Monday, November 23, 2015

In Orlando!

The start of the trip was crazy!

Our flight had one stop in New Orleans and then on to Orlando.  The first stop went fine.  Then we were approaching Orlando after a rather bumpy flight and no service.  I had chosen to not get a drink form Houston to New Orleans, but then by the time we were getting to Orlando, I was a bit thirsty.

After we were circling and circling, the pilot came on and said we low on fuel and to divert to Jacksonville.  We landed and waited and waited - no word, no service, just waited.  Other people's little ones started crying (by right) - they were tired and hungry.

Finally, we took off again to land in Orlando.  Long taxi to the gate.  3 hours late landing.

So, we decide to divide and conquer.  I would wait for the luggage with the kids while Darrell went to get the car rental.

We waited and waited and waited for our luggage.  I was semi worried because I put one of the quilts in there to work on and if it got lost - oh my mind went to dark places.  I did see other people from our flight still standing around so, I was a little hopeful.

Eventually, our luggage did come.  I figured at this point, Darrell would have the car and we could be on our way.  My kids did not complain, but I knew they were hungry and everything in the airport was closed.

The kids and I walked to car rental area and Darrell is still in line.  The line is LONG! And not moving very fast.  The kids sat on the floor waiting and looking as if they would pass out asleep.

After an hour, we got the car.  Only it is dark and rainy and we have no idea how to get around.  I have not used the GPS on this new phone before, so it some kind of messed up.  It would completely change the directions when we turned the wrong way, not tell us to turn around like the iPhone, so we got turned all which way.

Here's the thing about Orlando.  It closes up at 10 pm.  I mean even the Ihops closed at 11 pm.  We were searching everywhere to get our kids something to eat.  We found a Mickey D's drive through - DONE.

While in the line, some guy passes out in his car - drunk.  Police come and right when we were supposed to order, they stopped taking orders for 30 minutes. Sigh!

So we get food and make our way to the rental house - 40 minute drive because of the stupid map thing.  I miss paper maps!

We fall into bed because in for just a few hours because we had to get to Universal!

I may wait for that story until I can post pictures.  The first 24 hours were eventful. I need a vacation from this vacation!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Layoffs and Savings

No, Darrell did NOT get laid off, but the industry as a whole is really hurting.  There was a restructuring and lay offs at his work yesterday which caused us to start worrying a bit.

He was moved within the company and it is actually a good thing, but his boss was slightly demoted.  No raises, no bonuses.  Which kind of sucks because the bonuses were part of the whole salary structure.  So in essence, we got a pay cut.

Lucky for us though, we always treated it as extra money coming in and did not budget anything for this one other than debt payoff.  So, it delays paying off the car, but not the end of the world in the whole scheme of things.

We did put in place some changes last night though.  Darrell is very worried about the industry as whole - like it is going to get much worse before it gets better kind of worry.  Since he has only been with this company for a year now, it makes sense once the culling really starts happening, he will be toward the front of the line. 

However, he was brought in to make changes in the company and bring in more business - which he has excelled at.  His numbers are better than the others who have been there for years and years.  He gets done projects faster, neater and had great relations with all the oil companies.  So, maybe he will not be the FIRST to go.

I cannot take that chance though.

First and foremost changes - all trips, except for this Florida one (which is paid for already) have been cancelled - no DC Sharon - sorry!  No school trips, nada.

Darrell and I will do one weekend away which costs less than $300 and both Delaney and Koen will get only one camp each this summer.

Budgets getting slashed:

  • Christmas
  • Hair Cuts
  • Birthdays
  • Gas for Autos
  • Vacations
  • School - since noone is in marching band anymore
  • Home
  • Clothing
We are doing this so we can save more. 

I need to feel better about a possible layoff.  If it will happen - it probably will happen late summer to fall of 2016.  Right when we have one going to college.

Large Expenses coming up in 2016

1) College for David
2) Major orthodontic work for Koen (affecting his speech, breathing and eating - it is NEEDED)
3) A possible layoff

The plan is to cut the debt payoff in 1/2 and start putting away for college and an emergency fund.

The reason we are still giving ourselves a weekend away and the kids one summer camp is we don't believe in completely cutting out life.  I know most do not agree, but with an overall budget of $1,000 for all 3 things, we think it is worth it.  If my business continues to flourish, I will pay for it.

Obviously, if Darrell loses his job sooner, then these things will be cut immediately as well as many other things.  Neither he nor I live in the future that much.

Now, crazy customer seems a little easier to deal with - she will be funding our mini-vacation and my kids summer camps!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Countdown to Christmas - 2

 I feel like I am spinning my wheels most of the time with all of this.  The crazy customer is driving me insane and my husband has about had it.  I know most of it is just her personality, but I swear the woman is nuts.

This is the Star Quilt Back the squares are blue jeans.

 Here is the running update.

1. Star Quilt #1 - Sandwiched together and ready to quilt (today)

2. Star Quilt #2 - Top 1/2 done, back 3/4 done

3. Star Quilt #3 - Top in squares, back 3/4 done

4. Square Quilt #1 - Top in squares

5. Square Quilt #2 - Top in squares

6. Square Quilt #3 - Top in squares

7. Square Quilt #4 - Top in squares

8. Square Quilt #5 - Top in squares

9. Square Quilt #6 - Top in squares

10. Scout Blanket #1 - COMPLETELY DONE

11. Scout Blanket #2 - COMPLETELY DONE

12. Scout Blanket #3 - COMPLETELY DONE

13. Scout Blanket #4

14. Scout Blanket #5

15. Scout Blanket #6

16. Shadow Boxes 1-6 - COMPLETELY DONE

17. T-shirt Quilt #1 - Laid out and ready to put together

18. T-shirt Quilt #2

19. T-shirt Quilt #3

20. T-shirt Quilt #4

21. Scout Blanket - COMPLETELY DONE 

22. Scout Blanket - yes, another one - no deadline officially though

OK, so when you are making a T-shirt quilt - it is like putting together a puzzle with no defined sides in an undefined shape.  Sounds easy - let me tell you - it is not.

First I have to measure each shirt for it max size and minimum size.  Then, try to fit all pieces to so that they fit into a rectangle shape.  I would NEVER be able to pull this off for a defined size.  I could get close, but not exact.

So, why this customer is crazy - I spend a day working this blanket out, all the shirts fit perfectly - it looks fabulous (see pix below).  I sent her a picture, but she says there is one shirt missing.  Where the hell am I supposed to put it?  I have to start all over, but the problem is that the shirts are cut and I cannot add to or cut more in 90% of the cases.  I am going to have to spend another day working this out.  My husband said no.  Her loss.  She has done this with everything!  Every single project is missing something, changing something, adding something after the fact.  She is pushy, arrogant and snobby.   We will see how I react to her when she gets back from her vacation.

T-shirt Quilt #1