Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Trying to revive

It was such a busy, exhausting weekend that I'm just now feeling like I am getting caught up on sleep and energy. I am getting too old for that kind of weekend! We drove in early Friday afternoon traffic to the racetrack for a 2 1/2 hr drive - then got home at 1:30 am after a 1 hr and 45 min drive home. Turned around Saturday about noon and did it all again, though we didn't get home until 2:30am Sunday morning. Friday evening we had a friend of DD's come over and feed the dogs and let them out for a break. She had so much fun playing with them, she stayed an hour playing outside with them. Worth the $20 I gave her!. DD stayed home Saturday, as she had to work early Sunday morning, so she took care of the dogs for that day/night. It was great to see DS and now we probably won't see him again until mid August. 

A great part of the weekend was getting to see my best friend from grade school/jr high (then my family moved away). We recently reconnected on Facebook and I haven't seen her since I was like a senior in high school. She and her husband came to the races and we got to sit and talk for hours while we watched the races. It was great to see her and catch up on 30 years!

Yesterday was payday and my raise was on this pay check. More money and it was a 12 day pay period, so take home was $2900. Feels great to pay bills and have even more leftover than normal. I am going to treat myself to something I've been wanting the past month or two. I think it's just around $20.......I'll post a pic later, if I make it out today to purchase it :)

DH is starting on a new yard project. Putting an "island" in our driveway. We have a big open gravel driveway area and I think it would look nice to have something visual to break up the big open space. We certainly have enough room for an island. He's going to encircle it with landscaping blocks and fill with dirt and put a big tree and some big landscape type rocks and maybe a couple of small shrubs. Our junkyard neighbor actually started doing some work this week trying to clean up his property a bit! I'm not holding my breath for anything major, but even a little helps. He had several large rocks so he brought them over on his forklift for DH's island.

We also purchased some skylight covers last week that should be here today. We have 2 skylights in our family room (where both our desks are) and they get the sun all day and gets so warm. DH made a comment last week "too bad there isn't some type of covers for these things" I googled it and what do you know?! there are such things. They were only $30 each and are supposed to be delivered today. It will be interesting to see how much it helps cool down the house. I'm also wondering if they will help keep some heat in the room (the largest room in the house) during the winter, if we leave them on.  We'll probably wonder why we didn't get them 20 years ago!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Weekend plans

It's going to be a busy weekend. DS is heading towards our neck of the woods as I type, doing another 13 hr drive. He won't make it all the way home, but he'll be racing a 2 hours drive from us on  Friday and Saturday, so we will be making the drive both days to see him. It's not going to be a cheap weekend with the ticket purchases, gas and a bit of food, but $200 or so is worth it to get to see our kid we haven't seen in nearly a month. I'm not looking forward to all the driving, but it's cheaper than getting a hotel room and paying for boarding for the dogs. We've been invited to a pre-race BBQ Saturday before the race, so that will save some cost on food.

A local fan of his has really been working hard to help him out this weekend. He's offered DS and his GF a place to stay for the weekend, where they can sleep and wash and work on the car in between the shows. He's secured a $500 weekend sponsorship and another $100 for him from another company. He's lined up a radio interview, too. DS has only raced at this track once before, but he made it to victory lane. While I'm certainly not expecting that to happen this big event weekend, I'm very excited to find out he was able to line up the same guy, to crew chief for him, who helped him win the other time he raced at this track. 

He seems to have things really starting to look up for his racing and that is a good thing. It's nice he can chase his dream at 21 years old - if only for a few years. He also got some great news that brings him even closer to his goal of living in Australia. He's been offered a full season ride for next race season and looks like he will be heading back to Australia at the end of September. They have a long race season (due to their great weather) and he will be there at least 8 months. His buddy/car-owner is lining him up a job so he can work while he is there, earn some money and help with rent and food. DS will get a work visa this time, so he can work and stay longer. It's quite the bohemian lifestyle for semi-pro racers, but he's young and has no commitments, so why not?! I just kind of wish he didn't have to do it 7,000 miles away from home, but he absolutely loves Australia and the friends he has made there.  I just hope we have enough money some day to go visit him! It's always someplace I've wanted to see.

