Sunday, October 23, 2016


I'm so excited....that I just can't hide it.....I'm about to lose control and I think I like it!

Name that song - you'll be humming it all day now.  You're welcome.

J. and I are booked for a 7 night cruise to the Mexican Riviera - departing Long Beach on March 19th and returning March 26th.  We'll celebrate our 27th anniversary on board!

We've often thought of cruising and it turns out the 'free' cruise deal we got from the casino was a pretty good deal.  We have upgraded to a mini-suite - for comfort of more space and a balcony - and were both pleasantly surprised at the low cost of the upgrade.  We were thinking it would be double what it was so yay!

There will be other charges - always are - but all things considered, it's a relatively inexpensive vacation.  We have credit on Southwest and will use those to get to LAX (most likely) which will save us 8 hours in the car each way.  Road trip sounds fun but since we have the credits, we're going to look into it.  (Or not - we just chatted and we think it's about one week too late to use the credits - they were good for a year and it will be just past that..though we hope to use them some other way and/or transfer them to B. to use to get home in November).

Our first two days are 'at sea' (we travel all the way down to Acapulco and then come back up, stopping at ports along the way).  Casino time!  I'm going to LOVE it!

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Air Assault

I lunched with a friend earlier this week and she bemoaned (during a conversation about her 12 year old son) 'I sure hope he doesn't join the military'.  As that comment was a bit out of the blue, I said 'why do you think he might?  Has he mentioned it?'.  She said 'no, but his dad was military so...'.

I shared that there is a lot of joy in watching someone you love do something they are passionate about and enjoy.  I wasn't keen on B. going into the military but it turns out it suits him well and he's really having a great time.

He accomplished another goal this week - congratulations to this guy who earned his Air Assault pin yesterday!  I'm so proud of him, I could burst!

His next goal is to pass sniper training - onward, B.!   You are really becoming a bad ass and I mean that in the nicest possible way.

Week By Week

It's almost November!  Can you believe it?  1/3 of the way through the school year and I swear school just started a week or so ago.  I am boggled by how quickly time flies and remind myself of that a lot. Retirement will be here before I know it at this rate!

J. trekked to San Francisco this week for a meeting with our financial advisor - I had hoped to go, too but my boss and I needed to spend time plowing through some budget stuff and that particular day was the only day we could really block to do that - and I'm glad we did because it was a very good meeting and helps me move forward on a number of things that require forward moving steps.  J.'s meeting with our finance guy was also good - we're solvent, headed in a very positive direction and will have a glorious mutual retirement soon!  Not imminently but soon - I'm on the downhill side of my working life - 40 years of work so far and a little bit more to go!!

I appeared for jury duty on Tuesday and did have to go to a courtroom.  In a jury pool wherein I filled out a 15 page questionnaire and will await further instructions.  The website says for jurors in my group to check back Monday (this coming Monday) after 5PM so perhaps there will be an update. Maybe the defendant will decide to take a plea deal - who knows.  Fingers crossed because if selected, it is a 5-6 week criminal trial and will be gut-wrenching.  That's all I can say at this point. People were in tears at the thought of having to be on the jury - so yeah...not something to look forward to.

In other news, H. had another accident wherein he rear ended someone.  The guys trailer hitch went into H.'s car - front grill and engine compartment - though it is running fine.  It's a little banged up but oh well.  So far, the other guy hasn't filed a claim with our insurance so fingers crossed.

H. is essentially grounded - he can leave the house for school and is only allowed to drive to/from school.  He is to come straight home - though there's no way to monitor that (yet).  We are putting a GPS unit on his car - yes, I'm serious - 'cuz if I catch his ass somewhere he's not supposed to be, there will be (further) hell to pay.  I'm so angry at him, I can barely look at him - and he knows it.  He's lying low.

Finally got my glucometer set up and am testing morning and evening.  This morning was my first 'high' (out of range) reading and it was only 9 points higher than my reading same time yesterday. We had thin crust pizza (frozen) for dinner last night so that could explain it - even though J. made a delicious salad as a starter.  Guess that's the point of the process - getting used to the things that throw you into 'red' zone vs. green.  On a great note, both J. and I are losing weight and it's been relatively easy.  The nutrition classes we attended the past two Thursdays helped to create more perspective on portion control for us both as well as highlighted that it is important to eat carbs.  I'd been assuming the goal was 'no carbs' but it turns out our brains get energy from only sugars created by carb consumption carbs.  In moderation and watch for 'good carbs' vs. bad carbs.  Eating a candy bar is a no.  Drinking some milk (dairy is a carb) or eating a piece of fruit (loaded with fiber) is a yes. We learned how many grams are in a diabetic carb serving (because counting carb servings throughout the day is one way of monitoring your intake) and to aim for between 10-12 servings a day.  J.'s number is higher.  I enjoyed Cheerios for breakfast this morning!

