to do a catch up of our Christmas and holiday season :)