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I Was Waiting For This.....

July 20th, 2008 at 01:20 pm

For someone in the weather information community to say "Hello, Dolly." Sure enough, one of them couldn't resist and has already written it about the new storm. We're still in watch mode, but I think we'll be okay for this one. We might get some needed rain here as it spreads out this week. We didn't even mow this weekend because our yard is getting quite crispy.

Hubby is going slightly stir crazy. Most of the preparations didn't involve him too much except to help make decisions and move things for me if needed. He did make a run to the store and then helped with the other errands. He had already taken care of getting gas and putting air in the spare tires. But, today, he's going nuts.

He asked me if he could move the desktop computer off my desk to his office desk. I had wanted to do this for about a month now, but hesitated to add anything to his desk. He is so neat. Hardly anything is on his desk. I didn't want to put anything there. He asked to move it in there so he could use it for games and such. His work laptop is for just that. He always has to wait until I'm not working on anything at my desk. I practically threw it at him. I was so very glad to get rid of the stuff on top, the thingy under the desk, and all those darn cords! We did invest in a smaller monitor a little while ago, and that helped. But, the rest of the computer is almost a decade old. And rather big. DS upgraded it a bunch when he had it, so it was still fairly usable. It just took up so much room. I spent a while happily untangling cords and getting them to him to hook everything back up. I think cords are like hangers. They seems to multiply and grow longer and more tangled the longer you have them. I'm now inspired to clear off the rest of the junk on my desk and make it easier to use. There has been a couple of silver linings to this preparation mode we've been in. Decluttering pens and pencils may not make a big dent, but decluttering is decluttering.

I think I will start on a home project this next week. I need to prime and paint the wainscotting in the kitchen/dining area. This will also make me finish decluttering the stuff I've gotten out to go through. And, I happen to have a gift card from the home improvement store to get the paint. I wanted to work on some decluttering in the attic this week, but it is so very hot. I might bring things down one at a time and in the evening hours. This decluttering is getting addicting....

Phooey.....

July 19th, 2008 at 06:55 pm

We didn't get to go to DS's to help the gang move them this weekend. We were getting the final things ready in case the developing situation in the Carribean turned out to be the next hurricane. The predictions have sent it all over the Texas coast. And, it is fairly early for us, so not everything had been ready. We finished cleaning the stuff we'd been working on out of the garage so we can put vehicles in it. We finished banking, getting gas, and the final supplies. We'd been doing bills and supplies all along, so not much was needed to be done there. We finished repacking the files. We didn't get the medical stuff done yet, but that was because our prescriptions were a couple of days from being able to be refilled. We worked on getting together what we would take with us. Haven't put as much away yet, waiting to see if we would have to leave.

We did miss getting the see the DGBaby. It's been six weeks, and she is doing so many new things. We wanted to see the new place and the baby and the kids (for the last time in one city) but this weekend turned out to be a completely different creature than planned.

I don't regret taking the time to get this stuff done. If we ended up in the crosshairs again, we wouldn't be scrambling early next week to do it and get out if needed. We didn't have to spend a ton at once for supplies so that was good. Spreading it out in the budget has really helped.

But, I had taken the dogs to be boarded before I found out that we wouldn't be going. I called today to see if they had taken out the stitches in Older Dog, but they had waited for the doc to get back on Monday when I was originally supposed to pick her up. So, we decided to leave them there for the weekend. It was only an additional 30 dollars since we wouldn't have to pay for an office visit this way. And, Hubby wanted a time of quiet after the rush of getting things finished. I did, however, forget something that cost us bigger bucks. I had reserved a hotel room near DS and family's new home. The gang moving them would have more room to crash if we sort of spread out. I waited til the afternoon to cancel it, but then my mom unexpectedly called from her trip to Alaska, and then I got distracted again with something else. I thought of it again four hours after the deadline. So, I have a charge on my credit card for a room we won't be using. Rats. I hate when that happens! To top it off, I had found a voucher that would have given us the room for free. Double rats.

Funny thing is, if the kids or someone else had done something like this, I would have said not to worry, these things happen. Why do I beat myself up for this stuff? I guess this one hurts because I had retotalled my debt and had gotten a look at the mess I still have. Oh well, I make a little progress here or there in living. I learned another lesson. But, sometimes, this two steps forward and one step back approach is extremely frustrating and slow....

Little Snowflakes.....

July 17th, 2008 at 08:52 am

Yesterday, DD deposited a refund check from her MRI/Cat scans, and today it's cleared. I transferred out our money to our account and left her bill money intact. Now, to apply it to some credit cards. She put the payments on her credit card, so logically, I should use it for her card. But, I have others with bigger interest rates. So, I went to figure out what to do next.

I've been snowflaking along this month. I finally set up a revised chart showing what we owe and to whom and the interest rates. Daunting to say the least. I also set up a chart to log my snowflaking and see if I can excelerate the process a little. I thought if I could see the progress, I might make more of an effort. I've paid almost an additional 400 dollars this month toward things. I hope to increase that and get things really rolling. A true snowball.

One of my problems is that we are heading deep into hurricane season. Do I go ahead and pay things off, or do I keep the money for a possible hit and displacement from another storm. We've gotten two recently--2005 and 2007. We feel we've bought most of our supplies, but we have to replenish things as we go along because some things get used like toilet paper. We try to stay ahead so that we won't be buying a lot of things at once. But, you also have the repairs and expenses after one of those things clobbers you. So, I am going around in circles with the decision. I would rather have less on our shoulders, but would like to retain a bit for the next couple of months until our part of the season is over around sometime in October. And, this looks like to be a busy season. I hate this indecision.

So, I suppose I will snowflake for awhile longer. Keep chipping away at things. Keep to the budget if I can and when the season is over, hit the cards really hard with what I have. The problem with that is that last year we used the money for medical purposes. But, at least we had it. I am so tired of having the debts. I am fed up with dealing with it.

I have also set up a chart of money needed for an emergency fund. Short term, six months, and a year. That will keep in focus my savings goals. I included stuff like cable and cell phones for now. And, the credit card bills. My emergency fund needs will change when we pay off those darn cards.

I included good loans like the mortgage. I am also snowflaking a bit on that. I put an additional small amount on the principal every month. I know I should be applying that to the cards, but it is so satisfying watching the mortgage go down a little. We've shaved at least five years off. We're trying to get our mortgage paid off before we reach retirement age.

Sigh. I've tried to work with this for three years. I've gotten used to a budget. Used to saving some. Used to watching what I am doing. The credit cards remain the last stronghold. And, they are going to be history. Just rather slowly....

The Klutz Factor Again....

