Thursday, July 28, 2016

July Winding Down

I was supposed to have jury duty this week but it got cancelled which is a huge relief.  Last week was really busy.  I had multiple stressful events happening every day.  Now, singly, they were not that stressful, but trying to fit them in around work was tough. 

On Monday I got up early to take my mother to the airport for her trip to San Diego.  I made it to work just in time. 

Tuesday, I took my nephew to his high school to pick up his school supplied laptop and pay all the fees.  I got to work an hour and a half late.  After work, we finished up my nephew's required night driving practice. 

Wednesday, my nephew had his driving test which didn't involve me but I was nervous about it anyway since whether we lived in the house or the mobile home depended on his success. He passed!!!  Wednesday afternoon I left early to take both of us to the dentist (no cavities for either one!) and then a friend of a friend needed a place to stay with his two dogs so I arranged for him to stay in my mobile home (more on that later). 

Thursday, I took my nephew to the motor vehicles department to get his official license.  There was a 1 in 5 chance that he would have to take the driving test again since he had a professional driving instructor, the MVD likes to re-test the students to see if they are being taught correctly, but he did not have to, much to his relief.

Meanwhile, at work, the server crashed so that things that we did were not getting saved.  This worked out well for me since no one expected me to do much for the rest of the week.  On Friday, I picked my mother up from the airport and took her home.  Whew, the week was over...but wait, my former college roommate from Texas happened to be in Phoenix with her mother for a funeral so they drove down to my house and stayed Friday and Saturday nights.  It was great to see them and we had a lot of fun catching up on the last 10 years since we had seen each other.  I should really get out there to visit her again.

It's Thursday already and July is almost over. We went to the open house at my nephew's high school to meet his teachers. They seemed a little nicer than last year but who knows. It's only been a week. As I was following him home, I saw the back brake light out. I sent him off to get a new bulb and we changed it together. I am thrilled at his newly found sense of responsibility and interest in keeping his truck maintained. Maybe this weekend I will show him how to take the inner door panel off so that we can fix the remote door lock again.  He would like that since having to remember to lock it manually is a pain.

10 more months of high school! I hope we accomplish everything I have planned and more.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Too Hot to Cook

It's been hot.  105, 107, who cares, it's just hot.  Every once in a while I think, "I should bake something or cook something" and then I remember how hot it is especially with just an evaporative cooler and no air conditioning.  I'm stubborn though.  I won't spend thousands of dollars to get air conditioning.  I just complain about it being hot while loving my low electric bills.

Anyway, I had an abundance of cherry tomatoes from my plants that are as tall as the roof and I decided to make sauce out of them.  I now know why people don't typically make sauce out of cherry tomatoes.  There isn't much to them.  I cut them in half and simmered them until they looked soft.  Then I took my stick blender and chopped them up.  I tasted it.  Too bitter with all the seeds.  So, I strained out the seeds but that also strained out most of the skins and pulp.  I was left with tomato juice.  I added a small can of tomato paste along with spices and I had sauce again.  I'm not sure how much of it was actually from my tomatoes.


Well, at least I used up a lot of cherry tomatoes.  The hornworms attacked the plant and trimmed it down for me.  I only get a dozen tomatoes a week now.  I'm sure it will bounce back when the weather gets cooler and I will be drowning in cherry tomatoes again

My other cooking experiment entailed a bright idea I got while watching a video on Panko chicken.  I bought Panko breadcrumbs a few weeks back but hadn't been brave enough to try them.  I didn't have any thawed chicken so I thought I could Panko some summer squash and zucchini.  It seemed like a good idea until the pan started smoking.


I attempted to eat them anyway but it was like eating tasteless squash with burnt toast.  Luckily, I didn't Panko all of the vegetables.  I tossed the rest with olive oil and JoJo seasoning and it was delicious.  No Panko needed.

I think I will stop trying to be creative in the kitchen until it is under 80 degrees outside.  That might not be until November.  My nephew is returning the day after tomorrow and I will have to plan dinners again.  Idealy he will help me.  I rarely eat dinner and prefer to eat lunch as my main meal.  It should be easier to make meals this school year since we are at the house, not the mobile home with just a 2 burner stove top which couldn't be on at the same time as the microwave.  He has been visiting his grandfather in Minnesota and his aunt in California.  Maybe he will have some new meal ideas.  That's probably expecting too much.  I have asked him what he eats at other people's houses and he can't remember.  I made lasagna from scratch once and served it with Stouffer's lasagna.  He ate them both and couldn't remember which he liked better.  I don't think this is something I can win.  I'll just try to teach him to make a few things so he doesn't end up living on cereal and bologna sandwiches.  One more year and then he can go live on cafeteria food at college.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

What's in a Mutt?

