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June 13th, 2017 at 08:19 am

Time slows down for no one and I am no exception. I can't believe my last entry was February.

Lots of things have happened and hopefully I can recap goings-on.

DS2 moved out back in February to live with his grandparents (my parents). Needless to say it was prompted by a disagreement between him and DH but since then things between them have improved. It was a very tense time and I hope to not re-live that again.

DH and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary and we went to London. Wow! We loved it there and we even saw Queen Elizabeth. It was a fluke because we were just meandering around until we reached Buckingham Palace. Then next thing, her motorcycle detail drove out to the street to block traffic then her green car (Bentley?)drove out slowly. We actually saw her face! What a thrill!

We took a bunch of photos on DH's cell phone. When we came home, we showed a few then we decided to transfer the photos to our laptop so we can create an album. Well, somehow, the photos did not transfer and we lost all the photos. We are trying one more thing and if that doesn't recover the photos, then they are lost. Needless to say that I am devastated about that. All the fun we had and nothing to share.

So.... Here is some advice from a hard lesson learned for those about to embark on a trip of a lifetime like we did: backup your photos somehow, like upload them in the cloud, Facebook, email to yourself each day of your trip.

Another lesson learned: Walking in a metro city is not the same as walking in your neighborhood. It is more intensive, so if you are middle-aged and chubby like me, or simply not accustomed to lots of fast pace walking on sidewalks, side-stepping, mini-sprinting so you don't get hit by a car ... don't underestimate how bad you will feel at the end of the day. Be sure to pack some muscle cream or those back patches. And take care of your feet. By the end of our trip, even with comfy shoes with good support, my feet looked like I trekked the globe barefoot. Take an extra pair of shoes with support inserts. I plan to bring one of those little inflatable foot tubs and some Epsom salt next time I travel.

Crossing the street? Look RIGHT first! If you look down at the sidewalk curb, you will see that printed as a friendly reminder!

In England, they don't use washcloths so be sure to bring if you use them for showering.

I don't know where people there do their laundry because we did not see one single laundry mat in London and our hotel didn't have one. A good thing we brought one of those Tide Pods with us. I punctured it and poured the detergent in a ziplock bag. With that we did our laundry in the sink.

The Oyster Card is a must-have to get around. The tube is remarkably easy to use. It was DH preferred way to get around.

We flew with Norweigan Airlines and we recommend it. They don't fly from our own airport so we drove a couple of hours away to the airport they fly from.

Trip Cancelled

September 16th, 2016 at 01:13 pm

Breakfast: Kodiak cake, ham and eggs, coffee, orange juice
Lunch: Peanut butter sandwich on 1 slice of bread
Dinner: Chinese Buffee
Extra food: Rum and coke

Trip cancelled because the train was 5 hours late. It was actually 9 hours late. When I got the first call, my folks and I agreed we should go ahead and cancel. This wasn't a good week anyway and I didn't want to tempt fate.

Superstitious? You tell me...
1. Uncle has a fall and is depending on us.
2. Mom keeps "generic gifts" stored away, and this week she looked throughout the house and couldn't find them.
3. Mom also chips a tooth on Wednesday so she had to see the dentist for repair yesterday.
4. The train is super delayed.
5. Today is full moon (harvest moon), which I don't know if it also means it is more powerful than the ordinary full moon but everyone is on edge (including me).

Suffice it to say, it was not a favorable time for traveling as much more could go wrong. We are planning for October.

In the meantime, I did an inspection that my son was going to do so I earned $50. Yes!

Preparing for Trip

September 15th, 2016 at 04:56 am

Breakfast: overnight oats with coffee
Lunch: Ham, egg and cheese omelet with 1 slice of toast
Dinner: nothing
Extra Food: chocolate

Topped off the gas tank on Monday
Can't think of anything else.

I was busy yesterday (and tired)! I picked up a book about first ladies from the library to read on the train to Miami. I finally started packing for my small trip over to Miami with my parents. DH told me last night that he would be sure to give me some cash so I’m not strapped. My dad is paying for the train fare and hotel. Fortunately, we won’t have to go to Naples because my aunt and uncle will be coming to Miami instead. My uncle is the reason for the visit so this makes it much easier for us.

Earlier this week, my uncle fell. He is doing better but he is now using a walker for support. My mom chipped a tooth yesterday so she will see the dentist today and hopefully repairs can be made. Tonight I go to the gym and workout with my new personal trainer.

Things to do:
Pack, do my nails (I do my own), wash and style my hair, print out train tickets and hotel confirmation.

Busy Saturday

September 10th, 2016 at 04:39 am

Yeseterday health:
Breakfast: Overnight oats and coffee
Lunch: Greek yogurt plain and frozen blueberries
Snack: none
Dinner: Beef stew with rice, plantains, and crackers.
Extra food: chocolate candy (disappointing willpower!)
Broke my plateau!

No spend day Smile
Watched TV Frown

Things to do today:
Side biz - two inspections this morning.

Make reservations for the Amtrak and the hotel for Miami. My dad does not like to plan things too far in advance. He finally gave the ok to do it last night. We leave on next Friday and return Monday.

My mom wants to go shopping for a new blouse. I'm in the market for a new blouse and shoes. We'll go shopping this afternoon.

Some laundry and prepare dinner.

Happy Labor Day and Weekend Trip Budget

September 5th, 2016 at 04:44 am

Happy Labor Day in the USA! We are going to the beach to say good-bye to the summer! We are packing a cooler with sandwiches, potato chips, sodas and water. No plans to spend any money today except to top off the fuel tank.

Breakfast: Ham & Egg omelet with toast, coffee, and good belly
2nd breakfast: none
Lunch: peanut butter sandwich
Dinner: Fetuccini Alfredo with shrimp and garlic bread
Extra food: banana

Grocery shopping
Home maintenance items at Home Depot (salt for our water softener, AC filters, faucet handle and replacement washers for the shower).

DH and I had a discussion about our financial future. Topics we explored are how to earn extra income – passively, toward paying off our debts and saving for retirement. I think we are finally getting on the same page. Now we have to put together a strategy. I pulled out my textbooks when I took a financial planning course (I was going to change careers and be a financial planner but I decided against it.). However, the course was very eye-opening and I got insight from the financial planner’s side – one that the average consumer doesn’t see. So I will spend some time studying on how the best approach to move our 401k funds leftover from our previous employers and figuring out how to properly reinvest it. We are thinking about real estate. Lots of research ahead!

Weekend Trip Estimates:
Meals: 4 days x 2 meals per day = 8 meals x $15 per meal=$120 x 3 adults = $360 (I’m estimating high).
Transport round trip for 3 adults = $158
Hotel 3 nights at $125 = $375
Rental car 3 days @ $35 per day = $105
Total estimated for trip = $998 (ok $1,000)

Remember, I offered to pay for the meals and my dad will pay for transport and hotel. Hopefully we won’t be eating that expensively and we won’t need to rent a car.

Upcoming Weekend Trip

September 2nd, 2016 at 06:03 am

Well, Hermine came and went. Our household is fortunate that our power only blinked. We woke up to a windy day. DH and I have the day off so a four day weekend. My prayers for those in its path as it goes north. Sorry she had to come to ruin your holiday weekend Frown

Health yesterday:
Breakfast: Overnight Oats and coffee
2nd breakfast: none!
Lunch: Greek salad and apple
Dinner: Chicken pot pie
Extra food: Plain low-fat greek yogurt with frozen blueberries, cheese, a glass of wine.
Workout: 30 minutes cardio on bike and personal trainer workout (arms).

Financial: No spend day.

Weekend Trip:
In a couple of weeks I will be going to Miami and Naples, Florida with my parents for a three day visit. DF will stay home as this isn’t really a pleasure trip. We are going to see my aunts and uncles, one who has Alzheimer’s.

My dad said he would pay for everything. I offered to pay for our meals and he conceded (thankfully). We are going by Amtrak (www.amtrak.com). So he’ll pay for transportation and lodging and I will take care of our meals. At least the hotel has complimentary breakfast so lunch and dinner is all I need to worry about.

I don’t think we will need a rental car as my aunt will be available to drive us wherever we need to go. If for some reason we do need a rental car, I think I can get a little compact car to bop around in. I need to budget carefully. My rule of thumb is to set a budget and then add 10%.