July 14th, 2008 at 11:19 am

I tripped and fell down on the hard floor of the hallway. Fortunately, I didn't break anything. I had some aches and pains in my wrists, hips, and shoulders all weekend, but I am getting much better. Makes me see how the older folks get really worried about falling. I am getting there, too. Funny thing was where the aches ended up. I fell on my hands and knees. The pain ended up in my joints.

Got fed up with the random decluttering I was doing this weekend. When I get mad at my slowness, I end up going nuts at something. So, I targeted a pile of empty boxes in the garage. You know the kind, the small ones that you save for putting gifts in. Every couple of years, I seem to accumulate a bunch of those. I held my breath and tossed as many as I could manage in a short while into Hubby's trash bin. Then, I walked away so that I wouldn't retrieve any of them. The final step was to tell Hubby. He promptly ran out and demolished them into pieces and into the big trash bin. Mission accomplished. I let my breath out again. It is a hard thing for an Accumulator to let go of things that "might" be needed. Of course, I'll probably need a box in the next month, but who cares. I like the empty spot. And, the feeling that I got a little something done.

We also decluttered three sets of sheets that we don't have beds for anymore. I bought an additional spare set for the one bed we do have and tossed the odd ones into the giveaway box. They finished off the box, and Hubby took it away. I set up another box in the corner of the garage to fill this week. Amazing what you can find.

I also decluttered boxes for things the kids have given me. I won't be storing them in the boxes in the future. If I did decide to do that, I wouldn't necessarily find the boxes anyway. A little bubble wrap or something will do.

Decluttering the old, heavy weedeater to DD's fiance. Will be decluttering the living room tv as it went kaput this weekend. Funny, we found that the remotes for all the tvs work for every tv. They are all the same brand. I was turning on the little one we brought in to see if it was the tv or the cable line. And, I turned on the little one and turned off the old one at the same time. Found out that the bigger tv picture was just shot. We'll be decluttering it on large trash day when the big stuff hits the curb. Someone will pick it up before the trash guys get here though. We've recycled a lot of old small appliances that way. People with a lot more talent at fixing things than us cruise the neighborhoods on the proper weeks and pick up a lot of old stuff like this. I love it. More power to them.

We went to the salad place we enjoy and bought the kid's meals again. Two salad bars and two pizzas. Dinner for last night and tonight for 2 dollars a plate. Nice.....





Hide And Go Seek....

July 11th, 2008 at 11:04 am

This is the first time I've ever written a check to a doctor I have never seen. I finally got a bill for the emergency room doc for when I was a klutz and put the wrong thing in my eyes. I was taken care of by two other people plus two others who did the insurance/billing stuff. But, I never saw the doc. Not even for a second. Not even a "Hello, I'm the doc." I was taken care of quite well. The doc probably looked over and signed off on everything. He might even have been working on a more serious case. If that's the case, I sure don't mind. But, I found it interesting that he charged me over 250 dollars, and I don't even know if he exists. Of course, the insurance took care of most of it. I'm grateful for that and the care. Just sort of weird.

After a couple of frustratingly sluggish days, I am back to decluttering. It kicked back in last night. I'm trying to fill a big box in the garage every two weeks....

Crossing the Street.....

July 9th, 2008 at 01:07 pm

I have instituted something that seems to be working well. So far. I try to pay things as they come in. I have a budget for the month, so it doesn't matter if I pay it now or later in the month. The only thing is to have the money to do so. Today, I was out getting a haircut and stopped by a bank to deposit something. I was right next to the post office and stopped in to check the PO Box. We got this after some mail shenanigans in the neighborhood. It was driven home a week or so ago when I was leaving for a doctor's appointment. Two of my neighbors were in the yard watching a scene a couple of houses down. There were cars blocking the mail truck and the sub mail guy was in the back of a car, and people were going through the truck and the mailbag. One neighbor had just mailed her bills with him. I had to leave so I never found out if he was arrested or there was a threat or what. Although I love my regular guy, I had gotten into the habit of taking my bills and stuff to the post office and checking the box. Today, I got the water bill. Since I was across the street from the city buildings, I just went over and paid it. Done. No bills are in the house right now. This feels weird.

I found the card I wanted to close and logged onto the website to see just what is what. Like what is the interest on this one since I have never used it. It was one of those where they discontinued a card and sent you a whole new thing. I saw that the other one that I had closed was still open. I had a letter in my files that said they closed it, so I called and checked it out. They apologized and are in the process of closing it now. I asked about the interest rate and about fell out of my chair at 20%. NO THANK YOU. As soon as the cycle ends and things are done with the other account, I'm writing to close this one. That's ridiculous. I would have closed it then, but their whole drop the ball thing had me want to do one thing at a time.

I am getting where I like to look online and see where the balances of the debts are at any given time. Sort of, in your face and pay attention instead of once a month glancing at it kind of thing. I'm snowflaking along....

Rocks In My Head.....

July 7th, 2008 at 08:41 am

Or rather in a bag in a box in the garage. I had decluttering withdrawals this weekend. DD came home in between summer sessions to surprise Hubby for the fourth. I knew about it for a week or so. Hubby is worried because I'm getting WAY too good at keeping this stuff from him. So, we hung around. Grilled some food. Met up with her possible wedding coordinator friend who was weirdly coincidentally in town also to visit family and friends for a day. Met a couple of her other friends who also came for a visit and DD's godchild. Such a cutie! Went to see Wall-E. I only visit the movie theater itself about once every six months, but I really wanted to see this one. As DD put it, it isn't weird after about 17 or 18 to go to a movie with your parents. She left after movie and a dinner. DS and family went to visit DIL's family this year. That's cool because we'll be helping them move in a few weeks, and things will be busy then!

I was trying to get over my decluttering need while DD was on the road and I was by the phone. Love cells. I can pocket it and out to the garage I can go. I was rummaging through a box in the garage that looked like stuff from a rehearsal dinner "picnic" party that we had for DS a few years ago. I found a couple of cool colorful ice bucket thingys that would make a fun outside planter. And, a bag of rocks. Decorative rocks. Lots of rocks. They were just in a plastic bag that had started to tear and rocks went everywhere when I gingerly picked it up. I scooped up all the rocks, put them in one plastic container, and hefted it. Wow, a load of rocks. Not sure what you can do with them since I am not a decorating genius. I have a fountain thingy that uses rocks. But, I have WAY more rocks than someone needs. I'll ask DD. She'll come up with something. If not, they go out with the rest of the stuff not used.

I decluttered my purse of coins. I also raided the Frog and have almost 20 dollars to deposit. I'll apply that to a credit card with that bank. We no longer walk all the time, but we still find coins. I found a dime yesterday. I guess we find about 50 cents a month. Not bad for just looking at the ground. I have visions of walking into a lightpost or a signpost though.

