Friday, May 31, 2013

Family resemblance

A cousin of my mom and uncle emailed my uncle a family photograph he had come across of my mom, 2 uncles and my grandparents. From the kids ages it looks to be taken around 1947, when my mom was about 6 years old. It is a color photograph - did they even have color photographs back then? Maybe it was colored later? It's an old picture, so of course scanned a bit grainy, but it came through when my mom forwarded it to me as a fairly large picture, so I can see all their faces very close up.

I was stunned at the resemblance between my grandmother and my daughter! My grandma would have been about 29 in this photo. While I have seen photos of her in her younger days, they are all black and white and not very close up at all. Plus, I have pretty much only known my grandma since she's been gray haired and wrinkley, of course.  But in this photo, she is a young woman, with long past shoulder length hair. She isn't smiling completely, sort of a MonaLisa smile, with her mouth open and teeth showing (like a bit of the small overbite DD has). While DD always smiles in pictures, she has a way of not closing her mouth completely when she is just relaxed, like sitting using her laptop or watching tv. My grandma in this picture looks just like this, the shape of their mouth is exactly the same. Their eyes look so much the same too, as well as the shape of their face.

I'm so glad I was able to get a copy of this picture to have :-) 

Thursday, May 30, 2013


It's looking like another dead end on the job lead for DS. I think I mentioned earlier this week (or maybe it was end of last week - this interview process has gone on forever) that he got a call from the recruiter lady that the group that interviewed him decided he wasn't quite experienced enough for the "Tier 2" position. She then said she was going to have him interview for a "Tier 1" position and said someone from that dept would be calling him to set up an interview for this week. That interview was yesterday. He thought he would be interviewing for a lower position in the same division of this company.

He gets to the interview yesterday (at a different location than the first interview, but that doesn't mean much - this company is huge and has offices all over the place) and realizes it's for a completely different division of the company! So, of course I'm sure he felt a little thrown off by that and not prepared. He was interviewed by the dept head and someone from the recruiting company (not the lady he has been dealing with this whole time) and he did tell them she never said this interview was for a different division - just that is was for a "Tier 1" position.

So, there in lies my "hmmpff!".  Obviously he has been dropped for consideration by the two "ins" he has with this company. These men are high up positions. One is the whole division GM and the other is a dept. manager. He had met in person at the dept. mgr's home before he went to Australia and was basically told he'd have a job when he got back - or at least that's the impression he got. So, either he was just humoring DS along all this time, with no real intention of hiring him or there is something wrong with DS and his interviews.  Seriously, if one of them really wanted to hire him it would be done.

He thought his interview yesterday went really well and they told him they'd let him know "soon". But, now that he's basically out on his own, again, trying to be picked among the other hundreds of applicants, it's probably not going to happen at this company, is my guess.

So, back to DS and possible short-comings (other than just plain lack of experience at this time). Since he first started looking for IT jobs (his first one was part-time/seasonal for another big company, while in college) he has been offered back for 2nd interviews several times, so that is always a good sign. Most every job does a phone interview first. He does very well at these - and almost every time has gotten an in-person interview from it. I know he does well at phone interviews - I have heard him. He is confident and speaks easily. His teachers loved him, the people at his last job (and he had to interact with many at different locations) loved him. They even sent emails to his boss at the main office telling him they loved him.

Obviously I know nothing of how his in person interview skills fare. But he does show up looking nice in slacks, a dress shirt and dress shoes. His hair is very short and neat (and he wears glasses, so he really looks the computer nerd part!). He has a great smile.  So, first impressions should be ok, there. Personality wise he is quiet, but also mature and respectful. He has never had a problem talking to adults or those older than him. He grew up constantly around other adults and interacting with them (one of the many good things he learned from racing as a kid). Every single person we have ever met for the first time (even now) will comment how totally awesome they think my kids are. I tihnk most are just amazed they can have a real conversation with a teenager - LOL.

If he's not really getting these jobs because of lack of experience, then it must be something of how he is coming across during an interview that is not getting him the job offer. Lack of experience is a factor, but if a manager likes the person, they are more than willing to put in some time training them, if they think they will pick it up quickly. Plus, this job was basically a help desk type job - he'd basically be dealing with people on the phone to fix the issues - he's already proven he can talk on the phone. If I didn't want to remain anonymous I'd show you links where you could listen to him do phone interviews for racing programs and see live in person interviews. He does awesome! He's so professional and doesn't "um" throughout it.

I wish I could help him! For now, I am just pushing him to keep applying for more and more jobs. I think he slacked off on doing that this past 3-4 weeks because he really thought he'd end up getting this job. That wasn't a smart move and he needs to apply for everything out there that he can. I know he's so frustrated right now, but eventually he'll find something and get moving forward. It doesn't help that DH is a total ASS about it all, but that is another story and I'm not even in the mood to go there right now.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A new budget plan

It's a Wednesday that should feel like a Tuesday but feels like a Thursday! I had a re-check appointment at the root canal dentist this morning to check on my abscess/infected tooth. It has improved with the week long penicillin treatment, but not all the way gone. I guess she thinks it will keep improving because she told me to go ahead with getting started on the crown (with my regular dentist) but come back in for her to check it again before they put on the permanent crown (so I'm assuming the crown will be a 2 visit thing - ugh).

DS is on his way to his latest interview on the job he has been trying for (what seems like forever now). This company is so big that this interview isn't even in the same city his first interview was! Goodness. The suburbs around here all run into one another and hard to tell when you've moved on from one to the next, but this office is not quite as far as the first department he interviewed with.  He's being a bit frustrating - just waiting to see if this job comes through or not and not applying for anything and everything he can in the meantime. He really needs to stay on top of this job search and keep working at it, rather than just hoping this one comes through.  If he doesn't get this job he's going to have to find something - even if it's not IT work and if he wants to get a good IT job, he's going to have to go finish his degree.

I'm going to try a new tactic in regards to what DH has been spending on landscaping and such. He just keeps draining me of money. He'll tell me he needs A and B....oh and then needs C...and while I am picking that up he needs D....Little by little my savings get eaten up, because he doesn't want to work within a budget (a dirty word to him). So, on payday I'm going to hand him an envelope with cash in it (still trying to determine the amount) and say this is what you have this month for your various projects. Make him decide and budget out what it gets spent on.  Maybe then he'll be more aware on what got spent for the month if he actually sees the money and spends it himself.

The delicate trick will be not to give him too much! If I give him more than he needs he will spend it - guaranteed, even if he didn't need to. But, I have to give him a little more than he needs so he has enough to cover some of those things he'll come up with that he didn't know he needed!

