Yes, it is snowing again. We’ve had a lot of snow since I wrote last. Probably 18 inches all total. Life in it’s own way has been crazy. We took my dad up to Colorado Springs for cancer testing. His bladder cancer is back and they will begin chemo in about two weeks. While we were at the hospital, Dan got some sort of stomach bug which has kicked his ass. Ugh.
He was nearly over it by the time we went up to the Colorado Association of School Board’s Winter Conference over Valentine’s Day. CASB’s conference was good and a fellow board member, David Tesitor went with me this year. Things in general with the school board are settling down. We just finished the superintendent’s evaluation. We work on her contract on Tuesday. I had been writing a separate blog about school board stuff, but simply couldn’t keep up with it. I’m working on writing more on my NaNoWriMo story which is a little more involved that I thought it would be.
On our way home, we stopped at IKEA. 🙂 We got new dishes, a kettle, a BIG cup for Morgan and some little bits and pieces. It was a good but tiring day.
Since we came home, it’s been running errands, general housekeeping stuff, electrical work at The Cowboy Connection for Marianne Smithey and stacking a ton of wood. We bought a cord and I think we got closer to a cord and a half. 🙂
About that snow… I could just recycle the pictures. You’d never really know. However, here are the latest out our window.
As predicted, it began to snow around 11am. My son Bryan and the two grandboys, Gavin and Talon were due to visit around 1pm. They made it just before it started to snow heavily. We had a good visit and I gave them some things that Dan and I just don’t use anymore. It saved me a trip to Dorcas Circle, and them a trip to the store. 🙂 Plus, he brought me an armload of firewood. Wheee!
I gave the boys two books I’ve had for them which they were so excited about. 🙂 Who knew that Peter Rabbit and Goodnight Moon would bring such smiles. They devoured two apples and half a dozen gingersnaps while I made potato soup for dinner. When they said goodbye, Talon told me “I love you to the Moon and back.” Pretty good for a three year old. 🙂
You see, yesterday was my last day of work. I resigned on the 12th. Finally had enough of the board breaking the law. I can say stuff now that I am no longer employed. Wheeeee!!!!
In case you the audience hadn’t guessed, they screwed up big time. Broke the Sunshine Law, various state and federal tax laws and various state and federal labor laws. Oh, and had the audacity to say that they didn’t have to follow the laws like other boards do. My biggest concern was how to bring them to justice… I didn’t want to sue them. I don’t want their little businesses. However, I really want them to understand just how badly they screwed up in the best way I can.
I hmmmed and hawwed for a month. Then it came to my attention that not only hadn’t they paid all of the taxes correctly, but that they had totally missed the Unemployment and Workmen’s Comp stuff. I tested the waters of that illegality on two of the people who work for WorkForce, the “jobs” people. Their reaction was pretty impressive. That whole OMGS!!! type thing. So, later today I will be calling Labor Standards and filing a complaint.
Dan, who is the treasurer at the moment will be resigning too. As his lawyer told him, 27 different violations that she counted, so get the hell out! It will be interesting.
Between sitting on my hands and doing nothing in the name of the Chamber, I applied for two jobs and did a bunch of writing. Some of it will be up on my wordwytch blog. Other bits…. who knows. 😛 I attended a lot of meetings about gardening too. :>
Now, about that hell freezing over… Our standard phrase around the office when someone decided to not choose us is “Either you pick us, or you made a mistake.” It started out as a joke and then we realized that most times it was true. Especially when we have had to redo work because some idiot charged less and screwed up badly. Well, in this case, it was one of “you had the best and threw it away.”
We have had beautiful weather. Nice, warm springtime stuff. Yesterday, we were under a winter storm warning. 1-2 feet type storm. I got up yesterday, and while it was cool, there was no snow. Went to work and around noon, a few flakes fell and then melted. Some storm. 2pm- quitting time! We packed things up and delivered them to my “supervisor”, the one who did nothing this entire last two weeks. Dan said that he’d take me to lunch. I said fine, and as the weather still hadn’t hit, we went to the bank and then headed towards Pueblo.
