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Happy 2017!!

January 1st, 2017 at 12:22 pm

Happy New Year!
Seriously, the past year flew by!

Let me first say Thank You to those of you who checked in with me this past year.. very thoughtful! Smile

Second, it is so awesome to log in here and see so many familiar long-time members!! Yay!!

Things have been good here. Honestly, the biggest struggle is raising a teenage daughter! So moody and dramatic on top of dealing with the loss of DH. Often it feels like the goal is just for both of us to make it out alive!

DS is well. A very typical 6 year-old, first grade boy. I baby him a bit more than I should, but I'm working on that.

I have been quite busy trying to make time for everything I want to do.. work, side work, kid time, family time, friend time, alone time, dating.
My life is far from sedate or boring.

Financially I have never felt more solid.
I am beyond thankful for that!
Only payment is the mortgage. No CC debt. A modest EF, but haven't had to tap it to cover any expenses and it is growing slowly.

My 1999 Nissan Pathfinder rolled past 300k miles two days ago! Ending '16 on that milestone.
I'm pretty certain 2017 will see me getting a new vehicle.. which I am excited and nervous about.

Excited and nervous pretty much sums up my feelings today as 2017 starts.
Heck, better throw in OPTIMISTIC too.
(I like to to live on The Bright Side)
Big Grin

Merry Christmas 2015

December 25th, 2015 at 09:18 am

Merry Christmas to my SA friends!

We are doing probably better than expected. Especially considering the holiday season.

I will be back on more regularly in the New Year...
Smile

DH Heading Back to Work (& Other Stuff)

July 5th, 2015 at 09:52 pm

Okay, "Other Stuff" first.

Been super busy at work.

The new co-worker is doing fine and we get along well.

My boss gave me a $1/hour raise! Big Grin

Our local fair was in town recently. I entered a table setting again.
It was set for the fair's theme and won a first place - $15 prize.

Our friend took us into the fair again for free this year.
I went three times.. once was girl's night. Big Grin

DH and I did make it to the gym *almost* every day since my last post. Smile
(Between work, gym, fair and home I had very little down time lately.)

The kids and I bought DH a Fit Bit for Father's Day.
He has really liked it and using it seems to help him motivate.

DH's stress test for his heart function was all completely normal and is regular physician cleared him to return to work.

His doctor did refill the anxiety medication.
DH has started talking to me more about what causes him anxiety. Some of it is from his crazy mom - her guilt trips and passive aggressive bulls**t. Angry

And he is nervous about returning to work tomorrow.

DS is FIVE! (and Five Years Blogging Here)

May 5th, 2015 at 11:26 am

Today our DS turns five years old! Wow, has the time flown!

We are going to have a party this weekend in one of the city parks. We haven't had a big party for any of his birthdays, so he is very excited. Smile

DH is doing well. I'll update more later.

I missed my blogoversary which was a week ago - Five years certainly goes by fast.
I have been too busy at work and at home to make time for any well thought posts. (Right now I'm at work on hold waiting to place an order for medications.)

Thank you to all my SA friends here for reading and supporting me. It is a pleasure to visit here and share about our lives - financial & otherwise.
Smile

Where Did March Go? Tahoe Trip. DH had Pneumonia.

April 7th, 2015 at 10:25 pm

I can't believe we are a week into April already! What?!

Catching up here..

In the last half of March we took a four-day family getaway with another family to Lake Tahoe. We rented a house. Which sounds so fancy, but in reality is a reasonably frugal way to vacation. This was the first time we have ever stayed in a vacation rental, but I will definitely do it again.

We split the rental 50/50 with our friends. They have three young kids. We invited a friend for DD to hang out with. That made 10 people total. We paid $100/night ($200/night total) and $75 cleaning fee. The house was plenty spacious for everyone to spread out (four bedrooms & three full baths). The pool table kept the teen girls entertained and actually off their cell phones for a little bit! Big Grin

We ate in the whole time and cooked in the large kitchen; which was nicer than mine at home.
That kept our food spending equal to staying home.

We visited the Discovery museum in Reno at $8/per person. Such a fun place!

