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Archive for May, 2011

EF Back Over $1000

May 30th, 2011 at 11:42 pm

I added $200 to my Emergency Fund today, bringing the new total to $1042.27. $827.36 is at ING and $214.91 is at local CU#2. I will be adding my coin jar savings tomorrow at CU#2 since I didn't make it over there before we went to Seattle. I've figured out the budget through June 24th and balanced the checkbook. I have $500 in savings for medical bills as they come in. I will be able to set aside $1000 next payday for that as well. I sent $500 to AMEX today and set aside $100 for property tax and $17 for dues.

Since I've budgeted very carefully we won't have to skip a car payment in June unless the medical bills are just ridiculous. We are still two months ahead and I'd like to save those two chances for a time when I might need them more.

My mother has said we can suspend all further payments to her until all of our medical bills are paid (originally she just said two months) since there will be one more surgery than was expected, so long as we keep doing the $300 worth of utilities and pay the garbage. That will help a whole lot. I wish all these surgeries could have waited until 2012 when our last credit card would be paid off. I'm still trying to be optimistic that we'll get it paid off this year.

The kids want to take a road trip instead of going to camp this year. That will save us quite a bit of money. Three days driving around the Olympic Rain Forest and touring the capitol (overnighting with family) and then we'll end up in Seattle at the Inn at Virginia Mason the night before my surgery, stay there for two days and then come home. I have to overnight in the hospital one night so after I come safely out of surgery they will go and do some stuff in the city center, since I'll just be asleep anyway.

Mom will drive me down for my follow up three weeks later since DH will be back in Alaska then. I won't be allowed to drive myself yet and anyway, Seattle traffic scares the heck out of me. While I am at VM Mom will visit my dad in his nursing home in Issaquah. I'm not sure whether we'll take the kids or not.

I'm hoping MIL will take them overnight which she almost never does. I can count on one hand how many times they've stayed overnight there and they are 14 and 11, so it probably won't happen. SIL would likely do it, but she has to work. They are old enough to stay by themselves during the day, just not at night. If they have to come, they have to come, but Mom will keep them with her. It'll all work out one way or another.

Gas Went...Down?

May 30th, 2011 at 07:39 pm

So I noticed when I was at Costco yesterday that gas prices had dropped significantly to $3.69 per gallon. On our trip to Seattle and back I noticed quite a bit in the $3.74 to $3.79 range. Our previous fill up had been $4.09 a gallon. Everything I am reading keeps having gas prices going up, up, up, but what I am seeing is that they are going back down, even on a holiday weekend. I am curious as to whether this is a local thing or if the rest of you have noticed a downward trend in your area the last week or so?

Back from Virginia Mason

May 28th, 2011 at 09:07 pm

I can't tell you guys what a good experience this was for me, despite the excrucitaing amount of pain the tests caused. I have never had such good doctors, nurses, and technicians before in my life, and I've seen a lot of medical people. The two doctors, nurse, medical assistant, and x-ray tech that were on my team were all so awesome. The one nurse kept me as distracted as she possibly could (she was so funny) and the one doctor held my hand through the worst of the pain, though I thought it might have been better if it wasn't the surgeon's hand that I was squishing the heck out of.

They definitely found the problem, but NO TUMORS! Still, this whole thing is going to be complicated. It will require 2 surgeries, several weeks apart, since I will have to be totally healed from the first one. And the doctor said the first surgery may or may not improve symptoms. It might even make things worse until they can do the second surgery which will make things better. While I didn't like hearing that, I appreciated his honesty.

Funny thing, I saw this specialist because it would have been September before I could even get into the female doctor (his partner) that the specialist here in town recommended. Well, this doctor will be having her assist on the surgeries, which means I'll be getting the doctor that was originally recommended without having to wait to have seen her. Interesting how life works out sometimes. Plus, did I mention how awesome the male doctor is?

I really liked the hotel we stayed at, The Inn at Virginia Mason. You never even have to go outside to get to the hospital. They are built on this massive hill and there's an elevator that goes from the first floor of the hotel down into the hospital and then you walk a long corridor to get to another elevator that takes you to whatever floor of the hospital you need to be. Which was great, because I never woud have been able to walk up and down that steep hill with my knee.

The hotel was very nice. It was old-fashioned, the closet doors had glass ball door knobs! It was very clean, and our room was a bit minimalist decor wise and amenities wise(had no hair dryer or iron/ironing board), though it had a tv with over 20 channels (we never turned it on) and free WiFi. The beds were comfortable and the bathroom was so big you could have fit another bed in there and still had room to move around. If there's one thing I hate at a hotel, it's a postage stamp sized bathroom. The room itself was quite spacious, too. Couch was kind of hard.

