Sunday, October 21, 2018

40 Year Class Reunion

Last night was my 40-year class reunion.  I was on the fence about going right up until the last minute.  Call it social anxiety, or a challenge for my introverted self, but I am happier staying home
most days.

The reunion was in the planning stages back in April of this year, I had all these plans to get back on track with diet and exercise to bring my best self to the reunion.  The plans were well intended, and on occasion, we did get to the gym but truth be told, there was no real success with weight loss. Eh.  I can live with it.

We arrived at the event location, checked in and picked up our name tags.  It took me a minute to locate my name tag, as I was not sure if it was listed by my maiden name or married name.  It was listed by my married name, with my maiden name included.

Most of the people chatted in the lobby of the venue while other classmates were arriving.  It was interesting to see how people were interacting. There were those who kept to themselves watching others. And then there were those who were like butterflies and mingled successfully with just about everyone.  Just like high school!

What I noticed for me is that I recognized more people than recognized me.  It could have been that this was my first reunion and they were unsure who I was.  I could have been that I had gaps of attendance during my junior year of high school and I had a fall from grace from my clique that was mostly the involved in everything group because of those absences. I found that once I got a car, I would rather go shopping then go to school. It is a wonder I did graduate.
Me between two friends from junior high.
Even though I am on the shy side, I did go up to many individuals and reintroduce myself to them and have a brief conversation.  The majority of the ones I did chat with or had more in common with attended my elementary and junior high school.  It seems I remembered them more than they remembered me.  That was fine.  I did see and chat with several of my closer contacts from high school and we were able to catch up a bit. 

FaceBook helped us to stay connected and see a peek into each of our lives on a regular basis.  We had the commonality of talking about watching each of our families grow up on FB and that was a part of our conversation and helped with the awkwardness, at least for me.

After all is said and done, I will try harder to stay in touch, as in face to face conversations with a couple of friends.  These girls were friends from junior high and I still feel a special connection with them.  For me, when you are young, raising a family right out of high school and working like crazy to keep things afloat there really is no time for the friends you had in high school.  All of my energy was directed at my family.  I think that is true for many of us. 

Overall, attending the reunion was a positive experience and I so appreciate the effort of those that worked so hard to make it a success.  It was a challenge for my social awkwardness, but as they say, "fake it until you make it" and I have that skill down pat. 

Will I go to our 50th reunion?  Yes, I will.  If the good Lord sees fit to keep me here on earth I will make the best of each day He gives me and give Him the glory.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Catching Up

We had a large unplanned expense this week that happened when I went to the dealership to get my oil changed.  They were going to rotate my tires but the service guy came back and said two of my tires were very low tread, (I kinda knew this already) and the other tires were cupping.  (this explained the loud and rough ride.)

So, with my regularly scheduled oil change, we added the purchase, installation, and alignment of four new tires. Expensive, yes.  It came to $1048.00. Meh.

On the plus side, the ride is much smoother and definitely safer.  In order to maintain better tire care, I will be getting my tires rotated every 7000 miles or every other oil change in order to extend the life of my tires.   I use to do regular tire rotation on my Camry, but I fell off the wagon with our Santa Fe.

Yesterday, we started painting our house, specifically the back wall before the pool cage/screen is
Paint on back wall of house 
installed.  The paint was bought months ago when the summer rains and heat prevented us from getting any painting done.  It is much cooler now, well at least for us in Florida (about 65 degrees in AM and warms up to 85 degrees in the afternoon)

Next week, it will be significantly cooler and I hope to get more of the painting done.  If we finish the back wall before the screen is installed, I will be thrilled.  I am so looking forward to cooler weather.  We haven't had our Fall yet.

The first half of the month has been busy,  and I am grateful for that.  Staying on track with everyday chores and the grandkids afterschool events keeps me focused. 

Monday, October 8, 2018

Grocery Shopping Week 1 Oct 2018

When you track your grocery shopping you get to see just how many times you go to the store. Sheesh!

We had hoped to keep the weekly grocery spending to $150 a week.  We were close, but there is definitely room for improvement.

Oct 1 Publix     $29.74
Oct 4  Publix    $19.47
Oct 4 WalMart $51.64
Oct 5  Publix    $17.41
Oct 6 Aldi        $45.92
Total                $164.18

The weekend was a busy one.  We celebrated our daughter's birthday with a visit to Epcot, and in, ride our fast pass rides and get out.  The kiddos are usually pretty pooped out by then.

Sunday, we went to SeaWorld for a couple of hours.  We were able to see a couple of shows, but we did eventually get rained out.  Tropical storm/Hurricane Michael is sending us it rains bands as it approaches the Panhandle region.


  Oatmeal and butterscotch cookies were on my mind and I spent most of the afternoon putting them together and baking.  The weather is getting cooler, temps in the high 80's so it felt like the perfect baking weather at least for Florida.

Add caption
They were a hit with the family and  I am glad I froze some for later as they did not last long.  I may have eaten too much cookie dough.  I do love cookie dough.  Guilty pleasure.

Tomorrow, the kiddos start up with their activities.  The girl has ballet and tap and the boy has boy scouts.  I really enjoy taking the kids to their after-school activities.  Its just extra time that we get to spend together. Luckily, my hubs will be taking the boy camping in a couple of weekends.

