Thursday, February 26, 2009

What a Way to Wake Up!

Tuesday morning Ross and I were woke up by his phone ringing. This happens all the time and it is always some subcontractor with a question or a problem or even security guards who have something to report on Ross' houses. Not this time. I could tell by the way Ross answered the phone. All he said was okay and hung up the phone. He looked at me and said I just got called into the corporate office with the big dogs first thing this morning. We both knew it was over.

Ross was in fact laid off along with other people. They told Ross it wasn't personal. Let me just go ahead and roll my eyes at that. Obviously, they have never been laid off before. How else are you supposed to take that??? Ross did get a tremendous amount of calls from his coworkers and subcontractors and everyone just seemed to be in shock. The lady that owns Ross' cleaning company called crying. Ross' boss' wife was crying. Ross came home and had about 30 minutes where he was angry. He got over that really quickly and I had about 30 minutes last night where I was angry. I guess emotions are to be expected. Shelby has not been angry though. She has enjoyed the last day or so with daddy at home. Wooohooo...someone else other than mom!!! Ross got a good severance package, thankfully. He signed a contract that he would not talk about it though. Let me just go ahead and roll my eyes at that one too! Luckily we have savings and I have been super busy at real estate and should hopefully have 2 good closings in the next 4 or 5 weeks. I have to be honest. I do feel a little responsible for all of this. More than once last week, I caught myself thinking how am I going to keep on this pace with real estate and be able to be at home with Shelby. Maybe God decided to go ahead and answer that question. Ross would be ecstatic to be at home with Shelby everyday. He would be the best stay at home dad. But, that is not the plan right now. Ross has already been networking and we have had so many calls from friends and family saying call this guy at this company or this company is hiring. Ross is headed out this morning to go and talk to a couple of companies. Say a little prayer for Ross, please!

As for Shelby.....she is all about giving kisses right now and kissing owies or bobos whatever you call them. She has been dancing more and more lately. Whenever you get in the car she lets you know she wants the radio on. As soon as you turn it on she just starts shaking it in her car seat. I guess dance lessons are not too far away. I can just see her in a tutu!!! We have been spending more and more time outside and Shelby loves it!!! She plays in the sandbox that daddy built her and grandma and aunt Kristen bought her a little picnic table that she LOVES! She eats a lot of her meals there. I think we will get in another zoo trip before Ross goes back to work. The weather is just so nice!

Well, I am going to end this by saying that a prayer is greatly appreciated. Don't worry about us though, we were prepared and we are scrappy :). They are a lot of families dealing with this right now that are in far worse shape and that is where my prayers are directed. Hopefully my next post is tell you about Ross' new job.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A couple of pics

Shelby on her Great-Grandpa Muske's saddle.

Ready to rope some goats.

We went out to take pics of a house. Shelby fell asleep on the job.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

It's Over

It has been two years since charges were filed against the mayor of Fulshear. And you are probably wondering why in the world I care. Unfortunately, I like so many innocent people got drug in the middle of this. Lets go back 2 years....I was pregnant with Shelby working for my father's engineering and surveying company. My father's company represents many small towns as their engineer and surveyor including the City of Fulshear. The mayor of Fulshear started cleaning up a piece of property near city hall that was trashed. The owner, METRO, gave him permission. He cleaned it up and a citizen claimed that some old junky carports on the property were his and the City stole them and he was filing a lawsuit. Enter my father who was asked by his client, the City of Fulshear, to survey the property to prove the buildings were on metro property and therefore they had the right (there were no fences)]. Keep in mind that the person claiming they were his carports did not own the neighboring property anymore and did not for some time. It had been foreclosed on. He had leased the metro property for ingress and egress purposes but had not paid on the lease in some time and had been repeatedly asked by metro for their money and to clean up the property. Also, keep in mind that the person claiming they were his carports has a massive criminal record, well I saw it, it was in a 4-inch binder and included trying to have his ex-wife killed.

