"Love My Way, It's a New Road"

Fast Lane

I sent an email to my property manager about some general maintenance items. Nothing major, but things they need to address in the common areas (vacuuming the gym carpet was a big one). My email was ultra friendly and not whiny. This always yields the desired result.

One of my issues is the gate clicker. The damn thing rarely works for me. I am sure this is completely user-related and nothing to do with the clicker, and I said so in my email. The property manager graciously offered her senior building engineer up to instruct me on how to open the damn gate. Our lesson is tomorrow.

I was just thinking about this and chuckling to myself. This poor man. He has no idea. When Florida installed their Sunpass automated toll program, I am the reason they got rid of the toll arms in those lanes. I took out two to three of those damn arms with my minivan. My kids cringed when we approached an on-ramp. Hilarious!!

Tomorrow he will meet Danica Patrick (aka me) and it will be vastly entertaining.

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What can we call my relationship with the Hunter?  We are considering ourselves still a monogamous couple albeit living separately.  The sex has been great.  Sleeping alone and having our own space is also great.  We talk and text several times a day.

He was the first person I called when I had a spider crawling across my car’s touchscreen as I headed down a rush hour highway last week.  I killed that arachnid with my cute umbrella after trying my Yeti full of coffee.  The Yeti just wasn’t the right weapon.

I am the first person he calls when he’s happy, frustrated, etc.  He sends me a good morning text, usually calls during my commute and sends a good night text as well.  The man is lovingly attentive, I must say.

Are you waiting for a “but…”?  Nope, I don’t have one.  I am just going with the flow.  I am not trying to define this or create rules or anything else.  I am just in the moment.

We have plans to spend Thanksgiving with some of his family.  I will spend Christmas with Taz and my son while he takes off on a road trip with the Kracken.  We have been seeing each other 2-3 times a week.  Like I said above, the sex is great.  I may have stumbled onto the right combination for us.  Time will tell.

 

Job Stability

Job stability is always an issue.  I don’t care who, what, when or where you work — job stability should always be lurking in the back of your mind.  It’s on my mind right now for several reasons.

  1.  My first review and goal-setting is coming up.  When I look into 2020, I have things that will keep me barely occupied.  Not enough in my estimation.  2021 has some good projects but not too earth-shattering for my position.
  2. My company is about to lay off some folks.  It’s a group that hasn’t been producing income.  Gulp.
  3. I finally got the overdue money from Maggie & Co.  This will help my IRS bill fortunately.  I have to chat with my accountant before I go crazy and send the IRS a big payment, but I’m looking forward to it.

I have mentioned to my boss twice that I “still have some capacity” for additional work.  She hasn’t come up with anything extra for me. I would like to stretch and be busier than I am, but after two mentions it is time for me to shut up.  Sometimes I am just sitting  reading the NY Times or some online BS.  I hate that.  I am just not a person who enjoys being paid to do nothing.  It worries me.

Granted, this is a brand new role and they haven’t had someone in it.  I have worked on several things and have some other long-term projects that I can pick at, but there really isn’t a tremendous work flow.  At least not a work volume that I am accustomed to.  I am not too worried.  My boss seems to like me tremendously and I have won over my admin (remember, she was the one who ignored me for the first 30-45 days).

Perhaps this goal-setting review process will help, but I have never seen those exercises produce any meaningful insights.  For now, I will revel in a steady paycheck, a 10 minute commute and great health insurance.  Hopefully I will get my financial house in order quickly and be ready for whatever comes next.  I am very, very grateful for what I have. When I added up my Maggie & Co income, it would not have sustained me this year.  Yes, I am very fortunate for this second chance.  Thank you!

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Photo by Carl Heyerdahl on Unsplash

Almost Done

Good grief, I am still unpacking. I took a respite so I could wrap up at the old place, find a sofa and re-stock my pantry and frig. However, the new place was still cluttered with boxes and that doesn’t sit well with me.

My goal this week was a box a night. But being the occasional over-achiever, I’ve knocked out 8 over the two nights. I can’t find my damn cheese grater. I had 2 before the move and both are MIA. One went to the Hunter, I think. I might steal it back.

I still have crap I look at and say, “Why the heck am I dragging this around?” I was asking myself the “Does this spark joy?” until I was morose. LOL – it wasn’t that bad.

I wrapped up with the bookcase and personal papers/office stuff. Now I can move on to artwork. I am eager to get things on the walls.

I found a beautiful used sofa that is exactly what I want. It looks brand new and I got it for a fraction of its original cost. It will be delivered tomorrow. Very exciting final piece of my home. I haven’t had a sofa for 18 months. Yep, no sofa. I don’t recommend it.

The new place is steadily coming together. I just need to stay focused on unpacking and organizing. I feel better without the boxes. The Hunter volunteered to organize my storage closet which will be a huge help.

I am telling myself that I need to pay attention to my stuff over the next year. When I move, I always hang my clothes so the hanger is backwards. After I wear something, it is hung correctly. After a year, I can see what I use and what I can donate. I want to do something similar with all my stuff. “Use it or lose it” is my new mantra because I really want to lighten my load.

Next up, how to let go of things chock full of sentimental value and absolutely no practical usefulness. Not like I have any answers for that, but it will be the next conundrum of downsizing.

Frugal Begins

I mentioned in my last post that I am in the midst of adding a few new kitchen accoutrements.  I haven’t been cooking much if any for the past several years since the Hunter tended to dominate the kitchen.  One of the best ways for me to keep my spending (and hopefully weight) under control is to simply eat at home all the time.

I was inspired by the book, The Art of Eating In  by Cathy Erway.  She spent two years not eating out in New York City.  It’s a great read.  You can also read Cathy’s blog.