How was your weekend?  Busy or relaxed?

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Today's Grocery Shopping Oct 2018

This morning I had a chance to run to WalMart and Publix to pick up a few items.  I had coupons from last week and I also had a few Ibotta and Checkout51 that I wanted to use.

Ibotta had Sweet Hawaiian Pillsbury Grands "free after offer" with a limit of 5.  I had a coupon for $1.50 off of a purchase of three.  After an earning of $6.54 from Ibotta  My referral code is mr4aea   You get $10 and so do I!
I made $1.50 from the coupon. 

Unless Ibotta decides that I should be penalized for using the coupon. That may change.

I also earned $0.50 for Palmolive Ultra Strength dish soap, $0.50 for Breakstone's sour cream and $0.25 cents for any item.  Total Ibotta earnings $7.79

CheckOut51, I earned $4.00 back on BicSoiel disposable razors and was able to use a coupon for $3.00 off $5.97.  That was a moneymaker for almost $2.00.

And then I scanned both receipts in to Fetch Rewards for points that can be redeemed gift cards.  WX8BV is my referral code!  You get points and so do I!

 I also had coupon savings $8.50 at Walmart.

IBotta dollars: $21.54
Checkout51:  $5.30
Fetch Rewards:  11,061 points

I picked up some BOGO's at Publix with a saving of $13.96 on BOGO's.  No coupons.

I earned $2.00 for the Lance crackers and Honey Maid Graham from CheckOut51.

Do you use all these reward programs successfully? 

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

National Night Out

The kiddos, their mom and I went to National Night Out in our local community last night.  The event was at the lake in downtown.  We went early, right as it opened as parking can quickly become an issue.
The kiddos met Daisy the Bloodhound

The weather is still warm, but the humidity was not as high as it was the last couple of weeks.  We managed to walk through the event, visit many booths for free samples of food, goodies for the kiddos which was mostly pencils, and small toys.  The local police department had an obstacle course for the kids and that was a bit hit with everyone.

After spending about an hour and a half, we left the event and headed home.  The kids had fun, and overall it was a pretty good night.

Dinner was leftover chili from Monday, there still enough left for me to take to work for lunch today.  Today's dinner is grilled pork chops and grilled zucchini.  Putting the meals on my calendar has helped greatly with dinner planning.

After work, I will be taking one of the kiddos to the allergist for weekly shots, then maybe, just maybe I can get the yard mowed and liquid edged.  Since going back to work, the yard has been getting a bit scraggly.  This may be the last time we have to mow as the grass is barely growing due to lack of rain.  During the summertime, I was mowing every 5 days just to keep up with the growth.

Our exterminator is coming out today after work for our yearly service.  It has been probably two years since we have had him come out.  He treats the house and if we see any more bugs, they come out and retreat at no cost.  Usually, we don't have to call them back.  The one-time treatment does thew trick. We skipped last year as we were dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.

Did you participate in your local National Night Out?  How was it?  Would you go back next year?

Monday, October 1, 2018

Menu Plan Monday

The weekly menu is on the calendar and here is what we are working with, and will it change?  It might. 

But, having it wrote down on the calendar in the kitchen will help when I walk in the kitchen from work and wonder what the heck I am going to fix for dinner. 

Monday - Chili with rice and cornbread

Tuesday - Leftover Chili

Wednesday- Grilled Pork Chops
Grilled Zucchini

Thursday - Western Omelets with Toast

Friday - Chili Dogs

Saturday -  BLT's

Sunday - Salmon and Brown Rice

What about you? What's on the menu plan at your house this week? 

Sunday, September 30, 2018

October Goals 2018

Monthly goals are hit or miss for me.  I have good intentions at the beginning of the month then things sometimes go south.  My last Monthly goal post was in April! How's that for consistency? 

Oh well, I still want to keep trying to do better and keep things on track. 

  • Keep dining out to $150 
  • Keep grocery shopping under $600  Fingers crossed! 
  • Come up with one way to reduce what we need/spend on an ongoing basis 
  • Come up with a side hustle, maybe look at eBay again? Eh, maybe not. 
  • Continue to seek part-time employment  Accomplished in August.  Working full time in a local school. 
  • Rebuild  short-term savings account to $1000


  • Weekly dinner with grandkids, daughter, and son in law 
  • Have two date nights with my mister 
  • Visit the oldest son, and take him lasagne 
  • Chat middle son weekly 
  • Participate/assist with getting grandkids to weekly activities. 


  • Walk at least 45 continuous minutes a day.  Get in 10,000 daily steps total.   It is still in the 90's, hoping Fall will bring cooler weather.       
  • Lose 8 pounds  
  • Strength training at gym 2-3 times a week 

  • Continue to seek part-time employment   Accomplished in August.  Working full time in a local school. 

  • Make two new recipes 
  • Spend time with a friend (time to use that Disney Pass)
  • Take depression glass to a consignment shop
  • Continue to research paternal side of the family 
  • Daily reading of Jesus Calling and bible study 
  • Find a hobby that explores the creative side but does not break the bank :-)
  • Read at least one new book a month. 

Time to get busy with these goals.

 I straight up " borrowed" this format from The Hawaii Plan.

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.

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?