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It's Been Three Years???

January 6th, 2018 at 03:52 pm

Oh my goodness, it has been three years since I checked in.  Just the highlights of 2018 then.

Daisy graduated from high school a year early.  She was old for her grade anyway, so it's okay.  She continues to live with us and is a legal adult.  She is working as a barista and going to community college.  She's anticipating a career in a business-oriented field.  

Mr. H bought the business he worked for for the last 20+ years.  More detail than I want to give, but the financial risks to us were low.  Over the 20+ years the business has gradually lost clients with no replacement clients coming in.  Mr H talked like he wanted to grow the business, but I think he would have to develop new skills, something he does not seem willing to do.  I encourage him when I can, he poo-poos what I have to say.  From what he has told me, they are on track to lose a couple more clients in 2018 with the result that he will have to let his one office staff member (a family member) go.  He will also have to move his office.

I did take a couple of classes in my former field in 2015.  Then I re-engaged in Daisy's education for the next couple of years.  When she graduated this spring, I felt lost.  I knew it would be bad for me to sit around and pout, so within a week I volunteered myself at a local charitable organization.  I would have done whatever they asked, but when they realized that I wasn't afraid of computers, I started working with their systems.  Then, to help with some of the reporting using said computer systems I enrolled in a couple of classes at the community college.  Just like riding a bike - it all comes back.  One of my instructors noticed my work there, and recommended me for a part time job.  I started this week.  I'm slowly moving back into a branch of my former field.  Those are the doors that are opening anyway.  It's surprising to me.  

We have fairly simple finances but we are stable.  I just calculated our net worth - with our home it's 700,000+.  Shocking to me.

The best thing that's happened over the last few years though, is the sense of peace I have about life, most of the time anyway.  Did I gain wisdom from growing older?  Am I just supremely fortunate?  I have no idea, but I am so, so grateful.  A couple of months ago my instructor and one of my classmates both told me that they thought I was "so zen".  I didn't know what to say to that but at least it validates my experience.

Retired Blog?

April 26th, 2016 at 03:54 am

Just read Petunia100's entry about missing retired blogs.

I suppose my blog would be considered retired since I haven't written in it since January 2015. It's still here though. . . I wonder where the others are.

Procrastination Pays Off

January 17th, 2015 at 09:54 pm

I noted in my last entry that I was planning to sign up for a class during winter quarter related to my former field. When the class information was posted, I noted on the website that it had a different instructor than the one who taught the class I had visited. Now, anyone who has taken classes knows that instructor quality varies greatly. I liked what I saw for the instruction of the teacher I had visited. The new instructor was an unknown quantity.

After I wrote my previous entry I also looked into a program related to my field. It would be several classes, all on-line, with a certification at the end. The fees would be minimal - the bulk of the cost is paid by the government through a "back to work" initiative. But. . . all on-line, on-your-own classes. And I wasn't wild about the offerings.

As I mulled over my options, I was deluged by Christmas and all that entails.

Ultimately I decided, for a lot of reasons, that the certification program would be my second choice. I went to register for the class at about a week before quarter start, and discovered that not only was the class full, I would be pretty far down on the waiting list! I contacted the school and found out that they were working to get another section of the class opened. I was contacted the first day of classes - a new section opened, and the instructor is the one I visited with in the fall! Normally procrastination comes back to bite me but in this case it paid off.

I am loving my class. I've been out of this field, at home with Daisy for over a decade. But - it's been just like riding a bicycle. It's coming back. I'm not a rock star in my class, but I'm a good solid performer.

YMOYL - The Purpose of Paid Employment

October 1st, 2014 at 12:43 pm

I've been re-reading Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez. A lot of people don't like this book, especially the investment advice. But I've found that there are useful nuggets even if you don't do the whole program.

One of the things that stood out to me on this re-read is the purpose of paid employment. Per the book many people look at their jobs as a source of security, enjoyment, power, personal growth and friendships. All these things that people want to get from their jobs they can get through other ways, such as volunteer work and hobbies. The only thing that a person cannot through other means is - pay. Therefore, they argue, the purpose of paid employment is to get paid. (The larger work of your life may be something else completely different than your paid employment though.)

I have been mulling over this thought. I stepped out of the workforce over ten years ago to be a stay at home mom. I have no regrets over this decision and would do it again in a heartbeat. I am now looking at going back into the workforce. I have been hemming and hawing over it during the course of this year. I haven't been really sure what path to pursue.

One of my stay-at-home friends got back into the world of work via retail. Another person I know was retrained in an area that is desperate for workers. (The retraining was paid for by the hiring company when my friend was hired.) One mom friend stayed at her job, working part time when her children were little and then going back to full time when the youngest was in elementary school. Another mom friend got back into her former line of work after many years out. A couple of my mom friends fell into starting their own businesses.

I'm surprising myself by thinking that I'm going to attempt to get back into my former line of work. I worked in a somewhat specialized technical field that was in demand at the time I left it. But I heard then that that particular technology would disappear, and I just have given it no thought since I left my last job. I figured that I would do something completely different when I re-entered the workforce.

After discussing the possibility of going into my former field with a friend, I decided to go visit a class at the local community college that relates to my field of work. Classes just started last week so I could take the class if I wanted to. When I got there I almost chickened out, but I faced my fears and bravely walked through the door. I was able to follow what the instructor was discussing (even after missing one class, and not having thought about the topic for over ten years) and had a good discussion with him during a class break. After hearing about my background, he encouraged me to take the class and believes that I can get back into my original technical field.

An internet search reveals that this could easily be true - the technology didn't go away as predicted. Many of the people who work with it are nearing retirement - and younger people aren't that interested in pursuing it because - it's old technology. The internet predicts a worker shortage in this area.