2:30pm. All the work done and we headed out. Five miles out of town, the flakes of snow started to fall. The road went from wet to slushy. Nothing we couldn’t handle. The snow got heavier and so did the wind. We stopped at Colorado City for gas and decided that we were not going to make it to Pueblo. So, we at lunch at Max’s. Nice little place. As the wind howled and the snow fell, I started to giggle. I had to explain that it looked like Hell was freezing over, and perhaps that was rather appropo considering it was my last day at work. Dan, the waitress and the other customers in the place all giggled. There was some good natured teasing about it being all my fault. 🙂
Then we drove home. Oh gods was it snowy! We got back to the highway and our first suspision that something was wrong was the fact that while there were plows on the Northbound side, there were none on the Southbound side. Dan was plowing the road. The wind was blowing harder and it was difficult to drive.
It took us 45 minutes to drive home 23 miles. It was an adventure. The girls were happy to see us. They’d been outside! oops!!! I missed a lady I was suppose to go check on a garden with, but I would have reguardless because of the snow.
Today it is still snowing. We have at least a foot in places where it didn’t melt on impact. The dogs are enjoying the stuff. I slid and plowed my way to Safeway this morning for soymilk and eggs. Wheeee……
Now I’m going to catch up on my journals, read my book and clean up my computer. Right after I call Labor Standards.
And today, it is actually mild compared to what is to come later this week. Last week we had more than one day when the winds were between 30 and 44 miles per hour. Todays are a breezy 20mph with gusts up to 35mph. Tomorrow is 20-35mph winds with gusts up to 50 mph. Gads! Honestly, I think that I’m going to have to scrape all the soil off the fence and put it back in the yard at this rate. We have places in our backyard where the loose soil is just gone and all you see is the hard stuff with lots of rocks in it. Not good for gardening. sigh…
I think that what I may do is turn the front porch into a greenhouse. Plant a bunch of stuff in pots, get them going on the front porch which is sort of a big cold frame at the moment and go from there. By the time the stuff is too big to be in the pots, I’ll have the back yard ready. I hope.
Meanwhile, I am still camping in the offices of the CSU Extension office. The Chamber is still out of the building and doesn’t look to be going back in any time soon. sigh….. Very frustrating. Oh well. Plus, I’m putting my name in for other secretarial jobs that pop up. We will see. Still no apologies after all that dreck.
I got my taxes filed and am nearly caught up on other things. So, this afternoon, I am going to work on my writing! Wheeee!! I have two stories in my head that I need to get started on before they go the way of my topsoil!
About two weeks ago, Dan got tired of the eagle on top of the flagpole in the chamber conference room looking shoddy. So, he got some Brasso, and started to polish the eagle. This would have been fine had the eagle been brass. However, it was gold painted pig iron. Aghast, Dan went out to get some spray paint to fix it.
Fast forward to last Wednesday. Just before 2pm, the City workers come over to install a water meter at the Train Depot, home of the Chamber… I say fine and go home for the day, as they were shutting off the water.
Next morning, we get to work and Dan has the spray paint with him to fix the eagle. He takes it outside and starts to paint it when he hears water. He also realizes that as he passed the basement window, that something didn’t look exactly right. Dan went back and looked at the window well and realized that it was full of water! This is a window well about 2.5ft square, which means that the basement was flooded. He came in, hollered at me to call the City and he ran over to tell them personally.
I called and started backing up my computer, because I figured that I’d have to leave the building. Dan got over to the City and tells the desk clerk that there was an emergency and they needed to shut off the water over at the Depot. The clerk looks at him and tells him that he’ll need to fill out a workorder and that they will get to it as soon as they can, and please give an address. Dan tells them again, that this is an emergency, over at the train depot, and that it needs shut off now! Again, the clerk asks for an address. Dan says, “you own the building! It’s city property” About this point in time, the City Clerk hears what is going on, tells the desk clerk that she doesn’t need a workorder, and starts hollering for people to get over to the depot NOW!
Meanwhile, I’ve got everything ready to go, and was waiting on Dan. The City work crew got there, found out that it was filled almost to the top with water and started to drain the basement. (20ftx20ft sq). San Isabel turned off the electricity, I called the board and let them know what was going on. Then, Dan and I went home.
