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Archive for August, 2013

Windfall for the Kids

August 31st, 2013 at 03:39 pm

My husband went out to see his parents last night and he came home with two checks for the kids of $250 each. Apparently they have been spending a ton of money on his sister's kids lately and they wanted to make it even. We have told them before that they do not need to do this as SIL lives below the poverty level and we are doing very well right now. But they want to be fair, so the kids got the money.

I have told each child that they must put $30 each into their savings account. That is 12% of the total. I've also told them that they have to start saving at least 1/4 of their allowances every week. I want them to get into a savings habit.

Goodish News on the Computer Front

August 31st, 2013 at 02:21 am

The big box store guys were able to access both my hard drive and my desktop, so they are copying all of my files off it to a portable hard drive. So by Sunday I should have all of my spreadsheets, photos, music files, and documents back. Then they will shoot it off to Seattle for repairs. If they can fix it in Seattle they will ship it direct to my home. If they can't, then the big box store will give me a voucher to purchase a new one.

I really hope they can fix it. I really like the keyboard and with the amount of writing I do, a keyboard that is easy to type on is one of the most important things I look for in a laptop. Since I didn't bust the screen this time, it should be cheaper to fix it than to replace it. And I want my Windows 7, though I am grudgingly getting used to Windows 8, but I still don't like it.

Lola had her first litter of kits on Thursday, six healthy, strong ones. She is far more protective of them than Phoebe or Piper are of theirs. She takes bribing with a carrot and some subterfuge on our part to get a look at them, but we mostly will just leave her be since she is so protective until they are older. I'm not very hands on until they are ten days to two weeks old anyway, but I do have to check to make sure none have died every so often.

Our current rabbit count is at 33, with 4 litters being raised. We will be sending 5 to freezer camp this weekend and then we'll be down to 28 rabbits and 3 litters (9 weeks old, 4 weeks old, and 2 days old).

We bred Phoebe on Sunday and she will be due on the 26th of September. At the rate we are going we will likely be processing a litter every 4 weeks. I want to get to the point where we have enough in the freezer to eat it once a week and have some leftover to can.

Serenity, Sweetie Belle, and Starbuck will all be old enough to breed on the 19th, so we will breed Piper to Starbuck when she's ready in a little less than 4 weeks. And we will breed Serenity and Sweetie Belle to Leo. Andromeda won't be old enough to breed until December, but I likely won't breed her until February so she has her kits in March when it is not as cold. I really don't want kits being born in January or February as it can be bitter then.

It is nice to see all the work and money I have put into raising these rabbits starting to come to fruition. A couple more litters processed and they will be paying for themselves.

Emergency Fund Update

August 29th, 2013 at 04:49 pm

Today was the $10 auto deposit to the EF.

$6044.92 Old Balance of EF
+__10.00 Amount Added
$6054.92 New Balance of EF

September Goals

August 28th, 2013 at 02:40 pm

I've been thinking about what I want to do for September, since we'll have the extra paycheck.

I've decided to try to get the Emergency Fund to $7300, which would be $1000 from the extra paycheck, $100 for the regular monthly deposit, $40 from the four $10 Thursday deposits, and then scraping up the rest, $115.08, throughout the month. I want to get the January Money Fund to $1500. And I'd like to have at least $500 in the Moving Fund.

The mortgage is at $9965.09, so I'll likely try to get that below $9K as well. I had thought about throwing the whole extra paycheck at the mortgage, but decided I'd rather build up the other funds first. I just feel better with a more substantial EF. Once I get it to $10K I will feel a lot more secure about focusing on other things.

Not 100% sure what we'll do with the OT paycheck at this point, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. It would be nice to save the whole thing in the EF, but I don't think that is practical.

On the laptop front, I have $1800 in the laptop fund. We have actually purchased the laptops for the kids using the 18 months same as cash feature and I will be paying it as it goes along, even though I have the money in the bank. I figure I might as well collect the paltry interest. And I can always pay it off free and clear if the need arises. We won't take the full 18 months to pay it off, though.

DH is continuing to baby along his laptop. If it comes time for him to get a new one, I will pay off the kids' right away.

Payday Round Up, EF Update, Funds Update

August 28th, 2013 at 12:15 am

I've been paying things in dribs and drabs this week, but thought I should do a full accounting.

