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March Report...

April 1st, 2010 at 08:31 am

Where did March go? All of a sudden, I'm working on April.

I had almost 40 dollars left in the utilities fund for this month, so I added it to the found/saved money. I, also, had some change we've been finding along the way when we walk. I had enough to get to the next couple of 20 dollar levels and put that into the dryer fund. With the warmer/wetter weather and needing a water delivery, I suspect the utilities fund will be back to smaller overages if any at all. I'm working on that.

I clobbered the food budget for the month. We've been eating a lot of fresh salads and vegetables and fruits. I, also, have had to clean out the hurricane pantry and baking supplies and replace some things. We usually spend approximately 200 dollars a month on food, but this month is was more than doubled. On the flip side, we hardly ate out at all. And, then shared or with coupons. I think our eating out came to less than 30 dollars total. Maybe, that's why our food budget is higher. We'd just run our errands and then return home. Ws weren't on the road this month, so we weren't eating elsewhere either. I still have a freezer full of stuff to eat up before hurricane season starts. You don't want fish or ice cream in the freezer when it dies for two or three weeks.

I was also amazed at the fact that I didn't put ANY gas in my car in March. We did take Hubby's truck to do errands on the weekends, but my other errands were bunched up and spaced out. I didn't have but one trip in the car to another town for a doc visit, but I filled up the end of February and now have half a tank left. I was out yesterday to mail a package and was going to fill up for the holiday weekend, but decided to wait until April. It is the principle of the thing. I know that some months I don't use a lot of gas, but I've not straddled a whole month to see it in black and white. If it had been a goal, I probably wouldn't have been able to do it.

I've been leaving the air off as long as possible. It doesn't get that hot in the house, but the humidity is building outside, and it is going to get uncomfortable inside. Especially at night. I'm going to have to break down and use it. It has been fun watching my electric bill slide downward. It is leveled, but the "real" cost is shown. Now, the gas bill goes down, while the electric goes up. One time in another home during this time of year, my gas was unused and electric way down so the company came out and changed my meter. They thought it was broken. Not the fact that I wasn't using much. That was pretty funny to me.

I usually don't get Spring Cleaning fever, but this year, I'm cleaning out. I've been working on a long needed redo of the laundry room. Where does all this stuff come from........

Frog Leg Chili?......

March 6th, 2010 at 11:03 am

The Spring festival season has begun. And, with it comes other stuff like cookoffs and such. The news was talking about a chili cookoff that included frog leg chili. I'd almost go try that out for fun except for the fact that here it would be so spicy that my head would blow off.

We always budget one night at one local festival for the food. The food sponsors are local organizations and are manned by volunteers and all the money goes to local groups. So, we always try to make it one night to get our favorites and to see what else people come up with. You can buy almost anything on a stick, including cheesecake. And, fried everything, including twinkies and snickers and oreos. The food is expensive, but some of it is pretty good. I have to stay away from the spicy stuff, but I can manage to find some interesting stuff to eat. Funnel cakes are always fun because they coat them in sugar and cinnamon, and then you try to eat them in the wind. We look like snowmen after that. I often put a bottle of water in my jacket pocket so I don't have to pay for the drink. I can then order more actual food. It is always interesting to see who you'll bump into that you haven't seen in a year or two. You'll usually find someone you know at the food row. Funny how we all look older.....

Got Me Thinking....

February 22nd, 2010 at 09:52 am

because of Campfrugal's entry. Thank you, Campfrugal, for my trip down memory lane. My kids roll their eyes at my stories. I was raised on a mini-farm. We grew all our veggies, and my grandfather raised our meat. We had eggs delivered on Fridays and milk on Mondays. We went to a store for things like toilet paper and chips maybe every two weeks. We made our own cookies and drank our ice cold well water. I can remember my first grocery shopping in college. I had to buy things that we'd always had in the freezers. My inlaws were amazed at the fact that I'd hardly ever gone to a restaurant and so didn't know what to order. We picked blackberries from one of our fields, and Dad grew blueberries after I left home. My other grandmother had apples, and her pears put store pears to shame. Sometimes, we'd get amazing peaches from Mom's boss. One of my neighbors grew strawberries and raspberries--he'd share the raspberries with me. The other neighbor grew popcorn. We'd often sit outside with BIG bowls of popcorn and iced tea. We made our own ice cream on the weekends. I, too, can remember a neighbor's pigs getting out and the roundup, roosters crowing in the mornings, chasing down a horse or two that ran off, and one mule chase for two elderly ladies. Needless to say, my upbringing was a little odd to most of the kids in school. I loved it!

Ah, That Warm Baked Cookie Smell.....

January 31st, 2010 at 12:19 pm

is doing me in. Can you really save money on store bought baked goodies when the smell of baking in your house lures both you and Hubby to warm cookies? As a kid, I baked cookies on the weekends for our family. Now, I am rediscovering how enjoyable that is in the winter. Warm kitchen and the smell of cookies. Sigh. I make it a point to eat one of the first batch and one of the last. Hubby is having a harder time of it.

