Monday, August 23, 2010

The wind blows in a new direction, finally

For the last year and a half The Bob has been for all intents and purposes unemployed. He did make a few dollars in real estate, but it didn't take off in a way that made it possible for him to make what he was making as a software engineer. We worked our way through the severance, then through the savings. We were looking serious financial crisis straight in the eye. Finally he found a new software job.

This month is the first month where the financial situation will finally take a turn for the good. The first pay check should arrive soon. We switched over to his health insurance coverage, which is significantly less than it was through my work. Cooper's day care costs are going down this month since the older classes cost less than the younger kids classes. And our mortgage is going down.

Back when people thought we were crazy, we got a 5/3 ARM. The original rate for the first 5 years was good, and we figured when we got to the point when it would reset, we could reevaluate the rate and refinance if we needed. The good news was that this month it resets and for once the crappy economy is working in my favor. Mortgage rates are lower than ever. We could let the rate we will have now ride for 3 years, but then it will reset again, and I am fairly sure that unless the world REALLY goes in the crapper, interest rates won't be lower than they are right now. Our lender offers the option of locking in to a fixed rate now if we want, at this nice new low rate. And yes thank you, we do. And it does NOT involve refinancing. So without paying all the refinancing costs, we are going to lock into a new low rate, and save $300 on our mortgage per month.

Even before we get a paycheck for The Bob, we should save almost $900 a month. Now, if we are smart, we will funnel that right back into our savings account, to begin rebuilding that, because there is NOTHING in it right now. Nada. Zippo. Zilch. The universe could not have waited any longer really, to cough up that new job. But I will not spend any time whining about the past 18 or so months. I will be grateful what we have now, and try to plan very carefully for the future.

Now if I could just feel better physically. The throat feels better, but this cold/virus will not let go. I guess it will eventually.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Kicking my butt and taking names

Hello! In case you were wondering, I am alive, barely. Three weeks ago I came down with a cold, but it started as a migraine, followed by full body aches, then congestion and a sinus infection, capped off by what is apparently a virus that has attacked my throat. I have felt like a thousand bees have taken up residence in my throat and are stinging me regularly. Today is the first day I have felt even remotely human. It has seriously been kicking my ass and taking names. The doctor (I have spent $75 in copayments in the last month visiting his office) said it sounds like I caught a childhood virus, probably from that petri dish I live with called my son, but it has settled in my throat. Only time and diligent consumption of pseudofed and advil will provide relief and eventual healing.

In the middle of all of that Cooper and I went on our annual pilgrimage to Friendship ME. This year two out of the three sons of my friends we visit with were there with their respective spouses and children. It was great to visit with the eldest, as I have not seen him in probably 10 years, and we are almost the same age. He and his wife met later in life like The Bob and I did, and they had a child in the same time frame that we did. I spend so much time around parents who are at least 10 years younger than myself I appreciated being around people who are facing parenthood with the same set of limitations and perspective I am.

This is the cove we saw every day while there.

This view is why I go back every single year, along with the great friendship and relaxation we experience.

Our friend John is a train enthusiast, and each year we have taken Cooper up, he has taken us to see this train that is being restored in the Sheepscot/Wiscasett area. The track has been restored for about 2 miles, and we get to ride out and back on original cars pulled by an original engine. This year Cooper and John also got to ride and work a real hand truck.

And here is Cooper on the train, holding his ticket. He loves doing this and John enjoys having an enthusiastic friend to share his hobby with.

In addition to the train, Cooper also went on his first motor boat ride, to go looking for seals, which we found. He loved it. It couldn't go fast enough as far as he was concerned. Can you tell he was loving it?

He also went on his first kayak ride. Since I was piloting the kayak I did not get any pictures of this momentous event. However, he loved it. We used a friends double kayak and he sat back enjoying the ride, until he asked me if there were any whales in the water. I said I didn't think so, but there could be. It was then he said he was ready to go in. For the record, there have never been any whale sightings in the cove.

All in all it was good trip, I just wish I felt better. I got sick right before going up there last year too. Now I need to recover because the semester is starting in two weeks and I will need all of my energy to get through that.