There hasn't been much going on lately.
School-wise, after deciding he was graduating this year, Ben has decided he wants to do one more year after all so he can take a high school level engineering class in September. I can hardly complain, but I will. hahaha! I was done! Now I'm not. Ah well. Complaint over. Maybe he will take the GED and I won't have to do transcripts...I'm NOT doing more field trip planning. I'll just pay the school fees.
Life-wise, Matt is starting a new job after 10 years with his current place. In Huntsville, places will pay a new person more for the same job than someone with the company for years will get paid. They don't blink at the new-hire rate, but will shit a solid brick at the thought of increasing a loyal employee's salary to within even $10k of that amount. In some case, $20k. And we are not talking six figures here, not even close. It's a particular bit of bad business we have seen over and over. He left this company before to make $4k more elsewhere. They countered with a raise of about $2k. Then a year later, offered him a new job making $8k more. I will never understand it, they could have kept him the first time for half that, just-take care of your employees!
The new place SOUNDS amazing. We are losing his Fridays off, which has been harder than I imagined and I knew going in that it was going to hurt. But the insurance is amazing and no more annual blood tests. I don't know what the current insurance changes being voted on might mean for the future, so I am hesitant to celebrate too much. There's a raise, not much, but enough that we can start checking off some boxes on that ever-growing to-do list. They match 401k contributions. That can only help! So there are some good things financially speaking. Personally for Matt, he gets an office with a door. After 2 decades of cubicle town, he has windows! THREE of them. We have already been shopping for seasonal cling film stickers. I bought him some old maps at a used gear outfitters of some of our favorite trails to have framed. They were 40 cents each! One is really cool, it's an old land survey and topo of Tellico Plains. Tellico is the Cherokee word for 'open place where the grass grows'. So, plains. Plains Plains. Maybe they mean balds?
We were headed to the lake today to swim and Chan was driving. She slowed down to let a groundhog get across the road and got rear ended. In my van. Everyone was okay and the other girl had insurance. The van checked out fine structurally at the mechanic's and I took it to the body shop for photos. They can't take it until the 22nd. I told them not to take ANY calls from Beth! She's the reason Nettlevan got totaled! It just has a dent in the lift gate, really. I would hope that by replacing Nettlevan with the EXACT same van a week later, the guys at the shop would realize I am not fooling around about liking my car. hahaha. Dustin said I "would just show up with another piece of sh-I mean Kia Sedona again". I said, "Exactly." Then I tried to kick his shins for smack talking my ride. He moves fast...I really hope there isn't anything wrong with the van that gets found later. I worry about cracked joints or loose hoses or warped frame. Her car was SMASHED. I don't see how it just dented my van a little bit.
Ben has joined in on...a social event. A homeschooled teen thing. When I told him the Bothwells might not be there tomorrow because Inde has the pukes, he said he still wanted to go. That is HUGE. He is worse than I am about avoiding strangers. I think the whole engineering class is going to do some good. Just 2 meetings so far, yesterday was the last one for this school year, hence adding next year back to the agenda, and he's already talking scholarships and college and dual enrollment. Thank goodness, and his brain gets to work. That child loves a problem to physically fix. The first class he joined, he found out they were supposed to have designed and built an egg drop apparatus. He built one on the way down out of plastic drinking straws and duct tape. And it won second place.
Okay, well those are a few of the haps around the castle. I head back to the AT on the 23rd for a few days. So, yay. Get Georgia knocked out at least. I'll take more pics next time, I think I took 11 last time and that includes when Matt came to Neels Gap and we went...hiking. It rained SO much, I can not begin to explain how much I dislike rain while camping.