Wednesday, August 28, 2013



When we lost Thing 1, I elected to have a separate cremation for him. I knew I couldn't bury him in the backyard, and I didn't want to get back random ashes that weren't my pup, so I didn't want him cremated in group. I had planned for that expense, although I wasn't exactly sure how to pull it off.

My family has used the same vet clinic since I was 2. The older vet retired and his son has run the clinic for as long as I've had a pup as an adult. One of the benefits in using the same vet practice for 40+ years is that they know you. I have an account. I can get billed instead of paying at the time services are rendered. I did that when Thing 2 hurt her paw a couple of weeks ago -- I had just paid tuition and cash was slim til payday, they said they'd send me statement. The day we lost Thing 1, no money changed hands. I just assumed I'd be billed and they never asked for any. Just let us grieve.

So yesterday, I went in to pick up Thing 1's ashes. The very awesome office girl went and got the pretty little box and brought it to me. We both had a little cry over it. So small. And the box was so pretty. Very simple wooden box with flowers carved into the top. I asked her my balance, and she looked it up. My balance was $64. The amount of Thing 2's previous visit. I looked very puzzled, I'm sure.

She then told me that someone had paid for Thing 1's expenses. What? Who? And whoever had paid had asked to remain anonymous. They had just been very touched. I am just stunned and astounded by people's generosity and compassion. I just wish I knew who it was. I'd like to thank them in person. I am truly overwhelmed.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Getting My Financial House in Order

I've been home sick the last few days..... I hate taking sick days because it means I get WAY behind at work -- plus I'm not getting anything done at home, either.

I did get a few things accomplished -- some shutterfly gifts organized and ordered, tried out the Viggle app to see if I can earn some gift cards to help with Christmas and worked on getting more return out of the money I do have. Last year, I transferred $1000 of my savings to a variable rate CD, to which I added $150/month. I felt fairly safe doing that as I had other savings sitting there, plus the penalty for early withdrawal was 3 months interest, and even with that, it was still earning more than my savings account! During its span, the CD earned a whopping $8.66 in interest. (woo.hoo.)

So, the CD came to maturity. At maturity, I had 10 days to withdraw, make changes, or just leave it alone and let it ride. Since this 10 days fell during my sick time, I decided to focus and make some changes. As it stood, I had $2800+ in the CD at maturity. The fixed rate CDs were performing a lot higher than the variable rate, so I moved $1800 to a one year fixed rate. I kept $1000 in the variable rate and will continue to add $150/mo to it.

I considered moving some to "better" investments -- but since this is my "able to sleep at night" money, I just didn't want the volatility of the stock market. II won't get rich off the CDs, but they are earning a bit more than just sitting there in a savings account, and I like the mental blockade of not being able to get to it quite as easily. Maybe when I have real money saved instead of barely 2 months living expenses, I'll go for a bit of higher risk and higher yield. Here's hoping I get there.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Working On The Christmas Shopping... A Bit at a Time

So, the Princess's birthday is past, tuition has been paid, time to start working on a Christmas plan that won't break the budget. I've started picking up a few things as I see them -- if they are on a really good deal!

Last year, I picked up a few things thanks to free codes on Shutterfly. Those gifts were a huge success! So, I've started keeping my eyes peeled for more free codes. This past week and a half, I Shutterfly has NOT disappointed!

First off, I found a free code for a photobook --- that one was used for a sweet album of my pups, it will be nice to have those sweet pics in one place as we continue to mourn our beloved Thing 1. Next up, I got a free code for a free photo magnet via Kellogg's Rewards ---- that was used for a magnet of Thing 1 for the Princess's stocking. Next up, Facebook code for a free photo wall calendar. I'm not huge on wall calendars, but thought it would be a great present for the Princess's grandparents (on her Dad's side). So, I mined through pics of the Princess and her brothers (she has two from her Dad's second marriage) and compiled a pretty great calendar.

I'm happy with my progress so far. Slow and steady wins the race!

So tell me, do YOU Shutterfly?

Monday, August 19, 2013

Back To School Time

Classes for the Princess start back today. Its kind of been a strange back to school time this year. She registered for classes a couple weeks ago and we paid tuition. For back to school last year we were scrambling to get all of the stuff she "needed" for dorm living. That wasn't the case this year. The binders she used last semester are still usable. We have plenty of paper. So, we got her a planner, and some new pens and highlighters.... and so far that's it. We still have to order books, but can't do that until we get the class syllabus.

So no back to school scramble this year. Just an adjustment in wakeup times and such. That's it. Doesn't really feel like back to school yet.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Getting Some Shopping Done

I did some grocery shopping earlier this week, but never got it posted because of losing Thing 1, so I'm finally able to get a few thoughts back together. It was a good shopping trip. Thanks to a $10 off $50 purchase coupon, my canned dog food was free. Since Thing 2 doesn't need canned food, I should probably take it back, but I'm just not at that point. Anyway, here is what I picked up:

10 Cans Publix Dog Food
2 Quilted Northern 6 Packs
1 Rachel Ray Nutrish Dog Food (14lb)
2 Palermo's Frozen Pizza
2 Bertolli's Pasta Sauces
1 Celentano Ravioli
1 Sharpie Highlighter
2 Venus Disposable Razor Packs
1 Barilla Whole Grain Pasta
1 Simply Potatoes
3 Mento's Gum
1 Fresh Express Salad Blend

Spent $47.31
Saved $49.82 or 52%

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

And Then There Were Three

One Last Morning In The Sun

Thing 1 left us yesterday morning.After I posted yesterday morning, he hopped up off of the loveseat on the porch where he had been sitting beside me and made his way down the steps to the yard. He found himself a sunny spot and sat there for a few, I guess just taking in his domain and enjoying the sunshine and his place one more time. I went and sat on the steps and watched him. He seemed so at peace. When he was ready, I carried him back up the stairs and we hung out a bit more,  Thing 2 coming by numerous times to love on him, but then giving us time alone too.