Ever since I got my first foster dog, I have been curious about their breed or mix of breed.  I never had a dog as a child and didn't start fostering dogs until I was 38.  Or maybe it was 37, I can't remember.  Anyway, after getting the first few foster dogs adopted out, I got a 5 month old goofy puppy named Jimbo.  I wanted a dog for myself.  One that wouldn't leave.  One that could show the other dogs the house rules.  The name didn't fit but I wanted to keep it similar so I named him Jimmy.  My mother objected because my father's name is Jim and she calls him Jimmy so, to differentiate, Jimmy the dog became Jimmy-Dog.  That is his official name on his dog tag.  Sometimes we would call my dad, Jimmy-Dad, just to be clear who we were talking about.

Jimmy-Dog all grown up.
I have always wanted to know what breed of mutt Jimmy-Dog is.  The pound had labled him Rottweiler but I didn't think so.  He bayed like a hound, had the neck folds like a hound, had the hair like an Australian Shepherd, and had the coloring of a black and tan Australian Cattle Dog.  DNA tests aren't cheap.  They run around $70 and up.  But Jimmy-Dog won't be around forever and I knew I would regret it if I never found out.

For my birthday this year, I bought a Wisdom Panel DNA test and sent it in.  Guess What?

37.5% Bloodhound
25% Austr. Cattle Dog
25% Austr. Shepherd
And a little bit Chow Chow

I knew it!  Well, I wasn't sure which kind of hound but I had just visited a friend with a pure Bloodhound and I was noticing the similarities.  


It was expensive but I'm glad I did it.  I used credit ard rewards points so it didn't affect my budget and now the question has been answered.  Will I buy another test for my other dogs?  Probably not, even though Wisdom Panel gave me a $15 off coupon.  It's tempting but Jimmy-Dog was the only one I was really curious about.   One less thing on my want list.  Now I can go back to saving for finishing the barn-shed, installing rainwater catchment, and planning an awesome dog yard.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

New Toys

I'm trying out my new bluetooth keyboard for my Kindle today.  First, I forgot my password for this blog.  I know, I know, dementia already.  I had my password saved for my desktop computer, my phone, and my netbook so I rarely had to type it.  Then my netbook started to get slower and slower until it quit working.  I made do by typing blog posts on my lunch break and emailing them to my phone where I would upload photos and the text at night.  And my posts got rarer and rarer because remembering to write a post at work was hard.  Tonight, I decided to try the Kindle for posts and I was stymied for an hour trying to remember my password.  I eventually did though (obviously) and this little keyboard is working great.

Now, for the rest of the story.  After we got back from our trip to Washington state and all of the components arrived for my mother's new computer, I put it all together at her house.  It went together easily.  I went with a Chromebit (which I had never heard of until I started looking for a cheap computer).  It was only $85 and plugs in to either a HDMI port on a TV or a monitor.  I spent $99 on the fancy monitor.  It is used through Amazon and much larger than she needs but it was the cheapest I could find with HDMI.  The keyboard, mouse, and USB hub were $10-$12 each.  


The reason I picked a Chromebit was because my mother only browses the internet, uses email, and watches an occasional news video.  The Chromebit runs Google Chrome and any app that we want.  If any piece breaks it is cheaper to replace than a whole computer tower or laptop.  It has it's own virus protection too so no downloading software or updating or running scans.  The speaker that I bought was not compatible because there is nowhere to plug in audio cords.  I bought a bluetooth speaker and it works ok but there was a big lag when trying to play Netflix or Amazon movies.  I don't know what the problem is, maybe it's her internet speed, but she watches movies on the TV in her living room so that isn't a big problem.  I also gave her my printer which was fancy and brand new last year.  I bought it for my nephew to use at the mobile home but it never got out of the box.  It is perfect for my mother's set up because it is a wifi printer and, after some frustration, I got it hooked up to print from the Google Cloud.

Since my mother has a large computer to play with, she gave the Kindle back to me which I had purchased for $40 for the trip.  After some research, I stumbled on a trick to load the Google Play Store on to the Kindle which basically gives it the same functionality as my netbook.  With the bluetooth keyboard, I have a very inexpensive blogging machine.  Now I have no excuse not to post, except laziness.


