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Archive for November, 2006

A Walk on the Wild Side

November 29th, 2006 at 11:30 am

I have 15 extra pounds that I carry. I'd love to lose them and I know it would be healthier. I gained a bunch when I started a new medicine--it was a side effect. But the doctor says that I can't use that as an excuse anymore because at the med level I'm at now, the medicine isn't the problem. My eating and nonexercising is. So I need a new strategy. Years ago, I used to play tennis all the time, ride my bike everywhere and take long walks in the country. But after moving to a bug-infested, humidity crushing, heat searing hothouse, I haven't been able to keep up anything outdoors. Hubby won't go with me because the bugs eat him alive. It's hard to walk with a guy who looks like a demented windmill, flapping and swatting all the time. For some reason, the bugs don't like me at all. But the humidity makes it hard for me to breathe or something. I can't last long. So we tried walking in the mall. I can't really do that because I'm too near stores.....and the lights and crowds get to me. So I'm thinking of setting up a fund for a treadmill. I've seen blogs of people who walk and some have treadmills, so I got to wondering about getting one myself. I could save little by little. Meanwhile, I'm going to watch my eating. It should be easier now that I don't spend so much money on so much stuff to eat. I could plan better and be sure and include lots of good for you food. This frugal living could also help my health....

Whew!

November 28th, 2006 at 08:48 pm

The day started out rocky. Woke up to Hubby very, very sick with a migraine. He took some more medicine and we both went back to sleep. Then he woke me up to call for him because he didn't have the number for his new boss. He gave me a number of a co-worker--or so he thought. I was still groggy so I called someone and left a message. It wasn't the co-worker. Don't know who got the message and in the shape I was in, no telling what I said or even if it was coherent. We both rested awhile longer, then he left to tackle work. Seems I was running in mud today. Did get some errands run and since I was in a slump, I knew better than to go into the stores and browse. I would have bought something. I did go to the hardware store where I checked out an advertised special on a device I had been needing. Turned out it doesn't start til the first of the month. I didn't read the fine print. Oh well. I'll try again. Can't believe I left without looking at anything else. We both got home and ate in, then I realized when I checked my calendar that Hubby had a haircut appointment--in five minutes. Good thing it is only a few blocks--he made it. I have realized that making financial plans and a budget has really helped. I ended up only spending for Christmas stamps if Hubby sends out his cards this year and for the out of state friends that we write, medicine already in the budget, and a couple of bills. And the haircut was in the budget. I can't imagine how I lived without it before.

We're bracing for the bad weather that is plaguing the rest of the country. It will be almost 80 here tomorrow and drop with wind chills into the teens by friday. That's a huge drop. And a couple of inches of rain. Weird to run the air conditioning to clear out the humidity one day and the heat to keep from freezing the next. I like things a lot more gradual than this. Especially since I have to be out in it this time. Yikes. Hard on the ole system. The 20+ mph winds are going to be awful.

I have been collecting lists the last couple of days. Going to try to get the rest of the information by the weekend. Then I will sit down and plan. I'm getting a late start on Christmas, but at least I am now moving forward.

Everyone take care of yourselves in the severe weather we all are having...

My New Best Friend....

November 27th, 2006 at 01:13 pm

is my chest freezer. After seeing how the gang here utilizes their freezers, I reevaluated how I use mine. Before I started using my freezer as a storage locker, I mostly put frozen bread, ice cream, vegetables and some fruit in the freezer. If I put leftovers in there, I promptly forgot they were there and eventually had to toss them out. So I didn't really use the freezer well. Now, I find myself freezing everything. And then using it again. Wow, the amount of stuff I used to throw out! And I find myself cooking from scratch more because I know I'll freeze part of it and not waste it. Since the kids all left on Friday, I've been freezing everything left from the holiday. This could be the start of something beautiful...