I know he wants 3 pallets of landscaping blocks (at first it was 2 but last week it changed to 3.....see what I mean?) and that will cost $412 total. Other things he has mentioned are a load of topsoil and more weed and feed and also 2 more whiskey barrel planters. I don't know how much the topsoil is, but probably in the $300 range. Since he used to work construction he has a friend who will give us a pretty good deal. The barrels are about $30 each.  Anyhow, I'm going to give him in the $600 range (which still leaves me with putting some in savings and some reserve in my checking) and he can figure out how/what to spend it on. It will be interesting to see how this little idea works out.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A short week

Well, the long weekend is over and it's back to work. Hey, at least it's a short week, now. We really didn't do anything this weekend, mostly watched movies we found On Demand.  DD and I did go visit my grandma yesterday before lunch and then we stopped at the mall to look for a birthday/father's day gift for DH. I found him a waterproof hat (sort of like those Australian hats) he can wear outside. I got him one there years and years ago and he used to wear it all the time (just finally wore it out) when he had to work outside in the rain (back in the construction days). It was $50, so right in my budget for the gift.  The little camera works again, but now the flash won't work right, so DD and DS are going to go in together and get him a little point and shoot digital camera. I think they found one they will probably get on sale for $90 at Best Buy.

Operation Food Waste Reduction went very well this weekend! I stayed on top of the food situation. Got the borderline old strawberries cut up and frozen (which DD plans to use in another one of her recipes she wants to try - for strawberry lemonade). Her pan of M&M bars she made last Thurs or Friday got eaten up and yesterday she made her yummy macaroni salad, of which I will be taking some for my lunch today.

Sunday night DH was wanting (last minute of course) some nacho platter type food. I didn't have all the ingredients to make something like that so I just went and picked up up a pre-made platter at the store. I don't really like to eat nacho's much, so I got a small container of sesame chicken (just enough that DD and I would eat) and 3 chicken strips for DS. DH munched on his nacho platter, DD had a little of it, along with the sesame orange chicken and DS only ate 2 of his chicken strips. I got to him right as he was finishing and told him not to throw out that last piece! The uneaten portion of the nacho platter got covered back up and put in the fridge.

For lunch yesterday I ate the piece of chicken and mentioned to DH that the nacho platter had some left if he wanted a snack during the day. He ended up just having the rest of that for his dinner last night (HE ate leftovers!), while DD and I made up some scrambled eggs, throwing in some of the leftover diced ham from her macaroni salad. DS was at a BBQ. The hamburger I had in the fridge to make a lasagne casserole really needed to be used up or frozen, so I got it right in the freezer and didn't let it sit in the fridge getting brown and then having to throw it out, like I have done so many times before when my meal plan changes. So, I'd say it was a successful weekend keeping the food ($) waste down.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Food Waste

My new mission is to get a grip on our food waste. It is quite ridiculous and I'm sure we fall right into those statistics I keep hearing that American's waste 25% of their food.  Do the math and that equates to approximately $2000 of food this family is tossing out each year. In order to improve this wastefulness I first need to figure out what we are doing that causes it. I've narrowed it down to these major issues:

1) We don't eat leftovers at all. DH seriously HATES leftovers. I've traced this back to the fact that his mother was about the worst cook in the world and he said growing up it was bad enough eating her meals the first time around - he wasn't going to re-heat it! So, 20 years of living with that pretty much set him in his ways. When I was a stay-at-home-mom I would try to cut some recipes in half or make the whole casserole and freeze half, so that we were not wasting. But, now that the kids are grown and eat like grown ups halving a recipe usually wouldn't give us enough to eat, but a whole recipe is still usually too much, so it gets thrown out.

2) I tend to have many options of snacks in the house, which leads to many things being opened, and many things never getting finished before it expires. Chips, cookies, etc. The reason I have many choices is that when I don't I get tons of complaints from all 3 of them that "there is nothing to eat in this house". I realize that only having one or two choices doesn't work around here. That one or two choices might not sound good as a snack that particular time or for that particular person. So, I tend to load up (especially the first of the shopping week - there is lots to choose from) so I don't have to listen to all the complaints (DH being the loudest). DH really is constantly drinking something (usually iced tea or soda) or eating something in between meals. If I don't have several choices he's a total crab and he's crabby enough to deal with, without adding to the problem.

3) I am lazy. When there is something that could be used as a leftover for at least my lunches, I tend to not put it in containers right away and let it sit out until I or DD cleans up the dinner dishes and then it just gets thrown out. Or when I do get it put in the fridge I end up not taking it as lunch because it doesn't sound good.

4) DD is a big food waster! She is always throwing new foods into the grocery cart to try (which I think is great that she wants to try new things) but either ends up not really liking it much, or just doesn't finish it up before it goes bad.  Her next huge area of waste is that she always thinks she wants to cook or bake something and I buy the ingredients and then of course she never makes it. Case in point - she makes a great macaroni salad and 3 weeks ago I bought an onion for it and diced ham - the onion is still sitting on the counter! The ham package we opened up and used quite a bit of it in omelets, but almost half of it went bad and I had to throw it out.

5) I have a real hard time following up to make sure things get frozen before they go bad (see #3). I could have put the rest of that diced ham in the freezer to pull out when she was ready to make the salad. I have about half of a 3 lb container of strawberries that is getting close to going bad, that DH (who has strawberry shortcake quite often for dessert) probably won't end up eating and instead of getting my butt in gear and either freezing them or making something with them, they will get thrown out.

So now, how to implement some changes to reduce food waste? I have to face the fact that eating leftovers is just not going to happen around here, so I'll need to start cutting my recipes down when I can or freezing part of the uncooked casserole for a later meal. Last night was just 3 of us for dinner and tuna casserole was on the menu. I got the ingredients put together and then scooped what I thought the 3 of us would eat into the casserole dish. It ended up being a little more than half, so I put the remaining in a plastic container and put it in the freezer and just cooked what we would eat. The portion in the freezer isn't really enough for 3 of us, but either I can make it sometime when I know it will just be DH and me or the next time I make a full tuna casserole, I will add another portion to what is already frozen and then the time after that it will be a full meal.

With dinners I tend to make alot of crescent rolls for the bread. They come in packs of 8 rolls- with it just the 3 of us last night, we would only eat 4 rolls (no one likes them re-heated), so instead of making them and throwing out half of them, I just didn't make them last night and we had some bread and butter. Nothing wasted.