They had a fabulous and reasonably priced restuarant that had the best French Dip sandwich made from sliced prime rib. DH and I split one and it's accompanying stuff. It was quite filling. We had brought our own gallon of milk in a cooler with us from home so we saved a lot on drinks while there. Also instead of getting room service, DH just called it in and then went down to pick it up, saving the surcharge.

On our way down there we stopped at the Alderwood Mall for an hour to avoid the worst of Seattle area rush hour and I found a purse with a long shoulder strap that allows it to go across the body and rest comfortably at the hip. We found it at Macy's. I was so thrilled. It was a little pricy, $78 marked down to $58, but after looking through Nordstrom's ($398 for the only purse I liked there and it was only made from vinyl!), I was happy to find one I liked. The strap is fastened on securely through buckles, it's roomy enough for a paper back, it has all the compartments I like, and it is the most gorgeous shade of blue ever. Plus it's leather. And it was $11 cheaper than the one I found online (not including shipping). The purse department at this Macy's, I swear, was as big as the entire Macy's store in my town.

We spent $350 of our medical travel budget on the hotel, food, and gas. The purse money came out of my clothing replacement fund. I have $50 left so that is going into the EF on Tuesday.

Leaving Soon for Virginia Mason

May 26th, 2011 at 02:52 pm

We'll head down to Seattle in a couple of hours, sometime after my dental appointment. They are going to fill the last two cavities. Anyway, my appointment at Virginia Mason is tomorrow morning at 9:30 so those of you who pray, if you'd pray that all goes well, that nothing too terribly bad is found, and better still that they can surgically fix me. Also, that I don't have an allergic reaction to the contrast dye, because that always makes stuff extra fun.

Probably going to spend about $400 between today and tomorrow. I am taking $500 just in case. I wish we could afford a rental car on top of this. The trip would go better in a vehicle I can stretch my bad leg out in. Way less cramping.

The doctor said to bring over a temporary handicapped parking permit form and he would fill it out for me and we can hit the courthouse on the way out of town. Since my knee and my quad are acting up something fierce right now that will be very helpful.

Savings and Medical, What Else is New?

May 26th, 2011 at 12:00 am

I added $4.96 to the coin jar today and that gave me enough quarters to roll them up. I've got $41.50 ready to deposit into the safety net portion of the EF so will go over to CU#2 tomorrow after the dentist but before we leave for Seattle to deposit that. That will bring my EF total to $887.86.

I am getting a little nervous about Seattle. Meeting a new doctor for the first time unsettles me. I hope he has a good bedside manner. If not, he's got a marvelous Italian name with big, rolling vowels that I can amuse myself with saying in my head to keep my nerves down. It's the sort of name you can't help but say in an Italian accent, too. Well, I'll try to help it if I have to say it out loud, but if the doctor is anything like his name, fun and interesting, then I will be happy. Yes, I am that geeky.

DH and I are comtemplating going to the Experience Music Project/Science Fiction Museum while we there. Really it depends on how my knee reacts to the previous day's car ride. If the muscles sieze up then walking around a museum won't be much of an option. So hopefully it will be okay, especially after elevating it all night.

I need to go and check whether or not our hotel has free WiFi or a pool. Forgot to look into that when we made the reservation. The pool would help me work the kinks out, especially of my leg. Now I'm almost wishing we got the room with the jetted tub. Oh, well. Maybe they have a hot tub.

Random Stuff

May 25th, 2011 at 12:54 am

I paid my dental bill today when I took DS in for his cleaning, $345. I also took DD in to get second cervical cancer vaccine, which was no cost, at least up front. DD has a dentist appointment tomorrow and I have one Thursday morning to have two cavities filled before DH and I head down to Seattle for our overnight before my appointment at Virginia Mason. I will probably have to take hydrocodone for a couple of days again. Oh, joy.

DH comes home tomorrow and I will be so glad to see him. I am so stressed out right now. I'm not sure why because everything is running like clockwork, but it may just be it's been a super long three weeks with him gone this time around.

I added $5.71 to the coin jar today. I just need three more quarters and then I can roll them and then I will make a deposit into the local safety net portion of the EF fund.

I spent a little money at the grocery store getting some milk and a rottisserie chicken. DS has a concert at 6:30 and has to be there at 6:10 and his dental appointment lasted until almost five so I didn't really have time to make anything, since I didn't exactly plan ahead. Which I should have done, but oh, well, I will stretch that chicken to within an inch of it's life, and it will become enchiladas and quesadillas and soup.

A Case of the Between Payday Blahs

May 24th, 2011 at 04:27 am

Another day without much happening. Sometimes I get so bored between paydays. It's like I get a little lift on Friday when I can watch my debt go down, down, down, but then there's nothing intresting with money the rest of the week. And then when Friday comes again, I get excited, because that's one more nail in the coffin of the Evil Empire. If it's like this now, I wonder what it's going to be like when we pay off this last credit card? Of course there will still be the car to finish paying off, and then totally building the EF and short term savings as well.

