Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

Locked Out & Wookie’s Haircut

May 8th, 2017 Comments off

Thursday morning I locked myself out of the house for the first time ever. It happened just as I shut the door between the laundry room and garage, quickly realizing the keys were still on the other side. Luckily I had my phone and was able to call Joe who had just arrived at work and had to come back home to let me in. I also emailed and left a voicemail for my boss letting him know I’d be late to work. Since traffic was pretty good in the direction Joe had to travel he was home in about 40 minutes. I just played on my phone in the garage until then. Boy was I happy I decided to grab my winter jacket at the last minute since I was still pretty cold by the time he got home! I managed to get into work only an hour late and since Joe decided to work from home I only took a half hour lunch to make up some of the time. I didn’t stay a half hour later, however, because Wookie was scheduled to be groomed at 4:30.

I went over, in detail, what I was thinking regarding her haircut, but she still came out way shorter than I expected. Even the groomer admitted she had given me the wrong measurement when she showed me what her overall length would be. I really didn’t want her to look as if she had been shaved and yet to me that’s exactly what she looks like. It’s taken me days to adjust to it and I miss my fluffy hot mess puppy. I hope it grows back quickly.

Categories: Life, Pets Tags:

2016: A Year In Review

December 31st, 2016 Comments off

I have mixed feelings about 2016 because while Joe losing his job at the end of February cost us valuable retirement savings time, and we couldn’t enjoy his time off to its fullest since we didn’t want to dip into our savings account too often, it was nice having four day weekends together. I’m hoping 2017 will be a little more fun for us overall since we won’t have financial worries hanging over our heads.


I turned the dreaded 40
Our first meetup


Chocolate Expo
Chicago Auto Show
Post Secret event in Milwaukee
Joe lost his job


We spent the month just adjusting to Joe being home all the time and he took over the cooking and cleaning.


Private roller skating party
Marshmallow passed away
Went to a Cubs game


Brookfield Zoo


Got rid of our DVR and cut our cable package to the bare minimum
Went to The Cure concert (which was the highlight of the year for yours truly)
Had a garage sale which was mostly a complete waste of time


Joe and his daughter reconciled


Indiana Beach
Milwaukee Zoo
Fixed the refrigerator water dispenser


Nothing terribly exciting.


I had a health scare
Steve passed away


Gizmo passed away (Nov 11th) but I didn’t write about it because it was very painful.

We visited Joe’s family in Arizona
Day 1 – Flight & Food
Day 2 – Chicken & Waffles
Day 3 – Botanic garden
Day 4 – Met my great niece for the first time
Day 5 – Wildlife World Zoo
Day 6 – BINGO
Day 7 – Lights of the World Festival
Day 8 & 9 – We adopted a dog and went home


Joe got a job
Visited my uncle
Doug passed away
Finally named our puppy

Categories: Life Tags:

Great News

December 10th, 2016 Comments off

I’ll just come right out and say it – Joe got a job! We are both so happy and relieved. 

The past nine months have been stressful, probably more so for me than him since I’m the worrier. Luckily with the help of unemployment, cutting back on our expenses, and the marketplace insurance, we didn’t end up having to withdraw too much from our savings to cover expenses and I’m very thankful for that. 

I did our finances the other day and even without contributing much to retirement this year the balance has still increased, just not as much as it would have had Joe not lost his job. The new place has a 401k but no match since it’s a newer company, but it’s still better than nothing so we’ll take it. There’s a lot of potential for him to rise through the ranks if he so chooses so we’re focusing on the positive.

Since he starts on Monday we’re going to try and enjoy our last extended weekend together. Also starting Tuesday I will be taking a full hour lunch at work (as opposed to the half hour I’ve been taking) so I can run home to feed and walk the puppy. I’m not exactly thrilled with the gas that will waste, plus the rushing around, but short of me quitting there’s not many options. Maybe it will be a welcome break in the day. We shall see.
Oh, and in true Nicole fashion, take a guess what I decided to splurge on at Target after receiving the good news? Cuddl Duds and leg warmers. LOL! I probably would have gotten them regardless since I live in them in the winter but now I won’t feel guilty about spending the money (plus they were on sale).

Categories: Life, Work Tags:

Sunday Alone Time

October 9th, 2016 Comments off

Today was the first day in a looooong time where I had the house to myself for more than an hour. Joe left around 9 am to go to the shooting range with his buddies. What did I do? Dishes, finances, (partially) catch up on my YouTube watch later list, catch up on some blog reading, look for freelance jobs to supplement our income, and back up photos which included finally clearing out my Microsoft One Drive account so I have space to do regular iPhone photos backups again.

What didn’t I do? Decorate for Halloween like I had planned (maybe tomorrow) or take a shower. Hell, I didn’t even put my contacts in! I’m still in my PJ’s which include a pair of ridiculously cozy soft pants I got at Savers for $3 recently. They are gray with polar bears on them and I just love them! I hope they don’t shrink like my fleece Star Wars pajama pants did. They are still comfortable, but they are too short now and my legs get cold.

I’ve also been listening to The Cure play in Europe thanks to someone who has been Periscoping the entire show. The picture is sucky on the computer but the sound is fantastic. The set list has been all over the place which I like. They played The Baby Screams and Disintegration which were awesome! Right now they are two songs into their 1st encore. They started around 1:30 pm so I estimate it will end around 4 or 4:15 and I think Joe will be home soon thereafter. I’ve enjoyed my day but man did the time fly! I don’t feel like I did much yet it’s been 6 and a half hours. Where does the time go?

Categories: Life Tags:

Garage Sale

June 27th, 2016 Comments off

Friday and Saturday we held our garage sale. Even though we were very organized and posted on Craigslist & Nextdoor, we didn’t get as much traffic as we were hoping.

The very first thing to sell, however, was my old Kenwood Stereo I purchased for $400 twenty years ago.


It had it all (at the time) – dual cassette deck, 3-CD changer, and radio. The speakers were huge and sounded great (still do, actually) and it was in fantastic condition. But due to its size and how we listen to MP3s these days, it had been collecting dust in the garage for years. Imagine my surprise as the guy who bought it was putting it into his car and I felt this overwhelming sense of panic. I literally had to go inside to calm down – I thought I was going to vomit. I felt seriously bummed and overly emotional afterwards. I had no idea I had formed such a sentimental emotional attachment to it or I might have not sold it. I’ve tried to rationalize the feelings away with logic – it’s too big, I never use it, etc. but I still feel sad about it, although I’m sure that will get better over time. I don’t necessarily like having such a strong attachment to physical objects. Other than the blanket my grandmother knitted for me which I have slept with every night for the last 25 years, I didn’t think I’d feel such a loss without an item in my life. Oh well. I will never see it again (sob), so it’s best to try and get over it.

Anyway, shortly after that “traumatic” event Friday, my coworker called asking for help since our boss was off and he was being asked to do something he had never done before. Walking him through it over the phone wasn’t helping so I drove over to get it done since it’s less than ten minutes away and I really needed the distraction. I ended up working an hour so that will make my next paycheck a little higher which is nice.

Despite everyone telling us that Fridays are super slow and that Saturday would be much better, it really wasn’t. Overall we ended up making a little more on Saturday but not until 4 pm. We had shut down at 2 pm on Friday but extended the hours until 5 on Saturday in hopes we’d get more interest. When all was said and done we made a little over $100. I would have made more working an extra day at work so that’s not really worth my time. Plus we still have a bunch of stuff left that we’re going to donate and try to offload on Craigslist, including the stuff my dad asked us to sell for him that no one wanted.

One cute thing that happened was the neighbor across the street purchased a few old bookbags on Friday and her daughter (who I guess is around 12) came over Saturday with her friends and was wearing one of them. She also told us how much she loved it which was nice. It’s a mini bookbag I’ve had for over twenty years and really loved when I was younger. It was still in excellent shape because I take really good care of my things. Even one of the people who bought some stuff from us mentioned we had really nice stuff. I just wish it would have sold!

When I was lamenting on Facebook about the futility of having a garage sale one of my “friends” told me how it was because we should have had our sale in April and that when her organization had one they earned $1500. Um, how is that even helpful? I’m sure her organization had a lot more things for sale since multiple people contributed. I was so very tempted to “thank” her for her oh so helpful advice and let her know that I’ll just hop into my Delorean and go back in time to April to have my sale then. I am *this close* to unfriending her. Most of her comments are just irritating know-it-all things anyway and ain’t no one got time for that.

So will we ever have another garage sale? That would be a no. Even though the thing I dreaded most – people haggling – didn’t happen too much, I still didn’t enjoy it. Although this one lady got a steal on this purse I had that was brand new and sells for $79. I’ve been trying to sell it online for a year so I lowered the price to $25 for the garage sale. She wanted $15 even though I said $20. I gave in because a) I didn’t pay for it anyway and b) I just wanted it gone, but I’m kinda pissed about it nonetheless. And this is why I hate selling things and garage sales. Never again. I’d rather do Craigslist and sell stuff one at a time.

Categories: Life, Rants & Observations Tags: