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Archive for November, 2011

Post Thanksgiving Report

November 27th, 2011 at 10:33 pm

Boy, how fast three days can fly by!
We had a delicious T-Day dinner at my mom and dad's with my in-laws. My mom is a fabulous cook and baker, so no one went away disappointed or hungry.

We were staying with the in-laws so after dinner we drove there and watched the 49er game. Unfortunately the niners lost. Frown

DH, DD and MIL went to the 10pm sale at WalMart. MIL bought the $188 32" TV at Midnight. DH bought a little food processor/chopper for $2.88 and a few other small items.

Black Friday DH and FIL went off shopping at 6am. They do this every year and it's pretty funny because they are such unlikely Black Friday shoppers. I don't know if you could give me such a good deal that I would be tempted to shop in such craziness. Sure I look thru the ads and if I see something worthwhile I ask DH to try to pick it up. But, rarely is there anything that tempting to me.

DH did buy an early Christmas gift for himself; an iPhone for $100.
I can see the allure, all those "smart phones" do really cool things, I know. But now our monthly cell phone bill is going to be higher. DH and I have already had a "discussion" about that, but the phone is still staying. We very rarely argue about money. I just think having to upgrade the cell plan is a stupid waste; he feels it's very important to his happiness. Rolleyes

Other than the phone, DH did score some good deals on a few needed items (shoes) and on a few Christmas gifts (me and the kids). All the money he spent was cash from a side job he did last weekend. No household money spent for Black Friday. Something to be happy about. Smile

While DH was shopping I drove up to see my grandma with DD, my BFF, my mom and dad. It was a long day. We started out about 8am and came back to the in-laws just after 9pm.

Grandma is doing better! Hard to see her just laying there in the hospital bed, but she was very talkative with all her visitors. She was really happy we drove up to see her. The doctors plan to release her to an assisted living/rehab facility on Tuesday. She is expected to be there about three weeks before she can return to her home. Hoping and praying it will all go as easy as that.

On Saturday DD and I checked in at the ranch where our horses live. They were great. I miss riding so much. We brought out carrots, apples and crunchy oat horse cookies. I also bought two 50lb bags of senior horse feed. $40. They'll be getting that daily as a special treat, plus they need the additional calories as the weather gets colder.

Saturday evening we drove home. Ahh, so good to sleep in my own bed last night!

Our Thanksgiving trip cost $157. That was for two fill-ups (gas for $3.49/gal) and the horse feed.

Thanksgiving

November 24th, 2011 at 06:47 am

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving everyone.
Smile

Grandma is in the Hospital

November 22nd, 2011 at 09:04 pm

My 85-year-old grandma is in the hospital. Frown
She went in on emergency because of a serious GI bleed. She is now in the ICU. The doctors have her feeling much better after giving her several units of whole blood, plasma and fluids. They still have not found where she is bleeding from and last night she had another bad bleed. They are not allowing her to eat anything either.

She is about 7 hours (driving) from my house so we are not able to visit her. Frown

Today I ordered her a Red Poinsettia basket and a balloon from a florist near her hospital. Total $52. Yes, pricey, but I wanted her to have something that will brighten up her room and let her know we are thinking of her. It's a living plant that she'll be able to take home when that time comes. I did use a $10 off coupon, but delivery is more expensive the next few days because of Thanksgiving. Rolleyes

If the weather is cooperative I will drive up to see her Friday or Saturday. We will already be half way there because we're having T-Day with my parents and staying over with the in-laws.

Survived the Sleepover

November 21st, 2011 at 04:17 am

The sleepover went very well. Everyone had a good time. Nobody needed to call home (actually I don't think any kid who has stayed at our house has ever wanted to go home! Smile ) There wasn't any fighting or squabbles either. Yay!

At one point when I was driving five loud, sugared-up, pre-teen girls home from the movie I thought to myself, "Oh what the hell did I get myself into?!?" LOL! It was raining and they were all wound-up practically shouting at each other all within the cab of our truck. **OH My Ears..**

But, once we got home they all settled pretty quickly and DD opened her gifts and we all had dinner. They all loved the "color me" t-shirts I had picked up on clearance from Kohl's. DH and I retreated to our room about 10:30pm and they were pretty quiet. Enough so that I fell asleep easily.
They were still up and going at 1:40am when I woke up and checked on them.
DS woke me at 5:30am because he had his covers off and was cold. All the girls were asleep by then.
It was pouring rain at that time. Just pounding. It was nice to snug back in bed and listen to it. I love to listen to the rain.
By 8am we were all up and DH made chocolate chip pancakes. They were awesome! Big Grin
Everyone was picked up by 10am.

