|Neat planter seen in Cordoba, Spain (click for larger picture to see detail)|
What a busy week. I helped out at the company where I used to work three mornings this week after they asked me if I would be willing to assist temporarily a little over May, June, and July after a long-term employee moved away. I enjoy seeing the people I used to work with and this is an easy way to help add more to our travel fund so agreed.
The weather here has finally cooled a bit, even raining a time or two which really helped lower our risk of fires and has greened things up a bit. All of the container potatoes I planted have come up with leaves peeking through the dirt. My husband who was raised on a large farm always says anyone can raise potatoes and apparently that is true. They should be ready to eat by August 1 and I can't wait.
On Friday my Stepdaughter flew in for a weekend visit so after picking her up we stopped in at the local farm market which is located right by the airport. Friday was their opening day for summer as they wait until they can fill their store up with produce from their own farm or other island farms. We bought carrots, strawberries, a cucumber, green onions, tomatoes, and garlic. Now that I can rely on them I can stop buying non-local produce from the store. There is nothing like carrots freshly picked out of the ground, the best tasting ever. My own cilantro and chives are flourishing, the tomatoes planted a couple of weeks ago are growing well and the first tomato flower has opened, a great sign of things to come. Fingers crossed that we will have another bumper tomato crop this year.
Yesterday was the only day that the thrift stores would be open while my Stepdaughter was in town so we told hubby we were going thrifting and I tried spoiling her a bit. For $30 she ended up with a beautiful pair of Aldo wedge sandals, four shirts, one pair of shorts and one pair of pants. I had every intention of buying her more than that but after four thrift stores we were both tuckered out so called it a day. She is almost vegetarian (if she lived alone she would be full vegetarian) and we found her a great vegetarian cook book too. She has matured quite a lot over the last year and a half and finally graduates from high school next month. She is currently living with her boyfriend but since he lives on an acreage and she doesn't drive getting to and from work has been an issue so she has decided to find a roommate situation in town where she can access the transit system and not have to rely on him. She is hoping to find it in the next 10 days and has an appointment set up to see a place on Wednesday. FINALLY at 18 and a half she is starting to get it! She knows that she is likely better off living on her own and if their relationship survives living apart then so be it. He has no job and hasn't since he graduated last June. He has no intention to move out since Daddy will let him live there rent free forever and has zero direction. He drives her to work but only if she buys him gas and groceries. We tried teaching her to drive but she hates driving and is scared to do so, so really transit is her only option for fully independent living. We had hoped she would come to this conclusion some day and finally, she has. She even quit smoking! She is even talking about going to college in a year or so! I never thought that day would come :)
Since we are no longer paying her room and board after high school and she is fully responsible for supporting herself she needs to be able to either get a second part-time job or a full-time job and needs to be able to get to it by walking or bus. Scary but exciting for her at the same time. I am proud of her. She chose the absolute hardest path she could take over the last 3 years, first moving out of her mother's house then ours thinking she knew everything and didn't need us. It is nice to know that we did the right thing by not fighting her on it and she is now finally getting her life together and we have still maintained a decent relationship with her.
Last night we invited Mom over and had a big shrimp dinner and watched a movie and tonight we are having chicken and veggie chowmein and having a games night, by her request.She does eat fish and the only meat she will eat is chicken so she requested those meals. I will have her help me cook supper tonight, trying to give her a few more easy cooking skills to add to what she has. Things she learned this year:
1. Eating out is way too expensive and when you don't make much learning to cook and eating at home is the only way to go.
2. In order to keep your job you have to be reliable. She went from almost getting fired due to calling in sick too many times to being her manager's favorite now taking any shift she can get. I explained to her three months ago that most managers don't give shifts to those who call in sick all the time - best to go to work sick so she can see you really are sick then she can send you home and won't hold it against you. She listened!
3. Buying used is the only way to go, especially when on a tiny budget. Although she works in a clothing store she only buys very inexpensive items there (a requirement that they wear the product) and buys all of the rest of her clothes except underwear from thrift stores.
4. How to live within your means. Not an easy skill for most people.
She applied for and got her first credit card. We have always told all the kids to pay it off every month, and she says she is. I hope so, as we also explained how difficult it is to get out of debt or repair your credit if you abuse it.
So, although life is busy, life is good. Have a great long weekend everyone!