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Home > Archive: August, 2011

Archive for August, 2011

Well, it was Pricey

August 30th, 2011 at 07:29 pm

But the day was perfect. We ended up getting done early at the nutritionist's office so DH and I were able to drop DD off at her friend's house (DS was with grandma already) and make it to the theater for the 2:15 showing of Fright Night instead of the later 5:20 showing. So we got matinee prices, but since it was in 3-D we had to pay for the glasses rental so not much savings there. Tickets were $11.75 each so $23.50. Then DH and I ran over to the driver's licensing place for him to renew his license, which is $25 now (ouch) but is also now five years instead of four.

Then we went out to dinner at the pricey steak house. We did some things we rarely do, like ordering drinks and appetizers. We each had a non-alcoholic strawberry daiquiri and I got barbecue wings and he got teriyaki wings. He got goulash and I got salad with bleu cheese dressing, which the meals came with along with Texas Toast. He had a 10 ounce medium New York steak, loaded baked potato, and green beans and I had a 6 ounce filet mignon, rare, Bavarian potatoes, and green beans. No dessert as we were full.

We brought home half each of our appetizers (so will have those for lunch tomorrow). I brought home a third of my filet, some potatoes and the Texas toast. My son ate the filet and the toast and my daughter put in a claim for the potatoes if there were any left before we even went.

Dinner came to $79.80 and we left a tip of $15.20 based on the pretax amount of $73). Our waiter was excellent and he even remembered us from when we used to go more often last year.

So all told $143.50 was spent today. It'll be a long time before we splurge like that again, but it was worth it this once as a combo celebration of DH's birthday and our 21 years being together anniversary that he'll miss next month.

I thought the movie was really good for that sort of movie. The acting was top notch, the story was intriguing enough, and we had the theater to ourselves. It was nice not to have people talking around us or have to smell the stink of movie popcorn (I find it smells sickly after all these years not eating it). We had great seats with no seats in front of us so we could stretch out our legs. My back is doing better, too, and it didn't lock up so that was nice.

Okay, now I'm off to balance the checkbook.

Oh, oops, I forgot, DD had to pick up her schedule from school this morning. We paid $35 for an ASB card and $40 for a yearbook (it is $60 if you wait until spring), so that was an additional $75 out for spending.

Splurge Night

August 30th, 2011 at 12:12 pm

It's DH's birthday today (42) and he and I are going to a movie. The two things don't really have anything to do with each other. The movie is more a date that we have pretty much been postponing for the last year. We haven't been to a movie in the theaters in...I'm not sure when. When was Order of the Phoenix in theaters?

I know it's a big expense, but it's rare one of my favorite British actors (David Tennant) is in something besides TV, and since I generally like vampire movies (as long as they don't sparkle or mope) we're giving Fright Night a try. I also like the girl in it, Imogene Poots and I've heard all kinds of good about the teenage male lead and then of course Colin Farrell is a great actor so even if the plot bites (ha ha, sorry), I figure the acting will still be spectacular.

There are a lot of movies I actually want to see right now. The Help. Rise of the Planet of the Apes (Franco has come miles and miles since Freaks and Geeks hasn't he?) But this is probably the only one we will see. I want to see it this week because I'm afraid it'll be out of theaters if we wait until the weekend. Stuff does not stay long around here if it isn't a franchise like Harry Potter.

We may or may not go out to dinner. It depends on time. We're going to the 5:20 showing. I'm not sure if that is matinee price or not. It used to be shows up until 6:00, but I don't know anymore. So we'd get out by 7:20 or so, and that is probably when we'd have to pick up DD from her friend's house. DS is staying with my mom.

There's this steak house I really want to go to but it doesn't open until 4:00 and that really messes up movie times if we go early. Maybe we can do it another day. It's been about a year since we've gone there.

DD has an appointment with the nutritionist at 1:00 and we are going to hit a sports store while we are over there on that side of town for DS. He has outgrown the young boy sizes but is too short still for the young men sizes so we are hoping to get him some sweats and swishies that will do. Anything we've found with actual number sizes are about a foot too long.

We are seriously thinking of taking him to the Mens Warehouse and getting him measured and having some trousers tailored to fit him if this doesn't work. It would be a little expensive but he'd at least have a couple nice pairs of pants. I don't know what clothing companies are thinking here. My daughter went through the exact same thing in the switch from girls to juniors and it was an annoying couple of years where she ended up wearing a lot of boys clothes. DS doesn't have the option to shop in a different department like she did.

Another Library Post

August 29th, 2011 at 03:21 pm

I read an article today about how the Seattle libraries have closed for the whole week so they can save $650,000 and stay within their budget for 2011. Of course no one is getting paid this week, so it's an unplanned pay cut for all the library workers. I guess it's better than some other options, like permanently closing branches, but it still makes me shake my head. Seattle is such a bookish town that I'd think the libraries would have full support of the city, but maybe that's just foolish thinking in this economic era.

Two of the books I had on hold came in on Saturday but they didn't call me to let me know until 15 minutes before closing time so I had to wait until today as our libraries are closed on Sundays. DH picked them up for me while I was at an appointment ($60 out for physical therapy). Anyway, I finally have in my hot little hands The Help (big print edition FTW!) and The Bogleheads' Guide to Investing. I'm still waiting on the last Rizzoli and Isles book, but should be pretty close to the top of the hold list as I was in 7nth place the last time I checked.

It'll be a bit before I get to them though as I am in the middle of two other books, one for pleasure and one for learning stuff about investing.

Nice Houses and Shopping Rant

August 28th, 2011 at 04:42 pm

We looked at some very nice houses today, some near the lake (one to two blocks away) that were surprisingly within our price range, some quite near the middle of it, when I expected them to be at the higher end. We had planned to look at six houses today and we did, but only four of them were houses we had planned on looking at and two we went to just because we saw the open house signs. They were all in the same middle school district but some were in the wrong high school district or right on the borderline where the houses across the street were one school and the ones on the other side were another. Most of them were really close to where one of DD's friends lives.

Two of the ones we had planned to go to were locked up tight with no sign of a realtor. We double checked the website when we got back to make sure we didn't get the dates or times wrong, but we didn't. Guess the realtors just flaked. We are definitely getting good ideas of what we want and what we don't want in a home.

We went to JC Penney to try to find trousers for DS and a sweatshirt for DD. I was shocked at how awful the clothes were. A lot of really ugly colors and roughly sewn stitching and one of the saleswomen was really rude to me. I was standing next to a display, with my cane, while my daughter was trying on a sweatshirt and she comes up to me and goes, "Can you move?" in this really snotty voice. No please. No nice tone. So I hobbled out of the way and then she put one shirt on the shelf. It wasn't even the part of the display I was standing in front of. Then she huffed at me and walked off. This woman was in her 60's and should have been far more polite.