I did spend a bit more than planned.
- I bought a veggie pizza and a pepperoni pizza instead of two pepperoni pizzas. That was $3 more.
- Ended up running to the store for a package of plastic cups and some cupcakes. It would've taken too much time and been too late for the girls to bake the cupcakes themselves. That was $10 more.
I don't feel bad about the pizza because the gourmet veggie is my fav and I had a coupon that saved $3.
I should have baked the cupcakes myself and then they would've been ready for the girls. I had everything I needed in the pantry. Rolleyes Oh well..

I used the Chase card at the theater for the 5% back.

The movie was very cute and the 3D was pretty good. I enjoyed it and so did the girls.

Party Tonight

November 19th, 2011 at 07:47 pm

Tonight DD is having her belated birthday party. A sleepover with four of her friends.

*Please keep me in your thoughts tonight! LOL!

I am going to take them to see "Puss In Boots" in 3D this evening while the ticket prices are still low. Then we'll come home and they'll mix up and bake cupcakes. We'll have take'n bake pizza for dinner and then they can decorate the cupcakes and eat them for dessert.

This will cost about $50.

What Do You Think?

November 19th, 2011 at 06:41 pm

This was sent to me as an email.

-----
Remember, not only did you contribute to Social Security but your employer did too. It totaled 15% of your income before taxes. If you averaged only $30K over your working life, that's close to $220,500.

If you calculate the future value of $4,500 per year (yours & your employer's contribution) at a simple 5% (less than what the govt. pays on the money that it borrows), after 49 years of working you'd have
$892,919.98.

If you took out only 3% per year, you'd receive $26,787.60 per year and it would last better than 30 years (until you're 95 if you retire at age 65)
and that's with no interest paid on that final amount on deposit!
If you bought an annuity and it paid 4% per year, you'd have a lifetime income of $2,976.40 per month.

The folks in Washington have pulled off a bigger Ponzi scheme than Bernie Madhoff ever had.

Congressional benefits = free healthcare, outrageous retirement packages, 67 paid holidays, three weeks paid vacation, unlimited paid sick days; now that's welfare. And they have the nerve to call my social
security retirement entitlements?

We're "broke" and can't help our own Seniors, Veterans, Orphans, Homeless.

They call Social Security and Medicare an entitlement even though most of us have been paying for it all our working lives and now when itís time for
us to collect, the government is running out of money.

Sad isn't it?

*THE ONLY THING WRONG WITH THIS CALCULATION IS THEY FORGOT TO FIGURE IN THE PEOPLE WHO DIED BEFORE THEY COLLECTED THEIR SOCIAL SECURITY! WHERE DID THAT MONEY GO?
------

What do you think?

Money Out. Tiny EF Add.

November 18th, 2011 at 08:56 pm

Some recent expenses and EF additions.

- $285
Eye doctor exam and six pairs of monthly disposable contact lenses. I don't have vision insurance. My last eye exam was two years ago. I usually wear my disposable contacts much longer than a month. (More like four months at a time.) I will make six lenses last me awhile. Smile

- $125
Baby DS's 18 month-old doctor visit. Self-pay.

- $46
Christmas gift shopping. Three BE makeup gift sets.

- $230
Costco. Chicken meatballs, two tri tips, two pork loins, 2.5lbs dry-cured bacon, two dozen eggs, 1800+ Q-Tips, 36pk Pepsi, 28pk V8, gallon Orange Mango juice, 3pk Boursin cheese, 10lb Krusteaz pancake mix, Copenhagen (DH's bad habit), 2lb roasted almonds, 52pk razors, two pack chocolate Cheerios, 18pk Uncrustable sandwiches, (I'm missing something???) and dinner for four at the food court.

- $64.
Costco gas. $3.64/gal.

+ $25
Regular EF auto transfer.

+ $10
49er win this past Sunday

We Now Own a Boat

November 15th, 2011 at 11:28 pm

Yup, DH now has a fishing boat.

It did not cost us anything because...
his bosses bought it for him!

One of their clients was selling it for a really low price ($1k). DH tried to talk me into us buying it so we could re-sell it at a profit. I was not going to even go there because of the "What If's".
What if he loved it and couldn't part with it. Smile
What if we couldn't find a buyer? Etc..

His bosses (husband & wife) bought it for him because of all the fond family memories they, and the client selling the boat, have of fishing with their children. It was given as a "Thanks for all you do" gift. Really quite generous.

Hubby picked up the boat which is a 2004 15' aluminum Klamath with an outboard motor, bass seats, (2) fish finders, depth finder, on a very nice trailer. He was also given all the paperwork/manuals/receipts on everything. The seller had bought everything new and paid over $8k.

DH has talked with his dad and several friends and this set up could sell for $4k to $5k pretty easily.

DARN!
Now I wish I would've let him talk me into buying it just to sell it. lol!
Could not sell it now that it's a gift.

Looking over the prior boat and trailer registration it will cost $14/two years for the boat and $25/five years for the trailer.

My co-worker has taken to calling DH "Ken" now. As in Ken and Barbie, because Ken has all these "accessories".
Smile **shaking my head** Smile

$250 CC Reward

November 15th, 2011 at 04:12 am

Just redeemed points on my WF card for a $250 account credit.
Yay!
Smile

Glad I Needed Onion

November 13th, 2011 at 09:01 pm

We are having chili for dinner tonight. When I make it I do it up in our big 5.5 quart crockpot and then we can have chili for days. Usually I'll freeze some too.

Well last night I realized I needed an onion. I had used the last one making enchiladas last weekend.

Then this morning I realized I had forgotten to set out meat to thaw. Oops!

Okay, now I needed some ground meat and an onion.

I went to Safeway and was thinking about their $10 off coupon promo they were running. Figuring I would take a page from Retire@50 and buy a gift card in order to earn the coupon. I pulled out my $10 coupon I earned last week only to discover that TODAY was the last day I would be able to redeem!

I was SO glad I needed to go and get that onion TODAY or I would've missed out on my $10 and I would have been so angry with myself.

Oh, and that $10 paid for what I needed for my chili.
Smile

Awesome & Easy Frosting

November 12th, 2011 at 09:24 pm

I made this frosting for the first time a few weekends back. It's chocolaty with a bit of coffee flavor and is the easiest frosting I've ever made.
Awwesssomme!!

- 5oz semi sweet chocolate. Chopped. (I used chips)
- 5Tbsp brewed coffee.
- 1/3cup Unsalted Butter. Cut into small chunks.

Microwave chocolate and coffee for 30 seconds. Stir. Microwave another 15 seconds. Stir until smooth. Add 4 or so bits of butter at a time and stir until smooth. Let stand until a spreadable consistency.

* I used an electric hand mixer to blend the butter in. I was worried at first because the frosting did seem thin, but it did thicken to a perfect thickness. DD and I used a pastry bag with a large tip to pipe the frosting on cupcakes.

New Credit Cards

November 12th, 2011 at 07:30 pm

I applied for the Chase Freedom card with the $150 cash incentive and was approved instantly online. I was totally surprised by the immediate confirmation. I have decided I will transfer some of our other cc debt to this card because they are offering 0% until February 2013. There is a balance transfer fee that will eat up the cash they are offering. But, it's okay because the balance transfer will save us that much (or more) in interest and it won't cost anything "out of pocket" to do the transfer.

I also applied for the BofA card with the $100 reward. I applied online and after Chase. BofA didn't give me instant approval. Just said something like "we'll contact you". I kept waiting for an email or a letter saying something. Then on Thursday I received the new card from them!
Oh, Okay, guess I was approved then. Smile
Now I have to charge $500 to collect the $100 reward.

Funny that I haven't gotten the Chase card yet. They were so quick to approve me and all.

Tank Top Tale

November 11th, 2011 at 01:08 am

Remember the cute racerback tank tops I bought at Old Navy a few weeks ago because I thought they were on sale? Well, I took them back yesterday and guess what? They were on sale (for real this time!) for $4/each. They had one left in my size so I picked that up and the cashier adjusted the price for the two that I was going to return.
I ended up with three tanks for the price of one!
YAY!
Big Grin

Visit. Weekend Happenings.

November 7th, 2011 at 12:15 am

Skip to the end if you don't want to read about MIL's visit.
Smile

-----
MIL's Visit:
MIL left early this morning before any of us woke up. Naturally, there was drama with her visit but not all of her visit was bad.

She came Thursday night. Watched DS and took DD to school on Friday. Treated to pizza delivery on Friday night. Very nice. Smile

Saturday we went shopping at Kohl's and had a nice trip. She and I enjoyed shopping and visiting.

By Saturday evening things were going downhill. DD was in tears because MIL said she'd never bring crafts to our house again after DD didn't wash out a paintbrush. Then MIL tells me she would've rather bought KFC for dinner on Friday. Which would have been okay with us, but she picked pizza, but only after she said she wanted to go out for Mexican. Rolleyes

When DH and I got home from our "date" Saturday night DD told me that she had been crying again. MIL got angry that she wasn't helping her clean DD's room. MIL told DD that she would never stay in DD's room again. *Nice way to foster a loving relationship with your granddaughter hu?

I told DH that two days/one night seems to be the "sweet spot" for a visit from MIL. More than that and things go bad. He agreed.

She's called twice since she left. Apologized to DD and cried to DH because she doesn't feel FIL gives her enough love and attention.

While she was here, she and I talked about some of their financial issues (could write a whole post about that.) The biggest thing is that they've been in their house for 20 years. They bought it for $120k. They owe $240k. Current value is about $145k.
Cashed out in a refi and used the money for RV, new truck etc. None of which they kept.
BTW, she's glad they haven't paid off their house. They wouldn't have any tax deductions then. Yeah really!
-----

Weekend Happenings:
At Kohl's I checked out the clearance racks and found a shirt for DS and a set of PJ's for DD, both were $4.80 each. Will be Christmas gifts. I also found girls T-shirts that are meant to be colored on, like a page from a coloring book, with markers that come with the shirt. $4.40 each. My first thought was to grab a few to hold on to for birthday gifts for DD's friends. Decided we will use them as party favors for DD's party. The girls can color them together at the sleepover and then take them home. My grand total was $32 for 5 shirts, 1 PJ set and 1 toddler shirt.

DH and I had a nice date night. Saw the movie "Moneyball" with our free passes. Afterwards we had a great steak dinner with drinks for $62 total.

Now I'm having a cozy and relaxing Sunday watching football and just lounging about. It's been chilly out so we have a toasty fire going.

I have chicken enchiladas all ready to go in the oven for dinner later on. Ice cream cake for dessert. Yum!

The 49ers won their game so I will transfer $10 to the EF.

We're Being Chase-d and BA'd!

November 3rd, 2011 at 09:33 pm

Bet the title made you look.
Wink

Just arrived home a few minutes ago and we have four cc offers from Chase. Two Chase Freedom and two Chase Slate. The Freedom card is offering a $150 cash bonus, 5% on certain purchases (rotates throughout the year) and 0%. The Slate card is just 0%. Neither has a fee.

Hmmm......

We also received three (2 for me, 1 for DH) card offers from B of A. One has a $100 cash bonus.

Double Hmmmmm......

Halloween Spending

November 1st, 2011 at 07:02 pm

There was a news story about how "recession proof" Halloween is. Seems people shell out quite a bit each year and it's steadily increasing.

Our Halloween spending:

$36 - DD's costume
$21 - DD's costume accessories
$10 - DS's costume (bought on clearance)
$14 - pumpkins
$17 - decorations (add a little more each year)
$14 - candy (big bag from Costco)
-----
$112 Total

Could have easily spent more on decorations. There or some cool things we saw. I wanted to add a few more tombstones, but passed this year. They were $6 or more each.

We only ended up with about 15 Trick or Treaters so we have a ton of candy left over. Seems that a HUGE amount of people T/T in the historic area of town. That's where DD went and she said it was packed. Makes the "average" neighborhoods pretty empty I guess.

How much did Halloween cost you?