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)

Friday, April 13, 2018

Chugging Along and What We Have Spent So Far

The family farm in Southwest Wisconsin ( a family member still 
owns it)
It has been a slow and uneventful week around here.  The hubs is off a few days this week, as he worked the weekend last week.  He is busy with church maintenance projects out in the garage.  It involves building a platform for one of the church AC units and that is all I need to know.

The weather has been super nice, we did have a rainy day on Tuesday, but otherwise, the week has been great. I had a day at Disney scheduled with one of my animal shelter friends, but we were rained out.

I have been actively applying for jobs online.  I think I mentioned it before, I would very much like to get back into the state retirement system, I have checked local city and county websites for available jobs and it is slim pickings.

It will happen, it will just take time.  Meanwhile, if another job becomes available, I would probably take it.    Am I bored?  Maybe.  Since I resigned my position with the non-profit, I have had a lot of time to get certain projects done around the house.  Most of the ones that were bothering me and hanging over my head have been addressed.

There are more projects that need to get done, but they also need cash to fund them.  So there you go. We would like to fence in the backyard with a privacy fence, due to the large size of the lot it would be close to $5000.  Yikes!  We want to paint the house, replace the metal roof on the RV carport ( we don't have an RV, it was here when we bought the house) And then there is the above ground pool...  Yeah, the list keeps growing.

Below is what we have spent on groceries and eating out.

Money Spent So Far This Month

Week 1 Publix $4.50  Milk and bananas Aldi $1.99 heavy  whipping cream  DG $2.70 eggs

 Winn Dixie $84.38                                                                     
                  TOTAL  $93.57

Week 2   WalMart  $12.84   BJ's $2.99     Aldi $78.52      CVS $7.50 trash bags    

              TOTAL  $101.85

Week 3  

Week 4 

Health and Beauty

Week 1 CVS $10.99  Detergent and dish soap I use and had coupons for
Week 2 CVS  $5.38 Shampoo and dish soap that I use and had coupons for. 
Week 3
Week 4

Animal Care

Week 1 $2.15 litter Dollar Tree
Week 2  $13.00 dog food  Walmart 
Week 4


Week 1 $18.99  included in the Winn Dixie shopping trip
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4

Eating Out

Week 1  $38.00
Week 2  $11.77 + ( $11.50) hubs had to work a double on Sunday and had to buy his dinner.  $23.27 total 
Week 3
Week 4

 $4.00 saved on Ibotta

Tracking how we spend $$$ is so much fun! ;-)  Definitely an eyeopener.  

The weekend will include more yardwork.  We are pulling up small stumps along the back fence and I will probably mow the yard.  Kinda looking forward to that.  It will be warmer, but the humidity won't be so bad.

What are your plans for the weekend?  Anything fun?

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Truck Maintenance

Truck Maintenance is no joke.  We have spent almost $700 on tires, $225 on brakes and now an additional $50 for oil ( he insists on synthetic oil) and filter.  

The savings account is officially dried up.  Poof!   The correct tires have been ordered and should be here tomorrow evening.  I will be glad when this truck stuff is done.  Note to self, I need to figure out how to get sinking funds started for next year. 

When the tires are installed this week, I will slide the remaining funds from savings to the CC.  We are looking at a zero interest card to put the remainder of the CC balance on to.  One with zero transfer fees.  

Making it on one check may be too much to hope for.  I have been looking for part-time employment for the last month, but I may have to up my game and really start hustling for a full-time gig. 

I am actively applying for a state/county job as I am already vested in the state retirement plan and any additional time worked will increase my retirement payout.  I have the minimum time in now, and I worked in the school system as an aide so very little payout at age 62.  Only about $92 bucks a year.  But with more time in at a better paying position,  the monthly payouts will improve. 

Yesterday was a wash.  It rained ALL day and we were stuck indoors.  I had plans to go to Disney with an animal shelter friend, but the weather botched those plans.   Today, back to normal.  Get out and walk for an hour, and come back and continue to clean and organize.   I am pretty sure I can find more stuff to take to the Thrift Store if I look hard enough. 