It's hard for me to keep my enthusiasm high. It's like we created this budget and we're just sticking to it, and everything is planned and set and...I don't know. I don't like being so indifferent between paydays. I suppose it's natural as we've settled into a pattern, but I kind of miss that excitement I started this year with.

I spent $1.95 today so I have $3.05 to add to the coin jar.

A No Spend Weekend

May 23rd, 2011 at 04:42 pm

It was a pretty boring weekend, actually as we stayed in. About the most adventurous thing I did was watch a rather mediocre new episode of Doctor Who with the kids.

This morning I picked up a gallon of milk and then had $2.06 to put into the coin jar.

I have physical therapy at noon today so that will be $90 out.

I transferred $1000 to savings for upcoming medical stuff. I have $600 or so left in checking and $55 left in cash for the week. $345 of that will go to pay the dental bill.

We made reservations for our overnight at The Inn at Virginia Mason next Thursday night and refrained from getting the room with the jetted tub that would have cost over $50 more.

I need to call the doctor's office and see if I can reschedule DD's follow up vaccine for another day this week. It was scheduled at the same time as her dentist appointment and I didn't realize it until Friday when I got reminder calls for both. It may just be easier to reschedule her dentist appointment, though.

Payday

May 21st, 2011 at 03:34 am

I haven't done much with finances today, to be honest. I did pay on the Bank of America VISA, $2000.

$20,844.54 original balance
-$2,000.00 amount paid
------------
$18,844.54 new balance

I got $100 out for cash. I will do the rest of the bills tomorrow. I got a dental bill in the mail today of $345. And that's only for what I've had done so far, not what I have yet to do, which will cost about the same amount, I think. Seems like it never ends.

Not a Spammy Purse Post

May 20th, 2011 at 01:51 am

So I'm looking for a new purse. The shoulder strap on my current one is about to give and it's not one of those ones with the fasteners on the end, so you could substitute a strap off an old one, it's the sort with the strap sown straight into the bag. Which I really hate, but at the time it was the only long strapped purse I could find locally.

Today I've been perusing the web looking for a properly strapped bag, one that has a shoulder strap and attaches with buckles or fasteners instead of being sewn directly into the leather, and is big enough for all my stuff without being so big it looks like a diaper bag or something. I will never give my business to those two purse companies that keep spamming here, but I did find two other brands, one I'd heard of before and one I hadn't. Fossil I'd heard of but the only bags I like of theirs tend to be around $128. The other bag I like is from a company called Tyler Rodan and it's $69.

I don't mind spending the money if it's going to last. At my current rate I am going through a ten dollar purse every 3 months or so. If it's a good company that makes solid purses then it's worth it. I used to have one brand that was a little pricey but would last five years but then it stopped making bags with shoulder straps.

I guess what I am wondering is whether or not anyone has used either of these brands of purses and if they have had a good experience with it or a negative one?

Money Out and Budget Planning

May 19th, 2011 at 10:27 pm

Well, I didn't stay out of the grocery store for the whole week. We ran out of ketchup last night so I was just going to go in for that. We've had a stockpile for a long time and I kept thinking we had some. Anyway, it was on sale 2/$5 for the store brand organic non-corn syrup variety. Then I saw a diabetic cooking magazine and remembered my daughter was out of the organic cheese popcorn she has been using for her 15g carb snack. And they had corn on the cob on sale and it actually looked good.

So I ended up spending most of the $35 I had left for this week. I ended up with $6.87 left so that went into the coin jar for the EF.

I broke a carafe this morning. While I was picking up the little pieces and putting them in the big part, I leaned down too far while holding it. I ended up slicing my neck against it. It is just a surface scratch but I freaked myself out pretty bad because it wasn't that far from the carotid artery. Like maybe 1/8 of an inch. And if I'd pressed any deeper, well, it might not have turned out so well. As it is I don't think it's deep enough to leave a scar.

I didn't sleep well last night, only got three hours of sleep and so I think that's why I didn't think it through. Oh, well. All's well that ends well, though I will have to replace the carafe.

I'm going to have to buy DS some new trousers or swishies. I noticed that his current ones have become high waters. Normally by this time of year he could wear shorts to school, and his shorts are all basketball style so I don't have to worry about them being too short. But this spring has been unseasonably cold and where it might be okay in the afternoons to wear shorts, it's still too cold in the mornings. His t-shirts are also starting to get shorter. Fortunately they were extra long to begin with and I think we'll be okay until summer.

I need to remember to budget for DH to get 2 pairs of jeans. Or possibly 3, I think he ripped one up last time he was home. *sighs* And I need some new t-shirts as my old ones are swimming on me. I will try to find two. I bought two last weekend and I think I can get by on a total of four because I have lots of tank tops that fit okay.

