Thursday, June 2, 2016

6 months

Believe it or not....yesterday was the 6 month anniversary of our move!  In some ways the time has gone so quickly, such as school is already out for the summer!  In other ways, it crawled, such as looking for a job.  This is a little long and be prepared!  Now that I have 6 months under my belt:


1) We had a few adjustments coming back together as a family.  The kids and I were so used to our own groove, that G-man sometimes seemed in the way.  But it was very short lived.  Probably the biggest change was having him home in the evening, since he had worked 2nd shift for so long.  Even this was an adjustment, as he was also used to having alone time during the day when we were at work/school, and his alone time was "gone."

2)   My parents continue to be absent.  They have called me a few times since we moved...because they needed something.  I have called them several times, and most days they have no interest in talking to me.  When we have seen them, they tell the kids all sorts of things....yeah, whatever.  Last time I saw them was Mother's Day, and they made Sassy cry.  Great.  We have not been invited over once.  Oh wait, yes we were....Dad invited us over for dinner while he was having dinner at my house (Mom cancelled on me 3 hrs before)....when I called to find out what time we should come over, we were uninvited.  Then Dad called to ask me how to make the dinner we were initially invited to.


1)  Renting was probably the best choice for us right now.  I know I was so against it.  And there are definitely parts I am still against.  But now that we are here, I really can see where the communities are, the shopping, the lay of the land. We have an area we are interested in buying in, but it is out of the budget right now.  We will see how things go.  There is a strong chance we will wait to buy until the kids are out of high school....and then we will be looking at Bossy's needs more fully when deciding on a forever home.

2)  I don't hate renting, but I don't love it.  Part of this is just the actual house we are in.  The wallpaper makes it very hard to decorate, so there are areas of our house that just feel barren to me.  For the most part, the neighbors are quiet (we have a townhouse), but we can still hear the dogs barking next door.  Not a huge thing. I definitely would never consider this particular house if the landlord wanted to sell. 

3)  It has been nice to not incur expenses on the house, such as when we needed a new dryer and new stove.  Or when the dishwasher was leaking into the garage (our kitchen is on the 2nd floor).  But we also have very little room to improve or change things.

4) We have no idea what our tax situation will be come next February.  We lost our biggest write off when we sold the house.  Now that I am working (at least a little), I am planning on putting a few dollars aside each pay check toward a possible tax bill.  We have zero exemptions on our tax withholding, but since very little comes out of G-man's second job pay, and no idea what mine will look like....we would rather have SOMETHING to get started.  If it turns out it isn't needed, then that cushion of money will go toward something else.


1) They don't play around!!  Bills are due NOW.  Utility bills generally come 2 weeks before they are due.  And it says right on the bill....if not paid in full by X date (usually a week after the due date), you will be disconnected.  We used part of G-man's third pay check months ago to get ahead a little (I pay just about all the bills on the first without worrying about the date it is due because we have a credit already).  But there is no room for slacking on a bill if you are a little strapped for cash.

2)  Speaking of utilities, we now have a better idea of what the monthly cost will be.  However, going into summer now....we are curious to see what the electric bill will be with central air.  We have already been running it for the better part of a month and it didn't go up too much.  But we will see how it goes.  Water is more expensive here (I used to pay about $250 for 6 months, or an average of $41 a month)....we are billed monthly and it has varied from $80 to $112.  I don't miss the oil bill though!!

3) Medical bills are weird.  They anticipate what your share will be (based on calling the insurance company) and bill you on the spot.  No waiting to see what the insurance company will pay and sending you a bill.  They want the money upfront.  At first I thought it was just one office, but we have run into this several times.


1)  Southern charm.  Gotta love it.  For the most part, people are SO NICE.  It threw us all off in the beginning.  Little things like someone holding a door open for you....not to say it NEVER happened before, but it wasn't common place.

2)  They ask alot of questions.  You are chatting with the grocery clerk, and they are asking way more personal questions than needed.  LOL

3)  This area is very "kid" focused.  There is alot of community involvement in the schools, sports, etc.  For example, the Cub Scout troop that is part of the Boy Scout Troop we belong to is something like the 4th highest selling troop for the annual popcorn fundraiser in the country.  Each child AVERAGES $3,000 in sales.  In CT, if you sold $250, you did well.


