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Moving on...

I've officially been in the new house now just over 3 months. I officially moved in Dec. 21st, after closing on Friday the 13th.

That I love living here is an understatement. It's quiet - I rarely hear my next door neighbor. I've heard her once - she was vacuuming in her bedroom. Other than that, not a peep.

In fact, it's been so quiet at times, I've purposefully had to turn on some music. I've got David Modica (look for him on magnatune.com) on in the background. Funny how a little music that you know so well can free up the rest of the mind.

The house is coming together. Back in November I ordered my kitchen table, dining room table, 10 matching chairs, headboard and frame, nightstands and a dresser from the local Amish furniture place. I couldn't find maple in a light finish at any of the furniture stores, so I custom ordered and got exactly what I wanted.
From another local place I got my bookshelves, entertainment center and desk in maple in a clear finish.

From there, it's been a weekend here and there hitting the big box furniture stores to find pieces. I bought a custom white leather sectional for upstairs, which will be delivered in July. For the downstairs I found a red leather theatre seating and matching love seat on sale - got both pieces delivered and protected for what one originally cost.

Then there's work on the house to be done. I discovered with all the lovely subzero weather we had that the crawlspace under my kitchen is not nearly well enough insulated. The batts don't go up into the rim joists, and the vapor barrier is a joke. When it warms up I will have a spray foam company come out and take care of that, add some blown in to the attic.

The windows and doors are original to the house, meaning 20 years old. I've got an application into the Architecture Board of the association to get approval to put in new, energy efficient, fiberglass framed windows and fiberglass doors.

Then there's the heating and cooling. Furnace and A/C are original, so they need to be updated. New hot water heater, too.

Oh, and don't forget the electrical! Had a scorched outlet when I moved in. Electrician came in, pulled the outlet, pointed out the issue. All the outlets and switches in the house were 'backstabbed', meaning that instead of taking the time to wrap the wire around the post, they stripped the wire and pushed it into the back of the outlet. Legal, yes. Poor practice? Oh hell yes. So 50+ outlets and 15 switches that I use the most were replaced.

While the electrician was out here, I had him look at the circuit panel. The company that made it is completely out of business - can't get a replacement breaker if one fries. Also, no room to expand if I want to put in a steam shower or anything else. I need to put in a whole new 200 amp panel, bigger grounding wire and add a generator patch. Then when the power goes out, I can plug a generator in and keep my fridge, freezer and a wee bit of A/C on.

The electrician also needs to come back out to put up some new lighting. Since the house was built in the early 90's, it's brass and glass. I've got several fixtures on order, get all of them in and get that all up.

Expensive? Yes. When all is said and done, I'll have dropped another $50,000 into the house on top of the $225k I paid for it. My thinking is, get it done now, I won't have to worry about it for quite a while. Doors and windows will be good for the 20 years I plan to be here. I'll have 7-10 years before I have to worry about the heat, A/C or water heater. The insulation and electrical will have me up to code for the foreseeable future.

It all gives me time to have the money I put into stocks, bonds and REIT's give me some income to take care of things in the future.

I'm hoping by this fall to have everything pretty well done. Sit back, enjoy, live.

Dr. Who fix

Watched both showings of the Dr. Who 50th anniversary special. Love it!

Got two of my new iDevices up and running. The third will be here next week.

Still coming to terms with the wealth and having all of my bills paid off. New vehicle is paid for, I close on the new townhouse in three weeks. That, too, will be cash.
Then there is taking care of myself. I need to set up an appointment with the massage therapist I found that does myofascial, cranial-sacral, and deep tissue. Get my the 'issues in the tissues' worked out, try a round of Rolfing as we'll.

I see the dentist next week, planning out removing the mercury amalgam fillings. The question will be, one at a time, or can we do multiple? What's the mercury load? What do I need to do to flush the mercury out quickly and safely? Research to do before Tuesday.

Winter has really arrived in Minnesota. Frelling 10 degrees this morning. The association didn't bother to turn up the boiler, so it's maybe 62 degrees in here. Brrr... Even the cats appreciate snuggling under a blanket.

Taking next week off from work. It's the first long vacation I've had from work since I started there two years ago. There will be packing and shopping. Go hit the closest of three outlet malls on Monday. Since I'm more than doubling the square footage, I need more furniture. I want adult furniture, clean lines, simple. Whether I can find that or not will be the question.

Time to go make more lists of the things I need to do and get.

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Changes by the boatload

It's now November, and the land sale is finally done. That was finalized on Friday.

Since then I've paid off the debt that prompted the land sale. I've also paid off every other debt but my condo mortgage. I bought a 2014 GMC Acadia to replace the ailing Tahoe (which I will donate to Newgate School). And in a few weeks I will be closing on a new townhome.

So much is changing, and so much more to change. So far I'm coping with it, rolling with what is coming.

Maybe tomorrow I can be a bit more literate.

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Finally spring in MN

Finally, we get spring in Minnesota. Earlier this week we had 6" of snow, today it's in the 70's and gorgeous out. It supposed to be almost 80 degrees tomorrow, 70's again Monday, then another cold front moves through and brings things back down into the 40's and 50's.

Got my motorcycle out of storage last night. One of the managers I work with lives up by where I store my bike, so he gave me a ride up. It was like I had been on the bike all winter, all came right back.
Today I've been out running around. Had bear packing for Mother Bear Project. Came home, dropped off the cold weather gear, headed back out. Went to Caribou Coffee for a lemon Earle Gray latte, enjoyed the patio for a while. Stopped at Costco for cream so I can make ice cream and yogurt. Stopped at Sindi's Sweet Shop - been meaning to stop there for years, just never passed by when she was open, until today. The amaretto pecans are divine, will try the milk and dark cashews tomorrow.

When I came home, time to haul out garbage and recycling. I waled slow, soaking up the sun. Dug out my Bliss hammock chair - I will be spending many hours in that.

Opened all the windows, get some cross ventilation going.
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Got the results back from my mammogram, normal. Yeah! Now just waiting to see the endocrinologist May 13.
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The land deal is coming along. Talked to a real estate lawyer, a Realtor, a financial planner, the appraiser, my tax guy, and my renter.
The renter is working with his lender to get financing. The question is, can he get enough for the whole, or just half? If he only gets enough for half, the other half goes up for auction next winter after the crop comes off the land.
The appraiser is doing her thing. Talked to her Thursday, she went out Friday to look at the land, called the renter to confirm the tiling done to the ditch network. That ties in to how much the land is worth.
My tax guy is comfortable dealing with the capital gains taxes and the basis issues. Saves me the headache of finding someone else to do them.
The financial planner agreed with my ideas on what to do with the money coming in. Get a Roth IRA started, max out my 401k plan at work. I want to pay cash for 50 - 75% of the new place, have a small mortgage to keep my credit history current. Get myself a newer vehicle to replace the 15 year old truck that's starting to nickel and dime me. The rest goes into what Stansberry & Associates call "World Dominating Dividend Growers." Those are stocks that year after year have paid and upped their dividends. Companies like Hershey, CocaCola, Johnson & Johnson.
The Realtor had looked at comp sales in my building and others close by. No surprise, they are coming in well under what my mortgage is currently at. I'll make up the difference and call it the cost oh doing business.
The lawyer gave me lots of homework. At $275/hour, the more I can do, the less he costs me. Most of the above was his homework. I have a few other things to gather for him.

All of what happens next hangs on what the appraiser comes up with for a dollars per acre and if my renter can get the financing.
Deep breath.

I'm just ready to be gone from here already. I want to be in a space I can be proud of, enjoy having people over, and can breathe in.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPad.

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Relief...

Well, good news. The colonoscopy was clean. No inflammation, no polyps, no diverticulitis, no cancer. Only now is it starting to sink in that at this moment in time my gut is ok.

Given the family history, the doctor wants me on a five year recheck schedule. I'm cool with that.

Monday I go in for a mammogram. The last one four years ago had some issues, see if this one is easier to read.

Spent some time yesterday with my therapeutic coaching teacher. I want to make better choices this time with my money, so I wanted some help in changing old beliefs. I gave her the Cliff Notes version of my story, then she asked some pointed questions. About five minutes in she stopped me. Her comment was that in the 10 years she's known me, I've used past or present language, which indicates I've been in survival mode per Maslow's hierarchy. This time I was future oriented, meaning I've moved into thriving.

I can pinpoint when the switch flipped. On April 1st I had a conversation with the director I work for. He's money savvy, so I asked his opinion. He said he would sell at least part of the land to get out of debt and have cash on hand. That conversation gave me the option to sell. Then I called the local real estate agent and found out how much land was going for. That was the clincher. I could breathe again.

I have homework to do. I need to find a financial planner that can help me un the numbers on selling half, selling it all, the tax ramifications, all of that. I need to find a real estate attorney to help with the private land sale and how to handle renting the condo until the market improves.

One of the decisions I need to make is about selling it all. What is causing me to keep something that keeps me tied to the past? Why not let it all go, buy the townhouse outright, same with the vehicle, have an emergency fund, then invest the rest? Clean start. Until I run the numbers and can make a decision based on facts, I need to sit tight.

At least I have a future. Previously I didn't see myself having a future. Now I can't wait to decorate the new place. I want to have people over and entertain. I'd be willing to host the holidays this year because I'd have a place I can be proud of.

My teacher is willing to continue to work with me. She's worked with others in a similar situation, so she has ideas and will support me through this. Time to put up the timeline and get moving on this.

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Grateful for the opportunities

Uff da, as some of the Minnesota relatives would say, sums up this last week.

I have made the decision to sell half of my farm land. The last time I looked at what land was going for, it was at most $2,000 an acre. Land is now going for $7-8,000 per acre. That, my friends, makes selling 76 acres of it worthwhile.

That does several things for me.
1. Gets me out of debt with the association
2. Allows me to put down a substantial down payment on a new place, most likely a town home, as I don't want to deal with grounds upkeep, etc.
3. Allows me to pay off the mortgage I have on the land for previous association issues that I didn't have the income to pay for.
4. I can pay for some minor fixes/upgrades before selling the condo.
5. I can purchase a different vehicle. Much as I love my current truck, he's 15+ years old, 185k miles, and I've dropped $2200 I didn't have fixing him in the last six weeks.
6. I can have an emergency fund.
7. I can have a retirement fund. I have several years worth of financial newsletters recommending good stocks that pay out good dividends. Reinvest those dividends over the next 20 years, I might actually have something to retire on.

I talked to my renter today. He does want to purchase the land, so that makes things simple. He was talking contract for deed, I'm thinking no. I want my cash up front so the land is his, the only one he's beholden to is his bank.

So, given my detail oriented mind, its been running around in circles trying to plan for everything. What do we need to do, who do we need to call, yada, yada, yada. I need to sit down and mind map some things out.

What do I want in my new home? What features, what benefits? Where do I want to live?
What do I want in my next vehicle?
What stocks do I want? Do I want to try any other investing opportunities?
What am I looking for in a financial advisor?

So... on top of all of this going on this week, another shock comes my way yesterday. I went out to lunch with a friend from work. We get back, the department is buzzing that I need to find Lou and get a message sent out that there's a mandatory meeting at 1:15. It's 1:05 now, WTF is going on? Director I work for finally comes to my desk, tells me to get out a note pronto, all will be explained.
So the department crowds into the room, the CIO and director walk in, bomb gets dropped. The director has taken a job with a company closer to home, more responsibility, better pay. He's done in 4 weeks.

Talk about being blind sided. Many things going on in my head. I know my job is safe, too many people rely on me to get things done. The director taking on the responsibilities is the one I first reported to, so no worries there. The question will be whoever is hired, what will they need? Will they let me advance and become a business analyst?

Thankfully I already had an appointment scheduled with Dr. Rory. He did some energy work to get the shock in my system to calm down. Put me on Korean ginseng and another supplement to calm and even my body out.
I also emailed my teacher from therapeutic coaching, she agreed to see me for a session Wednesday night.

I know the Universe doesn't give you more than you can handle. At the moment, I wish it didn't think my shoulders were the size of the Hulk's. I need to find things to be grateful for, look for the opportunities, work through my fears and limiting beliefs.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I need to find my living will and power of attorney. If anything goes sideways with the colonoscopy, I need both my friend and the hospital to know she has the power to make decisions for me.

I have not disappeared...

My dear LJ friends, I apologize for my nine month absence. There have been things happening, some not so good, some that look bad at the moment and will be a relief in the end.

The insurance company I was working for finally got smart and hired me in December. They are good people that I like helping. Hopefully, as they see that I can do more than just manage 30+ calendars, do all the charity work, and other menial stuff, can do some real work.

I now have health insurance for the first time in four years. I'm glad, as I needed to have a tooth pulled in January. I'm now going in for a colonoscopy, mammogram and meet with an endocrinologist.

After 16 years living in the same condo, I will be moving. The association and the neighbors have hit my tolerance limit. On top of that, the association is getting abusive about the back dues I owe. I don't dispute that I owe they money. The only way I want to pay it is by selling and moving.

Yes, I could sell some of my farmland to pay that debt and other stuff off. I don't want to do that. That is my retirement fund. I know myself well enough to know that if I sell a part now, it will be easy to sell off the rest. I don't want to go there.

The person I was 16 years ago when I moved in is not the person I am now. I no longer feel comfortable or safe here. So, I think the wisest thing to do is sell to some company like Homevestors or something like that, pay the association off, then continue to pay on a mortgage for a place I no longer own.
The value is currently one third of what I owe. I still may end up declaring bankruptcy, I'll cross that bridge when I get there. For today, I need to plan. Tomorrow I call the bank that holds the mortgage and get their feedback. Then I start calling those places and see if they will buy mine and at what price. Then I start looking for a new place to live.

The good news in this? I did my taxes yesterday. The refunds are enough to cover first and last months rent and hiring a moving truck. That expense taken care of allows me breathing room to make decisions at my pace.

This feels so right. I should have sold and moved 6 years ago. I knew then I didn't belong here. Now things are coming together to get me out of here.

I've been delving into the work of Brene Brown, who does research on shame and vulnerability. She's been on Super Soul Sunday over the last three weeks. Her words have hit home. I now have all three of her books and will be rewatching her TED talks as well. Dr. Rory has been bugging me for months to look at her work. Now I understand why.

So... I will be back more often. If the colonoscopy or mammogram go sideways, you can be sure I'll be on more often.

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Hello... is it me you're looking for?

Oy... Where to start?

Still alive and kicking. Working at the same job at the insurance company. My contract was extended to the end of the year. A couple of times I've been asked if I would like to go full time, to which I've said yes. Just waiting to see the actual contract so I can sit down with HR to negotiate.

Kona and Charmin have a new feline housemate and a human roommate for me.
Back in April some friends lost their house to foreclosure. The rental they moved to only allowed two pets, so they kept their dogs and gave me their cats. Charlie was 12, old long before he could have been. His sister Ella is 4.

Charlie I ended up euthanizing 5 weeks after I got him. His previous parents didn't realize he had hyperthyroid because they never took him to the vet. Four weeks in he quit eating, I kept him alive for another week with subcutaneous fluids, let him go back to spirit the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend.

Ella... has been a handful since Charlie died. First she hid all the time, then she started attacking Kona and especially went after Charmin. They've had some pretty bad fights - Charmin has two front claws that are bloody and bruised, plus two good scratches on her nose. Ella has a good scratch in her ear. That's just today.

I've tried every trick I know with Ella. I've shut her away in my office and bedroom and tried gradual re-introduction. I've got a Thundershirt on her now to help her stay calm, I need to get another one for Charmin.

Doesn't help matters any that I have one of my nieces staying with me for the summer. She's working at ValleyFair, the local amusement park. When the days are decent, she's putting in 9+ hour days. When the weather doesn't cooperate, her checks suck. Since she works 11 am - 9 pm, I only see her when she's sleeping. She and her boyfriend go out after work, so if she's home by midnight she's doing good. Her boyfriend works 8-5, so he's a bit short on sleep.

It's been an adjustment having both cats and human kitten (nickname for the niece) all in 900 square feet of space. Just not enough room for everyone to have their own territory. Been watching the reruns of "My Cat from Hell" to see if I can figure out something to help the cats and get human kitten involved in.

Push comes to shove and Ella doesn't calm down by summer's end, I suspect she will be moving in with human kitten in her college apartment. Kona and Charmin don't deserve to live in fear because another cat won't behave. At least Ella would stay within the family so her original parents could get updates on how she's doing.

Personally, I've had better springs. One friend I'd shared a lot with up and decided she didn't like my attitude and walked off without explaining or giving me a chance to work through things. I should have seen it coming with how she booted her boyfriend out the door. Her loss.

I've been working through my stuff. Playing with Wayne Dyer's Wishes Fulfilled, Secrets of Manifesting and some other work he's done. Dug into some of the Earth Angel stuff from Doreen Virtue, as someone mentioned they thought I might be an Incarnated Angel. (I hear incarcerated angel the first couple times she said it to me - imprisoned may be appropriate...) Also looking at the Gabriel Method.

Over the last couple months its also become known that I have been sexually abused as a child. I was working with someone and their story really resonated with me. I did some kinesthetic testing and yes, I had been abused. It was done by three uncles between 3-5 years of age. I haven't had any memories surface yet, other than a brief flash or two.

Question is, do I purposefully surface those memories at a time and place of my choosing, so I know I'm in a safe setting to do so, and have the tools I need at hand to deal with it? Or do I let them surface of their own accord? That's something I'll be talking with P about tomorrow, see if she thinks I should talk to our therapeutic coaching teacher about this or what my next steps should be.

That's my life in a nutshell. See if I can be better about keeping y'all more up to date.

Happy new year, a bit late

Oops... Yeah, I'm a bit behind. Lots of focusing on myself over the last couple months.

I've come across a couple programs that are helping me on my quest. One is Love or Above by Christie Marie Sheldon. This is more on updating my intuitive skills, how to use them to move through the world. Another by Christie is Unlimited Abundance. That one focuses on removing the blocks we have to letting abundance into our lives.

Both have given me some new tools. Those tools have allowed me to clear stuff that was so deeply buried I may not have found it otherwise. Things like a hated nephew telling me I was too fat and ugly to make money. Mom giving me money, then taking it right back because I didn't deserve it. Letting go of "The Punisher," that kept beating me up over and over for mistakes made long ago.

There has been some grace in this as well. Mistakes are just that, mistakes. What's needed is a gentle course correction or to be reminded of how to do it right. I don't need to beat myself or anyone else up when it happens. Just correct and go forward.

Still learning to be gentle with myself. Taking care of myself, owning that I am worth taking care of. Baby steps there. Started out by ditching the sore brand body wash and stepped up to Philosophy for my skin care. Here and there I've added as I can afford it, or come across easy pay on QVC. Then I added Wen hair care. Spendy? Oh hell yeah. Worth it? Very much so. I kick myself for not using it when I had really long hair. Oh well, as it grows out this time it will be that much better for Locks of Love.

The focus for my charity crocheting and knitting has also changed. The place I used to donate to no longer wants my stuff because I don't work there any more. So I did some digging and found another group that will take all my stuff. They will take the adult afghans and hats for one clinic that works with low income cancer patients. They primarily want baby stuff to gift to low income parents. I can continue to do what I'm good at and have an outlet that will appreciate it.

Got one more graduation afghan to make for this year. It's for the sister of one of my niece's boyfriend. I couldn't make one for him and not for her. So she picked out her colors and her mom and I went yarn shopping yesterday. Couldn't find what we wanted in the store, so we came home, ordered it online, got the yarn for 30% off and found a free shipping code to boot. The parents paid for the yarn, when it comes in I get to spend about 100 hours between now and June making the afghan.

Work is ok. There are days when I'm bored to tears. That's when I bring out the iPod and listen to Love or Above or Unlimited Abundance or one of the other programs I have to keep me entertained while waiting for something to do.

Next weekend will be a year since I got Kona and Charmin. It's taken this long for them to finally start to get along. They are starting to play together, to chase each other around the house without hissing. I actually caught them snoozing rather close together yesterday. Charmin was on my cedar chest and Kona was on top of my jewelry armoire. They were less than 3 feet apart - first time I've seen that happen.

Slowly things are getting better. The more I let go of, rather more room I have to live. Whether its physical clutter or mental/emotional/spiritual clutter, the more space I can create leaves more space for peace and new things to come in.

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Work...

So, as you know from my last post, I'm now on a different job. I am grateful for that, as the last one ended badly.

I had picked up a contracting job starting in July working for a female VP I'd worked for last November. Didn't have a choice but to accept the assignment as I was on unemployment. I knew going in it wouldn't be a fun job, but it got me off the dole.

It was absolute hell. Her psychopathic tendencies had gotten worse since the last time I worked for her. Completely unforgiving of any mistake made, and typical female of talking about it to everyone but me about it.

She didn't like anyone in the first round of interviews she did, so another round was pulled in. She did find someone she liked, so she hired her. The gal started on October 3 and walked off the job that Thursday while I was at lunch. The VP blamed me, when in fact it was her fault. She had originally agreed to give me two weeks of overlap so the new gal could have one week to do all her training, then one week to learn the company's ways. She then proceeded to dump everything on the new gal.

I had a long talk with HR about this. When the new gal came on,she was the eighth admin the VP had in 17 months. HR was unaware it was that many until I pointed it out. When she walked out, all he'll broke loose. I got blamed for her walking out, the VP cost me another job within the company, and it just got really messy. Then I got forced out with no time to transition to anyone.

The Monday after I was forced out, I got the call about the new job. I'd interviewed for the same job back in May. They couldn't decide between me and the guy who got got it, so they were happy to hear I was available again. Interviewed that Friday, got the job the following Monday, started the Monday after that.

The new company is a health insurance company. They have an IT department of 160 people, from the CTO on down, including contractors and me. The CTO has his own admin, and she has her hands full just dealing with him. I work with the six directors, the enterprise architect, 13 managers and everyone else. I do calendars for five directors and two managers. I'm helping them get organized by doing all their filing. A couple I'm doing some coaching work with because they are drowning in email and voicemail.

There are days I'm busy and days I'm bored. When I'm bored I'm working on myself. Keeping track of issues that bubble to the surface, what I really want in my life, all of that.

I've noticed in the last couple weeks that issues are starting to come up at a faster pace. Little things will trigger past memories which surface something to be worked on. Lots of tapping and timeline work to be done.

The felines are finally starting to get along. Charmin is starting to mellow out. She even asked, per se, Kona to play with her the other day. They have been chasing each other around the house. Char has gotten more playful, chasing and batting toys all over. This gives me hope that one day they will truly be sisters. It's taken 10 months to get to this point, we've got time.

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