sherron0: (Default)
Woo hoo!

Something came of that first pre-bid meeting I went to!  We have a job here in Madison county as a sub for APAC's Birmingham office! It's a small job, ~$12K, gross, of course, out of which come supplies, travel, and three people's wages, not me.  But APAC is a big company, and if they like us, it could mean more contracts!

So Monday, I have to go get L.I.Smith & Assoc. a business license for Madison Co.

A nice way to end the week. And a good reason to have lots of fun at this weekend's camp-out with the Dayton Underground Grotto (DUG), who are coming down to be hosted
by the Huntsville Grotto
at Tumbling Rock Cave preserve.  Several people and my husband, Mark, are already out today doing a cave.  But tomorrow, we are going to do a "pit?" called Valhalla, which is strictly vertical, and open air, so I'll be playing with them.

Anyone waiting on Beta stuff, I'm working on some now, but if you don't get it by 5 p.m. my time (CDT, currently Greenwich -5) then you aren't getting it before Monday.

sherron0: (highlights)
I've been in and out of Tennessee several times over the last few months. 

I'm becoming a business office down here.  A north Alabama  branch of my parents' company, L. I. Smith & Associates  LISmith.com  

Here's a wonderful picture of the office building, which used to be a hospital:Office in winter 

My office when I'm there is the glass block stick out area (used to be porch, but was enclosed as waiting area when the building was still a hospital) to the right of the front door.  Upstairs, just to left of the big tree, sticking out over the side entrance and the driveway, is my mother's office.  I got to use that one one of the times I was up there, because she and my dad were at a conference, which was why I was there.  It's a great space.  The squirrels run along the window sills. 

DBE means Disadvantaged Business Enterprise, which is important for "brownie points" if you're doing gov. work.  We're a woman-owned (= minority = disadvantaged) company.  Mother owns 52%, another female surveyor who was there at the beginning owns 10%, and my sister and I each own 1%.  Mother's 52% qualifies us as a minority.

I've been to one "pre-bid" meeting here, and handed out my cards and shook hands with people.  One of those people was a rep from a big firm and called the next day to get us to submit a couple of bids on things.  Nothing may come of it, because they have to accept our bid(s), then include it in their bids for the work, and IF they get the job, then we get our part of it.  But it's a beginning.

sherron0: (Default)
I've been trying to find a moment to write something, between headaches.  (both sinus and migraine, and sometimes migraine triggered by sinus, and sometimes I just wake up with both!)

I have some good things going on, Larry and I are finally getting serious and started on me being the N. AL branch office of L. I. Smith & Assoc.  I actually went to my first pre-bid meeting, and  got a very large company to ask us for bids (as subs) on two jobs here in Madison county that they are bidding on.  Pretty cool for my first time out.

Now if I just had more than two or three days a week where I felt human, I could probably go out and make some money!

I've been back to the doctor, who is sending me and my MRI to a neurologist, and also to an allergist to see if something might be done on that front to help my constant sinusitis. She also drew a couple of pints of blood to check everything you can check, from folate, to hormones, to thyroid, to Epstein-Barre, to calcium.  I also got new glasses yesterday.  I've been going to my chiropractor, who makes me feel better in my neck and back, but isn't actually helping the headaches.  I'm trying every thing on every front I can.

I also am making the permanent change to a nurse-practitioner in the office with a doctor I used to use years ago.  I had changed to another doctor who was more open to alternative medicine about 7 years ago, but she's cut back to being a part time doctor and moved to a clinic in another town, about 45 minutes away.  She's hard to get in to see, and the office is a nightmare to deal with.  So I'm back to my original doctor's office where I started out when I first moved to AL.  {Mark and the boys have stayed with her all this time.  Mark is not open to alternative medicine either, And none of the guys is hardly ever sick anyway.  The last time Thomas was at a doctor was for a physical, two years ago when we were jumping through all those hoops for DHR to become foster parents.  Before that, probably the physical for Boy Scout Camp.}  Anyway, the point is that she's changed me from the Armour Thyroid, which Armour is no longer making, and I was having to have compounded, and have been without for nearly three weeks, to Synthroid.  Which may at least help with how tired and cold I've been the last few weeks.

I'm getting demoralized about the whole thing, as you might imagine.