Now I'm back home thawing out chicken to make a birthday dinner for my mother. She is 72 today. I have an icepack on my back and it's feeling better already. I am definitely dreading anymore back to school shopping. I think we may have to try Kmart, but at least it has a ride on cart there. I think Target does, too, but their parking lot was so jammed when we drove by today I'm not sure I want to go there. There's Kohls, too, but I've never taken my son shopping there. Macy's might be an option, too, but I'll go with the less expensive Kmart first.

We also need to go the sports store and get specific school colored gym clothes for DS. That annoys me greatly. The high school doesn't make your gym clothes be school colors (though it is far easier to find red and white than it is to find the middle school's dark green. At least he can also do white shirts and gray or black shorts). He has plenty of red or blue shorts that would do without having to buy new.

I think I need a new category for House hunting.

More Back To School Shopping

August 28th, 2011 at 11:47 am

So yesterday the kids and I went to Walmart. Got annoyed right off the bat because there were two Canadian cars parked in handicapped slots with no permits either on their license plates or hanging from their mirrors or on their front dashes. One of them beat me out to the last spot, admitted they didn't have a permit and refused to move.

The store was in complete chaos. Someone at corporate decided that back to school shopping time was a great time to remodel the store. It was an awful experience. They had moved the shoe department. They had moved the sign that said shoes. Had they moved them to the same place? No, they did not. It was like going on a scavenger hunt. I did find some Dr. Scholl's shoes but they didn't fit right. Some were too tight and the others were too large and slipped when I walked. They were all the same size. Go figure.

Then we went hunting for health and beauty which turned out to be in the toy department so DD could get her hair bleach. After that we decided to get the heck out because it was turning into one of the worst shopping experiences ever. We decided we aren't going back there to shop until after Christmas. They said it would be done by November but that's the last time of year I'd want to be shopping there. Other than now, I mean.

After that mess, we went to Sears and were able to park appropriately. My back and leg were already hurting but I made it through. We found three t-shirts and one sweatshirt for DS. None of the jeans or trousers fit right. He's right between boys and older boys sizes so it's hard enough just figuring out where he should be. We spent $42.53 there.

I was wiped out after that and in a lot of pain so we came home. We will try Penney's later today for them and a couple more t-shirts and another sweatshirt. DD needs at least one new sweatshirt, too. First we are going to look at some houses. A really nice one went on the market yesterday. It's near the lake, 2500 some square feet and priced at $269,000. It's also in the school districts we want. There are a few others in the area having open houses, too, so we will look at a few. We found six in our price range. Again, not that we are at all ready to buy yet, but we are getting a good look at what is out there.

Money Housekeeping

August 27th, 2011 at 12:17 pm

Yesterday was payday. This is the small check and it can vary anywhere from $1000 to $1300 give or take a couple dollars and depending on when medical gets taken out. There was no medical taken out of this one so it came in at $1322.42. I sent $586.82 off to the credit card, but $500 of that was left from last week and I just never got around to sending it because we were so busy and I'd already made one payment so it wasn't due or anything.

We still have to do some back to school clothes shopping today before I determine what happens to the rest of this check. Probably some will go to medical and some will go to credit card and I'll save out $200 for groceries. DH has to take DD out to a movie and out to dinner as part of her birthday present (since he wasn't here on her birthday and she wants father daughter alone time), so I'm not sure how much that will be. Less than $100, more than $50 probably.

And I desperately want to go on a date alone with my husband at some point before he goes back. There is a movie I want to see (and I never go to the theater) and a steakhouse I want to go to. DH and I are coming up on our 21st anniversary of being together (half our lives) next month but he won't be home for it so I want to celebrate now.

We didn't get to last year on the big 20th at all. Mainly because my mother was busy with getting my father put into the nursing home and my in-laws were meeting my SIL's boyfriend's parents for the first time (2 weeks later SIL and boyfriend broke up because he was getting too serious. Yeah, that was an important meeting, if you didn't want to get serious why'd you do the whole parents meeting parents thing?). This year instead of an overnight somewhere without the kids we're just trying for a night out, but who knows if it will happen. DD is old enough to babysit DS, but she gets tired of him a lot these days.

I overestimated on a few categories in my holding tank so had some extra money there. I swept that into the emergency fund. It was $47.09.

$2000.96 Beginning EF
+__47.09 Amount Added
$2048.05 Ending EF

I had to loan DH $5 out of the coin jar so that will have to be paid back. We forgot to get money out on Friday for the dump runs we needed to do today (DH and Mom are out at the house working) so we scrabbled together all the cash in the house and that $5 was part of it. I'll make sure to replace it on Monday.

Back to School Clothes Shopping

August 26th, 2011 at 05:46 pm

We drove down to Marysville today so we could go to Fashion Bug. It's the closest one to where we live. My daughter was in heaven. She hasn't been in a Fashion Bug since she was little (the one we had went out of business years ago. Anyway they were having a 40% off sale and if you applied for their card you could get an additional 15% off. I usually don't open a card just for the discount, but because the nearest store is an hour away I decided this once I would do it and then just throw the card in the dresser when it comes.

My daughter ended up with three really nice blouses (she had plenty of t-shirts and long-sleeved shirts and jeans, but nothing at all that was dressy) and a leopard print skirt. One of the blouses can be worn in 3 different ways and has a detachable camisole. She also got a black and silver necklace that had four chains and a cross, a silver chain link belt with large round decorations and two bracelets (one black, and one black and silver and she is paying me back for one of the bracelets). We ended up getting $92.36 off and so paid $104.36. Sales tax is why the total is a little skewed even though it was 65% off.

Then we went to Payless Shoe Source and got DS two pairs of tennis shoes, one for gym class that will stay in his locker at school and has non-marking soles and the other for every day use. They had buy one get one for half off and so it cost a total of $43.42. DD got a pair of silver flats and a pair of high top tennis shoes (no PE this hear for her). Hers came to $52.65.

We filled up the gas tank at the Burlington Costco because it is cheaper than the one in town. We spent $53.80 on that at $3.599 per gallon and getting 14.948 gallons. It was at a quarter tank when we got there.

We bought McDonalds on the way out of town so spent $16.25 there. We stopped at the Haggen in Burlington to use the bathroom and I noticed they had Pepsi Throwback there (the store here is out) so bought two half cases for $12.96 (really need to try to wean myself off it again).