$700.00 Mortgage
__90.00 Physical Therapy
_100.00 Emergency Fund
_100.00 Moving Fund
_100.00 Laptop Fund
_100.00 Christmas Fund
_144.00 Water/sewer Old House
__49.91 Propane
__28.52 Medical
_175.00 Medical
_853.09 AMEX
__40.00 Allowances
_200.00 Cash (groceries, OTC meds)
2680.52 Total Out

I added $100 to the Emergency Fund so it is now at $6044.92, so I have met my goal of $6000 in the EF by the end of August.

New Fund Totals:

$565.61 January Money Fund
$505.21 Appliance Fund
1800.00 Laptop Fund
$600.00 College Fund
$500.00 Hawaii 2018 Fund
$400.00 Property Tax Fund
$500.00 Christmas Fund
$100.00 Moving Fund
$000.00 Propane Fund

I had the money set aside for half the water/sewer bill and the propane bill, but I paid them directly out of this paycheck. Then I transferred what I had set aside to the January Money Fund. That was $121.91.

And I think that covers it.

Coin Jar Update

August 27th, 2013 at 08:02 pm

Tonight I added $10.34 to the coin jar. $9 of that was in ones.

I also went to the grocery store and bought Gatorade, pudding, cold medicine, soup, ice cream and Jello gelatin for my daughter, who has managed to catch a late summer cold that makes her throat violently sore, probably at the slumber party she went to on the weekend. I spent $71.35 on that. Crazy how expensive cold medicine has gotten this year. At least the pudding and Jello were on sale.

Meal Planning for the Week

August 25th, 2013 at 01:40 am

I have spent a lot on produce this weekend. I guess I am feeling nutrient starved or something (could have something to do with all the potato chips I've been eating this month). Or maybe I'm just holding onto that last gasp of summer fruits and veggies. Anyway, I am planning very carefully to not let any of it spoil.

I've been investigating some new recipes as well and will try out two this week.

Chorizo con huevoes
Brown rice
Steamed Zucchini

Baked chicken
Corn on the cob
Steamed yellow summer squash

Pork chops
Fried potatoes
Green beans

Black pepper chicken stir-fry (has lots of fresh veggies)
Drop biscuits with choice of homemade jams

Fried rabbit
Baked potatoes

Homemade pizza with pepperoni, ham, yellow onions, and bell pepper strips
Cole slaw

Bacon cheeseburgers on homemade buns
Cole slaw

Well, That's Done

August 24th, 2013 at 10:25 pm

I managed to recreate my budget spreadsheet and hopefully I've got everything on it. It's a good thing I almost always post everything to this blog or I'd have spent a lot more time on it than I did. I'm still recreating the Holding Tank spreadsheet, but I've got most of it done. I need to find one receipt and then I should have all the information I need.

Tomorrow I will actually pay bills and allocate money to funds. I have created a new fund, called the Moving Fund. We'll have to rent U-hauls when we move so I'd like to start preparing for that well before we need it.

I still don't know when the house will be completely done. It feels like it will never happen. We sprayed the mason bees tonight at dusk when they are supposed to be least active, but if the spray doesn't work we may have to hire an exterminator. Who knows how much that is going to cost? They are only in one small area, but just getting an exterminator to go out there is more expensive than a city call.

I just want to be done with it. It is such a money pit. I want to move on and start the future, but that house is holding us back. And may do so for some time yet. Even when it is done and can be put on the market it still has to sell. And having completely missed the summer season, we'll have it on the market at the worst possible time of year, the rainy and snowy season. Not too many want to house hunt in a foot or two of snow.

I am trying not to be discouraged about it and trying to keep a positive attitude. This month has been a hard one for me to keep a positive attitude in, though. We have accomplished so much this year and last, so why does it feel like we're completely standing still?

Under $10K

August 24th, 2013 at 12:15 am

It is official. After today's payment, the mortgage is now under $10K. Boo yah!

Today was payday, but other than making a mortgage payment and going grocery shopping, I have not done anything about it. This is because I am still procrastinating rebuilding my spreadsheet. Well, I did make some progress. I loaded Office. Now I just need to build the spreadsheet, which I will do tomorrow since I have nothing else on the agenda, except maybe making more pickles.

I made and canned 6 pints of pickles yesterday:

I put my coin jar money into the Emergency Fund today.

