It is all too soon the middle of July. Where has the year gone? Before we know it , we’ll be discussing the upcoming holidays. Hard to believe when our temperatures here in the Tampa Bay area are hovering in the low to mid 90’s with the humidity to boot.
If you have not taken your summer holiday yet, be prepared for the new restrictions and procedures at the airports. Allow yourself plenty of time and just put your mind to the fact that you will not allow yourself to be rattled. When you are away make sure that someone is looking after your home. It can be a neighbor, a friend or contact your local concierge service. They can assist you with either a person to house sit or someone just to check in on things on a daily or weekly schedule for you. I can’t tell you how many people I have known over the years that have gone away on holiday for a couple of weeks or a month and received a phone call that the water heater failed, the dishwasher pipe broke or the ice maker pipe sprung a leak. A flooded home is not what you want to come home to any time much less after a holiday. If you leave a copy of your insurance information/agent with the person taking care of the place, you will be much better off. Mold can grow quickly when it is warm and dark. Finding the mold later and having it remediated is a task few want to follow.
I have a situation in my own home that we have been dealing with for over 6 months that involved a slow leak from a repair that was not done correctly. Unfortunately, we have had to go to court to get the situation corrected properly. I don’t wish this on anyone. No wonder there are so many attorneys in the US. I shall leave it at that and hopefully by the next time I write, I will be able to say that we have hada positive outcome and are not still waiting around for judgement.
On to some more lively news, as many of you who read my blog on a regular basis may know, I am in my second year of having a butterfly garden. It is truly one of the best mental health activities I ever did for myself. It is amazing to watch the cycle of the butterfly especially the Monarch. I have learned so much. As we are now in to the middle of July the butterflies are starting their 3rd generation, egg, caterpillar,chrysalis,adult butterfly. The butterflies that are born now will live an adult life of only 2-6 weeks. The next generation that will be born in Sept/Oct will live for 6-8 months. Why the difference? The ones born in the fall will be the adults making the migration to Mexico for the winter. Butterflies can not tolerate cold weather so they have to go where it is warm. While in Mexico they will live off the fat in their abdomen and huddle around each other to stay warm. If a butterfly falls away from the huddle it most likely will die as it will be too weak to fly up to rejoin the group. Then once the warm weather starts again in February/March they will begin to awaken and mate thus laying their eggs. Withered and tattered from their hibernation and migration, the adults will die. A whole new generation cycle will begin once again.
My garden is in the direct migratory path of the Monarchs this year. I have had to go to my local nursery numerous times just to get food for those cute little caterpillars. I finally was able to get some seed pods and have started my own nursery of butterfly weed so the Monarchs can lay their eggs under the leaves and start the cycle egg,caterpillar, chrysalis, adult. The caterpillars once they hatch from the egg just eat from morning to night. It is like they have an internal clock that keeps telling them to go, go ,and go again, chomping away at all the butterfly weed vegetation they can get. They will do this for about two weeks until they are about 2 inches in length, then they will crawl away creeping ever so purposefully to find the twig,plant or whatever suits them to shed their skin and make the chrysalis. The chrysalis will be a beautiful jade color with a little thread that looks like gold towards the top. It will stay that way as the pupae generates it’s wings and turns in to a beautiful butterfly. Just before it breaks out of the chrysalis, it will become almost transparent and you will see the butterfly inside. Then in a day or so it will break out and let the blood fill the veins on its wings. The butterfly will stay put for a while as its wings dry and it gains the strength to fly away. It is a beautiful sight to see. I just learned how the scientists and butterfly followers are tagging the butterflies so who knows, next year you may reading about how I tagged butterflies.
Speaking of breaking out, I have to tell you about this physician who is only one of two in the entire state of Florida that is certified and licensed to do work with adult stem cells and T65 to help heal sport’s injuries an make you feel a bit more chipper. Dr. Dennis Lox has an office in Clearwater and in New Port Ritchey. He is on the cutting edge of some fabulous technology that will become almost a standard for medicine 10 years from now. We are lucky to have him in the Tampa Bay area. I will be telling you more about him and his practice as well in the days ahead. Pam Butler of LifeReflections LLC taped a talk by Dr. Lox last week so you will be able to see it on Youtube soon.