So quite a spendy day. Tomorrow we will go to WalMart. I need new shoes and haven't found anything I like yet. They carry Dr. Scholl's which are comfortable. I still need to take DS clothes shopping. He's outgrown all of his pants and most of his shirts. We may head to Sears or Penney's for him. WalMart is usually too picked over at this time of year and his size is always the one they are out of. DD needs a couple undergarments, too. I also told her we'd get hair bleach because she is tired of the green and wants to go back to being a blonde.

After clothes are taken care of then I need to go through the lists of back to school supplies they need, check what is already on the school shelf here and decide what else they need, then will go buy it.

Oh, one of the blouses we got for DD is coppery orange and has a cowl neck. She is one of the few people blessed with the skin tone to wear orange. Anyway, I had the perfect necklace for her to wear with it from my college days, with copper and silver beads. It's not a choker but it's a short one and it works perfectly together with the blouse's neckline. She was jumping up and down. She loves accessories but usually buys ones she can wear with a lot of stuff. This is pretty specific to one outfit so she wouldn't have gotten it herself, but since I had it she's happy to wear it. Recycling, it's not just for soda cans anymore. *laughs*

It was a good day all and all, but I was happy to get home to my ice pack.

We Opened an HSA

August 25th, 2011 at 06:52 pm

And that's an hour of our lives we'll never get back. My gosh, the rules are stupid for an HSA account. Since the insurance is through DH, even though it is a family plan, only DH can withdraw funds for it. Only his name can be on the account. No spouse or co-signer can be on it. I can, however, deposit funds and be a beneficiary. Gee, IRS, do you not think a spouse might need access to this account?

And since the account can be accessed online and transfers can be made online, and they don't know who is in front of the computer screen, I can technically still access the account and be the one who moves the money around with DH's account number and password. Can you say giant loophole?

We set up an HSA savings account only since if we had done an HSA checking account or debit card, only DH would have been able to use it. Since he is in Alaska 3 weeks out of 6 it would be very inconvenient to have to wait to pay medical bills until he was home.

So we transferred the money I had saved to pay Virginia Mason into the HSA savings account and then we will transfer it back to our personal checking account so that I can still be the one to write out the bills. We just have to keep a carbon copy of each check and keep a copy of each medical bill that is paid. I will set up a folder to keep these in.

The lady setting up the account said that we could also do it retroactively on medical bills we have already paid this year, but that we would have to consult our tax adviser to learn how, because she only knew we could, not how. Umm...we don't have a tax adviser. We've never itemized because it has never been worth more than the standard deduction and it's a waste of money to have a tax adviser do your taxes in that case. So I guess that's going to be a lot of boring reading to figure it out on the IRS website.

I have all of the medical bills, or at least the portion we keep from this year, and I think I have all of the check carbons, too, so it'll just mean transferring some money back and forth and figuring out how to do the rest of it. I really wish we'd gotten around to doing this in March instead of waiting until now. Ah, procrastination.

Sale Pending

August 24th, 2011 at 06:52 pm

Well, we drove by the almost perfect house today on the way home from the chiropractor and it had a sale pending sign added to the for sale sign. It made me sad, a little, but in a lot of ways it was a relief because it removes the temptation of moving up our timetable that I think my DH was falling prey to. After viewing the main floor master bedroom, I knew it would be pretty much impossible to set up our furniture in there, and so the dream house turned out not to quite be what I wanted. Oh, I could have easily made do with it, but it wasn't in the cards and we are not ready no matter how much DH wants to be.

We drove by several houses yesterday that are for sale and quite nice from the outside and we have virtually toured online so I am not really worried about us finding a house when the time comes. But that time is not now. I am curious, though, how much the almost perfect house sold for. I hope they didn't get their ridiculous asking price. I hope the buyers lowballed them and got a good deal, because I would hate to see that house raise the taxes for the rest of that neighborhood.

We have been thinking that if we do end up with a two story house, we definitely want to get a chair lift installed on the stairs. They cost about $1500 and make the house somewhat ADA compliant. That way we would not have to rule out two story houses, though I still would prefer one story. Of course my taste for Craftsmen homes is totally at odds with my practical need for a rambler or ranch style home. Any house we get will have to have one shower/bath redone to be ADA compliant and also possibly have hand rails put in longer hallways. Maybe even a ramp to the porch as I'm not sure my disability will ever improve.

I really wish we could build from scratch, but land prices are astronomical and I don't see that as a practical solution. But it would be nice to be able to put in all the handicapped stuff right from the get go.

Case of the Blahs

August 23rd, 2011 at 02:18 pm

My entire family has a case of the blahs today. I think we all may have picked up a touch of something at the Fair on Friday. Everyone is running a low grade temp and has a variety of aches and pains from sore-ish throats to grumbly tummies or congestion. It's hard to tell sometimes.

We had a major weather swing yesterday, a day of rain and very cool temps after several days of very warm weather (75 to 88). Today it has swung back again to hot. I always feel yucky when the weather swings like that, as I am sensitive to changes in barometric pressure. It's not enough to put anyone down for the count, but it's definitely enough to give us all a case of the "I don't wannas."

I am going through the "I don't wanna cook," one myself. Fortunately we have leftover spaghetti, ravioli, cole slaw, taco meat, and baked potato soup so my "I don't wanna" is turning into an "I don't have to." If we didn't have so many leftovers right now I can easily see this as being a day of low willpower that sends us to the drive-thru (no one feels good enough for a sit down restaurant anyway, so it would be limited, but still).

I am debating on whether or not today will be a no spend day. I could get off my backside and make some bread or I could go down to the store and buy some. If I go to the store, I know I will be tempted to buy something we don't need like a rotisserie chicken or a premade meatloaf from the deli. Because that's even easier than warming stuff up. But it would be a stupid financial choice to go when my will power is so low.

Bread is time consuming though. Maybe I should just stir up some bisquits. That takes about 3 minutes. Same with cornbread muffins. Or maybe pancakes. Ugh. I don't want to do anything. Maybe we can just go without bread products tomorrow and we'll feel decent enough to make them then.

Library, Books, Space

August 22nd, 2011 at 03:12 pm

I love the ability to manage my library account online. I love the fact that I can go on to their website and renew a book and not have to waste the gas to run down there and do it in person. I also really like that I can look up my holds and see what place I am in the queue. Currently there are six people ahead of me for The Help and four people ahead of me for The Silent Girl, the next book in the Rizzoli and Isles series. When I put them on hold they were 122 and 115 respectively and that was less than a month ago.

I am halfway through two books right now. One is a mystery that involves geneology research so I'm pretty much loving that to pieces and the other is one that was recommended on www.thesimpledollar.com (which is a blog I have been devouring) and is by John Robbins and called The New Good Life. He is the son of one of the founders of Baskin Robbins and he walked away from the family fortune to make it on his own. It's a very interesting read so far. I am glad the library had it and I get to read it for free.