I also need to remember to budget for hotel and food and gas for our trip to Virginia Mason next week. Probably $400. That's a little more than I think we will need, but I'd rather have too much than not enough.

Oh, the Cuteness

May 19th, 2011 at 02:07 am

We introduced the chicks to the two survivor chickens today. It was just the cutest thing. Mom made a little round fenced area for the babies and put them in it and then went and got the big chickens and let them walk around outside the little pen for a bit and when there was no aggression put them in with the chicks for a little bit.

The chickens kind of ignored them other than a few cursory glances, though they were listening to all the cheeping, cocking their heads like they were trying to figure out the conversation. I think the chickens are going to accept the chicks into their meager little flock with no problems. They definitely miss having an actual flock to be in.

I added $1.10 to the coin jar today. Found it in the pocket of a spring jacket I haven't worn since last year.

Two more days until payday and then I can make a little headway on debt again.

Worth the Trip

May 18th, 2011 at 03:33 am

I went for a walk through the park with the kids tonight and I found $2.31. I found two dollar bills wrapped up together in the parking lot and then a quarter, a nickel and a penny on the walking path. We just might have to go through the park more often with that kind of payment. I haven't felt this thrilled at finding money since I found $5 in the Trader Joe's parking lot. The money has gone to my coin jar with the eventual desitination of the Emergency Fund.

Some Breathing Room

May 17th, 2011 at 10:27 pm

My mother has said that we don't have to pay her the usual $1000 a month on our loan from her for this month or next because of all the medical bills. She said she's fine for money right now and that she'd much rather we not have to put anything on a credit card or wipe out our meager emergency fund. We will continue to pay the $300 a month for utilities, the $40 a month for garbage, and the $65 a month for internet. Those aren't part of the loan payment anyway.

It's a bit of a relief to know I can put away that $2000 for medical and not have to scrounge AND not have to take so much from debt repayment.

Today I paid the garbage bill for this house and the phone bill for the old house. $37.68 and $44.92.

Bills and Shopping

May 17th, 2011 at 02:30 am

First off, I put $3 in ones and $1.23 in coins into the coin jar today, eventually destined for the EF. I also went to the grocery store again as I had totally forgotten to buy deli meat for the kids' lunches when I did my big stock up. Plus we were out of fruit bars and rice bars so I got some of those as well, and they had a good milk sale going on, so I went ahead and stocked up a bit. The milk doesn't expire until the 25th so there is plenty of time to drink it and I shouldn't even have to set foot in a grocery store again for several days. I'm hoping at least ten days. I spent a total of $55.52.

I had physical therapy today so that's another $90 out the door. I really wish I didn't have to go every week but when I skip a week it starts getting hard to walk properly again, and the last thing I want is to go back to using a cane. It screws up my shoulder, scapula, elbow and arm and I end up limping which makes my other leg and hips hurt. I guess for now it is a necessary evil.

DH contacted me that he did suspend the Toyota payment for this month so I was able to pay the other two medical bills, $31.71 and $96.51. I also sent $100 off on the 18 months same as cash computer loan. Even though I have the money to pay this, I'd rather collect interest on it when I'm not being charged any interest o the loan, which will be paid for long before the time is up.

That house that we like so much has been taken off the market because it didn't sell. I am hoping that means they are going to let it sit for six months and then relist and make it look like a new listing. With all the information I've gathered about that house, if it is put back on sale by the time we are ready to buy again, we can probably get the price way down, since no one has bought it despite three price reductions and I'm thinking they'll just be happy to be rid of it at that point.

DS went back to school today and he had a good day and had no pain. He didn't eat breakfast though and he didn't want to take a lunch because they got out early. I made him take a couple of rice bars so he'd at least have something if he did get hungry. His appetite is way off though since the surgery. He's lost five pounds and if he keeps eating like that he's going to lose more. Which considering he was 10 pounds overweight at his last physical isn't a bad thing but I don't want his nurition to suffer at the same time. He did eat half a piece of chicken, some watermelon, some potatoes and a glass of milk for dinner though so at least he isn't starving.

DD is doing well on her prediabetes diet. Her face has gone from being quite round to having a pointy chin and cheekbones and she's only been on the diet since the 3rd. That's only 13 days. She says all of her tops are getting loose, too. I've been following the diet for the last 4 days and I can already see a change in my face and feel a change in jeans as well. So it seems it is working quite well for us both.

I watched the documentary Fat Head (after someone here rec'd it) the other day with the kids (they got such a kick out of it, it's so funny and entertaining) and it really describes well what has happened over the last couple decades in our country. Plus it really explains in a very understandable way how insulin works with protein and how it works with carbs. I'd definitely rec it to anyone who wants to learn why our weights in America are so screwed up. It's not new information (at least to me) but it is presented in a way that would be very helpful for those who haven't done the reserach themselves.