Thursday, they were still pumping water. No work. Friday. No work. Monday, there was no electricity, etc. So, I started hunting down a place to set up the Chamber with Dan. The City had no room. The County had a desk, but no phone or Internet connection. The Library had no room. Luckily for me, the CSU Extension office had room, a desk, Internet connections and phones that not only I could use, but that WorkForce could use as well! (Thank you Jim Conley!!!)
So, I have been working out of the CSU Extension office down at the Community Center. It is a bit cramped, but I can get most of my work done there. The only thing we haven’t done is transfer the phones. We are waiting to hear just how long we are going to be out of the building before we do that. It might be 3 days, it might be 2 weeks. They have to test air quality, and clean out the basement first. Wheee….. I don’t get to help with that because of all the mold. Dan took pictures of the damage, and when everthing floated, some of the old lightbulbs broke out of their boxes. When the water sank, they landed in the magazine racks like they’d been put there! What a riot.
Yes, it is snowing. One minute we coud see the houses across the tracks at the Depot, next thing it was like looking through a thick lace curtain. No idea of how much we are suppose to get. However, if it is too deal, Dan will be driving Morgan to school, or she will be staying home for the day. We will just have to see.
Work was fun. I woke up with no voice. By 10am, I had a croaky voice. Now I just have that “sexy” husky tone. sigh,… The dogs think I’m barking at them. Granted, they keep giving me this “mom! your sick! get in bed!!!” look. sigh… Maybe I will in a bit. Right now I’m trying to sip down 32 oz. of the Wellness tea. Oh, and write in my poor neglected blog!
Everyone else is at work. John and Beth at the library. Dan at Huerfano County Youth Services fixing the phones. The wiring there is “special” to say the least. I won’t even go into the mess we found there a few months back. gads. I’d have been embarrassed to do a job like that and charge that much money. Oh well… We are getting it fixed.
Work has been interesting. Some of our members are a little odd. They think that a chamber of commerce should be able to run without contact from the outside world. sigh…. Meanwhile we have other members that want us to be everywhere Now! I”m a bit of that camp. I figure that we have to have a physical presence if we want to get anything done. sigh… We shall see if things get worked out.
We are also revving up for our big fundraiser, the Black Diamond Jubilee. A black diamond is a piece of coal. We are a coal mining area. So, it fits. It is a big event with vendors, street fair stuff, etc. in June. Wheeeee…… and here we are just getting over the Groundhog Breakfast.
It has been forever since I wrote last. Why? Well… the backlight on my laptop died. It took Dan over a week to have the time to fix it. I was just glad that he had the spare parts! Having a Panasonic Toughbook CF 50 can make it a little difficult to find parts at times.
Then there was the ALA conference. John and Beth left January 23rd. That same day, we went up to Pueblo to get a few groceries and we ate dinner at the Village Inn. I just thought I had food poisoning. Oh no… I had some hellish gastro-intestinal thingy. 4am… up to the bathroom. Felt horrid. Crawled in bed, and got up nearly every 30 minutes. Ugh….. Still felt bad when Dan checked on me at 9am. He went off to do some errands. I threw up. Oh gods! Now, I hate to throw up. In fact, I don’t think I’ve done so in the last 9-10 years. However, I more than made up for it on Saturday morning. ughhhh… Crawled back in bed, and I think I finally surfaced Sunday afternoon.
Managed Monday at work. Barely. Felt ok, unless I ate. Gads. Oh, and Dan came down with it too. This wouldn’t have been such an issue, but we had the Groundhog’s Breakfast with the Chamber on Sunday. So, we were trying our best to get healthy. Saturday, we felt pretty good. Had to head to Pueblo to get a few things for the breakfast. While we were there, we tried the new chinese buffet, Ruby Buffet. Very good! Lovely atmosphere too. The waitresses were very people oriented. It was lovely food too. Dan was in heaven because they had sushi with unagi (smoked eel).
Sunday morning, we were up at dawn to get to the Golf Course and start the food for the breakfast. After all the stupid hassles during the week over this event, I was just glad it was underway. Dan, Chris and Bill cooked while I did prep work. I think I scrambled 40 dozen eggs. My parents came, along with about 121 other people. We served from 9am to 1pm. An all you can eat breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, pancakes, coffee, tea and orange juice. It went really well.