I was filing away a few receipts and found that I had saved about 7 dollars in sales and coupons in the last couple of weeks. Coupled with the 41 cents we found on our walk yesterday, that makes 7.41 to add to our January total. Hubby is really good at this finding money thing. He finds most of it.

I was so excited about hitting our debt harder this month. Then, we got a tuition bill from DD. Sigh. When DS started the per credit cost was about 50 dollars. Now, the per credit cost is almost 250 dollars. No wonder we are going around in circles on this. This is the last semester though. Then, perhaps I won't feel like I'm around and around the same ground......

Coupon and savings money 7.00
Found money .41

total 7.41

Maybe This Will Work.....

January 27th, 2010 at 12:56 pm

because I've made my goal for January of adding at least 20 dollars to the dryer fund. I counted up all the change from the Frog which includes the found change from quite awhile. I ended up with 9 dollars to add to the fund plus a 1936 Liberty head dime. Pretty cool. Note to self...pay closer attention to what coins are in the Frog. You don't know what you might actually find in there. Then, when I went to the store, I saved with coupons and sales at least another 3 dollars. I'm a beginner on the coupon stuff. So, I added 12 dollars to the January total which made the total over 20 dollars. I added the 20 to the dryer fund. I had been putting some extra money in there for a bit before I got the idea to get consistent. It is now up to 100 dollars.

I have decided to ask Hubby to let me count his change before he adds to the Frog. Most of the time, he keeps it. But, most of what he keeps are quarters. So, if he is going to add to the Frog and I am going to be adding found change to the Frog, we don't want to be counting some of it twice. So, I am going to count it when it goes in instead of when it comes out. Mostly, because I don't always put the found change in the Frog. Sometimes, it ends up in the car change thing or purse. This way I can be consistent...and sorta honest with myself.

I went to the doc to pay for some documents they filled out for me, and they returned the self addressed envelope I had given them. Anyone know how to get an unused self stick stamp off an envelope?

Thank You, Ima Saver.....

January 26th, 2010 at 10:50 am

because you've made me think. Hubby and I got into a conversation over a restaurant dinner (I had a coupon and we shared!) to set the parameters of our challenge. I thought that the coupons for things like the dinner which we probably wouldn't have done without it wouldn't be counted in the challenge. But, the things we would need or buy or things on sale that we would normally use anyway we'd count. We wouldn't count sales from some stores that we knew weren't sales at all compared to other stores but just handy at the time. Like Hubby's cokes. At the regular market they are often on "sale" but I know that their usual price at another place is that price anyway. So, it isn't really a "sale" at all. Sound confusing? It is going to take some time to sort out and get into a habit.

But, to explain things in the conversation, I referred to Ima. I told him about her challenges, and that she physically puts the money in an account. I told him about her envelope method and that she puts the extra into these accounts. I then told him that over the last few years, I have watched her save 15 to 20 thousand dollars each year. His mouth dropped open.

Unlike Ima, I'm going to have to use the extra over the budget for debt repayments. But, we are going to save the change, coupon money, and found money and when it adds up to 20 dollars, we'll put it in the dryer fund.

One day, when all is paid off and the kids totally on their own.....I'm aspiring to be another Ima Saver.....

Found money .23

Breathing Easier.....

January 24th, 2010 at 11:22 am

in our neck of the woods. Yesterday, I walked out with the dogs and nearly couldn't breathe. The air was heavy with a horrible odor. We get this sometimes with a refinery/chemical company, but not like this. I was really worried something had happened out there. We're not near anything, but with the right weather conditions it can get a little rank out there. I called the emergency notification line but there wasn't anything major reported by any plant in any of the expanded area. Hubby went outside and told me it was a refinery-like smell rather than chemical. I finally thought to get online and found out that a tanker had run into a barge in a canal passage not even near where we live. The smell was from crude oil that had leaked. Most of it had been pumped out or contained. But, if that is what a small amount of spilled crude smells like even at this distance, I can't imagine what it smelled like nearby. Hubby said it was sulfur so I figured it was a heavy sulfur crude and it was. The hydrogen sulfide is toxic, and I believe flammable. They did evacuate a bunch of people, but said there was no danger. The breeze that kicked up yesterday and today has dissipated what we had hanging around here. I was impressed with the response stuff, and they have a ton of people cleaning it up. We were very lucky I think. It could have been a very big disaster.

On another breathe easy note, Hubby doesn't have to have any more surgery at this time. He's on a medicine/exercises/new type of pillow, splints on the hands regimen. So far, the exercises have helped his shoulders and the splints his hands. The meds have helped his legs, and we just got the pillow. We're working on it. The doc said it wasn't one thing this time. He has several issues at once. We go back in six weeks and we'll find out what he thinks of our efforts. Other than that, the MRI gives him a couple of places to watch.

