Monday, February 21, 2011

My First Attempt At Applying For A Grant

I should say we are at least going to try. I have been doing some research for MSBA on trying to figure out how to apply for a Cooperative Agreement with SBA. A colleague with MSBA was noticing that some of the websites we use for reference, for fellow Military Spouse Business owners, are partially funded with SBA through a Cooperative Agreement.

I called SBA to try to find more information on how to apply for a cooperative agreement and was confused by the answer that I got. I thought that I would then look up contact information for SBA's Corporate Office. Oddly there aren't many e-mail addresses for the various departments. I turned to Google in hopes to find an e-mail. I was having no luck.

Silly me then thought that I would go back to the SBA website and search the website for SBA cooperative agreement. In that search I found a word document on a grant that was currently open to apply for. I was pretty sure that from my understanding of what I was reading, we qualified to apply for this grant. The scary thing is that it closes in 5 days.

In further reading of the grant application I am understanding that in order to apply for a cooperative agreement with SBA you were really applying to a grant and awarded monies in the form of a cooperative agreement through SBA. I think I get it!

The magic will be to see if we can try to gather information that we need submit a request to this grant. Well if we don't make it this time we know we have the information for a future grant and to help us in applying for membership with The Military Coalition.

MSBA's current priorities:
1. Website reorganization
2. Grant submission
3. Future Grants and The Military Coalition application

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Taxes 2010

OOOOOHH does my brain hurt! It takes me a day to gather all the paperwork. Another day to verify with my excel spreadsheet. Two days to input all the information into the tax system online, with our tax accountant. We wait to hear from them that they received all that information. Another day to fax over paperwork.

This is of course only after I make sure we have all the bills in for the 2010 year. I don't usually get all the bills in until the end of January of the following year. It will take me time to put this into my excel spreadsheet.

Next week I am sure we will have a couple of questions and the tax accountant will have a couple of questions. I don't stop biting my nails until we get the taxes in the mail, sign them and forward them to the appropriate departments.

Last year we sent taxes to California and to Virginia. Virginia has taxes because of the business and California because of the house and we currently reside here. When we lived in Virginia it was just Virginia we had to send taxes to. Pretty much it changes based off of where we live. If we live in a state other than California or Virginia I am afraid it will be a little more complicated.

Have you started you your taxes yet? My guess is maybe not unless you own a business.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Update On Papa

Papa has been having some difficulty swallowing and keeping food down. He was taken to the emergency room 2 weeks ago. After some trouble Nana had with the initial ER doctor a wonderful nurse performed a small test. Papa had to try to swallow a small pill and some water. He wasn't able to; everything came up. A GI Specialist was called in to look at Papa at this point.

The GI Specialist immediately scheduled an orthoscopic procedure for Papa. He wanted to look down Papa's throat to find and determine if there was a blockage. There was approximately 10 to 11cm of food stuck in his throat. The GI Specialist cleared that out. After clearing out the lodged food the GI Specialist found a mass. He was concerned about the look of the mass. He wanted to remove the mass but since Papa is on coumadin there was a concern of not being able to stop the bleeding.

At this point there was nothing else that the GI Specialist could do. Papa needs to be removed from the medication so the mass can be removed. He also would be on a liquid or soft food diet.

I am not sure what happened next but before Papa could be scheduled for a biopsy he needed to be seen by his neurologist. Since Papa suffers from complications under anesthesia due to his cardiovascular dementia he needs to obtain an okay from his neurologist.

Two weeks later an appointment is made to see the neurologist. An appointment is made for the following day for a biopsy.

Today was the day for the biopsy. Papa did well with the anesthesia. The total time for the procedure today was about 2 hours. As far as the mass is concerned things are not looking good. The GI Specialist that Papa saw in the ER two weeks ago performed the procedure today. The mass had grown so the GI Specialist stretched Papa's esophagus. He then proceeded to pull a sample from the mass and then from the lining of the stomach where the stomach meets the esophagus. It was made clear to Nana and to my Aunt that it is very possible that Papa has cancer.

Cancer is something that was mentioned two weeks ago and that I have been trying to prepare myself for. Papa smoked for the first 13 years of my life. Mom told me he smoked longer than that.

Every family has there complications and stories. Mine isn't any different. I just hate seeing family torn apart and all struggling separately.

Getting off on a tangent. But the biopsy results will be in, in two weeks. Tomorrow Papa has an appointment for a CT Scan. Mom says to check and make sure that there aren't other masses.

Papa has been home now 3 months since the complications with the knee surgery. I don't know what may be ahead if this is indeed cancer.

Just since I started writing this mom gave me a call to let me know that the hospital called Nana to tell her to bring Papa back in. Papa's potassium is too low and they are worried about him having a heart attack.