As much as I wanted to collapse, we did’t get the chance. Why? Well, because this was the meeting week from hell. One or two meetings every day. Some of it was about Ordinance 982, the Business license law the City of Walsenburg is trying to put through. Another one was about the garden workshop we are having next week.
Yesterday was suppose to be a take it easy day. We did for the most part. Ran to Pueblo to get parts for a job next week. Today I was suppose to go to Pueblo with John. He didn’t feel good, so Dan and I went. Just got home and now I get to go unpack groceries. Wheeee…..
Wish it was Sunday…. oh wait… tomorrow is Sunday. The days have boiled past. Now I could really go for a nice hot soak in a tub, a lovely dinner, watch a bit of a movie and then crawl in bed.
Saturday, I went shopping with Jolene. A girl’s day out! Wheeeee!!!! I got a few new sweaters, undies and a skirt. We had dinner at the China Recipe, a decent restaurant in Pueblo. Yummmm…
Sunday, I did grocery shopping with Dan. Not a lot to pick up, but it seemed to take much longer than necessary. Hmm…. maybe it was because we had Morgan with us. teehee….. She needed new shoes, and I refused to buy them without her trying them on. Fussy feet. We went to Chile’s for dinner and had to tease her because she has become a “veggiesaurus”. Best part was her trying to flirt with the waiter. He was late 20’s, and she’s 12.
I started Monday with taking the girls, Brandy and Blanca to the vet. My mom gave me a little bit of money and after paying off some bills, I decided to get them fixed. Dan did a deal with the local vet, and so we got two dogs fixed for the price of one and the repair of a printer. Wheeeee!
Of course, it snowed that day. Lots of it. The roads were slick, and the WorkForce people didn’t make it up from Trinidad. So, I did bits of their job as well as my own. Plus, this week, Dan has been helping me out trying to get the office in better shape. Since he is now the treasurer for the Chamber, he wanted a place for his computer to park when he has work to do. The dogs were real unhappy with the snow when we picked them up. Don’t blame them really.
Plus, we’ve had to pick Morgan up from school this week. Jolene normally takes her to school and has been bringing her home. However, Jolene’s schedule changed. sigh… So, we’ve been driving up to Gardner to pick up the girl after basketball practice.
Thursday, we met with City Council Finance committee and got the ordinance fairly well straightened out. Talk about a sigh of relief!
Friday I went to a meeting with the Colorado State University Extension office about gardening! It was a good meeting and I think that this will be a good project for the city and the county. Then, I got paid!!!! Wheeeee!!! We had to take a big box of brochures to Pueblo’s CF&I Steel Mill Museum, so we did a bit of shopping as well. Dan and I got home late because we stopped into Barnes and Nobel. I got a book and a bookmark. It says “You say WICKED” like it’s a Bad Thing!” and it has the witch from the Wizard of Oz on it. 🙂 We saw our friend Shirley there too. Caught her up on the fun from Monday. She works for Workforce.
Today we got up at the crack of dawn to take Morgan to her basketball tourney in Gardner at 8am…. yawwwwwn! HWY 69 is an East-West road, and coming back (eastward) at 7:15am this morning was horrid. We pulled over for 15 minutes to let the Sun get off the highway. Dan literally couldn’t see to drive.
After playing with the dogs for a bit, we came down to the chamber. Why? Because Dan was meeting John from the finance committee to get the treasurer’s books. Whee….. I put in 3 hours extra time. ah well… Plus played on the computer.
We headed to Gardner around 1:30pm to go watch the girls play in the finals. Gardner took second. The Craven team was really nasty. They played a foul offensive game. grrr… One of the girls got hurt. Liz. She’s a real sweetie, and smacked the begeezus out of her kneecap. Dan, Cathy (the coach) and I gave her ice packs and cuddles while the game finished. It is a bad sprain, but should be ok.
Of course, my car acted up on the way home and so it took us nearly 30 minutes to go 1 mile at one point. We were rolling downhill and couldn’t make the turn to the house so we glided to the Chamber parking lot. Dan worked on the books a bit and I decided to post for the first time in over a week. Gads! I want to go home now!
Happy New Year! I had a really quiet New Year’s Eve. However, since then life has been hectic. Today is the first day that hasn’t had me going 9000 miles per hour.