One of the things we decided not to do while we are living here is to buy books. The number one reason for that is the space factor. We simply do not have room for stacks of books to take up residence and we have a bunch of unread books in storage. The second was the expense of any new book. As much as I love to own books, right now it is not practical. Anything that comes into this house takes up space that might be better used by something else. So it's been nice to be able to use the library so much, now that we only live 2 miles from one.

It's not like I don't have any owned books here. I have the Little House books, the Harry Potter books, the Narnia books, five books that I need to read before they go to storage and are replaced by five books from storage that haven't been read, and some cookbooks (about five or six from our collection). But I can't justify the space to have more than that here. A temporary stack from the library is just fine and fills my ficovore needs perfectly.

Looked at Some Houses Today

August 21st, 2011 at 05:16 pm

Three to be precise. The first one was $269,000 and it had six bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. It also had a partial kitchen and full kitchen. The main problem is that the full kitchen is on the second floor. It was originally set up as a house that rented out rooms and has three separate entrances. It wasn't bad, especially for the price, but with the kitchen upstairs it had to be struck off the list. I just cannot climb stairs three times a day to make dinner and converting the downstairs one into a full kitchen would be difficult, though possible. But nothing about the house really sang to me anyway.

Then we went to see the dream house that is too expensive right now ($419,000 and I'm sure it will come down again). It is four bedrooms and 2.5 baths. This is the one DH toured a while ago and took pictures of, and I had seen the virtual tour online, but had never been to. A lot of it is perfect, but not all of it. There is one bedroom downstairs and in order to put a king size bed in it, it would have to go with the head under the windows. Any other place in the room and it would block either the bathroom, the closet, or the door leading into the room.

I don't like having my head under the windows because I easily catch cold that way. We did discuss just putting the bed against the closet and getting a wardrobe for hanging clothes or taking the door off the closet and leaving just enough space between the wall and the bed to get to it. We have a fairly large dresser for most clothes anyway. Otherwise I really love it. Not enough to do anything crazy for it. And we aren't really ready. Right now we are just looking to get an idea of what we want.

We looked at another fairly large home (1 story) that had four bedrooms and 2 full baths. It had a large garage (neither of the other two, did), but it's the sort that is stuck on the front of the house so when you pull in all you see is garage, not house. It needs a new paint job on the outside. The kitchen was nicely sized but didn't have a drawer stack. It was all cupboards with a bitty drawer above each lower cupboard.

It was a good price for it's size, $229,000 and because of the state of the outside of the house I am sure it could be talked down to $200,000. It smelled though. It smelled like a nursing home or a hospital, disinfectant, urine, and sick people. Enough so that I had to wonder if someone had died in the house. It definitely wasn't the smell of animals makring their territory. The rugs were extremely ugly and would have to go (I think that was where the smell was from. One tub and shower would have to be replaced as you can tell there was mildew in the seams. The neighbors had a giant RV parked along the property line, so I'm sure that would be there all the time except when they were on vacation, a constant eye sore.

I didn't love the house, but I didn't hate it, either. The problems could be easily rectified, especially at that price. The location would put it in a different district for high school, though. I think it would be the same one for middle school.

We still have a long way to go before we are ready to buy though and I'm in no rush. DH and my mom went out to our house today and took another load to the dump. That should keep the HoA off our backs for a little while. I would like to get the piano moved this hitch if we can. I want it here where it will do some good and get some use.

August EF Goal Met, HoA "Stuff" to Deal With

August 20th, 2011 at 03:10 pm

Today I added $116 to the Emergency Fund. I added it to the ING portion and not the Safety Net portion. I have now met my August goal of $2000 in the EF by the end of the month.

$1884.96 Total EF
+_116.00 Amount Added
$2000.96 Total EF

I added $5 in ones to the coin jar today. That is what I had left from my Fair budget. DH still has some money left from it, too, but I didn't get it before he headed out to the house today to do some yard work.

I put $1600 in the holding tank for the bills that come due in the first two weeks of September (it's a few dollars more than needed, but thought a cushion was a good idea0 and transferred the medical money (or $1750 of it) into regular savings that will go into the HSA as soon as we open it on Monday.

I just need to pay the water bill and take care of the allowances and DH's birthday money and then set aside a bit for groceries and some for physical therapy (I paid the chiropractor already $215) and then I will know how much extra I can send to debt repayment.

The HoA got really snippy and sent out a note that basically said I know you are dealing with ongoing medical problems, and we don't want to make things worse, but get your butt out here and mow your lawn. Yes, HoA, I love you, too. I know they have a point since it has been seven weeks, but they knew we were going to not be able to go out there for a while (and one of the neighbors had volunteered to mow it at least once every two weeks, but apparently didn't) and this is the first weekend since DH got home so we were planning to go out there anyway. Or at least he was.

One of the neighbors complained and I am sure I know which one, too, he is such a busy body and always has been. Of course he also lets his dog run wild and doesn't clean up after her when he takes her for walks, but since he has always been on the board complaining about it never helped anyone. (He does keep his lawn impeccably mowed). The thing is, 90 percent of the people out there do not mow their lawns during the summer. And 50% of the people out there do not pay their dues. We have always paid our dues on time and they waited to send out their note until after we had paid them (so it couldn't have been that urgent).

When I was healthy, of course I would keep it mowed, but they knew I was having surgery and they knew DH wouldn't be able to leave me right after and that he also would be gone an additonal 3 weeks in Alaska, and they said it was okay. Guess it was only okay until someone whined about it. I swear we will never own a home in an HoA again. I still remember when they got after a cancer patient who was undergoing chemo for not keeping her lawn mowed. Sometimes I really dislike the people on the board. They irritate the "heck" out of me.

At least DH will be able to go out every Saturday for a couple weeks and then I should be strong enough to mow the lawn again and it will be September so the grass will start going into its dormant cycle by the end of the month probably unless we have an Indian Summer. I have a little push mower that is very light that I can use once the tall grass has been chopped and it won't hurt to push around at all. Or if it does, it's light enough for the kids to use.

The Fair, In Pain, Plus Medical Bills Are In

August 20th, 2011 at 12:37 pm

Yesterday was a fun family day at the fair, but it was fun because we were together more than anything else. It was one of the hottest days we've had this summer so far, if not the hottest. I was glad for my hat. I was really underwhelmed by the fair itself. It has become less and less about people entering art, collections, quilts, and foods, and more about the commercial booths.

I mean, really, does there need to be 3 different satellite tv providers and a cable one at a county fair? Does there need to be four different gutter companies who are sure they can keep the gunge out of your gutter? And the junk they sell? It took a long time to find souvenirs that did not cost too much but were nice enough they wouldn't break down the minute you walked off the fair grounds.

