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Archive for January, 2008

Quack, Quack.....

January 25th, 2008 at 10:55 am

Wow, it is really pouring here. It has been raining for days and nights. I had to get out to get my hair cut, and now I'm sitting in front of the little heater to dry out my jeans. Once they are warm again, I'm going to make me another cup of tea. I'm resisting upping the central heat and just staying in place til I thaw. I don't think it's going to warm up much outside today. And I've cancelled the doggie vet appointment. That would be a crazy exercise today. I've needed to get to the grocery for a couple of days, but I am digging into the freezer/pantry for a supper again tonight. So spending today has been limited to hair. But, I did have to buy some products. I don't use fancy shampoo, but my hair hates most styling products. I have one or two that work, and I pay a little more for them. I think my toiletries budget is shot for the month.

I've figured out how much interest I'd be paying if I stayed at the same level of debt until Hubby retires. WOW. That hurts. I was looking at what Broken Arrow saved in interest and that got me thinking on those lines. Definitely would make a person want to up the debt repayment plan. If nothing else, filing all these debts every month or so should drive me crazy enough to want to get rid of them.....

Now, which body part are you operating on?

January 21st, 2008 at 12:52 pm

We went to the Big City to check in with the hospital where Hubby will be having his operation. We were floored when the anesthesiologist we were meeting with was trying to confirm what surgery he was having. He told us a completely different surgery. Same body part, different procedure entirely. We just kept saying, No, we aren't....So, he thought maybe the procedure hadn't been updated in the computers. He checked with the office staff of the doctor. Nope, they had the same surgery on file as he did. Now, we're really confused. Fortunately, we had gotten in early so that the nurse from the doc's office was still in. They leave early on Fridays. So, she came down and explained the procedure that the doc had changed it to. The question we had was if it was going to solve Hubby's problem because that was the reason this procedure had been rejected the first time. The only thing we can think of is that the better MRI we had done there showed something different than the doc had expected. The crazy thing is that no one had told US that the procedure was totally different. It will be a much better surgery for Hubby to endure and recover from. We've got a call into the doc today, and he's supposed to call after he gets out of surgery today. We need to find out what is truly going on. Our doc here says he is awesome, so we are comfortable that he knows what he is doing. We just need to confirm things before we agree to do this. All in all, it is going to be much easier and hopefully solve the problems. And will be much cheaper and Hubby will most likely be able to return to work much earlier. This guy's success rate is really, really good and they really care about their patients. We've been impressed with just about all of it. Except we kinda need to know just what Hubby is going to have done. It will all be explained in the long run. But, it was a shocker at the moment.....

The Bucket Brigade.....

January 17th, 2008 at 11:55 am

I read in the past year about people in more parched areas collecting rainfall and others collecting water inside. We have a sorta box-shaped house--longer one way than the other. Of course, the hot water heater is on one end and the master bath on the other. Water pipes run through the attic, and since we haven't gotten all the old insulation out and new put in yet, the water is COLD this time of year. I grew up on spring water so I should be used to it. But, over the years, I've enjoyed it hotter and hotter. I watched the water run one day while I was waiting for hot water to show up and realized that I was wasting a ton of water each week. So, I found a clean bucket and started collecting the cold water. Then, I had to figure out what to do with it every day. One day, I watered the outside porch plants that don't get rain. Then, I figured I could use it to fill the dogs' water dispenser. Then, I watered the inside plants. Today, I have another thing of water. I think I will put it into the washer this afternoon with a load of cold wash that I need to do. I'm finding out that I have to come up with ideas to use up this water. Wow, how much have I used over the years letting it run just for one shower? Multiply that by all of us for years and, whoa...that's a lot of water. I haven't told Hubby what I'm doing yet. I wanted to see what I found out. He's probably really wondering what the bucket in the shower is for. I'll have to have some facts ready or he's liable to up my medicine this time.....

A Big Fat ZERO.....

January 16th, 2008 at 10:44 am

I took the expense check down to the bank and deposited it. It was about 300 dollars. Then, I took a deep breath and told the teller to pay off the auto loan. So, 952 dollars later.....it is a big fat ZERO! One more down.....