$5912.45 Beginning EF Balance
+__32.50 Amount Added
$5944.95 New EF Balance

I went to the food co-op after the credit union because of locations, so the dividend check from the food co-op of $7.43 was not cashed until I'd already deposited the coin jar money. So that $7.43 is now in the coin jar for my next deposit. I also added $4.40 in change and ones to the coin jar left from my purchases today. I did have a bit left in checking so that will be transferred to the EF when I make the monthly $100 deposit as well. I will hit my $6000 goal without problems.

DH will be bringing work home with him next week. He'll have a week's worth of work to do during his two weeks off, so we'll get an extra paycheck (or two halves of one) next month, on top of the extra one we're getting because of the number of Fridays this month. Some of it will go to the January Money Fund, some to the Laptop Fund, and some to the Emergency Fund.

EF Upddate

August 22nd, 2013 at 01:59 pm

The $10 auto deposit went into savings today.

$5902.45 Starting EF Amount
+__10.00 Amount of Deposit
$5912.45 New Amount of EF

I have $87.55 to go to hit my August goal for the EF of $6000.

It turns out what I thought was a check from the food co-op for $7.43 can't be cashed anywhere but at the food co-op, so I haven't redeemed that yet. I don't want to make a special trip and will be shopping there this weekend so that money hasn't gone in yet.

I have been procrastinating like mad on recreating my budget and holding tank spreadsheets. I should be able to do it easily enough between my blog entries and my 2012 spreadsheet and my checking account. I need to do that tonight since it is payday tomorrow.

I need to pop over to the dentist and bring them the check from the insurance company. I've tried a couple of times and they were closed even though it was normal hours. They might have been on vacation. I don't know. I will try again today and if no one is there I will just mail it to them.

Just One of Those Months

August 20th, 2013 at 12:13 am

Do you ever have one of those months that it just feels like things are cosmically aligned to be out to get you? *sighs* August is one of those months for me.

The latest bit of news is that my pharmacy is closing. This is one of the last locally owned places in town, but the entire store and its sister store are going out of business. Mostly, though, I am upset because I am losing my pharmacist, who was awesome and went above and beyond the call of duty on numerous occasions.

Also they transferred all of my medication
information to Walgreens. I don't really think that's legal to do without patient permission because of medical privacy laws. I know doctor's can't release records without the patient signing something, so I can't see why they would do that.

I don't even know if Walgreens will accept my insurance, so now I have to have DH get on that. And have him check out the grocery store near our home, too. If Walgreens will take it I'd have to have them transfer it to the closer one to us, not the closest one to the old pharmacy, which is what they did.

I don't think the generic blood pressure medication is working. I have felt like crap since going off it. Headache with lots of pressure, average reading has been 130/90 and tonight's was one 140/95, and I feel swollen. And I'm getting dizzy the last few days as the readings have trended up. I'll call my doctor tomorrow and see about trying something else or upping the dose. They gave me a 90 day supply (do not know why because I was only supposed to be trying it for a month to see if it worked). Also my hands and feet have been very, very cold today. I'm not sure if that is a sign of hypertension or not, but it's not normal for me.

And to top it all off, Sweetie Belle bit me. We were doing so well with the behavior modification, too. She didn't break the skin, but it did hurt for a few minutes. I gave her a sharp no, because in my surprise I totally forgot I am supposed to let out a high pitched squeal like a rabbit does when it is hurt to let her know she hurt me. Don't know what I am going to do about her. If she continues to bite, she's out the door after she gives me one good litter. Maybe one of her babies will be nice like our bucks and not crazy like their mother.

She's purebred and pedigreed so I should be able to get a reasonable amount for her. I'd like to at least recoup the feed I've put into her. Despite her being insane, I can't see sending her to freezer camp. She has good bloodlines and will breed well and maybe someone with more patience and no kids would be a better owner for her.

Retirement Question

August 19th, 2013 at 03:41 pm

If my spouse were to max out his 401K and he grosses around $175K this year with overtime and bonuses, can he take out an IRA as well? Does his income have any bearing on whether or not I can take out a spousal IRA? His company does not contribute anything at all to the 401K so it won't grow as fast as someone whose company contributes on the first 6%, so I think we'll kind of need to make up for that somehow. We plan to do the catch up when DH turns 50, but that's a little over 6 years away.