Finished reading The Mephisto Club by Tess Gerritson. I swear that woman has a very grisly mind, but her books are can't put them down sorts. I'm already well into The Keepsake. It is so nice to be able to read again. Now that I'm used to them my trifocals are worth their weight in gold.

Also bought gas today. $44.74 for 10.92 gallons at $4.09 per gallon. Yeeps.

Medical Payments Out and Grocery Stock Up

May 15th, 2011 at 11:42 pm

Well, I managed to pay all but two of the medical bills I've received this month. The ones that are left are due on the 22nd. DH is supposed to susepend the Toyota payment this month (we're ahead), but he hasn't e-mailed me or texted me that he has done it yet. I asked him again last night so hopefully he did do it and just flaked on telling me. So I'm leaving enough money in the checking account in case he forgets or doesn't get it done on time. If he gets it done then I will be able to send that last bill out. Otherwise it will have to wait until the 20th. But it is a local bill so mailing it on the morning of the 20th means it will be there by the 22nd.

$159.64 my doctor
$148.00 my specialist
$137.00 GE Money Bank (3 months same as cash, glasses)
$_62.17 Imaging
$+_9.03 Strep test lab fee
----------
$515.84 Total medical out

I still owe $274 to GE Money Bank for our portion of both my daughter's and my new glasses. We have two more months to pay that without interest. The other medical bills wwill be $96.51 and $31.71, so a total of $128.22.

I did a major grocery shop yesterday. I spent $86.88 at Trader Joe's and $209.04 at Haggens. Haggens had sales on beef chuck roasts, beef ribs, and chicken legs. I also got 8 pounds of hamburger at TJ's. We should be set for protein for the rest of the month and a bit into June. Got lots of produce, too. Blueberries, blackberries, cantaloupe, cucumbers, lettuce, sweet potatoes, pineapple, and purple cabbage and orange juice. We should be good on everything but milk (after the milk I just got is finished).

I spent 2/3 of our alloted grocery budget, but I think it'll be fine because we needed the major stock up on protein. There hasn't been any really good meat sales since Easter and that was just on ham and there's only so much ham a person can eat.

DS is doing really well. He didn't take painkillers at all yesterday during the day and only took a dose at bedtime (more my idea than his, but I didn't want him waking up in pain in the middle of the night). He is eating almost normally again. He goes back to school tomorrow. It's an early release day so it couldn't work out more perfectly for him.

I think I might have to buy a new crockpot. The ham I made yesterday got a bit dried out. Low has functioned as high for some time now, but I think it's gotten even hotter now. Hopefully the roast I made tonight will be okay. I am keeping a sharper eye on it, since I am home this time.

Payments so Far and EF Update

May 14th, 2011 at 07:35 am

SA ate my last entry. It's been a while since it's done that so I got lulled into complacency and didn't control C before trying to post it.

So far today I have repaid off the BoA Master Card. That's the one I paid off last month but then DH accidentally put his airplane ticket on. It's also the one that the health club fee is on, so the two together were $722.95. I will change the card for the health club before the next one is charged.

So that leaves us with 2 cards paid off, one big loan paid off and only the one VISA with a hefty balance on it. I also have my AMEX but that gets paid off monthly.

I went ahead and had DH suspend the car payment again this month as we are still several months ahead, because of all the medical bills. If after I pay all the medical I have enough leftover for the car I'll mail in a payment. Even though we autopay online, they still send me a bill each month.

I had two more medical bills come in today's mail so we've hit the $1000 mark. But we've also hit our deductible. I found that out when I went to pick up three prescriptions at the pharmacy yesterday and only had to pay the reduced amounts and not the full ones. I'm sure DS's surgery put us over. Now we just have to pay our portion.

I've got sinusitis/bronchitis again. Went to the doctor yesterday and he put me on generic Biaxin. He also gave me 7 free Ambien pills because I haven't been sleeping with the persistant cough. The other two prescriptions were for other health conditions. I also picked up some over the counter Robitussin DM cough syrup. Altogether I paid $67.72.

I paid $215 to the chiropractor and I also paid the mortgage on the old house of $375.86. I went to Kmart to buy a bunch of toiletries, a bottle of pink nail polish (99 cent splurge), a bottle of Vitamin D, and I also got two shirts for myself that were 25% off, total of $77.55.

I finally got to CU #2 and deposited my coin jar money. It was a deposit $39.50, which brought the total in that account to $219.41. This is part of my EF. The rest is kept in ING and is $627.36. Altogether it is $846.36. I am hoping to squeeze out enough this month to hit $1000. I put three ones and $1.30 in coins in the coin jar tonight.

