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Archive for September, 2014

and now we wait...

September 7th, 2014 at 09:15 am

The contractor came by yesterday. We discussed some of the obstacles we have with the house- specifically the small living room in comparison to our extended family size. The contractor recommended enlarging the living room and is bidding the job based on adding 140 sq ft to that space -which is funny when you consider my current sq ftg for my little house is 390. He has great ideas and is bringing back a cabinet guy to look at the kitchen. He felt like we could do everything we are thinking within the budget, but wouldn't know for certain until he prices it out. I am anxious to see what he comes back with.

He DID mention that he is booked with work until Mid October, so we wont start work until then...which means it is unlikely I will be in the house by Thanksgiving. But Christmas is still possible!

I have really enjoyed this week off. Today is my last vacation day. I meet with my boss tomorrow to finalize the change in my job and then I will let my team know that I am moving into a peer position. I have a great team, so working as peers will be fun for me. I hope my replacement will be a good fit in our department!

So, how to spend the last day of a great, productive vacation...Grocery shopping, Preparing for the work week ahead (clothes and lunches), and finishing up anything else.

The dump trailer has a flat and the hub was unable to find one of the parts to inflate it, so he will do the dump run tomorrow.

Make that a workaction!

September 5th, 2014 at 09:36 pm

We have made major progress this week on the cleanup project at the country house. Instead of calling this a staycation, Im deeming it a workaction! But it feels great to have everything done that we planned to do. The dump trailer is full, the Goodwill pile is full and the keep stuff is organized- the scary room is now a temporary storage area while construction is in progress. Tomorrow we will head to the dump, Goodwill and meet with the contractor. (The contractor wasn't able to make it today, which is fine. After working all day, I was tired and dirty and ready to shower and relax.)

Thank you to CCF for the link to Pinecone- I was able to sign up and I am hopeful there will be some future 'snowflakes' out of this!

Today was a go nowhere, spend nothing day. We actually have not spent much at all this week aside from the grocery store and Costco on food for the week.

I asked....and guess what?

September 4th, 2014 at 05:48 pm

I decided to try to negotiate my new salary and was pleasantly surprised when they accepted my request! I asked for $5k more per year. NOW I can say I am super happy with the change. They agreed to keep me in the department I asked for too. Now I am eager to return to work again and focus on the new responsibilities without having to manage a department or people!

The hub and I spent the day looking at woodstoves and kitchen layouts and pricing. It will be tough to stay within budget with so many options- but we will take it slow and make our decisions carefully. It is way too easy to get caught up in the wants rather than staying focused on the needs. Maintaining balance between the two will be key.

We are meeting with the contractor tomorrow afternoon, I am REALLY hoping that his schedule and what we need done will equate to being in the home by Thanksgiving. Now that the ball is rolling, I am motivated to get er done!!


Fall is in the air!

September 4th, 2014 at 10:29 am

I am halfway through vacation- and still have so much to do! We have made huge progress in preparing the big house for the remodel work that we need to do before I can move in. I have been thinking about the plans we have and wants vs needs - and trying to come up with reasonable alternatives just to make sure we are thoughtful in these decisions.

I am really glad this is the week I am on vacation- the first half of the week was super hot, then yesterday fall was definitely in the air as it was much cooler and just felt like fall! This is my favorite time of year - I love the colors, the foods, the weather, football! I am so thankful to live in an area that has 4 distinct seasons. I plan to collect pinecones and acorns to decorate for the holidays. Those are both in abundance here- and free!

I am really getting excited to get the big house going. Only 3 more weeks until it will be empty and ready to go!

Boomeyers and Buh-bye scary room

September 3rd, 2014 at 09:48 am

Many of you may remember Boomeyers, a fellow blogger, from way back. She and I have been cyber-friends since we started blogging on here and have always talked about visiting one or the other. Well, next month, she is coming to Oregon to visit! I am so excited. I have been lucky to meet several bloggers through the years...from California to New York- and have always felt an immediate sister-hood and friendship. I hope to meet many more of you someday!!

The Scary Room:
I am ashamed to admit that we have a room in the big house that would make the cut for the Hoarders show. We have appropriately called it the 'scary room' for years. The room is actually a one car garage that was converted to a room. Stuff ends up there either as storage, indecisiveness, or just because. It has been the scary room during my son's renting days, my daughters renting days, and now DD3 and her friends renting days.

Two days ago, WE WENT IN....
A few minutes later we WE CAME BACK OUT after we found black widows.

We set off bug bombs and yesterday, we went back in and got about 50% done. 80% went into the 'dump' trailer. The other 20% is either going to goodwill, salvage yard, or back to the owners to deal with. All in all, there was about 2% that was the hubs or mine that will be kept. Mine is my moms depression glass that has been boxed up and a few keepsake toys for the grandkids.

We will finish the scary room today. Then we will move into the storage room that currently has my stuff from the city house...but has also accumulated stuff from DD3 and her friend who are currently renting the big house. It all needs to be organized so that the room can be easier accessed.

After we are done with these two rooms, we are ready to bring in the contractor to get a bid on the work we need/want done.

One thing I have definitely learned over the years is that STUFF is expensive. It costs to acquire, it costs to store, and it will cost to dispose of. How much easier life would be this week without all this STUFF.

Hopefully- Goodwill will benefit from what we can donate and the rest, well an expensive lesson in less is more.


More on my work changes and upcoming remodel!

September 2nd, 2014 at 05:41 pm

I am humbled by the well wishes from everyone regarding my post yesterday. I mentioned changes at work- which is something I have pondered for several months actually, but didn't think Id really do it.

Looking back, opportunities and more responsibility just kept coming at work-and it was flattering to be trusted to take on more and more, my department grew-which meant more people to supervise, but my core job duties still had to get done- only they were multiplied because of our company's growth. Sometime during the past several months, I realized that I wasn't happy. My job became the only thing I had energy to focus on- work crept into lunches then evenings and the past several months, many weekends...dread began to fill my Sunday evenings. At 53 years old, with a family I adore, my focus just seemed backwards. I loved having money to splurge on my family, but money does not replace time to spend with them or energy to enjoy it when I do.

So- I will move into something different in the next few weeks after I get back from vacation. I am very grateful that my job is creating a new position to fit my strengths and my new responsibilities will include things I enjoy doing. I am truly blessed that they are making this such and easy thing emotionally to do. Financially, ouch. My cut will be about $14 an hour...but I will still make what I consider a decent salary and will retain my seniority and vacation time (5 weeks a year)- which is SO important to me. And most important, the workload and management expectations will be reduced.

The weird thing for me is that I have always been climbing...working my way up. Taking a step back is foreign to me, and not something many at my job do- so it will be foreign to others too.

So- what do you do with the budget in order to do this? Thankfully, we don't live paycheck to paycheck. And thankfully, we have paid everything off except our house and the 5th wheel we bought to travel in when we retire.

I wont splurge as much, will reduce the budgets for Christmas, birthdays, vacations, etc. And we will have to be more conscientious about things we do to the big house. We wont cut our 401k contributions and will continue to save what we can for rainy days.

And we will hopefully start to see the benefits of the change in our grocery bill when we don't eat out so much! And then there are the bullets I will dodge in doctor bills by being less stressed.

I haven't updated on little Z (foster child) in a while- his world is so different these days. He is still with his mom and they are living in a homeless mission - although they have to leave there tomorrow-and she has no plan of where to go. She has a new boyfriend that she met in rehab and he has been out of jail for a few weeks now- just long enough that they are pregnant. This will be the 3rd child for each of them (not together-so 6 total) and they do not have custody or support any of them- besides Z- and the state supports Z. Thankfully, she needs lots of breaks and lets us have Z often. It is heartbreaking- I want so badly for her to figure out life but she continues to make really bad decisions.
Frown

On a happier note- I am enjoying a staycation this week. We are working on the big house and are getting things cleaned up to start some much needed remodel. THe work will start in October and hopefully will be done enough so that I can move in by Thanksgiving.







Tough few months- But light at the end of the tunnel finally

September 1st, 2014 at 09:09 pm

This has been a tough year with work. Lots of reasons why, but the end result is that I have decided to step down from my position and take a lower paying job where I work. It is a HUGE cut in pay, but I am ready to let go of the stress and accept a job that I can hopefully work until retirement in. I wont have to manage anyone, and I wont be responsible for multiple areas within a department. I am not sure what the new job will entail, but I do know that I will make at least $20k per year less. (ouch). But it is the right thing to do. I am ready to downsize stress. Beyond ready.

So, I am taking a week off- recalculating the budget and preparing things to transition into pre-retirement mode.

In all honesty, I am giddy with relief...while simultaneously worrying about the budget. It works on paper, but....OMG.