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Archive for April, 2013

Bits and Pieces

April 30th, 2013 at 06:48 pm

I haven't been very together this week. Queen's death, while expected, still threw me for a loop. I've got my equillibrium back today, so I thought I better get my head out of the clouds and pay some attention to the finances. Although they were basically on auto pilot this week anyway. Nothing much happens during the last week of the month. I took care of property tax ($424.58, half year) and the water bill ($144, two months) on Friday which were the only things due. I also had physical therapy on Friday ($90).

Yesterday I cashed out at Swagbucks for a $5 gift cared to Amazon. I haven't really been paying much attention to SB this month, so only got $10 in GC's. Today they seem to be giving double points for everything so I've got SBTV running in the backrgound. I have just been more busy this month than usual and not wanting to waste so much of my free time on it.

I got 11 cents and a sheet of address labels from some charity I have not donated to in over ten years. I have written them and asked them to stop sending me appeals so they don't waste their money on me, but they don't listen. I have no compunction against using what they send. I donated well to them for five years, but my charitable contributions are focused elsewhere now, locally. Anyway, that is my fifth or sixth dime this month.

I added $12.26 to the coin jar today. I had a lot of ones in my purse.

I stopped by the feed store and bought a 40 pound bag of rabbit pellets. It is $14.99 plus tax, so $16.29 altogether.

I paid the AMEX off ($271.92) for the month. I need to make a large payment to BoA VISA, but I need to balance the checkbook first. With the large amount of overtime money in the bank account, I haven't been balancing daily like normal, so I'm a week behind. I'm nowhere near overspending or anything, just need to know exactly where I am at so I can figure out how big the payment can be.

My electric bill has been moved from the 7nth to the 13th. They have changed how they bill, so last month's was a little higher to compensate for the extra week. Now it's back to normal and I do like that it is away from the first week of the month. I really don't like anything being due then, because that is when all the autopays come out and I don't want to think about having to write out a check. Their website sucks, they use impossible to decipher captchas, and the amount is variable from month to month so I don't autopay or pay that one online.

I have made it through my second day of no eating out and sticking to the meal plan. I've been wasting more money than I want to think about on takeaway and last minute grocery runs for deli food because I have been under the weather and haven't felt like cooking. I aim to get that back under control. I am sure I will stop feeling better eating homecooked food again, too.

I guess that about catches me up. At least I can't think of anything else for now.

Meal Planning for the Week--No Eating Out This Week

April 29th, 2013 at 08:22 pm

I am heading back towards eating Paleo again, so the starches in my menu plan are mainly for the kids. I think I have basically given up trying to get my meal plan posted on Sundays. Ah, well. I suppose it really doesn't matter what day I post it so long as I follow it, right? That's the way to save money on the grocery budget.

Since I have been slacking so much lately and having so much takeaway, I challenged myself to get through the whole week without eating out. Day one has gone okay, but it's usually Friday and Saturday that I have the real trouble with.

Monday--
Oven baked chicken
Cole slaw
Oranges

Tuesday--
Low carb meatloaf
Cole slaw
Bananas

Wednesday--
Pork chops
Fried potatoes
Salad
Oranges
Green beans

Thursday--
Beef stir-fry
Bananas

Friday--
Tacos
Oranges

Saturday--
Bacon Cheeseburgers
Homemade sweet potato fries
Cole slaw

Sunday--
Beef chuck pot roast
Mashed potatoes and gravy
Broccoli/cauliflower
Blueberry cornbread muffins

Spending Journal--Purchases

April 28th, 2013 at 10:27 pm

I bought some toiletry items on etsy today. I spent $70. I have bought from this particular shop owner before. Because of my allergies I have to be careful with what I put on my skin anymore. As does my son. The only scents used are from essential oils and no artifical colorings or chemicals are used in these products. Here is the breakdown of what I purchased:

$15.00 probiotic deoderant stick (Citrus)
__4.50 Gardener's lip butter in a tin
_10.50 Conditioning Herbal Detangler spray
__8.50 100% Natural Acne Bar Soap
_15.00 Natural Sun Stick
__6.50 Marshmallow Root Shampoo Bar Soap (for thick curly hair)

The rest was shipping. I swear by her acne bar. I've also used her chest rub (used like Vaporub) and one of her salves for dry skin. I have been very happy with everything and it has all worked well.

