Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Here's To June the 1st

Okay, faithful readers.  Yes, I'm talking about those of you who followed my boring job history through the years and up to this point in "Women and Work".

 You might remember that my dream of the perfect life was that I not have to work, but that I could be a stay at home housewife and mom.  Well...  that didn't happen so I just had to make the best of it.

One of the most valuable lessons my mom and dad taught me,  was to work hard and never burn bridges.  Dad was  an electrician at a brick yard.  He helped our neighbors and friends out by doing their electrical work for free when he wasn't working at his real job and yes, we were always poor.  Mom had seven kids and worked in a sewing factory.  The cereal we had for supper some nights wasn't only because we were poor...  but because she was dog tired at the end of the day as well.

 It doesn't matter what you do in life...  whether you flip burgers or are president of a country...  there's a place for everyone...  and everyone is needed.  

Ecclesiastes 9:10  Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.  

I've been unhappy in my job for quite some time now... for   several reasons. (yes, you can read about my ranting there...)

Finally In September of last year I decided to do something about it.   I mentioned it in this blog remember?

Amidst the doubt that crept in on occasion, (I am 56 years old - I should be thinking of retiring, not starting a business), God reminded me of Sarah who conceived and gave birth though she was up in years...  glad I'm not Sarah **Yikes!**  but what I'm getting at is - Age is just a number.  

So without further ado, I'd like to introduce to you....

All About Hearing, LLC

It's not been easy, holding down one job while working on starting a home based business.  There's been a lot of red tape,  licenses, tax stuff, creating accounts with suppliers, getting inventory into the office, and just plain hard work.  But since Gary has been feeling  much better, we've been able to work as a team on this and our plan has finally came to fruition.

The hardest part:  Telling my boss I was leaving.  He offered me complete control of Miracle Ear - advertising, pricing etc.  if I stayed.    He even said he'd reimburse me the money I have already put into my new business.  Basically, he offered me the world.  I hated being faced with this decision.  I was hoping he'd show me the door immediately, the way he does with most other specialists when they decide to venture out on their own as his competitor.

Should I stay at a safe job where I'm pretty much my own boss and guaranteed to make $50,000 + a year OR should I continue with plans for my own business with no guarantees?

To make a long story short...  I decided to take the leap of faith.  But I did tell my boss I'd stay on at Miracle Ear for another month yet, to give him more time to decide what he wants to do with the store.

All About Hearing's Grand opening will have to wait another month.  But... of course I couldn't leave you hanging.  So I thought I'd share what we've done so far.  Enjoy!

Rissie sits on what used to be a doorway to the  kitchen, bedroom, bath and laundry room in our adjoining apartment... the one we turned into our office.
This is that same doorway... now shelves and a wall that separates the other part of the apartment from the reception area.

The reception area.  Don't mind the junk piled on the left.  Still working on it.  These chairs we got at a church closing sale.  The flowers, a yard sale.  The table, Gary made in shop when he was in high school.
My desk and work area.  Once again, we're still working on things.  Excuse any mess.

Testing Room.  The audiometer was purchased on Ebay for just $2,300.  It was only used 2X. It's Like new!!  

Lab Coat

Is the ear too tacky?  

Our house is a double house.  This was once an apartment and we rented it to a sweet elderly lady.  When she moved out, we kept it for visiting relatives.  We turned 1/2 of this apartment into our office and the other half is an efficiency apartment which can be entered through the adjoined garage and through the laundry room.  I'll show you that another time.

Some of our inventory

Important signage

The ad that will run in the phone book.

Business Card

Now all we need are customers!

We're looking at a July 6 Grand Opening.  We'll be selling mostly Siemens Hearing aids since Siemens is the same manufacturer of the hearing aids I sell now.

Thank you, my friends... you've made this venture even more exciting for me and I appreciate all of your kindness, love, prayers, and positive thoughts. 

Monday, May 30, 2011


Yesterday hubby turned Gracie over to show me her belly.  "Ringworm!" he said.  "What next?"  

"She's had that before," I said.  "I think it's just because she was cut so close at the groomers."  Ginny had to shave her because she'd become matted and a real mess. We had to wait so long and I had snipped at her in the middle of her being sick.  
Today her belly is clear.  She's finally getting back to her old self again.  
Every night, around 7 PM she bounces out of her chair and stares us down until we leash 
her for our nightly walk.

"Gracie, look out!" I screamed as I yanked her away from the ants that she was walking through.

Gracie has been very clingy lately.  

Today it was burgers and hotdogs on the grill.  Rissie performed her 'God bless America' from her dance recital.  It was too cute!  Just when I think she can't get any cuter... she does.  AND>  Speaking of cuteness...


