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Home > Archive: March, 2016

Archive for March, 2016

More practical worries

March 30th, 2016 at 01:10 pm

*One of my tires has a nail in it. I discovered it last week and have just been walking everywhere but I would like my car back. I am hoping they'll be able to patch everything up, but I am preparing for having to pay for new tires. I'll find out tomorrow night.

*The wind knocked open our front porch door and damaged the frame. Going to call the man who did our basement and see if he can fix it.

*Still haven't heard back from CPA about taxes and need to know if I am going to owe more than I estimated because the urgency to quit PT job is fierce right now. I am now going to have to start sharing my desk. Great. It's not unreasonable to have two part time employees share but I am still angry about it.

*The lawn mower is also broken but I am leaving that one for my partner to take care of. The lawn is his responsibility.

*Cat- we take her to the vet on Friday to get her cone off. FINALLY. But that's another visit charge and if her eye hasn't healed it's more money for another procedure. We'll do it, of course, it's just hard to swallow with everything else.

*Gardening- we need to buy more dirt. Partner also has a huge plan for an espalier and two more garden boxes and I have no idea where he thinks the money will come from because I am wiped out.

*Loss of income from PT is going to be really hard. It will get better eventually but everything is going to be really tight and even though my discretionary spending has been cut and is so low, the regular bills keep going up.

I am a master juggler and everything will end up paid one way or another but I am tired of worrying about money.

HUGE case of the "I want it now"s

March 28th, 2016 at 04:32 pm

I have a huge case of 'the wants' and the 'I want it right now's.

I want to travel. And while it would be great to go places that require a passport I would be happy with weekend destinations we could get to by car.

I want time back. I don't want to work so many hours.

I actually don't want to work at all.

I want to maintain my current standard of living.

I want to buy a beach house and never see winter again-unless I choose to.

I want a new phone. (this one is getting close to a need.)

I want to get a good night's sleep, every night.

I want to buy our investment properties and furnish our house with nicer furniture and paint the walls and redo the kitchen and bathrooms.

I know slow and steady wins the race. I know I have got to trust the plan. Eventually I will either have all these things or not want them anymore. Sometimes looking at my spreadsheets calms me but today it has gotten my mind racing to how I can speed up all my wants and I am feeling stuck.

The trip to CA to visit my aunt and uncle will be a nice break. I will be able to read a ton and not have to do much. I want to cook for them but we eat so differently I don't know what I could cook that they will eat...

Soon I will be quitting the public library. I wanted my last day to be April 30 but I am thinking of staying one more pay period to pay for the ticket out to CA. I'll come up with that money one way or another but will try to stick it out 2 more weeks.

Budget is pretty good considering the vet bills. That plus the plan tickets mean I'll be taking an extra month to pay off the roof but it is interest free until October so at least I won't have to worry about that.

Still waiting to hear back from the CPA about how much I will owe on taxes. I budgeted $1000 but he usually works magic and gets me lower. So far I am on track to owe little to nothing for next year so that is wonderful. I use the withholding calculator about once a month to make sure I am keeping up.

I just have to remember to breathe and to be happy with what I have now. Everything else will fall into place.


March 25th, 2016 at 06:52 am

After worrying about Granny (my partner's grandmother) I got news last night about Nanny (my grandmother).

Nanny is not doing good. They don't think she has long at all to live. Which is good because she is in terrible pain. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer's maybe..13 years ago? And for awhile she was doing alright. There was definite memory loss but she still could still reasonably pull it together. Then maybe... 7 years ago things took a turn for the awful and pretty quickly she forgot how to talk and walk. I haven't seen her since I moved away for grad school, but my aunt saw her pretty regularly even though it messed her (my aunt) up pretty bad each time. Nanny sure has a tremendous will to live because her quality of life has been shit for so many years.

But my aunt called me yesterday to tell me we're nearing the end. She's on morphine and the DNR is in place and Nanny can't swallow and hasn't eaten for a week.

I asked my aunt if I should come out and she said no. I told her I wasn't asking for Nanny (My nanny has been gone for a long, long time even if her body is still around) but for her-my aunt. She said no that she'd see me in July. I thought about it after I hung up with her and then called her back to tell her I get bereavement time off from my work and it isn't any trouble and she told me she didn't want to inconvenience my life.