About 15 days ago, one of our chamber board members got given an Ordinance that the City was gong to put into law. #982. That one was all about business license. Biggest issue was that this ordinance was so broken, that if we as the chamber didn’t do something, it would be criminal. They upped the license from $5 in perpetuity to $35 a year. Plus, the way they worded it, you had to have a license if you even thought about being in business. Oh, and the lawyer who “authored” this thing cut and pasted from about five different places. The numbering and bullets were all wrong and some things just did not make sense.
So, we called our “pet city councilman” who happens to be the chairman of the finance committee and a fellow journalist at the Huerfano Journal. It was a general “hey! this is Broken! Want to FIX IT!” call. Larry came over and we talked about it. Lots of good ideas exchanged and some things clarified. I took notes, Larry took notes. All good. We let the general business population know what was going on and that we planned as a board to go to the next finance committee meeting.
In the meantime, we were also made aware of Ordinance 981, which was about the liquor license which is set out in Colorado Revised Statute 12-47-505. Oh was that messed up. It took us most of the weekend to fix our brains on that one. Sunday was one of those “Oh My Gods” epiphany moments when we realized that the City was trying to follow the law as they are a Statutory City, and yet had gotten it horridly wrong.
Monday of course was the Finance meeting. We went along with a lot of the Chamber Board and various business people. Dan got to be spokesman. 🙂
My cousin Brian Orr took lots of pictures. He also captured Dan looking very “Ben Franklinesque”
That’s me trying not to look at the camera and Nancy Lave, one of our board members next to Dan. He did a really good job. We got the committee to decide to recommend to the City Council the idea of taking 982 back to committee.
Next day, while getting ready for the City Council meeting, we took another look at 981. I finally got cross eyed enough that I called the Department of Revenue and got the number of a man named Dan Gunter. He is the head of the liquor license division, and the expert on 12-47-501-505. After a 45 minute conversation, I told our Dan that we needed to go talk to the City people again. So, off we went. We spoke to the City Clerk, and the City Manager, and they both said that they would talk to Dan Hyatt, the City Lawyer. (too many Dan’s!) Of course, by this time I have people patting me on the head with the whole “Jaye, you are just out of your depth, and you don’t know what you are talking about.” grrrrrrrrr!
At the meeting, they discussed the whole thing and when we got to Ordinance 981, the lawyer stood up and admitted that he was wrong!!! That he had made a typo! One Hell of a bloody typo! Overcharging local businesses by nearly 50%! That we didn’t all jump up and cheer is a miracle. However, Dan was a smart arse and mentioned that he’d call off the pitchfork, torch, tar and feather brigade. 🙂 That got everyone’s attention and elicited nervous laughter from the 30+ audience. He also stood up and said that the Chamber of Commerce would support 981 as long as the changes were made. Everyone agreed. Then 982 was legally turned back to committee and the Chamber will work with the Finance committee on that one. Yeeeeehawwwww!!!!!! We were so happy! Best part for me was the councilman who came over and apologized to me for saying that I was wrong! I was right. :):):)
It was very cool too that the Chamber was actually doing what it is meant to do. Help business!
Wednesday was slightly calm. I went to a meeting of the county commissioners and got ready for our chamber meeting. First one of the year and elections.
Thursday… Election day. I had things as ready as I could get. And of course, the screw up fairy hit. Two board members neither called or showed up. So, we started 15 minutes late. I had to run the elections. Wheee…… I am the recording secretary for the board. Mike got the presidency, Nancy the Veep, and Dan is now Treasurer. I have the feeling that Patty, our old treasurer is floating on air with happiness! We got through a very long agenda and then finally got home around 9pm. Nearly 4 hours of meeting. Blahhhh
Oh, and Dan got his picture on the front page of the Huerfano Journal. Not sure what is more fun. Watching him when people recognize him or just watching the people. teehee…
Today was hectic on other levels. I started out the day by taking the two dogs, Brandy and Blanca to the vet for shots. Then it was off to the Chamber. It started snowing at about noon, and is still dumping the white stuff down. argh……
Meanwhile, I have paid the electric bill, water bill, tank rental, bought propane, picked up Morgan from Badito, ran errands for the Chamber and now all I need to do is make some dinner and go to bed!