The other mom and I had a champagne and goat cheese binge one night in front of the gas fireplace. Glorious. Big Grin

We picnicked at one of the Lake's beaches. No park fees because it was "off-season".




Took the all the kids tubing on the last patch of snow we could find nearby. Splurged $30 for tube rental.

Woke up to a dusting of snow one morning to everyone's delight - especially the four youngsters. Smile




Then when we got home DH started saying how much his chest was hurting. We thought that his asthma was flaring up. But, by the next day he was really hurting. A trip to the ER confirmed pneumonia. Frown
(Is this year going to be the year of medical expenses?? I sure hope not!)

He was pretty sick for about a week. Breathless and tired. And coughing of course.

Doing much better now, but not 100% yet. Did go back to work last Thursday on limited duties.
No sick leave pay for the days he was out. Frown

One good thing is that he is getting a sleep test for his sleep apnea. Something I've been saying for several years he should do...

Updates - Painting Rant. Binge Watching TV.

March 8th, 2015 at 09:18 am

Work, home projects and binge watching the past seasons of Downton Abbey and Mad Men have kept me from posting recently.

Work:
On the work front things are going well. It's been pretty busy most days. I've been going through the database deleting old product codes and changing prices.
I told my boss that I'm increasing prices so he can afford to give me a raise. Smile

Home:
I finished painting the pine bookcase for DS's room a few weekends ago. I bought a "tester" quart of blue paint (matching the bunkbed color) for $5 for the outside and used leftover yellow to paint the inside of it. It's colorful. I am pleased with how it turned out. It is great having appropriate storage for the books!

However, it's not all sunshine and puppy kisses here.
I am beyond frustrated with painting the interior doors! I think I am learning more about paint and technique then I ever cared to know.

They are smooth doors with a decorative molded panel. They look like this:



I am too much of a perfectionist to stand any brush marks.

A firm foam roller gave a nice finish to the doors. But I got some areas of "flashing" (That's where the sheen of the paint looks shiner on one roller pass vs. the one next to it).

A professional painting contractor lives around the corner. He recommended Sherwin-Williams paint and a high quality brush.
Tried that yesterday - terrible!
Talked to the Sherwin-Williams guy - we might need a "latex extender" because the paint is drying too fast it's not spreading out to cover the brush strokes.

I think the ideal way would be to use a paint sprayer. But, we don't have one and the cost to buy one is too high. The cheap ones don't have good reviews. We could rent one. It's an option.

Today I am going to try the SW paint with a 4" mohair roller based on some tips I read online.

*SO* frustrating because it is a relatively simple task I'd like to do myself, but we keep spending more money and time and not getting it right.
OK - End Rant.

Binge Watching:
I signed up for the Free 30 day trial of Prime in order to get the quilts for DS's room in two days.

Now I'm using the Prime to watch Downton Abbey seasons 1 thru 3. I started watching last year (season 4) so it has been a treat to binge on all the episodes I haven't seen.

Mad Men I've been DVRing on cable. They have been airing four episodes on Sunday mornings. During the week after everyone has gone to bed I'll watch two episodes one night and two on another. There have been a few nights I watched all four and didn't go to bed until 1:30am! Big Grin

2014 Recap

January 24th, 2015 at 12:18 pm

I have been so busy with work, side work and family activities. So, before January ends I'd like to quickly recap 2014 and lay down loose plans for this year.

2014 GOALS

$6k EF [X]
- $6500 on 12/31/14

$2k Car Savings
- No Change. Still $1k.

CC Balance to $8k or less
- Balances total $10,170 on 12/31/14

Replace Roof [X]
- Took on nearly $15k HELOC to do it. BUT, so glad it's done.

Increase ROTH contributions
- Have not made an increase in the monthly auto withdrawal.

Lose 20lbs
- Lost 8lbs. (And gained it back.. Ugh!)


2015 Goals in side bar.


Happy New Year!

January 1st, 2015 at 09:13 pm

Wishing everyone a joyful and prosperous 2015.

Had a lot going on here the last few weeks.
Most good, but some a little sad...
My grandpa passed away suddenly and his funeral was a week before Christmas. I was so thankful we had a good visit with him at Thanksgiving. Got some nice pictures with him and the kids too.
He would have been 91 on his birthday this month.

