Sunday, August 12, 2018

Tickets and Reservations in place.

The plane tickets for our trip to DC this December are purchased and room reservations have been secured.  The tickets started out fairly reasonable, but we typically purchase seats with additional room as my husband is VERY tall.

The room reservations took a bit to decide.  We prefer to use Marriott's when we travel and there are sooooo many Marriotts in DC and in neighboring Virginia.  We decided on a facility that offers free breakfast, social/happy hour three evenings a week,  and a free shuttle to the Metro and airport.  All the rooms are suites and offer a small kitchen with fridge and microwave which may or may not come in handy.  We will see!

As prompted by a reader, I contacted our state Senator to secure tickets to see the Capital Building, the Supreme Court, Library of Congress, Bureau of Engraving and Printing, and the White House.  Unfortunately, the White House is not offering tours during the week we are there. Last week, we did get an email to confirm that we have tickets to see the Capital Building on Dec 26th.  I am hoping that we will get tickets to see the Supreme Court too.

I started my new job on Friday at the elementary school.  I will be working with K-3 kids one on one giving them extra help in their classwork.  Tomorrow the students will be on campus and it will probably be a little crazy, to say the least.  The principal is opening up the campus for Monday and Tuesday so parents can walk their kids to class the first couple of days.  After that, any and all visitors will have to check in at the office before they can go anywhere on campus.

The faculty and staff that I met on Friday were very warm and welcoming, I am so hoping that I will really like this new job!  Another new hire for an identical position at the school is a friend of my daughter, so it is nice to have a friendly face that I know. We will be working with the same kids under the supervision of the same teacher.

My yearly mammo results came it the mail Thursday.  Per the postcard, additional imaging is required.  That freaked me out a bit.  I called the hospital and requested the report and the images on Friday.  The medical records department is awesome, they had them ready for me by noon the same day.
shared via 

The report states that there are calcifications seen this time that have not been seen previously. Based on this, additional imaging will be required.  Typically, spot compressions will be done.  Mostly, calcifications are not that concerning, but sometimes they will follow up with a biopsy.   When I first got the report, I freaked.  Metastatic breast cancer killed my mom.  And that is always on my mind when I get my mammogram done.  I am following up with my primary and requesting an order for the additional imaging.  So hopefully this week, I can get in to get my additional imaging.

Hope your week is wonderful!

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Travel Suggestions for Washington DC

We are planning a trip to Washington DC for our 40th wedding anniversary.  Our anniversary is the day after Christmas, and we will be in DC that week.  We have never been, and welcome suggestions for sights to see, places to eat and places to stay. 

Things are picking up this week appointment wise, I had my annual GYN yesterday, and lunch with a friend from elementary school. 

Thursday I am going back to the dentist to get a crown on a cracked tooth.  Can't wait for that.  Pfft. After that appointment, I am off to get my mammogram.   I am motivated (finally) to get all my stuff done before I go back to work next Friday. 

We have not been able to paint the house, as we have had rain every day for the last 17 days.  That will probably have to happen in October when the rains stop and the humidity goes away. 

Today's agenda is to get out there and mow the yard, pick up a few things at Aldi's and finish up laundry.   Sounds exciting, right? 

Friday, July 20, 2018

The Weather is Predictably Unpredictable

The weather we are experiencing is typical for this time of year.  Rain, rain, rain.  We were trusting the weather predictions earlier this week which stated that the chance of rain would be very low towards the end of the week.  Not so much. The weather has a mind of its own.

What does all this rain mean?  It means we will have to postpone our house painting once again.  Meh.

There are still things we can do inside while we are dodging the rain.  I ordered bunk beds from WalMart and mattresses from Amazon for the grandkids to put them in one room when they stay the night.  Sheet sets were picked up at Target on clearance.

I ordered a desk for me from WalMart that needs assembly. I have missed having a desk for me and all my controlled chaos.  Currently, I keep stuff like bills, notices, etc, in little bins that are stashed in a closet.    Or on a bed.  Or the dining room table.  You see the problem here, don't you? 