Take care of yourself and stay hydrated. Let your body dictate your progress and your tempo. Will be back with you soon with some other exciting news!
First of all Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone! Wow this has been quite a week for us here at OH MISS.! With Gasparilla Parade last weekend, the cold weather-I know our friends up north it has been much much worse. The simple fact is, we live here in sunny Florida and we don’t expect it to get this cold. Most of us are going to have to wait a few more weeks before we will know how much damage has been done to our plants and landscaping.
But to continur on,, we corordinated a beautiful wedding yesterday at the beach. It was absolutely bone chilling cold but beautiful. It was a sunny day and other than the fact that it did not reach 60*, perfect. How could it not be? One of us had our anniversary yesterday and the DJ celebrated his birthday as well. All sorts of reasons to celebrate.
Now along that vein, did you know that besides being St. Valentine’s Day today, it is the start of the Chinese New Year-The Year of the TIger. A chinese custom is for married couples or the elderly to give AngPous (red envelopes) to the younger or unmarried. The envelopes usually contain money. The amount is usually $8.00 as the number 8 is considered a lucky number. They will also wear new clothes that day as to symbolize that they have plenty(or enough to go around) The Tiger is considered to be lucky,vivid,lively,engaging and have incredible bravery. Persons born in the year of the Tiger are said to have these characteristics-courage, vehemence,self-reliance,friendliness,hopefulness,resilience,vanity, and disregard. Happy Year of the Tiger!
Now tomorrow the 15th of February is Clean Monday. This is the Orthodox equivalent to the Christian Ash Wednesday. Clean Monday is the day that the home or living space is thoroughly cleaned from top to bottom, all crumbs and dust are cleaned away.
In New Orleans the Mardi Gras season that has been going on for a couple of weeks now,since the day of Epiphany or Three Kings Day is coming to a close. Most know only of the ending of the season with the parade and Fat Tuesday. Another custom that is held throughout this time is the custom of the King’s Cake. This is a cake that is made witha plastic baby inside and sometimes coins. The person that receives the piece of cake with the baby is supposed to hold the feast the following year. Fat Tuesday is when all the world is a stage and their is music and dancing , reveleryabounds as does the food and drink in a sense preparing for the time of Lent that will begin on Wednesday or Ash Wednesday. This is a time that Christians often give up something that is very meaningful to them-usually in the food category such as chocolate, chips, meat, something in that ilk in keeping withthe preparation for Easter Sunday. This year Easter Sunday will be the same for both Orthodox churches and Christian churches.
Ash Wednesday is this upcoming Wednesday the 17th and begins the preparation for Easter Sunday.
Oh and if you are wondering where the origin of the heart shaped box came from for the chocolates that are given at Valentine’s Day, you can thank Mr. Cadbury who in the mid 1800’s put his chocolates in a heart shaped box. Another factoid that even centuries before the cocoa beans were considered to be aphrodisiac
Again Happy Valentine’s Day, Fat Tuesday, and Chinese New Year!
Autumn has been officially with us now for a week. For those of us that live in Florida, it doesn’t quite feel that way with our daytime temperatures reaching the high 80’s and low 90’s. It is a reminder though that before we know it the onslaught of various holiday activities will be upon us. It is also a time when our landscaping needs some special attention to prepare it for the winter months ahead.
Let us start out with the landscaping and fall gardening. It is now a good time to plant some fresh tomato plants and your winter vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage. It is also a good time to freshen up the color with some annuals in your yard. Having splashes of color in your landscape is like adding the “wow” to your outfit. It sparks it up and just makes you feel better when you see it. It is also a good time to get the yard ready for the slower growing season. You should fertilize it to keep it healthy. This is like giving a multiple vitamin to your yard. The yard needs nutrients on which to thrive. It is better to spend a little fertilizing now than re sodding later. If you want more information on master gardening, there are classes held at all full service public libraries, Just log in to your county website and go to libraries. There you will find the library closest to you and a calendar of events. You can also go to your local nursery where they will be knowledgeable about the plants, flowers and vegetables that are best for your locale, Just a difference of a couple of miles can make a difference in the best plants for you.