Christmas preparations went smoothly and I finished shopping well before Christmas.

Mailed, or handed out, nearly all of the 50 photo cards I had made from Costco this year. We received about 30 cards. I love getting Christmas cards, especially ones with photos.

Many of the gifts we gave included DD's honey which only cost us the price of the jar it was in. Oh, and the cost of the custom sticker we put on the jars - $0.17/each. Smile

Today I spent some time updating Quicken and scheduling upcoming payments.
I will be firming up goals soon.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

November 27th, 2014 at 09:21 am

Happy Thanksgiving to my SA friends!

I am watching the Macy's parade with DS right now.
He was excited to see the Thomas the Tank balloon - so cute. Smile

Have a wonderful day everyone!

DH's Birthday. Signed the HELOC Docs. Warm Weather.

October 7th, 2014 at 06:10 pm

Yesterday was DH's 39th birthday. I was going to take him out to a nice dinner, but he decided he'd like to have something simple at home. (Maybe dinner out this weekend.)

The kids got him a cute card. I bought a Groupon for golf ($21) that he and DD can do together.

------
We signed the HELOC documents at the title company this afternoon. It is supposed to close by the 14th. Meanwhile, we have several roofing estimates coming in.

------
The weather here has been hot the last week. It has felt more like July than October. Our tomato plants are still growing and the green ones are turning red very quickly with all the sun. I have been meaning to post garden pics... maybe next time..
I'm off to watch the baseball playoff game.

August

September 1st, 2014 at 04:37 pm

Been busy here. We were out every weekend in August.
DD theater performances.
Camping.
Close friends had their twin's first birthday.
Kids visiting grandparents.
Our nephew's first birthday.
A baby shower for my BFF.

Lots of traveling so we spent way more than usual in gas.


(Beautiful Quicken graph for an ugly total!)

Did a little better in other spending areas - food for one since we didn't have to feed ourselves several weekends.

Gift Giving:
We didn't buy anything for the twins. They have so much family that there was a huge pile of gifts. Our friends have a small house too, so I don't know where all that is going to go!

Our nephew got a box of fruit & veggie pouches from Costco. $12.

For my BFF baby shower I bought two clearance items. A cute outfit for $3.99 and a plush blanket for $5.99. I also bought her firstborn a wooden puzzle (her birthday is next week) for $4.

While shopping I found a very cute long sleeve Roxy shirt for DD. $19. I stashed it for Christmas.

DH is still having short hours at work, which leads to low paychecks. It's tough because we can't pay extra to anything and we still need to get the roof taken care of and I do not want to drain the EF to $0.
Honestly, I cannot remember the last time he had a "normal" 40 hour paycheck. It has been about 18 months since he had a full paycheck AND commission (sometimes netted him as much as $500/week extra).

And it seems it is causing him some depression. Even though it isn't his fault, he is taking it personally (like he can't provide for the family).
I have suggested that now might be the right time to try finding something new or maybe a part time job. I have gotten a lukewarm response to that, so we'll see....

His & Hers Ferraris

July 20th, 2014 at 10:39 pm

I saw this today.

While having breakfast at our favorite hole-in-the-wall cafe this morning two black Ferraris cruised by. The tops were down - one was being driven by a man and the other by a woman.

When they reached the end of the block they flipped around to park. The drivers got out and headed to the restaurant we were eating at. We were sitting outside among several other tables. Everyone was commenting on the cars. When the man and woman walked up everyone was totally silent.

While the Ferrari drivers waited for a table my DH walked over and asked if that was a His & Hers situation. The woman laughed (in a friendly way) and said, "Yes it is!"

The question I really wanted to ask was what they did for a living to have money like that.
(Even if I had piles of money I wouldn't want two Ferraris. Let alone to drive them both around at the same time.. it was a strange, ostentatious thing to see.)

Identity Theft & Fraud - UGH!

July 18th, 2014 at 09:31 pm

I was flipping through the mail when I got home from work and I had a new credit card.