On the Breakfast challenge. I have a lot of breakfast foods around. I have also spent more than I should have on the grocery budget for this far into my month. So I decided to challenge myself to use up breakfast foods and not buy anything more than milk for breakfast for as many weeks as possible. The goal is Christmas. I've made my list and going to post it on the fridge so when I get tempted to cheat, I'll see my goal and try to keep on it. (If I find a big sale on the usual food, I'll buy it and set it aside for the future and not part of this challenge--but only a good sale!) I am going to pay myself $5 for each week not buying any breakfast foods. That will go with my water challenge to a CC. My goal is to only stock up when things are on sale and learn to use what I have.

Losing Diamonds

November 25th, 2006 at 07:55 pm

I have very few diamonds. And not large things. Just a couple of things bought as gifts and with meaning. It is time to get one of them cleaned and the setting checked. So I went to get it out. And it wasn't there. It wasn't anywhere. I looked through every possible place in the house. Hubby joined the search. There weren't many places I would have put it. I didn't care about the money. But I did care that it was a meaningful gift. So I felt horrible about it. Hubby knew that I might have put it away for him to take if hurricane evacuating this summer because I was on a trip with the kids. So I looked through a couple of boxes still unpacked. Nothing. Rats. Gotta be here someplace. After a frustrating time this afternoon, I pulled one of the boxes on out of storage and took another look. It was a box of inventory receipts and inventory pictures. Why on earth would I have put anything else in there? Guess what, that's exactly where it was. I guess I slipped it in there thinking it was the box of old pictures of my grandparents and other mementos that I can't replace. The plastic boxes are identical. I probably wouldn't ever have looked in there again, but Hubby knows my brain. Sheesh. I'm glad I don't own much expensive stuff because I can't keep track of what I have now. Also made me realize that quality of meaning is more important than quantity. Maybe I should look at all the things I buy that way. Should get me to buy less.....

Thanks to all of you for being here.....

November 23rd, 2006 at 07:48 pm

The food is all put away--what's left of it! The dishes are done. We've played a game, laughed a lot, and watched a video of DS playing in a new Christian band. They are really good. Hubby has gone to bed. The kids are all watching a show. DD has a migraine coming, poor thing. DD had a great idea she got from online. She put all our names in a hat and before we ate, we drew a name and told what we are thankful for in that person. It was really sweet. I wished I'd had time to call my folks, but I'll do that tomorrow. They probably spent the day with the rest of my family near to them. I hope so. Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving day. Maybe you just enjoyed a day to yourself. Maybe you had to work. Whatever you did, I am thankful you are here on this site. Thanks to you all...

Early Report....

November 23rd, 2006 at 08:45 am

Everyone is asleep. It's almost 11 here and DD and guy are still asleep. Hubby is napping in his chair--preturkey. Course he still wakes up at 5 or so. So I guess he was due a nap. Kitty is napping, too. Dogs are at the vet so that the chaos is a little controlled. DS and DIL will arrive this afternoon. Probably after their nap....

DD is cooking the turkey and stuffing. I wasn't going to cook my stuff til she was finished. The turkey is tiny--only 9 pounds. We have to do that because the oven is very old and small. So it won't take too long to cook. Our meal is in the evening since we are waiting on the rest of the bunch. So I have plenty of time.

I am contemplating making noise. Right now, the only noise in the house is the clicking of computer keys.......

Extra Cook

November 22nd, 2006 at 07:18 am

DD called last night and she's coming home today. And she wants to cook the turkey and stuffing.....awesome! I need to go back to the store (shudder) and get the stuffing stuff because I really didn't think anyone liked it but me. Who cares--if she wants to cook it, I'll buy it. I bought so much to restock because I didn't know how many would be here how many days and needed meals. I told the checkout people that Hubby would get home 10 minutes after I unloaded the car. It was like 20 minutes. He carried in the water and the dogfood. Sheesh!

Hubby does like his new job real well so far. Nice to see him smiling when he comes home. And the boxes of reference books and materials have left to a new home. And he doesn't seem to have the really long hours like before. I really like that, too!