I am very curious to try the shampoo bar. I have a hard time finding good shampoo for my hair type and use a very expensive type by Paul Mitchell that has tea tree oil and eucalyptis. Almost all shampoo these days is formulated to make your hair be thicker, fuller, and have added moisture. It is extremely hard to find anything for oily hair that is incredibly full and thick and the last thing it needs is more volume. Everything seems to be for dry hair or color treated hair or damaged hair. There is very little for hair that is in good shape, just very unruly and makes plenty of it's own natural oil. So hopefully it will do the job I want it to do.

I also spent $107.34 at the grocery store today. I bought a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables. I've been kind of letting the diet slide lately and eating too many junky starches, so trying to head back towards eating Paleo again. I still need to make up my menu plan for the week, and stick closer to it this week. I'm never going to beat this sinus thing if I don't start eating right again. Of course all I want to do is eat chicken noodle soup. Well, maybe I'll make egg flower soup tomorrow for lunch. Pretty close to the same thing and I have homemade chicken broth in the freezer.


Still Farm and House Hunting

April 28th, 2013 at 05:54 pm

In the vein of finding homes that are too expensive and that we can never have, and DH's pentient for showing them to me, I set out to find something with some serious bells and whistles that we could afford and show it to DH. Not super seriously or anything, just to make the point.

Well, I found a doozy in our price range, albeit it closer to the high end and with yearly taxes of $4700. I went down my checklist. 5 acres. One level. House in good repair. At least 1500 square feet (it's 2500). Outbuildings for storage and for rabbit housing and chicken housing. Garden area. Mature fruit trees. A private well. A shop. Room for DS's model train layouts. A pond. A wood stove for back up heat. A large and roomy kitchen (plus beautiful). Close to family (2 miles from sister-in-law and nieces, 5 miles to MIL and FIL, 15 minutes from Mom and town.) Good school district.

And then for the bells and whistles. An indoor swimming pool and hot tub. A glass and brick green house. And...a small hanger for a Cessna airplane, with a shared private landing strip with dues of 45 a year!

It's $374,500. With our planned down payment of $60,000, we'd still be walking away with a pretty big mortgage and monthly payment. And I don't actually want a super big mortgage with college in the picture soon. The cost to heat a pool would actually be less than heating a house if we istalled a heat pump to exchange air from the house to the pool and back, using the pool as a heat sink. And we could rent the hanger to someone with a small plane so get a bit of income on the side to help with the mortgae payment. I'm not seriously considering it, of course, but I thought it was fun to find something like this anyway.

We are too far away from buying a house yet to be serious about anything. Still just looking and dreaming.



I'd still be happier with the almost 20 acre place for $305,000.

Queen Died

April 27th, 2013 at 07:57 am

Queen died yesterday, so needless to say most of my payday financial stuff didn't get done. And we ordered takeaway. It was just not a good day all around. We knew it was coming and we had the chance to say good-bye to her Thursday night, but it was still a rough Friday. Rest in peace, sweet girl. I'll miss you.

It's Been a Dime Finding Kind of Month

April 26th, 2013 at 02:20 am

Yesterday I found another dime. I think this is the fourth dime this month. This one was in terrible condition. It was so dirty I barely saw it. It blended in with the dirt. I found it about a foot from where we store out outdoor garbage bin.

I added $9.44 to the coin jar today. Today was also the day of the $10 auto deposit to the Emergency Fund so that brings the balance to $3,423.75, making me $31.25 short of my April goal of $3455. I have a deposit ready to go of $41.25 from the coin jar that I will deposit tomorrow, so I will hit my goal with an extra $10.

Because I managed to save $210 to the Emergency Fund this month, I am going to set my goal for May to save $220 and get my EF to $3685. If I find that easy enough to do, then my June goal will bump up another $10. I might just start doing that each month until it hurts and then back off one.

If I can manage to do that until December I will have $5505 in the EF, plus whatever piddly interest Capitol One 360 puts in there. Since my goal for the year is to have it at $5000, it would be great if I can achieve the higher number.

