Thursday, May 30, 2013

Brownie points

I went to a few garage sales this morning.  Anymore, I'm pretty picky about the ones I stop at, so I'm sure I miss some 'treasures."  But today I got stuff that is going to score me BIG mommy-brownie points.

Katie has been reading the Gregor The Overlander Series of books by Suzanne Collins.  She just finished #3 and has been begging me to go to the library and get #4.  I found it today at a sale!  In fact I found #3 and #4, so I got both of them because they are pretty hard to find. 

The rest of the stuff are things I wouldn't buy "new", but I figured this was a deal.
- and extra Play Station2 controller (we only have one, which works for us - but figured we could use another one at times.)
- a wireless guitar for Play Station2, Guitar Hero (we haven't had anything like this before and the kids have been wanting one.)
- 2 Guitar Hero games

I got all this for $7.00 - so I figured it was worth it, and I was assured everything worked.  I passed up an entire Play Station Rock Band set up for $25.00.  If it keeps raining, I know what we'll be doing.

We have church pictures this weekend, so I have to dye the gray out of my hair before then.  We are also going to the Twins game on Sunday so it better not rain on us, or be too hot, or be too cold.  Not asking too much, right?  T-ball was canceled for the 2nd time this week.  We haven't been able to have a practice or game yet!  If next week doesn't cooperate I think Will may call upon his own superpowers to do something about the weather.  Just one day without a bunch of rain would be nice.

Thursday, May 23, 2013


I've been working at home now - officially - for 3 days now.  I have found that I can get 2 hours in quite easily during the day, then it becomes harder when Will comes home at 11:15, and then it becomes impossible at 3:30 when Katie comes home.  Knowing that, I will be able to work out a better schedule.  Once summer rolls around and there isn't homework to do between 3:30 and 5 it will make a difference too.

"Pebbles" is going to go somewhere else starting some time in June.  I can't manage to have her here everyday all day, and when the Katie and Will are gone at camps this summer here and there - she will be by herself for a good chunk of the day and that would be very boring, in my opinion.  Trying to have her here a few days and somewhere else a few days gets too confusing.  And when her and Will ARE together - they play very well, but they also play VERY LOUD.  I can't imagine talking to the owner of a 2 million dollar account while kids are screaming in the background. 

While working today I pulled up some older accounts to re-learn some things that have changed in the system and familiarize myself with things that are still the same.  I found all these old forms that I had filled out over 10 years ago and it was totally surreal.  So much has changed since I completed these forms!!  I wish I could tell my "then" self how great things turn out as the years go by. :)

Have a great holiday weekend!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Mid week news

Well, not really "news", just an update I guess.  The windows are in - city inspector comes in about a half hour to sign off on the job and close out our work permit.  I installed the smoke detectors yesterday (new ones have to be in every bedroom with carbon monoxide detectors on every level.)  Given this update to the code we now have 3 smoke detectors within 2 feet of each other upstairs.  I had no trouble installing them, but I probably should test them quick.

They work.  Well, they beeped when I pushed the button anyway.  Here are some pictures.  I had to take one of the front window from far away because it was too sunny to have the flash work, and so the picture turned out too dark. 
Front window - Before - note the fine picture of "Dancing Potato"

After - we changed the window from 4 rectangle panes to two rectangles with a larger square in the middle.  Basically taking out the middle divider.  Seems to let in more light.   

The back windows.....sliding door stayed the same.
The sun-room before...

The sun-room after....
We didn't change the 2 triangle windows up on top.  The painters are supposed to come in the next 2 weeks to stain the trim so that it matches the walls.  Note the SIXTEEN blinds on the couch that will have to go up later.  Although, I do really like the room with no blinds too.

Also on the home improvement front, I can wash clothes again today!  Our washer had slowly been going down hill, not spinning very fast in the spin cycle.  So I would wash a small load of clothes, then they wouldn't spin so they'd be sopping wet.  I take that whole mess out of the washer and divide it into 3 even smaller loads. (Like 2 shirts and 1 pair of pants) Then I would spin THOSE groups 2-3 times each.  All in all, 1 load would take an extra hour if I kept on top of it, which I never did - so I would get like 1 load done every other day or so.  I was getting VERY backed up, but refusing to spend money on a new one when it wasn't completely dead.
So I did some hunting and (thanks to the Internet) found what I thought was the problem - the clutch drive.  I also found a YouTube video showing how to replace the part, showed it to John and asked "Do you want to do that?"  We got the part ordered, and John put the washer back together last night, and low and worked!  One load - one spin. 
P.S. - On that first load the sink that the washer dumps into actually overflowed, so we had water everywhere....BUT it had nothing to do with the initial problem, and seems to be all better now!
I've never been so happy to wash clothes.


Monday, May 13, 2013

New windows today!

We are getting new windows installed today!  Exciting, noisy, and unpredictable time.  Molly is locked in the basement with food, water and her litter box.  She may be losing some fur based on how noisy it is as the guys cut out the old windows.  Hans is at doggie day care.  For $16 a day he can go from 7 am to 7pm.  Otherwise, they would require him to be locked in his crate all day here.  I figured he'd have more fun there. 

I do have some pictures of the new/old windows, but I don't want to intrude on the guys working.  I was able to get all the old window shades/treatments off the windows and became very depressed as I realized how long it's going to take to put them ALL back up again.  Let's see....we have 19 window blinds/shades to install.  Now, don't everyone rush over here to volunteer all at once.  At least it gets darker much later and there isn't a necessary need for blinds on all the windows right away. 

It's certainly a nice day to have giant holes in your house open to the outside - not snowing or raining or cold.  I don't think "Pebbles" is going to get much of a nap today.