Today was busy at work. Pauline stopped by, as did John Carlson, Carol and her hubby as well as half a dozen people looking for work. At least Shirley was there to deal with them. Oh, and the phone rang. Most of it was hang up calls. Why on earth would anyone prank a Chamber of Commerce? Bored? Stupid? Oh well… I was trying to get two days work done in one so that I could have tomorrow off. Since I get paid by the hour, it doesn’t work to just take time off.
While trying to hunt down information on concealed carry permits, I told one of our businesswomen in town about the Open Source software we’ve been trying to make people aware of for weeks. She wanted a copy of the disk and a chamber application. So, gathering my stuff, off I went. Dan covered the office. I dropped off the software, new brochures from the chamber, got invited to present this info at the next school board meeting and then stopped by the Huerfano Journal. I had paychecks! Wheee! I really enjoy working for the Journal. It helps that my cousin Gretchen and her hubby Brian own and operate the paper, but I actually enjoy writing the articles. (hi Brian! hi Gretchen!) I’m starting a history column mid January. I already do three. I picked up a laptop they want Dan to work on as well.
I got back to work with lunch in hand. I was working on getting stuff caught up and almost had everything ready for the board meeting next week in between bites of french fries. Emphasis on almost. Dan went to go copy something and the printer made this noise. Sort of a cross between a cat being pulled apart and one of those really annoying party horns. He cussed and tried it again. Then the tool bag came out. First he threatened it and then he started pulling it apart. Dan worked on copiers and printers in another life, far away in Nashville. More cussing. Then he borrowed the phone. He talked to Gobins and discovered that while the parts needed were covered by our service contract, the labor wasn’t. $380 worth of labor for a 14 year old copier. Hmm…. I don’t think so. However, that isn’t a decision that I can make. So, I added it to the agenda for the meeting.
It also meant a whole new flurry of emails to boardmembers to let them know what is going on. Wheeee……
Our trip to Pueblo went well. We got all the little bits we needed and headed home. Only one problem. I still had to make lasagna and wrap prezzies.
We worked on the lasagna and the sausage rolls at the same time. Dan cooking the hamburger while I made pastry dough. We finished the sauce, made the lasagna and put it in the fridge for the next day. Total prep time about 90 minutes. Not bad for one regular and one soy version.
Then it was time to wrap prezzie. I did the paperwork, and Dan labeled, bagged and stashed stuff. Stockings were stuffed and set aside. After staying up until nearly 3am wrapping presents, we set the alarm for 6am. (yeah…. really.) The alarm almost died at 6am. Finally dragged arse out of bed by 6:30am. The sunrise waits for no one.
We stuffed the prezzies on the table and then grabbed drums, pots and pans to “drum up the sun”. (yes, wake up the sun after the longest night.) Then we dived into presents, sausage rolls, peanut butter cookies and hot drinks.
I have to admit that we didn’t decorate this year. Between Logan shredding the house at the best of times, various adults being sick and schedules from hell, I just gave up. It didn’t affect the Yuletide joy however.
We all got some cool prezzies. John got his John Wayne lunchbox, Dan got a telegraph key, the kids got toolboxes and puzzles, Beth and I got baskets and Daniel’s dog got a sweater!
However, remember that comment about smoke? Well, it was bitterly cold that morning as well as windy. So, when Dan and Daniel went to burn the wrapping paper, there was a little problem. Backdraft! We couldn’t get the chimney warm enough to draw.
Not too bad, but hazy. Once the prezzie frenzy passed, most of us adults took a well deserved nap! When I got up, I made the pecan pie.
We had lasagna for supper and pecan pie for dessert. We watched the Dark Knight, which was alright, but I didn’t think it was as great as everyone said it was.
In the middle of the night, the wind picked up. Now, you have to understand that the wind blows around here a lot. However, these were 15mph gusts. By the time I headed to work it was 25mph gusts. I was warm inside at the Chamber offices, but…. Dan and Matt were not.
Why? Well… because our sewer had backed up again on Saturday night. Dan borrowed Jimmer’s truck and went to La Veta to rent the sewer snake. He and Matt cleaned the drain this morning. Yuck!!! Poor guys got blown all over the place. However, the drains are clear again for the moment! Now to do all the laundry that piled up. ewwwww!