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Health

October 16th, 2018 at 02:38 pm

As I get closer to retirement, my focus on health and health insurance is increasing. Thankfully, I don't have any serious health issues (knock on wood). I am running the gamut of tests this year to make sure everything is in good working order. Big Grin I did get diagnosed with pre-diabetes a couple of months ago. Actually I was borderline diabetes, but the doctor gave me three months to try to change things. At two months in, I have learned so much about nutrition, sugars, carbs, fiber and protein. I check my blood several times a day, work with a nutritionist, move a lot more during the day, and am seeing good progress. I have lost over 20 lbs and my levels have dropped to 'low pre-diabetes' and continue to drop. I really hope this last month will get me where I need to be. I DO NOT want diabetes, especially when it is still in my control not to get it.

Things are going really well at work and it looks like I will finish out the last two years of my five year retirement plan here. That is a good thing, as we still have checkmarks to get on debt, savings, etc. and having that second paycheck will certainly help. I also anticipate a significant raise at the first of the year, which will help even more. Now if the stock market would be kinder...

We are really close to adoption. Everything is done, we are just waiting for the ceremony to be scheduled. DD1 still has the boys' older sister. Bio family has made no attempt to contact her- so after the 6 month mark is up, they will reconsider her permanency (guardianship or adoption). DD1 also still has the other two girls, sisters who went into the system just a couple of weeks after the boys sister did. All 5 of these kids are amazing little people and are as much family as the rest of us. We are so blessed!



Hello! Its been a while!

August 3rd, 2018 at 09:09 am

So much has happened since I last blogged. Where has the time gone! Even though I havent been active here, I have tried to check in on others' blogs.

Hello!

Well,right after I gave notice at work (literally within seconds) I was told that my job was changing and things in our department were changing...and after hearing about this, I reversed my decision to leave. :0 Meaning, I am still at my job. I still plan to transition to my son's business...I am just not sure what the (new) timeline is now.

So far, with the changes at work I am much happier so I am taking it day by day. Having options gives me a wonderful feeling of freedom though.

My son still needs his procedures developed, so I will be doing that for him on nights and weekends.

DD2's adoption of the boys is plugging along. The process is still on track to finalize by year end. Everyone is eagerly waiting for this final chapter to be done with.

But a major turn of events is that DD1 now is fostering the boys sister (age 9) She had been living with dad's family, but it wasn't working out and they needed a place to move her to, so DD1 stepped up. Of course, we are already like family to her - we have known her since she was 2.

Other than this, things are just moving ahead. DH is still working lots of hours up north and we are still saving for retirement.

Nervous and excited at the same time....

March 6th, 2018 at 09:11 am

I am planning to join my son's business in 5 months and this makes me really excited and beyond nervous all at the same time.

With the exception of a 2 year break (2005-2007), I have been at my current job since 1994. Leaving the security I know here, is a little unnerving.

I will be working part time for my son. His business is growing fast, and he needs someone to help formalize policies, guidelines, and procedures- and to help drive company culture. These are things I enjoy doing- so the day to day work I am looking forward to. I also will enjoy working independently from my home. No more commute each day! No more driving to work on icy roads in the winter!

The downside are things like insurance, my 401k match, and my current salary... these are BIG DEALs.

I will be able to be on the hubs insurance, and can also join my son's company insurance plan- which is just a catastrophic type plan. My 401k will continue to grow organically...and my son will add me as a business partner and 'buy me out' as part of my retirement plan with him (which will amount to more than I would achieve with the current 401k match). My current salary is really nice, but if I am not enjoying the job, is it worth it? I am at a point I say no, it is not.

I am going to ask my son for an insurance stipend each month, to cover the cost of being on the hubs insurance.

What else am I missing?

So the next few months will be spent cleaning out files at work for the next person..and creating an office space at home. And wrapping my mind around letting go of the current comfort zone...while preparing for the future.

Adoption is near! and a change may be in my future!

February 28th, 2018 at 08:18 am

All the boxes have been checked, except the court saying it is so. It should be any time! DD2 asked if I would co-sign for a mini van. Her current car just fits everyone with no room for friends or others. I think that co-signing is a small thing to do for a daughter who has been so big hearted to the boys.

X's dad got out of prison and has been spending time with him. X gets so excited to see his daddy. The hard part is that Z sees the interaction and wishes his daddy was around too- but Zs dad just doesn't have the drive or capacity to get clean and to be a part of his life, and so we all do our best to help fill in the gap.

The hub has been working a lot of overtime this season. We have used the extra money to build the emergency fund, build a cushion for the months when he only gets 1-2 paychecks, and to pay down debt. I feel like we are well positioned for 2018 now. And he still has at least 4-6 more work weeks of busy season.

