Friday, September 14, 2018

Friday This and That

 Happy Friday!  End of the week is here,  five weeks of school are in the books with 31 more weeks of school remaining.  Not that I am
tracking the time or anything...

Work is going well, the daily routine is becoming more comfortable, the students are becoming more familiar with me and all is good.  I am thrilled with my 6 hr a day schedule, it is just enough.

So far this week, except for Monday when the water line to the house was cut, we have eaten all meals at home and have packed our lunches for work.

Tuesday morning, I  did a quick search on the internet for a crockpot meal that contained cabbage and sausage. This particular recipe from Salt and Lavender is one I used as a guideline to put it all together.

I used what I had in the pantry with regards to tomatoes, added canned beans at the last hour instead of dry beans, all in all it turned out pretty good.   Leftovers provided another meal as well.

 Gym days were only Monday and Tuesday.  I was just too tired to make it the rest of the week.  With work and after work activities, I have been able to get most of all my steps in.  

In our effort to update our home with both necessary improvements and bucket list improvements (pool) we are adding a whole house gas powered generator.   Yep, more stuff to buy and pay off.   But, a whole house generator is almost a necessity when you live in a state that is routinely affected by hurricanes. 

The gas company was here yesterday installing the gas line from the street to the house.   We pulled a permit from the county and now we have to narrow down the choices for the appropriate generator.  

 The insurance company for the rental house is sending an inspector for the roof to see if we can qualify for a new roof due to hail damage.  Fingers crossed.  We are hoping to upgrade the windows, after a new roof and then remove carpet and buff out the terrazzo floors that original to the home.

Then.... we can put the house on the market and sell it.  I am ready to move on. The house has been a part of my life since I was 10.  The proceeds will go towards our retirement and paying off improvements to our current home.  

Stopped by Publix on Wednesday, I had to pick up items for lunches, and managed to spend $100.  I picked up other items too, but with what we have on hand I should have enough for the next several days.  I also scanned my receipt on my Fetch app and picked up several hundred points.  I am now at 10,000 points again.  I use my points for  Target gift cards, there are other options for gift cards, but Target is  my favorite for now.  If you would like to get started with Fetch. its easy  You just scan your shopping  receipt and  receive points . Fetch Rewards  WX8BV is my referral code!  You get points and so do I!

What is your go to app to save money grocery shopping?   

Monday, September 10, 2018

Made It to the Gym This Morning

The Citrus Tower with stormy clouds rolling in tonight.
Yes, I was up at 4:00 this morning and on my way to the gym by 4:30.  It was surprisingly crowded at that time in the morning.  Who knew?  I stayed for an hour and then headed back home to get ready for work.  I am planning to again tomorrow.  I am hoping the added physical exercise will make me tired enough so I can sleep better at night.

We had a significant hail storm in August of this year.  It did a number on our rental home located about 40 minutes from us.  The area is still recovering from Hurricane Irma and finding a reliable roofing company is not that easy.

I have been in contact with a second roofing company since the first company I contacted has not responded.  The deductible is $500.  I will be calling again tomorrow!  I really need to get the ball rolling and get that roof fixed and or replaced.

We lost this beautiful tree due to Hurricane Irma

We ate at Chick-fil-a tonight.  The plumbers that plumbed in the pool this afternoon cut our main water line.  They left and didn't tell the office, our sales rep, or us.  They just turned the water off and left.  I called the office, the sales rep and sent emails.   It came down to my husband coming home from work and fixing it himself.  If we had to wait for the company or a plumber, we would not have water all night.  It was annoying, inconvenient, and three hours later we now have running water again.

Accidents happen, but at least fix it!

Tree was removed due to safety issues 

The tropics are with named hurricanes and potential hurricanes. Florence is making her way to the Carolinas as a category 4,  I hope it weakens as it approaches.   It was this time last year that we were enduring Hurricane Irma as she passed through.  I set up my safe room in our walk-in closet.  Blow up mattress, blankets, flashlights, charged up  cellphone, and snacks.

I am hoping we don't have to prep like that again. It can be unnerving because the storms are so unpredictable.

How is the weather where you are?  Are you dealing with unpredictable weather as well?

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Woke Up Dizzy

Woke up dizzy this AM, like wobble down the hall dizzy.  Maybe it's my sinuses, the weather, or I don't know what.  Anyway, I am taking it easy this morning until it passes.

Four weeks into the new job and things, for the most part, are falling into place.  I can successfully navigate my schedule, which involves going into several classes daily to assist the kids I am working with.  The classes are the same, but the daily times are different.  It should stick sooner or later

Last week was busy with work, activities with the grandkids and a visit to Hollywood Studios.  The grandson participates in Boy Scouts (meeting on Tuesday evenings), and YMCA basketball, (practice on Thursday evening and game on Saturday) and the granddaughter will start ballet/tap on Tuesday afternoons. 

Their mom works as a Nurse Practioner, 7 nights on from 7PM to 7AM and then she has 7 nights off.  My husband and I step in on the weeks she is working to help with getting the kids to their activities.  We really are blessed to be a part of their lives.

My husband helped with chores last night.  He did the shopping and cleaned the kitchen.  I did laundry, vacuumed /mopped the whole house and changed the kitty litter.  It is so much better when he steps up and contributes.  Only took about 40 years.... lol

Today, I had planned to make it to church, probably not going to happen and then we were going to Epoct for a couple hours.  That still may or may not happen.    Still waiting on the dizziness toget better.

Have a great Sunday!

Monday, September 3, 2018

Happy Labor Day

Happy Labor Day to you and yours.  I am enjoying this three day weekend finishing up chores around the house, laundry, yard work, wash the dogs and getting ready for a new work week. 

We have completed three weeks of the school year, with 33 more weeks to go, but who is counting? :-)    I am finding my groove so to speak at work, the teachers I work with are also better utilizing me for the benefit of the students.  I do enjoy my job, and as the school year progresses, I think I will like it more and more.

But, that does not mean I am not looking for another job.  I have 10 years in the state retirement system, and I would like to increase my retirement income from the state.  To do that, I would need to seek employment in a higher paying position for at least 3 years.  The FRS. Florida State Retirement bases your retirement pay on your 3 highest years salary.  As a teacher assistant, my pay is not that significant.   Retirement is always in the back of my mind, isn't it?

The oldest son (39)  is changing jobs.  He called me Friday to let me know.  Reading between the lines, he was terminated from his position because he would not sign a paper regarding a dispute.  I know he has been struggling (mentally and emotionally) at work and in his personal life.  Well, he has been struggling a lot lately in general.  He will not go back to his doctor ( whom he says knows nothing) and get back on his anxiety meds.  When he did take the meds a couple of years ago, he was in good spirits, happy and able to deal with life.  Now that he is off the meds, he struggles and is defiant when it is suggested that he go back on them. 

As a mom, I hate to see him unhappy and struggling with his demons.  It weighs on me and I want to help....but I know that helping financially (which I am kinda already doing with letting him live in my parent's house at cost) is only enabling him.  When I sell the house, and he has to move, I wonder where he will go and if we will see or hear from him.  We probably will here and there, but he is the type to chose his friends as his "family" instead of his real family to hang out with.  That has been the case since he was a young boy.  Why would I think it would change now, I don't know.

When he is in these moods, he will always say, " This is just the cards I was dealt, and I will have to deal with it."  Ah... no, J..... It's the choices YOU made that put you in this place.  It is difficult for the whole family, we all want to spend time with him but it is not his choice. 

When do you say enough is enough?  Or, When do I say when enough is enough?

Enjoy your Holiday!  

Monday, August 27, 2018

Monday Stuff

Today started out with good intentions, very early in fact.  I set my alarm for 4:30 AM to I could get to the gym by 5:00 AM.  The alarm did go off as set, 4:30 AM and I promptly reset it for 6:00 AM.  Tomorrow is another day.

Work was good, my schedule is flowing smoothly and I am learning more and more about the kids I am working with.  It is fun and challenging to go between grade levels.  The kindergartners are a bit overwhelmed with all that is expected from them.  Kindergarten was not this hard, structured, or task oriented when I went.  Naps are a thing of the past.

I do have lunch duty daily and watch 14 classes total.  They dismiss every 5 minutes, so my time in the lunchroom goes quickly.  Luckily, I have two co-workers in the lunchroom with me.  For the most part, the kids are good.  As long as they are no food fights, the kids stay in their seats and they are not screaming, all is good.

Yesterday, I found all the parts to my FitBit and charged it up.  My goal is 10,000 steps a day and after a few laps around the driveway, I managed to hit 10,000.  I try to get most of my steps at work,
some days I do, some days I don't.  When I don't, I am out in the driveway walking to get my steps in.  Previously, I tracked with my health tracker on my droid.

Moving helps keep the knees limber.  When I just sit around, my joints get all jacked up.  Who has time for that?  Not me!

How was your Monday?

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Adjusting to the New Schedule

It's been two weeks and I have been working with grades Kindergarten through third grade.  My daily schedule varies each day between different teachers and their students.  I like the variety, so to speak as my day is not boring.

My day at home starts early, like about 5:45 AM.  I get up, maybe wash a load of clothes or finish takes boiled eggs in his daily lunch.  I also bake a pound of bacon at the same time I am prepping the eggs and put it in the fridge when it's done.
breakfast, boiled eggs, bacon with guac
putting up dishes, run the vacuum.  Breakfast is easy, I have two boiled eggs, and two pieces of bacon.  I use my rice steamer to prepare about two dozen eggs for the week. My hubs

I am pretty sure I spend more time figuring out what to wear every morning.  It's getting better, but I still will try on a couple of things before I can nail it down.  I try to dress cool as the temps are still in the 90's.  I prefer to wear sneakers as I get a lot of walking in. 

I also pack my lunch daily, which is pretty easy.  The school cafeteria has an affordable lunch for the adults, $3.00 for a full salad bar which includes a drink.  For now, I am content with bringing lunch from home.

My follow up mammogram results were inconclusive.  There are two calcifications seen, ( tiny, tiny little things) and the radiologist recommended a 6 month follow up. 

I went to Target today to get groceries, paper towels, toilet paper,  cat food, cat litter etc.  $147.00 later..... Uff Da.  For the most part, I find Target groceries competitively priced.  I will need to run to Aldi's for a few items, but that should be it as far as grocery shopping.

We are having an inground pool put in.  Big step, expensive, but it has been on our list for a long time.  After a lot of thought and conversations, we decided to stay in this home and fix it up like we want.  That includes a pool, a shop for the husband, whole house generator, new metal for the RV shed, )we don't have an RV, space is occupied by stuff. Mostly stuff too big for the garage.

Hope you have a great week!

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.

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