And I should mention my other new toy.  My Fitbit Zip.  I saw some Fitbits at Kohl's and asked my nephew if he wanted on for his birthday.  I didn't know much about them and the display was difficult to understand.  I went home and looked them up on the website and then looked for the cheapest one available.  I found the Zip on Ebay for around $35, shipping included.  I bid on one but thought that I had lost it for sure so I moved on to a Buy it Now auction and got that one for my nephew.  It arrived and I went back to Ebay to leave feedback.  I noticed 4 messages that seemed urgent.  Turns out I had won the first auction and the person wanted their money.  I apologized, paid, and they shipped it to me.  


So, that's how I got my very own Zip.  I've been having fun with it, counting steps and logging food.  I've lost 3 pounds already and fit back in a pair of jeans that were too tight. 

When I wasn't researching computer components and buying a million things from Amazon, I was cleaning and organizing.  The pile of cardboard boxes in the living room went to the recycle bin.


This was one of those chores that I couldn't hide from as it grew bigger and bigger every day.


I gave away one bag of clothes and a vacuum today.  It is so convenient to have curbside pickup for donations once a month.  I will miss that when I move out to my property.  I cleaned out my dresser and entry closet.  I have so much more to do but so little time before my nephew comes back next week and school starts again.  I hope to continue the progress.  Maybe I'll have more free time this year since my nephew should be able to drive himself around soon.  Next year I won't have any excuses.  My nephew will go off to college and I will be in home sale mode.  I'll have to get rid of stuff or make it fit in the already full mobile home.

It's after 10pm now and I am tired.  This keyboard and Kindle together are awesome.  I'm so glad I thought of this instead of spending another $150 on a netbook. 



Monday, June 27, 2016

Mortgage Update for June 2016

Another $1,200 contribution to the principle of my mortgage for a total of $32,099.  1 year 10 months to go.  It is great to have this break from thinking about my nephew's school progress, but, with the extra room in my brain, I have started thinking about how I can speed up my plan.  Nothing has worked out so far.  When I have to consider another person in my plans, it is best to just continue as I am doing.

Here are some of the things I thought:

Get a cash-out refinance because my current interest rate is 4.5% and the 15 year interest rate is 2.8%.  Take out $20K, fix up the kitchen and master bath in my house and be ready to sell (or rent it out) as soon as he leaves for college next year.

Or, the super-fast forward version:  Take out $50K, pay back my mother for the barn-shed, fix up the house to sell, finish off the barn-shed interior.  Everything finished by the time he goes to college.

But, from what I read, cash-out refinances are not a good choice because of the high closing costs.  Home equity lines of credit are a better choice because there are no closing costs.

Ok, so a home equity line of credit would work for the kitchen and bath remodel.  But then I went out to the property to get the mail and check on the cat food/water.  In the mail was a big packet for BACK TO SCHOOL.  Medical forms, open house, meetings, deadlines, fundraisers, senior, choir and youth group activities, yearbooks, cap and gowns, HOMEWORK!  My brain suddenly froze up and those lofty ideas of doing remodeling while having a full time job and parenting a senior in high school flew away.  I should stick to my plan of paying off my mortgage and downsizing until he is 18 years old and securely planted in college.  One more year and then I can revisit my options for accelerating semi-retirement.   We can do this!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Travels and Travails

I'm back from Washington state!  It was a rushed trip with very little down time but that was good because I wanted to get back home.  Let's start with last Wednesday.  I got my 40 pounds of chicken breasts.  The 40 pounds of chicken thighs which I got last month, arrived flash frozen.  I expected them to be not frozen.  So, I thought the breasts might be flash frozen too.  My plan was to toss them in the freezer at my mobile home and get back to work.  They were not frozen so luckily, I had a box of freezer bags there and I stuffed the chicken in all of the bags.  That was done and I rushed back to work. 

On Thursday, my mother came to my house to spend the night before our trip.  Friday morning, my mother, nephew and I loaded up her car and we drove to the Phoenix airport because Southwest Airlines does not fly between Tucson and Phoenix on the days we wanted.  After not being able to find the economy parking lot 3 times, we ended up in $25/day parking but my mother graciously paid. 

This is how we found our car when we returned. Took a picture of the parking map. It worked well.

 We made it to the gate and my nephew and I went on a hunt for lunch food.  Once on the plane, I pulled out the Kindle Fire that I bought for my mother with this trip in mind.  There is a whole story behind that which I should tell you.  Here's the short version:
Mom's computer dies.
I look for computer alternatives and find a Chrome Bit for $85. (It's a Google computer that runs apps)
I try to buy all of the components on Amazon needed to turn a Chrome Bit in to a complete computer.
I need something to add to my order to get free shipping.
I see a Kindle Fire on sale for $40.
I think this might be good for the trip and as an interim way for my mother to get her email.
I start to think that Amazon Prime might be a good idea.
I sign up for Amazon Prime and cancel my mother's Netflix since she can use mine (I have the 2 screen plan).

Ok, so, I downloaded some movies on to the Kindle.  Unfortunately, I didn't think to buy noise cancelling headphones so my mother could not hear the movie on the plane.  I worked great for me though.  She was able to take it home and get it connected to her wifi so she has email access until I bring her Chrome Bit down tomorrow.

My sister was waiting to pick us up from the airport and drive us another hour and 45 minutes to the rehearsal dinner where we met the groom's family.  The next day was the wedding.  Simple and sweet, the bride bought her dress for $11 at the thrift store.  Sounds like something I would do.  There was a brunch reception and then off to pick up a headstone for my father's grave.  Yes, we mixed a wedding and burial in the same weekend.  That night was a barbeque at my other sister's house.  The next day was the burial and then ice cream and good-bye's to everyone. 

My nephew stayed another night with my sister while my mother and I went home.  It was 112 degrees at 7pm in Phoenix when we landed.  We got home around 9:30pm and I was so happy to be home.  My nephew is now safely at his grandfather's house in Minnesota and I have 3 weeks of not having to think about another person's wants and needs.  Maybe I can get some cleaning and organizing done around the house, that is, if I don't squander my free time watching all the free TV shows and movies that I now have access to on Amazon Prime!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

My Enthusiasm for Painting has Dwindled

I had high hopes for last week but, sadly, it didn't cooperate.  Thursday was good.  After work I picked up my nephew and we met my sister for dinner.   Afterwards, we went to her hotel for some lovely night swimming, or I should say "floating" because that is mainly what we did.  I took a vacation day on Friday and my sister gamely met me at 8am out at my property for more painting fun.  I was excited to try out my new paint sprayer.  Unfortunately, I didn't read all of the reviews so I missed the part where it doesn't work well with latex paint.  The description said "thinned latex paint" but when I thinned it, it was so thin that it didn't cover and just dripped everywhere.  After 3 hours of messing with it, I switched to a brush to get the edges covered before I roasted in the sun. 


I still didn't get the upper panel done in the back.  My sister was a big help and painted the groves on the south side of the barn-shed.  That afternoon it rained.  Oh well, The back side is just going to have to wait until I have time to go out there again.  Later on I read all the reviews for the paint sprayer.  The one I bought cost $75 and the one that says it can spray latex costs $130.  I don't think I want to even try another sprayer.  I was just as messy with a sprayer as I was with a brush and I worked at about the same speed. 

I had also scheduled a permit inspection to close out the current permit which is just for the barn-shed to be legal on my property.  I waited until noon but no inspector showed up.  On Saturday, I remembered to check the inspection results online.  It said FAILED.  The reason was that the inspector couldn't find the address and said that I didn't answer my phone.  That is so frustrating!  I never got a call and this was the same inspector as last time so you would think he would know where it was or use google maps or something.  Next time I will have to leave explicit instructions on the recorded message and hope that he can find it.

Besides those two disappointing things, we have been trying to get my nephew's 10 hours of night driving practice done before he goes on his summer travels.  As of today we have 2 1/2 hours left and we plan to do an hour tonight.  He has come such a long way since those first terrifying trips back in February.  A friend wants me to drive around with her son who is learning to drive because she is too nervous.  I can't say I'm eager to do that.

Tomorrow I need to sneak out of work for an hour while I go pick up my Zaycon Fresh 40 pounds of chicken and stuff it in my freezer in my mobile home.  I'll sort it in to smaller bags when I return from my niece's wedding.  Good thing I have 2 freezers because the one at the house is already full of chicken thighs.  So much to do and organize!  I thought my life was going to slow down when school got out but so far it hasn't happened.  

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Summer Inferno Days

June opened up the furnace on Arizona.  To be fair, May was exceptionally nice in the weather department.  It was 112F this week but I don't feel like I can complain because I heard it was 120 in Phoenix.  Once, when I lived in Yuma, it was 123.  It's not much difference to me if it is 110 or 120.  As long as I can hide inside I'm fine.  The humidity is beginning to creep up in anticipation of the summer rains.  40% humidity probably doesn't sound like much to most of you but I can tell that the evaporative cooler is not working as well and my hair is getting bumpy waves in all the wrong places.  There's even a 20% chance of rain tomorrow through Saturday.  I call it "ponytail season" for the next 8 weeks because my hair won't hold a curl from the curling iron and it will look like I just rolled out of bed.  The only way to make it look half decent is put it in a ponytail.  I also get the urge to chop it short this time of year, as if cutting off the bumpy waves would help somehow.  I've tried it before, it doesn't help.

My wild and crazy sunflower.
Last Saturday was nice.  I got up early, fed the dogs, watered the plants, and went back to bed.  Around 1pm, I decided to get my errands done.  First stop, Goodwill.  I was looking for a dress or skirt for the upcoming wedding.  I found one dress for $4.  Next, the hardware store for one more gallon of yellow paint and 3 more turnbuckles for the barn-shed tie-downs.  Then, the feed store for turkey food for my quail.  I should be keeping track of how much my quail cost me but I haven't done it.  I can't remember when I bought the previous bag of food.  With the errands done, my nephew and I watched The Matrix because he had never seen it. 

My nephew needs 20 hours of day driving experience and 10 hours of night driving at the minimum.  We have plenty of day driving time but the night driving time is harder to get because it doesn't get dark until 8pm and I don't like going out at night.  So far we have 4 hours.  It is going to take some effort to get those last 6 hours since he is going to visit family for 3 1/2 weeks and I want him to get his license before school starts on July 22nd.  If that doesn't happen, guess what?  We'll be going out to the mobile home again so he can ride the bus until he gets his license.  It wouldn't be that bad but it is a pain to have to pull the window A/C's in every time it rains at the mobile home.  I prefer to not do that again.  It's only the window in his bedroom that has that problem.  If I built an awning over it, it would probably fix the problem.  Oh, and if I used something to block above the A/C unit that was waterproof instead of a piece of paneling inside a garbage bag.  But, really, if he gets his license in time, we can stay at the house and won't have any of those problems.

Ok, enough rambling.  I'm hoping to take Friday off so that my sister can help me finish painting the barn-shed.  It will be nice to get that done before the rain.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Cooler Fun

Last Thursday, when we loaded up the luggage and dogs for the last time of Junior year, we arrived at the house in town to find water dripping off the roof.  If it had been raining, this would have been normal, but it wasn't raining.  After unloading the car, I got out the short ladder and looked for the source.  I saw a spray of water coming from the evaporative cooler.  Since I had already taken the tall ladder back out to the property, the only thing I could do was turn off the water and wait.  The next day after work, I drove out to the property to get the ladder.  I didn't get around to climbing on the roof until Saturday and I couldn't find anything obviously wrong.  I went back down, turned on the water, climbed back up and saw water spraying from where the copper tubing goes in to the cooler.  I moved it and it sprayed more water and I could see a hole, then the tubing broke off.  I turned off the water again and attempted to unscrew the fitting but the water float on the inside of the cooler just spun around.  That's when I knew I needed to call the professionals.  Of course, it was 4pm on a Saturday on a holiday weekend so they couldn't come out until Tuesday.  Luckily, the temperatures were only in the low 90's and not 108 like they predict for next weekend.

It was hot in the afternoons and I remembered that I had a broken portable cooler in the shed.  I got it out, cleaned it off and re-attached the water pump hose.  Ahhh....it worked and we had cool air for the living room, at least.  On Monday, my mother, nephew and I went back to the mobile home and collected up all of our things like food, clothes, and bedding, and cleaned as much as we could.  I nailed a board over the dog door and I hope that keeps any critters out.  I covered the south windows with extra sheets and insulation.  


There is more that I want to do, like reinforce the areas where pipes come through the walls (which is where a mouse got in) and put an awning of some sort over the door that leaks when it rains.  But 108 degrees makes me lethargic (and it hasn't even happened yet).

On Tuesday, I used a vacation day and took my nephew to get his 4 wisdom teeth extracted.  He was a sad puppy for 5 hours and then up, eating and playing video games after that.  He didn't even ask for pain medicine last night.  I know they say that the younger the better but that was amazing.  I hope the rest of his recovery goes as smoothly.  The cooler repairmen arrived at noon, replaced the copper tubing and the float and gave me a bill for $102.  Ouch, but at least it is working.  I got a nap since my room was cool again and my mother even helped pick up dog poop in the yard.  Thanks Mom!  Today I am back at work and looking forward to another weekend coming soon!  I don't have any plans outside the house so I hope I can get more de-cluttering done.  We already cleaned out both of our closets and gave the clothes to a friend.  Next, maybe I can tackle all of those surfaces that attract mail, broken things, and cool doohickies that I will definitely use one day!

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Mortgage Update for May 2016

Mortgage update and last day of junior year for my nephew!  (I wrote this on Thursday) He wanted to know when he is considered a senior, after the last day of school or on the first day of senior year?  I said after the last day of school assuming he passed all of his classes.  Next school year is going to be a very busy, fun and scary year for him as he makes his way towards college and independence. 

I put another extra $1,200 towards the principle of my mortgage.  New total is $33,542.  1 year and 11 months left at this rate.  It is very tempting to stop the extra mortgage repayment and work on new projects instead but the heat will probably deter me for a few months, at least.  I find myself often watching youtube videos on installing a metal roof on a mobile home and dreaming of block walls for a secure yard and garden.  All in good time.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Almost Over

So many responsibilities... Next month will slow down, right?  Nope.  The days just keep filling up.  Last Monday I attended my nephew's choir performance.  It was nice but long.  On Wednesday, I brought my mother to the airport for her flight to California.  On Friday, my nephew and I went to his awards banquet for choir.  They said it would be 3 hours.  I thought it might end early.  It ended up being 4 1/2 hours long and I got home at 11pm.  My nephew stayed for the all night movie lock-in while I went back to the mobile home and set my alarm for 7am so that I could pick him up at 8am sharp.  We loaded up the car with luggage and dogs and drove to the house where I took a nap and he didn't crash until 4pm.  Then, I met my sister for dinner.  She was driving through on her way to vacation in Texas.  On Sunday, I finally tired of looking at my nephew's tattered and paint splattered shoes and took him to Kohl's where for $130 we bought shoes and two pairs of jeans, one black and one dark blue, which he can wear to dressy-casual affairs such as the up-coming wedding of his cousin.  The items were on sale but, still, I hate spending that much money on clothes.

Sunday night we drove back out to the mobile home for the last time of the junior year (and hopefully forever if my plans go well).  This is finals week until Thursday and then we get to go back to the house for a long time.  It will be nice to give my brain a break although I seem to be coming up with all sorts of plans for the property now that it is too hot to do anything out there.  Building a deck, planting trees, finishing the skirting...  All of that needs to wait for later.  What I really need to do is finish painting the barn-shed, figure out how to make the tie-downs tighter (I'm not sure if they need to be tight or not), and put some sort of drip edge over the front door in an attempt to keep rain from leaking in like it did last year.

June is filling up now and I don't even want to think about July because school starts up again in July.  So, I will just think about this Thursday, the last day of school, and be happy for a little while.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Another Year

I celebrated my 44th birthday on Wednesday.  There wasn't much actual celebrating because Wednesdays don't allow for such frivolity if I want to be able to stay awake at my desk the next day.  My co-workers and I went out for ice cream sundaes at lunch.  I love ice cream but if I don't eat it almost totally melted I get horrible tooth/nerve pain around a half an hour after I eat it, thus I was in pain for an hour or so afterwards.  I did finally take some Tylenol, which helped.  After work I stopped by the house to do the usual watering of the plants/quail, filling of water jugs, and collecting the mail.  I also got the tall ladder that I used to get on the roof because I need it back at the property if I am ever going to finish painting the barn-shed.

Birthdays always make me melancholy since my plans are usually based on my age.  I want to be retired by 43. No I'm already 44.  45 probably not.  47 maybe?  I have two more years to pay my mortgage at an accelerated rate plus $8K to pay back my mother and $8K I hope to contribute to my nephew's college.  Today at work there was more grumbling about our new boss because he was hired to cut costs.  Everything is getting scrutiny which makes people squirm.  I probably shouldn't be writing this from my work computer.  Thoughts go through my head like, what if I was laid off now?  What would I do?  Would I sell the house, rent out the house?  Get another full time job?  I despise looking for jobs so I hope to hang on to this one for another 3 years at least.  Job unrest, political unrest, stock market unrest, plus another year older.  I think I want to take a nap.