I'm decluttering another store credit card as soon as I can find it. I have been digging through files, and I know I put it somewhere I could find it to get rid of it.....

And It Keeps On Going.....

July 4th, 2008 at 08:13 am

The visits to the vet for Older Dog continue. We went back for post-op, and she is still not well. So, more meds and another checkup and tests next week. This is getting pretty expensive. I'm glad that she is doing better overall, though. And, she is being really patient with all the tests and medications. Hopefully, this will be the last for her. And for my bank account.

Hubby got his expense check for a couple of trips to Big City for work. The gas mileage was a little more than the cost of gas, so I was going to put the rest on the credit bills. But, it went to the vet instead. Oh well, at least we had the extra.

Decluttering is ongoing, too. I've started getting into things that take a little thought about what to do with it. Things that are more sentimental. I've even had dreams about this stuff. So, I guess my mental processes are trying to resolve this. But, I think in the long run, I'd rather get rid of stuff than hold on to things I won't remember I have or find for another ten years or so. But, the process is much slower. Obsessive people have a harder time with the letting go process, I guess.

I've set up a couple of debts to start decluttering. I'm forcing myself to narrow down and FOCUS. The new meds really help on that. I went to the doc about them this week, and he asked if I wished I'd had the new med a long time ago. Yes, it would have made life a lot more pleasant for all, I suppose. But, I've learned something from all of you here. Look ahead and move forward. So, I will not let the past nor the past financial mistakes cloud the present. I've got a lot to be thankful for. Someday, I might be able to look back on this stuff and laugh?

Sign of the Times......

June 27th, 2008 at 12:06 pm

I should have seen it coming. I just got a call from my water delivery service. Not so great news. Since I grew up on a deep springlike well system, I taste tested some water delivery here and found a well-known, reputable one that had great spring water. The delivery regular drinking water is local water redone. The spring was trucked in from another state if I recall right. At any rate, we've had it for years. Our city's water often tastes awful. Messes with my stomach. Turns my clothes dingy. Leaves things less than sparkly. I found that the kids drank a lot more water with the service. Allergies eased up. Colds and other stuff were fewer. They drank water. The water company in all these years has never raised its rates for my water. It added a fuel surcharge a year or so ago to compensate, but my water has never changed. And, the surcharge was less than $2.00 per month. Doable.

Now, no spring water. I guess it got too costly to truck and bottle. I guess not enough of us wanted to pay for it. Who knows. I didn't really like the taste of the regular water compared to the spring. I didn't like the idea of paying for a reprocessed bottle of the next city's water. Of course, it probably doesn't have all the junk in it. Phooey. What to do now. I am receiving a free delivery of the regular water to taste test again. I am wondering if the cost will be changed. I am wondering if I should just get a filtering system for the household. I just don't know. Guess it will depend on how it tastes. There are other companies in the area, but I'll have to do some work to find out what to get and how much it would be. Sigh. My favorite things disappear quite often. How many times do you have something you love disappear from the store shelves? Happens to me all the time.

I am writing and closing a store account today. Don't know why I got the card. Don't use it. Good grief. It's a no brainer. I have another one on tap to go.

I go pick up Older Dog today from her surgery. Between both her surgeries in the last month, plus tests, and now shots for the Little Dog, my pet emergency fund has been decimated and then some. This fund will be hard to refill. Sigh. We've all been hit by the medical bug this year, including the pets.....

Forget-Me-Not......

June 26th, 2008 at 06:55 am

I hate it when I get to the store and find that I've forgotten my coupon or coupons. Or, that I've forgotten my list. I often start to head out and then realize that I've forgotten my bottle of water (it's so hot here) to take with me or maybe go to the bathroom first. Even my cell phone off my desk like I did yesterday. Sometimes, I go back in. And then, I leave the list somewhere. I've started putting the list into my pocket. Or, in the purse right after I realize that the list is on the desk. I made a plan the other day, had my list, and forgot the coupons. I had thought of them, then my mind wandered and the rest of the thought that went something like "put them into purse NOW" registered but didn't make it into action. I limited my purchases so that I didn't lose so much money. And, then there are the times I pick up the list or coupons going out the door and....forget them in the car. I used to leave them in the car on purpose, but when Hubby goes with me, I have to remember to get them from my car because he'll want to drive his. It's easier for him to get in and out of since his surgery. Sometimes, I have the list and the coupons, but forget something on the list and it is in my hand. Sheesh!

I started making notes to myself and sticking them on the computer monitor. But, I move them or get used to them and don't see them. I stick them to the keyboard, but ignore them eventually. I stick them to the calendar or organizer. That helps if I think to look at them more often. Usually, I look at them the first of the week and see what's coming up. I stick them to the glass on my desk. Sometimes, those end up sticking to my sleeves instead. I need a better note system. Or a better coupon system. Or both. And, don't get me started on trying to remember names.....

On the decluttering note, I've gotten rid of a drawer full of loose recipes. I'll never go through and organize those. I have the ones that are recipes from relatives already safely stashed, so these aren't important. They were just "someday" recipes. I reorganized some files and got rid of some more things. I've been working a bit in the hobby stuff. I've found stuff that I didn't know I had and stuff that needs to move on. I found a bag in the garage that had water damage from Rita. It had costume stuff from when DD and class had to do a skit based on Gilligan's Island. I kept the skipper's hat for the dress up bin for DGD, and the rest is damaged and will go.

Hurricane supplies are starting to fill in. I got a couple more flashlights/lanterns and some medical and personal stuff. I need to get a little more food now. And, keep the supply of water replenished. I am trying to only buy stuff that will be used up in the next part of the year. That way, the cost doesn't drive me crazy.

I have decided to think of the debt as a decluttering project. It's not just dollars...but stuff and junk that I don't need. And, it needs to quit cluttering up my life and go......

Excavating.....

June 24th, 2008 at 07:40 am

Like DisneySteve and Creditcardfree and probably several others this time of year, I have been decluttering. It's been made a whole lot easier with the new meds. I can concentrate for longer periods of time, and I can make up my mind faster. So, along with stuff that is making its way out of the house, stuff is being found. Even if the stuff doesn't cost that much, I'm probably saving a bit in gasoline usage.

I found a picture frame that was perfect for a picture that DS and DIL gave me a couple of years ago. Their frame and glass had gotten broken. I took care of that last night. About time. Sheesh.

I found more computer paper of the variety I like. It was buried in one of those drawer bin things with a bunch of paper the kids used to use for school printed projects. The paper will be used. The bin is empty for another use.

I found some old CD cases that I can use. Must have been left over from another kid school project or music project. And, some software to use for projects. I'll have to check this out and see just what these can do.

Found more file room as I shredded yet more stuff. I had bank statements from a VERY long time ago. Time to let go of the past.