DH says that there should be big bonuses this December because of the size of the projects being worked on. There will be higher profits to be passed along. The smaller bonus this year was because they had smaller projects last year. He says with the size of the project we should see a bonus like double or triple the one he got after he'd been employed for them by a year. I am hoping that is true, but I won't let myself get my hopes up so high like I did last year.

Plans for bonus money is to set aside $2500 off the top for the medical deductible of 2014 and stick it in our HSA. Anything after that goes into college savings. Same for our Income Tax Refund. Straight into the college fund. These monies will primarily be for DD to go to community college, but DH can use it to when he decides he is ready to go for his B.S. in Electrical Engineering via an online university. The same one he got his A.S. from in Electrical Engineering. He also has an A.S. in Architecture. Or maybe it's an A.A. Is Architecture an art or a science? Because you are drawing...

Hopefully those monies will be large enough to pay for college, or a good portion of it. Hopefully we will have our farm before she starts college. DD will be taking a business class and be running one of our farm businesses, probably the rabbit end, with any profits not used for expenses going into her college fund and a small monthly salary. DS will help run one of the other businesses, likely the egg business, and will draw a small salary from that while the rest goes into his college fund.

I'm going to have to look up small business law and farm law and how hiring your own children works for a small business. Or maybe I'll have DH do it. That's the boring part, plus he had a small business once so he knows where to go for the answers.

Yesterday Was a No Spend Day

April 24th, 2013 at 08:15 am

I pretty much refused to leave the property yesterday, since DD stayed home from school and DS is homeschooled. I have a sinus infection that has been kicking me hard. I have antibiotics but they take a bit to start working. But anyway, not going anywhere ensured a no spend day. Today won't be one. I caved and grabbed a couple of hashbrowns from a fast food drive-thru as it was the only way I was getting breakfast. There was very little time between taking my daughter to school and caring for the life stock. I wanted to do a few things on the computer before my very early appointment with the sleep doctor. This should be fun considering I got zero sleep last night.

I am going to ask sleep doctor to double my sleep meds. I just cannot fall asleep with this darn C-PAP machine on unless I knock myself sidewise with sleeping pills. Right now I have to take 1 zolpidem, 75 mg of amytriptalline, 2 Benadryls and 2 (generic) Excedrin PM's to get to sleep at all. I'd rather just take 2 zolpidem and be down for the count. So hopefully he will agree to that or I am just done with the trying to use the C-PAP at all. My apnea is not that bad, certainly not life-threatening, but the treatment for it is not improving my insomnia at all. I was getting deeper and better sleep when I did sleep before. Now I feel like I'm running on empty all the time instead of just half of the time.

I think I could adapt to one or the other of the masks if I could just fall asleep on my side. I can't fall asleep on my back. I've never been able to, but that is the only way the masks fit on properly. If you try to sleep on your side it pushes partway off and then it doesn't work right. Makes me crazy.

If I can get 2 zolpidem, I think I'd be knocked out before I realized I was falling asleep on my back. And at least it is a cheap medicine. 30 pills costs like $2.45 or something. I wish I could get off all of it, but that's only ever going to happen if I can sleep regularly to begin with.

I will try to take a nap when I get back from the sleep doctor appointment, without the machine. I will sleep until two and go pick up DD and then do homeschool with DS. That's the nice thing about homeschool, if you don't sleep, you can take a nap and do lessons in the evening. DS won't mind. He has a new train layout he's putting together and Mom will be around all day.

Meal Planning for the Week

April 22nd, 2013 at 07:36 pm

Maybe I should switch my menu plan posting to Mondays as I've missed Sunday's the past 3 weeks running now! Anyway, this week is mostly chicken based. I had a couple of whole chickens in the freezer and would like to clear out some of the things that are taking up the most space.

Monday--
Crockpot chicken (saved the broth)
Microwave baked potatoes
Canned green beans
Canned pineapple
(Yes a lazy kind of day!) I froze 4 cups of shredded chicken to use on Friday

Tuesday--
Bananas
TexMex Chicken and Rice
(Recipe is simple. 4 cups cooked rice, 1 large jar of homemade or storebought salsa, 2 cups of shredded chicken. Stir together and heat through in microwave).