My son is still nudging me to come work for him. We have set a tentative date of August. I am ready to change career paths and to go part time, I just need to make sure insurance will work for me (either get on his or be added to the hubs). Working for my son would mean working from home. I love the idea of not having to drive to work every day. I live about 25 minutes outside of town and the idea of not having to make the drive sounds wonderful. I am not super social at work, although I do enjoy interacting with others. Generally when I work, I like to focus. I am sure being alone so much will be a change for me, but I also am confident I can handle it. Big Grin

My son's business is about 5 hours away, and I would need to travel there at least every month or so for a day or two. Of course, that means seeing my grandbabies, so I am a-ok with that!



Make that 6 weeks, and 401k growth

January 13th, 2018 at 10:15 am

I am enjoying watching our 401k's growth, but it also makes me nervous given historical trends showing what goes (quickly) up, eventually comes down (corrects). Is anyone else nervous, or am I just being paranoid?

The hub worked 28 hours straight yesterday. One of the mechanics who tag-teams with him fell last week and broke his hip, so they are short staffed. 28 hours is crazy- and it's schedules like this that create an environment for accidents.. The hub wants the hours, but not to this degree. The hub also will work 6 weeks this hitch, rather than 5. Not only will he make significantly more with this schedule, but having just me here, our budget drops as well for the month. The extra will go to debt and savings. With our 401k growth, my son paying me back this year and the hubs extra earnings, we are likely to hit my BHAG a good 18 months early- which means work for me becomes optional that much sooner. Smile

Z and my youngest granddaughter (9) are spending the night tonight. GD also invited her bestie to join us. Should be a fun night. X (age 2) really wants to come too, but he is sick and I do not want what he has...so he'll have to come next time.

With everything going on today, it may be tomorrow before I tackle the freezer inventory. Smile

The next 5 weeks

January 11th, 2018 at 08:10 am

Last night the hub went back to work for a 5 week rotation. I have been reading others' blogs about using up the pantry, freezer and fridge and think this may work for me too! I am certainly going to spend some time Saturday morning figuring out how I could make it work for me. I am not even sure what lives in the burrows of our freezer right now..but no time like the present to find out! Smile

We had to put one of our dogs down on Monday. He was old, and had multiple medical issues. But the clincher was when he swallowed an adult sized athletic sock on Sunday. We were dumbfounded when he did it- and it took a few minutes for it to sink in enough to realize that it was a really bad thing for his frail body and digestive system. He had never done anything like that before. After, I read online that dogs eating socks is not uncommon- but it was certainly not something we expected. The vet confirmed that it was not going to end well for him. Frown So given his age and condition, the hub made the tough decision. RIP sweet Bear.





Frugal month and update on Z

January 5th, 2018 at 10:14 am

This month should be a fairly frugal one. The hub arrived home last night, but because of the winter schedule, he will only be here for 5 days and then will head back up to work. Having to spend for only me for the majority of the month seems to put much less stress on the budget. And I am in a frugal state of mind lately.

I suppose one of the reasons I am thinking more frugally of late is that I am nearing the tipping point to being able to retire. Moving from having to work, to working if I want. I am about 6 months out.. At 57, I am not sure I am ready for full time retirement, but I am certainly ready for part time...however, it will depend on some of the changes happening at work. If things go really well, I will want to stay working at least for another year. If not, then I will shift gears and figure out the plan B. It is a wonderful feeling to have options tho!!

DD2 received the reports on the boys from the state yesterday. This is the report created after our trip to the state office for CPS last month. The report discussed the boys history, primarily Z's and it was a stark reminder of why we have fought so hard to keep him safe now that he is back with us. Reading his story makes my heart ache. Suffice it to say that he was in a bad, dark place for his first 4 months of life and again when he was returned to BM for that year and a half. We new most of the story, but there were other things we didnt know that help explain some of his PTSD.

The good news is that the report strongly recommended giving the boys permanency with DD2 AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. And now adoption is in full swing. They are projecting 3 months!!! I can not tell you how excited we are to be here, finally.



Frugal start to the new year!

January 3rd, 2018 at 03:46 pm

First of all, Happy New Year friends!

I have started the new year out with a few small frugal choices. First, my cell phone case broke- so I put one in my Amazon shopping cart for $19.99 and then pondered if that was something I really needed to do....

I pulled out the super glue and glued the broken pieces back together...which worked, but also created poky edges that were irritating my hand each time I used my phone. That wouldnt work... So I found a sander disk and sanded on the poky parts until they were pretty smooth- and finally, I pulled out some nail polish (couldnt find any clear, so I made do with red!) and polished over the repair to smooth things out- and viola! my cell phone case is back in business. Savings: $19.99

Then, I used an old bag of red beans from the cupboard, a ham hock from Christmas, and a can of Rotel- put all in my crockpot and let it simmer all day. I am now on my 4th day of very cheap meals.

