Tuesday, March 28, 2017

When a Door Closes

Read between the lines and you can probably figure out I didn't get into the next round for the dream job. I lamented a bit by text to DD1 and DH. I whined on the phone to DH as well. I felt disappointed, had a little pity party in my head driving home. By the time I was in my driveway, I was good. Thinking back, I answered every question honestly,accurately, and without pretense. There is nothing I could have done differently. Of course I had to get the news on a Tuesday! They just weren't looking for me to put forward. I'm annoyed that I didn't actually ever meet the client. That seems a bit disingenuous since the recruiter contacted me after the closing period and had several rushed turn around times. That's how recruiters work I guess. I can honestly say though I will not work with one again if solicited for anything short of a dream job.

I love the picture above. The first part, the touchy feely, it will be ok message. The bottom half though, is funny, yet empowering. I don't need to wait for someone to open doors for me, my hands work perfectly well to open one myself. Better yet, how about I build a door and create something entirely new to walk through. Thanks for all the words of encouragement. On the bright side, I got three blog posts out of the saga.

Affirmative Tuesday

Do you remember the old Saturday Night Live skit with Stuart Smalley, none other than my states now Senator Al Franken?  No matter what crap storm he might have been facing, he always could look in a mirror with a cheesy smile and awful hair, and say, "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough. And doggone it, people like me." I feel lately a need for a dose of inspiration. I've posted and referenced on many occasions that Tuesday is not my day. I am usually full of tension and stress at the start, having started Monday with new energy, but waned into overwhelming thoughts of a whole work week to go through and a to do list at the office that seems never done. Add that to how I saw myself in the mirror this morning, dull complexion, bags under eyes, wrinkles forming, and Tuesday can go sit in a corner.. 

My  placement in a recent family picture with DD2 and DH was horrendous. Granted, I had worked a full work day, then spent two hours steaming choir shirts and dresses and helping with hair. My boobs looked like they were at my belly button. I felt like my picture was taken with a wide angle lens, while DH and DD2 looked lean and vibrant next to me. My makeup less face looked sallow and gray. Of course, others would see a nice family picture. I kept trying to crop versions to have me look a little less, well, me. 

Not the role model I want for my daughter, or other girls. My negative self thoughts were beyond just Tuesday, so time to take a cue from my Senator. Here is my little dose of Stuart, talking myself into self appreciation on a cold Tuesday morning.

  • I figured out a solution to a very tricky situation at work yesterday, plus, opportunity to improve going forward. 
  • My kids friend said I was one of the best show choir mom's ever. Then another kid, known for years from soccer, said, I was the best everything mom.  
  • A former employee who I've stayed in touch with, called me yesterday, thanking me for having hired her, which led to the great job she has now. 
  • Pup chose me to snuggle with him this morning. Puppy love. 
Doggone it, in spite of my saggy face and body, people like me.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Sunday Night Wrap-Up

I hope all you UK readers whether, mothers, children, friends, had an enjoyable Sunday honoring the mum's in your life. DD2 comes down stairs, and says to me, "Happy Mother's Day.". Knowing the complete Anglophile I am, I thought she was being a little cheeky. No, she had been watching YouTube and heard several mention, then cam e down feeling guilty she didn't know it even was Mother's Day. Well, I am happy to receive well wishes from my kids on two such days devoted to mom's. 

I'm getting a little too used to these Sunday's with nothing on the calendar. After a delicious brunch of  waffles and bacon, washed down at least for me, with some of the Costa Rican coffee DD2 brought back, the day was completely my own. Last night we enjoyed a nice evening out with friends while our daughter was at a friends house for an anti Sadie Hawkins dance gathering, and then to a late showing of Beauty and the Beast. She finished homework and is now at a play at the Guthrie Theater, King Lear, as part of her Honors English-Social Studies classes. Her teachers received a grant to take 50 students. The Guthrie is a wonderful theater space with nationally renowned professional directors and actors. Shakespeare and 16 year olds; I'll be curious to hear her review.

My day was spent on more tasks around the house and a wonderful long walk with pup. He is in major need of a hair cut, but I am not equipped for that, so DH will do either this Thursday or next. We're too early for yard work and garden center visits.The landscape is anything but picturesque., still it felt good to get outside a bit longer. DH went to the cabin to check on the progress in the last week and a half, but was home by late afternoon. I ran to Kohl's to use some expiring Kohl's cash, treating it as real cash towards future gift giving. I also topped off my groceries at Aldi's since I was in the area, leaving me with more than enough for milk money. I'm amazed how far funds stretch there, even buying some treats for DD2 to keep her frustration with austerity at bay.  