My life has turned into one of those "you had to be there" jokes.
sherron0: (Default)
Today I ate out twice!  Mother and Larry were on their way to Montgomery today, and called from I-65 as they passed into AL and invited me to meet them at the nearest interstate interchange and have lunch.  So I dashed over to Athens.  (20 mins, about the same distance as they were at that moment)  We met at Ruby's and had a pleasant lunch and conversation.  Then they headed on down the road.

I went with Thomas to his violin group.  Shelby couldn't go because when I got into the car I could smell him and indeed, he hadn't had a shower, and I wouldn 't let him go.  Personal hygiene is a struggle for Asperger's people, I'm not sure why, but it's fairly universal.  It took me forever to convince Thomas that boys just had to take a shower every day and it didn't matter how not dirty you thought you were, others would think differently.  He's really good now, mainly just because I wore him down.  Nobody's ever bothered to be insistent with Shelby, so now I'm in the wearing down process with him.

Then Beloved called just as we were in the parking lot starting to go home, to warn me that he wanted to go out to eat, just the two of us.  We met at the house so he could wash up and change, and went to . . . wait for it . . . Ruby's.  Not in Athens, here in Madison, but.  There's just not many non-fastfood places to eat that don't require driving into Huntsville.  Even then, the selection is not that exciting. But I was still full from lunch anyway, and just wanted a beer and to be away from the boys, having real adult conversation, with my beloved.  I'd have settled for Arby's if they sold alcohol.

sherron0: (Default)
As a side note, I might add that it's not unusual to get a call from my mother that begins with some strange or interesting question on a point of trivia she can't remember or the name of a song she can only remember one line of, etc.

So my mother calls tonight, and the conversation starts with:

Granny:  in a business letter, what punctuation comes after the 'Dear Ms. Smith'?
me:  Uh, colon?  (the hesitation here is not because I'm unsure of the answer, but because I know this must be a trick question)
G:  yes!  (yells to my dad) Sherron knew!
me:  you know people who don't?
G:  only my secretary and our media/PR person, and every one else in the office I asked. 

    [Okay, we can discount most of the guys because they're the non-verbal, engineering types.  But none of the people who've been sending out letters and proposals and writing ads and articles for publication and copy for the website !?!]

me:  *speechless* (still convinced there's got to be a punchline)

Unfortunately it wasn't.  She told me the story of how she found this out about the PR woman, how she actually had to ARGUE the point with her, force her to change it in a cover letter going out on a very big proposal.  She worries that she hasn't been proofreading them before now, because who would suspect that a 45 year old woman with a degree in media communication would not know basic grammar?    She's aware it's a problem with a lot of the young people just coming out of college tho.  Just last week she threw out a resume she'd received because the job applicant misspelled something.  She says in this world, where there are plenty of applicants for every job, there's no point in even considering people sloppy or lazy or ignorant enough to not make sure their resume is perfect.

She wonders if she's a dinosaur. 

I'm sure we are, she and I.

And I hate that.

I've been thinking about [livejournal.com profile] the_theorist 's comment about why would it matter if they get the point across.  And I acknowledge that one of the wonderful things about English is its flexibility, its easy acceptance of new words, etc.   But I think I have an answer to that, and I'm going to post it when I can clearly verbalize it


sherron0: (Default)
Are you sure it's not Monday?    Since Thomas just left yesterday to go to TN It seems like it ought to be Monday.  Yes, I casually said Thomas to TN, as if it's no big deal.  But inside I'm doing the jumpy up and down thing.  He's just having a breakthrough this summer.  I feel myself getting lighter and lighter every day.  I can already tell that he's going to need a lot less support and supervision this fall that I was expecting to have to do.

Now, I just need to figure out what I want to be, now that I'm grown up.  I've got another 40-50 years i need to keep myself busy during.

And the dogs, cats, finches, and aquarium are just not quite doing it for me. 

And housework is like being punished, so not that.  In fact, I learned this summer, (Thanks mom!) how to get out of ironing Mark's work shirts. And washing them, for that matter.  I take them to the dry cleaner, where they launder (not dry clean) them, and press them better than any human can.   $1.20 per shirt.  Worth every penny.  Hey, I'm saving all that electricity the iron uses (which must be a lot, because every time it cuts on the lights in the room dim) and all that wash water, and electricity for the dryer....  But most importantly, I'm not ironing.