Problem was it wasn't a card I applied for..

So I called (Barclays) and long story short someone opened this line of credit at an Apple store in a nearby city and bought themselves almost $2k worth of stuff (new laptop?) using my identity. Frown

I was advised by the Barclay's CSR to place a fraud alert with the credit bureaus - I think I should take the further step and do a freeze. I am thinking we should do it for DH also.
What do you think?

I'm off to check our CreditKarma accounts to see if anything is popping up.

UGH! Frown

My Recipe for Margarita Jello Shots

July 8th, 2014 at 04:55 pm

This was fun to have at the party and pretty frugal as far as "cocktails" go.

- 6 oz box Lime Jello
- 1 cup tequila (I used a "silver" - clear type)
- 3 oz Triple Sec
- Juice of 1 lime
- Pinch or so salt (approx 1/4 teaspoon)
- 1/2+ cup cold water

Heat the water to just a boil (same amount as directed on package). Remove from heat.
Stir in mix until dissolved.
Add alcohol, lime juice, salt and cold water.
Stir well.
Pour equal amounts into 25 2oz disposable shot cups. Top off with a little cold water as needed.
Refrigerate several hours or overnight until set.
(OR use a glass baking dish and cut into squares once set.)

Enjoy! Smile

Post Fourth of July Post

July 6th, 2014 at 09:53 am

We had a busy week here. DH and I decided we would host a BBQ for a few families. I think it has been three years since we invited more than just our family over for a meal - ha!

DD was away all week at 4H camp (which was the BEST ever! Big Grin)
DH and I had to pick up her chores as well as work on getting the house and yard ship-shape. I also had to pick her up from camp Friday midday. So we worked on party preparation a little bit every day of the week. I squeezed shopping for food and supplies on Tuesday afternoon - my half day of work.
We made it a potluck, so that saved some money. I didn't feel embarrassed about asking and everyone was happy to bring something.

Party supplies were:
$ 2 - red plastic tablecloth
$ 3 - blue star paper dinner plates
$ 2 - blue napkins
$ 3 - plastic cups
$ 3 - plastic shot cups
$ 1 - glow-n-the-dark bracelets
$16 - kiddy pool
$ 3 - sidewalk chalk
The last two items are for DS to use all summer. If we are gentle the pool should make it for next summer too.
Total: $33

As far as food goes I wanted to make kabobs. We have never made them before even though I have wanted to many times. I bought 36 boneless/skinless chicken thighs at $2.50/lb. I used fresh zucchini out of our garden on the skewers also.

Food spending:
$23 - chicken thighs
$14 - Kabob produce (bell peppers, onions & pineapple)
$38 - (2) six packs of beer, (2) bottles champagne, (2) bottles sparkling juice
$ 3 - bamboo skewers
$16 - Avocados for guacamole
$ 2 - Tortilla chips
$16 - Huge watermelon
$ 3 - Whole Pineapple
$ 8 - Strawberries & Raspberries
$ 6 - Ice
$ 3 - lime jello
Almost all the fruit/veggies were organic.
Total: $132

The kabobs were a hit. Smile
I even had a few extras that I threw in the freezer - maybe dinner next weekend?

DH crafted a watermelon "basket" filled with the fruit. I should have taken a picture (I think he did) it looked great.

His guacamole was a huge hit as usual.

I had the idea to make jello shots. I saw this really cute idea to make red, white & blue layered jello cups. Well that gave me the idea to make jello shots. And then the idea to make Margarita jello shots.
(Let me say I have only had jello shots once before and I have never made them.)
They turned out really good! I will make them again as they were such a fun little adult item to have. Smile

DH and DD hit the fireworks stand and bought $25 in fireworks.

We all watched our city's fireworks from our house. It is nice to not have to drive anywhere.

It was a really enjoyable party. I would like to do it more often than once every few years. It's one of those things where you keep asking "Why am I doing all this?" and then you have such a good time you feel like "I am so glad we did this!" Smile

Fair Time!

July 1st, 2014 at 04:37 pm

We enjoyed our local county fair last week.
A close friend has a vehicle pass that allows her to drive in/out of the fairgrounds without paying any fees. She has been taking my family into the fair for FREE the past several years. This year the kids and I went to the fair three times!