The hubs is off the rest of the week.  He has projects both here ( more baseboards to finish up) and at church.  He is the unofficial maintenance guy at church and takes care of the AC's, electrical and whatever else they need.  The church is old and needs lots of attention.

I have been going through my mom's old photo albums.  She had tons of them.  I just love the old pictures, but keeping all of them is not something I need to do.  So, I have been posting some of them that have pics of my cousins, Aunts,
My mom holding my cousin Denise
and Uncles ( I have probably 60 first cousins on moms side) on my family FaceBook page to see if any family members want some of them. That has been fun, posting the pics and reading the memories that other cousins post.

 I have cousins that are as old as my mom would have been, I am next to the youngest first cousin.  Anyway, the older cousins have great memories they share and I do find it fascinating to read their posts about the pictures.   This picture is of my mom standing in front of my Uncle's police car, holding my cousin Denise, at their family farm in Wisconsin.   

Do you have vintage family photos?  Do you display them or keep them in albums? 

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Lightening the Load

 Yesterday I dropped off three boxes of depression glass, Fire King and some bells I use to collect at a consignment thrift store in Orlando.

The owner adds it to her already full store and when it sells she gets a cut and so do I.

I could have listed it on eBay, and some of it was listed on ebay in the past, but I just wanted it gone.

When I go back next month with another load, she will cut me a check for any that has sold.

I was way over the top with this stuff and it felt good to get rid of almost all of it.

Truth be told, I did go through the boxes one last tine and picked a FEW pieces that I could not let go of just yet.

The curio cabinet WAS empty but not so much now.

I still have a few more boxes of glass to go through, and hopefully will have more stuff picked and ready to go next month.

Have you cleaned out your curio/china cabinet? 

Monday, April 9, 2018

Using It Up

Last week I used what we had on hand for dinner and dessert.    The garage freezer had a couple of packs of chicken thighs.  I googled for an easy recipe to cook the thighs and here is the recipe I used.

The ingredients are chicken thighs, beer, salt, pepper, paprika, garlic, onion powder, but I used minced onion.

 I put the frozen chicken thighs along with the other ingredients and cooked them on high.  The recipe said to cook for at least 6-8 hours on high since the thighs were frozen. 

 I think it was closer to 4 hours and the thighs looked done.  I checked the temp with my meat thermometer and they were done.

After the chicken cooled, I shredded it and put it in the fridge for use in a chicken tetrazzini.

I did have the mushrooms and frozen peas in the fridge and freezer.  They were left over from a previous meal.  And spaghetti, I most of the time always have that on hand.  Easy enough.

The chicken tetrazzini was a big hit and we used it for dinner and lunch the next day.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Sunday's List of Things to Get Done

Today is like my Monday.  I am taking care of my housework and clothes today as tomorrow is a trip to Orlando for my haircut and a stop at the consignment shop that I am dropping off some of my
depression glass for resale.

1.  vacuum and wash floors
2.  wash laundry
3.  2-mile walk
4.  clean bathroom
5.  change the litter
6.  bake a cake or brownies Nope, no eggs on hand
7.  cut some coupons
8.  wash grandson's comforter
9.  sweep off the front porch
10.  Pledge the end tables
11.  Wash dog bed

I have had good luck with the kitty litter from Dollar Tree.  I only have to change it once a week, now that we are down to one cat.  No odor, but it is a bit messy.  I was using more expensive litter and having to change it more often.

We had a big storm blow through last night.  There are branches and odd pieces of paper all over the place.  A couple of my amaryllis with the blooms are laying on the ground.  Sigh... We need the rain, but not the wind.

Dinner is going to be easy tonight.  It will be chili dogs or grilled chicken.  Nothing too fancy.  Hubs is working this weekend, so housework is easy to get done.

What is on your list of things to do today? 

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