Wednesday--
Homemade pizza (pepperoni, ham, onions, bell pepper strips)
Cole slaw

Thursday--
Chicken Noodle Soup (made with saved broth, carrots and celery and leftover chicken)
Cole slaw
Oranges

Friday--
Chicken Enchiladas
Chips and Salsa
Salad

Saturday--
Toasted ham and cheese sandwiches
Homemade French Fries
Oranges

Sunday--
Blueberry cornbread muffins
Beef chuck pot roast
Mashed potatoes and gravy
Broccoli and cauliflower

Oh, Dear

April 20th, 2013 at 06:14 pm

So after my little talk with DH of him showing me places we can't afford when something new comes up on the housing market, today he showed me something that we can afford...

It's further out than I want, it's painted an ugly color (dark brown with lemon yellow trim) and has awful panelling in the living room and bonus room, and slightly better panelling in a bedroom. But it is over 1700 square feet, has a wood stove, a propane stove, and electric, so you can choose what you want to heat with.

But...but it has a huge barn, a huge shop, a huge garage, a green house, cold frames, mature fruit trees, a garden, a large pond (as in swimming hole size, not something you make from the big box store, you can take a row boat out on it) and it is 20 acres. Half wooded, half pasture. And the land is beautiful. Utterly gorgeous. It's idyllic. I can't think of anything more I want in the land. And the property tax is under $2000 a year. Asking price? $305,000.

Gah.

As DH says, a house is a house. We can paint. We can take off the panelling. We can find a pretty house anywhere. We can't find pretty land anywhere.

Maybe I just need him to stop showing me anything for a while.

The remodelers are supposed to be done today, but they haven't called to say so yet. Same old, same old, I suppose.

Brief Update

April 19th, 2013 at 10:59 pm

I added $8.24 to the coin jar...which was the change from our takeaway dinner tonight from the Polynesian place. I just didn't feel like cooking today. No one else did either. Most of what we got were stir-fries and egg fried rice. Lots of leftovers so we'll get several meals out of it. Trying to keep the eating out to once a week. I have a cold that keeps making me think it is going away and then it comes back a day or so later in full force.

Today was payday. I'll try to update on that tomorrow.

EF and Rabbit Updates

April 18th, 2013 at 07:43 pm



The kits are 9 weeks old. Haven't they grown? They are doing very well.

The $10 weekly auto transfer to the Emergency Fund went in today, bringing the EF to $3414.75. I still need to come up with $40.25 to hit my April goal of $3455. I have $20 in the coin jar and will have one more auto transfer this month of $10, so really that is just coming up with $10.25. I am almost tempted to change my goal to $3500, but it's already going to be at $200 saved this month. And sometimes I stack the deck against myself in trying to be too ambitious. It doesn't do me any good if I have to then turn around and take the money back out of the EF.

There isn't much else going on here. I'm reading Ashen Winter, which is the sequel to Ashfall, a near future story of the aftermath of the Yellowstone volcano exploding. It's got a lot more action in it than the first one did. I liked the first one a lot, but this one is more of a nail biter page turner. I always like it when the sequel is better than the original because it is so rare. Of course the final book in the trilogy won't be out until 2014 sometime. Ugh.

Oh, well. After I finish this one it's back to reading about rabbits and worm bins, etc. Then maybe I'll start educating myself on sheep, goats and pigs. Not that I have any intention of raising those any time soon, still being in the city, but the more I know, the more educated a decision I'll be able to make in the future.

We did a major clean out of the rabbit shed today. We filled two of the empty 40 and 50 pound feed sacks with rabbit manure. The last time we did the super duper major clean out, we only filled one feed sack with manure. That is how much they have grown. The garden is going to love it if it ever stops raining again long enough to spread it. I am so glad you don't have to compost rabbit manure before using it. Makes the whole process that much easier.

I think we will end up having to either give it away or sell it. There is only so much garden to absorb it. I've seen it selling for about $15 for a 50 pound feed sack's worth on Craigslist. I think I'm more in the $5 zone. Mostly because I will just want it hauled away.

Remodel is Almost Done

April 18th, 2013 at 12:48 am

Okay, I know I keep saying I will believe it when I see it, but so far the remodelers have only given vague end times. Months, not weeks. Well, today they gave us a date. They think they will finish on April 20th. Once they are done we can make the appointment to have the new carpeting put down. The other flooring is already in, but we are carpeting the bedrooms and the living room. I wasn't originally sure about that choice, but because the floors get so very cold in the winter out there, we decided it would be the better option.