Last week, I found this lovely gazing ball at Old Time Pottery at 30% off.  It was definitely calling my name!  Last year, Hurricane Irma took out the other gazing ball that sat in the same spot since we moved here seven years ago.   The front flower bed is now complete with the addition of my new bright and shiny gazing ball.

I have not heard anything from the potential ultrasound job.  Time will tell if they call or not.  I am curious, but again I am content that I have employment secured already with the local school system.

We are still pitching out stuff that we no longer need.  I finally let go of a couch of my mom's that I kept in a spare room since her death.  Since I was able to get rid of that, it has been easier to move forward with making my house my home. 

There is still stuff of hers that I have kept, small pieces of furniture, lamps, jewelry, and photos.  And... her house.  I still have her house as a rental.  But, in two years it is my goal to sell that too.

 How is your weather where you are?  Predictable or unpredictable?

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Monkey Wrench ~ Maybe

I was chatting with my financial planner yesterday about the progress of my investments and what to do with the proceeds from the sale of my mom's house.  I still have my parents house that they left me when they passed.  Currently, it is being rented by my son.   The house is located in a wonderful well-established neighborhood, no HOA and a new K-8 school is being built and will be open in 2019. 

While we were talking about that and other things, I did mention that I was going back to work in August as a Teacher Aide.  He then mentioned that his friend owns a new business.  This business is stem cell-based therapy, and according to the financial planner, business is booming.  His friend is seeking sonographers to help in the procedures. 
The new vinyl fence along driveway right after installation first I didn't think I would be interested but after some thought, I am going to ask for an introduction and see if the position is a possibility for me.  It is basically assisting with the procedure and providing quality imaging while the doc is injecting the stem cells into the joints.

Our backyard has its new privacy fence in place.  I love it!  It makes such a big difference in how the yard looks and how I feel when I am in the back yard.  Pricey, but worth every penny.

We will be adding a few more improvements to the backyard in the very near future. But first, we must get the house painted.   The plans are to get that done this upcoming week.  The hubs is taking three days off and we are going to give it our best shot to get it all done by the time he goes back to work.  Major accomplishment, if we can get the checked off our to do list.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Employment Confirmed

I received my confirmation email from the elementary school I will be working at today.  Report for work August 10th, which is a Friday. School starts on the following Monday.  I am feeling pretty good about the job, and am looking forward to getting back into a routine.

There are a few projects that are going on around here at the house.  We have decided to stay here and not look for another house with all the bells and whistles that we have always wanted.  Nope, we are going to move forward and add the bells and whistles to our current home.

First, we are fencing in our backyard for privacy.  The contract has been signed, a deposit has been made and they are scheduled to be here today to begin the installation.  We have removed shrubs and small trees from the fence line, I think we have been to the landfill at least 20 times.  I am super excited about the fence!

With the new job starting, I have been motivated to get "things" done.  The "things" that are getting done are going through that stack of mail sitting on the counter, order refills of RX's, calling CC to straighten out a couple of auto bill issues. Scheduling appointments for an oil change, a phone chat with our financial advisor, and next on the list is to get new glasses so I need to call Target and get that set up.

After this fence install, we are going to paint the house.  We already bought the paint at The Home Depot during their July 4th sale/rebate offer.  It is hot as balls out, but we will tackle a section of the house at a time.  Of course, we would like to get it done before I go back to work.  Fingers crossed!

Hope you are doing fantastic!

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

2nd Interview

Friday was a scheduled interview with the county for a part-time position in the procurement office.  Well, I was not able to make the interview due to a spasm in my esophagus that started about noon.  Salvia was being produced, and I could swallow BUT after a certain time, (usually about 15 minutes) I would vomit the saliva back up.  This went on for hours and probably stopped about 2AM.
Crepe Myrtle 

Moving forward to Monday, which was yesterday, I had another interview at the elementary school about 20 minutes away.  It was a team interview, the Assistant Principal, department head and two instructors.  After the interview, I felt that it went very well and I was fairly confident that they would be calling me.