The night before we had chili dogs and I pulled out a can of sliced pears for DH and DD to have on the side, She left 2 slices in the can. Normally while cleaning up I would have just thrown them out, but I grabbed a fork and ate them up!  I'm just realizing I need to be hyper-vigilant of what food I am buying, what food we have and what state it is in on a daily basis in order to conquer this demon. Up today - slicing and freezing strawberries before they go bad!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Yard stuff

Not much going on around here this long weekend. The weather is terrible so we will be indoors and since I don't get paid until next Friday, there really isn't any extra money to spend on going and doing anything or on something for a house project.  I got quite a bit of the extra from the next paychecks (side jobs pay me too) earmarked for more landscaping supplies.  We have a block retaining wall in back to finish up, we need another hose and sprinkler and flowers for all the barrels and pots.

This is the area DH and DS have been working to clear out the past month. It's looking nice, I think. We've been calling this area "the park" :-) With all the overgrowth it had we had kind of forgot about the little bird feeder hanging from one of the trees. It's now filled with wild bird seed.

I especially like the old fallen tree with all the moss on it and all the ferns growing.

This is what the area looked like before

Our neighbor continues to work on his yard too! He's mowed his lawn more times in the past few weeks than all last year, LOL. He put some nice stone circle borders around all his apple trees. All but one or two of the 75 little thuja trees we planted last fall are growing great and look healthy. The ground cover we planted a few weeks ago is slowly starting to spread out. My only problem is the hydrangea bush we planted is all droopy. I need to do some research and figure that one out. I bought DH a new scoop shovel and a hoe last week, so he now has a hoe for the first time, haha.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Learning to deal with disappointment

DD got to experience a bit of life's ups and downs last night and learn that life and the people in it are not always fair.  Her tennis banquet was last night, but let me back up a bit to the end of tennis season last year. She was about 4th on the team ladder, with the top 3 (and several below DD) being seniors. Coach told DD she'd be the top player next year and would have her choice of singles or doubles. In the first 2 years she was on the team the #1 girl always played singles. DD so wanted to play singles. She worked her butt off all summer, fall and winter to get even better, because while she knew she could beat the girls on her team, she'd knew there was tougher singles competition with the other teams in the district. She did a summer camp daily for 6 weeks, she took some semi-private lessons during the fall and some private lessons during the winter. She called girls on the team all the time to arrange to meet up and practice. She was already pretty good (well, compared to the rest of the girls on her team) but with all that work she got even better. Her serves were stronger and consistent. Her returns had form and placement and she's not afraid to go to the net.

Tennis season starts this year and she has proven the hard work paid off. In the ladder matches (singles matches) to determine where the girls levels are she can't be beat. Coach puts her to play first doubles. DD is very disappointed (she had reminded coach again she wanted to play singles) but coaches reason is she feels she'd have a stronger doubles team(s) with DD in that position for a better chance at an overall team win. She played doubles (frustratingly, because her partner had some good moments but for the most part was pretty inconsistent) all season but one match, where she got to play singles because the 1st singles player and DD's doubles partner had to miss a match (and DD had to push to get to play singles!).

DH and I have never missed a match in 3 years (well, I missed one at the end of the season when my tooth broke!). We don't butt in and tell the coach what to do, we talk to her when she comes over and talks to us during a match, but we don't try to be "those" parents who butt in. But, we noticed coach acting different about DD all year. Making some very strange comments - that just kind of made us go "hmmm.."  I can't recall them all right now - like the time she played the singles match and totally creamed the other girl (like 6-1, 6-0) and coaches response was "she got to play the easiest girl in the district", though during a later season conversation when someone else was playing her, this girl was given props for beating her. Just strange little comments all season. At first we thought we were imagining it or maybe being hyper-sensitive (DH is that way) for some reason.  Just kind of back-handed type of "compliments".

At the end of the season they did ladder matches again to help designate who would go on to sub-districts. No one could beat DD -even the girl in number 2 spot maybe only won a game or two out of 2 sets. Even during tennis season DD will play tennis almost 7 days a week. If she can't find someone to play on the weekends she takes her brother, or she just goes by herself and practices serves.

So, back to last night. The coach talks about each girl - starting with JV and lowest ranked and moves on up. DD was the last one she talked about. While she said the obligatory stats and such, coach says that she knows DD really wants to play singles next year and she'll have some work to do to get ready for that. Are you FREAKING kidding me??!!

DD was co-captain this season, with another girl (who played 2nd singles) who was a senior. Captains are voted on by the girls. The past couple of years DD has suspected some "manipulation" of who ends up captain, by the coach. The year before the #1 girl (who had been on the team since freshman) apparently got outvoted in favor of another girl. That year the coach said there would be co-captains, instead of one captain and this #1 girl was co-captain. Somewhat understandable, in my book. Then for this year there were 5 seniors but all of them low on the ladder and DD said most all the girls were telling her they voted for her (a junior), being the top ranked and on the team the longest of all the girls on the team this year. It was announced at the banquet last year that again there would be co-captains....DD and another girl who was a senior. Ok, I get that, again.  DD was voted, but coach felt a senior should be involved, so co-captains again, it is. (None of this is said directly by the coach - just assumptions we are making based on what DD knows and the other girls have said). Then last night when captain for next year was announced we kind of assumed it would be DD....or at least as a co-captain thing again. Nope - it was another senior girl, no co-captain this year.  Interesting when coach felt the top senior player should have that position 2 seasons ago she put her in it with a co-captain, but wouldn't do it for DD this next year, her senior year?

I know DD was terribly hurt and disappointed! She was voted on by the girls to receive the "Most Inspirational" award. Do you really think they then didn't vote for her for captain? Hmm...DD is the sweetest, most humble person. She doesn't act like she is better than everyone else.We told DD to just keep on getting better (she plans to take more private lessons during the off season) and go back next year and still be the girl to beat on the ladder and keep her #1 spot and just prove it on the court. I don't have a clue what could be her coaches problem with her is (the first 2 years she acted like she loved DD). DD will just go back and do her senior year and get her 4th year letter in Varsity - along with the other awards she usually gets - Scholar Athlete and First Team All League and some other award I can't remember it's called - but the other coaches vote on top 10 girls in the whole district and she was one of them.

She's disappointed, but I think it's made her even more determined to get even better and play even harder. Guess we'll just have to wait and see if she gets to play singles next year.....