I found my baby mug. Now, that was a surprise. I am putting that into my freezer "locker" for hurricane season. I also found several beautiful vases from my grandmother. I'd forgotten about those.

Found a cassette player. I am going to see if it works and see if the cassettes the kids loved to play in the car still work. Memories. We laughed ourselves silly on long car trips with these. I'll probably store these with the car games they used. I'm not ready to part with everything just yet.

Found some legos that I can't figure out how to put together. Some little doll house. Will probably put them with the bin of millions of those lego things until I find out what the kids want.

Found some kitty toys.

Found some clothes that I can actually still wear and are still cute. Rest are tossed.

Found that I have a ton of packing materials for mailing stuff. Gathered that in one place.

Found that I have WAY too many cookbooks.
I mean, how many crockpot or casserole cookbooks do you need?

I found several empty photo storage boxes. Duh...will be a major project soon.

Found a huge box of stamps and pads that the kids used. Kept the stamps, ditched the pads. Would make cool cards for the Grandkid.

And, that's just getting started. I also found a ton of old stuff related to computers and printers we don't own. Software from 2000. And, full and empty ink boxes from obsolete printers. Good grief. I have a couple of huge bags of things tossed or shredded. I've only made a dent in the stored stuff. I have dug out most of the kitchen. I only have to go through the baking pans. Got a ton of those and need to weed out. I've gotten through most of the clothes. I am working on the old bedding. We only own one bed right now and one sofa bed. So, that's a no brainer. I need to go through all the medical supplies. Right now, if you open the cabinet where they are stored, they fall on you. Not useful there. We have a whole set of supplies with the hurricane stuff, so I need to weed out. Something else is the whole cabinet shelf full of shoe stuff--sprays, cleaners, cloths, etc. We have them for boots and shoes and sneakers. What we don't have is the ability to remember they are there and use them. Most have probably broken down into an evil state of existence and need to be tossed out anyway. What a waste that is. I'll keep the best ones and put them where we can remember them if we need them. Hubby tossed a ton of old schoolbooks from long gone college days. We even tossed some old Christmas music we found.

I am going to go through books and kid toys last. Those will be the hardest to go through. I'll probably be at this the whole summer if not longer. I hope to never get this much stuff in my life again......

Migration.....

June 22nd, 2008 at 11:13 am

Our suitcases migrate. Usually to the kids' homes. We used to have a red set. Really easy to see on a baggage thingy. Slowly, the pieces migrated to DS's home. Since he didn't get to come home often, that was a puzzle. But, he traveled quite a bit with school and music. I don't think he has them any more. DS and DIL have bought a set together. We recently donated the last little one of that set to Goodwill.

We bought a green set. In decluttering the office closet, I found that we are missing the big piece. Hmmmm. Oh yeah, DD used it for a trip this past December. I guess she still has it. I found that we had one actual suitcase. Three smaller travel overnight sized bags. A whole slew of makeup bags. Guess I never found one I liked. Most couldn't hold much anyway. I donated most of those. Kept one or two larger ones to see if I'll use them. If not, out they will go. I found three large duffles. We kept two strong ones. Other one goes. I found three backpacks from the kids' school days. I had gotten rid of a couple already. How many had we held onto? I kept the two expensive sturdy ones and tossed the third. Had only one hanging bag left. That's good enough. Two sport totes went back to the beach/towel/watershoes area. How did they migrate to this closet? I managed to get most of them, except for the suitcase itself, onto the first shelf. Awesome! I can even see the floor of the closet. But, before I tease the heck out of the kids for stealing our suitcases, I better realize that I found a tote that belongs to my mom from a trip home a couple of years ago. Oops...

Stoned.....

June 18th, 2008 at 10:48 am

I just called into the vet and the tests show that Older Dog has stones again. I am meeting with the vet this afternoon after my dentist/cleaning appointment to see what the prognosis is. Talk about a fun afternoon. I really hope these stones are smaller ones that can be dissolved with medication, because I don't think we can afford another major doggie surgery at this time. The last one years ago was a bit of a bite, and with DD and Hubby both still paying medical bills, I'm not sure we can add a doggie surgery. We just had a lump removed and other stuff a week or so ago. It was about 400 dollars for that one which wasn't really bad. But, the stone surgery last time was pretty expensive. I don't want her hurting or in any misery though. I really don't know what I'll have to decide. I guess we'll find out this afternoon.

Hubby and I went to the store and stocked up on more hurricane supplies. It always happens that you think of more after you get home. I used to have a master checklist, but somehow that wandered off into no man's land. I thought of replacing defunct flashlights when the electricity went off for an hour last night after a storm. I had two functioning flashlights that I knew of. I have no idea where the big lantern went after Rita. Hubby had taken it off to another city when he was working on rebuilding. It probably never made it home. Need to replace fire extinquishers, too.

We were so hot and tired after the trip out that we decided to splurge and buy a monster homemade hamburger at a mom and pop cafe. We would split the 7 dollar meal, so it wasn't so bad. But, the cafe has changed its hours and no longer serves dinner during the week. So, we hit the freezer again and saved dinner money. Seven dollars is seven dollars.

I don't think I'll have to pay anything for this teeth cleaning. But, I tease them they poke holes in my teeth every time. There is always a filling that needs to be replaced with something else. Or something going wrong. No matter what I do. So, I am resigned to being told something else has been going south. I am hopeful that they won't find anything for once, and that the vet thinks we can do this without major stuff. That would be a nice ending to this day......

Silent Revenge or...Pooped On...

June 17th, 2008 at 10:01 am

Ordinarily, the winged friends in our front tree just screech and fly at us when the eggs hatch. I've been seeing shells in the yard and the driveway, so I figured that our buddies are back. But, I haven't heard a "peep" from them yet. Until the other day. MIL and FIL were getting ready to hop in their rental car to drive to Big City to catch a flight homeward. We were saundering up the brick sidewalk, saying our goodbyes, when one of our hidden critters pooped on Grandma. This has happened to her before when she has visited us. The last time was on a ferry ride, and a gull pooped in her hair. Fortunately, it was on her shirt front, and she had a spare. So, back in the house we went to change Grandma and wash out her duds. Repack and ready to go. I honesly don't believe I laughed until they left. I went after that to get some extra dogfood for hurricane supplies and told the gals what had happened. They hinted that I wished for something to happen to MIL. Naw, not really. We have a relationship in progress and try to overlook those things that are frustrating in each of us. But, I have to admit, it is really funny to me. Not too many people have a bird that sends a farewell like that to inlaws. Sigh, I'm an inlaw myself now, so I should cultivate good karma and not enjoy this so much. I guess you'd have to be there. Grandma is very neat and pressed and birds continuing to poop on the poor lady is just too weird.