1)  I laughed at how paralyzed everything was when there was some snow and ice.  I know they aren't prepared for it.  But coming from an area where snow was measured in FEET, it was somewhat comical.

2)  The kids will still need winter coats.  Over the winter, the temps were still in the low 30's at the bus stop.  Not really warm enough to go without a coat.

3)  The trees were green in March.  Kids were wearing shorts to school in April.  The pool opened on May 14.  We are loving the warmer weather!  We will see how the rest of the summer goes.

4)  Sunblock....must be more diligent about reapplying sunblock.....

So there ya go....6 months of thoughts about our new life.  


  1. Thank you for the update! When I lived south, the "kid " focus really got to me. It was crazy in our area. In fact, for this transplanted New Englander, it was rather unnerving. (I'm more of a "If its a kids'event, let the kids do it person.) That, in fact, was why I couldn't stand the schools, and picked a private school instead. Amazing, I picked a private school so my kid could get a more holistic, heterogeneous social experience in school. It seemed like absolutely everything had such high stakes, even building a stupid model of a castle in kindergarten. They're kids, for crying out loud, we know the parents are clever, let's see what the kids come up with ON THEIR OWN!
    Medical bills: YES. In fact, as I was recovering just hours after a c section, iv's hooked up, billing came to my room for payment of projected charges. True story. Dh was furious. Nurse said they were trying to stop that practice, but there it was.
    Weather: Oh how I miss it, but we wot live full time in our southern home until our kids are out of school. Again, that culture was unsettling to me.
    Parents: So sorry.
    Enjoy this adventure.

    1. High stakes projects...yes. our neighbor told us she had to spend $40 getting stuff for her son's required but not graded science project. He is 9.

  2. Good to hear from you! Always fun to hear the perspective of someone new to the South :) We do like to talk to each other - even in the grocery line! A/C costs are no fun, but definitely necessary. Your water bill does seem high. Ours averages $80 but also includes trash etc. We've never seen one over $100. Ugh. Everyone not from here likes to make fun of us on "snow days"! People forget we don't have a zillion plows like Northern towns. And we get ice as much as we get snow. I don't think anyone knows how to drive well on ice! Sounds like renting was the wise move for you. I hope that has taken a little pressure off you. Enjoy your summer and don't let the humidity get to you too much!!

    1. I am trying to figure out the water bill. 4 showers a day, normal bathroom usage (unless it is off since I have been home all day), dishwasher run every other day, with some handwashing. Dunno.

  3. Our daughter did high school here in the south and we were surprised how good the schools were. I taught kindergarten here too. People are very friendly here, but not intrusive. The summers are hot and muggy, but spring and fall are great. Glad you're settling in, it takes awhile.
    You family sound strange, by then I was raised by wolves.

  4. I can't believe it's been 6 months already ... seems like you guys just moved! Renting sounds like a good plan for now.

    1. At least we are somewhere we would be alright with if we stayed until we could buy.

  5. Wow 6 months? Really? Time flies. I am so sorry abut your parents. My mom is always a dream. NOT!

    1. At least your mom bakes! Mine doesn't do anything....including answering the phone. She will only talk to my brother.

  6. I can't believe it has been 6 months! Tears For Fears was right, time flies. Glad to hear everyone is doing well.

    And look at your debt total! That's down, isn't it? Both car loans are almost D-O-N-E. Congrats.

    1. Debt is down from earlier this year. However, the CC is up a income has really taken a toll. But prior to selling the house....we were under 50k. Cars are in the home stretch. I am tempted to shuffle a few things and get rid of them by end of summer!

  7. Check for leaking toilets where the water doesn't stop filling after you flush. When we moved into our house we had that problem and were using 4,000+ extra gallons a month of water until we replaced the innards of the toilet.

  8. The comment about people asking questions made me laugh. I'm from a bigger city and moved to a very rural farming community and people just have no boundaries. I was so guarded at first since people hardly even looked you in the eyes where I'm from but I now understand they ask because they are just trying to figure out who you're related too lol. I had an older man once ask point blank: "Who do you belong too?" My inner feminist was fuming LOL