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Jasper, Indiana, United States
OK, I really despise these bio things. I'm a pretty open person but I don't prattle well with no aim of direction. If you want to know something about me there are plenty of ways to get in contact with me listed here; so just ask.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Relay for Life

It's Relay weekend and we're at Washington Square Mall doing laps in honor of those who have beat cancer and in memory of those who were beaten. We have all kinds of fundraisers and activities going on this evening, so if you're in the Evansville area, come join us for a few laps, a few laughs, and a lot of fun!

A few of the things we've got planned for this evening:
  • Luminaria Ceremony (I'm on the Mac, manning the desk, come say hi!)
  • Cake Walk
  • Silent Auction
  • Snowball Fight (It's Christmas in July!)
  • Crafts, snacks, ornaments, and other goodies for sell
  • Themed laps in which you can win prizes
We'll be here until six a.m. so come out and keep us awake!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Done at last, done at last! Thank God Almighty we're done at last!

Holy ginormous squee!!!

Our IRS form 1023 is DONE!!! As soon as we come up with the filing fee we are set to go. So far the only professional help we've received was one consultation call with a CPA to make sure we were on the right track; everything else we've done completely on our own.

We've still got a long way to go in terms of raising funds and getting a studio up and running, but we're definitely making tons of progress and are well on our way.

Also, American Express trusted us with a fairly hefty small-business credit limit... Thankfully we're smart enough to not use it unless we've already got the funds to pay for it, but still... At least someone believes in us enough to want to make money off our successes (;

Monday, July 07, 2008

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's the space shuttle!

Well, since I picked on my youngest brother here after he drank fly juice, I suppose it's only fair to share some love with my eldest brother as well. So, allow me to share with you the story of the Space Shuttle and its legal sale in the state of Missouri:

It's Wednesday night and the casino down the street from the farm is having crab-legs on the buffet. Since my daddy has never met a crustacean he doesn't like and since Aaron and I were wanting to see the casino, we decided to go for dinner. On the way there I was sitting up front chatting with dad while my poor husband suffered in the back seat with my brothers. As daddy and I were discussing plans for the 4th we hear my brother pipe up from the back: "Oh yeah! Hey dad! What happened with all those fireworks we bought?"

My dad simply answered with "Check your pronoun, 'bro'. I don't think *we* bought any!"

My genius brother missed the point that he should have used "you" in place of "we" and continued to argue that yes, they really had all bought fireworks. In an effort to further clarify this point, I asked him, "'Brother'? Which of all these fireworks did you personally buy?"

His answer, "You know, the ones that make loud noise, go up in the air, then explode!" I deadpanned back, "Oh? You mean the space shuttle?" Continuing in his pattern of missing the point, he answered, "Yeah, that one! That's the one I bought!"

It took him until half-way through dinner to figure out why we were all laughing. The worst part? Four hours driving through the state of Missouri on the way home and I forgot to stop off at a fireworks stand to purchase a shuttle all my own.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Fly Goo

In a wonderful example of object lessons:

After letting the dogs in and out this morning, we had a few flies flitting about the kitchen. My youngest brother decided to go after them with the flyswatter. As he was smashing down the swatter with all his strength, my step-mother was telling him that it was not required to swing that hard, and warning him that he might damage something. Just as he opened his mouth to ask, Why?", he hit a fly. Because he was swinging so hard, the bug exploded; spraying into his open mouth and all over his glasses. My step-mother's response (after she wiped away the tears and could stop laughing): Do you still need me to answer that?


Following a ten hour trip in the car, the hubby, the puppies, and I all arrived in Iowa just as everyone was waking up for the day. While the parents did work and the kids had dentist and doctors appointments, Aaron and I caught a long nap. We then met everyone for lunch at my favorite diner on the planet.