I think it is pretty important that I am there for my aunt and now I know that she won't tell me she wants me there even if she does. So I am almost positive I am going to plan to go out in the next couple weeks. Now it really will just be my aunt, uncle and me left Frown

Nanny's situation is similar to Granny's in that both women have shitty children who are looking for an inheritance. The difference is that Nanny is loaded. Because 3 of her children were trying to take her money when she had dementia, she has a conservator of the estate (and also the person). We know that her will says that each of the grandchildren get 10k, four of the children (all the kids except my aunt) get 30k, and whatever is leftover goes to my aunt and uncle. My aunt and uncle have been the ones who have moved her I don't know how many times, have taken care of her, have made sure she has gotten to doctors appointments and have been the only ones who have consistently been there. It's also important to point out they were never trying to get into her pocketbooks when they saw her. My mom and I lived on the East Coast and my mom did what she could for Nanny but it wasn't the same as being there. The rest of the kids came by only when they needed money.

So when the will came out there was a huge hulabaloo with the 3 kids about how much my aunt will be getting. So they did everything they could to whittle down Nanny's estate with lawyer fees. What is awful is that their inheritance is defined, but my aunt's is whatever is left over. My aunt is really worried that there is going to be a big fight over what is left. Because despite her kids best efforts there is still a substantial amount left.

For the record-my aunt doesn't want this money. She has never let it figure into her future. We have all hoped that Nanny would spend the money on her self. BUT that being said and in my opinion my aunt and uncle DESERVE whatever Nanny wanted to leave them because they have taken care of her the most! And they did it because they love her, not for the payout.

I just want to be with my aunt to support her and comfort however I can. I am thinking of going April 13-17 but it will depend on how soon (or not soon) Nanny passes.

What money does to families...I just don't understand.

Family messes

March 21st, 2016 at 07:33 am

My partner talked to his granny this weekend. There are some concerning things going on and he/we are unsure how we can help-if we can help at all.

Granny's husband, Uncle C (after her first husband passed away, she married his brother) is not doing great health-wise. He is at home and in hospice care and pretty steady but we all know there is not much time left. Because he's in pain and because of everything that's wrong with him, he has become mean. When he was in the hospital, N's mom (MIL from here out even though she technically isn't but it's easier to keep somewhat private) moved right on in to Granny's house. Now, MIL has made a lifetime of one bad financial decision after the other, and most of the time Granny was there to bail her out. MIL has never really had a "real" job and has lived off of Granny/husbands/child support and more Granny. She is in an unhappy marriage and took Uncle C's trip to the hospital as her chance to improve her station.

So, MIL and uncle C are not getting along and Granny, who is NINETY YEARS OLD, has to referee and tell her daughter to knock it off.

Granny told N that she is worried about paying for the house once Uncle C dies. His pensions stop when he passes and she doesn't know if what they have left will be enough to live on. She also said that she knows she can't count on MIL to help any. N wants to suggest that I take a look at the books because I am really good with money and either help find a solution she can live with or just ease her mind.

I would be fine with this but I wouldn't want it to cause any family problems-mainly MIL who is living off Granny and Uncle C's dime.

We would absolutely bring Granny to live with us NO PROBLEM if she needed us to. The only problem is the MIL would invite herself to come too, and once she's here we wouldn't be able to get her to leave without having to cut her out of our lives completely.

It breaks my heart because Granny shouldn't have to worry about these things at her age. I guess part of it is her own fault-she never exercised tough love with MIL but... Also, I think MIL made a serious error in living with Granny so soon. We know she thinks that there's going to be an inheritance for her but after this conversation it doesn't seem like there will be much. MIL has no plan to support herself.

We told N's sister that she can take MIL, and we would take her kids Wink

Family...what a mess :/

Work and career musings

March 18th, 2016 at 09:15 am

Today I spoke with the man who used to hold my position at the library. I asked him about not having enough work to do. I frequently don't have enough to do and my boss is on sabbatical and I don't necessarily want to bother him with that. I take care of the things that pop up that he normally does and I have created my own projects but there is a limit to my position. He told me in the several years he had the position he often worked on his own things or read the news, or did other things. I am relieved. AK (my boss) is not a hands on guy and also is happy with very little. But it is hard for me to come to terms with just needing to be a body in the office. The main thing I am doing now is maintaining the website and creating resource lists-which is discouraging to do when you know they aren't going to be utilized.

