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Archive for January, 2019

Random life updates

January 25th, 2019 at 06:16 pm

Wow, I was too busy to really check the blogs for two weeks, and it sounds like there was some drama with them all disappearing! Glad they didn't; it would have been so horrible to try and come back and have lost you all.

Anyway, I reached an equilibrium where travel is done for now, I'm mostly caught up at work, and personal life isn't too busy, so I wanted to take a few minutes to check in.

As you might have seen, this year I'm working on "intentions" instead of goals. I'll try to list achievements on the sidebar, but a lot of it is about the journey, so I'll also try to blog about my activities that fall into my intention categories.

- Make healthy choices. I haven't been too good about walking or morning strength training so far this year, and my eating has been all over the place due to travel. But I've been trying to add one healthier meal such as Buddha bowl (beans and grains and veggies) per week to the menu. This week's will have chickpeas, broccoli, sweet potatoes, kale and brown rice.

- Deepen friendships. I've been cultivating my friendship with my Canadian friend; she came to Minneapolis a couple weeks ago and if I can swing it, I'm going to try and head to Canada in April. Her trip and my hopefully future trip are both centered around seeing our favorite band.
This week I also reached out to about 6 other friends. One came over and chatted for a few hours, another will be going to a show that I'll be at on Monday, and others have promised we can make plans soon.

- Do creative things. I've been practicing guitar nearly every day and attending lessons once a week. I also play with my Canadian friend whenever we get together. I think I'm going to make my bday party in March a music jam type event, where I ask friends who play or sing to come hang out and make music together.
I've been pondering my writing projects, and I hope to get going on those soon.

- Chase pleasure. I saw my favorite band for the 30th time this past Monday, so I think I'm chasing pleasure pretty well! And tonight I'm going to a bar to see another band that I like quite a bit. I've also got tickets to a few other upcoming shows. I'm really really into live music these days! I've also read a novel by one of my favorite authors. And I'm hoping to go to this big book festival in a couple months that another favorite author will be appearing at! Oh, and I'm thinking about scheduling a "bad movie night" in February with some friends who also enjoy that sort of thing.
Our birthdays are all coming up in March, so I'm starting to plan our parties. AS is hitting the big 4-0, so hers will be the biggest event! I'm determined that she have fun and not freak out about this milestone!

- Build my career. I had to do my self-assessment at work. Since my boss/mentor left, I've been a little unsure the best way to advance my career. So I figured I'd just put that comment in it, and hopefully my direct boss will have some ideas. I also put down a goal that I want to win an award at work, or at least resolve to work harder and better to make my job performance award-worthy. (Since winning isn't something one can really control.)

- Be flexible when life throws things at me. We've had a couple challenges this year -- a houseguest who was meant to leave in October but is still here, AS's mom repeatedly needing money due to some unexpected problems -- and so far we're dealing with them pretty well. Nothing too bad has happened this year.

UK trip spending

January 11th, 2019 at 07:49 am

We got back from England Sunday and have been incredibly tired AND busy since then! Last night I got a second night of fairly solid sleep so I'm feeling partly back to normal. Still a lot of work and housework to catch up on, though, so I don't have time to run down our trip. Suffice it to say, fun but tiring, lots of quality time with family and friends, didn't see a ton of new sights but that wasn't what it was about this time.

I did keep track of our spending so I thought I'd do a quick summary and compare it with our more epic July 2016 trip. That one was 15 days, included a short jaunt to Barcelona in the middle, and came to about $10,500:
UK flights & travel insurance: $5500
(UK lodging paid for by NT's parents)
Rental car & insurance: $900
Barcelona flight and lodging: $1300
Other spending: $2800

This trip was 12 days, included stops in Exeter, Cornwall and Oxford, and came to about $7,300:
Flights & travel insurance $4,200
Car rental & minor damage (just some scuffs from all the narrow roads and parking lots) $700
Other spending (gas, food, gifts/souvenirs/clothes, sightseeing, drinks): $2400
(some lodging paid for by NT's parents; stayed w/people the rest of the time)

So there you have it!

January 2019 debt payments

January 6th, 2019 at 07:02 pm

All the mortgage payments hit:
US: $736 to principal
UK1: $179
UK2: $37
UK3: $40

That's $992 to principal. (Maybe this will be the year when my minimum payments put $1000 or more to principal!)

Current debt totals:
US Mortgage $382,438
Loan from friends (duplex) $9,000
UK Mortgage 1 $31,231
UK Mortgage 2 $6,584
UK Mortgage 3 $6,933
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TOTAL DEBT $436,186