This is also a good time to clean out your closets. What didn’t you wear this summer? What have your children grown out of if they were in one of those growth spurts. If the clothing is in excellent shape , you may want to take it to a local consignment store. There you will find that most will set a price and share it 50/50 with you. Now before you rush out to spend the latest cash bonanza remember that what you paid is not what someone else will pay in consignment. But you say I paid $400 for the outfit and I am only going to end up with $50? Yes that could be so. But remember this is something that you aren’t wearing for whatever reason and don’t think that you will any time in the near future. Besides it is taking up precious closet pace. So just think of it as fashion karma. You are clearing out space for something new and you are helping someone else have a fashion experience that they would not have been able to afford otherwise.
If the clothing , shoes, purses belts etc are not quite of the caliber for a consignment store, consider giving it to a thrift store of the charity of your choice or if you don’t have a particular charity in mind the Salvation Army or Goodwill Thrift store. These items can be a little more worn but should be clean and not torn. Whereas you may not receive cash to put in your pocket for these items, you will get a receipt for a tax deduction when you file your taxes as well as helping someone else have clothes to wear. The thrift stores will most likely accept small appliances,books,furniture that is in good condition, and various other household items. Some will even come to your home to pick these items
The last phase in the cycle are those items that are all but worn out, ripped and torn, have holes in them, missing pieces, cords, etc. These items should be tossed. For the small appliances and even larger items check with your local waste management office as they usually have a fall cleanup day for each area on which they will pick up items that are not normally in your trash can. For that day only which is usually a Saturday, all you have to do is get the items to curbside. If your specific area does not have such a day, you can call the waste management office and schedule a larger item pick up day.
If you need help trying to determine what items go where and quite frankly it is often an overwhelming experience, it is a good time to call in a professional organizer. They can assist with the sorting in a non emotional way. The professional organizers with OH MISS will actually take your things to the charity of your choice and get the receipt for you.
If you want to get your money in a more direct way and clear out your clutter, have a garage sale. A garage sale takes time and planning. You need the time to gather, then price, advertise, setup and have helpers on your sale day. Again this is an area where a professional organizer and someone who is knowledgeable in garage sales can really be of benefit to your bottom line. The professional organizer can assist you in clearing out the clutter and determine the garage sale worthiness and a garage sale professional can assist you in getting the most for your items. As the adage goes, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. There are some items that are very popular at garage sales and the professional garage sale shoppers will be out on the hunt early in the day. There are ways to advertise your garage sale to get the word out to the most people as well. Another idea is to get several of your neighbors together to do a garage sale on the same day. This will attract more visitors to your sale. OH MISS has garage sale specialists and helpers on staff to help you make the most from your garage sale.
As a special anyone that mentions this article when calling OH MISS for an appointment will receive 10% off the fee. See there you have made more money and not even put up a sign. Call 813-636-9700 and set up your appointment today. This offer is good through October 30,2009, after that our elves will be racing to help set up their homes for the holidays.
Now that you have cleaned out your closets,cupboards and shelves, you will be able to enjoy the upcoming holidays much more.
I had the priviledge of being a guest on the Malcolm Out Loud radio show on BayBiz AM 1470 this past Tuesday. What a terrific experience! As they say in the “biz” the show is in the can. As soon as OH MISS gets the copy of the show you will find it here on our website.
For all of you in business, this is an excellent show with tips being presented daily by local well know business people on how to have a small business as well as starting one and what to look forward to in the next few years. It is a “good” news radio show as we certainly can hear enough of the negative on radio and television. I have heard from so many of you that the television news is not even on in your homes anymore. Did you know that small business owners are some of the most optimistic people you will meet? There is no greater time than the present for excellent customer service. That is what a good small business can do for you.
Which leads me to what OH MISS can do for you. We have been called “lifesavers” by so many of our clients as we assist them in crunch times, times of stress, times when they are overwhelmed with what is going on in their business or the office and what needs to still be accomplished on the home front just to “live”. Don’t allow yourself to become totally frazzled, overwrought, despondent or fearful of making a bold move. Let OH MISS give you that boost in your step so that the job of living can be less of a burden to you. The benefits, a clear head, less stress which in turn leads to a healthier you, more joy and happiness in your life and the lives of those that surround you. Let us handle the little things while you take care of the “stuff” that really matters.
Wow, can you believe that August is half over already? Where did the summer go? Children will soon be headed off t o school and some attending colleges have made their trek to the school of their choice. The tropics are starting to get active as we head in to the strongest part of the hurricane season. For those of you new to our area the peak of the hurricane season usually hits in September and then wanes as we get closer to December 1, the official end for the year.
Now to share some exciting news from OH MISS! Some of us we able to attend the eWomenNetwork national conference in Dallas that ended just a week ago. I must say that we have come back with great information and some fabulous contacts to assist you in whatever way we can. If you need a speaker for your organization, more shopping tips, new ideas in business and communications ,just ask. We can assist in putting you in touch with some terrific individuals. Social media is all the buzz, did we get an earful on that. Learning the do’s and don’ts. Social etiquette is not just writing thank you notes any more or as they used to say minding your p’s and q’s.
We were so lucky as we were able to meet and talk with Debbie Meyer of Green Bag fame. Be on the look out as she is not finished yet. We also had the privlege of meeting Judge Glenda Hatchett, the juvenile court judge of tv fame. If you want to meet someone passionate about the foster care system just spend 10 minutes with her and you will be on the band wagon to get involved. We met Joe Gonslaves of the Homes for Heroes organization, His charitable organization makes it possible for our seriously wounded returning vets to have homes that will accommodate their needs. These are accessible homes to keep families together. Hurray for Joe! Needless to say we are enthusiastic about the future of small business in the US and all the good that is happening that doesn’t always make the news.
Speaking of news, if you are reading this entry today August 17,2009 or tomorrow the 18th before 12:30 p.m. tune in to AM 1470 for the BayBiz program with Malcolm Out Loud. This is going to be one of the best shows in the bay area very soon. It is going to be a good news program featuring the good things that are happening in our area in the business community as well as our communities in general. Isn’t it about time we had some good news in our day? I have been privileged to be asked to join Malcolm on his radio show tomorrow as we speak to women entrepreneurs and some local charity organizations. It is going to be exciting and I look forward to sharing what I can about what it takes to succeed as a woman entrepreneur.
Come back and check us out as we are going to be announcing some news of global proportion very soon. OH MISS will not just be your little home town concierge . Stay tuned.
Give me your feedback or ask questions and I will get to them within 24 hours. We want to be there for you. What can we do to help you today?
For all of you who have been following us for a while, you will soon some very positive changes to OH MISS. This is a result of our being names Best of the Bay by the DuPont Registry in the July/Aug 2009 issue. It is not only an honor which comes with a lot of hard work but also signals us to broaden our reach and do better than before. If you have FIOS for your t.v. reception you may see our first t.v. commercial. If you don’t not to worry, you can view it on our website under news or go to Youtube/ohmissconcierge. We hope to being you more exciting news in the next few weeks about what is going on behind the scenes. Until then we wish you a safe weekend. Don’t forget school is starting soon. Will have some helpful hints for that as well. Good habits start early and stay with us. Don’t give up if your report card reads “needs improving”, it is never too late to learn.
This summer has been very good to us regarding our media coverage. In June we were named the best concierge for 2008 in the Best of the Bay edition of Tampa Bay Magazine.
In July, OHMISS Concierge was highlighted in the du Pont Registry (page 77 for those looking for it) as a way to delegate household tasks. Please see the attached press release for more information.