I'm also excited that I might get to see a very old friend. A couple of weeks ago I reconnected with a friend from grade school/jr high and turns out she and her hubby go to the races quite often. I let her know we would be there this weekend and she said they can come on Saturday. I hope she does, we haven't seen each other since we were teenagers and it would be so great to see her again.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


I always feel like I'm not planting enough flowers when I put them in the barrels.......

But then they turn into this! and I realize I put in too many LOL

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Weekend update

It's been a nice weekend.  We have been having almost a month of beautiful 75-85 degree weather every day. The concert Friday night was so much fun with DD and 2 of her friends. We had dinner before hand at Red Robin (my treat). Such sweet girls. But, I REALLY did not like the 2 hour drive home at 11:30 at night. Ugh. My eyes just don't like night driving that well. I was going to stop at a rest stop about half way home and have DD drive but she was asleep and by then the freeway was more lighted so made it easier on me and then I was ok for the rest of the drive.  They got up early Saturday morning (with about 6 hours sleep) and another mom picked them up for their day in the city. They were very frugal and packed lunches with bottled water before they left, so they wouldn't have to buy lunch at the zoo. After the zoo they went into the city and did some walking around and sight seeing and her friends mom treated them to dinner.  DD bought me a cute little painted mountain scenery picture at the market they were at.

I went over to my mom's yesterday afternoon. She had invited my grandma's caregiver to stop by too, as she had set up this cute little oak table my grandma had for years and years with flowers, pictures of my grandma and other small memento's. We had some snacks and visited for awhile. Her caregiver finally got licensed (just days before grandma passed) so is now trying to fill her home with some clients. She has done up a very nice professional little flyer about her adult home with nice pictures. I'm sure she won't have any trouble finding some elderly to care for. She decorates her home with a very comfortable, homey feel to it.

My aunt and cousin had also stopped by my mom's earlier in the day. They live about 8 hours away and had come up this way for a wedding over the weekend. As usual, they were an hour and a half late from when they told my mom they'd be there. My mom had originally wanted to plan a get together with them to remember grandma, but I said no thanks - they are always 2-4 hours late to every family thing we have ever planned with them over the years and I have no desire to waste my time waiting on them.  Apparently it will be 4-6 weeks (really?!) before the plaque is engraved for my grandma's urn, so it can't be placed in the niche until then.

I bbq'd steaks last night and was so nervous I'd either under or over cook them! They turned out perfect! Yay me :)  Tonight we are doing hamburgers again.  Later this afternoon, after DD gets home from work, we are going to the home improvement store for a few things. A soaker hose, a garden tank sprayer and some mulch. DH had wanted to know what the dark "stuff" my mom uses in her garden/flower beds was and she finally remembered what exactly it was: Scotts Black Naturescapes Mulch, so that's what I need to get.  DH is tired of the red rock we have everywhere, so he had cleaned our one small area last week.

Friday, July 19, 2013

An evening out

DD and I (and 2 of her friends) are going to a concert tonight. She bought the tickets months ago and since the girls are only 17, and it's quite a drive and a late night drive home, I offered to go with them, as I figured none of the other parents would want the 3 of them to go alone either (which I was right). DD paid for my ticket (Miss Moneybags, LOL) and I'll drive my car and pay for the gas and treat them to dinner before the show. Surprisingly, the venue does not charge for parking. It's an outdoor amphitheater and the weather is awesome right now.

We are leaving fairly early to try and miss some of the rush hour city traffic and have time to stop at a Red Robin for dinner. I'm going to be so tired tomorrow - it's rare I ever stay up past 10pm! The girls are just going to stay overnight at our house when we get home.  Then tomorrow one of the other mom's is taking them into the city so they can go to the zoo, while she visits her other daughter who lives in the city. This mom didn't want them driving into the city by themselves, so I'm glad she is going to drive them.

DH gets to stay home by himself with the dogs and follow along with text messages on how DS is doing at his race tonight. The car owner surprised DS by flying his girlfriend up there for the weekend! Must be nice to have that kind of money :-)  I'm so grateful he has hooked up with someone who sees his talent and what a great person he is. Now he just needs to have some good luck this weekend and bring home another win!