I know I'm sounding like a whiner, but I really don't understand why this always seems to happen to us. We are not "takers". We go above and beyond to volunteer and help out. My kids are not egotistical. They don't get all excited over a win and rub it in someone elses face. They don't brag, at all. We go by the rules and do it the right way to get to a certain level/position (and the related "perks") for something and as soon as we get there the rules suddenly change! I can't tell you how many times it's happened in my son's racing. One example is when he was transitioning from the kids racing into the adult racing. At our home track you had to be 16 to race. We didn't try to change the rule, we accepted it (though there were others racing who were not 16, but just lied about their age, used fake ID). DS went to a driving school out of state when he was 15 and did very well.  We then took him out of state when he was still 15 for his first race. A small track, not heavy competition, but our goal was to just get him some experience racing with others on the track (as opposed to the school where he was on the track alone doing laps). He won on his very first race! We then took him out of state a couple of more times that summer, to larger venues and he did well for a 15 yr old kid. Made it into the main events each night and held his own, didn't get into anyone's way, etc. Proved he could more than handle himself on the track.

At the end of that race season, literally days before his 16th birthday was the last race at our home track - a memorial race to honor someone who had been very special and important to our family. He was one of my DH's best friends (DH was even one of the speakers at his memorial service) and meant the world to both my kids. We asked if DS could race in this race - he was days away from being 16, it would mean the world to him to race in this race to honor our dear friend and of course he's start in the back and keep out of the way. It wasn't like he didn't have any racing experience, he raced for 9 years as a kid and now had 5 races under his belt in the adult car. We were told NO. So, we accepted it and didn't make a stink or anything. Literally months later, when the next race season started...guess what?...the rules were changed. Now all of a sudden you could be 14 years old to race!!

Or the time when DS was 8 and had been racing 3 years. We belonged to a small race club - maybe 20 kids at most. Every year was an award "Driver of the Year" A perpetual trophy that each name got added onto each year and the kid got to keep the cup for that year. It was always drivers who won the season championship, etc. That year we take DS across the country to race in a national event. He won a national championship in his class. He had also won our club championship. He'd be the "Driver of the Year" right? Um no.....suddenly the club president changed the award to it goes to the kid "most improved" and says that's how it's always been. What a joke. The kid who won it the 2 years before had never been most improved in his life - he came out of the gate a star driver (as his dad had built a track at their home and he had more laps before he was 5 then all other kids put together). But when it was our turn for the recognition it suddenly changed. That just seems to be the story of our lives and I really don't get it!

Or the time I get a hard to get job with this company in my home town - close to home and great benefits - one being a paid lunch hour! I mean who does that?! But this company had done that for the 20 years or so they'd been in business. 3 months after I get the job they stop that perk!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Well, I tried

DD has a little digital camera (not to be confused with her fancy Nikon DLS with all her lenses, etc) that we all kind of use when we need a picture of something or when she doesn't want to get out the big one. It has not been holding a battery charge for very long anymore. It's pretty old - Grandma got it for her some years ago as a gift. Then it stopped holding a charge altogether (right when I was trying to take pictures at her last tennis match. I got one whole picture), so I just assumed it needed a new battery, right?

Apparently not. I bought a generic battery online cheap through Amazon and it came yesterday. Got it all charged up and camera still won't work. It turns on and then right back off. So, obviously it isn't the battery. I'm just very glad I only paid a couple of bucks for it! (shipping was more than the battery) Now, we'll eventually need to add into the budget for a new digital camera. Poo! We have a REALLY old Kodak digital camera that still works ok, so we will get by with that for now I guess. It doesn't take the greatest pictures. I think I got it around 2001! The kids use their phones a lot to take quick pictures. It's mostly DH that now uses this little camera - when he wants to post a picture on Facebook or take a picture of something he wants to sell.  Maybe we will get him one for his birthday/Father's Day coming up.

On other news - for some reason I thought DS told me he got a 2nd in person interview for this week, but he didn't. They just said they would call him back within the week to set one up. The lady called Monday and told him that they didn't think he had enough experience for the "Tier 2" position, so they wanted him to interview with someone else, for a "Tier 1" position. So, now he is waiting for a call from that person, to set up an interview time. I think that news has kind of let the sails out of DS again - poor guy. He's getting pretty discouraged to say the least. You'd think based on his resume (it's not like he's lied about his knowledge/experience) and the long 2nd phone interview, they could have gathered at that point which position he is more qualified for. He said he'd be fine with accepting a "Tier 1" position, just to get his foot in the door, but I think now he's not feeling very optimistic about even getting that.

He's doing a bit of website work on the side and trying to buy/sell some computer equipment to make some money. He had an old iphone 3 that I asked if he was going to sell it (DD had been using it, but she bought his used iphone 4 he bought to use in Australia) and he said no, he didn't think it was worth much. I said well even if you get $50 from it, it's a tank of gas! He sold it Monday on Craigslist for $185! He used that money to buy a macbook he found in very good condition for the same price and is now trying to sell it for $550 - which seems to be the going price for them.  He's also going to do some yard work for his GF's parents in exchange for what he normally pays them monthly for his share of his phone he has on their plan, so he'll probably be able to exchange 2-3 months worth of payments with them.

I'm still doing pretty well trying to stay away from fast food dinners. Other than last Saturday night, when DH had a craving for nachos so I ended up getting him a premade tray of a nachos bean dip at the grocery store. DD ate it with him and DS and I just ate what we could find in the kitchen that sounded good. Last night was just cheap tomato soup and mac and cheese! We haven't had that in quite awhile and it's always good on a cold rainy day. Tonight will either be tuna casserole or eggs and bacon. I haven't decided which sounds better yet.  Tomorrow night we have to go to DD's tennis banquet at a pizza place. We love their salad bar and quite often lately have been getting a couple of "salads to go" from their salad bar and taking them home to share and making our home made pizza. DD said she doesn't want to order pizza that night. Just order salad bar and then have our own pizza when we get back home. Our new homemade pizza is sure spoiling everyone from wanting other pizza now. Even now that picky eater DS is back home and got to try it,  he loves it and asks for me to make it.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

This is getting old...

My tooth problems still won't end. After finishing up the root canal on Thursday the doctor said I might feel some discomfort for up to 2 weeks. The discomfort I was feeling all weekend was up inside my cheek, most noticeable if I smiled and moved my cheek. I just thought it was sore from where they gave me a shot of Novocaine, but Sunday I ran my finger upside my cheek and just there along the gum line (above the tooth that just had the root canal) is a bump that is painful to touch. It had not gone away by yesterday, so I called and left a message at the endodontist's office, describing what was going on. The receptionist called back and said the doctor would call me last night to discuss it. So, I'm thinking - ok- maybe it's not that serious, just something that will go away after the irritation of all the root canal dies down, otherwise they would have just scheduled me to come back. But, after dentist calls and I tell her the exact same thing I said in the message I left, she says I need to come in and she'll have her receptionist call me the next day. Well, duh! It's probably still infected or re-infected or something! Why didn't they just schedule me to come back in the first place? Good grief.  I just made an appointment for a couple of hours from now, so keep your fingers crossed for me it's an easy fix (haha, ya right)

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Credit and debt

The credit/finance gods have decided to be good to me. I was just happy to even be approved for the CareCredit card, even if the interest rate said it was like 22.9% or some ridiculous  rate. Just before we went over to pick pup up I got back on their website, just to look around some more. Apparently, depending on what deal they have worked out with each provider I might be offered 6 months terms, or 12 months etc. Different promotional periods I guess. Not that it mattered as I planned to get this paid of in 2, 3 payments max.

