Friendly advice from a not-so-friendly neighbor.

Did you ever have someone that gave you an uneasy feeling? I’m sure you can relate when I tell you about the neighbor I have next door. There’s an older gentleman that lives on one side of me and he is constantly watching me to see what I am doing. I think he feels I have no idea how to take care of a house. Each time I do any sort of work in the yard or small repair on the house I feel as though he is judging me. I wish he would just mind his own business. At least that’s how I felt until the other day when he stopped me in my driveway. I thought he was going to tell me I was doing everything wrong but it turned out he wanted to help me. He had noticed that I was working around the house getting things ready for winter and he gave me some advice that surprise me. I’ve only owned the house for about 6 months so I had no idea that I should cover my outside HVAC unit so the snow and ice didn’t damage it. I really thought all I had to do was turn off the air conditioner and turn on the heat but he told me that the buildup of heavy snow and ice could actually damaged the inside of the unit. He took me over to his place and showed me a cover that he had built that was sitting in his shed and offer to help me build one as well. As I talk to him I realized that he wasn’t necessarily judging me for what I didn’t know but he was observing to see what I might need help with as a new homeowner.

a/c repair

Re-acclimating to my old home.

Growing up in the Northeast I couldn’t wait to get away from it.

When I left after college and moved to the Southwest I never thought I would return. Of course that was 30 years ago and a lot has changed since then. When my parents, you are quite elderly had to move into an assisted living facility I knew I needed to be closer to them to help out. My children were grown and I divorced years ago so I really had no reason to stay in my current location anyway. I was able to transfer to an office closer to where my parents live and I packed up last summer to move back home. I moved into my parents house so my living arrangements we’re all set, however, on a personal level I had to make some serious adjustments to re-acclimate myself to the colder climate. One of the first things I did was head out to purchase some warmer clothing because I hadn’t owned a winter coat in years. I had some money available from selling my house at my prior location so I made some adjustments to my parents house as well. I immediately replaced the old HVAC system, that was nearly 30 years old with a newer and more efficient one. I had the house re-insulated to save money on energy cost and added an HVAC unit to the detached garage so I wouldn’t have to deal with a freezing-cold vehicle each morning. It is just the beginning of fall and already we have cooler mornings so I know I will greatly appreciate all of these changes once the full force of winter arrives.

wifi thermostat

You can’t please everyone

Have you ever felt like you were trapped in the middle of a situation with no way out? That feeling of being pulled in several directions by people with no way to make everyone come away with a victory of some sorts.

This is my current situation. The people involved in my situation are the corporate big wigs at our company and the rest of the employees. I work in human resources and part of my job is handling the negotiations between the two levels. Trying to make sure that decisions that upper management make work with the people that they will be affecting without upsetting the balance of the business. The last meeting I attended brought about some changes that are going to be difficult to sugar coat for the rest of the staff. Due to budget constraints they have decided to change the work week schedule to include longer hours. Now this means that people will be put on a four day rotating schedule and be required to work ten hour days. Their days off will fluctuate and many won’t be happy with that. By doing this the company will be able to use less power because those departments that are off will not need to use lights, computers, or the HVAC system as much during the days off. Having full departments and the space they use shut down for three full days will really save on energy bills. Convincing everyone that this is good for them too will be the tough sell. When the company is used to the whole 9 to 5, Monday through Friday, they are used to making personal plans around that schedule too. I think I will have to be very creative in my presentation to sell this one.


There is no easy answer

When faced with easy choices such as what to have for dinner, what movie to see, or what color to paint a room, most people can come up with a decision with little to no effort.

When it comes to life choices, where to live, what career path to take, or whom to spend your life with, things can get more complicated.

You must weigh all the options carefully because the choice you make can affect you and your family for years to come. My boyfriend and I have been having a bit of a disagreement over one of the choices for the past two weeks and I am beginning to wonder if we will ever agree. Things are pretty serious and I was really starting to feel like he was the “one”. Then, he asked me, out of the blue, if I would be willing to follow him up North due to a job he had been offered. I am a southern girl, born and bred, and I love the warmth and sun here. I can’t imagine being cooped up in a house for six months or more enduring the endless cold and ice. Even with the best of HVAC system I just know that I will be miserable. I will also feel like I am living in stagnant air because I won’t be able to open the windows and air out the house. I get that this is an opportunity that could make our lives easier, financially, but, I just don’t see how our relationship could survive if I were unhappy with where we are living.