It sure has been an up and down thing, as racing always is. He won that race 2 weekends ago, then they drove down to the states and raced a mid week race and his brakes weren't working, so he didn't finish as well as hoped. Then over the weekend when they were servicing the engine, it was determined that our engine is done for this cycle. The engines can run 18-22 or so nights and then have to be refreshened (at a cost of $7,000!). We had 18 nights on it and hoped to get the 4 nights on it he still wanted to race this summer, but after seeing the oil condition it was decided that the motor is done until we can send it back to the engine builder for a freshen up (which won't be until DS can find a job and pay for it!). The guy he is racing for said no worries...he'll just rent a motor from someone for this weekend. It took them a few days, but they finally found one to rent and even got a practice day in with it mid week. The engine guy was there and was so impressed with DS's driving and said if he does well this weekend, they will let him use it next weekend at no charge! Little by little, things are starting to go DS's way with this racing and I am happy for him.

Order mix-up

I ordered this guy the other day...........

But when he got delivered yesterday he was this guy..........

And while he's very cute, he just doesn't look like our our black dog, like the one I ordered, does.  So, I have emails into the company I ordered from (sounds like she drop ships from another company) and I guess I will be sending this guy back for the guy I wanted.  Hopefully, it won't be a big hassle.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Oh Happy Day!

Today has turned into a GREAT day! My boss told me she was putting in the adjustment to my salary of $100 a month to make up for the lost side job income AND also giving me a raise at the same time, since apparently I was going to have a review next month anyway (I was not aware of this)..............another $5,000/yr on top of that! I am beyond happy to hear this news. So, now I will be up to $72,200 a year (with $1200 of that being what I used to earn from the side job) plus the other bigger side job I do of approximately $9000 a year, bringing me up to $81k a year. If we keep getting the 10% bonus, that will put me to almost $90k a year in income.

I'm literally jumping for joy at this news. Now I will be able to start contributing to my 401k plan again and take advantage of the 50% matching my company does. I haven't yet decided how much of it to contribute, but probably $150 a month and leave the other $200 (after taxes) for us to absorb into things we always need for our regular expenses, repairs, etc and could always use the extra money for each month.

Insurance discount

Now that Progressive Insurance's "Snapshot" program is available in my state, I finally got it ordered! I just kept putting it off (because I hate making phone calls!) and then when I really did have to call Progressive a few weeks ago, to add Roadside Assistance to the vehicle DS was taking to Canada, I totally forgot to ask them about the Snapshot program.  But, I was just online and in 2 clicks of my mouse I got all the cars, except the one DS has, signed up. I'll have to wait until he gets back to add that one. For 2 of our cars, it should definitely help out a little, they are hardly ever driven much. Though I have the lowest coverage on them, it still might help out some. DS drives the one car when he is home, but not that often and the SUV that hauls the trailer rarely gets driven.  I am really hoping it helps out with my car and DD's car. I only drive to work 3 days a week, plus I don't drive during rush hour, so that should help, too. I'm always very careful to brake and accelerate.  DD drives a mile to work a couple days a week and to school and these are the cars I have full coverage on. Hopefully it will make her more conscious of how she drives - she likes to use the brake a lot, rather than letting of the gas early, when she knows she's going to have to stop.  It will be interesting to see if I can lower my rates!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Done spending!

We recently just purchased our very first ever BBQ grill! In the past we have had one of those small $15 ones you screw on a little propane cylinder to, before, but it wasn't my favorite thing to use and only lasted a few years, if that.

So, we've all been craving BBQ burgers and hotdogs the past week or so and finally decided to "invest" in one. I got one for $148, so in the lower price range. It has 4 burners, plenty of room for our meals, a top warming rack, and also a side burner for cooking something in a pan. The last 2 nights we have had burgers and hot dogs and sat outside in our backyard to eat! It was yummy and relaxing. I'm pretty sure this will cut way down on DH eating McDonalds's or burgers from him favorite little mom and pop drive up stand - at least summer and fall months. The grill might even eventually pay for itself in savings from eating fast food burgers, so often.