When she put the bill on my new account and gave me the paperwork to sign - I read it and it was 12 months, No interest!! Thank you, thank you! Now I have some leeway to pay it off over a longer time, rather than the 2 months I was going to split it over. There was no way I was going to drag it out and pay that interest rate! $38 a month for 12 months is much more do-able with the monthly budget than trying to pay off $233 each of the next 2 months. That would have drained whatever I would have been able to put into reserves for other emergencies that will of course come up.

Credit is a blessing and a curse, but when it's interest free I'll take it! It allows me to rebuild my credit score, without having to spend money on interest. My dentist and endodontist are part of this CareCredit program too. I'm thinking I might add my root canal or crown expense to it, when I have to pay that. If it's going to be 12 months no interest too, I might as well spread the cost out and give myself more wiggle room in my monthly budget, rather than using all my reserves and then some at once to pay it off. I owe $290 to the endodontist and my share of the crown (haven't had that procedure done yet) will be approximately $450. The endondontist wants full payment now...Funny thing there - I'm pretty sure I was supposed to pay upon leaving my appointment Thursday, but my appointment ran so long it was well into the noon lunch hour (they even switched assistants towards th end of my root canal so the one assistant could have her lunch break!). I waited at the front desk for a couple of minutes, but the front desk gal never came back and no one was waiting in the waiting room, so I have a feeling she was at lunch. I just left and figured she could call me for my debit card or they could just mail me the bill, so it hasn't been paid yet.  The regular dentist has offered to spread the $450 out over 3 payments, so that is a good offer, but now I'm considering putting that on the card, if I would be offered 12 months no interest on that too.  Still thinking on that. Since I'm not exactly sure how the promotional offers work (I'm thinking it could vary per provider), if I'm not given no interest on the dental work, it would be better for me to take the dentist's offer of 3 monthly payments.

Hopefully, none of this will even be an issue or owed in a couple of months. If my company gives out the bonus for the first 6 months of the year I can use some of that to pay all this off and not have the debts hanging over my head. After not having/using credit the past few years, I much prefer not owing anything, but since we're not independently wealthy, guess we gotta do what we gotta do. Teeth gotta be fixed and pups gotta be taken care of.

Friday, May 17, 2013

On the mend

Well the vet verdict is in....puppy has various kinds of worms and no blockage in his stomach. So, good news according to the vet, as it is very treatable.  Bad news to my wallet as when we go pick him up it will be $466! Ouch. But, so glad he'll be ok soon. He's such a goofy good dog!

A sick puppy

I'm writing this with about 3 hours of sleep last night. Our 10 month old dog has been vomiting since yesterday afternoon. He threw up later in the afternoon and then again right after he ate his dinner. Since then he's thrown up about every 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Poor puppy! We weren't sure whether to take him to an emergency vet (not very close by) during the night or wait it out and get him into Banfield Vet, where he's been seen since we got him and also have a wellness plan we've been paying for each month. We waited it out and then dropped him off at the vets first thing this morning. One of the vets will examine him as soon as they are done with their morning surgeries and let us know, but most likely he will need an xray, which runs about $200. The office manager did say he can utilize some of our wellness plan coverage for the exam and blood work - saving about $180 there.  So, we are just sitting here back at home waiting to hear. I hope it's nothing serious. My guess is he ate something and it's blocking him - he chews up and eats anything he can get to! Sticks, balls, etc. I really didn't need this extra expense right now - especially after paying out $400 so far on my dental work.

With the shortage of sleep and vet trip I just decided to take a PTO day off work. Once we know what's up with the pup hopefully I can get some more sleep. DH stayed up all night with him and is sleeping now. I had my final appointment for the root canal yesterday, so my tooth/mouth is still a bit sore. It was a long 2 hours sitting in the dentist chair. Apparently I can't have "normal" canals and roots like everyone else. Mine are very narrow and long, so it took her quite a bit longer to get it all done. I was pretty wiped out after I got home yesterday and then not getting much sleep last night hasn't helped.

UPDATE: Puppy had some "quite explosive" diarrhea while there at the vets this morning (but no more vomiting) that had quite a bit of grass, twigs and dirt in it! And he's pretty dehydrated. They are going to xray him and get some iv fluids in him and then let us know what they find out from the xray. So far the bill is $433........and now they are telling me they can't use any of the benefits from his wellness plan for the bloodwork - he already used them up for his neutering, so that will be another $180, if they have to do that (if the xray is normal).

While I was at our other dog's vet a few weeks ago for his annual check up I noticed some brochures for "CareCredit" on the counter and the front desk lady just happened to be on the phone with someome and was mentioning it. While I was at the endodontist yesterday I noticed the same brochures. I just checked out their website and it's basically a credit card to use for doctors and vets. High interest rate of course, but helpful if you might end up with a huge vet bill, like I am thinking we will. I went ahead and applied for it online, just so I might have a backup payment plan, if necessary and was approved for $2100. That's a big relief, especially if this vet bill ends up being $1000 or more. I can charge it to this card and pay it off over a few months.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Still interviewing.....

DS thought his job interview on Monday went well. He was interviewed by a team of 3 and was there for over an hour and a half. The lead interviewer (a supervisor, I think) said they don't usually show the applicant around the office during the first interview, but they did for DS, so that seems like a good sign.  They are having him come back for a second interview next Monday.  So, we await the outcome of all this some more. At least they told him right then that he was getting another interview and when, rather then waiting several days for a call to find out if he even was being invited back for another one.  He looked quite sharp in the new dress clothes he went and got at Kohl's the night before. Some nice gray slacks (that he got on clearance for $18 - 70% off!) and a nice dress shirt. Hair all cut and looking very professional.

They also suggested that in the couple of areas of the position he is not familiar with to do some research online and learn what he can about it between now and then. He's a quick learner when it comes to computer stuff, so I don't think that will pose a problem for him - other than I asked him this morning if he was able to find what he needs to learn about online and he said he hasn't looked yet......that's the way he is, though and I just need to not let it bother me. He'll get it done on his own time.