We took a walk yesterday at the mall since outside really did stink. It was part of the exercise regimen. We promptly found 14 cents. Finding coins was something we used to pass the time during the exercise part of his surgery recuperation. We are just too curious this time to see how much we find total. So, I decided to keep track here of found money and coupon savings. Might motivate us even more. The coupons are only for things we will actually use. I'm thinking of putting the money in the dryer fund. So here's the start:
found money .14
coupons-grocery 1.25
coupons-household 16.00

total day one 17.39

It Always Seems So Quiet....

January 17th, 2010 at 02:01 pm

when a visiting kiddo leaves. DD and Fiance visited for a couple of days this weekend, and I sure appreciated all the technical help they gave me. Our kiddos always help me with the electronic gizmos that I have questions about (like what on earth am I doing). I get a crash course on stuff they do as easy as breathing.

We spent a little on eating out as we were all on the run at times. I had snacks and breakfast and drinks but we ate here and there. We often shared things though, so it shouldn't be too bad. We shopped for a couple of needed things, but most I got on sale. They talked themselves out of all things they saw and that is good. They are doing a better job of control than I am. We did find out that Fiance is going to be out of a job by the summer. That's both a relief and a worry. He doesn't like where he is, which is sad because he's a very easy going guy. But, they also have no idea what's next. We will be supportive of whatever they decide to do.

Hubby is having such mixed results with the medication they tried him on that it will be a relief to revisit the doc and find out what was supposed to happen. That will happen this week. Having company made the time move faster. What is getting confusing is that they don't feel that this time the things with the hands/shoulders and legs/feet are the same problem. So, we may be addressing two issues at once. To top it off, he had to go out to the plant one night and work all night to help fix something then all day, so he's been so tired and bodily wore out that we can't tell if that affected some of the results.

Why is it that they put all the multitude of instructions on the steroid medicine on one bottle in such fine print that neither one of us can really read it without a magnifier? We finally read it off the accompanying paper and made marks on the bottle in large print to remember how many pills on which days. We could make out the words, but the numbers were almost impossible. Sixes look like fives when they are that small. And, vice versa. We also needed the help to remember what day we were on. Sheesh. I have trouble remembering why I walked into a room. This getting older is getting more funny by the day. You have to laugh. What else can you do....

Missed You, Too, Lux!

November 29th, 2009 at 12:58 pm

I fell off the blog wagon. We had the ole move the wedding up six months thingy with DD that put a crazy spin on the summer and fall. But, she eventually moved it till next year. Whew! I am still in debt a whole lotsa money, but working on it. I still don't have a dryer or most of cable stations. Makes me feel like I'm back in the olden days of my youth. Kinda interesting though. We have to plan more. We did see ourselves following our budget so well that we combined categories and now just keep track in bigger bunches. Still on budget, just not any better on debt. Sigh. We haven't added to debt except for wedding and college expenses...and oh yeah, the dang car keeps me stressed by breaking down on trips. But, I've always gotten where I was going or back home so that good people can fix her up. I want to keep her on the road for a couple more years at least. Sometimes, it feels like she has as many miles on her as I do.....

We had the gang over for Thanksgiving. They decided that it would be better held here. But, THEY did ALL the cooking. Man, was that fun! But, they left all the leftovers, and now we have a fridge full of food. I made a list of around seventeen meals we could make out of all the leftovers. Hubby said to start prioritizing what to eat first. The rest could go in the freezer I guess. Kinda full already though. Will make for some interesting meals as we work our way through it.

I've gotten most of my Christmas shopping done. Staying pretty much on budget...hope I can keep that up. I pulled out all the wrap out to use up this year. My plan is to finish up and not step into stores or browse online. Since we are ALL trying to be frugal this year (most of the kiddo persons are teachers--man, teachers don't get the credit they deserve...very long days and weekends with salaries that don't reflect that!) so we are all getting creative with gifts. Or trying to think outside the box with gifts. And, I kinda like that. And, my brother just had his first start college and his second get to driving age. Boy, is his fun just starting!

I try to get all my books used or swapped or something. I have been doing pretty good with my book "hobby." One of the few times we actually went to the bookstore and bought a new book Hubby and I bought the SAME book on the same day at two different stores. We definitely need to work on our communication. I am returning mine. I just regifted a whole series to DS. Feels good to recycle some of the ones we won't be keeping. I've also gone through a bunch of clothes and recycled them to relatives who actually do wear them. I am beginning to enjoy this mindset. I feel like I'm not consuming as much, and I'm recycling stuff that can be used. Except that Hubby's old chair has GOT TO GO. Or be dealt with somehow. We are getting an older couch from DS that will be perfect on our back enclosed porch. Just need something to crash on out there. And, either Hubby or someone passed on a weedeater to them. We seem to do a swap around the family sort of thing.

I am getting fed up with the debt. I know that it is just not being dealt with, and most would just say buckle down and get it done. That's what I'm going to do next year. Freedom year. Wonder what it feels like....