I also bought a cover for it, for $20, and the propane tank was like $42, but refills will be $17 to exchange the tanks from here forward.  We spend so much time at home and now that our yard is getting spruced up we are enjoying spending more time outdoors every day. Now I just have to learn how to BBQ better! I really don't know much about it. Do I keep the lid down when cooking the food? Is the flame ups that happen ok? LOL. I'm also terrible at knowing how long to cook something and at what temperature setting. I'm a newbie. I'd really like to try BBQ chicken next! Better start looking for a recipe so I can try that this weekend.

I am done spending for awhile, though I did make 2 small "for me" purchases. One is a cute little dog holding a solar lantern for our yard. He reminds me of our younger dog.

Everywhere I looked online it was over $32 (plus shipping) but I kept looking and found it on a small garden accessories website for $17.70 plus $7.95 shipping so I ordered it. I finally broke down and bought a new purse to replace my old one that is loosing it's shape. I found one at Ross for $18 and it has the wallet built in, like my old one, so I didn't need to also buy a wallet, which I don't have since I have been using purses with built in wallets for years now. I saved the cost of the purse in gas this week by not having to drive into the office Monday and Tuesday, so it really didn't cost me anything extra.

I also bought the down alternative comforter at Kohl's for DS's bed, using the 30% off coupon and $10 Kohl's cash. I was going to order it online but DD and I were out and about and Kohl's is literally a mile from our house so we stopped in and got one. It ended up being $21 total for a regularly $80 comforter. It was $7 more in the store, but online would have been about $7 shipping, so it all came out the same and I didn't have to wait for it. I searched and searched online for an inexpensive duvet cover and finally found one I liked (that wasn't "girly") at for $20 (plus 5% off using Red card and free shipping). Now the cat can sleep on his bed and I can easily pull off the duvet cover to wash regularly.

All this was paid with cash, so I'm happy that we have some new things we will all enjoy and get lots of use out of.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Comparing costs

I took yesterday from work (with Bereavement pay) so that I could go with my mom to the funeral home for the arrangements. My grandparents prepaid for their cremation services way back in 1987! All the decisions as to what they wanted done were made back then and paid for. Talk about making it easy on us yesterday. Basically all my mom had to do was sign some papers, pay some sales tax on the whole deal and for 2 copies of the death certificate.  Grandma will be cremated and the funeral  home will place her urn in the Abbey at the cemetery with my grandpa's urn. She did not want formal services. Again - a simple death for simple folks.

It's a bit interesting comparing costs then and now and also just the differences in costs between funeral homes! My grandparents each paid $800 back in 1987 for their future cremation.  Twenty-five years later, this same cremation service at this particular funeral home now cost over $2200. BUT, this funeral home is apparently one of the highest priced in our area. I recall 3 years ago, when my mom had to take care of my dad's cremation it was around $700-800. In doing a little research this morning I was able to find a website that compares the costs of a simple cremation between the various places here in my town/surrounding area. It ranges from $520 on up to the $2200 the funeral home my grandma used.

The funeral home my mom used for my dad was very nice and the woman was extremely nice and professional, who made the arrangements. This guy who went through the paperwork with us for my grandma was a bit of a flake and even though he said he's been doing this for 14 years, he seemed nervous and wasn't very somber, given the circumstances. It still took him an hour for her to sign like 4 papers. I honestly don't recall being at the funeral home that long for my dad's cremation arrangements, and his wasn't pre-arranged. So, the extreme differences in the 2 funeral home prices was definitely an eye opener.

So, strictly financial wise, my grandparents would have been much better off to not prepay their cremation as they could have gotten it cheaper now, by choosing a cheaper funeral home/crematory. then the $800 each they prepaid for 25 years ago. They could have put that money in a savings account, CD, or something earmarked for funeral and come out ahead.  Though on the other hand, it was very nice to have it all decided and taken care of. 