My son got a tree frog (carved from wood) where you rub its back with a stick to make it croak and a thunder barrel for $15. My daughter got a hat that looks like a polar bear for $20. DH got these cushy orthopedic insoles for $35. I tried them but did not like them. It was a texture issue. I did not end up spending my souvenir money at the fair so I will put it with my allowance, with an eye towards investing it or something. Still working that out. I think I may open a spousal IRA if I qualify. If not, I'll just open an investment account or something.

The music was excellent. We heard 3 different groups, one Celtic, one South American panflute and guitars, and the other standard country/bluegrass. The food was great, too. We got everything on the list except the ice cream so stopped at Baskin Robbins on the way home. I am currently reading a book by John Baskin, the son and nephew of the founders of BR called The New Good Life, so found that a little funny. Anyway, I don't think we will go to the Fair again for a long while. It wasn't worth the expense, though I will be forever grateful to the Lion's club for providing power wheel chairs.

The walk back to the car afterwards, though only three blocks, just about killed me, though. The pain was pretty bad, I was almost crying and that was with my cane and holding on to Chris. It wasn't in my abdomen or my knee. It was in my lower back. I was not expecting that. It hurt so bad I wasn't sure I'd make it back to the car, but we were not in a place where DH could run and get it and be able to pull over and let me in. The town's main street is not conducive to that.

I took some ibuprofen as soon as we got there and stayed in the car while DH and the kids got the ice cream and brought it back. As soon as we got home I put ice on back. That helped a little. DH put mineral ice on it once dinner had been gotten and then I ended up taking a hydrocodone. I wanted to take one of the pills leftover from surgery last month but was afraid I'd not keep it down and I didn't want to jerk the painful area of my back if that happened.

I woke up twice to put more stuff on my back and switch ice packs. We ran out of mineral ice and switched to biofreeze. It's not as effective but it does help. By morning I no longer felt like I was going to die and was actually able to get up without whimpering. It still hurts but it's much better. I did notice that I ripped the scab from my incision open at some point because it was bleeding a little bit so put a bandage on it. I definitely overdid it. Today will be a day of rest for me for sure.

I do have stuff to do today, but it can all be done with my laptop while I am resting. I've got to finish up all the payday stuff I normally would have done yesterday.

I've received two bills from Virginia Mason now. One is for my appointment in May and those radiological tests and is $108.04 and the other covers the surgery and hospital stay which is $1296.04. I still need to be billed for the followup radiological tests and appointments.

DH and I are going to set up an HSA on Monday. We should have done it a while ago, but it's been a crazy summer and it just didn't happen yet. Hopefully it won't take too long and I can get these bills sent in right away.

Disability Insurance

August 18th, 2011 at 03:56 pm

We have finally gotten to the point where we are talking about getting disability insurance for DH. So far he's been really lucky about not getting hurt in the workplace, but as he gets older we've started to worry a little bit about this, because he does work in an environment that is often icy and trips can and do happen often up there and cause a lot of damage to people. He's known enough people who have had to take a couple months off work while their soft tissue recovers.

Now for the question about me. Do I need it? Or would they even give it to someone with no income? I mean I really am partially disabled as it is, but it does not interfere with me doing my job as a stay at home parent of taking care of the kids (too much). I just worry that one day something might. And then we might need to be able to bring someone in to help.

I know I should talk to our agent about this, but I don't want to sound like an idiot when we go in, either.

Fair Tomorrow

August 18th, 2011 at 03:12 pm

The plan tomorrow is to go to the NW Washington Fair. I consider this as sort of a one day staycation/vacation type thing. It cost $10 per adult and $5 per child entry fee. That means it will be $35 for the four of us (and next year DS will be 12 so this is his last year at a child's price). The Lion's Club rents wheel chairs so we could get a regular one for $15 or an electric one for $25. DH tends to get tired pushing me around so I think we might splurge for the electric one. So that right there is $60 just to get in and be mobile. Oh, and parking is usually anywhere from $3 to $8 depending on how close we park. Hopefully the handicapped lot will still be open if we get there early enough.

We will not be doing any rides. Ride bracelets are $30 each, which is utterly ridiculous. And the kids just think the rides are lame as they've been to Disney enough times to know what good rides are. So no big loss there. Most of the music is free and we will look at the dancing groups and the horses, bunnies, and chickens and of course the other animals who are less interesting as well. There are tons of exhibits though I won't be able to go upstairs at all, so I will take my paperback in my purse so that I have something to do while waiting for the family to come back down. Only two of the commercial buildings have 2nd floors. I am looking forward to the local art and the quilts. It is amazing, usually.

Each child will get one souvenir a piece. DH and I might get something each also, but I'm hoping for something practical, like a nice water bottle. There are tons of giveaways so we will end up with a lot of those just by crusing the commercial booths.

There are certain foods that are musts when we go to this fair. Funnel cakes topped with strawberries, whipping cream, and powdered sugar, corn dogs, corn on the cob, ice cream cones from ice cream made on site, fish and chips or chicken and jo-jos, and pulled pork barbecue sandwiches. Most food is shared around between the four of us, (except corn or corn dogs), so we all get a taste of everything. Last year as the fair was closing we were able to get DS a cotton candy with no dye in it, just pure white spun sugar. But we aren't staying until closing this year so it is unlikely he will get that choice.

I am taking $150 to the Fair with $50 as back up money just in case. I don't think we will need it. We usually do fine with $150 (and that was back when we bought ride bracelets for the kids). I haven't been in a couple of years as my health has not allowed so I am really looking forward to this. Hopefully I wake up feeling decent, because I would hate to send them without me.

DH is Home

August 17th, 2011 at 07:39 pm

I picked up DH from the airport this morning and then we came back home and went to sleep. I was exhausted as I've been running on about 3 night's worth of insomnia. I got about 3 hours of sleep last night, but we napped from 9:30 to 1:30 which made a huge difference in how I felt, though I'm afraid it might keep me awake tonight.

We stopped at the store before coming home and picked up a half case of Pepsi Throwback (DH wanted it), 3 gallons of milk, non-fat organic for me and the kids, regular 2% for DH, and whole milk for baked potato soup. We spent $18.98 which leaves me with a little over $7 in checking and $10 in cash to spend until Friday. No worries.

Last night I threw some extra potatoes in the oven to bake alongside the ribs. DD has been wanting to make the soup for a while, so today she did. I had planned on making my spaghetti with its special homemade sauce, but she really wanted to make the other so we did. I can make the spaghetti tomorrow. I'll be using canned tomatoes instead of fresh since we don't have any.

