Thursday, May 27, 2010

Birthday's Are Bittersweet

Birthday's are bittersweet, especially if you are a dog owner.  When Travis celebrated his second birthday, we went all out.  We had a cupcake scavenger hunt for him, lots of hoopla.  Yesterday, was Riley's birthday.  Yes, we sang to him and yes he got a cupcake (not multiples like his brother because he is watching his figure), but we really didn't make a big deal about it.  It's not that we love Travis more, because we don't it's just that Riley was eight yesterday and that makes me really sad.

Bigger dogs usually live 10-11 years.  I awoke yesterday with a sadness, knowing that I only have a couple of years left with my Rye Pie.  I don't know what I will do the day I lose him.  It' won't be pretty.

So yes, Riley had a birthday, yes, we made him feel special, but I would have rather the day didn't come.  I don't want him to be eight, I want him to be two.

Happy Birthday, Riley, your birthday Antler chew should be here soon!  God, please let the next few years go SLLLLLLLLOOOOOW!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Giving yourself a raise....................on us!

So, I had a discussion, recently, with someone who does bookkeeping for a lot of small businesses. We were discussing how many small businesses are owned and operated by people, who have absolutely NO business sense. We then realized that most have no common sense as well.

She then shared a story with me that boiled my blood. I was telling her how it amazes me the number of salons that either don’t have the proper licensing or do things that their licenses don’t allow. Then, we got on the subject of sales tax. In PA, you must have a Sales Tax License to sell anything that is taxable. Period.

I was told a story of how a business, who was open for quite some time, sold retail, here and there and diligently collected the 6% sales tax. Problem was, the business never applied for a Sales Tax License. Guess what? No license number? No way to pay the tax.

Did this business owner think, “Gee, I need to pay my sales tax that I’ve collected!” Nope, they just feigned stupidity and POCKETED ALL OF THAT MONEY! Yes, my dear readers, they gave themselves a raise on YOUR DIME!

When the bookkeeper questioned why they hadn’t paid the taxes, the response was “We collected the tax and didn’t know that you had to turn it in.” Are you fucking kidding me? So, you just give yourself a 6% increase! No one can be that STUPID.

They are not stupid, folks. They are crooks. Every small business that you go into, you should ask to see their Sales Tax License, if it is not displayed, like it is required to be. Also, check the date that the license was issued. Then ask yourself, did I pay sales tax or did I give the business owner a little bonus?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The IRS killed my mother....

Yes, you read that correctly.  The IRS killed my mother.  I am working with them now, to have them bring her back to life.  I have no idea how this happened other than some jackass who doesn't know how to do his job must have clicked the button "Deceased."

It all started with her 2006 taxes, which were the first ones I had to complete and file for her as Power of Attorney.  Each year, 2006, 2007, 2008 and most recentely, 2009, I have attached the Power of Attorney paperwork to her return, since she can't sign the return due to her brain injury and the injury to her arm from the IV infiltration.

Each tax year, the return gets sent back to me saying that they need EITHER her signature OR if a POA is signing, they need a copy of the original POA paperwork.  Well hello, Dumbshits, you received that paperwork with the return.  Every. Single. Year.  I have to send it twice.

2008 taxes started the nightmare.  I mailed them in April 2009.  July 2009, I got them returned to me as usual.  I sent again with second copy of POA.  September 2009, I got them returned AGAIN, so I sent it them a THIRD copy.  Imagine my annoyance when April 12, 2010, I get them returned for the third time.  I am hotter than a hornet now.

So, I went to the nursing home and had my poor mother try to sign her return with a pen in her mouth.  It was the equivilent of a scribble, but hey, they want her f'n signature.  I then typed them the following letter:

To Whom It May Concern: 
Here we go AGAIN. For the third year after my mother’s brain injury, you once again are insisting that this woman sign a tax return that she owes entirely no taxes on. Each year, I have sent you the Power of Attorney paperwork listing myself as medical and financial POA. This past year I had to send it AGAIN twice, along with a letter explaining that my mother is disabled, with a brain and arm injury and living in a nursing home. Now, you are still insisting on a “mark” from her.
I wish I could have video taped the poor woman holding a pen in her mouth, trying to make this mark. How humiliating. I would like you to know once again, this woman has NO USE of her hands, actually at the end of this month, fingers are going to be amputated. YES, I said amputated.
When someone is living on disability and lives in a nursing home and all of their funds go to the nursing home except $45 for personal items (which doesn’t buy much), and owes NO TAXES and files a ZERO return for three years in a row, it is ridiculous that you require this woman to sign this return with her mouth. Why on Earth do I have POA paperwork to begin with?
You need to look into your policies. As an only child, taking care of all of my mother’s affairs, medical and financial , on my own, this is just an unneeded thing that I shouldn’t have to deal with.