The very nice thing about this fair is that the admission also covers all rides, so once you are inside you don't have to pay anything extra for rides or concerts. We did spend some money on fair food the evening we went all together as a family. We didn't go crazy, but did spend close to $40.
All in all spending $40 for all the time at the fair was easy to swallow.

I entered the table setting class again this year.
I chose to decorate for the fair theme which was celebrating the fair's 75th diamond anniversary.



I won First place for my class. Smile
Didn't win Best of Show this year (shucks).

I also entered a novelty planting class with this jam jar..



It won a First place too. Smile

And I entered a hanging basket (one of two that I made for our backyard).
Made up of purple basil, supertunias, alyssum and blue lobelia.




And I won First in that class too. Smile

I won $35 in prize money.


DD entered four canning projects.
(They're on those shelves somewhere..)



She won three First Places and one Second.
She also entered two baking entries.
Low-Fat Lemon Bars and Mini Cheesecakes.
Second Place for the bars and First for the cheesecakes. The cheesecakes also ranked Fourth in the "Make it with Dairy" class - a class where you have to use three or more dairy products in the recipe.

I will have to post her cheesecake recipe soon - they were so delicious!

She ended with $21 in prize money.

We entered a small preschool art project for DS - his first fair entry. He won a First (they all do in that age class) and received a check for $3.

I told my mom that I should enter a ton of preschool art for him next year BECAUSE it's a 200% return - you pay $1 to enter and are guaranteed a $3 check. Big Grin

Parking Ticket - Ugh!!

June 26th, 2014 at 08:22 pm

I had my first hair appointment of the year this afternoon - a cut with some highlights.

The salon is downtown and parking is tight.
I parked in a two hour lot.
I was 15 minutes over and got a $35 ticket. Frown

The parking enforcement guy was making the ticket as I walked up. He asked if I had gotten/paid for a new pass. (You prepay for a minimum of 15 minutes to a maximum of two hours.)
I said, "No. I just finished getting my hair done. Should I get another one now?"
And he was like "Nope. Here's your ticket."

If you can park longer than two hours why not let people prepay for longer than two hours??
UGH!!

Hot Weekend & Other Stuff

June 8th, 2014 at 05:12 pm

Having a heat wave this weekend.
Today it got to a high of 94F.

DD has two friends staying over the weekend. I think they were all up until 3am last night. They were pretty quiet so I'm not sure exactly when they fell asleep.

DH took DS and the three girls to one of the city pools (very near the house) for the afternoon. That left me home alone to work on laundry and housework. (Oh Joy - lol - actually I like it better when I can be alone to get things done)

-----
Received an alert that someone used our Ting referral code. Yay!
We've had a couple the past few months. Big Grin
Thank you to all of you who have used my link!

-----
This past week some of DD's bees swarmed.
That means because the colony is doing well they outgrew the hive, so some of the bees volunteer to "move out" and make a new hive somewhere else.

As a beekeeper you try to stay ahead of the bees growth by adding additional boxes to the hive for them to fill. We had an empty box ready, but hadn't added it. Just wasn't thinking about it with all the busy end-of-the-school-year stuff going. Little bummed about that.

If we find the bees nearby DD and her project leaders might be able to recapture the bees and start a second hive. *fingers crossed*

-----
Big battle episode tonight on Game of Thrones - Can't wait!

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday everyone.

My Number One Goal

May 17th, 2014 at 01:38 pm

Getting close to my birthday and I've been thinking more about how fast time goes by.

There are many things I think about doing, like:
Things I'd like to learn. Places I'd like to see. Time I'd like to volunteer. Hobbies I'd like to pursue.

Seems like the easiest way for me to do all that would be to achieve the highest goal on my wish list - wealth.

I daydream of being independently wealthy. I would never have to worry about where the money would come from and I could do whatever I wanted (within reason!) whenever I wanted. Big Grin

Okay, back to reality...

Recent Visit to the Goat Dairy & Fair Entries

May 15th, 2014 at 08:14 pm

Mother's Day we ventured out to a local goat dairy. They do an "open farm" one weekend in May and again in June each year. I have posted about our previous trips - we always have a fun time.
And I get to buy some very excellent cheese at a reduced price! Smile

While there you can pet the kid goats, brush the big gals, climb a straw stack, milk a goat, try as many samples of yogurt, cheese and ice cream as you want and there is face painting and live music too. There isn't a charge to visit, but I spent $22 on three types of cheese and a yogurt tub.

(Tried twice to upload a picture, but the site is acting goofy, so??)


------
This afternoon we turned in our entry forms for the local fair. It was $12 for all our entry fees.

I signed up for the table setting section again, a hanging basket I will plant soon and a creative small planting using a jam jar.

DD signed up to enter four canned items (two jams, a jelly & an apricot syrup) and she is going to enter mini cheesecakes and lemon bars in the junior baking category.

And this year DS is going to take in a piece of his "art". Not sure if it will be a painting or what yet. I just entered it as "preschool art".

Entering in the fair is fun!
All the fairs I have entered give free or reduced admission tickets to people who enter, so you could save money by entering. And there are usually many types of things you can enter from sewing to web design; cooking to gardening.

Do you enter anything in your fair?
If not, will you check into it this year?
Smile

Treading Water

April 23rd, 2014 at 03:44 pm

Last Friday our paychecks managed to meet our budgeted amount, so that was a good thing.

Need more though..

Easter weekend was very nice. We visited my sister, her DH and their baby. The money we spent was on gas (about $80) to drive there and back. To save money we slept on her living room floor in our sleeping bags instead of getting a hotel room. And we didn't buy any candy or any Easter treats this year - not even one. (My sis did get the kids a few little candies - I was glad for that.) My mom and dad came and brought my Grandpa with them. That was extra nice because we rarely get to see him as he lives so far from us. It was really special.


Yesterday I transferred $5 to the "special focus" just to feel like I was making progress *somewhere*.
I'm only kidding myself because in reality the "special focus" now is just getting enough into the checking account to cover regular bills.

Not going to be able to swing much extra to any of the cc debt for the next few months. Hopefully there will be money to put back into savings starting in June or July.

Some of the savings that I used recently I had earmarked for new tires. The current set we purchased in May 2011 and they are worn. I think I can get by for a few more months without any trouble.

Truck still needs a water pump...

The Good & The Bad

April 3rd, 2014 at 03:58 pm

First, can't believe it is April!

The Good:

- My cat care client gave me a bonus gift - $20 Starbucks card.

- My coworker gave me a code to get five stars on my Starbucks account (Free drink every 12 stars).

- A client gave me and my coworker a $100 bill each! Big Grin

- Trees are cut down and all cut up.


The Bad:

- DH hurt his knee playing racquetball with his boss last week. It seems pretty bad to me, but naturally DH doesn't want to see a doctor. He has injured this same knee before and it takes weeks to feel better. I am of the mind that it might need surgery. If that is what it needs to "fix" it, well we'd have to do it, but oh man could that create some financial bumps.

- Water pump went out in our truck. FUDGE! I wanted to get a load of garden soil/amendment this weekend so we could get started with our boxes. That didn't happen. Frown And the repair will have to wait. Quoted $750 and I don't want to take any more from savings.

- My car has had a few weird episodes where it seemed like it wasn't getting fuel. Was okay last night and this morning. Our mechanic neighbor looked at it this morning and of course it didn't do it for him.
Going to change the fuel filter wait and see if it does it again. Might be the fuel pump..

- Disgust is at an all time high for me at work.
My boss owes money to almost, strike that, *every* vendor we use. Some have stopped accepting orders from us until they get paid.

I haven't gotten one cent toward my health insurance yet; although the boss says that is coming.

Sore subject for me.
At first it was, "pick a plan you like."
Then it was, "choose a few you like and we'll discuss."
Then he was, "I'll need to limit the amount I pay to $300/month."
That meant not getting a plan I "liked"; just a plan that was cheap.