Not sure where everyone is going to sleep. I think we overlap for a day. DD and boyfriend here Wed. and Thurs.--then off to boyfriend's family. DS and DIL here Thurs. evening to Friday. Then they leave for a playoff ballgame that DIL has to attend or the wedding they were going to attend--whichever one they are able to go to. Hubby and I will chill on the weekend. We usually don't have time for each other on the holiday, so that will be nice. I think I will use the quiet time to plan the rest of my holiday shopping for the family. But I can't seem to get anybody's lists. My nephew has a sports injury that might require surgery, so his family is a bit busy right now. And my DS is just plain forgetful and hasn't answered the gazillion times I've asked. I'm going to give them a deadline--then they get whatever....

Gosh--only two days?

November 21st, 2006 at 09:33 am

Inlaws left today. I'm going to fix an extra cup of hot tea and mull my menus. I usually get all my food a couple of weeks ahead, then perishables before the last weekend. I now only have two days before Thanksgiving and not even a menu. It will be crazy today at the grocery. We've eaten so much cool stuff the last few days, so Hubby and I thought that turkey sandwiches and football would be enough for us. DS and DIL will eat their main dinner at his inlaws, they really don't need another big meal. DD, though, loves tradition and will be hugely disappointed if we don't have all the "fixins" for the big day. So, another cup of caffeine and I'll wander off to get ready and brave the world out there. At least the money is in the Holiday fund.....

And it isn't even the holidays......

November 20th, 2006 at 08:24 am

What a week! Inlaws came in last Wednesday. Had a real nice dinner with them. DD came in Thursday. Spent about 12 hours Friday on the road with her doing all the doctor's appts. and stuff she had to do and loved spending the time with her. Went Saturday through Sunday to see DS perform. I have heard him play classical, jazz, funk, but classic rock and roll from the 50's era type music was a first and lots of fun. Returned to fill out papers for Hubby's new job--he doesn't know where all the numbers are buried in my files--and had a nice dinner with Inlaws. Collapsed in bed last night and slept 9 hours.

Hubby started new job today and he was happy anxious. Can't wait to hear all about it.

Either my drugs are working real well this time or Inlaws and myself are really having more of a meeting of the minds. We all seem to have changed somehow. It's fun to enjoy getting together! I think that FIL wants to come out in the spring and help me get some more "reconstruction" done on the outside of the house since I'm working on the inside this year. We had to replace some boards when we reroofed after the hurricane and the whole thing needs to be repainted and the front porch completely redone. He can do that sort of work real well--might have found the answer to my prayers!

On a financial note, I shudder to see what the damage is. In times like these, you have a lot of eating expenses. However, FIL has paid for most meals. We have paid for some and DS paid for one. It's been worth it though. Might need to budget for company visits. That way, we already have some set aside for gas and food.

The word from the HR department at the old company that Hubby gets paid the vacation he accrued for NEXT year! Taxes will be awful, but the money will be put to good use. Having been here awhile, my brain follows another pathway on what to do with it. We'll set it aside for now to evaluate it. Since he's been there so long, he gets several weeks' vacation pay. I am excited to perhaps replace the doors and invest the rest or pay off DD's tuition or ........

My List of 20

November 16th, 2006 at 08:53 am

I'm waiting on the furnace people so I played around with this and this is what I have so far....

1. My kids don't think I'm funny.
2. I love to read books on history.
3. I read every little sign in a museum which drives my family crazy.
4. I don't really like to drive.
5. I was the best softball player--in elementary school.
6. I was used as a school science experiment in junior high because of my hair.
7. I was probably the only kid in school whose bedroom furniture was antiques.
8. I love blue jeans, hot chocolate, bakeries, and local pottery.
9. I had friends on every sporting team and band in high school and attended almost everything--I was the world's biggest fan.
10. My voice, but not my face, was used in a multimedia presentation at a company where I worked in college. I don't know why because it sounds annoying to me.
11. Before I was born, my mother had a dog named Jan. If I want to send my mom through the roof, I just tell someone I was named after the family dog.
12. I love tin roofs. I had one in college and loved the rain and the squirrels playing acorn hockey in the afternoons.
13. I love rain and thunderstorms.
14. I love small town cafes.
15. When I was little, I was deathly afraid of a volcano erupting in our back field.
16. Hubby was high on flu drugs at our wedding and we giggled through the ceremony. Fortunately, the preacher was sweet and hard of hearing.
17. I hardly ever talk on the phone.
18. I love geneaology--I grew up in a family of older people. I loved the stories.
19. I turn into a hermit at times.
20. I actually HAD a pony growing up, but I was scared of him.

Month 2

November 15th, 2006 at 12:16 pm

I know that month one is running around somewhere in uncategorized...

Our month two ended on the 14th, and I am analyzing the results. The bills were pretty much on target so those will not be adjusted. The credit cards are going down slooowwwwllllyyy, except for DD's tuition card which went up. No more payments til the end of December, so I hope to pay some of that off this month and next. I think we will have some vacation money coming at the end of November that is unused at the old company. That, we can set aside for the next tuition and not add to the card. A step in the right direction.

We did go over eating out by $20 and the book line went over by a bit, too. Neither have that much in them, might need to adjust those amounts if another month shows a surplus somewhere else for the third time.

The plumbing made the house maintenance fund over by a whopping 375 dollars. I still had 100 from last month, too, so I am over 275 in that dept. I am keeping a separate sheet for those accounts that we carry over. Like dental/medical and auto stuff. So far, that is the only one that we have clobbered. Might need to up that one, but I'm not sure where the money would come from.

Still putting my dollars into the envelopes for the workboots, water cooler, and baseball tickets. Have them in the budget so I'll remember to do that each month. Funny to have a line in there for 4 dollars....

Hubby had a surplus again in his "vices" column. Good for him! Course we've all been on his case about a couple of things to be healthier. So that might have helped.

Having Inlaws here and going to see DS in a music thing will take some extra cash and probably do a number on the gas and food bills. I have used the Holiday/Christmas Club money for food for Thanksgiving. The tickets for the musical is going to come from some money the kids owe us. So I am not paying out any money for it, sorta.

I am hoping for once to get through a holiday season relatively intact. I would like to control things more and not start January with a feeling of being knocked out by the finances. The cool thing is the feeling each time you start the next month's budget. It's a feeling that you've got a clean slate for this month...go for it!

Doings.....

November 14th, 2006 at 12:46 pm

Got my hair cut and Hubby went to get his drug tests and physicals. He just had his old company's annual one a couple of weeks ago, so he's done this twice in a month!

Pulled all the stored stuff from my "storage locker," aka, freezer (see weirdest freezer items entry in my blog) a couple of days ago and found the end of the plug under the dogfood bin and plugged it in. Got it up to speed and bought ye ole Turkey to put in it today. With Inlaws coming tomorrow, don't think I'll get as much of my shopping done. And we have an old wall oven that is a bit small. So I have to have a little bird. I go early so I can get one that fits. Funny that I buy bird size--not according to how many people--but according to how big my oven is. The year the oven element went out, we bought a turkey breast and cooked it in the crockpot. What you will do if you have to.

Really need to get up and running on the last of the things to do before company. I am going to wait til Hubby returns home before I do the rodeo that is trimming and washing the dogs.....

Such a dork

November 13th, 2006 at 01:17 pm

I don't know if someone sent me an email from this site, but if you did--I accidently erased it before I read it. I'm such a computer dork. So Sorry.

Went to the dentist today for cleaning. Didn't have to pay anything today, but I have a filling that needs to be replaced cos it is corroding my tooth. I used to faint at the page of "projected patient cost" cos I didn't have the money. I can't fathom why a small piece of material is over 400 (my part). But now, I've been putting aside some money in my dental/eye account so I hope I will have most of it by January--when I made the appointment for. Another thing this site has helped me with.

