Wednesday, November 29, 2006

So much for.......

hmmm yes well so much for catching up. A month with no posting I suspect I have a great deal of catching up to do. There has been so much happening but I just honestly didn't know what to write or even have the inclination to write it. But now I think is a good time to try to retrace the month of November.

Unfortunately the whole work thing came to a head and we finally just gave in and let it go. I'd fill you in on the gory details but I'm probably still too angry at certain people to contain myself. I think the saddest part is that when it comes to workers, it seems that the people you do the most for are usually the ones who are the first to stab you in the back. Over the years we've had several of our workers for one reason or another boarding with us. The first lot we plucked out of the situation they were living in - two young guys 17 & 18 who had just started working for us, and a step father (and I use the word father very loosely) boarding with guys that.... well lets just say were well known to police. They had moved from interstate and were offered the rooms and found themselves right in the midst of alcohol and drug antics.... And so we invited them come to live with us until they could find alternative accommodation. The two young guys stayed quite a while but in the end let us down terribly both personally and financially within the business, even though they had been taken in and treated like family. Lesson One.

Before the last one moved out, we had another likeable guy move in and once again was treated like family. He had been suffering depression and not turning up to work and when I finally made contact with him we had a teary chat and so he stayed for a while. To cut a long story short - mood swings especially at work ended up with him walking off the job and just not turning up at home for his belongings. While cleaning out where he had been sleeping I found certain items of a drug related nature (which was what we had guessed anyway) even though it had been made quite clear that kind of thing wouldn't be tolerated in our house.... yep Lesson Two.

Lesson three came with spending a fortune advertising a position within the business, filling it with someone who came with a wealth of credentials and a flurry of praising references... New to Australia we offered for him to stay with us until his wife & child would join him, and then he would look for a house to rent - some 2.5 months or more. After forking out some $17000 in wages over 3 months, we ended up with more reworks than we had collectively had in the past 3 years of operating the business because of stuff ups and work not being done properly despite many pleas made by us to ensure that he conducted regular quality control checks. Effectively a waste of $17K because he just didn't do what he was paid to do and didn't live up to all the hype and promises of what he could do for us and our business. Lesson 3 walked off the job sighting some ridiculous reason - and guess what we found out after he had left????? Yep - you guessed it - more drugs. I mean my god can people not live without this shit these days or what? Anyway it seems "lesson 3" was more intent on revenge than anything and so has sought to make our lives hell in the meantime and also to infiltrate our crew by befriending all and sundry and in the process telling some really incredible untruths about everything from our financial situation to god knows what.

And if all that isn't bad enough, enter an over zealous OH&S representative with absolutely no forestry experience who decides that our worksite is unsafe and needs to be shut down.... Now never mind that the week prior on the very same job our crew was audited by an independent auditor WITH forestry experience for a report contracted by the Macquarie Bank (somewhat larger than the organisation our over zealous friend comes from) who gave us a big green tick for a safe worksite! But heck - what would he know right? Mr New Broom of course knows more than anyone.... but the bottom line is you can't operate a contracting company without contractors - and so effectively the doors closed.

Unfortunately owing to some personal debt Murray has, he is looking at working in Perth for a year in a good paying job to get the debt cleared. At least that will relieve a lot of the stress he's been under and I'm sure make his life a heck of a lot easier. It's been tough on him as he has been involved in forestry since he was 15 and it really is his passion and in his blood. It's been incredibly overwhelming the amount of support he's received from his peers - the people HE respects, and so even though I know he's feeling like he failed in some way, knowing people were admiring and praising his abilities in what he did had to take the edge off the pain he was feeling. Despite the fact that needless to say this has all been a strain on our relationship, I can honestly say I am struck by his strength to go on. He is a hard working man, dedicated and passionate about what it is that he does. I will always admire him for that and I know that despite this setback in his life, he will eventually lift himself up, dust himself off, and be back to his old self again.

Well enough about the joys of owning your own business..... Now I am trying to figure out what to do with myself for work. There is buggar all decent jobs going at the moment aside from one job that hadn't closed before the proverbial hit the fan, I applied, probably late, but didn't get it. I guess I will just have to keep my nose to the ground and find something.

As if things weren't bad enough we lost another dog - a real tragedy this one. My darling English Springer Spaniel, Sally, who I had hand reared from birth. A snake had made it's way into the kennels, Sally had attacked it, no doubt knowing her she would have sensed the danger especially to the other dogs and sought to protect everyone....... that was her. But in the process of disabling the snake it bit her. I tried as quickly as I could to rush her to the vet, but being 20 minutes away we lost her on the way in. I can't think of a dog who deserved such a horrible end to life less than this one. She was the sweetest thing, just like her mother Mandie who we lost at the end of August. I miss her so much. She would sit patiently and wait for her turn for a pat, you could see the love in her eyes and she lived for that nightly biscuit - tail wagging furiously. RIP Sal - I'm sorry I couldn't do enough....... 3 dogs in as many months is just so much to bear.