Tuesday I asked what the status of reimbursement was because I paid the April premium two weeks ago and just received the May bill. He asks me how much the premium is. And I'm thinking - "look you pledged $300 so don't you dare think of shorting me now."
I told him just under $300 because I can't afford to pay anything beyond what he is offering.
SO he was like "Oh, okay, so you'll need $280 to $290 then?"

I am not trying to sound ungrateful. I am thankful that I have had 100% employer paid coverage and hopefully still will. But I feel pretty unappreciated with the way he is handling all this.

By the way, I have the day off today because he and his wife went to Tahoe to ski ... Heaven forbid he say "No" to the family.

Back on the Horse

March 22nd, 2014 at 04:04 pm

I have decided to dig my heels in and I just applied the $60 cash to the cc I have special focus on.
I let snowflakes "melt" into our checking account way too often.

Feeling much more collected today. Smile
And absolutely confident that I will not have lunch out or a family meal out for the rest of the month. I will need to go to the store for bananas and dinner fixings for next Saturday, but other than that we have a ton of food.

A friend and her family are taking a weeklong trip to visit family. She was going to board their little dog at a local kennel. I told her I would watch her dog at my house for half the cost of the kennel. She was thrilled.

It is a Win/Win/Win. I'll make $150. She'll save $150. Pup will have totally tailored attention.

Speaking of horses.. got notice that our boarding rate is increasing by $10/month to $170/month. Operating costs going up for the ranch owner -especially the cost of hay. I figure the drought is only going to make that worse.

April is also vet visit month for our horse. Likely $100 for that.

End of the Week & I Was Bad

March 21st, 2014 at 09:40 pm

Another payday with short paychecks.
(Next week will be golden as neither DH nor I had short days this week.)
But, yeah, $206 less income this week than what I budget/estimate/plan/project for. Frown

I have $60 of cat care cash that I was planning to put toward a cc.
In fact, this week I decided to make this particular card my main focus and commit any *extra* to its payoff no matter what.

Now, I either need to stick to that plan OR use that $60 cash to help cover the usual expenses. No matter which option I am still going to have to transfer some from savings to cover outgoing bills.

It is feeling very one step forward; two steps back.

& I was bad this week...
I don't know if it was the nice weather making me lazy, or the "special" time of the month, or the feelings of stress over weeks of lower income, or some sadness/reality over unexpected deaths (there was a horrific car crash where a pickup truck crushed a car all the way to the front seats. Killing two women - mother/daughter. Happened on a road I frequently drive.) Sicily, the weird missing plane and some other upsetting (child abuse) news stories..
But I ate lunch out four days and as a family we ate dinner out once and had fast food dinner once.
$30 - lunches out
$46 - dinner out
$21 - family fast food

And I completely feel like I am shooting myself in the foot - while taking those two steps back!

Discouraged.

First Day of Spring Pictures

March 20th, 2014 at 05:20 pm

Our peach tree in the backyard.



California Poppies are all over right now. Lots along the roadside.
These are a short walk from the door of my office.



Tree on the street across from the office.



Wisteria at the far end of our shared parking lot at work.


I took DS to the park this afternoon to meet with two other moms and their children. A lovely day.
Thankful to be alive.

Spring Things

March 4th, 2014 at 09:51 pm

** Just re-posting what I could remember of my last post before the site crashed over the weekend.**

Good rainy weather here! Yay!
Really has made everything green and blooming.

This is our Tulip Tree in the backyard.



The hens enjoy strolling around on the grass.




DD's bees are more active on the sunny days. You can see the pollen packed on some of their legs when they fly back to the hive.


Spent last weekend visiting with our nephew we haven't seen in years. My SIL's oldest child. We took him to San Francisco for the day. Beautiful, sunny weather. Great for walking around.
Spendy day though.. $95 for dinner, $50 in parking, $23 for ice cream at Ghirardelli...


Enjoying getting back to a low/ no spend weekend.
Raining some more this weekend so I'm just getting cozy with a good book.

$8k Friday!

February 17th, 2014 at 09:43 pm

Friday we had a wonderful flow of money into our checking account. Big Grin

First, our state and federal tax refunds were direct deposited.
This is the first time I have done direct deposit - it was uber fast. I e-filed with FreeTaxUSA on February 6th and the deposits were pending in our account on February 13th.