Tomorrow I will sit down and with the checkbook, balance it, and then figure out which medical bills I pay this week, along with anything else that is due before next payday. I think the bulk of the bills will all be due out of the next payday, so I can make some progress on the medical this week. Maybe even all of it that I have so far. Here's hoping.

It's Been a Slow Week

May 12th, 2011 at 08:25 pm

I added $1.87 to the coin jar. This cleans out my purse and keeps me from spending that last little amount on a cheeseburger. Tomorrow is payday so I'll feel like I'm making a slight amount of progress again. I hope. It's going to be a bill heavy month and that's going to make it hard not to feel down about it. I'm trying to come to terms with the fact that we won't make as much debt progress as usual. And that I don't need to eat out to artificially boost my spirits over that fact.

I am debating whether or not to skip the car payment this month as we are still several months ahead on it. Right now it's set up to come out on the 19th like usual. I don't want to skip it, yet at the same time absorbing over $700 worth of extra medical this month is going to stretch things. The budget does set aside $500 for medical. But with weekly $90 physical therapy sessions and monthly chiropractic and three monthly prescriptions, that money is already eaten up.

Plus it's going to cost around $250 for going down to Virginia Mason, spending the night in a hotel, and meals and extra gas to Seattle and back.

At the minimum (for me to feel like I'm making any progress at all) I need to send $2500 to debt repayment, $1000 of that being for DH's work expenses for airfare/hotel/food, and $500 being for gas/health club/phone. We budget $3500 a month for it right now and try to squeeze out any more that we can. I guess I shouldn't complain too much. That's still $1000 that will be going to principle debt repayment this month. I remember months when we were lucky if it was $15 over the interest.

Just Sort of Rambling Aimlessly

May 11th, 2011 at 05:21 am

Not really much to check in on. I had physical therapy today so that's $90 out. I didn't even make it one day on my no takeaway. I had a regular sized cheeseburger and small soda. I haven't had soda with high fructose corn syrup in it for so long and my resistance was just down so low I didn't even care. Ugh. I can definitely feel it in my system and my body is not happy with me.

I am just exhausted. It is hard taking care of someone who is recovering from surgery. Especially when it affects my sleep. I wish the kiddo could make it through the night with no painkiller, but he just can't yet, poor baby.

Friday is payday and I will be glad to see it here so I can start paying off some of these medical bills and make a debt payment. Of course, this is the one that doesn't do much of anything but hold us even. The payday after that is the one that makes progress. Some days I feel like I live paycheck to paycheck. And not in the traditional sense, but in the sense of anticipating the next check so I can work my debt snowball, and possibly having no life.

I need to get back out there in the world again, but until DS goes back to school next week that's not really an option. I'm actually anticipating my dentist appointment tomorrow, even though I really don't want to deal with a numb face again, as I will have adults to talk to, or at least who will be talking to me. Two more cavities to fill and have them fix the tooth they filled before that still hurts every time I bite down on something medium to hard. I have at least kept up on my flossing every day.

I've been reading Tess Gerritson novels that I checked out from the library lately. Read Vanish last week and am part way through The Mephisto Club. I really like her books. They are mysteries usually, although she has this fantastic sci-fi one called Gravity. I read a few of them several years ago, but I really don't remember so much swearing in them. Could be faulty memory or could be she's changed with the times. But it is so unnecessary for the plot. It's getting harder and harder to find writer's who don't gratuitously drop the F-bomb all the time. *sighs*

No More Eating out for May

May 10th, 2011 at 03:28 am

I spent $42.21 on takeaway today. Doggone it, the eating out has gotten out of hand again. So as of right now no more takeaway or restaurant meals for the rest of the month. I seriously need to get my act back together.

I think I am just exhausted taking care of DS, waking up to give him medicine in the middle of the night. He's so lethargic and helpless from the painkillers. And of course every time he sneezes or yawns or eats, it just hurts him so much. Part of why I got takeaway today. He wanted egg flower soup and I figured it'd be a way to get protein into him. That and my resistance was just way down.

Dealing with DS recovering from surgery and DD on her new pre-diabetes diet has just been stressful. But I can't let my way of dealing with stress mean reaching for the wallet and buying things. That's a surefire way of spending more than I intend to and losing focus on what I need to stay focused on.

Another Bill

May 8th, 2011 at 03:55 am

And in today's mail another medical bill arrived, this one for DS's strep culture. They paid part of it, but the other part went to the deductible, so we owe $9.03 on that one, bringing the total of medical bills received this week to $725.88.

I cleaned out my purse and added $4 in ones and $1.59 in coins to the coin jar. The 4 ones will be added to the $26 I have ready to deposit to the EF if I ever remember to actually go to that CU. I'll be driving right by it on Monday when I go to physical therapy, but odds are 10 to 1 I'll forget again. I'm so scatterbrained lately!

