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Archive for September, 2021

Hello Fall and all the fun that comes with it!

October 1st, 2021 at 02:04 am

I am so thankful that fall is here! With the hot, smoky summer behind us I can get out on our deck more and enjoy the hummingbirds and sunsets again! We have had some rain, which is awesome and the skies are back to blue.

Now that school has started, my days are getting into a nice routine. I am able to focus more on stretching our food budget by using coupons, sales and aps like Ibotta. I am enjoying the challenge of feeding us as budget savvy as possible! (A much easier feat when I don't have a teen with me at the grocery store slipping in all the extras!!)

I watch my youngest granddaughter (20 mos) every Monday. I love our Monday's together - she has so much energy and curiosity. This last Monday we went on a walk and found all the flowers and talked about the colors. She discovered some ornamental frogs in one yard and thought they were funny and pointed out an airplane overhead. I came home exhausted, but had such a happy heart by the end of the day.

Thankfully, the cash outflow has slowed down and we have stayed more within the budget this past several weeks- a trend I hope continues for as long as possible. It is much less stressful when the unexpected outputs aren't hitting regularly...which gives me time to breathe and rebuild the buffer account! I definitely feel more in control financially when the hub is working his three week rotation and the teen is in school.

I am also finally getting back to minimalizing our home. Its been months since I have even had time to think about this but I am pulling it off the back burner now and creating a plan to use my free time to get some traction on this goal!

I talked to all the kiddo's about Christmas this year and how our budget looks much different now that I am retired. I think everyone was fully on board with scaling back. With all the bio's, adopted, foster and inherited grandkids, we are at 17. My brain hurt thinking about even one gift for each. Instead we are transitioning to a family gift. Much more doable and kinder to my sanity. Instead of opening gifts, we will focus on games, food, crafts and making memories. Something we should have done years ago, actually. I don't have a clear picture of what this means, but I am excited about it none-the-less.

Breakthrough Covid

September 5th, 2021 at 12:09 am

August was a blur.  I got sick with Covid, even being fully vaccinated - slept lots, drank lots of water, lost all taste and smell and lost 15 lbs in two weeks.  Thankfully, I am on the mend, symptoms are very mild at this point and I have now tested negative.  I can honestly say, even fully vaccinated, Covid sucks - but thankfully mine stayed upper respiratory and I didnt have to deal with lower respiratory issues.  The whole family got it at about the same time, all 17 of us.  4 were fully vaccinated and still got it, none of the cases became anywhere close to life threatening. (thank goodness).

Things are going great with FD.  We are planning to adopt her and her CASA is pushing for adoption to finish by Christmas.  That is crazy fast if they can pull it off.  FD turns 18 in July, so the clock is ticking.  Even tho she will be 18, she wont finish high school until 2024- so she will continue to receive some services until then.   In any case, the adoption is moving forward now and we are all excited to make her a permanent part of our family!

Financial wise, this has been more of a struggle than I anticipated.  The hub is not allowed extra overtime at his new job, which is something we counted on from his previous job.  In addition, the foster money has been cut by 2/3 since last April.  These two factors leave a deficit in the budget each month of about $800-1000.  Add to that all the extra expenses we have encountered, (water well, tires on our trailer, jacked up airline expenses, and several other unanticipated costs) and we have blown through much more of our emergency savings than I anticipated.  I am considering working for my son part time to help supplement the deficit.  But I am holding out to see how finances go once FD starts school.  The hubs job is also saying more OT is coming this winter.  Thankfully, we still have a nice cushion, but I dont want to deplete it anymore than we have above the current deficit.  

Otherwise, aside from Covid, retirment life has been great.  I LOVE the options that the extra time allows.  Its been a good summer.  Altho we have had a consistent heat wave all summer added to very hazy smoke filled air.  I am so ready for FALL and more energy to enjoy it.