Second, I deposited the check for our horse trailer sale.

Third, I deposited mine and DH's payday checks.

All together it came to just over $8k!

Makes a girl a bit giddy to have all that deposited into her account at one time. Big Grin

Yeah, it is all spoken for.. but I enjoyed the giant checking account balance all weekend. Tomorrow I will split it up.

Highlights are:
$4300 - Roof Savings
$1000 - EF
$ 550 - Tree Removal Savings
$ 255 - Payoff a CC

I have decided to send B's hubby (who changed the trailer tire) $40 extra when I mail the horse board check on March 1st. It will be an unexpected and welcome surprise I think. Smile

------
As far as sickness goes..

As of Sunday, DS's daycare lady (GrandmaB) was still in the hospital. On a positive, she is doing better. I did talk to her by phone for a minute after I was briefed by her daughter on everything. She has pneumonia and also a urinary tract infection. Thankfully no heart related problems. She might even be back home at this point.

DS is pretty much feeling 100%. Every once in awhile he has a nagging little cough.

I am getting better (MUCH better than I felt on Saturday) still a bit of stuffy nose. I also have a cough that makes it sound as if I'm a lifelong smoker (I'm not at all!).

DH started feeling sick Sunday afternoon. He was in bed by 7pm tonight.

*Fingers Crossed* DD doesn't get it - so far she is fine.

DS Sick

February 11th, 2014 at 04:21 pm

DS seemed to be feeling fine and then he spiked a fever while he was down for a nap Sunday.

This is very scary for us because last year he had a seizure when his fever spiked.

It seems likely that he might have had a fever seizure while in his room for nap. I didn't see it, but he seemed "off" when I came in to see why he was crying. DH and I cooled him with a washcloth and dosed him up with meds and he was better.

He is doing okay now. Has a low grade fever (still giving Advil/Tylenol), little runny nose and a cough.

Monday I stayed home in the morning and DH came home early so I worked in the afternoon.

Today I stayed home.

Then our daycare lady, GB, called me and she won't be able to watch him tomorrow because she is sick.
She sounded terrible. Frown

So now I'm taking tomorrow off from work. It is fine - extra fine actually because it is slow at work.

I will take Wednesday as a paid sick day; otherwise my paycheck is going to look pretty sad.

----
In other news:
I had a call on our horse trailer this morning.
She is headed out to the ranch now to see it. Sounds like a sure thing.. still keep your fingers crossed though..

Listed Our Horse Trailer For Sale

February 9th, 2014 at 02:48 pm

Just finished posting our horse trailer for sale on CL.
It is a very nice trailer and part of me wants to keep it. We looked long and hard to find it and get a good deal. We made a family road trip to pick it up in Oregon - so I suppose I have a bit of emotional attachment.

The logical part of me says that is silly!
It is a depreciating asset.
It has just been sitting for several years where we board our horse. It doesn't cost us anything to keep, but there isn't any benefit either.

Logic wins again. Smile

I listed it for $4800 in order to negotiate a sales price of no less than $4000. (Roof money for us.)
I have offered the ranch owner $100 after it sells as compensation for her time to show it to potential buyers.

What I am hoping for is that people getting their tax refunds will be a position to make a large purchase like this.

Cross your fingers for us.

Soggy Weekend Doings

February 8th, 2014 at 03:55 pm

We are getting a super good, soaking, rain storm this weekend. It is so wonderful to hear the rain on the roof and watch the creek by the house fill up.

I did venture out this morning to take DS to a birthday party for one of his preschool buddies. On the way there we drove past two separate accidents. Solo spin-outs.. people going too fast with standing water on the highway.

DS enjoyed the party and we gifted a small toy truck that I had bought on sale months ago and tucked away. It was nice to not have to go shopping and the toy cost $4.

DH offered to go to the grocery store today. Big Grin
He likes to spend the time hanging out with DS. I was thrilled with having the option to take a break from going out. I did write up a big list for him. DD left with them to visit a friend, so I have the house to myself. Watching some 'Downton Abbey' without interruption.


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