This is Lindsey, Rissie's Mama.  We got the news a few days ago.  Rissie is going to have a baby brother or sister in December!  So we will be grandparents again!  

Can anybody tell me what tree is?  It has the sweetest smell and we pass by every evening during our walk.  Is it magnolia? or what?

Hope everyone had a great memorial day.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Women and Work Job # 8,9, 10

Job #8   Receptionist

I worked as a receptionist at Miracle Ear for 2 years.  I scheduled appointments, made phone calls, and greeted people that came in for hearing tests.

Job # 9 Nursing Assistant

Wearing white scrubs and filling my pockets with disposable latex gloves before starting my shift, made me feel important.  With my head held high, I'd walk into a residents room to empty a catheter bag, knowing I'd become a health care professional.
  I loved my job.
I learned how to change the bed of a 325 pound comatose woman  while she was lying right smack dab in the middle of it.  I fed those who couldn't feed themselves and I cleaned slobber from their faces.  I changed dirty 'diapers' and bathed angry dementia patients who wanted me dead.  I made eye contact with the wild - ones that no one else could tame, and we had an understanding.  I singlehandedly took care of an entire hall of patients for twelve hours straight 6PM to 6AM shift, with just a half hour break at 2 AM.  I was a 120 lb.  Zombie as I'd clock out in the morning and head for home.
Every night was a new adventure.  I cried, I laughed, and I knew... deep in my heart that I'd never in my life have a job that would be more of a blessing to me.

When I left my job at the nursing home, I came back often to visit those who had become my friends.

Job # 10

When I heard that the Hearing Aid Specialist position was coming open at Miracle Ear (the same store where I had been secretary for 2 years) I had to apply.  Imagine me being the boss that I used to work for.    I had an opportunity to quadruple my income and have my own secretary.  But wait.  I knew nothing about being white collar.  Heck, I didn't even own one.   How could I convince the Franchise owner that I was right for the job?

"I know all of the customers!"  "I'm willing to learn."  "I know I can do it!"  "Please, please please...  give me a chance!!!"

Tony was all about helping the underdog, and he gave me the thumbs up, and soon this housewife/factory worker/cleaning lady/sitter/secretary/nursing assistant was about to put away the jeans and scrubs and make a trip to the Bon Ton to invest in some dress clothes.  It was time to clean up, stand tall, and pretend like I knew what I was doing.

This is me when I first started.  I wasn't dressed for work that day because it was an off day.  The audiometer to the right has been replaced with a new and improved one.

It was then that I was forced to face my fears of driving out of my home town.  My Church prayed for me as I ventured out into the world of the unknown and battled city traffic in Baltimore,  Frederick, and Glen Burnie, to train for my new job.

Soon I was in my own office with a stack of books.  

"Study!" Tony said, for my next feat would be to pass the State Board Exam.

I held a temporary license while I studied, and worked hard.  My first week on my own I sold a whooping 11 hearing aids, which is very good in the hearing aid business.  The Franchise had been sold back to Corporate Miracle Ear, and that meant Corporate Business meetings, flying (yes, another fear I faced), Exquisite hotels, Travel etc.  And it was all FREE.  Over ten years later, I'm still here.

So, there you have it.  My rise from water spiller waitress to Hearing Aid Specialist.

So I'll bet you're wondering by now - why would I care to tell you about all my past employment?  

And why on so many of your blogs have I commented Aah...  

  If you were to look back you'd see that some of my comments to your blogs started out with an Aah...  

And...  Did you know that Wednesday is June 1?  I've given you enough clues.  

I'm sure you're all knowing where we go from here... but maybe not details.

Two more days.  See you then.

To be continued.....

Friday, May 27, 2011

Before and After

The Shaggy Dog / The Rat Dog

Dear Diary,  

The morning of my grooming (yesterday), Mom felt as though she should have a photo shoot.  She said my cuteness was about to disappear.

She said I'd look like a Poodle after my grooming...

Or a Rat...

Me, in the car on my way to get my make-over

There I am

 I was happy to be riding in the Buick.  Every time the car made a turn onto another road, I went crazy with excitement.  Then I accidentally pushed the window button and mom freaked.  'Gracie, you'll get your head stuck in there!' she screamed.  

She worries too much.

I was just fine.  She needs to get a grip.

I laugh at her ranting mostly...

But I guess she got the last laugh.

 I do look like a rat.  Gracie.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

What's up in Blogville?

What's up in Blogville?  

I've had several people email me saying that they can't comment on my blog and other blogs.

I've changed my comment option to pop-up so hopefully that will make a difference.  Let me know if you still have trouble with it. 

I guess blogger is acting up again.  



Women and Work Job # 6 & 7

 Job # 6.  Telemarketer

Telemarketer for Olan Mills Studio.   A great sales opportunity.  Sell portrait packages.  They used deception to get people to apply for the job, then they tried to bully them into being deceptive to people they spoke with on the phones.
I didn't fit in with the other girls and was left go
 after the first week.

Job # 7 Customer Service in a Designer Blind Factory

There was a two week training period for this job.  I tried my best and the supervisor knew it.  That's why she broke it to me gently.  "You're not right for the job" instead of saying - "You're not smart enough for the job."  

To Be continued...

Women and Work. Job #5

Job #5  Sitting with the Elderly

There is nothing quite so rewarding as when you feel needed.

Venetta called me her girl.  On Saturday and Sunday mornings she'd wait for me, propped up in her hospital bed and always wearing the same white cotton gown and the most beautiful smile I'd ever seen, for me to unlock the front door and come in to help her out of bed.  For me, it was a learning experience.  For her, it was a journey back in time as she shared stories of vacations, Christmas's, and life on Ormand street of days gone by.  When she died, I dreamed about her often and I missed her as if she'd been my own mother.

Then there was Mary, who had Parkensins disease.  Before her morning meds she trembled terribly.  By noon she'd be much calmer and we'd watch television together, eat lunch, tell stories and laugh, or go for groceries.  Watching the Scarecrow and Mrs. King was mandatory and she made no bones about the fact that she was in love with Bruce Boxleitner.

Lilly was a writer.  I would clean her house and take her for groceries.  She was cantankerous...  but I did as I was told and stayed quiet.

The list goes on and on and the blessings were many.

To Be Continued...

Women and Work. Job #4

Job # 4  Cleaning Lady

How could we possibly make ends meet?  Three children and one working parent was not cutting it.  Then the bright idea.

Situations Wanted:
Cleaning lady available. Honest. Dependable. $7 an hour. Call 555-5555.

  I was not only my own boss, but I set my own hours and screened my jobs as well.  If someone was impossible to work for, I could just move on.  Before I knew it, I was turning down jobs.

One of the most meticulous of clients was a dentist and her podiatrist husband who considered me their maid even though I only worked for them one day out of the week.  I did everything for them.  I changed their bed linens, washed the dishes, did the laundry, scrubbed their floors on my hands and knees, and whipped their huge 9 room home into shape in just 6 hours time.  They very sweetly expected perfection , and they were not willing to let me go that easy when I revealed to them that I'd be leaving because I needed to once again be home with my baby.  They lured me into staying for a time, by adding a new playpen and baby accessories to their decor and it worked for a while, but soon  I had to graciously depart, but not before training another girl to be my clone. 

 About a year later, I was back with them but this time with a much larger salary.  Cleaning ladies were bringing in over $10 an hour.  I latched onto a few good paying jobs, sometimes dragging  kids, matchbox cars, books and cowboys and indians along.  

To Be Continued.....

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Little Hope ~ And Then... The Sun

Sometimes it seems as though the rain will never stop.  All of the seeds that were once planted seemed to have been planted on stoney ground and thwarted,  leaving little hope for the future.

And then, out of nowhere, 
the sun ~ and a sigh of relief 


And peace in knowing that all of your 
labor was not in vain.

Dear Diary,

Restless nights find me sleeping under the bed and sometimes behind the chair in the living room.  I start out in the middle of the bed of course ~ I don't want Mom and Dad to think any thing's wrong or that I don't love them anymore.  I know how much they despise enjoy me sleeping in bed with them.  I wouldn't want to let them down, especially after they took such good care of me during my sickies.  
Mom says I'm going to get groomed on Thursday.  I could've swore she groomed me a few nights ago after I'd just jumped up into bed - when she showed up with scissors and started snipping and chopping at my face muttering little smart remarks like 'gracie, you're such a mutt' and 'this puke in your beard is gross'.  You'd think she'd just be glad I'm alive considering the fact that I was at deaths door sick as a dog for so long.  Gracie.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Women and Work Job #3

Job # 3

The years glided by and I got married and started a family.  I had moved on to a different sewing factory, one that paid more and there I sewed baby clothes.  Since I was a good, hard worker, the boss had no problem hiring me back after I would quit for a while to care for my babies.  It was an on again/off again job>  It's not easy working full time when babies need to be cared for at home.  I never burned my bridges though, and was always welcomed back after a leave of absence.

The girls threw a surprise baby shower
for me just weeks before I gave birth to my first.  

I couldn't get my scanner to work right, so sorry
for the backwards photo.  

The finest shift I ever had was 11PM to 7AM.  I could work all night, then be home during the day with my newest baby, Lindsey.  We didn't have to pay a sitter.

