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!
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)
Happy New Year!
One of these days I'll be back more regularly.
I have certainly missed you all and want to catch up on everyone's blogs.
The kids and I are doing well. Naturally emotional ups and downs. Financially I have been in a very solid and comfortable position. I'm beyond thankful for that since dealing with everything would be 100 times more difficult if I couldn't make ends meet.
Certainly the children and I would have been better off if there had been some life insurance, but that was not in place. Giving us a financial foothold is the children's monthly death benefits from Social Security.
No benefits for me because I make too much. However, if I ever made less due to reduced hours or job loss I would be able to receive money then.
In other financial news I decided to refinance my house. Refinancing to a conventional loan saves me $114/mo in PMI (FHA loan). I also consolidated the HELOC and my cc debt which saves me several hundred a month in minimum payments.
I was initially resisting the idea of paying off my cc's with my house. But, reducing my amount of outflow every month was the deciding factor.
My new mortgage payment will be $280 more per month than it is currently. I have been paying $315/mo just for the HELOC payment and several hundred more to credit card payoff.
The amount that we receive from SS each month is enough to cover the mortgage and utilities.
My future is a huge question mark.
Who knows how long I'll be living in my current home.
Being able to save a large amount of cash to an EF seems to be the best plan for me right now.
As part of the refi I had to have an appraisal. Housing is ON FIRE here.. It's crazy.
Anyhow, house appraised for $455k!
We purchased it for $265k seven years ago.
It boggles my mind.
Next up working on my taxes...
Y'all take care. I'm looking forward to catching up more soon.
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...
Thank You to everyone here on SA for the support and kind comments.
DH passed in his parent's home last Wednesday evening.
The kids and I are doing as well as can be expected. Taking comfort from our routine and lots of support from family and friends.
Life has been turned upside down..
In my last post, several months ago, DH was heading back to work.
He did for two days.. Then quit/went back on disability due to anxiety.
He started drinking more.
The end of August I asked him to visit his parents for a trial separation.
After a few days it was clear to me that I didn't want to live with him anymore and I was going to start the divorce paperwork.
October 4th he was hospitalized with liver failure.
October 6th he had his 40th birthday.. Clinging to life in the ICU.
Kidney failure soon followed.
For a short period it looked like he might pull through.. There was some improvement.. But then a rapid decline. Now his body cannot handle anymore dialysis.
Today he goes home to his parent's house for hospice care.
He does not have long.
It is all so surreal to me..
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!
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.
DH and I did make it to the gym *almost* every day since my last post.
(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.
And he is nervous about returning to work tomorrow.
DH had an appointment this morning with the pulmonologist. Just a routine recheck. Everything has checked out normally thus far - Good!
His blood pressure is still slightly high.
The doctor wants one more test - a stress test. DH is already scheduled for this Monday. I am so glad we don't have to wait weeks to get that done like we did for the two echocardiograms.
Fingers Crossed it turns out normal.
That should then mean his heart is totally normal & in good working order.
I've put my head in the sand as far as medical related costs. DH and I are going to sit down together soon and see what needs to be paid. We will ask to be put on a payment plan. The last statement we received showed our amount due was near the $4k mark.
In related news. We started going to the gym together and made the goal of going every day until the end of June.
I kept suggesting he go to the gym while I was gone at work. Pretty quickly realized he didn't want to go alone. Fine, I'll go too - it's not like I don't need to go to the gym also!
I have also been encouraging him to join me when I walk the little path by our house in the mornings. I just do 8 to 10 minutes before I get ready for work. It is so lovely and smells so good in the mornings it gets the day started off on the right foot so to speak.
What I realized recently is that as much as I love my DH I cannot MAKE HIM improve his health. Sure I can support him and make suggestions, but otherwise I cannot change HIM. So let me shift my focus - I CAN change ME.
That said, I am concentrating on working out, avoiding to much junk food and de-stressing.
(Sounds corny) But I can be the best me I can be!
I have been waiting to post because I have pictures to share and the site has been having issues.
Finally, here it is.
We celebrated DS' 5th birthday with a party at a local park. This park has pony rides, train rides and a bouncy house on the weekends. It was a big hit. We invited 24 kids and had 17 attend.
It was race car themed.
I saw this cute idea to put yellow lines on black tablecloths so they looked like a road. Dollar store plastic tablecloths and a roll of yellow tape = easy.
I set out snack food so everyone could just graze as they wanted since the kids were on the move all over the park.
Including a make-your-own trail mix set-up that I named "Nuts and Bolts".
Carrots & celery sticks with hummus I called "Dipsticks".
I baked the cupcakes and my sister decorated them into this cute pull-apart cake.
(The road is shaped into a 5.)
Total spent for the picnic area rental, activity passes, food and decor came to $278.
We had a lot of leftover food. In fact we are still munching on trail mix goodies.
My birthday was celebrated with a semi-surprise trip to Vegas.
I say semi because my parents knew my BFF had invited us to join her and her hubby for a weekend trip, but we had declined due to cost. So my parents surprised me by paying for our hotel and tickets to the Cirque show "O" I've been wanting to see for years.
I made the reservations and we paid for transportation and food.
Our airfare was $69/pp/each way with Southwest.