I repeat, the only thing domestic about me is that I LIVE in a house.

Really, the problem is that there are too many possibilities. 

I could become an advocate for Autistic kids and their parents in IEP meetings, and other dealings with the school system.  For free, or for money. 

I could volunteer full time for the local ASA chapter.  Trust me, it's easily a full time job for 3 people. 

Or, I could make my Dad (step) really happy and run the branch office down here in AL.  They already actually set up an office, unmanned, the drawback being it's almost 2 hrs. from my home.  But I wouldn't have to go down there every day.  The real work that I'd need to take care of could mostly be taken care of from home, thanks to phone forwards, internet, etc.  That would be the most profitable for me, I think. I'm just not sure I want to work that much.  I still think my ideal job would be part time in a bookstore.  Enough hours to get the employee discount, but not so much I still couldn't have fun with my beloved.

So, that's my random brain, going round and round.
sherron0: (VERSA)
Going home this coming weekend!  In fact, leaving Thursday from work.  Expect to be with my darlin' not later than 9pm, 7/10/8.  That would be 71 hours from now.  The countdown starts.

AND!  Thomas thinks he will be comfortable coming back by himself!!  YAY!!  This is incredibly great for two reasons. 

1.  I get to stay home!  It's been fun up here, but I'm starting to really miss Mark, and be a little homesick.  And, I've just about worked my way out of a job.  I've gotten lots of things taken care of, and now I'm just cleaning out old files to get drawer room.  And answering phones, handling emergencies, etc. 

2.  Thomas is gaining confidence!  He was definitely not willing to be up here by himself when this all started, June 1.  I not only had to be in town, I had to be in the building.  Then, he got used to me staying at the house.  Now, he's so comfortable that I can be in another state.  This is such incredible improvement in Thomas's abilities to function socially that I wouldn't believe it if I weren't here to see it.

and a bonus:

3.  If I'm staying home to take care of them and make sure they get a good start in life, Thomas and I can actually buy fish to go in our Aquarium!!  We bought plants last time we were home, and they've had time to take good root.  So, fishies!
sherron0: (Atlas will Shrug)
I finished my first week of working in the office yesterday.  It was tiring and exhilarating.  I'm doing some busy work to begin with.  But it's important busy work.  Cleaning out, organizing, and completing employee files.  It's one of those jobs that would save a lot of time if anyone ever had the time to do it kind of thing.  Since I don't have a set job, I'm free to take on those sorts of projects.  And I get caught up in some of the regular work too, just by being there and being back-up phone person, and since I'm in a little offset of the front office I get caught by customers too.  I was slow getting back into the swing of both remembering the job and of getting up every day and going to work all day.  But over all it was a good week.

And I'm managing not to hover around the boy, and he's not coming to look for me.  He's been busy learning some software for drawing surveys that uses AutoCad as its basis.  He's really impressed them all.  He managed to actually get a drawing done AND printed by Thurs.  He'd started on it Tuesday, but my mother assured me that the last draftsman, who had been there a year, still took one day to complete a drawing.  He's really there to do some drawings for the Highways dept, but the data isn't coming in as fast as it should.  So in the mean time, mother's hoping he can help the Boundaries dept. get caught up.  They're short a draftsman, so things are backing up in the office. 

Around the house we do a LOT of relaxing.  And just sitting and watching of kittens.  They are fostering seven (who unfortunately are now old enough to leave to be adopted tomorrow) and another that someone gave them who will stay.  I have pictures, I'll try to get some off the camera.

AAACK!

May. 16th, 2008 12:49 am
sherron0: (I am)
Just so everyone knows, I have now officially lost it.  It is now 37.5 hours until the baby graduates.  He's cool as a cucumber.  I, and the other mothers who are creating this graduation ceremony are are are frantic or more!  I haven't' really recovered from last week's big ASA teacher appreciation dinner.  And my mother has offered Thomas a better job than she was going to give him (more $$), but she wants him to start Monday.  I could use a week off before I have to go to Paris, TN and get Thomas settled into a new job, and oh, btw, while I'm there, she's hired a new part-time bookkeeper, and is training the front office girl to do some of billing, and needs me to run the front office while they're training her.  (I don't get paid, btw.  But I own stock, and it's better tax-wise if I put in enough hours every year to have "materially participated,"  so I go.)

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