This afternoon, the AP did call and offer me the position as a teacher assistant.  I am beyond thrilled!  It is a 6-hour position, I will be on the grandkids schedule with the same days off as them and I will be back in the Florida State Retirement System building up my retirement benefits.  I am already vested in the system, and if I did not get another job in FRS, my monthly retirement benefit would be $100.

Now I can increase somewhat with more time in the FRS, and who knows, later on down the line I may be able to find a better paying job in the school system that will positively
affect my retirement benefits. 

The rate of pay for teacher assistants is not THAT much, especially when compared to my previous career as a sonographer.  The tradeoff is much lower stress and an acceptable schedule that I find very appealing.

Now, to finish some projects that need to get done before I go to work August 10! Truth be told,  a few months ago, I was convinced that I was going to be homebound for an extended period of time due to anxiety/depression.  For now, that has definitely changed for the better.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Recap of Yesterday

Today started out with an interview at a local elementary school for teacher assistant.  Specifically, it is for a math tutor for 4th and 5th-grade students that are struggling.

Princess on the porch this AM
The interview went well, until the math test.  Yep, I had to take a 5th-grade math test to qualify as a math tutor.  Makes sense of course.  I don't expect to hear back with a job offer lol.  Math is my Achilles heel. I struggle with it, had to remediate it when I went back to college.  It just does not stick.

Friday, I have an interview with the county for a part-time position as a level 1 office clerk in the procurement office.  I wonder if there will be a math test as a part of that interview.  Let's hope not!

Monday is another interview at an elementary school about 20 minutes away for a teacher assistant position.  There was no mention of what exactly the position is for.  I sure hope it's not Math related.

Our plans to go to Magic Kingdom today changed.  It started out as a simple trip with about 7 people from three families.  It then ballooned into a complicated trip with about 18 people and different people going to different places in the park at the same time to get the Fast Passes they selected.  I bailed and stayed home.

Tomorrow, we are going to Legoland, my daughter, her family and myself.  It should be less complicated and easier to maneuver.  They have a water park "in" Legoland, so we will be visiting that as well. It's going to be a long day but should be fun.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Tuesday Stuff

We had the grandkids spend the night last night.  That is sort of out of our normal schedule usually it is Saturday night and then we most of the time go to church and Sunday school the next day.   I think the change was a little disruptive to the kids schedule as well.  The oldest, Big C, 9 yr old boy was out of sorts and not quite himself.

We chatted about it at bedtime and come to find out he had plans to play video games with his dad last night.  He said he felt that he did not want to disappoint us by not coming over.  I told him he can certainly make his own decisions about spending the night with us and that it would not hurt our feelings at all.

He also said that no one listens to him and that school stresses him out AND that each summer is becoming less and less enjoyable because of all the chores he has to do at home.  I just let him vent and talk, talk, talk.  Poor thing....

I hate to mention it to his parents, but I probably should and I will.  I just need to figure out the best way to present it.   They tend to be a bit aggressive in finding out what is wrong, you know what I mean?  Not physically, more verbal.  Not in a bad way, it just seems over the top for me.  But who knows, maybe I was the same way too.

Its thundering out and we are on our way to Epcot.  Disney extended our Silver passes for an extra month so we are taking advantage of it.  It is hotter than balls out, but we will do the fast passes for two shows and a ride.  Then peace out!

Thursday, June 7, 2018

June Update

The yard work has continued since the last post.  We have removed more trees, branches, and added a few more flowering plants.  There were several more trips to the landfill to continue the process of cleaning up the yard and the fence line. 

The fences that surround our yard are not ours, but a compilation and mismatch of different fences of the homeowners that surround us. For the most part they are open wire no climb fences that more agricultural than pretty.

We have an acre of land, and you would think that would provide a level a privacy, but not so  much for us.  When you stand in our backyard, you can look around and see that we are surrounded by 6 other yards that we can look into and they can look into ours. 

It drives me crazy.  So, we are continuing to remove shrubs and trees that line the fences so we can put up our OWN privacy fence.  I cannot wait. 

With the summer rains kicking in daily, mowing the yard is a once a week event.  And it is hot as Hades, but still needs to be done. I enjoy yard work more than housework even with the intense heat. 

We have been looking at painting the outside of the house.  It's only been 7 years since we painted this house, but the paint we put up is already fading and looking yuck.  Hard to believe we have already been in this house for 7 years.  It certainly does not feel like it at all. 

We have looked at paint color swatches, driven around in different neighborhoods for inspiration and pretty much it has been fruitless.  There was nothing out there that caught our eye.  Until last week.  We drove by a house in my daughter's neighborhood and saw a house that was super cute.  What was the main thing that caught our eye?  Shutters.  And they are black shutters at that.  I never thought I would want black shutters, but with the paint scheme on that house, which we are going to try to replicate, I really love them.

Our current house does not have shutters, in fact, none of the houses on this street, cul de sac have shutters.  We or I am going to Home Depot to get a set of shutters and we will hang them up and see how they look.  Maybe we can move forward with changing the paint color after that.  I sure hope so.

 We are keeping kiddos busy with Vacation Bible School this week.  Next week, we are going to hit Legoland, they had a BOGO on yearly passes.  Our Disney passes are blacked out for the next two months, which is fine.  Pretty sure we did get our money's worth out of those.  Did I mention we have SeaWorld passes too?  BOGO on Black Friday special.  They have Aquatica, a big waterpark that we take the kiddos to about once a month.  We are homegrown tourists.

For now, I am still unemployed.  I decided against going back into selling on eBay.  I just can't get all carried away with that stuff again.  And, my heart is just not into it.  When I originally sold on eBay, it was fun.  I didn't find that spark when I tried to start it up again.

My mom's birthday was June 1st.  Since she passed 5 years ago, ( I cannot believe it been 5 years) I till struggle with her death and our relationship.  Around her birthday, I still get in a funk.  Man, I hope upon hope that every year will get better, but not yet.  5 years..... still can't believe it. 

Still staying busy, trying not to go crazy! 

How are you doing? 

Saturday, May 12, 2018


Finding my frugal groove is a process.  I have come to discover that coupons and keeping up with them overwhelm me.  And being overwhelmed depresses me.  So, couponing is not going to be my thing.  Transitioning to cash only for groceries ( an agreed amount biweekly) may be a better way to go for me.  I found my self buying stuff I did not really need using coupons. 

I will continue to shop at Aldi's and Walmart, and surprisingly, Target groceries, for the most part, are very affordable.  When it comes to coffee, bread anyway.  So that is that. 

Fire pit repurposed 

The job hunting is still ongoing, and when it happens, it will happen at the right time.  In the meantime, I will continue to finish projects around the house, which includes painting, and the occasional planting of a few flowers, mowing the yard and keeping the yard looking good.  Which by the way, makes me very happy.

Mother's Day started early for me, my middle son took me to lunch yesterday at Bonefish grill.

It is the best to be able to spend an hour or so of quality time, one on one with your adult children. 

I don't need gifts for Mother's Day, time spend with my kids is the best gift.

This weekend, the weather is overcast, and kinda blah.  The hubs is still sleeping, he had a long week and is catching up on his rest.  I have been up for a while, watered newly planted Confederate Jasmine, and the flowers that I recently planted in the fire pit that we never use.   Chatted with a friend from the animal shelter for almost an hour, and then had a nice daily chat with my daughter.  She calls daily, I just love that she does that.

  I forgot just how happy planting flowers makes me.  I will try not to get too carried away with it.  My OCD personality will get carried away with about anything, or so I have been told. ;-) 

What is your fondest Mother's Day memory?  