Speaking of "Pebbles" - my sister asked a good question - now that I will be working from home (and getting paid) what about "Pebbles?"  The answer is, I don't know.  I was going to be done watching her at the end of August anyway - her mom is having another baby and will be home at that point.  So do I keep it up til August or quit now.  The truth is that it will probably be something in the middle.  Nothing will change for the month of May, then I guess we'll see how it goes.  I guess I'm watching her because she's easy to entertain and I'm greedy.  Thinking about getting paid for 2 jobs for 3 months gets my kind of jacked up.  After so many years of not bringing home a typical paycheck for the family - I kind of like the thought of bringing home 2 of them.  However, now that I'll be working a chunk of the day - the time that I do get to spend uninterrupted with Katie and Will needs to be treated a bit more preciously.  And do I want to share that time with "Pebbles?"   I told her mom that I'm fine if they want to move her right away - to be with kids more her own age.  Especially since Katie and Will have lots of camps and classes here and there during the summer, there will be some days where neither one are here for a week....kind of boring for a 3 year old.  We'll see.

Hopefully I'll have some pictures soon!  Although - the windows won't look drastically different.  There's only 2 that we are changing the look of. 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Exciting news

Friday night at 7:00 I got a phone call.....but my phone was turned off til Monday morning actually - so I didn't get the message until then.  Oddly enough my old boss from before Katie was born had called and wanted to "run something by me" and asked me to call him back.  I called Monday morning and he was on the other line, but asked if he could call me back in like 10 minutes.  No problem.

In that 10 minutes I thought - Gee, that's odd that he's answering his own phone when he's got a call on the other line - he's got staff.  Where are they?  Oh man....what does he want?  Could it be a job offer?  Oh God, what if it's a job offer?  I went through every scenario with crazy e-mails to John and another friend in the meantime.  Not wanting to get too ahead of myself I waited....and waited.

He called back and we had about 15 minutes to talk.  In a nutshell - yes, it was a job offer.  But that's not the best part.  It's a work-from-home job offer.  He had 2 office staff leave him last week - one was a drama filled irate walkout/firing situation.  The other was a stab-in-the back leaving to start her own business situation.  Anyway - he's looking to create more of a virtual staff instead of an in-office one.  His overhead will be much lower and hopefully increase efficiency.  He thought about contacting a temp office to find someone and then I popped in his head and he said that was the end of the issue.  Either it was going to be me or he wasn't going to do it. 

We talked again later yesterday afternoon because he had some meetings to get to - but the bottom line is that he will supply all necessary software, computers, scanners, etc. and I will be paid on a contract consultant basis with a set salary.  He didn't think it would be any more than 20-25 hours a week with some extra time needed up front to get everything set up.  Obviously I was interested so we will be talking again either today or tomorrow to finalize things while he draws up an official offer. 

Can you freaking believe it?  I can't believe how things can come so full circle.  When I worked for his company in Rochester - (I say "company," but it was really just him and me with 1 part-timer) it was a job that was stressful, but I had every intention of returning to work after Katie was born.  Then John had an opportunity to transfer back up to the cities and we moved.  I quit work with the understanding that I would stay home "for a bit."  9 1/2 years later, I'm still here, and it was the BEST decision I've ever made.  

Now I can't see giving up the things that I've come to appreciate.  Time with the kids, my volunteer work with schools, church, the breastfeeding non-profit - everything!  I thought going back to work might mean having to give some of that up, but now that this has come along - I don't think I'll have to!  Yes, these 3-4 summer months will be a bit more work and juggling keeping the kids entertained and busy, but once fall hits and they are both in school all day - wow.  I feel like I'm going to be able to create my day and have enough time to get done what needs to get done. 

In the meantime it's just a lot of trying to picture what it will all look like and how it will work, but it will. :)

Monday, May 6, 2013

Big things coming!

I have some big news to share, but I'm too tired tonight. 

Don't you hate waiting? :)

I'll try to write more tomorrow but for now, just know - it's big and it's good.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

May Day

Happy May Day everyone!  We would make May Day baskets for our neighbors, but it sounds like they'd be full of snow tonight anyway.  Ugh.  We are supposed to get 3 inches on the low end.....up to 7 or 8 on the high end, with some close to 10.  I don't know what to believe, but I honestly can't imagine anything over 3.  A lot will melt right away, but I'm sure it's going to be the wet, heavy stuff that is so impossible to shovel.  And yes, we are back in the 70's next week, but then after that - who knows.  It seems we have to have a snow storm once a week, no matter what.  This morning Will asked if it would be snowing on his birthday in July.

I should be painting right now.  I have plans to finish painting the rest of the bedroom today - and it will happen...just not right now.  I had to finish up some work for the non-profit I'm with and a big fundraising project I'm in charge of at Katie's school is wrapping up this week so that has been taking some time too.  I also have my last night of teaching Katie's weekly church class tonight so I've had to get some goodie bags ready to hand out.  That class has been a lot of fun - 8, 3rd graders.  Last week we talked about miracles.  What are they?  Do they really happen?  Did they really happen as the Bible says?  If they do happen, why don't they happen for everyone?  It was a heavy discussion, let me tell you - with a LOT of "I don't know" 's on my part. 

Ok - time to paint.
Well, Will comes home in like 15 I'll wait, and THEN paint.

Well, I have to go get "Pebbles" from school at 11:45, come home and THEN paint.

Well....then the kids will need to eat lunch, so I'll fix lunch and THEN paint.

Well....I spose "Pebbles" has to go down for a nap after lunch so I'll do that THEN paint.

Yeah, that's right.