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October 9th, 2019 at 11:35 am

Sorry for the big dump of posts! I went through Google and rescued every missing entry I could find that was cached. Then I read you could do the same with the Yahoo search engine, and it turned out there were a few posts cached there that hadn't been on Google!

Life is still careening along at a breakneck pace in the ceejay household. AS was on a business trip last week (speaking at a bookseller convention in Ohio), and then she met me and a friend south of the Twin Cities at our friends' huge house for a DIY writing retreat. It was very productive! Though I turned up problems in some of my manuscripts that I'm not sure how I'm going to address, so in a way I feel farther away from finishing them. But it was good to be in a quiet house and be able to have a clear mind while editing so I could see these flaws. I'll get there eventually on a manuscript!

I haven't been doing a ton to actively market my current published novel, but I did sell another copy to a friend who said she would suggest it to her book club and that she would ask our local library to carry a copy. So those are bits of progress! Smile

In other news, I'm still considering my career options. They laid off another person last week, and my workload is extremely light still. I haven't applied to any new jobs in about a week, but I've been making LinkedIn contacts and such. I have a happy hour Friday with a friend who's pretty high up at an ad agency.

And AS and I have still been discussing the possibility of my joining up with her freelance operation. I've done some "test" projects for her in my ample downtime at work, and they've gone well so far.

I researched healthcare costs and I think it would be about $700 per month for me and the kids to get on Obamacare (called MNSure here). That's about $400 more than I pay now, but $500 less than if NT put us on his work health insurance (that would be over $1200 per month!!).

So I'd be nervous about taking on that extra monthly expense, but I do think AS and I could bring in quite a bit of work between us. So we're still thinking about it. Meanwhile she can book a little extra work since I have capacity to help her out with it! And, if I do get laid off, we could immediately go into hyperdrive to pull in more money, either with my going permanently freelance or just while I look for another job. Either way I'm glad I wouldn't be twiddling my thumbs if I lose my job!

Something else that's been (literally) plaguing us may be coming to an end...we did a third and hopefully final lice shampoo treatment on AA last night, because we kept finding one or two stragglers every couple nights when we combed her hair. I didn't find when combing last night post-shampoo, so we're hoping that's the end of it...but we're going to comb every night for 10 more days to make absolutely sure we get 'em all!

We have another meeting with our kitchen designer tomorrow...hopefully we can finalize the design and start getting a quote and then financing and then a start date!! I can't wait to get this project over with, but I'm glad we're taking our time and doing it right. And maybe in the end (after the kitchen is done and we get another appraisal) we could end up with a lower monthly mortgage payment (albeit more principal). That'd be great.

Saturday I'm going out of town again...just an overnight trip to St. Louis to see my favorite band and my Canadian bestie. That should be the last trip for any of us this year. We don't have any vacation savings to speak of, so I'm not sure when we'll get to England. Maybe sometime next year, we'll see. Might be the year after.

Let's see, other news from the family...SL learned to ride her bike this week! AA started private voice lessons and loves it; she has a recital in November and I'm excited for her. NT got a $750 spot bonus, a small cost-of-living raise and negotiated comp time going forward for all the overtime he works. AS of course continues to expand her freelance business and somehow found time to repaint her sewing room on top of everything!

Our parents (and NT's grandma) are hanging in there despite some health challenges. AS's mom got a job, so hopefully things will start turning around for her a little. My dad sent me some memoirs he's been writing and they are awesome: funny and interesting little vignettes from different times of his life.

We are still waiting on Brexit to see where NT's UK flat goes in value; meanwhile we still rent it and make a modest amount of money after covering the mortgage payment. We'd still love to sell it and buy a rental property in Minneapolis, but the property manager tells us it's not realistic right now.

What else? I'm still plugging away at losing weight and practicing guitar. Still loving going out to shows frequently. Still being conscious about making and cultivating friendships with pretty good success. I'm actually going to a show tonight with someone I befriended through Instagram!

So despite some recent challenges, life is still pretty great right now. Fingers crossed I can sort out the job situation soon, though.

3 Responses to “Goings-on”

  1. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    Freelancing might be kind of nerve racking, but it sounds like you have the kind of needed skills for it. You'd have so much more control over things than in a job. Maybe you and AS could form a partnership, and use that to join a small business health plan - I remember my parents looking into that at one time.

  2. ceejay74 Says:

    Thank you that's a really interesting idea! I'd looked at the partnership structure from a tax lens but hadn't even thought to see if there were health care things we could do with that type of business arrangement. We're not legally related but AS is already on Obamacare so maybe a small business health plan for both of us and the kids would end up being beneficial.

  3. rob62521 Says:

    I hope you can figure out the job situation. The freelancing sounds promising since you would be doing it as a team.

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