Waking up from a long sleep.

It's been over a year since I last posted. The year has been hectic. I haven't had time to remind myself to slow down. There is always something to do. I hired a man to help me. With the heat of summer, we did not do what I would have liked to do which is work outside.

I like to piddle work inside the house.  Unfortunately, I worked entirely too hard before he came.

I learned a lot about hiring someone. For one thing, I am not good at making the rules.

He wanted to be paid under the table. I wanted to pay him and take out taxes and have worker's comp insurance. I needed help, I paid him under the table.

He came at 10:30 and had left at 3. He did not like my dogs. He was allergic to fire ant bites, He had a bad back. The work he did was mediocre and he did not naturally move from one project to another one I needed done. He did not put trash in the trashcan. He left it where he had been working. I had to leave one day while he was working, he worked quickly and went down to my mother's room to sit to get her to let him leave early. I paid him $75 for each day. My compromise with paying under the table was I could only afford two days a week.

The good news is he stopped coming. I did not have to ask him to quit. It saved me from taking that bull by the horns. All it took was telling him to wear clothes that he didn't mind getting paint on. We were going to paint the hallway that next Monday.

I do know you can pay someone up to $600 and not report it to the IRS. So I would pay the next person the first $300 under the table. If they are a keeper, I would pay the taxes.
I'm going to be lucky if I ever get anyone good.

This man was good person. The problem was what he thought the job would be versus what it was. Add to that, he is in my situation. My home life is too hectic to fit a job in. He has young adult children and a wife who still works but is sick. She goes to sleep as soon as she returned from work at 3 PM and slept until the next morning. This is why he needed to leave by 3 PM.

I'll continue to be nice to whoever I employ. Part of the relief of getting help is not getting the stress from negativity. The other part is I don't enjoy pulling that person out of my psyche that has to give someone hell to get the job done. As Blanche DuBois said in Tennessee William's play "A Streetcar Named Desire", "I've always depended on the kindness of strangers."

The mother cat I have recently adopted and her brood is not helping with the housework.

Currently, I am feeding a dog that is immensely afraid of me and my car. It likes my food. I rolled down the window and called to it that it has a home when it is ready.

I've been hesitant to post a new blog post in that I do not have the time to visit everyone. Add to that is content. I've decided to post pictures of my part of the world. I'm not a professional photographer and the picture content is quite ordinary. But someone from a different part of the world may enjoy the novelty. I certainly enjoy the pictures of others.

This will be a brilliant Gold in about a week. 

Cassiopeia, the cat, standing in tall grass with a branch of poke salad in the foreground. The birds love the berries. The red in Poke salad makes it very poisonous. You have to know how to pick it and prepare it to prevent poisoning. At this point in the stalk's life cycle, it would be extremely poisonous.  I have eaten poke salad. It tastes about what you think grass clippings would taste boiled.

Muscadime grapes are finished for the year. They were delicious. Muscadimes are grapes native to North America. The thin skinned European varieties do not grow well here due to Pierce disease.

Beauty berries
I created a nice area for the kitty and her babies in which the dogs would not be a problem. BoDuke insists he could never be a problem.


  1. So glad to see a post from you! I know you've visited my blog over the past year and I kept checking to see if maybe I missed a post on your blog. It is hard to find dependable people to come and help out.
    I find myself having to find someone to do the yard work over at the renal house we have that son and his family currently live in. Son works 6 days a week so yard work is the last thing on his mind on his day off. I find a lot of people on the Next Door app with local people who want to supplement their money. I usually just pay cash and sometimes use the same person sometimes not depending on what they charged and how they did the work. I can see why your man would want to be paid under the table. It is a common trait I think for a lot of people. The guy who put up the fence around our pool, mind you he has been in business for over 35 years, said if we paid him cash we wouldn't have to pay sales tax on the work. That sat funny with me. Of course he didn't say that until after the work was completed. Otherwise, I would have not used him. We paid him by check the full amount, including taxes. He just didn't want to have to report the income. And I'm sure he is not the only one that does business this way. Anyway, I enjoyed your pictures. Living in a desert we don't get much rain so its nice to see other people's green fields. Hope you post more often and never think you have to visit other people's blogs. You'll get to it if you can and if not its okay :)


    1. Thanks for stopping by Betty.

      Most don't want to pay taxes on the income. I pay tax on all of mine including my social security. But what really concerns me is that I am culpable for a long term employee not paying taxes. I guess it is from working in an alternative school environment. The kids were great. But you had to be careful about any of them having some information to use against you. What some could say about you when they wanted something was plain shameful. The other part is worker's comp. I would like some sort of insurance if anyone got hurt.

      Thanks for stopping by. I've been keeping up with your blog. You always write something interesting.

  2. Good to hear from you, Ann! Sorry the guy wasn't the hard worker you'd hoped for. Someone out there has to be willing to put in a decent day's work.

    1. Thanks for visiting Alex. I've been keeping up with IWSG.

      It is a learning curve and a bit of serendipity in finding good help. This next year, I hope to get a bit of both and someone steady to help me.

  3. It is lovely to hear from you. And a big sigh at those who want to be paid under the table, but who aren't prepared to put in the hard yards.
    And you are right - I do love seeing photos from a very different side of the world. Thank you.

    1. Wonderful. My world is not quite as colorful as yours. But I guarantee it will be a different sight. I love your photos.

  4. Hi Ann! What you need is a pro housecleaner who is a guy and can do the hard work. I've cleaned houses before and always gave them 100%. I'll admit, most paid by check, but I was grateful for those who paid cash.

    1. You've said the magic word, "pro". Amateurs want to be paid a large sum and may not know what they are doing. The pro gets into the house, finishes, you pay.

      I've always worked hard at jobs. I'm disappointed that that aspect is a problem. I thought it was going to be getting someone to mesh with all the human and canine personalities in the house. Thanks Diane for stopping by. I did not know who would remember me.

  5. Hi Ann!
    It’s really good to see you again! I always enjoy the photos with thoughtfully worded captions that you share. Your posts are much like pleasant virtual getaways to a place I’ll probably never go, but feel as if I’ve been ; -) Those Beauty berries truly are attractive. Please tell me Cassiopeia knows better than to eat the poke salad.
    Is there a message board at your church where folks can post help or job-wanted notices?
    Happy, relaxing days to you!

  6. Welcome back Ann! I've been checking every once in awhile to see if you're posting again and it's nice to see you. :-)
    Good help is definitely hard to find! Sometimes it takes a few tries to get just the right fit, so don't settle for someone who's not right.
    Love the pictures! Cassiopeia is very photogenic.


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