Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Menu for the Week

 As soon as schools starts, I lean toward slow cooker dishes and this year has been no exception.  

For this week:

Monday--bacon and veggie wraps


Wednesday--beef roast in the slow cooker with potatoes and carrots (we scored free potatoes thanks to our awesome neighbors)

Thursday--not sure about tomorrow, maybe leftovers

Friday--Chicken chow mein

Saturday--we are heading to a friend's house as a family that is about 3 hours away.  We need to bring a veggie tray for a party in honor of her parents.  Her parents are moving to South Dakota after living their entire lives in Minnesota.   It will be a bittersweet party.

Sunday--not sure, some sort of easy football food.  Maybe pizza.  The Vikings are so bad this year we might as well have good food.

What are some easy slow cooker meals that you like?  I'm always open to suggestions.  Thanks!

Monday, September 14, 2020

Spending Money on Looking Good

 I have an appointment tomorrow to get Botox on my forehead.  This will be my first appointment for it but I do plan to continue if I like the results which I imagine that I will.  

I work out and eat very healthily.   I wear sunscreen and have a good skin regimen.  But it can't take away the increasing lines on my forehead so I made the appointment.  I don't color my hair but I likely I will as I start going gray.  My hair is a soft blonde with natural highlights.   I don't get my nails done as I prefer a more natural look.  I guess that I am justifying this totally unnecessary expense.  

Has anyone else done Botox?  What did you think?  Did you like the results?  Is it too vain for you?  Have you done anything like it?

Friday, September 11, 2020

Selling a Rental

 I'm contemplating selling our first rental property.  We bought this property almost 2 years ago as a rental.  The day we bought it the tenants gave us notice that they were moving out.  When they moved out, we had to do a complete remodel.  We painted, put in new carpet,  new sink, new outlets, electrical work and new windows.  We also had to clean like crazy.  It was alarming how the prior tenants were actually living due to their own filth.

The existing tenants moved out and his daughter is living there.  He never actually told us that he was moving out.  It was all very shady.  I've given them notice but the actual tenant on the lease is already out.  Bizarre situation.   If they would have been honest, I likely would have worked with them.

We plan to use the money for the down payment on our new house whenever that may be.

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Time Off

One of the main reasons that I'm looking at switching my career is time off.  I work off of commission so I technically have time off but if I'm not around to take care of something,  it doesn't get done.   In other words, when I'm not at work, I still get calls, check email and have to take care of things.  Many of my coworkers handle this by constantly working on vacation.  They bring their laptops with and work.   I pretty much refuse to do this.  The only time that I try to unplug is on our winter vacation for about 5 days.  My boss even calls me numerous times during that.  

This drives my decision to find a different career.  I want to be able to take time off without getting calls constantly.   

Do you get time off?  How much?  Are you expected to take calls and answer emails during your off time?

Yes, I am paid very well for my time.  At one point, it made up for it but not anymore.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Big Talk

My husband was talking to his mom yesterday and she mentioned that she was going to look at a new camper.  We hadn't planned on telling her yet that we were likely to move.  However, after she said that she was looking at a camper (which she would buy to accommodateall of us), he told her that this was his last year of teaching and we would probably be moving.  Instead of being mad, she told him she had also thought about moving but she had only ever lived in our state.  She pretty much told him that she was on board with moving with us.  This was not the reply that we expected at all.

Hubs talked to her today and she asked him where we were moving to.  He told her a couple options and she was excited.  She mentioned that she would like a condo so she wouldn't have to worry about the lawn care and snow removal.  That's what I would have had in mind for her also.  

I'm ecstatic that she's up for this change.  It also feels good not to be hiding this secret from her.  She is a very sweet mother in law.  She has had so much loss in the last few years.  My brother-in-law died unexpectedly at 32 about 3 years ago.  My father-in-law had been diagnosed with ALS about 5 and a half years ago.  He passed this past April at home.  She had remained his caregiver the entire time.  Less than 2 weeks after FIL passed, her dad died.  My MIL took care of his day to day activities like coordinating nursing home care, finances, laundry and daily visits.   It was just so much all at once.  She's only 64 so she has plenty of time to make friends and enjoy some hobbies.

I guess it goes to show that it's always better to come clean than keep a secret.  

Monday, August 17, 2020

Where To Move To?

We are moving without jobs so we are scoping out where we should live.  These are the items on the consideration list:

Climate-- we would like a winter but want it milder than where we live.  I don't want to put up with 30 below for more than a month.  Something with 4 distinct seasons but a milder winter would be nice.

Education-- I'm a big believer in public schools so this is very important to us.  The states we are considering all rank in the top 20 for Education. 

Taxes--  Property and income taxes are the most important but sales tax also plays a role.  We have no desire to move to a high tax state.  South Dakota is high on our list due to having moderate property taxes and no income tax.  

Crime-- we do look at the overall crime statistics.  We don't want to move our family to a high crime area or next to a major metro with high crime.

Jobs-- We would like to move to a place with a strong job market.  I do plan to work a less stressful job after awhile.  My husband prefers to work sooner than later.

Proximity to my mother-in-law--  I wish that this wasn't on our list because it would open up more options but it is something that we will consider.  My MIL is newly widowed.  My FIL passed away this last April.  She has a great relationship with my children and I don't want to take that away.  We haven't told her yet that we are moving but it will not go well.  We would love if she would move with us but we highly doubt that she will.

State Leadership--  it is so obvious due to this pandemic that some states are really struggling and others are doing well.  We want to move to a state with good leadership.  

Culture--  I love a city with great culture and I'm looking forward to having more options and a better community culture.

Metro-- we would like to be in more of a metro area than where we are at now.  I would prefer to be in a suburb in a nice neighborhood. 

Real estate market--  we are looking at house in the $4-500,000 range.  We want to be in an area that will support the sale pretty easily in that price range.  

As you can tell, we're not picky at all :)  My husband is much more methodical than I am.  We are going scouting over Labor Day weekend so we'll see how it goes.  Did we miss anything?

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Big News!

We are planning on moving in about 9 months when school is out.  We don't know where we are moving to yet but it will be at least 3 hours away.  Let me explain. 

My husband is a college instructor and he dislikes his job.  He likes the actual field but walked into total chaos with this job.  To give y ou an idea of how bad the program is one of the instruction manuals is from 1955.  He is ready for a fresh start. 

I'm still at my job in sales where I've been for over 9 years.  I'm very good at it and have made more money than I ever thought I would but I'm always stressed to the max.  I technically have 4 weeks of vacation a year but it's about impossible to actually take the time.  When I do, I'm taking calls and things are falling apart.  I'm ready for a less stressful future.  

We are looking at this as a semi retirement move.  We will still need to work but will be able to have a nice lifestyle with minimal jobs.  

We have several things to wrap up in the next 9 months.  We need to sell our primary residence, sell 3 single family rentals (one of which needs to be renovated), sell a 4plex, and sell a small trailer park.  We need to decide where to move to and buy a house there at some point.  There is so much to do that it's overwhelming at times and exciting at other times.  Please join me for our next journey!