To Fern and Cheryl (Homebody)....

April 23rd, 2009 at 07:02 am

I got home and retrieved my vitamins for the eyes. Don't tell my doc I forgot to take them with me....

They are called I*Caps with Lutein. Those are the yellow ones. Except if you smoke. Then, you take the greens ones without Vitamin A. Or something like that. Since I don't smoke, I guess I didn't listen too well to that part. The red ones are the regular ones. I found them at Walgreens, and sometimes they are on sale. He told me to take one twice a day, but I haven't been doing that until I find out how my stomach will take to that much. So far, I haven't had any problems with them. He told me to take them now and forever because they've proven that they can help prevent macular degeneration. And, since I have a family history of it, he's hoping to prevent it from happening to me, too. Since he is a prominent eye surgeon in this area, I am taking the vitamins!

I haven't talked to my Dad about what was in the shots that he has been taking. I don't think he's on any different medicine, just the shots. I'll have to ask again. He's been able to arrest the degeneration and is now being monitored without any more shots at this time. However, the damage has been done. He's the type that won't go to the doc unless he absolutely has to. But, I have to admit, he was so brave and all about having shots in his eye every few weeks. That would have made me nuts.

My grandfather lost a lot of his eyesight to the degeneration, but until my Dad got it I don't think I had realized what had happened. I am thankful that there is a treatment now, and I sure hope it helps your father, too!

The Prodigal Returns....

April 18th, 2009 at 01:12 pm

I sorta wandered off on an extended blog vacation. But, I see the effects of this community every time I pay off a bill or work with my budget or make do with something. I learned a lot here. We're still deeply in debt, party due to DD's continuing college expenses--every semester the college seems to cost more. But, we've made tons of small changes that are beginning to add up. And, had plenty of "DUH" moments.

We stayed pretty much on target with the Christmas budget. We paid off a loan in January. We cut down services. We reevaluated discretionary stuff. Even the kids are getting on the bandwagon.

I decided to really look at the items in my budget. One thing was cable. When our cable company started charging us a 99 cent fee for mailing us a paper bill, I thought about the cost of it altogether. I made a list of the actual channels we watch and how often. It was eye-opening. We only watch a handful of channels and maybe a show a night. If that. I was all set to cancel it completely, but Hubby wanted to keep the major local channels for the in depth hurricane coverage they provide. If we cut to basic, we'd have about five "real" channels to watch that didn't involve school lunch postings or the House of Representatives. Information channels seem to take up almost half of the basic channels. But, Hubby had a point so we started out by cutting down to the minimum. And, we found ourselves actually making a list of what to watch and then planning other stuff. That's funny. We had no clue as to our watching preferences before. We missed shows we liked because we didn't keep track of when they were on. Now, with five channels, we have a list and then watch other stuff on the internet. And, then added netflix at the minimum and watch tv or movies with that. Even with Netflix added, we still save half the cost of our cable.

Then, we cut some of our landline services. Again, we need to keep it because it often works after hurricanes when cells are spotty or you can't charge up your phone. Hubby was able to call us from our landline after Ike when we couldn't get his cell phone. But, we had not looked over the cost of all the stuff on it. And, the cost on their online site was cheaper than what we were being charged. Between these two bills alone, we were able to save some money. So, I am looking elsewhere in the budget.

Funny thing was the expanded cable was cut off after I left to visit one of the kids. Hubby was actually watching a sports event when it went off. The guys at work found out and were jokingly taking up a collection for him. They'd already collected five dollars in jars before he put a stop to it.

I still haven't replaced my dishwasher or dryer. I still wash dishes by hand and hang my clothes. My electric bill has gone down some and so has the water bill. We don't eat out anymore except for Hubby's lunches with co-workers. He works such long hours during these tough times trying to keep the plants open that I don't begrudge him that break. Besides, I can tease him about spending more on them (they trade off paying) than he does on me each month. We swap books or buy bargains. We buy very little in clothes. We work on the house (STILL have hurricane Rita damage--sheesh) or visit the kids. DD has taken charge of her budget and her keeping track and budgeting better has saved us money. She's talking about getting a job while she finishes school. DS and family have started making their own cutbacks. We're learning from each other and simplifying life again.

Decluttering more stuff from the attic and long forgotten places helps me realize just what I do have to work with. Easter was relatively frugal. We did buy some eggs to fill with on sale candy for Grandbaby and reused baskets from years ago. DD brought finger paint and sponge brushes and I found an old box of patterns that had survived the water attack from Rita. We even dug up old construction paper and glue sticks and had fun! We splurged on a little sand box, but combine that with some sand, a bucket and shovel, and a bunch of little cars and dinosaurs from the attic and a few sticks and we had a ball. Cheap fun!