I'm also becoming a fanatic about bone broth.  I'm buying it from a mail order company and it's one of my morning warm drinks - it's got huge amounts of protein, little fat and no carbs - and has all kinds of collagen, etc. .

Today, I'm heading to Stockton for a Trader Joe's shop and also Target later today or tomorrow.  It's sunny and cool here so I'm also going to get some exercise via yard work.

OH - and we did sign for our refinance last night so we have officially lowered the payment another $93.  We're down $1100 a month from when J. retired and a goodly chunk of that amount goes into savings every month.

And at some point, fingers crossed when the stars and planets align, I'll get a raise which will be lovely.  Contract negotiations are always challenging and this year (and last) are proving to be interesting, to say the lease.

Happy Saturday!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Here's the Thing

about going to 'the symphony':  (we take great pride in H. accompanying us - he got a little culture and one was of only a hand full of 'young people' in the audience).....there is always a point for me where I'm just so overwhelmed by the music...sitting there with a smile from ear to ear and then suddenly, feeling all choked up about how beautiful it is - Rhapsody in Blue was completely, wonderfully overwhelming.  The pianist is 15 years old and extraordinary - standing ovation for both pieces he performed last night.  It was an amazing evening and other than having to get after H. for being late in our departure time from home and then insisting he had to be in the car for a minute at the restaurant - he had shorts on and said he was going to change clothes - and then having to go back out after waiting many minutes to find he was on the phone.  I was so pissed.  It's Sizzler for crying out loud.  We let people go ahead of us - and I just got sick of being patient waiting for him.  It's those small, inconsiderate things that just drive me bonkers.

But other than that, it was a lovely evening -

It's raining today!  Yay!  I just took Chloe out in my PJ's and wearing flip flops and it's a little chilly.

J. is at church and will head to Costco to get 9V batteries.  We use them so seldom that what we had are no longer charged.  We need to replace all the backup batteries in the smoke detectors at some point and our bathroom scale needs a replacement as well.

I had considered popping into work for a bit today and I suppose that is still a possibility - but I'm leaning towards not.  I might treat myself to an early nap - I didn't go upstairs until midnight last night and was up at 7:30 so a little more rest would be great.  If I don't nap, though,  I'll be fine and will sleep even better tonight.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Lovely Saturday

My first thought when I woke up this morning (at 8AM!! - sleeping in is so awesome!) was 'a blissful day with no commitments'.

Then J. reminded me we have tickets to the Modesto Symphony tonight - and amazingly enough, I was excited to be reminded.  It's Rhapsody in Blue and Fanfare for the Common Man - and H. is actually going with us!  And we're doing Sizzler for dinner!  ('cuz they have burgers for H. - and/or steak).  It will be a second late evening in a row but we'll be OK.

We headed to Thunder Valley not too much after 1PM yesterday as planned and of course, as soon as we pulled out of the driveway, the rain started.  There were a few white knuckle moments for me as the driver on the freeway - mainly when big rigs were tossing up so much water, it was hard to see - but we made it and luckily, there was light rain or no rain all the way home.

We are in possession of a certificate that entitles us to a free 7 day cruise on Norwegian cruise lines. We have 60 days to call and book the trip and travel has to be within the next year.  Totally free except 'taxes and port fees'.  Of course, it won't be totally free 'cuz there's no way I can do an inner cabin - I need a window and hopefully a balcony - and we don't exactly have evening wear though our friends who cruise often say there's very little issue with that these days.  Unless you're seated at the captain's table, it can be more casual.  And it says 'some meals' so we'd have to upgrade to 'all meals'.  Still, we're looking over the catalog and trying to decide where to cruise to.  The easiest is out of Los Angeles - the Mexican Riviera - but J. has already been to all but one of the ports we would spend a day at - so I'm not sure.  He's interested in Alaska and I guess I am too - so maybe that's the best option.  We're going to decide and call by the end of the 60 day window to see how much the actual cruise would be.  March, 2017 would work as would October, 2017.

I did not win at slots and we were home before 8 so it was a nice time but quick.  We ended up not eating together 'cuz I got on my favorite slots and didn't want to lose the machine - J. had the buffet and I ate finger foods at the cruise event.  But as J. said 'we've had 4 hours of travel time with lively communication - including politics which I enjoyed more than I thought I would.  My husband is very knowledgeable about so many things and it was nice to talk through things I'd heard, factor in things he knows.

You can have a lot of conversation around how in the hell America is actually looking at a Presidential candidate who is a horrible human being....but that's where we are in 2016.  And you can argue til the cows come home that his opponent has her issues as well - but....seriously.  There's no comparison, in my opinion.  Making mistakes and taking responsibility for them is one thing.  Being an asshole of a guy - who commits sexual assault on women because he can - because he's 'famous' - no matter what other mistakes his opponent has made, she's a stellar person who's life has been about serving our country in the many roles she's held.

Today, we celebrate the 27 years and one month anniversary of our engagement and it's a beautiful, sunny day after an afternoon/evening of rain.  Chloe isn't feeling too well - she had a lunch bag feast night before last when somehow, my lunch bag was on the floor again - we left quickly for our nutrition class and she feasted on a couple bites of leftover chicken fajita, edamame (shelled, thank goodness), nuts and raisin trail mix and carrot sticks.  She was unwell this morning - declined her breakfast - but a little bit ago, she had her waggly dog tail back and was a little more animated.  She also (finally) finished her first breakfast - and she's not asking for seconds (yet) so we aren't serving her.

Update:  J. told me 'today is the anniversary of our engagement' and I was all 'oh, yeah...yay us'! Four hours have past and after a phone call from him about stuff at Costco, I'm thinking 'today is NOT our anniversary - 'cuz this is OCTOBER not September.  So the paragraph above had to be modified slightly.

We are finally scheduled to sign for the refinance next Friday so it looks like it IS going to happen - and in a moment of 'really?  Seriously?  OK!', because our property taxes and insurance are due within the next 60 days, we would have had to pay them - and the likelihood of having proof of those payments in time for the now 'rushed' closing (because they've been jerking us around for two months and the rate lock ends in 16 days), they offered to roll those payments into our loan amount and pay them out of the escrow.  So miraculously, those amounts now in savings for those purposes can be moved to 'regular' savings - thus providing cash flow to help H. with tuition and books and ensure that no matter how short notice of a ticket we need to get for B. to be home whenever he can, we can do it - no problem.  Yes, I should technically just send in those amounts with the first new payment as 'extra principal' and immediately pay them down - but I'm not really going to worry about it - having that unexpected increase in savings is a blessing - so I'll accept it!

Fingers crossed it all works out the way it's supposed to.  Considering this is our current loan holder; it was supposed to be easy and painless - it's been none of that - I'm still skeptical.  But there's no doubt we qualify for whatever amount the loaned amount will be and no doubt we can afford the payment - so it should be fine.

Today, I'm on a 409 mission - I see places that need 409 - door jams, light switches, etc. - I want to go around with cleaning cloths and my spray bottle and clean, clean, clean!

Sunday, October 09, 2016

Sunday Mantra


The Great British Baking Show has reruns of 'Master Classes' - the two judges prepare the recipes the contestants have made.  It's nice to see how the results are supposed to look and to have the experts go through the process.  I'm really excited to try some (all, really - though no idea when I'll have the time) of the recipes - over the holidays sounds like a good time.

So I started the day watching a Master Class which had me starving and now I'm still starving. Facebook is full of food which I shouldn't eat.  I've had breakfast (Cheerios and fresh strawberries - no sugar.  Not even Splenda this morning.  Just plain); two eggs and a piece of whole grain toast for lunch.  Bone broth for a snack.  I'm hydrated and still starving and craving something decadent and taboo.

I've distracted myself cleaning my desk - getting into the corners and dusting where the dust bunnies lurk.  I need to just start tossing stuff - I end up with little bits and pieces of things that maybe I'll need somewhere down the road?  But not likely.  Just the normal 'junk' that ends up in the junk drawer...only my desk here doesn't have a junk drawer.  (Maybe it's 'cuz all the drawers appear to be filled with junk).

We cleared 50 hours off the DVR in preparation for series premiers - new season will fill up the DVR pretty quickly so we're trying to prepare.

J. reminded me that I never heard from the third party vendor that will be supplying me with my glucose meter and supplies.  Guess I will email the doctor to ask about that process.  I'd like to get an idea of where I'm at - especially considering that up until Friday, I'd had zero sugar.

Though I know that it's really not about's how my pancreas isn't working the way it should to produce/not produce insulin appropriate to where my blood sugar is.  So no matter how carefully I eat, I will still have high sugar and swings that the medication hopefully modulates - at least tries to.

Learning a lot and we have the first of two nutrition classes this week - trying a class together first and then can still request a one on one with a nutritionist if we need it.

We're eating leftover Frito pie tonight for dinner to avoid wasting it -

This coming Friday, J. and I are planning to head up to Thunder Valley for the evening.  We actually booked a room but it seems likely the better plan is to go up early afternoon (to avoid Friday traffic heading up to the mountains) and then attend the 'event' at 5PM.  Something about offering us a 'free' cruise - we're intrigued enough to want to check it out 'cuz a free vacation (or lower cost cruise, at least) is worth the trip.  We've never done a cruise and friends of ours have and love it.  There's not a ton of gambling budget at the moment - but I'll play small and hope for some big wins - and J. said he's fine not really playing.  We'll have a buffet dinner and a little more play (hopefully) and then head home before it's too late in the evening.  Sleep in our own beds and slide into the weekend.

I think I'll post this and then shut down the computer for awhile while I tackle this side of the desk. Maybe make a trip to OSH for some teeny, tiny storage boxes I saw - for the little things that need a 'place' and can be stashed in a cupboard here.