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I got the promotion!

August 14th, 2018 at 04:03 am

After a 90 minute interview last Thursday they called me on my drive home (same day) and offered me the position! I am now a second level program manager. Start date is a little floopy because I have two major projects I want to ensure are finished not leave my team hanging. So I start August 27 but am borrowed back by old program for about 4 weeks, leave for my two weeks of vacation, then start only that position October 3.

They offered the job and I asked for 3 days before they put it into the HR system to allow me time to tell my team myself and to give notice to my boss and boss above him. I was able to tell my team on Friday and the bosses too. So happy to be leaving.

Raise should be 5% minimum (state policy). It may be more as they can request it and I am not sure yet - we are discussing. I am keeping my estimates for take home salary the same until I get my first paycheck because we have a new deduction for health insurance in retirement that has to come out of paychecks now too so that is wrecking my estimates and the state hasn't updated the calculator employees can use to figure out paychecks yet.

Having to clean out my office after three years is a little hard. I still have boxes from the painting of the offices last fall (had to box up everything in the office for the painters). So I emptied two of those boxes today and have 6 more to look through. Then I need to look at the two small filing cabinets (4 drawers total) and pack my personal items.

I don't know what my office looks like. I hope to have a window because I 've been in an internal office for three years with only natural light for a couple hours a day through a small window by the door. I hope to see it this week to get an idea.

New roommate moves in on the 25th then immediately goes to Canada for work for a week. He also has a two week trip to south America for work in October completely opposite my trips. This job could have me traveling up to 80% of my time beginning in December-January because it is for recovery from emergencies. My plan is to live on the per diem the state pays ($46/day) and bank my paychecks as much as possible.
So we will see what happens when the travel starts.

I am excited and nervous because I have to develop position duty statements for 6 employees. This is a whole brand new unit never done before.

So...I have a promotion I have worked for years for! I could retire at this level but I do want to promote one more time. That would be the highest civil service position we have without being an appointed position and would be a great retirement. I hit my 20 in 6 years but that would put me at 50 to early to retire. So working to 58 means 28+ years of time. about 14 year to go.

weekend updates

August 6th, 2018 at 10:21 pm

Was a quiet weekend as I am house sitting for a long time client. She paid for the last sit (she forgot to send it) and the current sit before she left but miss counted and missed one night. I’ll follow up with her when she returns.

I did go home yesterday for most of the day so that I could get chores done – laundry mostly but also some outside work while still cool and less smoky. I did clean out three drawers in the kitchen and moved silverware, towels, and miscellaneous items into new drawers in preparation for the new roommate. I still need to tackle the pantry, freezer, and the garage (recycling, moving some things into new areas, making better space for the lawn mower, clearing out his small storage area, etc.). My sister may be moving into a new apartment so she could be taking all the stuff from the garage to the new place which would open up quite a bit of space.

I still need to cut the grass but was not feeling up to it yesterday. I am still getting over the vertigo luckily, the front yard is still looking great. It is getting long in the back but looks fuller. I am not sure why the front isn’t growing like the back; I may mulch instead of bag the front yard area when I cut it next Sunday and see if that helps – more nitrogen and food as it decomposes.

I spent around $18 in cash and $20 in a gift card for pizza and salad on Saturday. It turned into three meals so that was nice. No spending yesterday.
I slept poorly last night so am very tired today. The dog was restless all night keeping me up. Tonight I may use earplugs and certainly go to bed early. I also have a drop in for a client after work for a cat and some watering.

I have a second interview for a promotion on Thursday and a doctor appointment so I am taking the whole day off. Interview is in the afternoon so I have some time to relax and prepare after the doctor in the morning.

I was looking at my schedule for the next couple of months for house sitting, work travel, and vacation. I have 4 pet sitting nights next week, a Labor Day weekend sit, a business trip starting September 16th and return on the 18th. I leave on the 19th for a week in Canada (on a 6 am flight so I cannot have any plane trouble coming home for work trip the night before or I will be driving home from So Cal! A wedding September 29th out of town, and then a few dates of house sitting in October. I am hoping for an extra $1000 in the next couple of months.

House sitting gig next week

August 3rd, 2018 at 04:22 am

Found out the vertigo is an inner ear infection. Now on antibiotics.

Have a house sitting gig beginning Saturday through the next weekend. Hoping this will but down on my ac here at my house. I am dreading this next bill because it has been so hot and not cooling down at night. The past two nights have been blissfully cool in the morning. I try to sleep with the windows open so the cool air comes in.

Room mate will sign lease tomorrow. Work intefered with signing it before - lots of fires in California right now.

Planning to take recycling over on Saturday. I have 12 bags! It is always a horrible thing to stand in line but the cash back is nice. I only do it once a year or so though.

Sick Time

August 1st, 2018 at 08:35 pm

What do people who don't have sick time do? They still go to work, get sicker, take longer to recover. I am glad that I have sick time because while the cold is better the vertigo in my inner ears is worse. Crystals on the fine hair of the inner ear affect the balance of the body. I believe I have an inner ear infection of something because I've had low level of vertigo for several weeks. Seeing doctor later.

Payday was yesterday so I will need to pay bills later today.

Still Sick; Came home from work

July 31st, 2018 at 01:53 am

I am still sick. I went into work for a couple of hours then left to come home.

I did a quick grocery shop since I had nothing for lunches for work this week or breakfast. Also bought 2 bottles of vodka to make vanilla for Christmas gifts this year. I ordered grade b vanilla beans (better to make vanilla than grade a) and am waiting for them to arrive. A quick slice down the middle drop into the vodka and let sit for 5 months a viola yummy vanilla for baking. I already have the bottles and red ribbon.

I came home, put away groceries and then slept for 3+ hours. Obviously not feeling well.

I have to go and do a cat drop in sit and water a yard for a my friend (and now client for three weeks). I haven't ear marked the payment yet-need to figure out what I would like to do with it. It may just go into savings for a little while.

I need to trim two plants in my front yard tonight that are blocking the sprinkler heads from two areas of the yard. That is my only goal for today. I need to go to work tomorrow for at least the morning so early to bed. Oh and to put away 3 loads of laundry. I would honestly pay someone to put away the laundry - I never get it completely away.

Weekend Update

July 30th, 2018 at 01:26 am

I didn't have many plans this weekend - just cleaning up the garage, the pantry, and organizing several kitchen cabinets to make space for the renter.

Unfortunately I've picked up a cold someplace and feel horrible. Summer colds are the worst especially when it is over 100 degrees. Today it was only 89 but I suspect that is partly because of the smoke in the air from the two fires closest to me the Redding Carr fire and the Yosemite Ferguson fire. Air quality is bad.

I did work on tax paperwork for the first 7 months of the year. Getting the expenses entered into the spreadsheet and categorized feels good to have so much done. I have about 15 receipts left to do but I am exhausted today. I took an almost 3 hour nap (not fully asleep but not completely awake either.)

I didn't go grocery shopping so I am trying to figure out what to do for breakfast and lunch tomorrow. I may gather enough energy to go to store for eggs and something for lunch but that would mean also taking a shower and I just don't have the energy.

I am happy I got the tax work done yesterday and mostly rested today. Also no AC today so saving some money! The AC had run daily for about 3 weeks. I am happy I have a house sit beginning on the 4th for a week and can turn it off for the week+. My bill is going to be high - this one usually is the highest of the year - but not due until September.

I had two people come out to trim back my hedges in the front and back yards this morning. The gardener usually did it but I needed them cut down so I could reach them. They were over my head and it was not possible for me to cut them. I used Takl the chore company. It took them about 2 hours for cutting all the hedges and taking the scrap away for the dump. It was $100, yard looks much better and I can keep them maintained as they begin to grow again. It looks odd so I may let them grow a bit higher as long as I can reach them to trim them.

Being sick means a really quiet weekend and it was nice.

life updates

July 26th, 2018 at 06:31 pm

Found a roommate! He comes by this evening to sign the lease. He will start to move in August 25th. His first month’s partial rent will go toward several things I’d like to do to the house and a few supplies we are running low on (laundry detergent, cheap printer ink, etc.) Beginning in September all will go toward debt (and a small portion toward utilities).

Plumber stood me up on Monday. I took the day off and they never showed. Let my warranty company know I was very angry that this occurred. Suddenly received a text message that a plumber would be there an hour later (4 hours after the end of the wait time). I called and said he maybe there but I am out to dinner with my family for my birthday. He was mad. I laughed and said don’t even tell me about being mad! They tried to get me to pay the service fee. I laughed. I will not take another day off and the warranty company needs to find someone who can work Saturday between 9-1.

Locks changed in the bedrooms. It is a legal requirement for renter to have his own lock. Slowly I will change out all the door handles in the house from brass to silver. I think I counted 9 that have to be changed out but they are only $12 each.

Will have to clean out the pantry shelves, the kitchen cabinets, and the garage storage area for the new renter. Room and bath are already cleaned and will be again before he moves in. Youngish mid 20’s I think. Seems like a nice guy and all his references came back as super trustworthy.

Got called for the interview for the position I really want. I’ve been told by two friends on that side of the house that it is mine to lose. My name keeps popping up in meetings “She can take care of that when she is here” kind of discussions. I know the program better than anyone. I was told that I knocked the last two interview processes out of the park. I’ve been told that by each of the committee members at the lower two panels and one on the highest. I totally understand they promoted from within for the others. I want this one and I want out of where I am! And if it would allow travel for the project I could actually save quite a bit of money because I would live on the travel per diem. That would be nice!

I still hate cutting the grass. If I get this job and have to travel a lot (50%+) I may find someone to cut the grass every other week or so.

Bought travel insurance for the trip to Canada in September in case I need to cancel the trip for some reason but I know if I get the new job they will honor the time off – it’s been requested for almost a year and I am traveling out of the country.
UFM did not happen with buying the couches and some work I needed to do for having the renter move in. But that is life and all the work if a write off so eventually I’ll get it back next spring.

Some updates

July 11th, 2018 at 08:37 pm

WOW. So much going on.

I sold the leather couches I bought 18 months ago from a house sitting client for more than I paid and was able to buy a new Ikea corner sectional and ottoman (ektorp) for the family room. I wanted a really nice couch but since I am sill interviewing roommate potentials I decided having really nice furniture will have to wait for when I am debt free and no longer having roommates. It took me 5 hours to put together the sectional and tear own the boxes on Sunday. 5 hours! And most of that time was getting it unboxed.

Roommate interviews continue. These people are crazy. One wanted me to have all guests only use the master bathroom so she could have a private bath. One offered $1600 to rent the master bedroom (mortgage is only $1450 so that would be nice) but if the average 1 bedroom apartment is $1000 a month why not get your own space? She had really bad credit and 80k in cc debt. So...nope. Several came smelling of pot and while legal I am a non-smoking non drug property as said in the ad so...nope. One was a great match and we were moving forward and then he was diagnosed with cancer so he decided to go back to his parents. I have three more this week that look good on paper. I am asking for $700 a month ($500 rent and $200 utilities.)

I fired my gardener and bought a lawn mower with the extra money in my utilities account. Because it is so hot the grass is not growing fast so cutting it twice a month seems good. I bought loppers and cut down the miniature peach tree. I also plan to cut down the 4 hedges I have that are over 6 feet to make them about 3.5 feet. Easier to maintain because right now I could not. I fired them because they raised their rates, brought in a new crew and they did not do anything I asked, ate lunch on my patio (I was fine with this) but they left their trash – three weeks in a row. I showed the owner the video tape and he still claimed it was not them – hello – they walked away and went back to work and left their trash all over my patio table. Nope. Done.

I have a new budget with the renter income planned so I know what is going to be paid off first. If I rented a room for 4.5 years all cc debt and student loans are paid off. Then I would save more toward retirement and toward paying off the house. I could have the house paid off around 58-60 which is when I want to retire so that would be nice.

I did not get the two jobs I interviewed for (made to third interviews though)but they promoted from within so that is good. I was asked to apply to several other promotional positions – which I’ve done now waiting for interviews. I really hope one of them comes through. With the state pension it would be beneficial, the extra income is nice, one has me traveling about half time so I would save money by living on the travel per diem which is great. I would have to close the house and pet sitting business though because emergency travel could occur at any time. I’ve significantly cut back on my house sitting the past two years and only work with a few favorite clients. They trust me and know my back up person is my sister or mom but I think it is time to close until I retire.

Going to a friends wedding in Canada this fall. Friends got me a studio in their time share for $550 for the week. The cheapest hotel in this area at the time of the wedding was $250/night. The hotel where the wedding will be held is $600/night American for the room so $550 for the week is great! We will cook breakfast and pack lunches and only have dinners out. We've planned some activities during the week but will play it by ear to see what else comes up. All this was money already saved in my vacation account. Amazon will deliver our food to the timeshare place the day we arrive - great service! We are each putting in $50 for food for breakfast and lunches and snacks (There are 4 of us staying at the same resort.) We've planned the meals already and who is responsible for cooking breakfast for 4 mornings. One morning is the wedding and that has a brunch right after and the last day is breakfast out as a wedding party then we fly home the next day. Looking forward to two weeks off at this time: one for the wedding and one after the wedding.


April 3rd, 2018 at 04:00 am

Turned on the sprinkler system yesterday to check how it was working since it was turned off in October and to wet the grass to apply some grass builder. Had issues with one sprinkler head broken off, one area said it was watering but nothing was coming out and one area gave me an error message.

Called the sprinkler guy today and made an appointment for Friday. Then he called this afternoon saying he was only a mile away could he look at it today. Raced home at 3 and he fixed it all. There goes my house maintenance savings for the month! But at least the money was there and it was an easy fix. No more house issues please!

April Paycheck

April 1st, 2018 at 10:16 pm

I get paid once a month. Current paycheck for April is divided this way:
Mortgage 1458.15
Sewer bill 65
Water 65
Garbage 41.88
Spending 200
Electric 72.04
Gas 49.13
Cell 96.64
IRA 25
Groceries 275
Gardener 65
House clean 80 (sister she needs the income but won’t just take it)
Car gas 140
cable/internet 179.27
Netflix 10.99 14.99
Clothing 30
Personal 20
Debt 65
CC (in full) 28
Debt 600
Cc (in full) 563.58

Car insurance 125
car repairs 100
College 50
House repair 50
Utility 12 (amount under budget increases when no heat & ac)
Healthclub dues 9 (99/year)
Health HAS 15
Vacation 50.02
Glasses 50.01
Gifts 100

Preping for the promotion exam. One down and passed rank 1; one more to go.

Daily update

March 22nd, 2018 at 09:33 pm

I received my state tax return of 1300+. I put 1000 toward the cc debt and kept about 300 for future spending I know is coming.

I received $394.98 for travel reimbursements – parking and mileage to meetings for work. I put that toward my car maintenance savings making it $1912. I am still waiting on another $125 in reimbursements for parking and mileage that will go to this account.
I also save $100 a month to this account from my pay check and 5% of any house and pet sitting income.

Need to do some grocery shopping. I only picked up a few things on Sunday to make it through the week.

I am housesitting for a client next week for the week. That is $352 I will put in the bank for a short time until I run the numbers for the rest of the year. I think I know of all expenses that may pop up during the rest of the year but I will double check this weekend. It may stay in savings for a short time or go to the zero interest credit card debt.

My two sliding glass door screen doors are being repaired this week. $105 for both plus a window screen, and pick-up/drop off. I tried doing it myself but I have NO patience for this sort of work. Mentally it was better to find someone to do it. And several friends asked for recommendations so this will help them, too, if they do a good job. It was much cheaper than replacing two odd sized doors.

Busy preparing for the interviews and prepping answers to an online promotional exam. harder than I anticipated it to be. I really want the three – better retirement, and I could save a lot more in 401k and 457 to be able to retire at 58ish.

I was told of two more promotional opportunities so hopefully one of them will work!