I'm not sure what makes the Hamburg Inn 2 ( in Iowa City, IA so special, it's just got that perfect mix of food, people, and atmosphere. Afterwards, we wandered through campus and the Ped. Mall. We browsed through a fantabulous gourmet food supply shop and sniffed at the more than we make in a year bottles of truffle oils, wines, and aged basalmics. We browsed through a handful of galleries and exchanged contact info with a few owners. There was one gallery that really impressed us with their eye for selection and the multiple styles and genres of their artists. They have a digital submission process and do their selections by jury. The owner was a really cool guy who took our info and made sure to give us a few of his cards, urging us to give his name to our artists, YAY! The more time I spend working with SIACO, the more I think we're actually going to not only pull this off, but we're going to do very well with it! We also learned about corporate ordering through Dick Blick (they give special discounts to non-profits) and have an Apple employee getting in touch with corporate to determine if they will do the same. We wanted to check out the studios and galleries at the University but unfortunately, they're all still flooded.

Grandma Freda and her friend from the senior citizen's home came by for dinner. Aaron made an incredible stir-fried cole slaw and dad BBQ'ed all sorts of dead animal products out on the grill. After that, we headed to bed early.

Today we think we're going to go check out the Amana Colonies (at least the ones that are still above water) and possibly Kalona (if it's re-open yet).

Sunday, June 29, 2008


Aaron is off to work for the day and as soon as he gets home, we're headed to Iowa to visit my dad and the family. Things to do before we head out:
  • Do laundry for the trip
  • Bake cookies
  • Pack suitcase for Aaron & I
  • Pack the puppy stuff into their bag
  • Pack books, electronics, and entertainment into laptop bag & backpack
  • Pack snacks and drinks into cooler
  • Clean out the car
  • Load puppy crate, bags, cooler, and maps into car
  • Load people and puppies into the car
  • Get on the road
I'm fairly excited for the trip. It's always great seeing my dad, but this will be the first time I've seen their farm, so that will make it extra exciting!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Hi Ho, Hi Ho...

I keep staring at the amount of work in front of me and the pile is so large that it never seems to shrink, it feels like I'm just getting no where. However, this morning I was talking to a friend not about what still needed done but about what we could check off our list as finished. I've made a lot more progress than I ever realized.

The list of things accomplished:
  • Bylaws Written
  • Steps for Dissolution Written
  • Conflict of Interest Policy Written
  • Job Descriptions for 5 Main Positions Written
  • Job Openings for 5 Main Positions Filled
  • Board of Directors sat to fulfill required quorum, 1 of 2 remaining slots being considered by our top choices
  • Articles of Incorporation written, filed, and approved by US Gov.
  • Application for EIN written, filed, and approved by US Gov.
  • 1st through 3rd years projected budgets complete AND feasible
  • Federal tax form 1023 for federal tax-exempt status complete with the exception of corporate website and email. Now I just need to find a CPA and attorney to look them over and authorize them for submittal...
  • Web site(s) decided and basic design needs for a domain host determined. Our WebMaster will secure them ASAP.
So yes, there is still a massive metric butt ton to be done, but it definitely feels incredible to realize that I'm actually making measurable progress!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

I'm a real boy!

Wait, strike that, I'm still a woman. We are, however, a real business. Our Articles of Incorporation were approved and the government has issued us an Employer Identification number. We're a real company now!

Thus endeth the news of goodness. The bad news? I'm now able to start wading through all of the paperwork needed to apply for our federal and state non-profit status. We also will need to start applying for a small business loan in order to pay for those applications (my goodness was I shocked to read those fees) since community fundraising and taking public donations will be difficult without being able to write people receipts for a tax-deductable charitable donation. In a perfect world, we'll be able to get everything approved for our non-profit charitable status quickly enough to then take donations in order to pay back the loan. In the real-world, it's probably a good thing that no one has quit their day jobs.