Don't even get me started on what it costs to have an obituary put in the newspaper! It will be about $450 and my mom is paying for this. I really don't get her reason for wanting to do it and spend that kind of money, other than apparently she just wants a copy of it from the newspaper! There is really no one my grandma knows who will see it or it needs to be announced to. She has outlived her few friends, there is just our small family (most not in this area) and her caretaker and we already know about it. It's not like there are people out in the community to notify of the death or service (not) being held. If she just wants a copy of it from the newspaper, than I don't know why she just didn't do it in the smaller local paper for about 1/3 of the cost. Doesn't make sense to me, but if she needs it, then that's ok, too.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Goodbye to a special lady

My sweet grandma passed away yesterday afternoon. She went peacefully while she was sleeping at age 95. She lived just as she died - peacefully. My grandparents were a perfect example of living a simple and frugal life. Born in 1918, they grew up in the depression, so living simply was just a normal way of life. They always lived in very small homes.

My earliest clear memories of how they lived started when I was about 4 or 5. My grandpa worked at a lumber mill and my grandma was a homemaker. They lived in a tiny trailer park near the lumber mill, so he had about a mile or two drive to work each day. I can still remember their tiny trailer - a travel trailer really. One of those silver kind with the rounded corners. They lived simply and only had what they needed in that home. It wasn't overcrowded with stuff - just the minimal amount of possessions and it was always neat as a pin. I can also remember grandma still managed to have a small vegetable and flower garden in the tiny yard.

My grandpa got a job at another lumber mill in a nearby town and they moved, first living in a temporary place until they found something permanent. This was a super tiny little travel trailer. I don't recall how long they were there, several months most likely, but, I do remember spending a week with them during my spring beak when I was about 8, sleeping on the foldout couch..Then they found a place in a bigger mobile home park near his work.  This new home was a small single wide trailer that actually had 2 bedrooms! I can remember spending a lot of nights with them and sleeping in that tiny room.

Then about the time I was getting married my grandpa retired and they decided to move again. They moved across town to a nice over 55 mobile home park and bought a small double wide 24x48. Just 2 bedrooms, one bath. Again, they always just had the minimal amount of things. Never overcrowded and always spotless. They were the same way with their yard - they always had the nicest yard of all their neighbors and never overcrowded the yard with plants. In fact, in looking back now I see how they would remove plants and shrubs that got too big - because they wanted things simple and neat. I ended up with many of the plants they didn't want over the years and still have them planted in the front of my house. A big juniper, a rhododendron, a fuschia bush....

Their possessions were most all just necessity and the few other items were always things that meant a alot to them. They were the most happy and peaceful people you could know. They squirreled away any extra money they had and put it into CD's during the 70's/80's (back when they paid a good intrest rate of like 12%) and ended up with a small nest egg of about $80,000 when grandpa retired. They lived on social security and a super small pension of like $170 a month. They barely touched their savings unless they needed to do a home repair, which they always kept up on. Over the years they put on a new roof, new windows, new flooring and lastly a heat pump system, which over the years saved much on heating bills and kept the place cool in summer.

They had a very simple life. They mostly stayed home. If they did take a trip it was a short one for a few days to visit various relatives. Every Friday night they went to their favorite Italian restaurant and had the same pizza and a glass of wine. Grandpa puttered in his little shop/shed, grandma kept the house clean and they worked on the yard together. Grandma never did drive so grandpa always took her grocery shopping and to do errands. They didn't buy things they didn't need and they didn't waste anything. They used things until they just couldn't be used anymore. They had one car and one tv.
Grandpa died 15 years ago - also peacefully and in his sleep. Grandma lived on her own until a few years ago. Though she had to rely on my mom and me for driving her around, she was a very independent lady. She knew how to take care of everything, including her finances. Cleaning out and selling my grandma's home a few years ago when she had to go into assisted living was really easy. She had few things and everything she had was neatly in it's place. No overstuffed closets or drawers. I can remember opening one dresser drawer and finding only 3 sweaters neatly folded and thinking to myself "I wish the inside of my dresser looked this neat".

I'm blessed that I got to have a grandma for almost 50 years! I learned a lot from that simple lady.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Friday this and that

I can't believe how fast this week has gone by and it's Friday already. As of next Friday I won't have to do my small side job any longer - other than a few stray questions on procedure here and there I'm sure will come up. I can tell my boss is benefiting from the management change at work. She was actually able to take off at 2 o'clock yesterday to go spend some time with visiting family. Usually she's not out of the office until 6 most days. She has made joking comments in the past that the (ex) owner used to think the day started at 5pm - just as she was wrapping up to try and leave for home (after she'd already been there since 7am) it seemed he'd suddenly want to start working on things, and of course he wanted them done right then.