Needless to say, this was all political. The Assistant District attorney is wrapped up in the politics and went after the mayor personally instead of after the city. Where do I fit into this.....I wish I could say I don't. A couple of months after this all started, my parents finally got to take their dream trip to Alaska. They flew out Monday morning and Monday evening the Texas Ranger came into the office. The Ranger was super professional and reminded me a lot of my dad. I didn't know what he was coming in about but he told me he needed a couple of copies of a survey, a copy of an invoice, and a copy of the cancelled check that paid for the invoice. I proceeded to give him the same speech I give everyone looking for a copy of an old survey. Thirty years worth of surveys and no real exact way to file them may make it hard, but I will try. He proceeded to tell me that this was a subpoena and that he had to have it. He handed over a partial survey and I recognized it as this survey for the City and since it had been done just prior to this I thought we could find it easy. I called another employee over to find the copies and I proceeded to tell the Ranger that we had not been paid for the invoice as of yet. We had just sent the invoice out the week before. He told me he had to make a call and walked out the front door and was on the porch on his cell phone. I printed out the invoice so that I could at least give him this and realized that the invoice was not for the survey but previous work done on behalf of our client. I went out the front door, excused myself for interrupting, and proceeded to tell the Ranger that I was mistaken and that the survey had not been invoiced as of yet. I went back in the office and the Ranger came in after a little while and was finishing up his conversation. He said, in front of me, to whomever he was on the phone with, "do you want to tell her". He handed the phone to me and said the District Attorney would like to speak to you. He introduced himself as Mike Elliott and I proceeded to tell him that we had not invoiced this survey as of yet because it was a tiny job and we invoice those all together every 6 months and therefore we were not due to invoice for another 2 months. He proceeded to tell me that was fine and to call the Texas Ranger when I had the cancelled check and the Ranger would pick it all up. I then told him that I was 6 months pregnant and by the time the invoice is sent out and makes it thru all of the approval channels including city council I would not be working anymore and that he needed to talk to David (my dad) about this. He said that we would cross that road when we got there and that I had been subpoenaed and could not tell anyone about this or I would go to jail. I then asked him do you realize that David, the owner of this company, is my father? He said no. I said, "so you are telling me that I can not tell my father about this"? He said yes, no, and kept fumbling. I said again, "you are telling me that I can't tell my father"? He kept fumbling again so I very sternly said, "sir I need to know if I can tell my father". Mind you the Texas Ranger is standing in front of me listening to all of this. The District Attorney proceeded to tell me in a very ugly voice, "no you can not tell him or you will go to jail, if this gets out, you are going to jail. Do you understand me, you tell anyone and you will be put in jail". I said, "sir, that's all I needed to know". The Texas Ranger left. It was after 5 at this point so I started cutting off lights, computers, and locking doors. Before I got out of the building the stress started in and I started having contractions. I drove home with contractions, went home, tried to relax and stop my mind from running a million miles a minute. I knew what this D.A. was trying to do. He was trying to say that the mayor was using City funds (the City paying for the survey) for his defense. I felt like I was being used and had the weight of all this on my shoulders. I laid there and went over the whole thing in my mind, probably 100 times. Two things did not sit well with me. First, the ranger would not say what Elliott wanted him to say. And it took me three times of asking Elliott if I could tell my father before I got a straight answer. I decided that the next day I was calling our attorney. The next morning I called our attorney. His wife, who works for him, answered and I asked if I could come speak to him. She said that they were headed off to court but she would call me tomorrow and squeeze me in. Our office is about 4 blocks from theirs so I told her I could run over whenever they had a moment. The next day I went over to talk to our attorney. I was so scared of saying something I shouldn't that I started the conversation by saying if someone, hypothetically, were subpoenaed and told that they could not speak of it or they would go to jail, could they talk to their attorney. He, of course, said yes. I proceeded to tell him the whole thing, pulled out my file folder with the subpoena, etc. I told him all I really need to know is if I can tell my father. He told me yes, the subpoena was in the name of the company and not me personally and my father was a principal of the company and I should tell him as well as his business partner. Note: I have since found out that I could have told ANYONE about this and any of the matters it regarded. The D.A. flat out lied to me, threatened me, and used me. I went back to the office told my dad's business partner and I told him I was not going to tell dad until he got back. Dad called in that night and was telling me about Alaska and proceeded to ask me if everyone was okay. Most of you know I am a major daddy's girl. I busted into tears and told him the whole thing, including about my contractions. I told dad I don't want this D.A. to know that I have told you even though I legally can. I googled him and had read enough to know how crooked he was and I was scared. I didn't want to have Shelby in jail. The day the Ranger came in was in mid May and the last of many phone conversations was August 28, 2007, the day a copy of the City's check was faxed to him. Just 10 days before Shelby was born. In fact, I was already at home and having to deal with him from home. My previous thoughts were correct and the mayor was charged with more charges stemming from the city paying for this survey. The trial just ended after a week of hearing witnesses and my father was on the stand for roughly 5 hours. The mayor was found innocent in 15 minutes by the jury. The jury even apologized to the mayor, after the trial that he had to go thru this. It was very obvious that there was nothing there to begin with.

I thought I was going to have to testify and did go in to meet with the mayor's attorney, Rusty Hardin. I told him what happened and told him I would testify. I did not have to testify, thank goodness. I'm just glad that this is all over with. If you all are bored you should google: Mike Elliott, District Attorney. It is pretty scary with what you will come across. I was not the only person he threatened in this case. You can also read a lot of articles on him at . The Fort Bend Herald is always writing articles and opinions about him. Here is just a couple: