Archive for April, 2009

Minus One Income

D is getting laid off at the end of May. The family-owned company he works for has been bought by a large corporation based in France, and D’s department will be absorbed by facilities in other cities. His job isn’t one with any long-term potential – he’s working on a degree right now – but still, it was a decent job with a pretty good paycheck considering the type of work. It’s a little daunting to think about being down to a single income – mine.

It’s not all bad, though. In some ways, the timing couldn’t be better. Now D can focus on finishing his program in the fall ’09 and spring ’10 semesters, whereas with a job it would have taken him 3 semesters to get through it. And once he’s finished his degree, I hope he’ll be able to get into a job with more potential and maybe more money than his current one. I know the market’s ugly right now, but his new career will be in health care, so fingers crossed, there will be something for him when he graduates. So that part’s good. He can plow through school and get it done.

Also on the plus side, D is taking 1 summer class, but aside from that he will have loads of free time this summer. Know what that means? PROJECTS!! I have a mental list of about 10 projects for him to work on, and you can bet your bippy¬† there’s more where those came from. Everything from installing some blinds and valances to painting a couple rooms to putting up some fencing. AND, he will be able to take over many of my duties – cleaning, grocery shopping, miscellaneous errands, tending to Oscar, and the like. Which will make me very, very happy.

Then of course there’s the money part. Money is always kind of nervous-making. More so when you know there’s going to be less of it. But as long as I don’t lose my income, I think we’ll be okay. D expects some severance money, and combined with unemployment we should be able to manage. He’s already on my insurance, so he’s not really losing anything but his wages. Unless things get really, really bad, I don’t expect I’ll lose my job. A pay cut in the next year is a very real possibility, but we’ll deal with that when or if it comes.

So, amazingly, D losing his job could be… a really good thing. Who would have thought? In the worst market in my lifetime (or that I can remember, anyway), for us this may be for the best.

I’m a little envious he’s going to have the summer off, but he’s worked like a dog – full-time job and full class load this semester – for long enough. I didn’t have to worry about working to make rent when I was an undergrad, and I think it’s great that he’ll get a year of the same. Plus, I’m SUPER-STOKED about writing out a list of projects for him to do this summer!

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Farewell, Roses

Over the weekend, we dug out the 4 rosebushes in our front yard. A couple of them seemed quite old and well-established. There was digging, hacking, pulling, bending, and perhaps just a little cursing. But they’re out, finally.

I have to admit, I don’t really get “rose people.” I mean, I admire their passion for cultivating a beautiful plant, but roses are such a pain in the ass. They’re so terribly prone to all kinds of diseases and gross bugs. I had to prune our roses 4 times last year just to keep them from looking like scraggly ragamuffins. I’m just not cut out for it. Plus, I’m not into the country-cottage look at all.

In place of the roses, we’re putting in this drought-tolerant garden (illustration below). If I can keep all those plants alive until they’re established, I think it’ll look fantastic. It’s extremely dry here most of the year, so the less watering needed, the better. We’re even considering converting the little grass lawn we have to a drought-tolerant ground cover. But that’s a project for another year.

Drought-Tolerant Garden

Drought-Tolerant Garden

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yehudabergEgo gets a bad rap It cn be gd sometimes 2 have ego in that U know yr worth & gifts Positive ego 2day focus on wht U lk abt yourself

10 things I like about myself:

  1. I’m very frugal and good at accumulating savings.
  2. I take good care of myself.
  3. I love buying, wrapping, and giving gifts.
  4. I’m a quick study.
  5. I keep my house clean and neat.
  6. I love plants and planting things.
  7. I always pay my bills on time.
  8. I’m easy to talk to.
  9. I love to learn.
  10. I’m always striving to find better ways to do things.

Whew, that was harder than I expected. But also kind of satisfying.

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10 Days, No Pee on Floor

I feel a little superstitious about even typing this, but it’s been 10 days since Oscar the Puppy last peed on the floor. Yeay! waving fists triumphantly Now, if he could figure out how to bathe himself, we’d really be in business.

Unfortunately, though, he’s regurgitated his breakfast the past 2 mornings. Upon visual examination, I concluded that he really should try chewing the food before swallowing it. I hear that’s good for digestion.

Tomorrow he goes to the groomer for his first full-body trim. I’m very excited about his shearing because although he’s adorably fluffy with long fur, he’s like a wiggling strip of velcro, tracking dirt, wood chips, and even whole leaves into the house. I’ll have to put up some before and¬† after grooming pics – I have a feeling he’s going to look about half his current size when he loses all that fur.

If ever you need to keep a dog occupied for an hour or 2, I highly recommend these Bully Sticks. I just noticed the site says they’re made from bull penises (tee hee). The lady at the store told me they were made from bull tendons. Eh, potato, potahto. And now D and I can make jokes about Oscar’s intense love of bull weiner.

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Proud Puppy Parent

I’ve been a new puppy mom for 2 weeks now, and good god, I question whether I would have it in me to bear and raise a human child. The funny thing is, the new pooch – Oscar – is a really, really good dog. He’s good-tempered, friendly but not wild, very calm as puppies go, sleeps through most nights without a peep, seems quite intelligent, and doesn’t try to destroy things he shouldn’t.

But still, as a friend said, puppyhood is hard.

There was the evening he peed on the carpet four times. FOUR TIMES. The door to the back yard is THREE FEET away and I’d been losing my mind all day taking him out (LITERALLY) ever 10 to 15 minutes. Try getting anything at all accomplished when you’re interrupted every 10 minutes. And those two nights in a row when he had us up with his crying. Bathing his rear end after bouts of the squirts. The times when he just won’t freaking chill out and stay in the same room so I can continue a train of thought for more than two seconds.

But we’re figuring out how to take care of him and keep our sanity. I’m learning that when he stands outside my office door and stares at me silently, it means he wants food. When he barks and jumps around spastically for no apparent reason, he’s telling me he needs to go out to take a dump RIGHT NOW. After nearly two weeks without a solid poo in sight, a grain-free, chicken-free dog food has things much improved.

We’re learning, and so is he.

And in any case he is a-freakin-dorable.



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