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Archive for March, 2009

Good Insurance News!!

March 31st, 2009 at 06:21 pm

I called our insurance company today to find out if DD3's counseling sessions would be covered and the answer was a very good YES. $15 copay and she can go as long as the counselor feels it is necessary. So, DD3 will be going weekly for the next two months and then we will see if we need to extend it. She continues to make improvement, which is wonderful...I will GLADLY pay the copay to see her get some tools in her toolbox to come out healthier and happier on the other end.

Tomorrow is my last day at work this week. We leave for the mountains on Thursday for 4 days. Im looking forward to that hot tub, sleeping in, bbq-g and going on some great walks!!

And then, when I get back- I am 7 short weeks away from my year-in-the-making vacation to Puerta Vallarta!!! Big Grin

Ray's great escape...or not?

March 30th, 2009 at 06:14 pm

My boss had an early meeting this morning with some out of town visitors, so I stopped and picked up some snacks for the meeting. While I was there, I saw that my fav coffee creamer was on sale, so I bought a big one. It is $2.50 and will last at least a week. THe job pays for coffee, so for $2.50 I have 'gourmet coffee' for at least a week. Not bad Gotta love that.

I have been toying with an idea for a while. I stay fairly stressed anymore...be it work, the economy, my messy house, my teen, my mom, etc, etc. I recently read a book "A weekend to change your life"...which is a book written by a lady that spent a year by the sea 'finding herself'. Now, she offers a weekend retreat to help other women do the same. I am not planning to attend the retreat, but I am thinking about taking a weekend every quarter all to myself. No work, mom, kids, hub, bills, worries, etc. Just me and whatever I want to take- a book, knitting, a journal. I get a weekly allowance so I can save that to pay for the mini "retreat".

Am I selfish? Are my desires misguided? Does this sound like a reasonable amount of time to carve out and recharge my batteries??? Perhaps I am just getting old, but I am finding it harder and harder to stay on top of everything and I am worried about burnout. OF course, these thoughts are on the heels of some pretty hefty life changes in the last two years...a bump in the marriage, my dads death and subsequent caretaking of my mom, a new job which has changed responsibilities 3 times in two years....perhaps I just need counseling.

But I think, I will just try to figure out 3-4 cool getaway "me" times a year. I found a great little one bedroom condo with an ocean view...[url]http://bluepacificvacationrentals.com/thepointe.htm[/ur... that looks like a good start....in the summer, I can have the hub park our trailer somewhere peaceful, and the other I can just go somewhere local...perhaps even housesit for a friend who has a fabulous home....

hmmm...does anyone else do mini-me vacations????

Popcorn + Cars = Two happy grandbabies

March 28th, 2009 at 08:28 pm

After a fun, busy afternoon party...we came home with both GD (3) and GS (4). They are sitting here watching the Disney movie Cars and having some popcorn. They are both pooped, so I anticipate lights out tonight by 9pm. They are cousins, but they act like brother/sister in that they fight over everything but miss each other ferociously when they arent together. All of the grandbabies are very close, which is such a blessing. My 4 month old GD was also at the party and she and I were 'cooing' when she giggled out loud. That is one of the most amazing sounds in the world, when a tiny one gets the giggles for the first time. Pure joy.

Tomorrow, all the kids want to get together to talk about another trip in leiu of our traditional Christmas present exchange this year. They obviously enjoyed the anticipation and the memory we created by going to the cabin this last Christmas and want to talk about the possiblity of taking all the little ones to Disneyland for Christmas this year. Not sure how we could pull this off, but I am willing to hear their ideas.

One things for certain, we will be having homemade waffles in the morning when my little bundles of energy wake up recharged and ready to go... Smile

401K year two...

March 28th, 2009 at 10:02 am

April is my anniversary month at work. I have been back to work TWO YEARs. Hard to believe. On my one year anniversary, my 401k hit $10k...and with the economy this year I didnt hold out hope that it would double this year...but it is on track to do just that. My next paycheck should put it just over $20k.

I am not sure if it will be a realistic expectation that year three will continue at this pace as my company is having to consider cutbacks as a result of the economy and one of the items on the table is the employer 401k contribution of 8%. No decisions have been made, but there is a possibility of it being reduced or eliminated. For now, though, I will keep plugging away at my 15% contribution...

DD3 went to counseling again yesterday. Things are still far from normal for us, but I do see small positive changes happening with her. I will take even the small victories with gratitude at this point...I feel like we have been through the wringer the last few weeks.

GD (age 3) will be spending the night tonight. Her mom and dad volunteer for a youth group and are up in Portland on an excursion with their 'kids'. they took the baby with them, but we agreed that GD would be much happier spending the weekend with her grandmas...Last night she was with one gramma...tonight she will be here with us. We are going to a big anniversary party and GD's cousins will be there, so she should have a great time...I wouldnt be surprised if we dont end up bringing GS (4) home with us too.

The mountain resort we like to visit had a spring special, rent two nights - get one free, so we booked a house for next weekend. We are going on Thur-Sun. We have invited another couple to join us and they are coming up on Friday...should be relaxing and fun.

So...tomorrow, I will start getting ready for the trip...and next week...I only work 3 days...so, YAY.

Got my grade!!!!

March 24th, 2009 at 05:33 pm

Guess what??? They posted grades today and I got an A+!!!! I didnt know they gave "+" but hotdiggity, I got one!!!!!

Can you see this smile? This was the English Comp II course. I am so proud of that grade!!!!

ok...down to Earth now.

DD2 is condsidering buying a mini-van for her family. They need one, so I am supportive of the idea. They are also good budgeters, so they will be paying CASH for a used one. The starting price was $6700...and she got them down to $5700 and asked to borrow $2000 from me until May 1, when she will pay me back.

I said ok...

Being the little bargainer that she is, she went in and said that she would only pay $5000...and they said $5700 was break even for them...but low and behold, she stood firm and got the 2005 Caravan clean a whistle for $5000.

lol. Good for her. What this also means is that she will give me back my 2002 ford escort that I gave her a couple of years ago when she was a single mom and struggling. We can use this car for DD3 once she earns her priviledges back...and then she wont have a car payment, just insurance....and like Boomeyers suggested, we wont have to fully insure, just liability, which will save some $$ too....the upside for me is that I wont have to readjust my seats and radio every time I get into my car now. (yeah!)

So, everyone is happy. Smile

I ranted some in my post yesterday, primarily referring to AIG without saying so...doggonit guys...I got even more pissed today when I read that (most of)the American bonus recipients are giving their bonuses back...WTF? Our tax dollars went to bonuses for non-Americans??? GRRRRR?????? how the hell is that even legal? not to mention ethical.

Oh well. ....Grant me the serenity to know the difference....

I GOT AN A+!!!!!!!! YEEHAW


ps....I am LOVING these new hours...I go in at 6:30 for a full hour and a half of uninterrupted work...and get off at 3:30...to enjoy a full 3 hours of daylight..I hope my boss will be open to my continuing this if it works out at work...

I am ready for the end of this economic crisis...how bout you?

March 23rd, 2009 at 07:58 pm

I am frustrated tonight. I pay my taxes. I did not buy a bigger house than I could afford. I have been responsible with my bills. I live within my means. I take care of my family. I work for a good, ethical company. I save. I bargain shop. I forego, do without, make do.

So why the heck am I paying for those who chose to do otherwise???

The whiplash from all of this nonsense is starting to hit those who did it all right...and it pisses me off!!!!

Million dollar bonuses after my (our)taxes bailed them out...give me a freakin break.

IN one way or another we are all paying for corporate greed and it makes me cranky.

sigh.

We used that steak tonight...and enjoyed a nice, cheap dinner that tasted like a high dollar meal.

I needed to pick up a few things at the store tonight and found some great deals on chicken. Tomorrow I will put a chicken in the crockpot with butter and indian curry. Makes a very easy, yummy meal!!

Sorry to rant tonight...just cranky over things I cant control but have to pay for. When we all work so hard to do it right, it irritates me to have to bail out those who have been greedy and irresponsible...and then see big bonuses paid for all that 'hard work'....givemeafreakinbreak. endofrant.




Sweet Lavender Dreams

March 22nd, 2009 at 07:48 pm

Target had the lavender vanilla fabric softner on sale for $4.50 yesterday so I bought a bottle. Sometimes, a splurge is just worth it. I washed all my jammies and my sheets with it today and now I am sitting here enjoying the scent as I wind down and get ready for bed. mmmmmm....

Today we had every possible weather there is...snow, rain, sun,calm, wind, snow, sleet, hail, rain, and sun. geeze. IT was amazing to watch thruought the day.

My husband cut down a tree yesterday for a homeowner who was nervous about the tilt it was making and thought it might fall on the neighbors house.

So...this afternoon he suggested using the money he earned to take all the kids and grandbabies out to dinner tonight. They were all so thankful for a night out. The economy has hit them hard, and a dinner out is a luxury. We went to our local mexi restaurant..and thoroughly enjoyed them and the babies. What fun!! at $170 (which included the tip) we fed all 13 of us, dinner, drinks and desert...and the smile from those little guys was priceless. What a happy gramma I am!

so, here I sit, having been blessed by family and fun tonight, enjoying my clean, lavendar bedding...and winding down for the week ahead. sigh. Life is so blessed!!

The week ahead? Bring it!

Volunteer Time

March 22nd, 2009 at 08:47 am

Yesterday, our company went to a local food access non-profit and helped with repackaging food. We were able to repackage 3 months for them!!

DD3 begrudgingly joined me. It was either that, or go with her dad to cut down a tree.

We volunteered for the kitchen and found out our job was to take huge bags of pretzels and turn it into 12 smaller bags. DD3s job was to seal the bags, mine was to label and repack them into the boxes.

We lucked out and the other helpers were all people I have worked with over the years. So we had lots of things to talk about as we worked. At first, DD3 was very quiet and it was easy for everyone to tell she had a bad tude.

But...by the end of our shift, she was smiling and talking and enjoying herself. And when we left, she said she enjoyed herself.

The rest of the day she was pleasant and it felt like a glimmer of her old self was back.

One of the guys who work at the non-profit was sharing some of the stories with us about about the families they help...and not-surprisingly, how those numbers are increasing. It felt good knowing we were helping in even a small way to help offset overhead costs so that more of the funds could be used for goods for the families.

Today, I am hanging out at home catching up on everything before I start the week. I have to say, it feels good knowing I do not have school in the mix next week.

Tonight we will grill a steak out of the freezer for dinner.

I cant say it should be a not spender, because there are some groceries we will need for the week...but I should be minimal.

For now, I am just enjoying a cup of coffee as I read your blogs.

Wrestling the %$#@! wire to save money....

March 20th, 2009 at 04:52 pm

Most guys and even some ladies will not understand this rant....but I know, some of you will completely relate!

UNDERWIRE. Why is it, that those darn things cant stay put? Within just weeks of buying a new bra, that wire starts it journey upward and onward. No matter how determined I am to show it who's boss, that blasted wire keeps reappearing and not always at the opportune times! Business meetings lately, I am finding myself sitting on my hands so that I dont unconsciously wrangle it back into place to stop the constant pinch.



I HATE shopping for these things, and hate even more that break-in honeymoon period. Talk about straight-jackets from hell.

But I am tired of fighting this one. I am ready to concede, yank the blasted thing out and turn it into a paperclip!

But alas, I will weave it back into place in the morning, fight with it throughout the day and try to find some time to buy a new one.

Argh.

Went to counseling this afternoon. We did the initial visit and got everthing on the table. DD3 spent about 45 minutes with the counselor one-on-one. She has another appt next friday. She didnt say anything more that uh-huh and uh-uh on the way home. But she did say "I love you" as she left for work.

I am glad its the weekend. I am beyond ready for a mental break this week. Tomorrow I am repacking food for a local non-profit. and I am budgeting with DD1 on SUnday evening..but beyond that, nothing more mentally taxing than a sitcom is on my agenda.

Angry silence...sigh

March 17th, 2009 at 06:32 pm

I actually got home today before the sun went down!!

I picked DD3 up from school and had a very silent trip home. I volunteered to pack food boxes this weekend for our community food bank and asked if she would like to join me, she turned me down. So, I will ask her again, and hopefully she will agree. I think some community service would do her heart good. She is definately ANGRY. When we got home, she went to her room and slammed the door. SHe is reading a book tonight. Our appointment with the counselor is Friday at 2pm. The counselor specializes in troubled teens. I hope she can give me tips on how to deal with all of this anger.



If you read my blogs, you know how much I love and adore my family. But I am committed to doing tough love for as long as it takes to get DD3 back on track. Is it easy or pleasant....absolutely not...but as a mom I will do whatever it takes to help DD3 make better choices. Please keep your fingers crossed for us.

My boss was great this morning when I met with him. He told me to adjust my schedule to whatever I needed....family comes first. (Have I mentioned I love my boss???) So, I will work 7-3:45 at work and take a short lunch.

My new assistant starts on Thursday, so I will get her trained and my dept is fully staffed...and I have all the right people on the team!!! This will mean the stress at work should start to subside. Smile

Tonight I had leftovers for dinner. All the cooking the last few days is paying off. Tonight I am going to make some oatmeal for breafast at work the rest of the week. SInce I am starting early, I will need it. Luckily, my job provides free coffee, so no cost there.

We also have enough leftovers for the remainder of the week...so lunches are covered.

And finally, getting home earlier means more time to do laundry and housework...perhaps this new temp schedule will be good for my stress level. Lord knows, I could use a break from it right now...

Much to be grateful for, much to overcome.

DD3 and end of school for me for awhile...

March 16th, 2009 at 08:21 pm

I turned in my final paper for my class tonight. It was a tough paper to write-my topic was very disturbing. But I finished it and turned it in. Never been so glad to get something done as I was that paper. The topic was late-term abortion.

I have decided not to return to school for a while, especially now that we are dealing with DD3 issues. I need to keep my focus on her right now. Plus, I have a vacation in May that would take me out of class for two weeks, which is not good.

I called the counselor today and we have an appointment on Friday. I have submitted my request to my boss for flex hours and will be talking to him about it tomorrow. Just in case he says yes, I will go in at 6:30am to start the day so that I can pick up DD3 when she gets out of school tomorrow.

I stayed home this morning until DD3 got on the bus, just to insure she didnt fail on day one. She was not happy with me for keeping such close tabs, but I suggested she start getting used to it. For a while, this is our new reality.

I went to lunch with a co-worker today, who happens to be a pastors wife. She was very supportive of all the things we are trying and even mentioned that her husband could help too. We went to a restaurant that is set up in one of the older mansions in the area. The house was build in the late 1800's so it has alot of character and charm. It was nice to sit and visit for a while too. Lunch was very tasty too.

After class tonight, I got home and the hub had bbq'd chicken and made a repeat batch of the red potatoes that we had last night. yum. I LOVE coming home to a home cooked meal and a toasty fire....especially on a cold, rainy day like it we had today.

Sunday Supper

March 15th, 2009 at 04:56 pm

We have Sunday supper fairly routinely. It is a night when we are gearing up for the week ahead, we usually have done some grocery shopping over the weekend...and Sunday afternoons are fairly low key. Tonight is no different.

Tonight, the hub is grilling some of that London Broil my mom snagged at the sales this weekend. I just cut up some red potatoes and mixed them up with some olive oil, dry onion soup mix and parmesan cheese..and tossed the dish in the oven- add some green beans and french bread and dinner for the three of us plus nana will be about $10....and it looks like we will have enough leftovers for 2-3 lunches too!

What do you do for Sunday Supper???

DD3 has come out of her room only to do laundry today. We invited her down for breakfast and the hub asked her if she wanted to go to the gun show this afternoon. Both met with definate NO's. I am giving her her space....and allowing her to come to terms with the new rules. I feel better just knowing we are working on this plan.

The Trophy's on the Shelf

March 15th, 2009 at 10:10 am



Tough love moved in with us yesterday, much to DD3s (17) dismay. I am sure in her eyes her dad and I have earned the most sucky parents of the year award. Tomorrow, I will be talking to my boss about changing my work hours so that I will be home in the afternoons with her to help keep her on track. This will mean arriving at work at 6:30am and getting off at 3:30pm. I am hoping he will be ok with this. I have a feeling he will be supportive of it. Our primary goal is to keep her focused on school and help her make better choices inspite of creepy bf's influence. Perhaps her not having a car is a blessing in disguise. Now there is no cell or internet either. sigh. Who is tough love harder on? If only our kids could see that we really do have their best interest at heart.

The hub has come around. He was not understanding the depth of concern for DD3 and was not being supportive. Unfortunately, an incident this week opened his eyes and we are now on the same page. A parental united front definately helps all around.

My mom found a great deal on London Broil steaks yesterday at $1.99 lb, so she stocked us up. These will come in handy for all of the bbqs we have with the kids.

I have to finish my final paper today as it is due tomorrow night. My last class is tomorrow night--and I wont be taking another class until at least September. This term was just too crazy with my mom, the changes at my job, DD3, etc. I am worn out and need a break from that added pressure. If my paper is good, I should be on track for an A in the class.

It is raining here today. We have more overcast, rainy days in winter than sunny days...and after a while it gets downright dreary. We did have two nice, warm sunny days last week...of course, days I was working!! Hopefully, there are more on the way soon!

Well, I am off to work on that paper!






$4.50 each for Sin on a Plate......

March 13th, 2009 at 09:59 pm

How can the world be amiss when there is Banana's Foster to be enjoyed?

Seriously! I had a nice dinner out with a good friend tonight and when it was time for dessert, I noticed this option on the menu..they claimed it was the "specialty"...Neither of us had ever had it...so we ordered it.

WOW. It wasnt just a dessert, it was an experience!! Our waiter rolled this cart up and proceeded to cook up a bowl of incredible flaming OH MY GOSHNESS...right there, tableside. The aroma was amazing...and the dish....pure sin on a plate.



I think I have found a new favorite for special occasions. wow.

I am so glad it is Friday..and that I have no plans this weekend (execpt my Final paper for Eng Comp II). This has easily been one of the more stressful weeks Ive had in a long time. Too personal to get into here..but I will suffice to say, teenagers are tough at times, husbands can be jerks, and even the most wonderful job can cause heartburn. I seriously considered running away by mid-week. Just pack my bags and head off to Boomeyers, Fern, Ima Saver...then again, Baselle would be closer, and I hear there are bargains on purses up there to be had. Smile

But alas, I will hang here and ride the storm out. DD3 is in deep, deep do-do --so by tomorrow, I will officially be the least popular mom on the planet...but parenting is not a popularity contest, is it?

The hub is coming around to the fact that he goofed...and is doing what he can to un-jerk himself.

The job, well...being in the financial business right now is just tough. Heartbreaking at times for those being hit hardest..but working at a credit union, at least I can sleep knowing we do the right things for the right reasons for our members.

But alas, there is Banana's Foster...who knew? And almost instantly, all is right with the world.

Crash and burn....at least that's what it feels like today.

March 12th, 2009 at 09:21 pm

I want to prefice this entry by saying I am more grateful than I can say that DD3 was not injured in her accident. We are truly, truly blessed that she was ok.

Our insurance company is not going to payoff the car, rather they will pay what they feel the car is worth minus our deductible plus subtract for each ding the car had....oh and the rust on the tire. Luckily, the interior upholstry didnt sag.

So...a car we owned less than 6 months, that was less than low blue blue book when we bought it...plus I put $500 down and paid on it for 6 months...and we still have a deficit of almost $1000 from what the insurance is paying and what I owe. ARGH.

I am sure that if she gets another vehicle, it will cost and arm and a leg to insure her.

But again. I am grateful this is our biggest challenge this week and not hospital bills or worse.

Fortunately, I have enough saved to payoff the car. Obviously, leaving it in savings would have been my first choice...especially over paying off something that is worthless. sigh.

Ok, end of rant. DD3 is ok, and thats whats important. Money...just painfully replaceable.