There is a possibility DD might have a part time summer job where I work! I mentioned to my boss yesterday that she is starting to look for a weekday summer job. Her current job is only on weekends and she wants to find something to do during the week. My boss asked what type of work and I said she would prefer to get into some office type work/experience and she said they may be able to use her in one of our departments to help with a project. So, we are going to keep our fingers crossed for that one also. DD could just come in when I'm in the office 3 days a week (otherwise, she's not driving 38 miles each way for a low paying part-time job, haha.).

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The case of the crushed pill

When we were with my grandma in the hospital one day a nurse came in to give her her medications (the one's she always takes) and my mom mentioned one of them (with a yellow coating) to the nurse, that is has to be crushed. The nurse was very surprised that this pill was being crushed, as apparently pills with coatings on them should never be crushed. She went on in quite detail as to why this is and was sure that the nurse from the prior day shift would not have crushed it either. My mom said she didn't know, but 5 years ago the doctor told them to start crushing it because the pill would go right through my grandma and come out in her colostomy bag (sorry, TMI!). They've just been crushing it and giving it to her with applesauce.

The nurse said she was going to go call the hospital pharmacist and see what he said and she came back and said he recommended them not crushed. My mom said she would check with grandma's doctor (which if course she forgot to do). Like I mentioned - this nurse was going on and on about this and why it shouldn't be done.

Fast forward to Sunday, while we are all at my mom's for Mother's Day. We are in the kitchen and she is getting my grandma's pills ready and getting out the crusher to crush her yellow pill. I ask her if she asked the doctor about it (no, she keeps forgetting), BUT, she tells me as she's pouring the crushed pill contents into a little bowl, "I've just been picking out as much of the yellow coating as I can before I put it in the applesauce"

OMG! I say "MOM! That's not what the nurse was talking about! It's not the COATING that is bad for her. Coated pills are time realeased into the system. Crushing them can cause all the medication to go into the system at once.  That is what the nurse was concerned about!"

Goodness! So, I finally think my mom understands. I told her they've been crushing this pill for 5 years with no effects, so I'm sure it's ok, but just to make sure to first question this if they are ever told to do it on other medications.  Then I sent her an email yesterday, before she took my grandma back to her caregiver's place, to be sure to tell her caregiver she doesn't need to spend a half hour picking out yellow coating from the crushed pill every day!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Lots done

It was a productive Saturday around here yesterday. The sun was out and made for a great day. In the morning I went and bought a sprinkler (we only have one for a 5000 sq ft lawn) and then grocery shopping. DH wanted 2 of them, but the sprinkler said it would cover up to 3900 sq ft. It was $20 and I though it would cover most of the back yard. Not even close! Maybe if we moved it around 5 times while watering - haha! But DH liked all the settings it has, so decided to keep it. Our lawn is looking like a bit like it's "under construction" at the moment. It got all thatched last week, which makes for an ugly looking lawn for a couple of weeks, I guess. DH (or I should say DS did the work) got some lime and weed and feed applied. There is an area in the front where the dogs pee and ruined the grass, so the guys put up some poultry fencing around it and reseeded that area and reseeded an area in the back that got pretty much killed from some really hot weather we had last summer and didn't really come back to life much.

I spent an hour or so pulling weeds from all the red rock areas around the house, where all our flowers and plants are. All the thuja trees we planted last fall are growing great and I love just walking down the property line to see how they are growing. Then I helped the guys repaint my window boxes and get them put back up. We pulled them down when we had the house painted a year and a half ago and never got them put back up. The cedar boxes were white and pretty bad looking, but a coat of the dark brown paint to match the trim spruced them right up. I can't wait to plant flowers, but that will have to wait until the end of the month - no money left in this paycheck, that's for sure.

You know those Lowe's commercials where doing work on your house/yard inspires all your neighborhood to do the same? Well, we at least inspired one neighbor! Our "good" neighbor to the left of us is just a single guy about our age who has never done much with his yard. He has some lawn area out front, but only mows it if its getting really long. Most of the time DH just mows it for him while he's out doing our yard. He has a few apple trees next to the fence between us. Well last weekend he actually got out there and did a bunch of tree trimming and mowed his lawn. He had a huge pile of branches loaded on his little flat bed trailer. Well, the other day, before he got home from work, DH and DS went over there with the wood chipper and chipped it all up for him. He drove up just as they were getting finished and was so surprised and happy he almost cried. He said he was taking Friday off as a vacation day just so he could get that all taken to the dump, which probably would have taken him a couple of trips. DH told him to go ride his Harley on his day off, instead. He's a good guy (kind of a home-body) and has lent us his quad every year to use during racing season (he never uses it) and various other tools and things we borrow on occasion. That nice expensive quad has been parked in our garage for the last 4 years and every year when racing season is over we try to take it back to him and he says "nope, I know where it is if I need it". Friday and yesterday he spent all day out in his yard putting some nice stone circle borders around his apple trees. He said to DH "you know, the only reason I'm doing all this is for you guys, LOL. You keep fixing your place up, so I feel like I should too". Too bad the Sanford and Son junk yard neighbors on the other side will never feel that way.

Then I talked DH into going to watch the races with DS last night. It's a 2 hour drive to the track each way, so a long trip and I hate for DS to do it by himself, anyway. Especially coming home 11pm or so. Plus, an afternoon/evening without DH is a rare treat, LOL. They left about 2:30 so they could get up there in time to stop at DH's favorite burger place near the track and have dinner. I took a nice nap while DD unwound from a busy morning at work and then she took me to back to dinner at the restaurant she works at. YUM! I love breakfast for dinner. I tried to talk her into going to Salvation Army afterwards to just look around but she wanted to get back home and get ready for a friends birthday party she was going to. So, I got a nice evening just me and the dogs. Watched a movie on tv and then went to bed before 10. DD got home a little before that - she wasn't staying too late since she has to work this morning.

Off to my mom's later this afternoon for pizza for dinner and enjoy some family time. My grandma turns 95 tomorrow, so we've got lots to celebrate.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

A good Target run

I went to Target last night with my list and coupons. My previous trip there to pick up a prescription (it's a $4 one, so I don't bother with getting that one at Costco) gave me a catalina coupon for a free box of General Mills cereal (we picked a good old favorite - Wheaties). I also had a 5% off your total pharmacy reward (for filling 5 prescriptions) and a $5 off your $50 purchase coupon. One of the items on my list was Miralax (DH needs due to a side effect of one of his meds), which is $16.99. There is a generic store brand version which is $2-3 cheaper, but with coupons I can usually get the Miralax brand a bit cheaper. I found a Target store coupon online for $2 off and was able to stack it with a $3 off manufacturer's coupon I found on

Using my Target red card I also saved another 5% off my total.  All in all - with the discounts and coupons I saved $21.58! It always pays to check online and look at the store coupons offered to see if there is something you use and especially nice when you can stack that savings with a manufacturer's coupon.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Budgeting and other news

With the dental expenses I'm having I'm really glad I was able to change to a cheaper health insurance plan for DH and the kids. That extra $232 a month is much needed right now. The $850 estimated total cost (higher now that I had to see a specialist) will drain my savings.

I had budgeted $500 for food and household stuff for this pay period. I have been writing down every dollar spent. Right now I'm sitting at $225 left in the budget and I get paid again next Wednesday. I have to do a weekly shopping trip out of this - but those usually run me around $150 or less, so I think I might have some left out of this! What's left is going toward some lawn care products - weed and feed, lime, and some grass seed.

Good news - DS got the call yesterday to schedule his in-person interview at the Big Big Big computer company! He has an interview on Monday. I'm so hopeful but trying not to get my hopes up too much - seems like we just keep getting disappointed on the job search front. This one would seem too good to be true - for a first big job. I'm trying not to imagine that I wouldn't have to pay for health and dental insurance anymore.......he could get on his own auto insurance plan......ok -back to reality!

Mother's Day is coming up! What are your plans? DD has to work all morning and then we are spending the afternoon/dinner at my mom's. She is bringing my grandma over for a couple of days to stay, my uncle (lives a few hours away) is coming and also a cousin that lives nearby. I still have to get gifts! We are also celebrating my mom's and grandma's birthdays. I got my mom one gift (she wanted some coffee for her Keurig) but still need to get something else (I don't know what!) and a gift for grandma. She is the hardest to buy for now. She doesn't have room for knicknacks, impossible to buy clothes for, nor does she really need any. I think I'll just get her a bouquet of flowers and some chocolates. The grocery store I shop at has a "personalized" deal of a dozen red roses for $6.99 - can't beat that.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The never ending saga......

This is turning into the root canal from hell. It won't go away! I went back today to finish the root canal. She gets the canals all cleaned out but there is apparently lots of infection, so she had to put something in the canals to get rid of the infection and seal the tooth back up. So, now I go back next Thursday, again, to finish the root canal. And and some point I still have to go back to the regular dentist for the post and crown procedure! I'm back home and working some, but I feel drained and tired and I think I'll just go take a nap.

Plus, figure this one out - my dental insurance covers a max of $2000 per year. My first visit was $349. Insurance paid out $261.20 BUT applied $337.20 towards the $2000 used. How does that work? What a scam.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Drilling and thatching

Teeth and lawn, that is.  I had "part 1" of my root canal procedure done today. There really wasn't much done for that long hour and a half I was at the endodontist. They took xrays, double checked with the cold test to make sure the tooth really is dead and then numbed me up good, drilled me with a few holes and squirted some antibiotic rinse up into the tooth canal and sealed the tooth back up. I got back on Thursday for the rest of the procedure which is a lovely 2 hour appointment.  It is a nice office, though. Very cushy chairs and a nice soft pillow behind your head. Then, at some point I got back to my dentist and they insert the post and crown.

DH has been wanting to thatch the lawn (we've never done it before) and had planned to rent a thatcher this week. Luck went our way and we are getting to use one free! One of DS's friends stopped by Sunday while the guys were out working in the yard and I guess they mentioned that thatching was next. This friend apparently used to work at an equipment rental place and they still give him free rentals, so he picked it up today and brought it over.  What a nice thing to do!

And my boss has just been amazing lately. The time I had to take off when my grandma was in the hospital she wouldn't let me use my PTO and then just emailed me to not use my PTO for this morning that I had to take off. Another lady had to take off yesterday because her daughter broke her ankle and they aren't charging her PTO (our sick and vacation time is all lumped together). I am blessed to work for such a great boss and company....just wish the dental insurance covered a bit more than $2000 max per year....I'm using that up just on this tooth!

I've stuck to the dinner plan the last 2 days...just switched up what meal was what day a bit. Sunday was beef tips and noodles, yesterday was eggs and bacon and tonight is chicken fried steak. Tomorrow will be the lasagne and then I will have made it with only one "blip" in the war on take-out.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Oops! I did it again

I fell off the wagon on Saturday and ended up getting fast food to bring home. DD had her tennis tournament all day Saturday and we didn't get home until after 6:30. It was a hot day, we were out in it all day and just plain tired out. No one wanted to wait another 30-45 minutes while I made something for dinner, so I went to McD's and got the guys something. DD took her shower while I was going doing that and then I made her and I an omelet to split - so I guess it was a 50% fall off the wagon!

I guess all I can do is try to stick to my menu plan for the rest of the week. There's nothing going on, so it shouldn't be a problem. I just didn't plan ahead for Saturday very well. Knowing we'd be gone all day (I just didn't think it would be that late), I should have made something ahead of time.

So far though, I'm still under my budgeted food amount for this pay period, with only 8 more days to go until next payday. My goal is to come in under the $500 budgeted (that's for 15 days) - that is for food, take out meals, household and beauty supplies and pet food.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Dang tooth!

Well, I got myself all psyched up for my root canal appointment today. A different dentist was to do the root canal then did the initial treatment when my tooth broke. He did a test of whether my tooth felt cold applied to it. It did not (not a good sign apparently). He left the room and I chatted with the assistant (which was nice, helping me to keep relaxed) and then he came back in and said he wanted to refer me to a specialist and have an endodontist perform the root canal. He said there was very little tooth left - it's mostly all filling now and felt a specialist would be better to do the procedure for the long term health of the tooth.  So, I got a referral and headed back home. GAHHH!  I just wanted it to be over with!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Friday this and that updates

I got to work from home again yesterday. Seems like lately, whenever her boss is not in the office, she tells me to have an extra day working from home (last week it was almost all week!). Today is my normal work from home day. I got up and showered a little early as *sometime* today the pest control guy is supposed to come back and re-spray for ants. He came last Thursday and since last Friday we've had ants coming into DS's room. I gave it a week to see if their spraying would start working, but it's not, so back he has to come. I'm a little tired of paying $44 a month for them to come and spray and still have to deal with ants!

Tennis season is winding up. Today is sub-districts. DD and her partner got seeded (out of 18 doubles teams) so they get a bye the first round of today's matches and then play the winner of an un-seeded match. Odds are they should be able to beat this un-seeded team and get to move on to districts tomorrow. Tomorrow is double elimination, I think, so she should get to play quite a bit. She came home from practice yesterday fuming mad - her partner did not get her paperwork signed by a parent so she could attend the sub-districts and districts matches. So, if for some reason she doesn't get it signed and turned in today, they would have to forfeit. I'm sure she'll get it taken care of, but DD doesn't need the stress of worrying about whether she will or not.

DS had his 2nd phone interview - this one with someone who works at the company. He thought it went well (it was quite a long interview, for being over the phone) and he was told he should hear back from the lady who first interviewed him (from the HR/Recruiting company) in the next couple of days. I had advised him if the question came up on how he knew about the opening, to just say that a friend, who knew he was looking for work, suggested he apply. The question didn't come up at all, though, so no problem.

My goal is to stay OUT of fast food/take out places this week! With needing to pay for 1/3 of my dental work, the budget is a bit tight and we have been spending too much in that area. Even just a "let's have Dairy Queen for dessert" costs like $12 a shot. Do that a couple of times a week, along with a couple of times for fast food dinners and it adds up! I'm really trying to plan my grocery list for meals this week and stick to it. Desserts will be strawberry shortcake (DH's favorite) several times and I have a cake mix and frosting to make some cupcakes.

Here's the dinner menu:
Friday - French Dip Sandwiches, with cut up watermelon on the side (we need something quick and easy since we'll be home late from tennis)
Saturday - Lasagne (I have a frozen lasagne in the freezer my mom gave me), french bread, veggie
Sunday - Chicken Fried Steak, mashed potatoes, applesauce or jello
Monday - Eggs and Bacon
Tuesday - Beef Tips and Noodles, crescent rolls, veggie
Wednesday - Hashbrown Cheesy Bacon casserole, rolls and jello
Thursday - DH has his weekly treat of burger/fries - the rest of us will just eat leftovers or whatever sounds good .

Wish me luck!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

A little yard work in the works

I went to the local nursery yesterday and picked up the plants the owner recommended for the ground cover we want. It was right at my $100 budget so I was happy. I did have to run over to Walmart and pick up a couple of bags of topsoil, but they were less than $3 per bag.  DH and DS got busy and planted them all and here is the result:

Supposedly, by the end of summer, these should be pretty grown/spread out. We ended up with about 7 extra plants, so I put 3 of them in my 3 whiskey barrels, where they will eventually trail over the side, and the other 4 went in a little strip of redrock area next to our garage.
I'm just trying to keep DH busy! I had enough left from this last paycheck that he can finally get the chainsaw he's been wanting for years.

This is the chainsaw project:

A couple of weeks ago DH started trying to clear the brush (you can see on the left, between the 2 big trees, where it's cleared) using the riding mower but that probably was a bad idea and would have eventually broken the mower. They are going to pick up the chainsaw today, so I'm sure soon, the rest off all that brush in between the trees will be gone gone gone. He's always had some need for a chainsaw. Wind storms always tear down big branches every winter and they always need cut up and disposed of.

I haven't planted flowers in the barrels out front yet - even though the weather is great this week - it's typically just not quite warm and dry enough until towards the end of the month and next week could be cold and miserable again. That's usually a Memorial weekend project for me.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

A job or no job?

I talked with DS more about this job he is interviewing for while he went with me at lunch time to run some what exactly the job is and what position the guy holds who got him the interview, etc. He actually knows 2 guys that work there. The one who he sent his resume to and got him passed on first to the company who does their hiring screening, is the head of the department he is applying for a position in.  The other guy he knows is actually GM of this whole division of the company! (and both these men are friends with each other) The lady who phone interviewed him yesterday asked who he knew to get his resume sent directly to her desk, so he told her of the department head...then he casually dropped the name of the division head and how he knew both of them - so she was impressed, LOL.

The position is a tier 2 tech support. It is actually a night (graveyard?) position that is two 12 hour days and then two 8 hour days. So, with those hours he would have a much easier commute for the almost 50 mile drive -as in basically no traffic to deal with. I'm sure he could do the drive in 45 minutes each way, plus it's 4 days a week, so one less day of needing to drive/pay for gas. Living at home at least for the time being and making that kind of money would really set him up good.

He has his 2nd phone interview tomorrow. Gosh, I hope this pans out for him!  This company is so huge/worldwide that he could even work in Australia eventually :-)

As I'm typing this post, DS told me earlier today he sent an email to the dept. head guy he knows, letting him know he got his first phone interview and thanking him and told him he has his 2nd phone interview with "so and so" tomorrow. He replied back "that is great. Let's just keep our association private during your interview". What the heck does that mean?!!  I give up - geez - isn't that supposed to be what "networking" for a job is all about? So, if this guy asks, too, he's supposed to lie?  Seems kind of a strange request to me, but then I don't work in a big corporate type world, so what do I know....

Random stuff

Well, my root canal has now been rescheduled by the dentist office for Sunday (they are open 7 days a week now). I just want to get it over with! But, Sunday is better as Friday afternoon is DD's tennis sub-district matches and I didn't want to feel crummy while I go watch those.

DS got "step-one" in the interview process at a Big Big Big IT company. He had his first phone interview yesterday and made it past that round and will soon have phone interview #2. If he passes that, he will go in for an in-person interview. He knows a guy who works there and he got him in for the interview process. At least it's hope for a potential job. Great money - $50k a year to start, lots of benefits.  The commute would be bad, but if he stuck it out for a year or two (and didn't want to move up into that area) he would have a great job on his resume and could probably go just about anywhere with the experience.

I've been waiting for this little local garden shop to get in the junipers I ordered but all his suppliers are out. I emailed him at the end of last week for another suggestion for a fast growing low ground cover (in my $100 budget range) and he emailed back this morning with a link to a plant I actually like better and a bit cheaper. Called "Emerald Carpet". Kind of looks like a large clover, but grows out like ivy and is fast growing. They come in little 3.5 in. pots and need to be planted 2 feet apart, so we'll need 40 of them, so right at my $100 budget at $2.50 each.

DH has been gowing a goatee type beard, I guess is what they are called. Honestly, I really don't care of it much, but when he asks, I just say it looks good. The top part is kind of brownish red (though his hair is dark brown) and the rest is mostly gray mixed in with some brown. Just all the different colors make it look kind of weird to me, haha. Oh well, whatever floats his boat.

The weather is warming up super this week - it is supposed to be 80 this weekend - we rarely see those temps, even in summer :-)