Speaking of hurricane preparation, I am spending money getting ready. Today's expenses will include kitty food and litter. But, to offset that expense, we are also eating everything out of the freezers so we do not go through the freezer cleanup again. That saves us food money and makes for some interesting meals.....

Gone With The Wind.....

June 13th, 2008 at 07:10 am

We got our state windstorm insurance coverage renewal yesterday. It's gone up another 100 dollars or so. A few surcharges, and I realized that I don't have the deductibles in an account. I DO have the insurance cost this year saved, but next year will be fun. It was much easier this year since I got a large refund on my homeowners when they dropped the windstorm, and I just dropped it into an account. But next year I will have to save up. To the tune of about 1200 dollars. On top of all the regular insurance. Let's see. Household insurance is about the same amount. Plus flood insurance. Glad I really do like my company and its agents. Because we're paying a bunch for the good service. I need to set up a plan for getting that premium back into the coffers. And figure out about the deductibles. They run another several thousand if the whole thing plus contents were wiped out. Regular insurance goes into escrow. Flood insurance is paid during the summer, also. I usually don't have too much trouble with the flood insurance premium. It runs about 400 dollars. I try to have that ready early. Once, I saw a guy with a head tall yardstick in our town showing how high the waters would get during a really big hurricane. Just a handful of inches. Not really bad. But, if you consider the woman I met that had only 2 inches in her house, but her walls all molded before she could get back in and she had to gut the whole thing....definitely going to keep the flood stuff. It's just a fact of life. This area keeps the gasoline and chemicals flowing into other parts of the country, so we're needed. I did have to wonder once just why on earth did they put everything in harm's way. Convenience, eons ago. Too costly to move things now. Eventually, we'll move out of range before the companies do.

Insurance on older homes is getting harder and harder to sort out. I wrestle with this a lot. I am glad I can bombard my people with questions, and that they take the time to figure it out for me. I need to take a more proactive stance on this and quit bemoaning it all. It is a tough thing sometimes when I realize that all my relatives in other areas of the country pay a small percentage of the whole insurance package we pay. And, if we have another storm in a year or two, we might be in a world of hurt trying to keep insurance. I need to realize that this is a bigger issue in our little world and concentrate on making it a priority. And saving and saving and saving. We need to have a Hurricane Fund set up for all this outflow. And, for the cost of supplies, and for living expenses. And for deductibles. At least, we are able to prepare and actually see the storms coming unlike the poor folks in the midwest and all that get the tornados so much. We can run ahead of the wind....

The Fur is Flying.....

June 10th, 2008 at 10:40 am

Poor puppy. Her operation went well, but we opted not to have the lump biopsied. At her age, any intensive treatment would probably be futile and distressing. We'll just keep her as comfortable as we can. It was much larger than we thought and a half-shaved pooch looks kinda funny. The lump was on her back. Of course, she doesn't have a lot of hair left anyway, so I think that I'll just shave her on down and give her a whole new look. She has contracted a bladder infection and piddles while she walks. We're treating with antibiotics which of course causes other problems. This week is going to be VERY interesting. Hopefully, there aren't any stones like last time. That is another surgery, and frankly, I don't know if we can afford that right now. But, I don't want her hurting. Right now, she doesn't seem too affected. She's a happy camper so far.

Big family event went well, and we still have relatives about. I am still trying to get dosages of meds adjusted and various side affects accustomed to and it is playing havoc with my life right now. Today, I'm trying to just chill by myself to get balanced a bit.

The bank balances have been clobbered by all the large things going on. DD had to have an MRI yesterday which is a good thing, but hit the pocketbook again. We've all had the medical funds going nuts this year. The MRI is one of those things that you hope they find out what is causing headaches, but you hope they don't find anything. I can't figure out what I am waiting to hear. I am hoping that they are eliminating one more test so that they can decide on a course of treatment. I was with her this weekend, and it reinforced how bad she can feel quite often. We really need to find something that works.

After the dust settles, I am going to try to get back to a payoff plan. Things have gone so haywire with the finances. I have cut costs in other places in order to account for more gas costs. With a budget to tinker with, that wasn't as hard to do. But, the costs on most of my bills have gone up. I also spent some money finishing up organizing Hubby's office here at home. I bought everything on sale with careful consideration, but I am not sure it was the right time to do it. At any rate, he has a place to call his own. The only other place that is truly his is the work space in half of the garage and his comfy chair in the living room. I really need to replace the chair, but that's another story....

Bookworm....

June 3rd, 2008 at 06:22 pm

As a kid, I dreamed of owning a ton of my very own books. I spent this last weekend sorting boxes of books and moving them out of the "office" area. My conclusion is that my dream came true in spades. And that I am a book nut. I stacked the boxes in the cat's room to re-sort again and cull some more. Poor kitty now has a mountain of various stacks of boxes to climb. She probably feels a little hemmed in. So do I. It's a little like cleaning out your closet. You find you don't really need much more of the things in there because you've got a ton you didn't realize you had.

I've also found a whole container full of decorating style magazines. SIL advised looking through mags to find out what kinds of things I would like to do to the house. Of course, she actually does the looking. I just got the mags from the library giveaway, etc., and left them in a container. Not much help there. I am chucking those out because I'm obviously not taking her good advice. These things are ancient now.

Gave some dishes away to DS and DIL that match some they have. Freed up some cabinet space that I promptly filled with dishes that I had received for a present. Nice to have a change. Can't believe it took me so long to change it around. I think I got the new dishes...oh...say eight months ago?

Starting to eat out of the freezer again. Need to free up the deep freeze to use as a "locker" again for hurricane season. Things we can't evacuate with us, but that we don't want to have blown away, we put in there to store. Sentimental things. It also keeps us from spending as much on food for awhile.

Old doggie goes to the vet for surgery this week. I've been putting off a growth removal for awhile. But, she is beginning to find the thing irritating, and I'm afraid she's going to scratch it badly and get it infected. The whole surgery including teeth extraction and stuff is going to cost about 400 dollars. Ouch. But, she'll feel better, and I'll feel better that it's finally done. Hopefully, only the pocketbook will feel the pain.

The university has messed up DD's summer program. She's going toe to toe with them to straighten it out. I'm proud of her, but it's draining. And, I'm not sure just what we paid for now. I'm letting her handle it. I'm just being a cheerleader on this one.

I get to talk to the meds doc tomorrow and see what we are doing about the meds dosages. So far, so good. I have some questions though. Well, if he's a little busy and behind tomorrow, I've definitely got a book to take to read....

Where Does This Stuff Come From.....