The Bitch you are really PISSING OFF!

Okay, I didn't sign it that way, but still.  So you see, this is a zero return.  She owes nothing.  She doesn't get a refund.
Fast forward to last week and I get a check in the mail.  It is made out to:
MY NAME, Claimant
MY MOM's NAME, Decsd
DECSD.  I was pretty sure that meant deceased.  So I called.  I was right.  Somehow, some douchebag decided that my mother was dead.  It seems as though my mom qualified for the $300 stimulus money that President Bush handed out for 2008.  The IRS guy told me to try to cash the check.  He said if I have any trouble cashing it, I need to return it and in 8-10 weeks they will reissue another.  It doesn't really matter, the nursing home is gong to take that money anyway.
He then told me that they sent a letter two weeks ago about my mother being deceased.  I have not gotten it.  He said when I do, to send it back with a letter explaining that my mother is alive.
So, as if I don't have enough bullshit to deal with, with my mother, I now have to work with the IRS to bring her back to life.  Bastards.  Does anyone do their job anymore and further, do it well?  And we want these people running our health care system....................

Friday, May 21, 2010

Always wear clean underwear.........

Just like your mother always told to to always wear clean underwear, you should always make sure that your salon is clean before you leave for the day.  I know after working eight to twelve hour days, the last thing you want to do is make sure there isn't crap all over the floor, the rugs are straight, the trash cans aren't overflowing, but do it!  You never know who may pop in unannounced.

Wednesday, I stopped in the salon before my first client.  My goal was to package up some nail tips and send them to a competitior in California, who was looking for some ideas for a competition.  I had envelope in hand, but luckily, I got side tracked and was in mid conversation with Kylie, when the salon door opened.  I looked out and saw and guy and a girl and I greeted them and asked if I could help them.

The girl just gave me this sly grin.  My mind started racing.......I knew that face, but who was she?  A past client?  My long lost cousin?  Think!  Think! 

And then it hit me!  Maggie Freakin' Franklin from Visalia, California!  Now my exact words were a little more expletive, those who know me know I can give a trucker a run for his money....  I gave Maggie the biggest hug and then I attacked the "BF" Matt.  (That's what Maggie refers to him as in her blogs)

Matt has family in PA and they were visiting for the week.  I guess they decided to make the drive over on Wednesday to surprise me and boy did they!!

I believe I met Maggie in person at the Orlando show in 2004.  I was newer to the industry then and I was star struck and I am sure I was one of those gum poppers that annoyed the shit out of her that trip.  Sorry Mags!  Anyway, through the years, Maggie and I have had an online relationship.  We have so much in common, we are both obsessed with nails, we are both bloggers and most importantly, we both love to stir a good pot.  Sometimes that pot is filled with get the idea.

Maggie and I just settled in and started talking and sharing and comparing notes and stories for a good hour before my first client arrived.  It was like a sneak preview of what will happen in two weeks in Orlando, when nail tech's like Maggie and I all take over a condo building and just live, eat, breathe and sleep nails for a weekend.

Thank you so much for the surprise Maggie!  Lynn Lammers, sorry, your nail tips were delayed a day, but it was MAGGIE, at The Purple Pinkie!!!!

Now everyone go put on clean underwear...

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

My Martha Stewart Weekend

I had a lot of project in my mind that I wanted to do and I did most of them this weekend.  I like to think of myself as Martha Stewart sometimes.  I'm just a younger, hipper and less-annoying version of her!

My first project was recovering my beloved swing cusions.  I love my swing, but those cushions got ugly.  Add to the fact that they don't repel water and we get LOTS of rain, made for me having a wet butt more often than I like.  So, I purchased some new fabric to recover the cushions.

I think it turned out fabulous!  Mr. Bruises was actually impressed, since he had to take the swing apart and put it back together since the frame for the seat is actually built into the cushion.  He kept reminding me to make sure I left areas open in the back for where the screws go in.  Jeez, he must think I am blonde!  I also made two throw pillows for extra-added comfiness!  I topped it all off with a can of Scotch Guard and I am good to go!

