Saturday, January 31, 2009

Work, Dogs, Kids & Random Thoughts

Okay, Okay, Okay....I realize that it's been weeks since our last post. Life, as is our norm, has been busy since New Year's. Days filled with work; nights with "live-in" munchkin kids; American Idol (...yup, we're addicted), Biggest Loser (love watchin' those people lose half their weight! ...there we are glued to the set wonderin' what good snacks we've got stashed in the pantry! LOL).

Work at the office has pretty much slowed to a trickle due to the poor builder situation, although we are still blessed to still be hanging on and to have all designers still with us. The nice part of having a 1099-type of business is that we don't have to go to anyone and tell them that they are laid off. They pretty much operate their own businesses under our SSI umbrella. The good news is that they still have a job; the bad news is that there isn't much business out there right now. People are scared to spend money and decorating and design isn't at the top of many lists.

I have gone back to teaching design 'how-to' classes, which is the way I started this business back in NY. I had a "Staging to Sell" class for realtors and people that want to sell their home last week that was sold out. We have 5000+ SF of office space and my income in the past was pretty much dedicated to paying the rent, so I've had to be creative about how to keep the business afloat and returning "to my roots" seemed like a good alternative. After all, even in a recession people still love color and design. What better way to gain clients but to teach them more about what they love? I have always enjoyed teaching but never seemed in the recent past to have enough time to plan the curriculum and pull together the pictures needed for a power point presentation. So now's a good time!

Jeremy and Rebecca have just closed on the cutest little Cape Cod-style home in an older classic Greensboro neighborhood. Tall stately trees, a huge back yard and an adorable 4 bedroom house are all things that make this the perfect place for their family. It was built in 1946 which means it has the plaster walls; outdated wiring and plumbing but with a little TLC this will be a fabulous haven for them. It's had only two owners for all of these years; one of them for nearly 60 years so the walls are filled with the secret memories of a family life now long past, and you can almost feel those amazing vibrations when you enter! I'm sure that their blog will have more details and pictures soon.

And our Dweezle who is now in her 16th year as our resident pooch appears to be on the down-slide of her life. She's aged alot in the last several weeks/months. She barely hears anything anymore, and it's obvious that cataracts have clouded her sight. She woke up one morning this week hardly being able to stand on her hind legs. The vet x-rayed her and said that her spine is OK and that he, because of her advanced age was reluctant to put her under for an MRI so she's on Prednisone which has allowed some improvement but there are still concerns that cause us to be evaluating her quality of life on a day-to-day basis. (sigh).

So despite the economy, depite the media's doom and gloom, life goes on. We're headed to Vegas next week to celerate our 39th together (this might be Dick's favorite place on earth!) and, providing that he still has this aura of luck that seems to surround him in casinos, and providing we can afford the cab fare back to the airport,we'll post some pics after we return! Oh, and by the way, we're staying at the Bellagio...for FREE. How cool is that??? I could stand in front of their 'dancing' water fountains FOREVER!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The First Leg of Our Post-Xmas Trip ~ Greenwood Lake, NY

We can't take credit for the scenery pics but this is a beautiful part of the country! And it's a long ten-hour trip from Greensboro!

Visiting with Vicky & Jeff was a thrill as always! Little Miss Kira was trying to mimic Nana as she was putting on makeup. Santa had brought her some play versions of blush and eye shadow and lipstick so we had fun applying them all! (It's worth the double-click on her last picture to enlarge and see the finished product!....we have eyebrows, what if it's a little low?.... and lipstick!)

The Second Part of Our Post-Xmas Trip ~ Corinth, NY

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From Greenwood Lake it was on to Corinth, NY to visit my side of the family......

Since I have trouble trying to figure out how to make the captions correlate with the pictures what you see below are pictures of the Upstate NY portion of our trip. In no particular order are pictures of the crew......
Breakfast at Denny's with nephews Dan, Kyle (hidden behind my big hair), Tim, Tom & wife Sheri, Bro Jim & wife Shelley, and 'Sista' Joan; Tom goin' to the dogs, etc. We always have a great time when together and hope to pull together a 'Fenton' side of the family reunion sometime in the near future when all five million of us can be together!

And from Corinth we headed South to a visit with Dick's sister & fam in Bethany Beach, De. with an quick stop in Atlantic City. Dick always manages to win something as he did this time but the whined because his winnings were less than he would have liked. waa, waa!
All in all it was a fast whirlwind trip through seven states in 5 days. It was great to see everyone!