Friday, January 26, 2018

A Quieter Thursday!

I overslept this morning!  Another night of not falling asleep till 3:00 a.m. and I guess I fell asleep again, after I turned off the alarms!  It was my daughter texting me to wish me a good morning that woke me up!  I heard the phone beep!  But I managed to get the back yard watered by turning on the sprinklers while I got dressed and drank my coffee.  My lunch had already been packed, last night, so it was just a matter of putting it in the lunch bag along with a banana and a granola bar.  I got to the office a bit later than usual, but I was in good time to print out reports for and attend the meeting that had been scheduled for the morning! 

Lunch: Ground Beef  & Vegetables
I had some ground beef that I had browned and frozen.  I thawed it with the intention of making a cottage pie, and added half an onion, diced, some diced celery, a grated carrot, and a handful of frozen green peas to it and sauted it all.  But, I was too hungry and impatient to boil and mash the potato, so I just grated it and added it to the mixture and cooked it along with the beef and other vegetable.  I am not sure what to call it - ground beef hash?  I had some of it for dinner and had packed some of it to take to the office for my lunch.  I had planned to buy a bread roll to eat with it,  but, when I went to the farmers' market to buy the bread roll, they didn't have any!  So I bought a croissant, instead, and had that with my ground beef hash. 

After I came home from work, I spent another couple of hours doing office work, to make up for the time I lost in the morning due to sleeping in!

Later, daughter and I spent some time discussing plans for her future.  Every year, around the end of January, the apartment management in her building sends out a notice about lease renewals, asking current tenants to let them know, before the end of February, if they plan to renew their lease for another year, so they know how many units will be available for rent, later in the year, when the new academic year starts in the fall.  Daughter's current lease doesn't expire till the end of July, but, she received the notice today.  According to the notice, if she lets the management know if she is renewing her lease for another year before the end of February, then, her rent will increase only by $70.  If she waits until after that, then, the rent will increase by $170!

Daughter's current contract with her employer ends in May, but they are trying to renegotiate it so that it can be renewed for another year.  However, she doesn't know if she will get a raise, which her immediate supervisors want for her but the ultimate decision is up to the parent company.  If she continues to stay there at the same salary, she says she can manage the $70 increase in rent, but it means she will not have much left of her salary to save after rent, utilities, groceries, transportation, and other items are paid.  But she won't be able to manage the $170 increase in rent, without a raise.  As it is, she is currently living on about 90% of her take home pay (maybe a little more) and most of it is going towards her rent!

She would like to stay on another year to get additional work experience with this company before she tries to look for a job down here.  So, we discussed the pros and cons of signing another lease without knowing for sure if her contract will be renewed (although it seems pretty likely that it will be renewed) and if there will be a raise.   The penalty for breaking the lease early is two months' rent!   Daughter had asked about the status of her contract renewal last week, before she actually received the notice, because she was anticipating the lease renewal notice; she will probably ask them again, now that she has received the notice.  We'll probably spend a few more evenings discussing it again.  Of course she knows she always has the option of moving back home and finding another job down here.  I am leaving the final decision to her.

Today, I am grateful for:
- I managed to wake up just in time this morning!
- I got to work in time for the meeting!
- A safe commute to work and back
- My daughter
- A working heater on a cold evening!

How was your day?  What are your plans for Friday?


  1. It is so hard for a young person to make commitments so far in advance with employment uncertainties. I know she will make the best decision for her.
    Glad oversleeping did not affect you too much! Sometimes those extra ZZZ's are worth it!

    1. Anne, yes, it is very difficult to commit, in February, to a 12 months lease that will star in August, when the current job contract ends in May, knowing that the difference in rent is an additional $100 per month if she misses the "early bird" special. But I think it will work out OK, in the end. The sad thing is, she earns a fairly good salary at her current job, but her rent is so high, she can't save much of it.

  2. Could your daughter look for roommates and find an apartment that wouldn't cost as much that way? I understand the desire to live on one's own but maybe it could just be for the one year until she decides to apply somewhere else (and hopefully make more money).

    Are there openings in her field in your area, Bless, do you know?

    1. Nathalie, yes, she could look for roommates. She could also look for and move to a lower cost apartment (and she has looked, earlier), but it won't be as conveniently located as her current apartment, which is less than 2 miles from her office, is on the direct bus route and within walking distance of her office, grocery store (TJ), the dollar store, the library, the BART station, etc. And some don't have all the facilities she has in her current apartment building. One of the apartments she looked at, for example, didn't have any laundry facilities on-site, no laundry hook-ups (should she get her own washer & dryer), and there were no laundromats she could walk to within a 2-mile radius. She is definitely paying for the convenience of her current apartment, but that is how it is!

      Yes, she has looked into openings in her field down here, and there are some. However, they required x number of years of paid work experience plus experience in certain areas such as project management that she is only now starting to do at her current place of employment. She feels an additional year of experience will better prepare her for the job market down here, because then, she can say with confidence, "I have done this, this, and this".

      It will all work out, I'm sure. She has a sensible head on her shoulders. It's just that, practically anywhere else in this country, what she's paying in rent for an under 400 sq.ft. studio apartment is the equivalent of a mortgage on a 2 or 3 bedroom house!

  3. I can't imagine going through this every single year and it will go on every single year. I would encourage her to make some very long-term plans further out than a year and if she knows she will get excellent references from the company she's working for she may want to jump ship. I don't know that another year's worth of experience in this situation will make all that much difference to her being able to find a good job. No time like the present to start working on it. Of course she probably won't make as much as she does in the Bay Area but living expenses are extremely high in the Bay Area. She may want to do what I did when I felt kind of stuck in only one kind of work as a registered nurse. I sat down and researched and looked at all of the different things I could do because of the skills I had. My life was never the same after that. If her job has anything to do with State funding I would really really think hard about it. Just my two cents.☺️

    1. Ha, ha, I always appreciate your two cents, Marylynn, you know that. :) Yes, she does have some long-term plans, but even they are a bit fluid, at this time. She could always come down here and live at home; it wouldn't matter if she doesn't make as much money, because she'll have lower costs of living. Whatever decision she makes, I will support her; she knows that. She is also very aware of my preferences, but I want the decision to be hers. That is very important to me.

  4. I'm sure your daughter is thankful to have you as a sounding board as she makes these decisions. Gook luck to her. There's no easy way to know what to do.

    1. Thank you, Live and Learn. That is exactly what I am - a sounding board! :D We constantly have these types of discussions, about a number of topics. I am very grateful that I am able to have these conversations with her, that she feels comfortable enough to discuss these things with me. These are evolving situations, so, everything is very fluid, but, we have the opportunity to discuss the endings we would both like to see. :)


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