I called the credit card with the highest interest rate and asked for it to be lowered. I pay on time and always more than the minimum. Most of my credit cards have rates that are far and away less than this card. I haven't transferred the balance because I wanted to work with less percentage on each card. I missed one payment during DS's wedding month when he was sick and getting married and graduating all at the same time. Two of our bills got misplaced. They didn't even put it on my credit report, but the interest went up. Almost three years later, I've asked twice to lower it. They only lowered it this time and for a miniscule amount. I was floored when he wanted me to transfer a balance for a lower rate on the balance transfer. Why would I do that if he wouldn't help me with the balance I already have? Then, he told me I could pay this one off and then transfer a balance and save money. Sure I could. It would be feasible. But, why would I want to continue with a card that didn't want to take care of me as a customer NOW? He made some sense, but it was the principle of the thing. Now, if he had lowered it to a rate that is the average rate for my other cards, that might have made me feel better and they would keep me as a customer. So, I got a secured loan with the credit union at a very good rate and will be paying this goofy card off. The interest rate I am receiving on the money it is secured to and the interest I am paying on the loan will be close to balancing out. So, goodbyes will be said really soon to a big interest debt. Then, the money I put on that card each month goes to pay a bigger portion on the loan. Yay!

I also redistributed the monies from the auto loan payment. Some went into the charity column. Some went as additional principle on the truck loan. A bunch went toward additional credit card payments. And I took advice from here and put the last into a new fund for a replacement car. All our vehicles are getting up there. I'm hoping that we will have at least another couple years on each. That will allow that fund to build up a little.

Well, year 2008....it's a start....

Roadkill Week.....

January 15th, 2008 at 09:55 am

We have tried a new strategy in the menu/grocery department. We have gotten the grocery bill down and holding steady. The next thing was to figure out how to manage what we have bought and stashed. Enter new idea. We designated the third week of each month as eat out of the freezer/pantry/fridge week. And no cheating by buying up a lot of stuff the week before. The idea is to use our heads and be creative with what we have left from the other weeks. When I proposed it to Hubby and outlined the first week's menus, he thought it was a good idea. And true to form, he caught me off guard with a funny. He said it was a good idea--Roadkill week! I had to laugh. The menus are going to be much better than that. But, this way it sounds much more fun....

Gloomies.....

January 14th, 2008 at 11:37 am

Dang it, got the gloomies today. I've been working on house cleaning. And done some exercising. That always helps some. But, I've been trying to stay out of the fridge. I've been doing pretty well lately. But, sometimes things just grind to a halt. I would love to just sit and read, but too many things need to be done in too few days. So, I just need to push through just a little. And, maybe tonight I can just let it go. I think part of it might be that I'm trying to be a good little mommie and not stress over DD starting another semester. This time she is off some of her meds and using a very good therapist. So, I guess I just have to stay back and let her run with it. She'll do just fine. I'm just such a mom sometimes.

I have checked on the auto loan and now the payment has gone through. I still haven't deposited the two checks I hold yet. Especially, since I talked to DS and one of the checks is from them. They are having a tough time until he finds a job. DIL's adamant about paying me back, but her paychecks are growing smaller with the increases in gasoline and food. They won't let me give them money, so I will send a couple of packages of diapers for the little one. Maybe that will be okay and will help some. So, I will deposit one check and apply it to the auto loan. This is one time that something ending is really cool.

Maybe I'll go find some chocolate.....

Fishy.....

January 12th, 2008 at 03:16 pm

Hubby hates seafood. Even the smell. So, we don't go to a seafood restaurant with him. I try to have a good one on hand for when the relatives comes because they all like to try the seafood. Especially since we live near the coast. Since Hurricane Rita, there have been changes in the seafood restaurant selections. Some places have closed. One burned after the storm. There are a couple of Cajun style seafood places nearby, but I'm not too big on Cajun seasoning, although it is pretty terrific in fried turkeys. And I can eat a toned-down version in ettoufee, etc. But not really on my fish. There is a place we pass by every time we go visit the kids. It's not too far from where we live. I checked online to see if they offered something Hubby could eat. Hubby wanted me to practice driving the truck, since I'll be driving him home from the Big City after surgery. The truck is so much easier for him to get in and out of when he's all banged up. So, off we went to eat fishy stuff.