So I guess maybe it's time for me to start holding my breath. As soon as the carpet goes in we can put it on the market. One step closer. I just hope it sells fast and for a reasonable amount of money.

Some new farms have come on the market recently, anywhere between two and six acres and some of them are quite good deals. Also there is one house on six acres that is mostly wooded land, which I normally wouldn't look twice at, but it is selling for $164,900, which means we could afford to clear some land and build a rabbit shed, a chicken coop, and a pole barn.

DH made me look at a couple of farms that we cannot possibly afford, just because they were pretty. Ten acres and over 5000 square feet of living space. Oh, they were gorgeous homes. One was actually a retreat (like for businesses, had a couple of conference areas and everything). That one was $1,345,000! It was a working farm and a business, but wow. Pricey. The other was $896,000. It was so beautiful and it had the kitchen of my dreams.

But no way. We will not spend more than $375,000 for for five acres and I much prefer something under $300,000. Well, I prefer under $250,000 but I have to be reasonable. I told DH to stop showing me things I could never have. Not that I actually want that much living space anyway. The maintenance would be ridiculous. Not to mention the taxes.

The best part of the ones we found though were that they were in a different school district, so DS could have a fresh start going back to public school. I'd like him to go for 8th grade, but I flat out will not homeschool for high school. There would be no chance of the child who assaulted him being in school with him, nor the other bully that kept telling all the other kids that he was lying about his food allergies to get attention. Of course his new school won't be bully free, but to at least not start out as a victim would be nice.

Still, our house has to sell before we can even think about buying, so no counting our chickens before they are hatched. But I am more hopeful now than I have been in a long time, that we will actually finally be able to put it on the market soon.

Meal Planning

April 16th, 2013 at 04:11 pm

I'm really not on my game this month. Well, last night was tacos and oranges.

Tuesday:
Chili
Chips and salsa

Wednesday:
Pork chops
Fried potatoes
Applesauce
Cole slaw

Thursday:
Homemade pizza (pepperoni, ham, onions, bell pepper strips)
Cole slaw

Friday:
Beef stir-fry
Pineapple

Saturday:
Pasta Pizza Bake
Cole slaw

Sunday:
Beef chuck pot roast
Mashed potatoes and gravy
Cole slaw
Drop biscuits and choice of homemade jams.

Found Money

April 15th, 2013 at 11:04 pm

I found a ten dollar bill today, in of all places, the credit union parking lot. I mean, the one place that you think people would be careful with their money or at least be aware of the cash they have is there. Oh, well, finders keepers. It was an empty lot so not anyone around to see if it had been dropped. I put it in the coin jar so it will go to the EF.

I was at the CU getting money out since we never made it there Friday before they closed. I only took out $65. $25 of that was for the kiddos allowances. The rest was spent at the feed store getting more rabbit supplies. I will still need to get four more feeders and one more waterer this month or next, depending on when the new cages arrive. Still no info on the shipping delay. DH is going to call them tomorrow.

Mom is considering ducklings again. And turkeys. I have enough on my hands with the rabbits so I told her if she did, other than letting them out in the mornings once they were old enough, care would be up to her. Maybe next year when this is more of a routine, but not right now.

I'll need to pick up a bale of Timothy hay in about a week. The rabbits have gone through quite a bit of it. Fortunately a bale of hay is about $7. It's taken the rabbits 5 weeks to go through 1/2 a bale. We had 3/4 of a bale on hand already.

I still need to order the rabbit wringer and get a good set of poultry sheers. The rabbits will be ready for butchering in 3.5 weeks. Oh, that's going to be a tough one, but there is a reason why we are raising our own food, and this comes with it. Doesn't mean I am looking forward to it in the least. Still, I know they've had a great life with lots of snuggles, good care, and excellent food. I can't say the same of the plastic wrapped polystyrene trays of meat in the grocery store. And if it turns out we can't do this, the feed store wants to buy them so if nothing else, we can breed them for pets, right?

Today has been a rough day. Our city had 21 people in the Boston Marathon. As of the last news eighteen had been reported in to family as safe, including the pastor who married DH and me, and his wife. Sometimes I forget how easy it is to be affected by something that happens on the other side of the country. The world seem so big until it is suddenly made small by something like this.