We've set targets to lower our expenses to a lower percentage of our take home pay. The rest goes to debt repayment. We've paid off over 15,000 dollars in the first quarter of this year. We're trying to balance a mounting dental bill for Hubby, college and wedding expenses for DD, and repairs to the house. I think all in all we're as anxious as everyone about the economy and the problems in our area, but we're enjoying life's little moments a whole lot more. Taking things a baby step at a time.....

Car Flu....

October 29th, 2008 at 02:24 pm

Can cars get flu? The truck went into the shop a couple of weeks ago to get fixed up. Cost 270 dollars. Not too bad. Three days later, DD's car died an hour after she made it home to be in a wedding. Pretty amazing that she made it home and then poof. Grateful, we took it to the shop, and she took my car back to school. Cost of repair was almost 1500 dollars, although the guy felt sorry for us and decided to throw in a bunch of free labor for going ahead and also replacing the spark plugs. Now, Hubby wants to put the truck back into the shop to finish other work needed. Estimated cost 575 dollars. And, my car's air conditioner fan is making a funny noise. And, this last weekend we found out that DS's door latches don't work. He is still using one of our cars. All in all, it's pretty good since all our cars have 100,000 miles or thereabouts. Oh, and we also replaced the windshield on DD's car for the third time. They gave us a discount since that is the only car we have to bring in every couple of years to replace the windshield. My auto repair fund total is usually 1,000 dollars. Kind of decimating that right now. I'm just grateful I have some of the money I need. And, grateful that it didn't all go crazy during hurricane season. That would have been really stressful.

The windstorm insurance guy came around and took a look at our roof. I had told them we hadn't initiated any insurance stuff. We'd been very blessed during this one. He came anyway to just check it out and gave us a thumbs up on the roof. Then, he said we'd get a displacement check for the evacuation. That money will go into a fund for next year's evacuation. I know, sounds pessimistic, but four storms in three years kind of makes you think that way. I just want to be prepared. The money will go toward kenneling the pets.

We've paid off two more credit cards. Just took a deep breath and transferred money out of our savings and paid them off. Didn't hurt as bad as I thought it would. Actually felt pretty good. Wish it had been the last two. We're working on it.

I haven't been online in awhile. Been on ladders scrapping off wallpaper and priming and painting rooms. At the rate I'm going, it will be a very long process. But, we are trying to stay on budget. We've been trying to not go overboard and really think about everything we are doing. And, so far, labor is free. I just can't do plumbing or wiring. With the tremendous damage around here, I probably won't be able to find a plumber or an electrician for years. I couldn't even get on a list for an electrician for a long time after Rita. Meanwhile, I can get a lot of painting and stuff done for very little cost plus a little elbow grease.

We've contacted the parental units and had a talk about Christmas. We Old Folk decided to get small remembrance gifts within a limited budget amount and give the majority of Christmas to the Young Folk. Not only are the parental units facing harder times because of the economic stuff, but the Young Folk need more because of budget cuts in their jobs and so forth. We've been doing this within the sibling ranks for a few years, and, boy, do things get creative sometimes. This will be fun. And, help the Young Folk at the same time. Win/win situation.

I'm going to have to do a lot of reading to catch up. Hope all are well!

He Ain't Heavy...He's My Brother....

October 3rd, 2008 at 11:27 am

My Hubby that is. That song was sure a long time ago.

During Hurricane Ike, I worried a bit about elderly neighbor. I was sure that her son would take her out, and I hoped she would go. I also pondered how to reverse the roles she has assigned to DD and me. There is an early, early entry on Big Jan, Little Jan that is more explanatory, but the gist is that she has switched identities between my DD and me. I am now my DD, and she is me. I oftened wondered who she thought Hubby was. Especially since I call him by his first name when talking to her. Was he my dad now?

After Ike, she had returned before me. Hubby was already here, and she called to ask for help one day. Her windows were still boarded up so she couldn't see outside, and also her outside back lights were damaged. She couldn't tell if it was safe to take out her garbage. So, Hubby went over and took her garbage out for her and offered to remove the boards on the windows. She didn't have him remove the boards, and her son came yesterday and did that for her. While Hubby and I were talking about being glad she could now see outside, he told me that he is now my brother. She caught him off guard with the question while he was over there taking out the garbage. He just agreed with it. So, now we are brother and sister living in the same house and our mother is not at home right now. We'll just have to be very careful of being too affectionate in the driveway. That would be a mighty strange brother/sister relationship to her. I can't wait to tell DD she has a son, also....

Hurricane Hiatus....