Odds and Ends

August 18th, 2013 at 10:37 pm

My daughter, son, and I made Korean pork dumplings (Mandu) today for the first time. It took all three of us as it is time intensive but less so with all of us working, (one person to separate the wrappers, one person to put the scoop of filling on the wrapper, and one person to seal the dumplings shut with egg white), but they were fantastic and well worth it. And it's a nicely balanced little meal with pork, mirin, dark sesame oil, bean sprouts, scallions, ginger, garlic, egg, and cabbage in a goyza wrapper. Protein, veggies, and carb in one neat little package. It should have had tofu, too, but I didn't want to dry tofu, so I left it out. I should have taken pictures. Ah, well, next time I make them I will take photos and post the recipe.

I liked them even better than the ones from the Korean restaurant in our town or the Hawaiian Barbecue franchise. I can make 100 dumplings for $10 (less if I'd not used free range organic pork from the ranch). They sell for $6 for 10, so quite the cost savings there.

I received a check from the food co-op, dividends for the year of $7.43 (I think) so I will deposit that into the Emergency Fund along with all the ones I have saved tomorrow.

I am hoping I can recreate my budget spreadsheets. I don't have a current copy saved outside my other computer, but I do have my 2012 budget and should be able to extrapolate from there. I think I can figure out what money was in which category of the Holding Tank from previous blog posts, too. From now on I am seriously backing up my spreadsheets onto a flash drive every week. I feel stupid for not doing that.

I think I can get through until payday Friday with only spending $30 on food. That should leave me with a bit of money to shunt into the Emergency Fund.

I've been having troubles with Swagbucks surveys. I get all the way to the end, hit submit, and then it goes Oops, we had a problem and it's lost along with all my time and points. Very irritating. I did get Swagbucks to credit me the 150 points for the one, but they said they'd only do it the once and only because I'd spent so much time on it. The survey companies they do business with really need to get their acts together. Fortunately I was able to make the daily goal without any surveys today. I didn't need the frustration.

Meal Planning for the Week

August 18th, 2013 at 02:30 am

I am trying to get back to posting my meal plans on Sunday. I don't even think I bothered to post one last week. I did really well with cooking though. No meals out.

Tomorrow I am going to make Korean pork dumplings for the first time. I am leaving out the dried tofu though. And using savoy cabbage instead of Napa cabbage, because I am not buying a whole head of Napa when the recipe only calls for six leaves of it. At least I can easily use up the rest of a head of savoy in cole slaw. Not quite the same as green or purple cabbage but still tasty. I will also be making a new rabbit recipe that I adapted from a chicken recipe and altered to make it out of ingredients instead of a mix.

Pork dumplings

Pancakes with homemade jam
Bacon and eggs
Stir-fried green beans

Oven-fried Buttermilk Cornmeal Rabbit
Steamed zucchini and yellow summer squash
Corn on the cob

Grilled chicken
Fried potatoes
Cole slaw

Bacon cheeseburgers on homemade buns
Cole slaw

Homemade pizza with pepperoni, yellow onions, ham and bell pepper strips

Homemade rolls
Cole slaw

Rough Few Days Computerwise

August 16th, 2013 at 11:40 pm

I managed to trip and spill a full glass of water on my laptop earlier in the week. I have been in the process of drying it out with a fan while searching for my service contract which I finally did find today. Meanwhile I raided the laptop fund and bought an inexpensive laptop (will replace another one eventually, anyway).

So Windows 8 bites. It really, really bites. I hate it. I loathe it. I cannot even describe the depths of my annoyance with this super user unfriendly system. And I got to know it pretty well, because about the fifth thing I did on it after installing antivirus software and antimalware software and ad block software and Office was contract a virus.

It should not take an act of congress to figure out how to reboot a system in safe mode. It should not be difficult to find the control panel. It should not be hard to get a text list of programs to easily search through for the suspected virus. All these things can be done in Windows 8, but it takes a ton of effort and a lot of internet searching to figure out how. What was Microsoft thinking?

Whoever designed this so-called upgrade should not be allowed to have children. Their DNA should be removed from the human gene pool. Okay, maybe I am overreacting a smidgeon, but it took me two days to get rid of the bloody thing and that only happened because I did a system recovery. Thank goodness I hadn't put much on it yet.