Anyway it turned out pretty good, but I am pretty sure the salt and pepper ratio in the recipe is off. It has 1 tsp of each and I think it needs 2 tsp of each. We all added it rather librally to our bowls. We had leftover chicken for protein (well, everyone but me as I got full from the one bowl of soup (and it does have sour cream, cheese, and bacon in it for a bit of protein). No fruit or green veg, but if the kids get hungry later they can have some berries or cucumbers or both.

I still don't have my appetite back. I've lost 18 pounds since surgery. Which is okay, I had it to lose. It's just kind of weird. I've been dieting and exercising to the best of my ability for years. Now when I can't exercise much yet and I'm just not eating much it falls off without effort. Kind of annoying, but I will still take it.

Money to Set Aside

August 16th, 2011 at 07:18 pm

I ran the numbers and figured out how much money I need to set aside for the first two weeks of September when there is no paycheck coming in to meet the bills that come due then. $1574.77, so I'll just round that to $1600. I also need $722 to meet this week's needs and wants (allowances for me and DH, a trip the fair, DH's b'day presents, water/sewer at the old house, and groceries). That'll leave about $1000 to send to debt. I will pay off the MC (again) that we put some money on while we were on vacation and the rest will go to the VISA. I had hoped for $2000 but I always forget things when I try to figure

The next paycheck will be the little one that is usually around $1200 for two days (might be a bit higher with the raise). I think we will likely spend about $500 on school clothes and I need new shoes, too. I've figured out what the kids have outgrown and what they need. I am pretty sure we won't spend all $500, but I'd rather overbudget for it than not.

Out of that $1200 I will send $116 to the EF to hit my goal of $2000 by month's end. I will probably keep out $200 for random expenses (prescriptions, groceries, b'day dinner, one movie, ASB cards, yearbook ($40 now or $60 in June). That should leave an additional $500 leftover to send to the VISA. So a total of $1500 extra this month to debt repayment.

It may not look as good as it actually is since the cost of airline tickets has gone up and we have to absorb that, but we still should have this all paid off by year's end.

Oh, shoot, I always forget something. I left out chiropractor and physical therapy. So...$400 or so for that. Only $1100 extra. Bummer. But still good.

This and That

August 15th, 2011 at 02:41 pm

I need to sit down with my budget spreadsheet and figure out exactly what I need to do with the next paycheck. I'd like to send $2000 of it to debt repayment and then make sure that I have enough money set aside to cover the bills until the start of the next paycycle. There will be one more paycheck after that, the small one with two days on it, and that one I'd like to bank in it's entirety, part to the EF and part for future medical savings, but I might only be able to do one of those. One way or another though I am getting my EF up to $2000 this month.

DH's b'day is coming up and I know what he wants and how much it will cost so that is included in there, also. And his allowance has to come out of next week's check, too. I have been debating what to do with my allowance. DH gets $100 every six weeks.

I usually don't spend that much, usually getting a season or two of some show I want on DVD or something like that and using the rest on cooking magazines, but right now I don't want anything so I am thinking about setting it aside in another savings account. I've been toying with the idea of getting an Index Fund through Vanguard to generate some side income (the one I am looking at pays dividends). It costs $3000 to buy in. So it would take a while to save that much up, but what else am I going to do with it on the months where I have no interest in spending my allowance?

Today has been a slow day. I had to use the heater again last night and this time I left it on all night. Today is cool and about 65 with a breeze. I'm convinced we're never going to see any true summer weather here this season. I had physical therapy so $60 out for that.

We picked about 3 gallons of blueberries last night and there's still just so much more to do. I can't believe how much two six foot tall bushes can produce. I'll make another batch of cornbread blueberry muffings today, but that only uses about a cup of blueberries. We'll make jelly with about half of what we picked and freeze the other half for later use.

The two new chickens are finally old enough that they should start laying eggs soon. I keep hoping to go out there and find three or four instead of the usual one or two. The fun part is that when they start laying often times they will produce double yolk eggs for the first six months. The kids love having a fried double yolker.

Someone remind me why it's not a good idea to start up any kind of dialogue with a troll, and then whack me with a copy of the Complete Tightwad Gazette if I do. I don't even know if this person really believes what they are saying or is just trying to start arguments, but this person can't respond to anything without insulting the person she is talking to/and or making inflamatory comments in general. Very wrong inflamatory comments.

Oh, well, I am done with them. I am so used to friendly disagreemets on all the boards I'm on, that this person just threw me for a loop and I totally don't need the drama. I tend to hang out at nice places online, where people discuss things respectfully, so it always surprises me when a troll shows up and doesn't abide by the unwritten rules of niceness. It shouldn't but it does. I will just ignore this person in future.

I Used the Heater, Sewed on a Button, and Meteors

August 14th, 2011 at 03:39 pm

I cannot believe it got so cold here last night. The middle of August is usually quite warm at night, but this year has been anything but typical. While the Eastern and the middle states have been sweltering in heat waves, we've been lucky to have the thermometer touch on 70 and even then there's a breeze that makes it feel like 65.

Last night was just downright cold for me. I added a blanket to the bed and when I still couldn't get warm added another one. Finally about an hour later, I got up and turned on the heater. This is just a small, energy efficient ceramic heater I keep in the bedroom. I only ran it for ten minutes, but it was enough to warm up the room so I could then fall asleep. I had hoped to beat the cold without it, but it was not to be. Still, ten minutes is not that much time so I don't feel bad about it.

I sewed a button on one of my nightgowns today. The buttons on it are star-shaped but the new one is round and a little larger. It might not match in shape but it matches in color, being opalesent. It's one of my warmer nightgowns and I've had it for several years, but the top part kept popping open after I lost one of the stars. If it doesn't keep them from popping open I will replace the rest of the star buttons with more round ones. We have the big bin of buttons my grandmother collected to search through to find similar sized ones. I don't really care if they match much as it's not like I wear it out in public.

We saw some meteors from the Perseids last night and the night before. This is the first year since I've started looking that I've seen them. Usually there's a cloud cover, but the sky was empty and bright. Moon was gorgeous, too.

I spent $27.18 getting takeaway for lunch today for me and the kids. It will last us about three days worth of lunches, so a total of nine meals (3 each). Put that way it is $3.02 per meal per person. Which isn't that bad. It still puts me under budget for the day if I watch what I make for breakfast and dinner.

I paid my daughter back the $3 I borrowed from her the other day while we were out and I'd left my cash at home. That leaves me with a $10 bill for cash for the week and enough money in the checking account to pay for physical therapy this week and still have $60 left (for milk and probably bread as I am not up for making it right now and maybe some fresh Udon if they restock the flavor the kids like).