Anyway, one of the easiest ways to save money is with your food budget.  I am all set to do just that, but I wanted to make my life easier with a few extra gadgets.  The dutch oven is essential for launching my idea of baking.  Not just muffins and brownie mix, but bread.  Cathy talks about a “no-knead” bread that she made constantly.  That’s what I am talking about.  If I am not going to dine out, then I need to be able to cook good stuff.  I need to meal prep so if I am tired, I am not tempted to order something.

I got another book, Budget Bytes, which is also blog.  Beth Moncel is a nutritionist/food scientist and she knows how to cook on a budget.  She has been a big inspiration that I can have some fantastic meals for pennies.

Right now the frig and freezer are full of ingredients.  Now it is time to create some great meals. I have planned out my first round of menu items.  Until I get the freezer a bit stocked with some ready-to-go options, I will be cooking more than usual.  I am hopeful that I can get it down to a couple of days a week with plenty of leftovers.  Fortunately I like leftovers.

There is only one big ticket item left to acquire and that is my sofa.   I have found two good candidates on OfferUp for half of what I was willing to spend.  I hope to see them soon and I should be able to get some guys from work to haul it up for me.

Then, except for Christmas, I will be on a spending lock down.  I really don’t need anything, so it won’t be a hardship.  The hardship will be not buying tickets to events or eating out.  It will be interesting to see how I can keep busy and lively without spending money, but I really need to get myself out of debt and on a firm financial footing.  It isn’t forever.  I am hopeful I can clean things up in less than 2 years.

Here we go……

 

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Photo by Ella Olsson on Unsplash

Romping

The Hunter invited me for a sleepover on Friday.  It made sense because I had a dentist appointment close to him and he lives close to the old place.  We could have a slumber party and then get up early to tackle the final clean out.  I was good with the plans until Friday morning and then I wasn’t.  I was so tired.  The prospect of cozying up on the floor of his place on a nest of sleeping bags wasn’t alluring.  I’m too old for that shit.

I called and backed out.  He texted me about an hour later and volunteered to some up to see me.  Now we are talking.  I got a gourmet pizza and he came over for pizza and romping.  Then he went home because he had not fed the Kracken and he likes sleeping in his own bed these days.

He called me when he got home and said he had been thinking on the ride home.  He asked if I was happy with the situation of us living apart but still seeing each other.  I wasn’t sure what to say, so I turned the tables and asked him.  He loves it.  I laughed and said I did also.  He loves sleeping alone (me too) and having his own space (me too).

When we see each other, it’s a short amount of time full of active listening and affection.  We talk every day at least twice a day plus some texting.  How long will this last?  I have no idea.  Is it an ideal relationship?  For now.  Who knows?

What I do know is that there is no longer any tension between us.  I am no longer responsible for him financially or otherwise.  We do our own thing and try to see each other twice a week or so.  The sex is great, we cuddle and then he leaves.  I have to say, having the entire bed to myself is lovely.

He just called me to see how I was doing.  We both had a lot of crap to unload from our respective vehicles.  I had about 5=6 trips plus I went grocery shopping because I am a glutton for punishment. He was laughing at me because although I have just finished getting rid of a ton of crap, here I am getting a few more things.  What’s on the list?  A used KitchenAid mixer, a dutch oven (Aldi has some nice ones for $25 versus $60 everywhere else) and a used Instant Pot.  Why all the kitchen stuff?  Stay tuned and I’ll tell you.

However, now I am pooped. My Buns of Steel got their workout from my endless trips up and down today.  I did go for a quick swim at my beautiful resort-style pool and it was lovely and relaxing.  Exactly what I wanted in my new place.  The final steps have taken place.  I have officially left the old place and now the new chapter begins.  It will be an interesting transition….

Frustrated

Ugh – I need more patience. Somehow I must have misplaced it in the move. Yesterday I stewed in frustration. First my internet/cable hookup.

Internet installs are always fraught for me. No matter which provider I use, there is a complication. Yesterday was no exception. It got sorted out after the on-site tech spent an hour hooking things up and then I got to spend another hour on the phone troubleshooting the streaming TV part. It made me cranky.

Add to that my stubborn idea to cook a dinner that used 2 Pyrex dishes, a pot and baking pan plus assorted measuring & cooking utensils. WTF was I thinking? It was delicious and I have leftovers for dinner tonight, but I was overly ambitious.

Then I stayed up late decompressing and lingered in bed this morning. I told myself I should unpack, so I got out of bed and unpacked for an hour. This made me rush for work.

The Hunter called during my 10-minute commute. He gently scolded me and counseled more patience. My GF did the same at lunch. They are right. I need to slow down. I will get it all done, but it won’t be all done immediately.

I get it. I’m trying to leap into my new routines immediately because I’m so darned excited. I want the boxes gone because they make me a bit anxious and I feel unsettled. I want to cook healthy meals so hopefully I’ll start losing weight.

That’s another area of frustration. I’m working my ass off, moving constantly and eating healthy. Result: I friggin’ gained a pound. Seriously?! I tell myself it might be inflammation. Everything is tired and sore. Every morning I have an Advil with my coffee.

Tonight I am hitting my reset button. I’m sitting by the beautiful pool, listening to a gurgling fountain and enjoying the evening breeze. It’s divine. Then I will eat my delicious leftovers and watch something salacious on TV and go to bed early. I already unpacked this morning and dropped the boxes off in recycling. That’s enough for today.

Plus I need my rest because the Hunter visits tomorrow. We have a full evening of dinner, a little work, Survivor premier and a bedroom romp. It will be his first visit here.

I just need to remember to be kinder and more patient with myself. All the boxes will get unpacked. I will be able to buy my loveseat in the next week or so. I just need to calm down. LOL – easier said than done.

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