Supper was simple, having made a pasta salad yesterday, which DH and I ate for supper. DD2 had the last of the chicken noodle soup I made on Friday before heading to the play. I baked a batch of chocolate chip cookie bars, freezing half for later snacking, and after I hit publish, plan to find something on Netflix to call it an end to my weekend. I accomplished some things and feel refreshed for the week to come. How about you? Were you able to enjoy calm, or were you on the run?

The Austerity Meal Plan

Used last bit of suds.

Feed your family of three for $33 dollars for the week! That sounds like a head line I need to see. I have challenged myself to keep my household, personal, and grocery to $300 total, leaving no stone unturned, in terms of cleaning out the pantry, fridge, and freezer, and monitoring the cleaning and personal supplies. Admittedly, I gave myself some loose rules. I didn't count my limited makeup purchases, that are only bought twice a year, and would have wiped out 1/4 of the budget, but will count towards my personal discretionary spending. I also only counted the cost of items purchased to get DD2 packed for her trip that would have been used if she was at home, putting the rest in the travel category. Still, it covered laundry and dish washer soap, toilet paper, soap, and shampoo.I do need to buy more dish washing and laundry soap, hopefully finding both, with tax, for under $3.00, but will give myself $5, leaving just $28 for food, or $4.00 supplement per day to what is on hand

We didn't eat out or get take out any more than other months in March. We picked up Papa Murphy's twice, avoided the grocery deli counter, DH's love of their chicken dinners was put on hold, ate brunch out with a free gift certificate, each of us had a dinner out separately dealing with some family stuff, I had a work outing with appetizers, and we met friends last night. For a 31 day month with five Fridays (we anticipate being home next Friday night), less restaurant and take out meals I suspect we've done other times during the year.
Saturday muffins with frozen bananas.
This is not a complete inventory, but here are main items I can still use for meals. DD2 will not be happy. She hates my challenges, saying we have nothing to eat in the house. I'll need to spend some special attention making sure I rise to her criticism.

4 small chicken breast fillets
3/4 pound cooked hamburger
2 pound bacon
cocktail hot dogs
6 eggs

Freezer is getting lean.

1 pound carrots
1 pound onions
2 bananas
3 apples

1 1/2 boxes spaghetti
1 1/2 bag egg noddles
assorted condensed soups
canned tomatoes, pineapple, pumpkin, corn
loads of baking supplies and spices
3 ready to make rice and potato dishes 
taco meal kit
canned beans and chick peas
peanut butter and jelly
pancake mix
 3/4 loaf of bread
 1 jar spaghetti sauce

bit of plain yogurt
12 ounces mozzarella
2-3 ounces Colby
pint or so of milk
5 cheese singles

I also have bits of partial things all over the refrigerator, freezer and pantry I'll try to use up. I am determined that we will not be eating boxed macaroni and cheese or spaghetti every night, challenging to have meals worthy of non austere menus. Breakfast Saturday was home made muffins, with a loaf for the freezer. Today we'll dine on pancakes or waffles, bacon, and fruit salad, and possibly chicken tetrazinni for supper. I'll make a smallish curry, using up the last of the yogurt and zucchini, making DD2 happy.

Yesterday I posted a "just dreaming for now" vacation plan that included a once in a lifetime possibility that would cost $14,000. Yet, today, I'm figuring out how to stretch $33 to make it to the end of the week. Some reading this might say to wait on or scale back the vacation, eat and shop like a normal person. My answer would be three fold. I've never regretted any funds ever spent traveling, and if we could manage it with both time and money, we would do more. If I can reduce my shopping by $50 a month just four times this year, we've covered 1-2 nights lodging, or ground transportation from airport to hotel and back again. Second, I enjoy the challenge of feeding and caring for my family well, while not wasting money on stuff that is disposable. Lastly, in efforts to eliminate food and other waste that has negative impact on the world, I'm striving to use up and reuse wherever possible.  Case in point, rewashing zipper bags, particularly the big sturdy ones.Self imposed goals help me. Does anyone else have any specific, goals in mind for their savings strategies. Do you turn convert your savings into a future goal?
Washed gallon size zipper bags air drying.