I am now planning to take the class during winter quarter. In the interim I'm going to study my previous work field using books from the local college library and also the internet. Oddly, I found a paper on the internet describing the conversion of the old technology into the specific new technology that I will study in winter.

Using It Up

February 16th, 2014 at 06:21 pm

Thanks for a great idea, rob and CCF!

I am making cupcakes and they are going to be spread with 5 bits of leftover frosting. (Yes, there is such a thing. Some of the frosting was frozen.)

Tonight I served grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup.

My grilled cheese sandwich had leftover feta in it, along with more melty cheese.

The tomato soup was made from leftover marinara, leftover salsa that had chicken cooked in it, a can of tomato paste, roux and water.

The sandwiches got burned and Mr H refused to eat his and made another.

I am going to find a use for the slightly burned sandwich. Any ideas?

Credit Card Fraud

July 1st, 2013 at 05:12 am

Or lack thereof.

Yesterday I attempted a small online purchase that wouldn't complete, and I couldn't figure out why. The shopping cart kept telling me to fix the error but no field was highlighted. I tried several times, and finally gave up and emailed the company.

About a half an hour later I received an automated call from our credit card company. The call indicated that our card might have been fraudulently used. We have had fraudulent activity three times in the last two years with this particular card, and my attempted purchase was a $1 sample.

I am grateful that their automated system tripped. Very grateful. So far we haven't had a tremendous hassle for each of our fraudulent uses the credit card company has caught it right away and contacted us. I called the credit card company directly and they authorized my $1 purchase. I was able to order my sample.

Phone Switch?

June 26th, 2013 at 04:56 am

Just wondering who has made the switch from a landline to all cell phones?

We are considering this - we don't get many calls on our land line. I now do most of my long distance calls via cell phone. Originally the long distance calls were to family; now some of our more local friends are considered long distance from our phone.

I have my cell phone on a plan and DH's cell phone is paid for by work on a different plan. We would combine our phones to one plan, and also add a phone for Daisy.

If we cancel the landline we'd also have to do something with the internet which is currently DSL.

I hopped on the internet and was frustrated to find no REAL information provided by my current carrier.

Has anyone here done this type of thing and lived to tell the tale?

Car Fixed . . . Again Using Google

June 9th, 2013 at 04:13 pm

I while back I posted about fixing my car using Google:

Text is http://petunia.savingadvice.com/2009/05/31/youre-crazy-petunia_51390/ and Link is
http://petunia.savingadvice.com/2009/05/31/youre-crazy-petun...

I didnt actually fix it, but narrowed down the source of the problem and presented it to my car guys. The problem was intermittent and they had tried several ways to fix it that didn't work.

Yesterday the in-car fan in Mr. H's car stopped working. (No defroster! No air conditioner! No air movement in the car, except the 4-60.) Today Mr. H fixed his car using Google. . . and Youtube. He actually did fix it though. Using Google he found car owners of his make and model discussing this problem, as well as some more technical information. He watched some Youtubes and went out and got the replacement part. Installed the part and his fix seems to work.

The part was $50. Im guessing it would have been $150 to $200 for the car guys to fix it.

A Poem for the Thrifty

June 5th, 2013 at 12:40 pm

Not written by me.

I ran across this in a book in the thrift store, and figured it would be on the internet. Sure enough, it is.

Flour Sack Underwear

When I was a Maiden fair,
Mama made our underwear.
With five tots & Pa's poor pay,
How could she buy us lingerie?

Monograms & fancy stitches
were not on OUR flour sack britches.
Panty waists that stood the test
With Gold Medal on the Chest.

Little pants the best of all
With a scene I still recall:
Harvesters were gleaning wheat
Right across the little seat.

Tougher than a grizzly bear
Was our flour sack underwear.
Plain or fancy, three feet wide,
stronger than a hippos hide.

Through the years each Jill & Jack
Wore this sturdy garb of sack.
Waste not, want not, we soon learned,
Penny saved, a penny earned.

Bedspreads, curtains, tea towels, too.
Tablecloths to name a few.
But the best beyond compare
was our Flour Sack Underwear!

Ruth Gettle
This poem is in the book "The Old-Time Art of Thrift"

I think flour sack undies belong to a different generation; I have never worn them.

Perhaps T-shirt underwear could be the flour sack underwear of this generation. I have put together some of those. You can google if you don't know what that would be. An extra large men's t-shirt for $1 at the thrift store can be turned into two or three pairs.

Waiting. . . .

January 21st, 2013 at 08:17 pm

My Roth contribution continues to sit in the money market of my mutual fund, and now I am waiting. . . for the share price of various mutual funds to go down a bit before I purchase them. My various mutual funds have been hovering around the 52-week high share price since the 1st of the year. From what I could glean from the Wall Street Journal the markets were "happy" (my paraphrase) that we didn't go off the financial cliff, and then they were "happy" because of what went on with the debt ceiling. Seems kind of kooky to me! I'll watch and wait a bit longer, but would really like to complete this so I can get it off my list for another year.

Mr. H made his Roth contribution also.

Contribution Made

January 4th, 2013 at 08:21 am

As planned, I made my Roth contribution for 2013 on January 2nd. The funds went into a money market to be allocated later. I have been watching the price per share of my mutual funds at the end of the year and now, and they have gone up! Is that because we didnt quite fall off the fiscal cliff? I'll wait a bit and see if they come back down before reallocating out of my money market. They adjusted a bit yesterday.

Mr. H received his annual bonus, and I've encouraged him to put some of it in his Roth. I think he will do that.