The stupid virus was Quick Share and datasrvrs and made pop up windows that talked. Ugh. Nasty, nasty piece of work.

Then Swagbucks pulled a stupid, but they fixed it for me. Awesome customer service, but then it had better be. I was ready to quit altogether if they didn't.

I also had a meat rabbit die on Sunday, which I don't think I mentioned, so that just set my mood for the week, between weepy and angry and slightly off-kilter. It was 13 weeks old when it died. If we'd have had the time we would have harvested at 12 weeks, but things got in the way, so we are waiting until DH gets back from Alaska. It was just over 6 pounds so it was at least 3.5 pounds of meat we lost. At least it didn't appear to have suffered.

On the bright side I have done really well at cooking meals this week. We had gotten pretty bad about eating out again so I've tried hard to get back on track again this week. One of my favorite things to make is fried potatoes, but I hate peeling them raw. I also hate that it takes quite a while to cook them from raw. So I baked them in the microwave first, which makes them very easy to peel and does not require any attention on my part. Then I cut them up and fried them and it only took ten minutes. A great short-cut and I can always bake them earlier in the day if I know I will be short for time later.

Also on the bright side, all of Piper's kits have their eyes open and have ventured out of the nesting box. And all of Phoebe's kits are turning into fat little butterballs. They are having so much fun playing in the grass and going through their tunnels or jumping over them or playing king of the mountain with them. Watching them makes it hard to keep a bad mood, but then I'd come back inside and growl at my computer again.

Well, venting helped. Thanks for listening.

Emergency Fund Update

August 15th, 2013 at 10:49 am

It's Thursday so the $10 auto transfer to savings happened.

$5892.45 Old EF Amount
+__10.00 Deposit
$5902.45 New EF Amount

$97.55 to go to hit my August goal of $6000.

Pop Up Ads on Blogs?

August 14th, 2013 at 11:46 pm

Is anyone else getting pop up ads on the side of their blogs? I am trying to determine if this is something new to the site or if I just picked up a malware somewhere that just isn't being picked up by my different protection software. It could be the latter as my default search engine was changed this morning and I had to delete the AVG search. UGH.

I am about 2/3 of the way through the book Walden on Wheels. Not sure of the guy's mental state at this point, and am super annoyed at the overuse of the F-word and other certain body part references that are really unnecessary to the narrative, but all in all a pretty good read. The book is supposed to be about a guy who lives in his van while going to graduate school, but it takes more than the first half of the book to get to that point. But it is very interesting so far anyway.

Burglary Next Door

August 12th, 2013 at 08:52 pm

Someone broke into the neighbor's house while I was taking DH to the airport early this evening. I guess they had been going door to door to see who was home and broke in when they found an empty house. They stood out in this neighborhood which is mostly full of doctors, nurses, and other professional families. You don't see a lot of shaved heads (except on the retired marine) and tattoos (except on the retired marine) around here that aren't of the delicate ankle flower variety.

Of course they had aroused suspicion and we all knew the neighbors were out at the lake today (our thriving neighborhood watch gets told of most absences) so when someone saw them go into the backyard they called the police, who were here for a couple of hours. They had three cop cars and one cop SUV with a big German Shepherd. The thieves had time to gather a lot of stuff in backpacks, but when the police arrived with their K-9 unit they dropped them and ran, so it doesn't look like the neighbors lost anything. They tracked them but we never heard whether they caught them or not.

The thieves jimmied the sliding glass door. This is one reason I don't want a sliding glass door when we buy a house. They are so easy to move off their tracks. Our neighbors out at the old house also had a sliding glass door that was jimmied by thieves so I've always been wary of them.

After the airport we had gone to the library and the grocery store, so we were gone about 1.5 hours. It was disconcerting to come back home without DH and see all that police activity. I was really glad I had locked the door when we left. I don't always when Mom is home, but I had a very strong, distinct thought that I should lock it. I am glad it is cool enough tonight that we won't need to sleep with the windows open. I am also very grateful for such a strong and active neighborhood watch and that our neighbors were safe.