Then I got sad news on my other side job - the CPA the company uses passed away over the weekend. I had never met him in person, but talked to him several times on the phone over the past few years. I had just emailed his office the other day asking about the quarterly tax deposit coming up due (today) and was wondering why I had not heard back.

No big weekend plans around here. I need to get some housework done and especially straighten up my desk area - it's being over run by piles of paperwork again!

It's an "off" weekend for DS racing, so that will make for a more relaxed weekend, LOL. It's stressful to sit and wait to hear updates when he is racing! DH got a super nice email from the guy DS is staying with. They want to "adopt" him (just like the Aussie family did). He said a lot of nice things about DS, how he has never met a 21 year old who is so mature and focused. He also said he's waited a long time to be able to do something like this with a race car program and is having the time of his life with it all. It's kind of strange how we met this guy. DH was helping to sell off race car things of his best friend, who died from cancer. He sold the trailer to this guy and in talking when he came to pick it up, his brother had recently died of the exact same cancer and had left him some money he wanted him to use on getting racing again. Now DS is racing for this guy and in the trailer that used to belong to our best friend, so it's like he's still there, racing with DS, in a way :-) I don't think there was but maybe a race or two, over the years, that our best friend missed being at for DS.

My grandma is doing a bit worse in last couple of days. She's not talking at all now and was moaning a little every so often so the hospice decided to start her on some morphine, since they have to assume she might be in some pain. I'm sure she'll just be sleeping pretty much all the time from now on (and then won't be able to eat), so it's looking like she won't last too much longer. Poor thing, but at least she is not in a hospital.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Yard improvements

It was kind of a spendy week last week. Guess that's what can happen when you suddenly get a couple extra thousand dollars deposited into your bank account! We haven't spent all of the bonus money though and for the most part what we have spent has all gone to home improvement items.  Here's the breakdown so far:

Trip to check out university - $96 (Starbucks on the way up there, lunch, parking, dinner and gas)

Miticide to try and save the stupid trees - $98 - DUMB!!! I should have just given up then!)

Big trees for the back yard to eventually give some shade from the neighbor's metal shop roof  - $272
We actually got 2 of the Elm trees and ended up putting the 2 cypress trees near the back of the house where our deck used to be. Those will eventually help shade the back of the house (that gets the sun all day). We also bought a holly shrub we put out in front yard, because the hydrangea I had planted there died - either too much sun area or the dog was peeing on it........

21 Thuja trees - $114. If these one don't make it, I'm going to cry! But, at least they are much bigger and so hopefully will stay healthier. Though DH totally overdid it planting these. He still can't seem to grasp the concept that he needs to limit himself and do projects in stages over several days. His body has been worthless all week now because I couldn't convince him to just plant a third of them and then wait 2 or 3 days to do some more.

We also bought a little fire pit for $60, but that kind of came of of the regular home improvement budget. DD has been wanting one of these for months. DH fixed up the little area we put it at. The bench we have had forever and needs the slats replaced, but will look cute there.
There are a few more things I want - a yellow rose bush and an arbor. I have a perfect spot to put an arbor, but they are so expensive (even on Craigslist) that I probably won't get one unless I come across a really good deal. I'm also trying to talk DH in trying to make a little garden bridge. There is a little pathway he made behind the firepit area that would look so cute with a little rock "river" going underneath it.

It gets addicting to keep adding to the yard! I could spend an hour walking around a nursery/garden center just looking at everything.  I'm also going to buy a down alternative comforter for DS's bed and find a cheap duvet cover. The twin comforter (I have one on my bed and so does DD and we love them) is on sale at Kohl's for $33 (reg $80). My mom gave me $10 Kohl's cash and I also have a 30% off coupon, so my final price would be $16. He really needs a new comforter on his bed and something I can wash easily, since the cat likes to sleep on his bed. The duvet covers we now have on my bed and DD's bed have been great to just pull off and wash regularly.