I am getting to the point where I need to put notice in at the public library. I am 90% sure I won't be grading the state's standardized tests. The days just don't make sense for my schedule (I can't do it on weekends and have to get 30 hours in each week, but I work M-F). So I will stay at the public library until the end of April and hope for the best paycheck wise. I am concerned about the loss of income.

I have spent $1.25 since Sunday, so that is pretty awesome. I didn't bring enough food yesterday and since it's spring break none of the eateries are open in the university library. So I did something I've never done in my life. I used my credit card to buy something from a vending machine (I never carry cash because it all ends up in vending machines). I don't know if the pop-tarts were worth it, but I desperately needed something as a bad headache was approaching.

There's a position in a town about 1.5 hours away that looks interesting to me. I am thinking about applying. Someone I went to school with works at that library so I am going to contact her before I make a decision. The town is super near to my partner's mom and grandmom, but I think I would get my own apartment. I couldn't live with granny, but I would be open to seeing them way more often than I currently do. Not that they really want to see me-it's the kid they want. If I got this position I would use it as a stepping stone to a better position NOT in that town because I absolutely don't want to live there and partner told me even though he loves me he would break up with me if I wanted to live there permanently.

Lastly, I posted a pretty saucy (though well thought out) comment on a blog post on the public library's intranet. Background: we're going through a restructuring and coming up on the year anniversary of implementation. Everyone (staff, patrons) is upset about something that has changed. I stated that our new philosophy devalues having a personal relationship with the library and why that's bad for our patrons and why that's bad for our staff. But then I offered a possible solution that combines both the need of the library to be flexible (one aspect of the restructuring that has staff upset) with the ability to provide personal relationships. I feel like my comment was calm, thought out, identified a problem but also offered a solution. What's the worst they can do? Fire me? I already have a full time job. Also they never fire anyone. The worst they can say is that I am passionate about our patron's experience, but that maybe I am no longer a good fit with our culture. And that is absolutely accurate. So far I have gotten very good feedback from the staff. We'll see if I hear anything from management...

Cat update, budget and career

March 15th, 2016 at 07:46 am

Boney had her surgery and apparently did really well. The vet called to brag on her about how good she was during the prep for the surgery. I find that difficult to believe!

She's been home since Friday evening. She has to wear a cone (e-collar) for 3 weeks! Only 17 more days to go. She HATES it. But, she's getting the hang out it and getting into a routine. She's still a miserable little kitty, but she has become VERY lovey. However, she did poop on the couch this morning right in front of us so I think she is telling us she's mad.

I have spent twice as much in the first 15 days of March as I did the first 15 days of February. It's a little frustrating but most of it is vet bills. I am trying to cut out all unnecessary spending-including my 2:30pm coffees on my long days. Yesterday I thought it would be a true test of my willpower not to, but then I realized it's spring break here and nothing in the building is open. It's pretty easy not to spend money on coffee when there's no place to buy it Smile

I spent a ton on groceries but the good thing is we have a ton of food. I shouldn't have to buy much next week-just eggs, milk and fruit and veggies. At least there's that.

This weekend N took gift cards and birthday money to the mall and bought a game he's really wanted from gamestop. He played it for about an hour and hated it. He tried to return it but they would only give him $27 in credit since it had been open (he paid $60.) That made me want to throw up so I looked at how much it was going for online, estimated what I could get for it and then "gave" him that amount ($45) toward another game. 45 is better than 27, but still not great. Luckily the game sold this morning and I will receive $45.xx after fees.

I still am not jazzed about my work. It's fine but it is not my passion. I am trying to figure out what my passion is and so I started studying for the foreign service exam again. It'll be a long time before I take it. I want to bone up on my languages a bit more. Also, I want to know who is elected president first. I just can't be a representative of a President Trump.