It's Been a Few Days

April 14th, 2013 at 08:53 pm

Had a bit of a shopping spree. Only it was at Goodwill so it didn't cost very much. DD got 3 lightweight sweaters, a cute turquoise empire waisted spring shirt, and a 3/4 length lambskin jacket. I got two 8 x 10 tarps, 5 wide mouth pint jars with rings and lids, and DH got a thing to help his laptop fan work more efficiently. Hey, it's a big shopping spree for us! We spent $53.72.

I need the tarps for the rabbit shed to hang on the walls behind the cages to protect the walls against sprayed urine. Yesterday I picked up two rabbit cages at a feed store near the ranch we get our meat at. We were on the way back from our ranch trip and there has been a shipping delay on the cages we ordered and we can't really wait much longer to take the kits from the mother rabbit. I just need to pick up a couple of feeders tomrorow and we can start taking the babies away.

When we are at the feed store they inquired about our rabbits and I left contact info, because they are interested in buying them to sell as pets. Of course I told them we are just getting started, so it wouldn't be for a while. Someone is going to call me.

I just find it interesting that through no effort on my part whatsoever we have people that want to buy our rabbits for pets or for food. I guess they are right when they say word of mouth is often enough. Of course, this first batch is for us, but we should have a new batch of kits in about 4 weeks.

There are some pedigree NZ Whites on offer in the next county so if the cages come in time, I may see if I can get a couple more adult does. Then I can really get into production.

It snowed here yesterday morning. I don't even know. It was just a light dusting, 1/2 inch or so, certainly not a blizzard, but hello, it's the middle of April. This is so not on.

I think I will pay property tax tomorrow. The courthouse is next to the library and I have a book on hold to pick up so might as well combine trips, even though tax isn't due until month's end. Not much point in waiting. I just want it done because the last two years I waited until the last minute and then had to pay it online, along with the online charge for doing so.

I've not been as chatty over here. That's mostly because I've been talking about the farm stuff over on the other blog, trying to mostly keep this one on the financial front. If you want to catch up with that stuff you can visit me there at http://whendidthisbecomeafarm.wordpress.com/

Supposedly the house will be done by the first week of May. I'm still not holding my breath. It would be nice. That's an excellent time to put it on the market. And it'll be move in ready. But they've been pushing the date out and out and out since this began, so who really knows? I just want to be done with it.

I got another $5 Amazon gift card from Swagbucks. I haven't been very focused on it this month. My account balance is now $120.

DH's mother gave us a camera so now I don't have to worry about saving up for a camera. Which is nice.

Oh, and I found a dime in the parking lot today. It went to the coin jar.

Emergency Fund Update

April 11th, 2013 at 03:56 pm

Today was the weekly auto transfer of $10 to savings, which brings the EF to $3373.65. I have $81.35 to go to hit my April goal of $3455. I do have a deposit of $31.10 ready to go for when I make it over to the CU that holds my safety net portion of the EF. And there will be two more auto deposits of $10 each before the month's end, so technically I only need to scrape up $30.25 to meet my goal. That is definitely doable.

It is really nice seeing my Emergency Fund growing again. We spent so much time with a $1000 EF while paying off debt that I just wasn't used to having a nice balance in the bank. As it grows I feel more and more secure and less and less like I'm only $1000 away from disaster. Now I'm $3000 some away from disaster. I'd really like to be $30,000 away from disaster but that will definitely take some time.

It sounds like the house really may be finished this month. I hope so. I really want to get it on the market and get it sold. I am tired of throwing money down a pit and I want to be able to move on to finding a small farm and our forever home. I don't like living life in limbo.

Little Bits

April 10th, 2013 at 11:12 pm

I received a check from ACOP, a survey company, today for $17.10. It will go into the Emergency Fund.

The mortgage payment hit and is now under $13K at $12,993.58.

The car loan payment finally hit. I got impatient this month when the statement didn't come and paid it online. The next day the statement came, of course. I don't much like paying it online, because it takes forever for them to post it, but I just wanted it done. I think it actually posts faster when I mail it than when I pay it online.

We bred the rabbits today. Hopefully that will result in another 6 to 8 kits a month from now. It feels like we are really on our way to raising a sustainable meat supply now.