House Hunting Today

August 11th, 2013 at 09:52 pm

We went house hunting today and looked at three houses. One was in town, 1.35 acres, 1950 square feet beautiful four bedroom, 1.5 bath, house in good repair, Craftsman from the 1920's, big kitchen, oak floors in dining room, living room, downstairs bedrooms, slate floors in the kitchen, laundry room and bathrooms, cabinets were solid oak wood, closets were made from cedar with real wooden shelves, full unfinished basement (dry) and root cellar. House stairs to basement too difficult for me, but outdoor access to basement has less and wider stairs, they are wider, and I can easily use them. No garage, no out buildings, no garden, no fence, one apple tree. Blackberries and huckleberries in the small woods in the back. City water/sewer. Great for solar. $299,000.

The second house we looked at was 1625 square feet, three bedroom, two offices, huge kitchen, handi-capped accessible master bedroom and bathroom, 2 full bathrooms, sun room, small green house, apple and pear trees, cherry tree, a huge garden space that had gone back to grass and weeds, but I could tell by the variety that it had excellent soil. Two car garage and shop. Car port over patio. Small garden shed. 2 acres. 23 minutes from town. Septic system and private well. There were water spickets access every 25 feet. It got plenty of sunshine, but had a wooded area with some nicely shaded grass for the rabbits. It had huckleberries and blackberries in the woods. Would be great for solar and wind power. $249,000.

The third house we looked at was 20 minutes out of town the other direction. It was large, 1958 square feet, open floor plan, but turned out to be a triple wide manufactured home (though the deluxe version with sheet rock and walls that actually touch each other. Some of the interior doors were kicked in or punched. It had a large garage, overgrown vegetation, huckleberries and blackberries in the woods. Not much open land in comparison to wooded land. Would not work well for solar or a garden without a lot of clearing. Large trees near the house so branches falling in winter would be a problem and pine needles would be in the gutters constantly. 4.87 acres. Felt very isolated and dark. Neighbors 5 acres away were swearing loudly and yelling at their animals. $300,000.

House 3 is definitely a no-go, while houses 1 and 2 will stay on our list. I am leaning most heavily towards house 2 for land, but house 1 for the house itself, but we still have a long way to go with looking.

Payday Post

August 9th, 2013 at 11:53 pm

Today was payday. I sent $500 to BoA and spent $38.70 on 100 pounds of rabbit feed. I switched to a new feed (will mix with the old to prevent tummy troubles, until old is gone) that was $15.99 for a 50 pound bag plus tax instead of $25.26 a bag plus tax. This is a feed that uses no soy, no corn, and no GMO. It's about 80% organic which is the closest thing I can find to organic in anything other than a 5 pound bag. It is also milled in the next county and most of the ingredients come from my state. They mill weekly so it is pretty fresh.

I've found a few houses that I am very interested in. The front runner at the moment is a fixer upper, but not a devastatingly bad one. It just needs new paint inside and out, the deck needs to be sanded and painted, the light fixtures need updating and the carpets could do with replacing. Normally I wouldn't even look at a house like this. But the bones of the house are very good, the price is great (foreclosure), and the pond is amazing, and the acreage made me look twice. It is $260,000 for five acres and over 3500 square feet. It has outbuildings for the animals. It is about 15 minutes from town. So it is on the list for now. If it is still around when we have sold our house, we will have our contractor look at it and give us his opinion. The taxes are $4500 a year, but with a $1100 mortgage payment, they are affordable.

Not much else in the financial arena.

Another Small EF Update

August 8th, 2013 at 01:21 pm

Today was the $10 auto deposit to savings.

$5882.45 Old EF Amount
+--10.00 Amount Added
$5892.45 New EF Amount

I know some people laugh at my $10 weekly auto deposits, but these baby steps have sure brought me forward over the years.

Emergency Fund Update

August 7th, 2013 at 10:36 pm

The propane bill came today and was only $49.91. I set aside $100 a month for propane and the propane fund was at $300. So I took the excess $250.09 and transferred it to the Emergency Fund.

$5632.26 Beginning EF Amount
+_250.09 Amount Added
$5882.45 Ending EF Amount

My goal for the month of August was to get the EF to $5800, which I have now flown past, so I am revising my goal. I want to hit $6000 by the end of the month. That is $117.55 to come up with. Since there are 4 more Thursdays this month so 4 $10 auto deposits will be made to savings, making $40 of that covered.

I added $3 in ones to the coin jar today, so I have a total of $16 in ones, so that makes $56 and I only need to come up with an additional $61.55 in the next 3.5 weeks. I think that is doable.