September 25th, 2008 at 12:17 pm

or hurrication as someone called it. I evacuated August 30, the day before mandatory evacs for Gustav. Headed out to DD's with truck and boxes of paperwork and the dogs. I'd found a kennel there that would take the munchins. Hubby stayed behind to finish boarding the house and to shut down the plant. He'd bring out the kitty. Fortunately for us, but unfortunately for others, Gustav went elsewhere. Meanwhile, Ike was brewing and all indications at that time was sending it to Florida or the East Coast. Well, we've been here before. Hubby said to just stay put because it is difficult to actually tell where those things are headed when they are brewing up. They tend to have a mind of their own until well established, and even then, they can move all over the place. We had a feeling of deja vu when they said middle of Texas coast. Same scenario for Rita. We watched as it crept up the coast closer and closer to our area. I bought more hurricane supplies for DD's, and DS and family evacuated to DD's since the eye was going over their new digs. They didn't want to take a chance with the baby. The scary part was finding out about the storm surge the night before. I then found out that Hubby was ill and having a hard time getting out. All of us at one point was going to head into the storm area to retrieve him. I was so scared. He finally was able to leave about the time the winds were picking up on Friday. When the doorbell rang a couple of hours later, he was standing in the doorway with the cat carrier. I practically knocked him down in the driveway because I was so glad to see him. We dropped off Kitty at the kennel and "hunkered down." We had six people, a baby, and a DD's little doggie in a two bedroom cottage. The next morning, the power went out, but since DD is in a little gully, the winds went over us. A day or so later, Hubby took the truck because of the water and headed home as a first responder. Cells were sketchy, but he was able to tell me he arrived safely. The plant had accommodations, food, gas, and medical help for the twenty or so that remained inside. The weather cooled off twenty degrees cooler than after Rita, so we were able to open windows and hang on for the few days power was out. DS and family went home after about a week when their power was restored. Our power at home was restored after a week, also, which is amazing considering almost 100 percent of the customers in our area were out of power. Our home only lost one shutter. But, in the towns all around us there is enormous damage. The flood surge decimated whole communities. A town to the east of us only has 14 houses without flood waters. Friends and co-workers have lost so much.

I returned the day before yesterday since my doc called and wanted to get me in for my meds appointment. I brought the car back this time and only had room for half the stuff and Kitty. I'll have to go back for the doggies. Kitty has stuck to me like glue since she was without us for over a week. The doc's office was running on a generator, and there was a lot of tree damage around his area. Blue roofs have returned. I saw dozens and dozens of electrical workers all along the route and in the towns. They are from everywhere. I saw signs on their trucks ecouraging Texas and even one convoy from New Jersey flying the Texas flag. I almost wept. I wish we could thank each person who has come into the area to help including all the rescue people, the volunteers giving out food, the firefighters from other areas ripping out the damage from fellow fireperson's homes and the police that help with all the other issues. Traffic is crazy without working lights. Tree people are here lifting trees off houses. Truckers brought in trucks full of supplies donated by others. I know that our area does this often for others, but seeing it for yourself is so touching. I saw a makeshift sign on the highway that thanked some of the people helping. I wish they knew how much we appreciate it. For the few stories of complaining and all, there are thousands of grateful people.

I haven't begun to figure out the finances. I called before Ike to get 30 day waivers from those who would give it to me. Today, I'll go and retrieve the mail and start piecing together the bills and stuff. I know I spent on extra food and things we used for the storm since my supplies were here sustaining Hubby. But, now we can use things up and move on. I do need to pay the kennel which will run close to a thousand when all is said and done. They've been wonderful. Taking the pets out and playing ball with them, and little doggie got to see her first cow. According to them, she went nuts. I am starting a kennel fund for next year's season. That seems to be our biggest expense in all this.

All in all, it is surreal to me because we weathered it well. I am hoping to help out with what we can for those who took such a hit. I haven't been reading the blogs since I spent so much time playing with the grandbaby or watching the news online when I could get power. We swapped melting ice cream with a neighbor for his extra screens so DD's house could be opened up to the air. We laughed some. Played cards by candlelight. Took cold showers. Prayed for those back home. I'm looking forward to catching up on the blogs. Unpacking all the stuff we put away. Perhaps we'll find some ways to help out there. The people are strong here. They'll make it back. But, right now, they are hurting and sad. It affected more than the vacation homes on the beach. Whole communities that had never flooded have been badly damaged. But, they will make it. We'll all be there to help them where we can. I look forward to seeing what everyone has been up to on here. A special thanks to Boomeyers who sent me some encouraging emails. I know all of you were thinking of us. For those of you who were also affected, I hope things are okay. I missed you guys.

Now, on to planning for the holidays. Wow.....

Sticky Situation.....

August 15th, 2008 at 05:40 pm

We had a storm this morning and the power flickered on and off once. Then, the sun came out; and a little while later, the power went off and stayed off. Huh? I waited awhile, but nothing happened. I couldn't check on anything about what was going on. I finally used my cell phone to call Hubby who had happened to go to work on his day off to catch up on some things. He looked it up online and found out that a good chunk of town was out. So, I opened up a couple of windows and did things like dishes (water is heated by gas) and waited it out. It clouded up again and misted a bit so that helped some. But, the humidity finally got the better of me. It was so sticky. I finally got the battery fan out of the hurricane supplies and set it up. I sat by the window and read for awhile. But, even my hands got really wet holding the book pages. I kept trying to think positive. I was saving a few hours of electricity. Just when I got to the point where I was about to drive around and find not a cool spot, but a DRY spot, the power came back on. All in all, about three hours out. I still have no idea what happened or why we lost power at all. We did have some "tropical funnel clouds" during the storm. They had just told us that they usually don't make it to the ground, but it is pretty daunting to see them popping in and out of clouds. Maybe one of those things hit something after all. And, the power shutdown cascaded down in several places. There are a couple of things I decided during this time. Electricity is a gift. I need a backyard overhang or roof over a section of yard so I can sit outside in times like these and still be out of the little mistylike stuff we got during that time. My fan is too small. And, I need to figure out a way to get some cross breeze going when we lose power again. Or, I just need to learn to deal with humidity. Later, I went to the post office to get my mail and a couple of other places to pay a bill or two. I had to sit awhile in the car because it was later on Friday than I usually go. I turned off the car to save gas, and opened a window. After the sticky afternoon at home, it was easier than usual. Maybe I'd gotten used to it a little more than I thought. I did think of something else. I hadn't heard the neighborhood this quiet since Hurricane Rita. No air conditioners were running. You could hear doors open and shut on the neighbors' houses. It was kinda peaceful and eerie at the same time. Reminded me of when I grew up in the country. Except for the humidity....

My Colors...Thanks to BA

August 14th, 2008 at 07:48 am

RED is the color I saw when I got a letter informing me my credit card interest was going variable instead of fixed. At least that was the one I was paying off.

Green is the color of my phone, too. My new plan is almost $15 less per month and gives me more for the bucks I do spend.

Silver and copper are the colors of the coins I collect almost every day. I never realized how many coins are on the ground! I almost have enough to roll another batch.

Blue is the color of my favorite mug. The pottery type one that DD brought me back from a trip. I make my own drinks for pennies. Right now, I am enjoying a nice cup of tea.

Orange is the color of our kitty. She requires little maintenance, but gives richly in return. Purrs, games, and hair all over my computer.

Yellow is the light I let in every day and leave all the lights off. I don't think I use lights much at all during the day. I love the big windows...except during hurricane season. Then, they are a pain. We're going to try a new approach to covering them this year.

White is the color of the primer and paint that I'll be seeing way too much of in the next couple of months. I am repainting my kitchen cabinets myself. This could take awhile, but will save money.

Brown is the color of the earth. I have been working on my "green" thumb this year and seeing how many plants I can keep alive. I want to try to plant a vegetable or two next year. I haven't been brave enough to try the fall planting season here. I still collect water from my shower to water the outside plants. Not only does it save me money (my water bill was down a few bucks more again), but it reminds me to water them each day to get rid of the container of water.

Brown is also the color of the teddy bear that DD made years ago that sits and watches over me while I type. Makes me smile.

Pink and purple are the colors that remind me of my grandbaby. She's a cutie!

Black is the color of my bottom line in the future. I am determined that my finances will soon go from red to black.....

Apologies to Sunshine Suz.....

August 12th, 2008 at 07:29 am

I forgot in my last entry to answer you! We fared great during the storm. We got a bunch of wind, but we had a stronger thunderstorm a couple of days before that. I understand about the disparity in the rain. DS and family moved northwest of us and got pounded all afternoon. We worried more about DIL traveling home thirty minutes from her workplace that we did about the weather here. It was wonderfully cool though. But, the season for us is just starting to ramp up. We've had three storms in four years here. At least, two of them were fairly small. I sure hope that we all get a breather for a couple of years. Stay safe, Suz.

A casualty of the storm was our baby robin. We found him in the bushes after the thunderstorm on the weekend before the bigger event. His mama was sitting on a branch with something in her mouth for him. We worried about the neighborhood cats, and we got paper towels so we wouldn't leave a scent, and Hubby chased him around until he caught him and put him back in the tree branches. We knew he'd be back down after the tropical system. We could hear him cheeping and mama calling after the storm. Back in the bushes again. We waited too late. One of the cats got him. What upset us was it didn't eat him right away. Just killed him and left him. I miss the songs they sang. I don't think we get too many robins here. Someone said that it gets too hot. We had a cooler spring so maybe that was why they were here. I think mama robin was the one who pooped on Grandma. We usually have bluejays in that tree. They don't poop on you, they dive at you. I truly enjoyed the music this spring. Thank you, mama robin. So sorry about little one....

In The Groove.....

August 11th, 2008 at 08:23 am

Been slowly painting the wainscotting in the dining/kitchen area. Which is a big area. And, the stuff has lots of little grooves. This is taking awhile. I am getting at least two sections done at a time. It is taking primer and two coats of paint, but it will be fresh and clean when finished. I'm about halfway done. I forgot to use my Lowe's gift card when I bought the paint. I'll have to use it on the paint for the upper part of the room. I know it would have been smarter to start at the top, but the wainscotting was unfinished and needed to be at least primed before removing the upper wallpaper, priming and painting the walls. And, I just needed to feel like I got something finished. I have plenty of plastic sheeting somewhere for protecting the wainscotting from my mistakes while painting the wall.