I am anxious to start gardening, but I know that I shouldn't until after the 15th. It's hard to wait, but so many people have been getting unexpected frost, snow, or hail that I know better than to push the date. If it stops raining long enough I can do some weeding though. I'll need to block off part of the garden this year or between the chickens and the stray rabbit, I'll not have any greens.

Blogoversary

April 10th, 2013 at 06:53 pm

Yesterday was my 7 year Blogoversary for this blog. I can't believe I missed it. Oh, well. Seven years since I started writing this thing. Goodness, that's a long time.

Things have sure changed in the last seven years. We are much closer to financial independence than I think I ever dared hope when I first began this adventure. There have been lots of ups and a few downs, but all in all we are so much better off than we used to be and I don't think we would have done so well without having this community as an outlet.

You guys have been my rock and a safe place to stay while I figured everything out. So thanks for all the years of great support in a nuturing environment!

I Forgot to Post My Meal Plan

April 9th, 2013 at 02:55 pm

Monday:
Chili or soup
Fruit Salad
Greens

Tuesday:
Steak
Broccoli/cauliflower
Oranges

Wednesday:
Spaghetti with homemade sauce
Meatballs
Cole slaw
Grapes

Thursday:
Tropical Chicken Stir-fry
Pineapple

Friday:
Homemade pizza (pepperoni, ham, onion, bell peppers)
Cole slaw

Saturday:
Tacos
Oranges

Sunday:
Beef chuck pot roast
Mashed potatoes and gravy
Broccoli/cauliflower
Drop biscuits with choice of homemade jams

Rabbit Stuff

April 8th, 2013 at 08:30 pm



The kits are 7.5 weeks old here. Haven't they grown? I could not fit all six of them in there while cleaning their cages. As it was one of them is practically buried, but they are used to sleeping in a big pile and don't seem to mind being on top of each other.

I purchased some cages last night and they should arrive in about a week. I spent a little over $300 with shipping. Still the best prices around, though.

We have attracted a stray bunny. This is not a wild bunny, this is a pet bunny that somebody dumped. It is a long-hair, too, so its fur is horribly matted. It is very friendly and not showing any signs of rabies or disease, it is just very dirty. It was in the chicken range area today and though the chickens complained loudly about that fact they didn't seem scared or worried, just annoyed.

I feel bad for the poor thing, but it's been around a few months, it just always seemed to stick to the other side of the street. I hate bad pet owners. Dumping domestic rabbits in the wild is a horrible thing to do and it is even worse when they have long-haired coats.

We may try to catch it. I don't really want a rabbit eating my gardens this spring. If we do catch it, I'd isolate it for a couple of weeks before putting it in the rabbit shed just to make sure it didn't carry any disease and deworm it. Might even do a vet check. I'm not sure what I'd do about the fur. Some of the matting is so bad I think it would have to be cut out. We would just keep it as a pet since we have no idea of how old it is or whether or not it had been fixed.

There isn't much else going on around here. Bought a few things at the grocery store and ended up with another $4.39 for the coin jar.

Another Coin Jar Update

April 8th, 2013 at 12:54 am

I added $4.42 to the coin jar.

We spent $26.58 on takeaway.

Coin Jar Update

April 7th, 2013 at 12:06 am

I added $4.07 to the coin jar today. Slowly but surely, it's getting there.

OT

April 6th, 2013 at 01:33 am

Just got off the phone with DH. They couldn't find a bed for him to stay up there an extra two weeks, but they okayed him bringing the work home so he will be putting in 8 hours a day at $25 a day less than if he were putting in his full hours on the slope. Not bad, though. We'll net a little over $6000 for it. Considering how much we overspent on vacation that will be a very good thing.

Paying the Bills

April 5th, 2013 at 11:18 pm

$300.00 to Mom for utilities
__45.67 Old House Insurance
__66.62 Car Insurance
__39.53 DH Life Insurance
__32.70 Me Life Insurance
_168.00 Storage
_312.20 Dental (paid off!)
_105.86 FCN Medical
_106.77 PHMG Medical
__54.66 Electric Old House
_700.00 Mortgage Old House (extra to principle)
__45.41 Phone Old House
__72.56 Internet
_757.82 Van Loan (extra to principle)
__41.16 Security System Old House
_100.00 Propane Old House
_100.00 Emergency Fund
__19.00 Holding Tank for Garbage
__17.00 Holding Tank for HoA Dues Old House
__24.29 Holding Tank for Property Taxes
_300.00 Beef Money
_100.00 Cash for week
__70.94 4 Prescriptions
----------
$3580.19 Total Paid Out

Some of the bills listed here were actually paid out earlier in the week, from the paycheck two weeks ago.

My physical therapist cancelled last minute today so that $90 didn't go out today.

I also spent some money at the feed store to get a bag of rabbit pellets, 2 hay racks, and a nail trimmer. This store is downtown where the old railroad tracks used to be. Feed stores were often located right off the railroad in towns so that stuff could be unloaded right there and the feed store didn't have to pay extra to have it hauled. The big bag of rabbit pellets cost $14.99 as opposed to the $18.59 charged at the other place that is no longer carrying it. I misplaced the receipt, well, I left it in the car, but I spent about $40 there.

Emergency Fund Update

April 5th, 2013 at 02:56 pm

I added $110 to the Emergency Fund this week. It is now at $3363.65. $91.35 to go until I hit my April goal of $3455.

I also added $2.82 to the coin jar.

Exhausted

April 3rd, 2013 at 11:33 pm

I worked hard today. Let's just say if I never see rabbit manure again it will be too soon. Only of course I will be seeing it. But the garden will be well fertilized. Everything is now squeaky clean in the rabbit shed and in the chicken coop. I think I'd forgotten my body was capable of this much hard, physical work.

Today was a no spend day, which is easy to do if you never leave home. I am looking forward to Friday though. Payday cannot come soon enough, mostly because I need to go down to the ranch on Saturday and buy beef and pork. I still have a couple of chickens, but I am out of hamburger, chuck roasts and pork chops.

I really need to go to Trader Joe's as well and stock up on a few of their items. Particularly spaghetti, organic potatoes, Joe's O's, and their non-BPA lined canned corn. And their tomato sauce since our Costco has stopped carrying the S&W organic tomato sauce in the 15 ounce cans.

So definitely a lot of money will be coming out Friday for grocery shopping.

Not sure what is happening on the overtime front. They haven't been able to find DH a bed, so now he and his immediate boss are trying to get the okay for him to bring the work home to do on his days off. He'll get paid $25 less a day for it, but he won't be working 12 hour days, so it seems pretty win-win. Even though they are crying for the redlines to get done, there is molasses in the approval department. I just really hope it gets okayed.

I'm not all that keen on him having to work while here, but at the same time, the overtime would be so good for us financially right now. I guess right now we just live in limbo and wait and see. I have mentioned before, haven't I, that I don't do patience well? Rolleyes

Small Emergency Fund Update

April 2nd, 2013 at 05:57 pm

I recieved interest from my Capital One 360 account today. Oh, that's weird calling it that, but I have decided I am being silly holding on to the name ING. It's been a few months now and it's clearly never going to change back. So anyway, interest was $2.96 for March.

$3253.65 Beginning EF Balance
+___2.96 Interest Added
------------
$3256.61 New EF Balance

$198.39 left to go to hit my April goal.

Meal Planning for the Week

April 1st, 2013 at 05:40 pm

I forgot to make up a meal plan yesterday, so did it this afternoon instead. I've got leftover picnic ham and leftover Cornish game hens so will be using those up this week. I am hoping to get down to the ranch this weekend to buy some beef. We haven't been since January, I think.

Monday:
Quesadillas (game hen meat, cheddar cheese, tortillas)
Cole slaw
Oranges
Carrots

Tuesday:
Hot ham sandwiches with provolone (on rosemary bread)
Cole slaw
Oranges
Homemade oven fries

Wednesday:
Enchiladas made with leftover game hen meat
Chips and salsa
Baby spinach and romaine salad

Thursday:
Homemade pizza (pepperoni, picnic ham, bell pepper strips, yellow onion)
Cole slaw

Friday:
Tacos
Canned pineapple

Saturday:
Spaghetti with homemade sauce
Meatballs (ground pork and ground beef)
Cole slaw

Sunday:
Roasted duck
Roasted carrots and potatoes
Drop biscuits with choice of homemade jams
Baby spinach and romaine salad