 The Princess got back from Atlanta, and spent some time with him, just the two of them. Even managed to find his "spot" one last time. We talked to him about what a good boy he was, and how much we loved him. And even though we wished he could stay with us always, we knew he was ready to rest. We called my friend, RunnerGirl, to come pick us up to go the vet (knew there was NO way I should be driving after all was said and done). As we left, Thing 2 nosed him to say goodbye, and as we walked up to the door, she stood in the front window and howled. I don't know how she knew, but she knew...

We got to the vet, and the receptionist started immediately filling out our info (we tend to be frequent visitors there) --- and then asked us what he needed today. I told her simply "It is time." She teared up, but got herself together quickly and took us back to one of the very familiar exam rooms. Brought in a blanket fresh from the dryer so he didn't have to be on that cold steel table. The vet came in and told us what to expect. They would take him back for just a few minutes and start the IV, which was nothing but an overdose of anesthetic and he would feel no pain and no fear. Once they started him, they would bring him back to us and we could stay with him as long as we needed. So we said our goodbyes while he was still able to understand us, and told him how very much he was loved. How full he made our lives. How there would never be another dog like him. And they took him away. The Princess and I clung to each other and just sobbed.

Almost immediately they brought him back to us. The vet told us that he was going on his own and she knew he'd want to be with us. So, with us stroking him, and petting him and loving him, saying over and over how very much he was loved, he slipped away, quietly and peacefully. We each gave him one last ear scratch and belly rub, and looked one last time into those beautiful soulful eyes, where the light had at last gone out. He was gone.

We left him in the vet's care and went home where we spent most of the day crying off and on or sleeping, or looking at pictures or swapping memories and giving a very sad Thing 2 plenty of comfort and drawing it from her.

 Rest in peace, my sweet Fluffypup, I'll see you at the Rainbow Bridge.

Monday, August 12, 2013

It Is Time

It is time. Thing 1 let me know this morning that he is ready to head to the Rainbow Bridge. The Princess is on her way home from Atlanta and we will take him in when she gets here. I have prayed for the wisdom to know when it is time. Now I just pray for the strength to do what I can to make his transition peaceful and loving. Farewell, sweet boy. It has been a wonderful 13 years with you at our side.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

This Was The Week That Would Not End

So, the week started out well enough..... I had my annual performance review and received and excellent evaluation, plus a $1500 bonus ($1200+ after taxes). When a week starts like that, it is going to be a good one right?

Not so fast there! The long awaited contract announcements came out. And it was worse than we expected. While we retained the contract the most affects me, we lost some other key ones. And the ones we picked up don't make up the difference in lost revenue. This likely means an even larger shrinkage in the work force. While theoretically I should be fine, there is also the chance that I won't be.... there are four people "ahead" of me whose departments will have to be reduced. These employees have been with the company for probably 10 years or more each. The decision could very well be to retain a some of them but backslide them into my position and hand me the pink slip. I just don't know at this point.

That worry has been on my mind all week. It made the week seem unending. So much so that I woke up Thursday thinking it was Friday! Talk about a letdown!!!!

And, that $1200 after taxes bonus? Yeah, its getting banked --- I still have looming vet bills for Thing 1 to come and at some point I need to have my car window fixed --- but for now the window is not going to take priority.

That's been my week around here -- sorry I've been absent -- I've had a lot of processing that needed to happen!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Waiting Waiting Waiting

Does the waiting game get to you sometimes? Last Thursday we were supposed to finally find out whether or not we got our "permanent" contracts back at work. We have been on temporary interim contracts for two years now. As part of the interim contracts, my "normal" job was put on hold. When it became obvious that this interim period was going to stretch longer.... I was temporarily reassigned to another deparment. That was almost 18 months ago. It was hard, but I accepted that reassignment with mostly a smile (after a crying jag and bottle of wine at home -- ha!) and have been doing it with a good attitude ever since. Nevertheless, I want to get back to doing what I was hired to do.... because I really love my normal job.

So, last week we waited on pins and needles. Many of us trying to get through the week without dissolving into a bundle of nerves. And then on Wednesday, we found out that the much anticipated announcement was being postponed - AGAIN -- until Tuesday. Sigh.

It seems we sometimes spend a lot of our lives waiting.... waiting for the weekend, waiting for announcements, waiting for vacation, waiting for temps to cool off or warm up. Waiting for stuff to get back to normal. Waiting for one day. Maybe we need to enjoy the day. Today. We only have so many todays and then its all done. We need to try and enjoy the moment and whatever it brings.

But for now, I probably need more coffee as I'm not sure any of this rambling made sense!