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Posts tagged with: Saving Money

Meet Belle

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We’ve been on a quest to find another dog since ours passed shortly before Christmas. If you’ve ever tried to find a dog in a shelter, you know difficult it can be, particularly for those hoping to find a specific combo of young to middle aged, female, and small. We’d see one on the website, run to the shelter, and find someone had adopted her.

It’s a long story but a friend gave us Belle. She’d been through two homes before she landed in ours. Naturally we were reluctant to take a dog no one wanted but were willing to give it a shot.

Belle is a ray of sunshine. She is love, joy, and snuggles all wrapped together. The kids adore her. Our only complaint is that no one vaccinated her. In her movement from house to house, exposed to other dogs, she picked up giardia and worms (and another I can’t remember). But her week spent boarded at the vet was well worth the $200 cost while she worked through the physical side of that. We had to spend another $200 on vaccinations and medications for a double ear infection (ugh. Poor thing!). We brought her home last Friday.

It was a reminder that ‘free’ can sometimes bring its own unexpected costs. I can’t begin to tell you how fortunate I am. My boss gave me a small bonus right before we got her. It’s going to eat most of the bonus but it’s money we didn’t expect so it hadn’t been ‘named’ in the budget yet.

I hoped to avoid the whole topic of COVID-19 (Lord knows you hear enough about it all day every day) but I wanted to update you since my post last week. I think my body and my brain just needed a minute to figure things out. A minute to reset. Sending Belle to the vet, taking in less social media and news, and walking or running a couple miles a day helped alleviate some of the stress. My ears are nearly back to normal.

I was unsure about my job at that moment. I am fortunate that my work moved the entire department to telecommute. In my twice weekly touch bases with my team, I encourage them to walk outside with me virtually if they feel comfortable or able. We send memes to a group text before the meeting starts and some of them are absolutely hysterical. They give me a hard time when I sound out of breath shouting, “We thought you were in shape!!” Those moments make my day. My work has given me latitude to cut days short and pay folks for eight hours daily when I know the best they could do with kids at home was four. I tell the team, “My favorite part of this mess is that I get to see your kids. I get to hear them. I get to see the side of you that means the most.” And I mean it. I love it. I’ve decided it’s OK to love the beautiful parts that come from this.

Sometimes life is unfair and what I mean by that is… life is sometimes unfairly slanted in my favor. I am insanely grateful.

It was unexpected. There is beauty in this. Find it.

I wish the best for you in these times. I hope life is unfair in the same way.

Our house has never been cleaner, our yard never prettier

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With the exception of History Buff, who continues to work full time as an “essential” employee at this time, all the kids were home all weekend and the weather was beautiful. We put it to good use!

Princess spent the bulk of her time cleaning the inside of the house…even vacuuming and wiping down window sills. She washed dogs, cleaned bathrooms and swept and mopped floors. (Due to her allergies, she most always does the inside work.)

Gymnast was on Grandmama duty for the most part although he helped with a few other things as well.

Princess and Grandmama

Princess and Grandmama – we are enjoying every moment we have with her as we know once she moves we will not be able to see her for a while.

Sea Cadet and I planted our first gardens of the season, created an outdoor living space and rearranged furniture to give everyone a space and a closet. History Buff is the only one in the house with his own room and closet.

Sea Cadet builds raised garden beds

Sea Cadet built me to new raised garden beds.

Veggies to plant

First crops in. If all else fails, we will have great salads!

We moved all our outdoor furniture to our side driveway and created an outdoor seating area complete with lights. Once our tree leaves come in, it will be shaded. It’s nothing fancy, but it does work for us. I enjoyed having my breakfast and hot chocolate there yesterday. And while we tried to have dinner there last night, the rain caught us and sent us back inside.

While we typically have a car parked there, we decided with the unknown length of the quarantine, this would give us some much needed separate space. We’ve got 3 hammocks (kids have them from years at camp,) one picnic table, one lounge chair and a grill. It has become my new happy place.

outdoor patio

Our new chill spot outside

We won’t be able to leave it like this forever because we will need the parking back when we start going places again. But for now, this will be a much more practical use of the space.

(Speaking of that, the younger kids’ dad did confirm, when he was here dropping Gymnast off, that he plans to give Princess a car for her birthday. So we will see if that happens…two months and counting until she can get her license.)

On the financial front, I am paying bills as they come in, but am not paying any extra on debts at this time. Just feel better with the uncertainty of the times to keep more cash on hand. I plan to do a debt update at the end of the week.

I hope you are well and not going stir crazy or driving your “quarantine” family/friends batty. At this point, we are still enjoying this time. Lots of laughter, good food and now that we all have a “work place” kids are more content to get their school work done without screeching at one another.