June 2nd, 2008 at 06:09 pm

I have been going through files and culling and repacking for hurricane season. And shredding. And shredding. Since I do this every year, I keep wondering where does all this paper come from? I overheated the shredder twice. I thought I had streamlined the whole paper keeping system, but evidently not. I mean, we have to carry four different insurance policies on the house alone. Oh well, there is always next year.

I've been working to get things organized for Hubby to have a cleaned out office room. Not an easy task for someone who can't stay on target very well. I've been taking my new meds every day, but one pill is somewhat helpful and two is manic time. I have the option of an in between dose, and when I see the meds doc again, I'll go for that and see what happens. Means another co-pay or two. Fortunately, the insurance company and Hubby's surgeon finally had a meeting of the minds, and we don't have a whole lot of medical bills for that to finish paying. But, a major family event is coming up, and I've been spending money like water getting things ready. Or maybe it is the manic talking. At any rate, I need to lock up the bank card or something. Or flatten my tires so I can't go anywhere.

In the what the heck category, we stopped this weekend at our favorite salad place. In order to save money, I suggested we buy the combo little pizza and salad dinner and split it since Hubby wanted a salad and I secretly had a hankering for pizza. But, after I told him that Hubby decided he wanted a pizza, too. We get inside and can't find the ole mini pizzas on the menu. The girl suggested we get the kid's meal which still has the mini pizzas and a salad and a drink. Huh? For three dollars less than two salad bars, we got two pizzas, two salad bars, and two drinks. We brought it all home and had salads for dinner and pizzas for dinner the next night. For about 2 dollars apiece a meal. Wow, we are going to do that again.

Another what the heck was our old cell phone bill. I had to transfer to DD's provider after her medical stuff caused her to have a 300 dollar bill one month because of needing to talk with us often about tests and things. Now, we are free to talk all we need to. I got the final bill for the old phone. Hubby had an add on phoneline on it for 10 dollars a month, but he hadn't used it since his work gave him his blackberry. After the contract gave out, I was just lazy about it because I would have to sign up for another two years or something if I changed it. I transferred my main number to my new service and figured the add on would be cancelled because the main one was gone. Not. They charged me ONLY for the add on line. Now, that is just crazy. I could have let my main contract run out and instead of paying 50 dollars or whatever for it, I could have just paid 10 a month for the add on only and used the whole minutes? That doesn't make sense. A glitch in their system no doubt. Guess they hope people don't catch on to that one. Might only work for a month or so til they figure it out. At any rate, I'll pay the 10 bucks for last month, and the service is cancelled for good. Weird....

Picture Perfect.....

May 21st, 2008 at 12:22 pm

DD went to her medical team for her increasing migraines and stiff neck muscles. They've been trying to get these under control. Now, they decided to send her for a CAT scan. Pictures of her brain. She called me after the scan and told me the cost which included her deductible. I was proud of her for being brave enough to tackle this stuff on her own. After I hung up, I went through the "worries" that I get but try to keep from the kids. I'll have a little of them until the report from the scan. Then, I realized that I needed to revamp our Funds Budget to include all those deductibles. I had enough for one person's deductible a year, but we've gone through two people already and probably will add a third when I catch up on mammograms and such. So, I put the whole shebang in there. Deductibles for everybody. That is an amount we KNOW we will have to pay. And an amount that we can plan for.

The air conditioning guy came for the Spring checkup and pronounced the unit still chugging along. He learned a trick on our unit that he now checks on everybody's. Ours gave him a tough time for awhile. He told me that the equipment fazes out in 2010 and I will need a new unit before then or I'll have to replace the evaporator coil in the attic also. BIG bucks there. So, he told me approximate cost of a unit outside so I can save up for one in the next year. Made myself a major note to check on this. He's never pushed anything on me, but kept my stuff going and going, so I trust his words. Especially since he told me not to try to get a bigger unit unless my coil or ducts could take it. I'll remember that if I get a different set of people for a sales team. That info was very helpful. I had thought I needed a bigger one since the people who had the house before us added an addition but didn't upgrade the system. It gets hot in here, and the unit can't keep up. I have to monitor it so that it won't destroy itself trying to cool off something it can't cool when it is a thousand degrees heat index outside. I am going to try to implement something really soon for this. Glad he gave me a heads up. I often find out the hard way.

Been rather quiet around here with the dogs penned in the laundry room. A crew has been concreting just about the whole yard next door, and I didn't want constant barking. Neighbor lady on the left has Parkinson's and the additional parking spaces and sidewalks and patios will really help her out. I am jealous. They found an awesome crew who has done three homes in our vicinity. I got a card, but the cost is too prohibiting for us right now. But, our driveway really needs to be redone. The way they are doing it will last and last and last. I am impressed. Something else to put on the Wish List for the house...sheesh.....

Going Down?....Not Just In The Movies

May 18th, 2008 at 05:49 pm

Hubby and I had an experience that you think will never happen to you. One of my big fears. We were leaving the doc in the Big City and were getting on the elevator on the second floor going down. The door did this funky open--close--open thing, and like goofballs, we got on the elevator when it opened again. And we got stuck in the elevator. With the door closed. Going nowhere. I couldn't believe it. We stood there for a bit, and when nothing happened, we rang the little bell. Not knowing if anyone heard it. No one answered us from the outside. So, we waited awhile longer and did it again. And wondered if we should use our cells and call the doc's office. Or what do we do? Fortunately, it wasn't moving. I would have been really freaking out if we were going up and down without stopping. And the elevator is kinda big because the surgery and hospital floors are in the same building. So, the elevator has to accommodate beds. But, there we were. Stuck in an elevator. And not knowing what was going on. Rang the bell a third time because no one ever responded. Finally, a tool was heard, and a guy pried open the doors and let us out. He was working on the elevator on the next floor. I don't know if it got away from him or he was working on the control buttons up there or what. All I know is that I don't want to do that again. After all that, Hubby said that we were only trapped maybe ten or fifteen minutes. Boy, it sure seemed like a lifetime. That alone made it kinda funny. Someone else in the building told us that they had been stuck in another hospital with 27 or so floors going up and down. THAT would have scared me silly. As it is, I feel pretty silly getting so upset over ten minutes in an elevator. At least I can now laugh at this....

The Eyes Have It.......

May 17th, 2008 at 02:06 pm

I can't believe that I haven't been on the blogs for so long. I haven't even read anything lately. Had a few medical positives and misadventures. A couple of weeks ago, I mistakenly put contact cleaner in my eyes instead of my eye drops. No, the bottles are totally different, but the same size and in the same spot. That smarts. Big time. I ended up in the emergency room (was a Sunday) so they could completely flush the remaining crud out of my eyes. I think they said something like chemical burn. Next day, I went in the pouring rain to the eye doc/surgeon guy who is really awesome and he pronounced me fine. I used the opportunity to upgrade my glasses (since I obviously need them for stupid times like these). I had enough in my eye fund to buy them, but I am still awaiting the emergency room fees. Ouch again.