Stack O'Bills

May 7th, 2011 at 08:57 pm

Sounds like a person when I put it like that. Smile

Anyway, after a decent night's sleep (only interupted twice to give pain medicine) I opened the stack of bills that came in the mail yesterday. Only four of them were medical bills, the other two were garbage and propane. But we still have several bills to come, including the one for yesterday's surgery which will be a biggie. So far:

$410.17 for our portion of lenses (Vision)
$_96.51 for DD's blood panel (medical)
$148.00 for my specialist visit (medical)
$-62.17 for DD's sinus x-ray (medical)
--------
$716.85 total

When I was estimating I figured at least $1000 would have to be taken out of debt repayment this month. We probably won't get any of the bills for the consult or the surgery until the end of the month or June, so that can go out of the June budget.

The propane bill for the old house came today. It is $352.29. I've set aside $100 a month for the past two months, so I only have to come up with $152.59 this month. I thought $100 a month would be enough since the furnace is only set at 60 (because there was a lot of snow up that way even in April and I didn't want the pipes to freeze). I guess with the cost of oil going up, the propane went up as well. Temps are staying at 55 to 60 right now so next time I go out there the furnace will be turned off.

The garbage bill also came but it was well under the $50 a month I budget at $37 something.

I need to balance the checkbook for the week, usually a Saturday chore, but I'll likely put it off until tomorrow as DS is still being quite clingy.

Surgery Went Well

May 7th, 2011 at 02:42 am

DS came through surgery very well. The doctor told me that his tonsils and adenoids were blocking 70 percent of his airway. And they weren't even as swollen as they were last week. He should get a lot of relief now and be able to sleep better.

They gave us a big bottle of liquid Tylenol with codeine with a refill if he needs it. Unfortunately the effect seems to be wearing off about a half an hour before he can take any more. So he gets whiney then, and about ten minutes after he takes it again the whininess goes away like magic. Poor kiddo. I wish it would last the whole four hours.

He's eating pretty well. Lots of frozen smoothies and then he actually had a bowl of soup around four and Annie Bunnies all natural mac and cheese (the rabbit shaped pasta ones).

A big stack of medical bills came in the mail today. I've been waiting for them to show up. I didn't open them. I'll do that tomorrow when I'm running on more than 2.5 hours of sleep. Otherwise I'll probably not bear up under the final count too well. Much easier to handle on a good night of rest and a clear mind.

Forgot yet again to make my deposit to the EF. I even went to that CU to get a notarized affadavit that we actually live where we live so I could turn in the registration packet for middle school registration. Since none of the utilities are in our name we have to have other legal proof. This will be the last year, though, until he starts high school, but by then we won't be living here anymore, we'll be in our own home again with our own utility bills as proof of where we live.

Coin Jar

May 6th, 2011 at 02:29 am

I added $3.61 to the coin jar today which will eventually go to the EF. Slowly but surely these little amounts are adding up.

I forgot to make my deposit earlier in the week of $23, so I will just add these three ones to that and hope to make it over there in the afternoon to make a $26 deposit.

Last Minute Shopping

May 6th, 2011 at 12:28 am

I went to Walgreen's today to pick up medication, vitamins, and toiletries. I spent $62.10 there. Then I went to the grocery store and spent $23.15 there. Hopefully I won't have to go out at all next week for shopping.

After that, I went to the library and paid 25 cents for parking. DS is all loaded up with books for the next week. I'm not really sure he will feel like reading but he wanted to have them just in case.

I am starting to feel nervous about his surgery tomorrow. I've been through this once with his sister and it's sort of a helpless feeling. It's in God's hands, I know, but that's my baby in there.

Food, Diet, and Meal Planning

May 5th, 2011 at 04:56 pm

My daughter is adapting to the new pre-diabetes diet far better than I thought she would. After 36 hours on it she says she already feels better within her body. She isn't find it difficult to stay within her alloted carbohydrate and calorie levels. I think this diet is going to actually lower our food budget because she is becoming far more satisfied on far less calories and eating a lot more produce and a lot less meat. I know it's early days yet, but I certainly hope it continues.

After my son recovers from his tonsilectomy I am going to join her on the diet, I think. I've known I am insulin resistant for years, so it will benefit me as much as it does her.

It'll be a lot easier to cut out restaurant meals now, since they will be so difficult to calculate compared to home cooked meals where I can weigh portions on my little digital scale. Eating out is and probably always will be my weakness. It really messes with the budget, because I don't really plan for it and then we go anyway and then I have to shuffle everything to make up the difference.

DS wanted ribs for dinner tonight since he won't get to eat meat for a few days after his tonsils come out. Sort of a last supper sort of thing.