Not bad. I liked the selection of things you could order and the fact that you can order them something other than fried. I've run into that problem at other places around here. In addition, I substituted grilled veggies for the potato. Most of the time that means a couple of vegetables barely cooked. This time there was a big variety of vegetables grilled and filling half the plate. I pigged out on those. The place was in a little town and the patrons knew everyone there. They went all around the restaurant greeting neighbors and chatting. It was quite the atmosphere. I think that I can bring the folks here for a good meal. Not sure that Hubby will ever go again. But, at least he gave it a try. Did I mention he hates seafood.....

Quandry......

January 11th, 2008 at 12:57 pm

I have a bit of a question mark in my head today. I received two checks that I need to deposit. One is an expense check from Hubby's work and the other is a reimbursement check from DIL. I have one more coming from my mother. But, I hate to hold on to DIL's check too long, because it messes up their checkbook with it still in there. Their finances are pretty tight, and they don't like to have outstanding stuff. So, I need to deposit these two. I am stuck at what to do with them. The expense check is for more than the gasoline we put in Hubby's truck for those trips for work. They go by mileage. So, I don't need the whole amount for gasoline. I keep thinking I should put them on an extra credit card payment, but I have an exciting thing happening. I am almost through paying for the big auto loan. The next payment will be taken out this weekend and then we'll owe less than two payments. I was thinking of paying it off, even though the interest rate on it is miniscule compared to other things we have. But, the thought of paying something off is just too exciting. I am so very tempted to put this money on that loan. Between this deposit and the payment, we can cut a fair chunk out of the remainder. Then, I can see about paying the last of it off. What to do....what to do......

Third Time's the ......

January 9th, 2008 at 11:32 am

We finally caught up with DD this weekend and had our third Christmas. It was a fun time of relaxing and catching up. Hubby and I got back Sunday evening. And I've still got to go pick up our mail. Actually, it has been sorta fun not getting any mail--most of which I have to shred anyway. Got to get on those do not mail lists.

We called and finally got all our ducks in a row. Hubby has to have major surgery, and we needed to get all his tests and stuff all planned out. And to get all his down time planned out. I think his parents are coming so that will help with extra hands. I think we'll have to use a big chunk of our house repair fund to pay for the medical costs. We had saved his bonus for the house repairs, now we'll need it for Hubby repairs.

DD's tuition is due again. It costs about 1000 more each semester than DS's because of all the building the college has been doing. I hope she is there long enough to benefit from all the buildings we are helping to pay for! But she seems to be settling into this college thing. And that's good. And worth it.

I finally finished repainting the hallway. And I've got samples for the living room. But, I think I might start on Hubby's office next. Then, I can close the door on the fumes while he recovers. And it will keep me busy so I don't do him in. He suggested that he might change his will so that if he doesn't survive his time at home--I get nothing. I think he knows he will be going stir crazy, and I might be tempted to cash in his life insurance....

Seriously, we have to get some legal papers fixed up. I never thought of a medical power of attorney. And our outdated will only names DS and "other children" which makes DD feel kinda funny. And they don't need a guardian anymore. We've gotten assigned a new lawyer through New Company's new program with local attorneys. We just might need to do that since our last lawyer was arrested for trading legal services to prostitutes for sexual favors. Can we pick them or what....

Things APopping....

January 1st, 2008 at 11:41 am

over my house most of the evening were quite entertaining. I know there is a city ban on fireworks, but it never seems to deter the folks in the neighborhood. I always have a free show. In fact, I often wonder how much they spend on all those things. I felt like Fort Sumter last night with fairly large fireworks going off both in front of and in back of my house. No matter where I sat, I could watch the show. I usually stay up and watch and make sure nothing catches fire. One year, we had one run up under our car. But, with early mornings the next few days, this was one year I didn't make it all the way to midnight. What amazes me is that I slept through the rest of the barrage. I guess it got to be background noise after five hours.

I hope everyone had an awesome New Year's Eve. And here's to all of us and our financial and physical health for 2008!