There's a nursery near our house that I drive by on my way to work. I can see yellow rose bushes they have for sale from the road as I drive by - they look huge, especially if I can see them all the way from the road. I think I might stop in there today and take a peek........

Monday, July 8, 2013

Vacation over

It was back to work today after having last week off. It actually felt like I had a week off, so that was nice. I think it relaxed me so much I can't get back in the groove to blog! Mostly did lots of yard work. So, here's the quick highlights of life in my corner:

DS won a race up in Canada over the weekend! He's thrilled, his car owners and their sponsors are thrilled. He's won races in 3 countries (in different kinds of cars) now - pretty cool.

Grandma is still hanging in there. Sleeping a LOT, but still eating enough to sustain herself. I really think she had a small stroke week before last from the way she is having trouble speaking. Hospice was supposed to come today to evaluate her, but I haven't heard from my mom yet on what she found out.  At least she is still not in any pain.

I gave my notice to the company ex-owner today to discontinue doing the small bookkeeping job for the other company he owns. I felt bad and kind of nervous about it, even though it's really what I want. I sent him an email about it and he was very gracious about it, so that made me feel a little better. Though from what little my boss can tell me he is definitely not being gracious about being booted out of the main company (and who can blame him, I guess). And my boss said again that they will adjust my salary to make up for the lost income by quitting the side bookkeeping job, so that is great.

We gave up on the 20 aborvitae/thuja trees we planted last fall out in the front of our property. Most of them died and I'm tired of spending money trying to save them with various expensive fertilizers and miticide, so when I was at Lowe's Saturday picking up some grass seed I saw they had some established ones (small, but way bigger than our little saplings) for $5 each, so for $100 we just decided to plant all new ones. Hopefully these one's are big enough that they are stronger and will live. All the saplings we planted down the side of our property are still doing fine, so we don't know what happened to the front ones. Every expert we talk to has a different answer, of course.

That's all I know for now

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

A perfect day

I am off work this week and DD and I took the 2 hour drive to the university she wants to attend next year, for a tour. She loved it, as I knew she would!  We had an awesome day together. I know the town somewhat, as my parents lived there for about 8 years after I got married. It is one of my favorite places to go. We got up there a couple hours early and went to the part of town where there are cute little shops and restaurants and had lunch at a cute little cafe and got to sit outside in the beautiful sunny day at a cute little wrought iron table and chairs. Then we had about a half our or so before we needed to drive over to the university, so we walked around and looked in some shops.

The university was just about a 5 minute drive from where we were and once we figured out where to park and get a parking permit we got over to the building to meet for the tour. That was at the rec center, which was very nice. Indoor pool, indoor track on the second level but big windows all around the track so still felt like being outside. They even had a rock climbing wall. Then we got a 90 minute tour of the campus (my legs are feeling it today!) and got to see a dorm room, which DD was really hoping she'd get to see. The campus is just beautiful and feels like you are in the middle of a forest. It's a medium sized school, I'd guess. 15,000 students, mostly all undergrads. Once the tour was done then we had to walk all the way back to the other end of campus to where our car was. Lots of walking in yesterday!

We drove down to the wharf and found a nice restaurant to have dinner with a view of all the sailboats. I thought I had taken a picture of the view to post, but apparently the camera setting got bumped to video while in DD's purse so I have a 3 second video instead of a beautiful photo :(  So here's a pic off the restaurant website of our view:

Even though it was an expensive restaurant we stayed frugal and shared a meal, which turned out to be more than we could eat! They had a special for early birds - a four course meal for $19.95 (plus bread). It was all so delicious. We munched on bread first and then she brought our appetizer to share (which was perfect as it was 2 pieces). It was a large cracker spread with mashed potato and topped with salmon. So yummy! Then DD had the Caesar salad and I ordered a bowl of soup on the side. The strawberry lemonades with fresh local strawberries was great, too. We shared the fish and chips entree and were getting so full by then, but we managed to eat every bit of the chocolate mousse dessert we shared :)

We got home about 9pm and were tired, but had a wonderful day together!