At the end of that week, Hubby went to the doc in the Big City and was pronounced free from restrictions. Now, he can drive and mow and all that fun stuff. He just has to be careful lifting much and things like that. They are going to continue to monitor him every six months which relieves my mind on the future. During this doc visit, we met up with DD and went to a major league baseball game for Hubby's part of the Father's Day/Mother's Day weekend jaunt. I haven't been to a major league game since I was oh...about twelve. Of course, this was the only game they lost in about seven or so in a row. Oh well, the whole experience was pretty neat. At least, the other team did so much that we had plenty to watch. DD gave us gift baskets she'd made and then announced that DD, DD's BF, and Hubby had gone together and ordered me a laptop. I think my brain fritzed when I heard that. I have received it, but I need to get those kids to put all the rest of the programs that I need on it, including the security software. They have some fancy stuff they get from college. I will be getting that done in a week or so. So, for now, I don't connect up to anything, and I'm just playing around learning it. First time I haven't had the last hand-me-down. This is going to be SO FUN. DS and DIL sent me an Edible Arrangement for Mother's Day which is composed of fruit that looks like flowers and bushes. Included some chocolate covered strawberries. Yummy present! And SO cool looking.

After DD left to return to her town to meet up with BF to go camping with his parents, he called and asked our permission to ask her to marry him. We had to sit on the information for several days and it about killed us. He's a great kid that we all wanted to contrive to introduce to DD. Awesome that it took so well!

DD was also tested and found to be ADD. So, the docs and stuff wanted to see if I was too. It sure would explain stuff. So, off to my med team to find out. And I am. Piggybacks onto bipolar. So, I've been trying new meds for the last couple of days. So far, so good. Among us all, we've been to all kinds of docs. So glad most of it has been for good stuff.

I learned several things from the eye episode:

1. Keep eye wash around. Tap water HURTS. I didn't know eye wash existed. It is in the hurricane supplies now.
2. I like the new hospital. They were really fast. Nice to know in an emergency.
3. I love my insurance.
4. Keep my bottles in separate places.
5. The doc's office told me to take the antibiotics I got from the hospital that I didn't need after all and keep them for awhile for a future mishap. I think I must have a "K" for Klutz stamped on my forehead....

Lovebugs....

April 23rd, 2008 at 03:14 pm

While I was growing up, a wonderful fixture of evening was fireflies or as in the South--lightning bugs. Moving further south to the more tropical zones, I missed the little bugs. Then, we encountered a new little evening bug. The Lovebug. Harmless little creatures "floating" in the air joined at the hip (so to speak) in pairs. Then, I found out the hazards. Don't talk too much outside because you can breathe in or swallow bugs. And, the little buggers take the paint off your car. It is especially bad if you drive for some reason out in the countryside. Your car gets plastered by hundred of bugs, and if you don't wash them off timely, they will remove the paint. I didn't know if it was an old wives' tale because Hubby kept the cars washed. I found that it was true when I had to stash my car inside the garage during Hurricane Rita evacuation without washing off the cloud of bugs I'd been through. Several weeks later, I returned and washed off the car and the paint came off the front with the bugs.

I mowed the grass last night toward the evening hours to catch the coolness and because we finally figured out what was wrong with the lawnmower. I was mowing through the grass with the little critters floating around me about knee high at that time of day. They look so peaceful floating along. (Although they are really flapping their little wings like crazy.) We like to tease that the female is the one dragging the males along. The female is having to do most of the work it seems. At least, I've been told the big ones are female. With Hubby still not being able to wash vehicles for awhile because of surgery, I know that, economically, twice a year in spring and fall, I need to make sure that I keep all little buggies off the car. Or anything else. Or I'll eventually have to repaint the thing....

Rolling In The Dough--Recipe

April 20th, 2008 at 11:58 am

Here's the recipe that Disneysteve and Creditcardfree asked for yesterday. I sure hope I can get this across right! I used a West Bend bread machine that makes either one pound or one and one half pound loaves. I just used the dough cycle for the first time.

Recipe for Pizza Dough

One Pound loaf size

5/8 to 3/4 cup of water (heated to between 90 and 100 degrees)
1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil (I was out and used a combination with olive oil and it worked just fine)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour (I was surprised at not using bread flour, but all purpose worked just fine.)
2 teaspoons active dry yeast (I used bread machine yeast)

Make dough in bread machine. At beep, remove dough, turn it out onto a lightly floured countertop or cutting board. Form dough into a mound and allow it to rest for 10 minutes.

Grease one 14-inch pizza pan. (I just stretched it to fit on a pizza stone that I had preheated in the oven.) With hands, gently stretch and press dough to fit evenly into pan. Pinch dough around the edge to form a small rim.
Spread your favorite pizza sauce on top of the dough, then add toppings of your choice, EXCEPT cheese. Put in preheated oven at 450 degrees.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese the last 5 minutes of baking. When cheese melts, remove from oven, slice into wedges, and serve hot.

One and one-half pound loaf

7/8 to 1 cup water (heated)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons active dry yeast

Grease one deep dish pizza pan or two 12 inch pizza pans. Make a small rim for 12 inch pans, for deep dish, press dough halfway up the sides of the pan.

I have another recipe for whole wheat pizza dough. I'll let you know how that turns out!

Rolling In The Dough....

April 19th, 2008 at 07:50 am

I've had a craving for pizza for a month or so. With a coupon, Hubby and I can get a pizza fairly cheap and eat on it for three days or so. But, I had a couple of veggies hanging around to use up and a bread machine....

I surprised myself. I made pizza dough. Used on sale veggies, sauce and cheese. Dusted off the ole pizza stone--literally. I was trying to remember WHY I even had one. I think the kids used to bake frozen mini pizzas on it or something. I screwed up the timer and almost burnt it, but saved it and the end effect was pretty yummy. It smelled so good cooking that we had a hard time waiting on it to cool down enough to eat.

We probably don't save that much over the way we usually eat pizza. But, this one was WAY less greasy. More veggies on it. Probably healthier. At any rate, it wasn't as hard to do as I thought it would be to make. And, we love pizza. We could add Pizza Night to our Fridays or something. This could be the start of something yummy....

Monday Again....?

April 15th, 2008 at 12:40 pm

Today is Tuesday, but to me it is Monday. I've been confused all day. Hubby wasn't feeling well yesterday and worked from home, so with his normal alternate Friday off, we had a four-day weekend. So, today is Monday...sort of.

Also, I totally forgot today was April 15. I'm so glad it has been mentioned because I was headed to the post office to mail a couple of packages. Forget it. Our little post office has about ten parking spaces and usually a line. Today, it will be a zoo.