Cat is back at the vet :(

March 11th, 2016 at 08:00 am

The Boney cat never really got over her cold. Her fever was gone and she was back to normal but her eye was still leaking and gunking. But it would look like it was getting better for a day or two and then start to get bad again. I was really hoping it would work itself out on its own but I guess I waited too long. Apparently she scratched her cornea getting at it. I took her to the vet yesterday and they gave me drops that we had to put in every three hours. I set me alarm twice during the night so we could wake up and give it to her. I took her back this morning so that they could keep an eye on it (har har) but it had gotten worse.

She's at the vet now waiting for surgery. They are going to pull her third eyelid up over her eye and then suture her eye shut for 3-4 weeks and hope that helps the eye heal so they don't have to remove it. There's still the possibility this won't save her eye.

I am pretty devastated and worried for her. She must be so scared! I know there was no way of knowing this would happen but I still can't help feeling like I should have done better for her.

We should get her back this evening, as long as there aren't complications. There's no reason to believe there will be complications but you never know with animals.

This means we probably won't get to pay the roof off next month, but I am okay with that. We'll just have to keep being careful with spending.

After I got home and sobbed a bit I told my partner "We can never have kids! I can't take care of anything!" He responded that kids tell you something's wrong; cats actively try to hide that something's wrong.

Other than this, everything is going well. I decided that I will attend (virtually) the orientation for the standardized test grading before I make a decision. If it doesn't look like it will work out then I'll decline. And I have got to let go of the public library. There is almost a certain chance that if they hire my position again (which they do at least twice a year) that if I apply I will get it back. So I just need to look forward and let the old plan go.

Change is hard

March 9th, 2016 at 08:22 am

I wrote a pretty long post yesterday that got lost in the internet..I hope things are working better today.

So, I have the opportunity to take a temporary, remote position of grading the written portion of our state's standardized tests. It starts April 7 and goes for about 5 weeks, until all the tests are graded. It requires at least 30 hours a week and can go up to 40. I had planned on my last day at the public library being April 30, but if I take this opportunity it would be April 16. So that leaves one week of working 90 hours (I would take some time off from the other two jobs to get the hours in).

But...here's the thing. I am very anxious about leaving the public library. I have been there 6.5 years. I like my job. The actual job part of it, not everything else. I am worried about losing the extra pay. I am worried about closing a door...even temporarily. I know I am not doing myself any favors staying there because I will never be considered for higher than my current position, but I am still scared. I thought I had made peace with my decision but now that it's coming up that I have to act on it, I am nervous.

I don't have to accept this grading position, but it seems interesting to me, pays 12.10/hour and I can do it at home. It gives me a couple extra weeks of a second paycheck. I don't necessarily *need* the extra paycheck. I have been trying to limit my expenses and stick to my guns. But it would be helpful.

I have been trying to figure out the direction I want to go in terms of my career but I still haven't focused in on just one. On one hand that gives me options, but on the other it just feels like I am spinning my wheels because I am not seeing progress towards any one thing.

End of February and the investment property

March 3rd, 2016 at 07:48 am

Here's how the monies looked at the end of February :

I didn't pay my cell phone because it's not due until March, but I did make the $200 reno payment.

I don't know if I can keep this low spending (for me) up through March. I've lowered my grocery budget by $25 (babysteps plus we still need to stock up on a lot of things) but I am working hard at not wasting any food. For example, 2 Sundays ago I got a rotisserie chicken from Sam's. Then last week I made a ton of chicken broth using the bones and vegetables that were past their prime. Last Sunday we had friends over and made a ham. Then Tuesday I took the rest of the ham, the bone and some of the broth I made earlier and made a Ham Bone Soup-SO DELICIOUS.

I bought the "wrong" kind of apples and partner won't eat them. No worries! I will be making apple butter and apple sauce with them!

I am trying to get into the habit now. Approximately 7 more weeks left of working 60+ hours (I signed up for extra hours at the part time job. Just trying to squeeze the most out of it while I can.) The extra $900/month has been wonderful but I am tired. Now it's time to make due with what we got.

It doesn't look like the investment property is going to pan out. We emailed our realtor to see if she could get a feel about the sellers and told her what we were willing to pay. She said she'd talk to the other realtor but that our price is probably too low. No worries. We'll keep an eye on the place and see what happens. We've emailed her about seeing another property. I'm not as excited about it but I may change my mind after seeing it.