Back to the good news front, all but one member of our Board of Directors has been sat. Our first choices have all said yes to serving on the board, including the regional director for the JCAC who will be a tremendous help in providing us with knowledge and experience. Our last seat is a Member At-Large position. We have a first choice in mind (as well as a few backups) but have not yet been able to contact him. However, the two at-large positions aren't required to be filled in order to have meetings or make quorum, so we can still get started in the interim.

This process still carries with it a huge sense of trepidation, but so much excitement is being mixed in that it's turning into quite the enjoyable endeavor. I never thought I'd be able to teach myself enough about business and tax law to accomplish all of this on my own... I wonder if I'll still be singing the same tune after I wade through the non-profit applications...

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Bylaws? Shmylaws!

It has been a long few days, but we've finally got the bylaws written for our non-profit. We also have a Board of Directors in place for our first business year. Now I have to work on contracts for our four paid positions, find space that we can afford, file our Articles of Incorporation with the government, and fill out our tax exemption form for both the state and federal agencies. Then, it's time to fundraise off my arse.

If anyone can recommend cheap legal representation to double check our paperwork, point me in the direction of some property (hopefully with an owner willing to knock a huge chunk off of rent in exchange for writing the donations off on their taxes), and/or wants to donate money - just drop me a note. Lord knows we need all three fairly badly at this point!

Happy Father's Day!

Yes, I realize I'm a week behind on this. However, I'm blessed to have three amazing fathers every day of the year, so I figure I can celebrate any time I so choose.

I was lucky enough to see my biological father earlier this week. We don't seem to keep in nearly as close contact as we did when I was a child. I took it for granted then but I really miss it now. I think I need to take a page from my daddy's book and make communication a priority between us again.

As a child my mom and dad divorced when I was pretty young. I didn't get to see my dad very often, but he never let me forget I was special to him. Every Wednesday night at 7 p.m. my daddy would call me. Yeah, I know, a weekly phone call doesn't seem that important. This was before the time of cell phones, though. If daddy was traveling, he'd sit at a McDonald's on the side of the road for twenty minutes to make sure that he'd be near a pay phone at exactly seven. He was known to put a date on hold right in the middle of it in order to call me when he said he would. He snuck out of board meetings on the nights that they would conflict with our phone calls. It didn't matter what was going on in my father's life on a Wednesday night, I was always his first priority during that moment in time. We might not always be able to talk very long during some of the calls, but he always found the time to call me to tell me hello and that he loved me.

My step-father told me that he loved me just as obviously, if not just as loudly. I was a downright shit as a teenager, and yet he never washed his hands of me or forced my mother to raise "her" daughter. Even when I was a nasty, stubborn, egotistical teenager he still raised me as if I were his. I didn't always appreciate that fact, but he did it none-the-less. Today, I appreciate it more than I'll ever have the words to tell him. He is the man who showed his love in subtle ways. As Superintendent, he attended many school functions that most parents aren't privy to attend. At my NHS induction I was the only student whose candle was not lit by the group's sponsor. Instead, I knew how proud he was of me when he stood up to light my candle. He's the one who went to bat for me when I didn't always know how to communicate with my mother. He's the one who when I spent a summer trying to not explode my spleen would tuck in an extra bit of cash along with the check for my rent and groceries along with a note to spend it on anything I wanted for myself that I didn't want to have to explain to my mother. He has given to me and my life so generously and in so many little ways regardless as to if I deserved it or not, and so often I didn't. He simply gave because he married my mother and as such I became his daughter. He has taught me a great deal more about what real love is by both his relationships with me and my mother than any love story or chick flick ever could hope to convey.

Finally, I was given the gift by my husband of a marvelous set of in-laws. My husband's father was a boat mechanic and a Baptist preacher. He no longer serves a pulpit, but he still fixes boats better than just about anyone. It's not always a glamorous job, but it's one he does exceptionally well and with great pride. My father-in-law is a strong, solid man with great respect and love for God and for his family. He counted me as a member of that family from the first day he met me. I know he must not have always agreed with my life and the decisions that his son and I have made together, but he has never let that show. My husband and I lived together for almost a year before we were married legally, it took us time to save up the money for a wedding and by sharing household expenses we were able to save for it much more quickly. My father-in-law must have been heartbroken by this choice, but he never showed it. I was always welcome in their home and greeted with open arms and loving support. When we did marry we chose to do so in a very non-traditional format that did not take place in a church. Despite this, my father-in-law pronounced our marriage at our wedding and signed all of the legal paperwork. When he told his son that he could kiss his bride my father-in-law was almost choked up with pride as he handed his eldest son away in marriage. My father-in-law's faith does not believe in the ordination of women. Despite that, he supports my personal goals to attend seminary. In my father-in-law I find unconditional love and support of who I am as a person and as a daughter regardless of if he supports the choices and decisions I am making. No matter where I go in my life, I know I will always find a home in his house.

Things have changed a lot in my relationships with all three of my fathers over time. I no longer speak weekly with my father, in fact, sometimes we don't even manage for monthly phone calls. He lives on a large farm in Iowa now with goats, chickens, a horse, and plans for possibly adding in cows. He and my step-mom adopted two foster boys and continue to take in other foster kids as needed. Yet despite that, when we do get the chance to talk, I'm still his little girl and still know I'm just as important to him and to his life as I've always been. My step-dad retires at the end of this summer and he and my mom are talking about buying a home just an hour from here. I'm looking forward to a relationship with him as an adult where I'm able to let him know just how much I enjoy him and how much I've always appreciated him, even when I wasn't mature enough to be able to let him know. We've moved further away from my father-in-law and now have puppies to whom he is allergic. We get to see him much less frequently now, but we still talk as often as we're able.

Some children go through the entire lives not knowing the love and support of a caring or loving father. I've been blessed enough to be given three.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Music to Walk by:

I've been trying to help my mom pick out music for the Luminaria ceremony during Relay for Life. She wants three songs, one for each element of this year's theme: Celebrate, Remember, Fight Back. Here are a few of our ideas so far:

"Meaning" -- Gavin Degraw
"You Are Loved (Don't Give Up)" -- Josh Groban
"Keep the Candle Burning" -- Point of Grace
"Candle on the Water" -- Helen Reddy
"Go Light Your World" -- Amy Grant

"Little Wonders" -- Rob Thomas
"This is My Now" -- Jordan Sparks
"Celebrate Me Home" -- Ruben Studdard
"I Run for Life" -- Melissa Ethridge (Written for Race for the Cure, but still beautiful)
"Right Now" -- Van Halen
"Celebration" -- Kool & the Gang (Kylie Minogue did a cover of this if you want something a little different)

"Seasons of Love" -- RENT Soundtrack
"If Everyone Cared" -- Nickelback
"There's a Hole in the World" -- Eagles

Fight Back:
"Win" - Brian McKnight
"I'm Gonna Win" -- Foreigner
"Beat It" -- Fall Out Boy (their cover is better than Michael Jackson's original)
"You Gotta Be" -- Des'Ree
"We're Not Gonna Take It" -- Twisted Sister

Does anyone else have suggestions we can add to the list?

Saturday, June 14, 2008

I thought you could find anything on-line?

It appears that the state of Indiana doesn't have any concise, easy to follow on-line information regarding the formation of non-profits. I finally figured out the naming issues, so we at least have a name. We're currently seeking a location so that we'll have an address with which we can file for permits and licenses as well as funding with which to pay for the site. Other than that we need to figure out board members and how to appoint them. Once we've done all of that, I think we'll be able to actually file as a non-profit and get started. I'm not sure if I'm excited or scared, it vacillates.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Who knew?

When looking to start up a non-profit, who would ever imagine that naming the organization would be one of the hardest parts? Somehow it seems ominous that when we're looking to open a center for creativity we find ourselves suffering writer's block from the very first step...

Things About Which I've Been Posting: