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Archive for December, 2020

Unemployment pay and productive day

December 30th, 2020 at 10:01 pm

The unemployment office actually called the hub back yesterday and fixed the issue.  Apparently being RIF-ed twice in the same year is confusing. (RIF= reduction in force, aka laid off or termed) But now it is all figured out and his first $370 unemployment check should hit our account any day.  I decided not to have flex spending taken out of my paychecks for the few months I am working in 2021.  That bumped my paycheck up another $300 per month, which we can certainly use.  As it is, I am carrying over $500 in prepaid medical that I need to use up before I leave.  I plan to get all the annual stuff done between now and then so the $500 will hopefully be easily spent before then.

Today was productive.  I put on a pot of pinto beans and am making a loaf of bread.  This will be meals starting tomorrow, as tonight we are going to DD3s to visit with the baby and will pick up pizza on the way.  The hub cut more wood for our working supply, which we keep stacked on the front porch.  We just finished stacking it, and now we are ready for at least the next month.  We definitely are burning more wood with everyone being home all day and with this cold weather we've been having.  Thankfully the wood is basically free and it really helps to keep our electricity bill down!

I worked on my puzzle a little this morning, did a load of laundry and swept/vacuumed the floors.  I also started reading a new book, which I think I am going to enjoy.  Tomorrow I will take down the Christmas decorations and dust off for the new year.  



Another staycation and reflections

December 29th, 2020 at 07:01 pm

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas!  Ours was different this year, thanks to Covid, but still very, very nice.  This was our foster daughters first with us, and actually her first in an actual home in 2 years.  (Her last two were spent in residential facilities).  I believe she had a nice one in spite of being in a system she doesnt want to be in and being a 'new to us' placement.  We tried to include some of her traditions into ours, and she seemed to enjoy ours as well.  We were able see all of our local kids and grandkids at some point during the day, which was really nice.

The hub is on the phone this morning with the Alaska unemployment office.  Who knows how long he will be on hold, but apparently something in our filing has held up his claim...and until he speaks to someone, it cant be approved and funded each week. Sigh.  At least he has plenty of time on his hands to sit on hold today.

I am on vacation this week.  Another staycation, which is fine with me.  I am perfectly content being home and putzing around.  So far I have read a book, am about halfway done with a puzzle, have continued to declutter and clean, worked our new budget out, and am making all the plans for 2021.  All things I enjoy without the risk of exposing myself to Covid.  

I am ready to send 2020 on its way, and see what 2021 has in store for us.  Hopefully a better reality and a little less stress- but who knows.  After this last year, I am not making any assumptions on what tomorrow may bring...rather, hoping for the best, but bracing for...[whatever].  Smile

Gah- And just like that, plans change!

December 15th, 2020 at 10:14 pm

So true to 2020, the hub is now unemployed as of midnight tonight. The company he worked for sold, and the new company is not keeping the employees.  He will be shipping all of his tools home (thankfully the company is paying to ship - otherwise this would have been about $5k for us) and will fly home tomorrow.  He will likely work local for the forseeable future.  Easy come, easy go.

Thankfully, he will be able to draw $370 a week unemployment, and with my earnings we will still be bringing in about $2500 - 3000 more each month than we need for bills and livings expenses.  Thank goodness we paid everything off this year and have continued to live a fairly frugal lifestyle.  We have over a years expenses saved in our emergency funds.

I had not given my notice at work yet, so I can continue to work until June or beyond if need be.  Hopefully, the hub will find something he likes between now and then so I can still retire as planned.

2020, can you please just go away...and 2021, PLEASE be a kinder, gentler year - as we are all worn out. 

Time to dust off the parenting skills!

December 5th, 2020 at 08:45 pm

The hub is smoking a turkey today.  Since we didnt cook for Thanksgiving, or have any leftovers to enjoy, we decided to make a turkey and all the trimmings today for us, our new foster daughter (A), one of our soon to be adopted granddaughters, and our neighbor- who is like a surrogate mom to all of the grandkids.   

A is still adjusting to the transition.  She, understandably, has some deep rooted trust issues and we are giving her lots of space to figure out her place here while reminding her she is safe.  The hub and I are re-introducing ourselves to parenting a teenager and figuring out our role in her life.  This is new for all of us, so we are taking it slow. 

We are going to start a 1000 piece puzzle this afternoon.  This is something we can do together that is relaxing and provides an opportunity to visit at will.  It is also something all us girls like to do... the hub, not so much.  haha.

I have REALLY enjoyed this staycation week.  It was kinda like a trial retirement week, and I am very much looking forward to this pace when it gets here.   My house is clean, meals were homemade, I found a little time for me and my hobbies...and got in quite a bit of grandkid time.  Everything I love in life. 



Income increase for the winter - can we pay off our house?

December 1st, 2020 at 06:34 pm

The hub got a call from work that he will be returning to his 4/2 rotation when he returns this month.  Meaning, he will work 4 weeks, and be home for 2 weeks during the remainder of the winter (May-ish)  This will increase his monthly pay significantly and provides additional income I didnt budget for.  I will likely put most of it towards our mortgage, since that is our final debt.  I would love to have the mortgage paid off in 5 years, but since my income will decrease quite a bit by June, I am not sure how realistic that might be but it is something I am going to pencil out and see how we might get there!

DD2 called last night and said there is young girl who needs an emergency foster placement.  (This is such a recurring event here locally). Both DD1 and DD2 are at capacity, so she asked if we would be open to meeting her and possibly taking her in for a while.  If she still needs a placement today we will go and meet her.  She is older, 16.  I want to find out exactly what the situation is before considering this as an option.  I have a 3 bedroom house, and could easily take a child in, but it would have to be a good fit.  I guess we will see how this plays out.   

I am putting the finishing touches on my Christmas decorations today and making a couple loaves of bread.   The hub is going to make a pot of chili.  I am finishing off the last of the split pea soup. The hub doesnt like split pea soup, so he is eating sandwiches for lunch. 

My containers came for food storage.  I washed one of them out and will fill it with pinto beans today.  I want to keep a few pounds stored in gallon bags in the kitchen for easy access and then will put the rest in a second storage container.