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Staying Busy

The rest of the week has been going pretty well.  Staying busy has been key.  My daughter and I did take the kids to Animal Kingdom Wednesday evening, Thursday we took the 4 yr old to Aquatica for the day.  My grandson had a  school field trip to SeaWorld that day. This afternoon, we are headed to Epcot for a couple of hours.

Another way I am keeping busy, besides applying for part time jobs, is to revisit selling on eBay again.  Yesterday I went to Goodwill to see what they had.  You can read about it here I  dusted off my postage scale and put in new batteries.  I have ordered a few free shipping supplies from the post office. 

Maybe its because I just took a crap ton of stuff to the Thrift store for resale and I have empty shelves in my storage shed that I feel the need to refill them again.  I tend to cycle with selling in eBay, it is a lot of work, but I don't mind.   For now, it will keep me busy and keep a little cash coming in, well once I get stuff listed that is.

The grandkids may spend the night tonight, if they do, we will go to Sunday School and church tomorrow.  That is what is planned so far for the weekend.

What do you have planned this weekend? 

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Hump Day

Monday was a busy day around the house.  The weather was postcard perfect, sunny and cool.  I was able to get the yard mowed and edged, the clothes washed, the floors vacuumed and mopped.  It was nice to get caught up with the weekly chores.

Tuesday, I ran to the store to pick up bread, eggs, and coffee.  A friend and I did have plans to go to Epcot, but one of her family members became sick on Monday and she had to stay home and take care of them.  The rest of the day, I spent on Ancestry working on my dad's genealogy
and posting some pictures on my mom's Ancestry side of the family. When digging back throughthe information available.  It is just like a treasure hunt.

This obituary popped up on my search.  This is my dad's mom who passed in 1930.  My dad was 8 years old, and he and his baby sister were put in an orphanage shortly after their mom's death.  The older kids managed to avoid that, maybe they worked to support the household.  More to find out, that's for sure. I just could not imagine the pain that he and his family felt at that time. 

Sluggy @ Dont Read This; It  Is Boring has been helping me out on Ancestry.She is a wiz at it!  I am still figuring out my way around on the Ancestry website, it can be a bit overwhelming!

I did have a call from a part-time job I applied for yesterday.  It was for a mobile vet company, answering phones and scheduling clients.  The business is co-owned by a husband and wife team and is located 3 miles from home.   I worked/volunteered with the husband when he was the County manager and was so hoping that I would be able to work with their company.

 But, they were looking for someone that could be available EVERY Sunday.  I was open to working every other Sunday, as I really like to attend church and Sunday school when I have the kiddos spend the night on Saturdays. I told them to keep me in mind for the future!

Since resigning from the non-profit back in January, I have been able to get many tasks around the house completed.  It has been nice, but getting out on a regular basis with a part-time job sounds good too. I am staying ahead of the depression that tends to plague me, but it is not always easy.  The testosterone pellets are not helping like they did the first time around.  I have read that is to be expected, and I will follow up with my dr at the next appointment.

Today, fingers crossed, we are going to Animal Kingdom with the grandkids when they get out of school.  It will be good to get out of the house. 

Have you researched your genealogy? How much time do you spend on it? 

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Budget Fail This Weekend

The weekend was busy and a bit expensive.  The grandkids came over and spent Saturday night.  We were finishing up more yard work, pulling up small stumps and filling in holes left by the stump

When the kiddos came over, the yard work pretty much came to a stop.  Which was fine, the weather was hot and we were definitely working up a sweat.

The budget went to hell in a handbasket when we took the grandkids to Target to look at toys.  Well, we managed to get out of the toy section for less than $22 for BOTH kids.  That was a miracle.

Then, we headed to the clothes section and the shoe section.  The boy needed shoes, shorts and a pair of slacks maybe two.  And the girl had to have cute pink shoes, a dress, and a couple of shorts outfits. We are weak when it comes to shopping for the kiddos.  And that is how $167 was charged on to my credit card.  Lawd!

Target is the devil.  Just sayin'!

(And I know, I am part of that problem)

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