Next up was the salon.  I always do a "Spring Sprucing" each year and I caught the recovering bug.  I recovered the Purple Princess chair.

I then recovered the waiting chair cushions.

Then what the heck, I changed the tissue paper under the glass of our nail stations and put matching fabric down.  I made each station a "splash guard" for the wall.  This helps protect the wall from the acetone that sometimes splashes up from our pumpers.

Finally, I had some fabric left over and I decided to make a purse.  I can never find one that is litte, with a long strap that has enough pockets for all my friends that I carry like Flip Wilson, BeBe', my Palm Pilot and my camera.  So, I decided to make one.  I had no clue what the hell I was doing, I just winged it and it turned out fabulous!  I quilted it, sewed a Sugar Skull applique on it, made a flat bottom and added a zipper.

Inside I have four small pockets for my little friends, a large pocket in the midde for money, cards and other stuff and the front and back have large areas for the rest of my "stuff".

Next up.......I think I still have enough fabric left for an apron.  Stay tuned for photos!

Oh and hey got nothing on me, girl!

Sunday, May 9, 2010


Well, today is Mother's Day. Mom is still in the hospital. She had surgery on Wednesday. They had to amputate the middle and ring fingers on her left hand due to the Osteomylitis and MRSA that was spreading. I am not sure which came first, but the Osteomylitis is a possible side effect of dialysis.

Her heart rate elevated when they were bringing her out of anesthesia so as a precaution, they put her in ICU. She is still there and should be going to a regular room soon. I don't mind ICU, she gets individual attention there.

One thing in honoring my mother today, I remember what a strong woman she was. She was married to an abusive man, who was an alcoholic and drug abuser. She stood up for herself and her child and left him. She was a single mother. She did the best that she could and I would say she was successful. Look at me. It's because of her.

I am amazed that 40 some years later, there are women that are still controlled by the men that are supposed to love them. They don't have any friends because they aren't allowed. They are told what to do, where to go, when to do things. Their lives are totally controlled. That is absolute horse shit.

I am thankful that Mr. Bruises is not that kind of man. Let's face it, if he was, he wouldn't be Mr. Bruises, like my mother, I would have moved on. That's one of the many things that she taught me.

Thanks Mom. I love you. Happy Mother's Day.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Bark For Life!

I had originally planned to take just Travis to Bark For Life, which is a Relay For Life fundraiser that you can honor your canine companion and participate with them. I honestly thought I wouldn’t be able to handle both Riley and Travis together. I was wrong. They were so well behaved; I didn’t need my seven year old boyfriend, Dawson’s help.

We left Ford City at noon, headed to Rural Valley for the event. We met up with Sherry, Alexis and pooches Crosby and Kya at Sheetz and made our way to the track. It was funny to watch Crosby with is head hanging out of the window the entire trip!

Once at the track, we unloaded all of the dogs and it was at this point, I was surprised how easy my two were to handle on a double leash. I totally didn’t give them the credit that they deserved. Amanda and Dawson arrived with the ever, cool, Ringo and our party of five adults and five dogs was complete.

After the “Meet and Greet” session, we got everyone registered, got our 50/50 tickets and enter some dogs in games. The dogs all got bandanas, a Frisbee, a water bowl, bottle of water and the every necessary, poop bag! Luckily, I didn’t have to use a poop bag!

The event started with a blessing of the dogs. The walk then started with cancer survivors first, both human and canine. Canine survivors received a special gift! The boys really enjoyed the walk. Dawson was handling Riley, since I describe him as a “Marshmallow”, really no trouble at all. Dawson quickly became attached to Travis and ended up taking him around the track two more times throughout the day!

Riley and Ringo bond during a shady moment in the pavilion.  It was a hot one!

When it was game time, Travis and I played Musical Sit, which is like musical chairs but when the music stops, the dog must sit. We made it three rounds until he hesitated and we were disqualified. I then put him in the jumping contest. Travis has never jumped anything on command, so it was no surprise when he refused to jump the pole and knocked it down. We still had fun, even though we were losers!

I think the funniest part of the day was the 50/50 drawing. They tied every ticket to a doggie treat and scattered them on the lawn. The plan was to have a dog pick the winner. Well, after about six dogs wondered around HUNDREDS of bones Crosby finally licked one and that was declared the winner. Not sure what kind of treats those were, but the dogs pretty much gave them two paws down!

It was a fun afternoon with my boys and other dog lovers. If a Bark For Life is happening in your area, I highly encourage you to hit it up!