I did think about starting the blog with the good news, but I figured finishing on a good note would be more optimistic than finishing with all the crap. Some good things have happened throughout the past month. I got to spend a weekend with some lovely friends at 2 dog shows - I had no dogs, just could relax, help friends handle their dogs, watch the proceedings and have a good couple of nights out. Thank you Carolyne for your company in the evenings - even our late night drunken visit to the local scrapbooking store was memorable....... hmmmm Barb & Sara for keeping me busy during the day and all those Schipperke kisses (thank you Simon), Rodney, David & Raewyn for a fun night Friday. I do miss dog showing. I don't miss the bullshit but I do miss some of the genuine people. I may have to do something about that.

Lakeisha started her radio "career" on the local community radio station Otway FM. I was so proud of her first effort, she was so nervous but as Murray and I sat in a local restaurant listening to the program on a portable radio we were joined by my friend Rosemary Mueller who also listened for a while and said "She's a natural!" She did so great and really enjoyed it and it was wonderful to see how happy and excited she was when I went to pick her up afterwards. We're going to do a website for her show - if and when we can come up with a name for it - any suggestions would be greatfully accepted..... I'll post the address when it's done, probably over the Christmas break.

Despite not being quite as active as I would usually have been with scrapbooking, I did manage to complete a few layouts over the past month. Here they are oldest to newest -
This one was for Tracey's "Honesty" challenge. It was fun but difficult to actually see the words in print and know that so many others would do as well - but hey - it's a good thing to see things as they really are!
A bit of a comparison NOW & THEN between my high school formal and Lakeisha's...... Where were the fashion police when you needed them?????
Roll On Summer came about after a day at the beach with Lakeisha, BF Madison and two of our girls - Ashley and Dee Dee. I played around with four photos to get the ghosting effect in the picture. I like how this one turned out - it's bright and cheery.
Beautiful is probably one of my favourites - probably just because it's different. The pic was taken at our local Business Awards night and of all things I took it with my cell phone camera, greyscaled it, and then enlarged it a bit to get that grainy effect. I don't usually like cut out pics but I do like the way this one works.
In Full Bloom was a pic I've been wanting to scrap for ages, taken by one of Lakeisha's friends during their photography class at school, but I never had the right paper to work with until I found this. I love the wiegelia in the background, it's always been one of my favourite shrubs.
Goodbye was my effort in the layout swap in the Aussie Forums. Even though it was way different to Steph's scrapping style, hopefully she likes it. LOL
Never Fail came about as a result of my admiration for Murray who is a bit like the everready bunny really - just keeps going and going. Despite all the crap and all the disappointment, on the outside he keeps his cool and just keeps going. I know on the inside he's filled with all sorts of emotions that he has no idea how to deal with. Even though I wish he was able to deal with things, particularly from his past, in a way to resolve them, I know that I am grateful at times for his strength and determination because it has in many ways helped me to cope and get through the whole thing as well.
Water Baby is one of my favourite baby pics of Lakeisha. I love how you can see the drops of water as she is splashing around. I'm still not sure though that the design really fits the picture, and I really should add the word WATER to the title, but I like the look of the page anyway.
I Am was one of the challenge layouts I did for the cyber crop at Scrap Pile - I went with I Am Devoted.
Morticia was my example of the sketch challenge I set at the Cyber Crop. Ahhhh Yep it's me - back in 1990 when we had a Halloween Party....... Good look huh!
Sassy ..... well thanks Tegan for the monogram and while I love the photo - this layout says to me NEVER SCRAP ON A DAY WHEN YOU FEEL LIKE SHIT......... LOL
Summer Love was another pic taken the same day at the beach but I did this layout last week as another of the kits for my LSS. We had our first class yesterday and it went really well. Most of the ladies that attended picked this LO to do and we had a couple of different papers and I also had a heart, a star and a circle template so they could choose which shape they wanted to go with. Even though they were working with very similar products - they all turned out quite different and really lovely. I gather the class went OK because they all want to come back for another one! It was fun so who knows, maybe it could be the start of something......
And last but not least was my December Design Team layout which will be uploaded to Scrap Pile tomorrow - So This Is Christmas. A pic of our Christmas tree last year..... I so love that tree!

Then of course there were the Christmas Tags I made

Plus the Christmas tin I decorated, but I guess since it's a gift in a swap I can't very well show you the pics just yet.

It's all been fun and while I really haven't been as motivated to scrap this month, what I have done has kept me sane - well as sane as I am ever going to be. But I can't let this blog go by without thanking a couple of people without whom my life would be much less enriched.

Barb & Terry who've both listened to me rant and complain and vent..... The two of you are such wonderful friends - thank you for your support throughout all this uncertainty and stress. To my dear friends at who not only keep me busy chatting and laughing, but also have sent some thoughts, love and gifts in the mail. You can't know what a lifesaving source you've been when some of the darkest moments have passed in my life. Tracey, Julie, Steph, Terri, Allison, Judy, Tanya - Thank you all for your friendship and the enjoyment I get from sharing our passion of scrapbooking. Marg Trask for always being concerned about me - Luv ya Margie. Jan who's enduring friendship has had to put up with me falling off the face of the earth. Just knowing you are there means so much.

Well if you've read this far - I hope you brought a cut lunch with you..... phew. I've been just thinking about updating this blog for so long and I did think about skipping half of it, but it's life, it's how things are, and I wanted to have it all there. The good with the bad. If nothing else it will be a good thing for me to look back on and see how much better things are in the future.