And finally, my face scrub had run out. Nothing else would squeeze from the tube. Just as I was getting ready to toss it I thought back to my Tightwad Gazette reading days and decided to cut the tube in half and low and behold- there were at least 4-5 good uses left in the bottom. Between uses, I just put one end over the other and it creates enough of a seal to keep it from drying out- stretching my scrub an extra week or two!

This has got me thinking of other ways I have been not-so-consciously wasting money. My brain is now looking for ways to stretch and save a little. Homemade snowflakes, if you will.

Adoption is going slow but steady. The boys are happy and healthy and doing well. 2018 is looking to be a very good year so far!

DS's business update

October 26th, 2017 at 08:35 am

Some of you may recall that when I started this blog over 11 years ago, I was helping my son with his business start up and taking care of my parents. I used my 401k to help build the business and it did great the first couple of years.

Unfortunately, my son's business, a pest control company, did not survive the 2008-2010 crisis, and I returned to my former job.

A couple of years later, my son opened a new business in an area that was more conducive to year round business, rather than seasonal- which is what it was here. (Bugs and critter problems vary depending on the climate.)

I am happy to say that he is doing PHENOMENAL! He now employs 6 people, and has restored his credit...and most importantly, the business is in a position to start PAYING MOM BACK!

I knew his goal was to someday repay me, but I wasn't sure that day would really ever arrive- but it is here. Part of the repayment will come in cash payments over the next year, and part will be in his making mom a partner in the business and eventually buying me out. In the end, this will have been a very good investment for me. A win-win for both my son and me.

This will put my retirement goals in high gear as we will end up two years ahead on my savings goals by the end of 2018. YIPPEE!

And I am thrilled that my son's dream is coming true. He is a hard worker and is building a very ethical business that focuses on customer loyalty.

Needless to say, I am one proud, happy momma!

Two steps back, treading water or making progress.

March 10th, 2017 at 12:40 pm

Two steps back, treading water or making progress. Some months it’s a combination of all three.

I am making slow and steady progress on debt. Last year I helped DD2 out financially when she lost her job. Today I finally paid off that debt. (yay). DD2 is still unemployed, but she is also still fostering Z and his brother, going to school full time and able to draw unemployment- so she is in a good financial place now. My next debt focus will be back to paying off the remodel on the house.

I have been able to stick with my new year’s resolutions for a healthier lifestyle and it is paying off. I went to the doctor last week and my blood pressure was a little lower than what they say is normal …which makes mine much lower than it’s been in years. I could come off the bp med now, but the med also helps control my migraines, so I am reluctant to. It just feels great that a change in diet has made such a huge difference. Ive lost some weight too - not a great deal, but enough to tell a difference!! 
Our trip back to Hawaii is sneaking up on us. Next month already! I cant wait! We planned this almost 2 years ago – which has allowed lots of time for happy anticipation and saving $$. We are READY.

The hubs job is still going ok. However, he is preparing his resume and looking at other options just in case things go south. (He works in the oil industry in Alaska and continued employment is a big question mark lately!)

Z and X are still with us and doing GREAT. BM has a new baby due any day. Because she is not considered a safe option for the older 3 kids, DHS will likely place the new baby in foster care as well. The dad is in jail, has been for several weeks. BM and the dad are in a different state than we are, so I suspect that the baby will be placed more local to them. There is a review board meeting for long term placement of the boys next week. They have now been with DD2 over 6 months, which opens some doors for permanency- it just depends on the board’s recommendation. Since BM has made no efforts for reform, adoption is one option they will be considering.

401k Progress!

September 9th, 2016 at 10:54 pm

I was reviewing my 401k records today and was happy to see that my account has grown almost 50k in the past year! Hopefully it will continue on this trajectory until 2020, when I plan to retire. If so, I will have met my savings goals while also paid off my debt goals and will comfortably achieved retirement goals.

I finally turned in that bag of pennies today. $21.43. It is one less thing to worry about as we declutter. I set the money aside to determine what to do with it..

I ended up leaving work early today to pick up Z and bring him home for the afternoon. He was so cute. He honestly is one of the gentlest souls I have ever met. We spent the afternoon giggling and blowing bubbles. Then met up with the rest of the family for birthday dinners. TOnight he is staying with DD1s family- visiting his other cousins.

I am ready for the weekend. Tomorrow night I am having DD1's kids over for the night. DD1 and hubby are DJing a wedding-

Otherwise,not much to report. Very concerned for Julie, aka Ima Saver. It has been quite a while since she has posted- and she had medical issues the last time she did post. I sure hope she is ok.