January House Projects

The Garage
This is really the last remodeling project that we have.

Rip out the old base boards
Hired next door neighbor to epoxy the garage floor. Clearing out the garage to prepare for that work.

Primer

Chips

Completed floor after clear coat finish

Paint garage and install rubber cove base moulding that our next door neighbor gave us.

Move everything back in.

Finish the Living Room
Install the crown and base moulding

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Beautiful Weekend

This winter is already making me a happier person. Hopefully it will help turn around my negative feelings regarding the weather here. Last year it was very wet, rainy and cloudy. This year we have less rain and it is actually reaching into the 70's. I tell Nathan, I would truly be a happy camper if it stayed in the 70's every day.

About a week ago we had 70 degree weather for the entire week. This weekend we only had a day or two of 70 degree weather. I have been able to sit outside and work on my summer tan :)

Yesterday I spent the afternoon doing some yard work. I swept, transplanted my first potted plant, pruned the rose bush in hopes to have new buds this year, pulled a few weeds and watered the lawns. Nathan mowed the lawns and sprayed the weeds for me.

Today I was able to take Angel out for a walk, played fetch with the ball at the park and then finished our walk. We were gone over an hour. That had me thrilled. It is like a battle to get her out to even go for a walk every day. The one day a week I can get her out is on Saturday when she and I join the NPS Running Club for their Saturday morning run. Angel and I just walk though. My guess is she missed that walk yesterday and so she didn't put up too much of a fuss in going out today. FYI the running club didn't meet yesterday because they are running in the San Francisco Half Marathon today.

Too bad we are going to drop down into the 60's for the week :( I guess it could be worse though it could be snowing, YUCK!! I am not looking forward to that come the end of the year when we move back to the East Coast. (That is not set in writing yet. Once we have orders I am sure I will post to let everyone know.)

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Resume and Cover Letter Craziness

I applied for some jobs when I moved here to CA. Of course I got some of those nice letters saying "Thank You for applying but...." I also heard nothing at all from others. I did work a part time seasonal job for low pay. I don't think I will be doing that again. But at the time it was great to just get out of the house. It did all kind of work out for the best. All the house work had me pretty busy. There was always something to work on.

Now that the house work is done I am trying to get caught up with the business, the organization I volunteer with, preparing all the paperwork for taxes, trying to complete what I hope will be Christmas gifts and then the other "normal" every day stuff.

Yesterday in my attempt to catch up on e-mail a message came through for MSBA (Military Spouse Business Association - the organization I volunteer with). It was an announcement for a telecommuting job. I didn't think anything of it until a response from one of the organization's co-founders suggested that I apply for the job. Because I didn't absorb the content of the message and just skimmed it, I didn't realize that was what it was for. It really went to the spam/junk folder in my head.

After some pondering and a quick e-mail exchange with hubby about whether or not it would be a good fit for me, I thought why the heck not. So I spent a couple of hours yesterday trying to re-edit/update my resume and cover letter.

It was what followed after that I find interesting. Since Nathan wasn't home yet I sent a text message to my family and asked who was available to proof. I get responses for those that were available, thanks to snow storms hitting from the Central US to the East Coast most people were snowed in. I send off, via e-mail, my resume and cover letter. I then proceeded to receive texts when people had edited and proof read and sent them back to me. I answered with Thank Yous.

The part that is so interesting is that a year ago I didn't have text. Nathan and I talked about it, after it was requested I get it and me feeling left out of the family, it was agreed. Technology is so interesting. Between text messages and e-mails there is no need to call someone. At least there wasn't last night.

When hubby got home late last night he then went over my resume and cover letter with me. More editing.

I sent my resume and cover letter off this morning to apply for the job.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Cleaning

It seemed to be a constant battle to keep the house clean for the last year and a half with all the remodel and renovations. Now that we are done I spent the last two days giving this old house a real decent cleaning and some reorganizing. I can't believe what a difference that made. Great so now you all thinking that I am lazy and a major slob. I am the exact opposite. Hubby doesn't like it when I clean because I "get into a zone" and seem to have OCD tendencies.

Some of the major factors for the constant dirt were:
- No lawn, but we have that now
- An unorganized garage but we have that now
- Drywall dust that never seems to go away
- And no central air.

The last one we can't do anything about at least not right now. We don't have the appropriate attic space, as it is seriously a crawl space - I know hubby will tell you how much he loves going up there. The second to last one will just take time. But I am hoping that the cleaning frenzy of the last two days will help that tremendously.

Now my house is fit for public display. Let the entertaining and open houses begin. Well after this weekend. I am still waiting for the new frig and oven.