We spent a lot of money Sunday on replenishing hurricane supplies that got used for one reason or another. But, it was still much less than it could have been.

Yesterday, I went out to my car to get out some books I bought at the library sale this weekend. And, the locks wouldn't work. I used the key and then tried the locks from the inside. Nothing. And, a funny clicking sound that the car had made before when the cable to the starter went out. Oh dear. Not during the peak weeks of the hurricane season. Hubby took a look and went off to the store to get a battery. While replacing it, he discovered it was the other cable that had broken. It wouldn't connect well to the battery. Since the battery I had was almost three years old, we decided to keep the new one and off to the store he went to buy replacement parts for the cable. I'm so glad this was one repair that he could do himself. The other one had to be done at the shop because it was buried under so much stuff. I am grateful that I've learned here to have an auto repair fund. It took care of battery and parts. And, a trip to the ice cream shop took care of Hubby working in the heat to fix my car so I won't panic.

I did give Hubby a choice of where he'd like to go to get ice cream. I have a hard time paying almost five dollars for a thing of ice cream for myself. I tried to get a lower cost yogurt, but they were out. And, I've had too much sugar recently anyway. So, I mooched a little of his ice cream. Well, he DID get two spoons....

Just Look At What You Guys Did.....

August 4th, 2008 at 12:54 pm

We're facing another possibility of a tropical system clobbering our area with rain and wind. I read the local news that a lot of people are out getting ready. One mentioned that someone ahead of them spent 500 at the store. I'm not being smug, just grateful. Since being on this site, I don't have to make that whopping all at once purchase. You guys have taught me to take it a little at a time and work it into the budget. Just look at what you did!

We finally made it to DS and family's new digs this past weekend. We could go because most things were done. If it was going to be a whopper or if we'd cut it close getting home, we wouldn't have gone. Getting gassed back up and readying the house if too close would have been a nightmare. So, we debated and decided we could safely do both within the time frame. After our return on Sunday, we gassed up and got the remaining medicines refilled. Bought a new small radio and a loaf of bread. Oh yeah, and more toilet paper. Hubby is having a long day at work readying there and has promised to ride it out with me at home. I am not really afraid of this one, but I am leery of trying to board a broken window by myself in the wind. Anything larger and we board up in advance. No need to take any chances.

So, I have the eerie situation of a normal day. I'm finishing laundry from the weekend and watching the weather. Other than preparing for damage or a power outage. Or putting away some papers I've gotten out. This is just plain weird.

My Hubby thanks you.....

Oh Goodie!.....

July 22nd, 2008 at 09:01 am

They just sent me an email that the big library that has the book sale I go to in the spring is having another sale this fall. I'm in a dilemna. First, I only budget for the spring one. Second, I really need to continue culling out books. The good thing is that I like to browse and find hardbacks for Dad. They are only a dollar, and since his diagnosis with macular degeneration, I've tried to find inexpensive hardbacks to send to him for reading. He really loves to read. And, the hardbacks are easier because of the larger pages and print. I know I probably won't be able to resist going. At least the first day. I'll use anything for an excuse to buy books, won't I?

Trying to get all the bills in a pay as they come in situation means that I'm paying some of them twice this month. It will make a mess of my budget sheet, but it will all work out by next month.

The medical stuff continues. DD is going to the dentist today for a mouthguard. If this works, then the medical issues should slow down some. The only other thing that we have to adjust to then would be the extra doc visits we both have to make for the ADD meds. And, I have to travel to the next town to get my prescription from the receptionist once a month. Seems that they can only write it for a month at a time. Unless, I go to three month mail order, but the insurance says it will only send one month at a time and you have to order each month. But this saves you one co-pay every three months. Since this med is not generic, then that would save almost 150 a year plus gasoline. However, I am a bit concerned about medicine being in transit and us being on the road out of town for a hurricane and gone for three weeks again. It would be a mess. I think I'll wait til our season subsides a little around October. Try for the three months through the end of the year. Meanwhile, I still have to go every three months now instead of every six months to see the doc. Additional co-pays. It is worth it. And, I'll just have to make a day of it when I go. Take some books to the used bookstore or something.

I'm back to buying groceries again since I've almost cleared out everything from the freezer. I found some ground turkey in there that I'm going to make into something today. But, I think our grocery budget will be going up a bit. We've been cutting down on portions, too. I need to lose ten pounds, and Hubby needs to lost twenty. It is so frustrating that he loses weight so easily. Sigh.

I've pulled the credit card files that I am targeting back out of the evacuation box. I'm not going to let myself off the hook. I need to keep on working on them.
If nothing else, getting rid of all the debt should make my box a whole lot lighter. Not to mention my stress load....


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....

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....

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.....


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....


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....

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.....

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