(My mom just told me about $39 fare to Vegas in August!)
We had two vouchers for BOGO 1/2 priced to the hotel's buffet. To save money we'd have a large breakfast and that would keep us going until dinner.
We bought passes for the bus that runs up and down the strip (The Deuce) for $16.
DH picked up a new ball cap at the M&M store that ended up being 50% off, so we paid $12.
We bought my sister a souvenir ($9) because she was watching our house and kids.
We each had $50 to gamble with.
Airport parking was $42.
Our total spent was $562.
**Mirage volcano & Venetian canals
Thankfully, (**knocking wood** here) DH has not had to go into the ER anymore.
He had his sleep test and has been using a CPAP machine every time he sleeps. It is making a big improvement in his quality and quantity of sleep - just as everyone said it would. The machine he has been using is a loaner from the doctor. Today he finally got the paperwork through and ordered a machine of his very own. He will pick it up tomorrow. No insurance coverage on it, so we paid $465 out of pocket for it.
He had a second echocardiogram on June 1st. It was one with a contrast medium. They are specifically looking at how the pulmonary veins are functioning. This is what supplies the oxygen to the heart muscle. The heart itself looks to be in good working order.
I am of the opinion that the times he was having chest tightness/pain it was from panic attacks and not from heart issues. None of the tests ever confirmed a heart attack or any heart disease. The ER doctor who said "mild heart attack" also told him his cholesterol was "sky-high" when the truth was that it hadn't even been checked. When DH's regular doctor did do the test a few days later it was normal - actually quite good considering the crap he eats. So it seems to me that the ER doctor was going for the shock & awe, scare you straight route. I REALLY don't like that style of doctoring, however I think my DH needed to be scared a little bit so he would get serious about changing things.
Currently, he is off work. His doctor has him off until July 1st.
His boss is having to do a lot more of the "real" work. I hope this will teach him to appreciate DH more!
I have told him this will be a great opportunity for him to spend time with the kids (school ends this week). Beach, pool, lake, discovery museum, mini golf, etc.. Free or very low cost, low stress fun outside of the house.
It has been a busy May. I have been wanting to blog, but have been feeling overwhelmed and unmotivated.
Unfortunately, my boss' wife was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer mid-way through the month.
It really came out of nowhere. She had some mild pain in March, but that had resolved. Then she was having shortness of breath at the end of April and the doctors saw some fluid accumulation in her chest. They started the string of diagnostics to rule things in or out (heart, lungs, infection etc..). When they drained the fluid and analyzed it it was full of cancer cells.
Naturally my boss has been a mess. To make it worse they are totally f***ked in the financial department.
(You might recall previous posts about poor money management and being in bankruptcy for the second time.)
He had to keep coming in to work, even while she was hospitalized, because he doesn't have enough reserve to even miss more than one day of income.
Really bad. And sad, sad, sad.
Due to these circumstances he didn't pay close attention to his bank account and bounced almost every check/charge that week - including paychecks...
By the time I see that my paycheck bounced it was two days until payday again. Deposited that check and naturally my bank puts a hold on the funds until they know the check will clear. Arrgg!!
Received our third, post-diagnosis, paycheck this last Friday. It is in my purse right now.. I have decided to cash it (well, try to) tomorrow.
So yeah, as it stands he paid me cash for the bounced check and my fees associated with it.
The following check is tied up in Hold limbo until later this week.
The current check might get cashed tomorrow.. hopefully.
This is especially inconvenient since my income is the only income for my family right now.
(DH has applied for his disability and we are waiting for the first check.)
My co-worker, N, as had enough. She feels like now is the right time to move on - I think she is making the right move.
She has been thinking of moving to a lower cost of living area. She found a place this last week.
(A place where she will be renting *a house* for the same cost as she had been renting *a room* from her friend.)
I am very sad she is going. We have worked together for 13 years.
She is leaving pronto - tomorrow is the last day we will work together!
Things are not feeling so great, or hopeful, at work right now.
I have been using Ting mobile service for almost three years now. Can't say enough about how much I've loved the *big* money savings from Ting. Or the excellent Ting customer service!
For our DD's 8th grade graduation gift we are upgrading her phone to a Samsung SG3. It is a refurbished one we purchased from the Ting store.
Her current phone was a refurb from the Ting store and it has served her well these last two years.
I really like that we can buy used and save some big money - since most teens are going to abuse their phone right away anyway - *almost* new is good enough.
So, if you are looking for a sensible grad gift, or maybe Father's Day gift, check out Ting right now and save $100 smack-a-roos!
Details directly from Ting:
From now until 11:59pm ET on June 8, the Ting Refer a Friend program is offering you $100 to try Ting mobile phone service. If you sign up and activate a phone, I'll also receive a $50 credit.
Once you join Ting, you'll be able to refer your friends too.
That's my unique referral URL and the key to this offer. Click it or copy & paste.
You must use this to receive $100 off select phones in the Ting shop or a $100 service credit if you bring your own phone to Ting.
Speaking of which, the phone you already own will probably work with Ting. Go to the Ting compatibility checker to find out for sure.
Ting mobile, Ting money saving offer, Ting coupon code, Ting save $100, Ting refer a friend $100, Ting promotion, limited time, link to save $100 on Ting mobile