I have a long list of things to do before Inlaws come on Wed., but no energy to get them done. Need to just get up and go. Maybe forward motion will help.

I have only two more days til the end of month 2 in our little world. I am excited to see how we have done this month.

Hubby has to go tomorrow for his drug/physical/whatever tests. One more step to getting our ducks in a row.

Need....to.....get....myself....off....this....chair....and....get....working....

He Got It!

November 12th, 2006 at 12:11 pm

Hubby got the job! (Doing Happy Dance) Thanks to all those who sent good thoughts our way. Now, he has to go through the drug testing/physicals/background checks, etc. Hopefully, all will be finished this week. The other company sounds like it is really happy to have him, so that's great for him to go into a new job with people who want you there! Many in his old company have quietly expressed an understanding of why he is leaving. Morale has plummeted there over the last nine months. There are a lot of good people there that we care about, so the reasons why things are going bad really upset us. I have a feeling that several will leave or even some be asked to leave, and they are really good workers. It just isn't a good environment right now. So we'll just hope for them and their families that they will find something like we have. We realize how incredibly fortunate we are and plan to better utilize our money and be more careful. Any extra monies will be going to retirement programs. Prior to this site I wouldn't have seen it this way. But we are losing one leg of our three legged retirement program from the other company. We think we get to take what's in it now, but it will not be available at the other company. So we will be putting away extra money to make up for it. We had a serious talk--believe it or not we hardly ever talked about money in almost 30 years. We have a plan. We'll see how it shapes up when the paychecks come and we see the differences in medical, etc. I am excited for Hubby. It will be nice to see him happy at the end of the day again.....

Repairs #1

November 11th, 2006 at 09:50 am

Not actually hurricane related, but we wondered if possibly the house shifted a bit during the storm. Anyway, we had three leaks in the toilet. The plumber was great. Took two visits to finish, but that thing works now and doesn't move. It was worth the money cos it took a blow torch to cut the line to put in a whole new set of parts there and a hacksaw to remove the bolts and put in all new parts with new seals under the tank. That was funny--those guys sawing the tank apart in the front yard. This is a busy neighborhood, and my neighbors were probably wondering what on earth I was up to. One other part was costly, so instead of having him fix the rest of the leaks in the tub, we called it quits at that point. The bill was over 300 by then and my budget wouldn't handle any more. But with company, the bathroom will be sorely needed and I had been saving in my budget for repairs, so we're now on our way. We've been demolishing for awhile. And saving to repair. The roof has been the main thing we've gotten done, along with some sheetrocking. I have been working on the furnace people. I tried to get an electrician like the furnace people wanted, but you can't even get on a list right now. There are too many people rebuilding/building. So I called the furnace guys and they sent out another man to try to fix this almost brand new furnace. They are ordering a part next week. Hope that fixes it. And they didn't charge me! So repair #1 on the toilet is complete. I know that it may not have been hurricane related, but it's a bathroom---I guess I have my priorities!

DS Credit Card

November 10th, 2006 at 12:44 pm

Got a chance to "chat" with DS a smidge online in between his working on his thesis rewrite and class. He sure can multitask, sorta. In reading between the lines in the little he got to say, I realize that the reason he's using the card again is that when he orders things from the same companies that he used before, it automatically goes on my card. Now, he did say he would pay me back, but as absentminded as he is, I am not going to hold him to it. He said he is going to take care of the problem, and I am going to hold him to that. He's got his own money and card now, so he can do this. It is not that much money, so I don't think he needs my help on this. We are still paying for the car (will give it to him next year), and for the instrument he changed to in college. We haven't yet turned those payments over to him. We've already given them notice of getting the car, so they can look into their own insurance and get ready for it. So I have decided to target his old credit card after all. Hopefully, I won't get another bill next month and realize that I'm still going around in circles cos he's still using it.....