My dear sister, Lindy lived next door and told me, "If you ever need me to keep Lindsey while you get some sleep...  just bring her over."

One morning after I had taken the boys to school, I laid on the sofa and put my infant daughter beside of me on the floor... and I closed my eyes.  When I opened my eyes a while later, she was gone!!!  I was frantic at first, then ran to Lindy's house next door.   I had been so tired, that I didn't remember taking her over  there...  and no, I did not take drugs of any kind.  I was just exhausted and tired.

The next day I gave my two week notice at work...

To Be Continued....

Sunday, May 22, 2011


Facebook - Blogger - Twitter...  
The messages were all the same.  

"Rain, rain.... go away."

And finally - it did.

And the rains aftermath was cause
 for me to grab my camera.

Gracie was very sick the first night after her shots, but seemed a little better yesterday.  Thanks so much for your advice, prayers and well wishes.  I'm not sure what I should do about the vet situation yet.  Should I continue to take her to the Animal Hospital and request another vet  (there are about 6 vets on board there) or should I leave there altogether?  What do you think?

Friday, May 20, 2011


A little over three years ago Gracie got deathly ill after getting a combo rabie / distemper shot.  She was sick for weeks.  After online research I found that she wasn't the only dog that's had a bad reaction to the vaccine combo.  Other research showed that I should never get all of the vaccines at the same time since she had a bad reaction.

I've put this rabie shot off since last October, but I know it's a law and it had to be done.  I also need to get her groomed, and first she needs her rabie vaccine. 

 The vet has in her chart THAT SHE HAD A SERIOUS REACTION FROM THE COMBO VACCINE LAST TIME.  I've talked to the vets over and over again about her bad reaction last time.  

But>  Gary took her this morning to get it done while I went to work.  When he told me on the phone that she had gotten the combo shot MY HEART DROPPED!  

She's vomited 1X since she has been home.  I pray that it ends there...  

I called the Animal Hospital and asked why they gave her the combo and the vet said she didn't read Gracie's chart because Gary said it was okay to give her the combo.  ???  Gary said he did not say that>  He specifically told them not to give her the 'cocktail' just the rabie shot.  He actually called me at work while he was in the vets office before her shot and asked me what kind of reaction she had and I went into detail.  Then the vet went ahead and gave her the combo shot anyway!!  I guess you could say I'm a little angry.  

The vet told me that she's on call this weekend and she'll be there in 20 min. should Gracie need emergency medical help. 

The vet was kind enough to give Gracie a 3 day supply of  'free' pepcid and benedryl 'because of the misunderstanding'.  

Over the past 2 months I have become $2,000 poorer and The Animal Hospital has bcome $2,000 richer.  Kind of them to give me the $17 prescription for Free, wouldn't you say?  

Poor Gracie.  She's been through so much these past few months.   

I guess it's time to look for another vet.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Women and Work. Job #2

 Factory Worker

Mom's in the back, circled

After A few months of waiting tables and spilling drinks,  I was called in for an interview at the Pajama Factory where my Mom worked as a seamstress most of her adult life.  Above is a photo of her way back B/B (before bobbi).  

 I was about to get the job of my dreams - I'd be a factory worker!!  Full time work making more money meant I could buy a new car, new clothes, shoes...  well...  you get the picture.  At eighteen it was all about 'me'!  One of the first things I purchased was a new coat (above). 

Now it was Mom's turn to be proud of me.  All of her factory friends were amazed at how fast and efficiently I worked.  The supervisor was not sorry that Mom recommended me for the job.  I was on piece work and the faster I worked, the more money I made.  I was a working machine!

Being very shy, I found that the best thing about working in the sewing factory was, I could put on my headphones and listen to my favorite radio station drowning out all of the machinery and gossip that was happening around me.


To Be Continued....

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

What's This #&*%?

"What's this *#!@?"

"Gracie!  I've never known you to curse before!!  What is your problem?"

Dear Diary,

I'll admit I'm in a foul mood.  What dog wouldn't be?  Let's see.  In the past month there was surgery.  Chair-rest. Hernia. Pain. Chair-rest. No walks. Surgery again.  Chair-rest again. No walks. No play.  FINALLY the stitches came out and I was released from that immobile prison they called recovery.  
Then it was RAIN.  RAIN. MORE RAIN.  Depressed?  You don't even have a clue....  AND here's the kicker:  My Mom, who claims to be doing this for my own good, says 'no more treats for you gracie, you are on a strict diet for your urinary tract'.  I'm not sure what a urinary tract is...  but let me at 'em.  I'll tear that @#$%^&*(&  apart.  Gracie, dog of many sorrows.