We did much better on our budget and challenge this month. If you don't count the Easter/birthday celebration trip. I included it in the Other Holiday/Birthday funds, but those funds have been decimated and need to be revived a bit. Actually, the Birthday Fund is limping along, but the Other Holiday Fund is so far gone that it needs a transfusion.

We've gotten refunds from the oral surgeon for most of the amount of DD's wisdom tooth surgery. I get to put the Dental Fund back on its feet. The dental insurance for the surgery was so much better than regular tooth stuff. Go figure...but I'm not complaining...I'm tickled!

I haven't made much headway on that credit card, have I? Focus, Jan, focus....

He LIKES It...

April 14th, 2008 at 02:41 pm

Remember Mikey and the Life commercial? I've been playing with several varieties of bread in the bread machine. I've never really liked the taste of store bread and don't eat it very much. So, at least a half of a loaf of bread at a time went to waste unless I froze it for something else. I really do like homemade bread, though, but the trick was to see if Hubby would eat it. He doesn't like trying too many new things, and his likes and dislikes are pretty much set in stone. His likes are limited. In the last few years, we've all gotten him to try some new things, and he's found out that he likes more than he thought. So, I've been encouraging him to try the homemade bread, mostly by not buying any other. He's kinda stuck. He's actually admitting to liking the bread...as long as it doesn't have apples or raisins. I love both, so I am making some plainer varieties, too. I held my breath after I finally switched to a more whole wheat variety for him. He LIKED it! He's eaten almost the whole loaf. And no complaining. I am shocked. I am now redoing a whole section of cabinets to hold the flours and such for making the bread in the machine. I don't think I'll be looking back. Now, if I could only get him to like peas....

Every Little Bit....

April 9th, 2008 at 09:41 am

helps the bottom line! I got a weird medical bill in the bunch for Hubby's surgery. Three x-rays that were billed to us, but no insurance payments. Instead, it said something about maxed benefits. I checked it out online with the insurance site and couldn't find this bill anywhere. I looked at the other bill from this place and nothing on it resembled these charges. I called the insurance company to see if they could find it. The bill wasn't really huge--150.00 dollars--but that is a chunk of a credit card payment that I could make. The insurance people were really cool. I told them all the particulars including the codes on there. They said I didn't have any maxed benefits on x-rays so it didn't make sense to them either. They called the company, then told me that it was a bill already on their list at another amount and the company has left off some codes so the whole thing will go back through the system. I just might have saved us over 100 dollars. Right now, trying to pay off debt with costs rising, that 100 or so dollars looks really good. I'm glad the folks here and on the forums have talked about questioning things we don't understand. I am trying to become more aware of everything.

We are trying to combat the higher cost of food by eating less. We've been stretching our meals. They aren't fancy, but they fill us up. Hopefully, it will also translate into losing that 10 pounds apiece that we need to lose. I'm trying to do this and eat healthy food at the same time. I about fell over when eggs reached 2.00 here. We feel like we were back in college and had to really limit the amount of groceries bought in a week. At least we have experience in this. Who knew that being broke when newly married would come in handy one day.

I would really like to try my hand at raising some kind of vegetable. I used to help my Dad in the gardens all the time. But, this is a different kind of soil and climate. And, he has a green thumb and I don't. I think I will try one kind at a time so I don't break the bank killing so many plants. Something that will grow in spite of me.....

Seeing the Light.....

April 7th, 2008 at 11:34 am

I leave most lights off during the day since we have large windows. And, this time of year, it is quite bright out there in this part of the world. I never wore sunglasses until I moved here. Now, I can't leave the house without them. So, I do most things without any lights on. Hubby is the opposite. I can come in during the weekend and find him asleep on the couch with all the lights on. Of course, he often gets up around 5 or 6 am, and I guess he might need the lights then. And, then he falls asleep without realizing that he's burning electricity. And, it gets hot in there with them on.

We have a bathroom in the middle of the house that has no windows. But, the bathroom at the back has one with blinds. I've turned the blinds downward so that a little of the light comes in, and that way, I don't have to turn on lights. I didn't realize something until last week...you don't need the lights to take a shower in there either. Well, duh.... The only time I really need to turn them on is makeup time. Changing these habits is not that bad...if you just realize what the habit is....

Hubby finally caught me emptying my bucket of water onto the porch plants this weekend. So, I explained my plan of using the water from the shower warmup to avoid wasting it and saving some money. As expected, the look was priceless. I also explained that I don't have to get the hose out, and I don't have to work so hard with the little watering can. I can use this water every day on plants and such and no waste. He'll get used to the idea. But, I do think he thinks it is one of my weirder saving ones. He's probably not going to do this one himself, but he's not going to rain on my parade....

RIP.....

April 2nd, 2008 at 01:47 pm

My 27 year old dryer just died. No warning whatsoever. Just a large bang, and it was gone. Probably a belt or something. I think I'll just replace it since it is so very old. And inefficient, I'm sure. I've got some money I can use. The problem is the ability to get it done. Hubby can't help me get one into the house right now, so I will have to have one delivered. That way they can remove the old one, too. But, until I can get that done, I am without a dryer. And, boy, do we need it for the sheets and work clothes that I need to dry. Otherwise, I'll be ironing till the cows come home. Right now, I have socks laying everywhere. I'm going to get a drying rack tonight. I usually hang my stuff to dry anyway, but the dogs' bedding and our king-sized bedding will be a pain. Oh well, it's not that I didn't expect it sometime. Just wish it had waited until the summer. I sure hope this has a silver lining.....

What Was I Thinking, No.2.....

March 31st, 2008 at 12:02 pm

I have made it a point to add the extra saved from utilities for the month to our mortgage principal. And, to add money each month to the principal of the truck loan. I've had problems with the truck loan, because they don't always follow my instructions. I usually add a note and then verbally ask for them to do it when I run by the bank. Unlike my mortgage payment, the truck loan people don't give me a receipt for each part of the transaction--just one total. So, it wasn't until I opened the statement that I found that they hadn't put it on the principal at all, but put it on the next payment. Rats. They forgot all the way from the window to the station she used. I guess that it might have sounded the same--both payment and principal start with a "p" and it can be hard to hear when the wind is howling like it has been. I guessed that I would just have to go inside each time. Then, Hubby and I were talking. I have been here for long enough and read many, many entries, and I finally get it. The interest rate on the truck loan is single digit. The interest rate on the credit card I am targeting isn't. No brainer here. Put the money on the credit card. Sheesh. Hubby almost shouted Hallelujah when I got it. So, I have reworked the budget and the extra on the truck loan will be applied to the credit card. I feel better now....


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