Dinner tonight:
Beef ribs (seasoned not sauced)$3.96
Green beans $1
Corn $.89
Baked sweet potatoes (.39)
Milk $1.50

Total: $7.74

Computer Trouble

May 5th, 2011 at 04:06 am

DS's desktop overheated and so he turned it off and now it won't turn back on. It's about 3 years old. This is a very frustrating time to have this happen. Since he's going to miss a week of school recovering from having his tonsils out, he was (if he was feeling up to it) going to be able to do his math and reading online to keep up a little bit. All the websites and passwords and stuff were saved on his computer. I know I can get them again, but it's just going to be time consuming and it'll mean he has to share with his sister who is not the sharingest person when it comes to computer time. Next week is going to be fun. *sighs* I wish we could buy him a new one, but that is not in the cards with all the medical bills we are going to be paying.



Money Out Today and New Diet for DD

May 4th, 2011 at 05:24 pm

Money out today on autopay:

$142.00 to storage (a day early, hmph)
$-32.70 Life Insurance (me)
$-35.90 Life Insurance (DH)
--------
$210.60 Total

I'm a tad bit miffed that storage came out today as it is supposed to come out on the 5th. I hadn't transferred the money out of savings and into checking yet, had planned to do that today. So I have a $2 transfer fee because the CU did the transfer instead of me doing it. I knew I should have done it last night, but I was so tired and it's just not supposed to come out today. On the bright side is that I had money in savings to transfer to checking so I didn't get a $13 overdraft.

I am going to make sure I transfer the money for security and cell phone at least three days in advance. Although Verizon has never jumped the gun on taking things out, security has, and there's a first time for everything.

I need to write out and mail the check for the power out at the old house. It's $23 something. It's usually $19 something, but we spent a lot of extra time out there last month, packing and cleaning, so had the hot water tank on.

The meeting with the dietician went well yesterday. It's a radical change in thinking and diet. DD can only have 1400 calories a day arranged over the course of 3 meals and 3 snacks. Each meal can have no more than 45g of carbohydrate and each snack can have no more than 15g of carbohydrate. And she has to have protien at every snack or meal. Which is harder than it sounds when you are keeping calories low. Protein is the high calorie food.

We sat down and filled out some index cards with calorie and carb counts so we could figure out some meals and then have the cards for quick reference. It takes a lot of planning, but once it's done that makes it easy to just flip through the cards and calculate the meals we want to make. She's also keeping a meal log, so some of these meals will repeat and be even simipler to figure out because the math will already be done.

I don't think it will affect the grocery budget too much. The only major changes are a different type of peanut butter, spelt tortillas instead of flour, and flourless sprouted wheat berry bread from Trader Joe's. I'll have to figure out how to make that eventually because it's $4 a loaf, but for the time being I'll buy it. Both kids like it and it's not got any allergens in it that my son has a problem with.

Once I've got my daughter firmly on track (probably a week), I think I will try to go on the same diet. I've got insulin resistance, too, but mine's never been as bad as hers. Still, I could stand to lose weight and eat even healthier. And I think it will help her to have someone doing it with her. (Dietician said I could have 1800 calories, though, because of my exercise schedule).

I added 78 cents to the coin jar.

Bits and Pieces

May 3rd, 2011 at 08:04 pm

I paid $500 to AMEX today. This is the card that I buy gas with and the occasional meal out and gets paid off in full each month.

I thought the life insurance was going to come out today, but that must be tomorrow because it hasn't been taken out yet.

I added $4 in ones to the coin jar and rolled up one each of quarters, dimes, and nickels. I will take it over to the CU tomorrow and deposit it along with the 50 cent piece and the Sacajawea dollar, for a total deposit of $23 to the emergency fund.

I'd forgotten how much satisfaction I get out of dragging my EF up higher and higher with a bit of money here or there. Probably how some of you feel about your mortgage chips.

Oddz and Endz

May 3rd, 2011 at 02:50 am

Very little going on today. Car insurance of $95.61 and house insurance of $41.00 came out on autopay today. Tomorrow or the next day life insurance will come out for both DH and myself. On the 5th storage autopay will come out, and then nothing until the 12th.

I will mail off the electric bill tomorrow and pay the AMEX online.

I paid out $90 for physical therapy today. DH gassed up the car before I took him to the airport. It was $3.99 per gallon at Costco and he got 8 gallons for $31.92. We also put a smidgeon over 4 gallons in his dad's truck last night, but that was at $4.03 a gallon and was $16.20.

I went to the grocery store and got milk, strawberries, and medication from the pharmacy. Altogether it was $71.17.

We are making up strawberry/banana/orange/pineapple smoothies and freezing them in rocket shaped Popsicle™ molds so that DS will have some dye free, artificial ingredient free, homemade Popsicles™ after his tonsilectomy. Mom is also going to make some homemade ice cream for him to have.

The new chicks are growing so fast. They already have distinct personalities. The cuteness factor is off the charts.


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