Premera...Still Sucks

August 7th, 2013 at 09:05 pm

I don't think I've mentioned, but I've been dealing with a stomach virus since Sunday. I've been fighting with the insurance company since last Wednesday (going without my blood pressure and cholesterol meds for a week because of it, and the one that helps me walk), which makes me grumpy, vindictive, and...well, it's not a word I use but it rhymes with itchy.

I go to the doctor tomorrow, but for a sinus infection that has been reoccurring for months. I have a feeling I'm going to have to fight the insurance company on the medication I'll need, too. Because I'm resistant to Amoxicillan, Augmentin makes me barf, Biaxin gives me violent stomach cramps, generic penicillin in general gives me yeast infections, and I'm allergic to the sulfa family of drugs.

Which basically leaves me with Zithromax, which does have a generic, but then I have to take two packs in a row, not take a pack, wait five days, then take another pack. All that does is give me even more resistant sinus infections. There is a generic for Zithromax now that works fine for me, so hopefully it won't be an issue. And after all the fighting I've had to do for my medications, it turns out they are cheaper without the insurance. What the heck, Premera, you whiny, grasping, idiot company? Why are you throwing such tantrums over every bloody prescription when it turns out with you it costs $40 and without you it costs $15?

DH is going to talk to the benefit plan person (hopefully) when he gets back up there and let them know just how unhelpful Premera is being. Hopefully other folks are talking to them, too and they'll maybe ditch Premera. At this point, I'd rather go back to Aetna. Oh, and the stupid heads at Premera are sending the checks to reimburse the doctors to us in their name instead of to them even though we signed the paperwork saying to directly reimburse them. This should not surprise me from a company that listed my daughter as spouse and me as a child, but got our ages right. We are still trying to get new cards issued. Um, hello? Anyone home over there? I can't even properly describe how much I loathe this company. Although I think by now you have a good idea of it. *sighs*

Sorry to be such a grumperpotamus. I just really needed to vent. I did get my blood pressure and high cholesterol meds today. Still waiting on the one that helps me to walk.

Forgot to Do My Meal Plan for the Week

August 6th, 2013 at 12:12 pm

Well, I didn't forget to plan it. I just forgot to post it. Washington state corn is coming into the stores and I'm taking advantage of it!

Slow-cooked rabbit with leeks, onions, carrots, and celery

Rabbit Noodle Soup
Fresh crusty bread

Slow-cooked beef chuck roast
Mashed potatoes and gravy
Corn on the cob
Cole slaw

Whole roasted chicken (olive oil, basil, oregano, salt and pepper)
Baked potatoes
Corn on the cob
Cole slaw

Bacon cheeseburgers
Fried potatoes
Salad with cheese, sunflower seeds, and 1000 Island yogurt dressing

Homemade Pizza (onion, bell pepper strips, pepperoni, ham)
Corn on the cob
Birthday cake (homemade)
Salad (as above)

TexMex chicken and rice (made with leftover chicken from Thursday)
Corn on the cob
Green beans

Stupid New Insurance Bites

August 5th, 2013 at 09:04 am

I didn't think it was humanly possible to have a worse insurance than Aetna, but DH's company's new insurance, Premera, is proving me wrong. They are automatically not allowing any brand name prescription medications even though the plan covers brand name medications. They are making us get preapproval for every freaking medication that is not a generic.

I have 3 medications that I have to take the brand name drug for, one of which basically keeps me walking. I have been through every generic in the book and they either had side effects that made me ill, or simply did not do the job right. I am so tired of insurance companies who think they know better than the doctor.

Medical insurance is supposed to be a benefit, not a hoop that they expect us to jump through every time we need to refill a prescription. We bloody well pay enough for it every month, plus the $2500 deductible. Premera was supposed to take over the contract as it was, but so far they aren't. They are only covering 60% of dental exams and cleanings when it is supposed to be 100%. Even with generics, a drug that was $2.53 before is now suddenly $15. It doesn't even cost $15. The pharmacy cash price is $11.03 so that is how I had them run it. I am just so frustrated.

Now I have to run down to the doctor's office, which is pretty out of the way, and give them my new insurance card information so they can sort everything out. Or try to. And hope I don't get charged for an office visit. Grr.