Speaking of physical therapy, I am down to one hour a week instead of an hour and a half. That reduces the amount I pay each week from $90 to $60. With not going at all for five weeks, I saved a fair bit there, but I think the muscles around my knee atrophied a little with so much time in bed. PT thinks we can get it back in about six weeks, but doesn't want to overdo it because my abs are still quite sore.

Speaking of the abs, the incision site has now closed completely and scabbed over. My bandages have had nothing on them for 12 hours so I don't have to use them anymore. Which is great because I have been having a skin reaction to the tape (doesn't matter what kind, plastic or paper, they itched like crazy and caused a rash). It's less itchy already.

So Excited!

August 13th, 2011 at 09:57 pm

DH went onto our insurance website tonight to see if any of the claims from Virginia Mason had processed yet, since I haven't seen any bills. Well, they have. And apparently my insurance company and VM have a very, very good contract between them, because for each visit so far (discounting the one on the 9th which has not been processed yet), all of the radiological tests, and the surgery and the hospital stay, we will owe a little under $1750. I was sure it would be somewhere around $5000, but it's not. I have already set aside $2000 for medical expenses.

This puts us back on track for having our credit card debt paid off by year's end! Even if I set aside $2000 for the next surgery in November, we will still be able to pay the credit card debt in full. Which means starting in January we can start putting all of that money towards a downpayment on our next house. We should be able to save $60,000 in 2012 and if we sell our house (just under $20K left on the mortgage) for even just what we paid for it, we would still have over $100,000 for a downpayment.

I can't believe our goals are this close to coming true. When I started this blog I never thought this day would come. I hoped it would and I dreamed it would, but I was never really sure. I think I'm almost out of the tunnel.

More Free Fruit and Enjoyable Blog

August 13th, 2011 at 05:52 pm

Well, today was the perfect day for picking berries (beautiful and warm but with a good breeze) so I ambled out to the back yard and shooed the chickens to one side. (They like to peck at your toes, which is okay if you are wearing boots or shoes, but I was wearing flip flops because they are easier to wash off if you step in something they left behind). So far today I have picked two gallons of blueberries and a quart of blackberries. I have the bench out there to sit on as I am still not that steady on my feet and probably won't be for another couple weeks. Recovery takes time, I know this, but it sure would be nice to do things normally. At least I am healing well.

The Italian plums are starting to come on. They probably won't be ready until mid-September but it is nice to see how loaded the branches are. The apple tree has a lot of fruit on it, too, though it likely won't be ready until October. I wish DS wasn't allergic to apples. We usually end up giving away what the rest of us can't eat. No one here likes the texture of applesauce so there's not much point trying to preserve it. Usually we give it to the neighbors who have given us something earlier or will give us something later in the season. One neighbor has philberts and walnuts, another has grapes, and one always grows too many carrots. Then we progress to the free box at the end of the drive.

I've been reading some blogs on urban harvesting where people go around picking fruit from city trees that were planted to beautify the city, but the fruit always falls to the ground and goes to waste, and then they contribute it to the local foodbanks.

I found a great blog last night and have been reading it for hours. It's called www.thesimpledollar.com. I really like his style and he covers a lot of things. I particularly like his book reviews and have found a couple that my library has so I put them on hold. He covers some very basic things like meal planning and recipes, but he also covers some more of the complex things like mutual funds, stocks and bonds. It's a good mix of information and he has lively writing so I don't get bored of him.

It's been a lovely day. My in-laws came and got the kids and took them to the family picnic.

Today is Payday--Shopping and Bill Paying

August 12th, 2011 at 05:14 pm

I did the major Costco run and now my pantry and toiletries are fully stocked again. I should be able to go a month without going there again, and then only for toilet paper and lemons (we go through a lot of these to make DS's lemonade). It is nice to see the shelves full. The only thing I did not get was potatoes because they only had the 20 pound bags and they looked like they were starting to sprout. We might be at the point where we can start digging up potatoes, but I still have 1/3 of a 5 pound bag left and several packets of organic potato flakes so it's not the end of the world and I can pick some up (hopefully on sale) at one of the grocery stores soon. I did impulse buy a package of English cucumbers ($3.39), but everything else I bought was on my list.

I also paid bills today. The majority went to BoA. We used our MC on vacation and to pay for the Inn at Virginia Mason which is why I'm listing it again when it was paid off before. This doesn't pay it off, but I will be putting more on it next Friday with that as my intention. I will also be putting more on the VISA.

$1862.10 BoA VISA
$_500.00 BoA MC
$_757.82 BoA car payment ($250 extra to principal)
$__10.56 Medical
$__43.70 Garbage (old house)
$__65.56 Internet
$__44.89 Phone (old house)

I spent the rest of the grocery budget and close to $100 for toiletries and the megapack of paper towels (18 rolls, I think).

I decided to keep the $40 I still had in my wallet from last pay period and not get anymore cash out for this week and see if I can get by on it.

I did roll a thing of pennies and I had $25 in ones and two fives that I'd squirreled away in the coin jar so I went to CU#2 and added $25.50 to the safety net portion of the EF. That brings the safety net to $389.03 and the total EF to $1884.96. That leaves me $115.04 to scrounge up by month's end to hit my goal of $2000 in the EF.

My first goal for the safety net (which is my easily accessible portion of the EF) is to hit $500 and my second goal is to hit $1000. I figure I probably would not have an emergency bigger than that, and if I did that would give me the time for the transfer from ING back to a local account. I don't have four wheel drive anymore so if I blow a tire I'd only have to replace one, not all four. That was my biggest foreseeable expense before we got this vehicle.

Oh, I bought a Christmas present for DS while I was at Costco today. It seems too early to be buying presents, I usually don't start until October, but this was a good price and something he has wanted for months so I was happy to see it and it can sit in my closet for the next four months. I really should finish knitting his scarf as well.

A Little More to the Coin Jar

August 11th, 2011 at 07:32 pm

I just added $7.45 to the coin jar. The cherry lady was there when I drove by today so I stopped and got six pounds of cherries for $12. I'm glad I did as she said this was the last day she was going to be there as the season was over. Then I paid .55 at the library for parking since the two handicapped slots were taken and so was the 5 minute drop off slot. Since I had to pay I figured we'd spend a little more time there so spent a little more on parking to do so. So the $7.45 was the change from the $20 I used for all that.

Mom is picking me up milk on the way home from DS's tae kwon do class. I gave her a $20 for that so whatever is left from that I will put in the coin jar as well and then make my deposit tomorrow. I still have $40 in my wallet and am debating dumping that in as well since tomorrow is payday.

I am going to Costco tomorrow. I'm not quite sure I'm ready for that (and really hope they have a ride on cart) but I need to buy TP, paper towels, butter, unsalted butter for baking, lemons, potatoes, peanut butter, sugar, flour, cocoa (if they have it), tomato sauce, canned tomatoes, e.v. olive oil, crackers, cashews, and a couple of other items that are cheaper at Costco than anywhere else. My stores have not been this low in ages. I am so used to having a fully stocked pantry that I've had to be a bit more creative than usual this week with meals.

I cleaned the fridge today in preparation. I am really pleased at how little I had to throw out. I am getting a lot more skilled at leftover management and not letting veggies go to waste than I used to be.

More Money Coming Along Soon

August 10th, 2011 at 10:09 pm

Starting on the first paycheck in September DH will have hit the point where they stop taking out social security for the year. That should give us an additional net of $650 a pay cycle. This on top of the raise which gives us an additional $550 a pay cycle means we'll have an extra $1200 every six weeks to pay on either consumer debt or medical debt until January. I am really, really hopeful that means we will be out of credit card debt by the end of the year like our original plan before my medical issues raised their ugly heads again.

I haven't gotten any bills yet from Virginia Mason. I am really wishing that I would start seeing some so I would know how to plan. I get anxious when things are unknown or up in the air. I started going down there in May so I feel like I should have gotten something unless there is going to be some sort of lump sum at the end. But I don't know if this last visit yesterday qualifies as the end or the follow up in a month does. So far I have $2000 set aside for it, but I really want to know what it is going to be.

I actually had them double check that they had my address right in the computer when I was there yesterday. They do. I should have DH check with the online insurance page to see if they've received anything yet. That might give us a ball park.

Today was my daughter's 15th birthday. She wanted pizza so we got a Hot and Ready 3 meat pizza and a few bags of breadsticks and red sauce from Little Caesar's. It was $19.52. The .48 in change was added to the coin jar. My mother made the chocolate cake and frosting off the Hershey's cocoa can. It was very rich. I only had a small piece. It was nicely moist but I can't handle too much chocolate. Everyone else devoured it, but there is still over half a cake left. I've had enough sweets for the week.

I'm still quite exhausted. The trip to Seattle really wore me out yesterday and I've not quite bounced back yet. I hope another good night's sleep will help with that.


August 9th, 2011 at 09:03 pm

Our mortgage payment finally posted today and we are officially under $20K left to pay it off! Woohoo!

Also the follow up at Virginia Mason went very well, things are healing as they should be, and I need to go back in a month to make sure everything is on the right track. I also still have half a tank of gas left so no fill ups for a while.

I spent $8 on parking today and just under $17 on food. Far less than the $50 I budgeted. DS and I split an order of fish and chips at the hospital, which believe me, was more than enough food for both of us.

Back to VM

August 9th, 2011 at 10:23 am

I'm leaving in about an hour to head back to Virginia Mason for my final post-op appointment, presuming all goes well. Then I shouldn't have to go back again until November or so for the second surgery.

I'm taking $50. That should cover the parking garage and one meal. We will probably have to gas up on the way home, but I use my AMEX for gas.

I hope traffic is less crazy this time, but I'm afraid it will be worse since my appointment isn't until three and we will be leaving to come back home at rush hour.

Homemade Coleslaw

August 8th, 2011 at 04:47 pm

Today I made up a huge batch of homemade cole slaw. Well, I call it cole slaw. I don't like the traditional kind with carrots in it, so I just do an all cabbage version. I had a head of green and a head of purple cabbage so I cut them up. Usually I am Mrs. Lazypants and buy the pre-shredded cabbage from Trader Joe's when I want to make cole slaw, but I had some on hand because my daughter likes to just cut a wedge out and eat it straight.

This was technically the first time I cut up a cabbage. DH has done it in the past, but I had a real hankering and didn't feel like waiting another week or so for him to come and cut them up. It took me a bit to get the hang of it. I was cutting the strips too wide, but about halfway through the first cabbage I got it right. Wider strips still taste the same, though.

My dressing is super simple. For two heads of cabbage I use one cup of canola oil (corn oil, saffola oil, soybean oil, or plain vegetable oil is fine, too). (Olive oil or any of the fancier oils will overpower the flavors). One cup of TJ's organic mayo (but any brand will do), and 2 TBSP of honey. Whisk or stir well and dump on cabbage, mixing in until absorbed. It's easily cut in half if you only use one cabbage.

It's so simple and so good and so cheap, really, even with the cost of the mayo. I spent about $4 all told for a gallon of cole slaw. Not bad for a side dish that I will get a few days use from (though I tend to eat it as a snack because it is so tasty). A quart of cole slaw from the store is about that same price, so I'm pretty pleased. Plus I saved by not using pre-shredded cabbage.

I Need to Buy Shoes

August 8th, 2011 at 10:44 am

I have good workout shoes, and good flip flops, but my halfway dressy/halfway casual shoes that I wear all the time have about had it. I have a wide foot and I usually end up with something by Dr. Scholl's. This particular pair I've had about eight years. I just kept replacing the insoles, but now the outer soles are breaking down and the rubber is starting to get gouges in it.

I am really resistant to getting a new pair, because I love these ones and am not sure I would be able to find something similar. They also look fine cosmetically, which is part of why I've kept them so long, that and comfort, but I've rolled my ankles a couple times because of the bad outer soles, so I know I need to do something.

I don't like buying shoes in summer, because it's harder to find black shoes and I really don't want white shoes or colored shoes. I like black because it goes with everything I own. I also don't like going to WalMart which is the only place that carries the Dr. Scholl's shoe around here. I won't buy shoes online. I have to try them on and make sure they fit and I don't want the hassle of mailing something back if it doesn't fit. In person you can tell they fit right away.

I'm not up for a WalMart trip just yet. The shoe department is all the way at the back of the store and it is a long walk and all the ride on carts are usually taken. Maybe in a couple of weeks when DH is home again. I'll set some money aside for them and go when I am stronger.

Not Much Today

August 7th, 2011 at 05:44 pm

The kids walked down to the store to buy some Udon because I got the wrong flavor the other day. We will still use it eventually, I froze it, but we won't put in the flavor packet, we'll use chicken flavored powder from TJ's or maybe just dump tomato sauce on it for poor man's spaghetti. I know people say not to freeze noodles, but I've done it before, just had to make sure the container was completely air tight. It's not exactly the same when thawed but it still is relatively good, IMO.

They also got a bag of chocolate chips for making cookies. I sent them with a twenty and they came back with $12.23. I added $2.33 to the coin jar and put the ten back in my wallet. I've already got $10 in ones in my envelope since Friday, which probably means I've been spending too much. Well, not really because I am within my grocery budget just fine, but it feels like a lot, simply because we went to many different stores.

Anyway, I think I'm going to meet my August goal of pushing the EF up to $2000 by month's end without too much of a struggle.

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