Coin Jar Update

August 3rd, 2013 at 11:16 pm

I added $2.95 to the coin jar today with the eventual destination of the EF. I also found a penny yesterday.

New Fund Totals

August 3rd, 2013 at 11:08 pm

$400.00 Property Tax Fund
__19.00 Dues Fund
_300.00 Propane Fund
_500.00 Hawaii 2018 Fund
_505.21 Appliance Fund (Freezer)
_444.11 January Money
_600.00 College Fund
_700.00 Laptop Fund (DH Replacement)
1000.00 Laptop Fund (DD)
_400.00 Christmas Fund
$4868.32 Total Funds in Funds

And I also have $19 and $72 set aside for garbage and water/sewer which are paid every two months.

Payday Accounting, Ranch Trip, and Family Reunion

August 3rd, 2013 at 11:01 pm

I paid the majority of the bills for the month from this paycheck and sent money to all of the funds. I need to create two new funds though. One for the transfer fee when we sell our house (in case we are the ones who have to pay it and not the new buyers) and one for the Thanksgiving turkey. Don't laugh. Organic pastured turkeys are expensive.

We went down to the ranch today and bought meat. We ended up with 4 beef chuck roasts, 1 pork shoulder roast, 8 pork chops, 1 bottle of their seasoning (which they threw in for free) and 18 pounds of hamburger for $300. They had some stewing hens for $7 each and I was really tempted, because old hens make the best broth, but I decided I'd rather spend that money on hamburger. And I knew I'd be making rabbit stock on Monday anyway.

We also went to a family reunion for a few hours before going to the ranch. It was okay. It's DH's mother's side of the family. Not too many people showed up this year. I got to see how big some of the babies have gotten and one of the cousins is pregnant. I was kind of bored because the people I usually talk to weren't there.

We swung by the house since it was sort of on the way back home. It's rather gorgeous inside, but...but, but, but, the stuff that was supposed to get done today did not get done. The new gutters are not up, the shed and play structure still have not been painted and the touch ups on the porch and on two of the outside walls where other paint colors show up haven't been done. I don't even think any of them worked today. *sighs* I will be so glad when this is really over. It was supposed to be done today. Not even close.

Anyway, here's the money out for this payday:

$1000.00 to BoA (will pay more next week)
__300.00 to Mom for August utilities
___24.05 Electric (Old House)
___44.87 Phone (Old House)
___72.56 Internet
___19.00 Garbage (Holding Tank)
__100.00 Hawaii 2018 Fund
___19.00 HoA Dues (Old House, Holding Tank)
__100.00 Property Tax Fund (Holding Tank)
__225.00 Monthly Family Chiropractic Care
__100.00 Propane Fund (Old House, Holding Tank)
__100.00 College Fund
__100.00 Appliance Fund
__100.00 Christmas Fund
__100.00 Laptop Fund
__300.00 Beef Fund
__100.00 Cash for week
___40.00 Allowances
__757.82 Car payment (plus extra)
$3602.30 Total Money Out

I feel like we are really staying on top of things right now. I will still need to buy some produce, but we shouldn't need to buy meat for 6 to 8 weeks. I don't envision any other spending this next week.

Emergency Fund Update

August 1st, 2013 at 05:38 pm

Today was the day of the $10 auto deposit to savings, so I added that to my Emergency Fund. I also added the interest from my C1-360 account of $4.22.

$5618.14 Old EF Amount
+__14.22 Deposit and Interest Added
$5632.26 New EF Amount

My goal for the EF for August is $5800. I have $167.64 to go.

This and That

August 1st, 2013 at 03:09 pm

On Monday I added $6.08 to the coin jar. Yesterday I added $2.55.

Yesterday we bought 2 bales of horse quality hay and a 50 pound bag of feed for the rabbits. We also bought three feeder dishes to attach to the tractors for the various sets of kits and one of the 32 ounce glass water bottles since they had one in. And we bought a tunnel for the littlest kits. I can't find my receipts, DH might have them, but we spent close to $85.

We got takeaway yesterday from the Polynesian place, so that was $33.85.

I got gas on Tuesday, $50.00. (It shuts off automatically at $50, and I didn't want to go inside to further authorize my credit card). We haven't spent that much on gas this summer at all. This is the first time I think I've filled up since June.

Yesterday I got a prescription for $11.03.

And I think that covers all of the spending this week.