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Birthdays Behind Us and Surgery Ahead

September 1st, 2018 at 09:03 pm

Well, we've made it through the glut of August birthdays and now I don't have to worry about any until mine in February. Now the money that will be funneled into the Holidays/Birthdays Envelope will go towards Christmas, at least through to December. Right now it has $100 in it. My budget for Christmas is $500, so I just need to save $100 a month to meet that.

I don't think we are going to go to the ranch for our turkey this year. I think I am going to go to the young man we buy our chickens from instead. We seldom go to the ranch anymore as the gas is a little too expensive. If I have a rabbit to sell we will go, but that is it lately. We just really need to stick to our budget and that includes gas money, so going to someone in our own county instead of the next one over saves us a half a tank of gas. Our gas budget is $100 a month and I don't really want to go over that.

It's official that there will be no more overtime on this particular project, so I don't know if we will be able to make progress on the debt payoff in September.
I mean we'll be able to do the $500, but I don't think anything beyond that. This project is wrapping up, though, and then there will be the next one which might have some OT.

This next paycheck will be the first one with everything being taken out of it, but without any OT on it, so I will be able to see what the real base paycheck looks like. I have numbers pretty close to it, but I'd like to have the exact ones. It's the accounting nerd in me.

DH and I have to go through and allocate our 401K money to one of the plans, so that is on the agenda for tomorrow. I hope there is one without bonds in it, because I don't feel like bonds are worth it at this stage of the game. If not something like only 10% in bonds would be good. I wish there were more options, like with the IRA, where we could pick each mutual fund that we want, but there should be something decent in their choices. Most plans have at least one option that is for good growth.

We also need to finish going through our IRA. We only have 2 of the four funds picked out that we want, so it is sitting in those for now. It just takes time to research the funds and we haven't had much of a chance to sit down and look while he has been working all of that OT.

Our new insurance cards have not arrived yet. I hope they do soon as DD has an appointment with the opthamologist on the 4th, DS has a physical on the 6th, and I have a dentist appointment on the 11th. I have never had an insurance card not be here the week before the insurance kicks in so I am starting to get nervous it won't be here before we need to use it.

In fact, I can guarantee it won't be here in time for the 4th since there won't be any mail on Monday. Here appointment is at 3:30, so there is a chance the mail will come before that, but it doesn't always. It depends on if it is our regular carrier or a sub. DH will have to email the details so I can at least give the doctor's office the info that will be on the cards.

September and October are going to be full of appointments. Not just for my immediate family, but my mother has her surgery on the 19th and then the following week starts PT three times a week for two weeks and then twice a week for several weeks after that and I have to drive her, at least for six weeks. She is having her other knee done. This is her left knee so she will be able to drive sooner, supposedly.

I am still annoyed with her for refusing to go to a nursing home to recover for two weeks. She knows how difficult it is on me to take care of her and my daughter is in no shape to help. My husband is taking off the second half of the day the Friday she comes home so he'll be around for the first few days when she's at her worst, but after that I'm on my own. I barely make it through the day taking care of myself and my disabled daughter, but she doesn't care how much of a load it adds and it frustrates me.

This is her third surgery in a year's time and I wouldn't be surprised if she doesn't try to slip the other shoulder in before the year is up and her doctor retires. I swear I will have a nervous breakdown if she does. If one of my sisters would help it would be manageable, but nope. It would interfere with their lives too much. Even the one who actually lives here in town. I just really wish she would have had them all done at once and gone to nursing home to get better. It would have been a lot less stressful.

At least this time I will have my diet in order. I just hope taking care of her doesn't make me stress eat. But right now I am firmly in control and I am determined to stay that way. I have lost 15 pounds and she is not blowing this for me. I won't let myself get derailed again no matter how crazy she makes me.

A Nice Christmas

December 26th, 2017 at 10:25 am

We had a very pleasant Christmas this year. The reason being was that we did not spend any of it with SIL or her daughters. We hosted at our house and had my mother, mother-in-law, and my eldest sister over. For dinner I made one of our hams from the whole hog we had butchered a couple months ago. It was fantastic.

To go with it we had from scratch mashed potatoes, homemade ham gravy, homemade cloverleaf rolls, my home grown and canned green beans, some Thrive Life corn, and for the deserts we had sugar cookies, chocolate chip cookies, milk chocolate fudge, and my mother made an apple pie with the apple pie filling she canned this summer. If you have never made ham gravy before, you should. It is fantastic. Very savory. Well, that is if you have a picnic ham. NOT if you have a sweet glazed ham.

I received 2 cold frames for the garden and I am so excited about it. They look very well designed and it will be so nice to have a season extender device that I don't have to remove and replace plastic every time I want to get something out. This should allow me to grow lettuce year round or at least 10 months out of the year. With the two foot high raised beds, they don't freeze like they would being in the ground, but if it gets cold enough they will freeze eventually.

My MIL gave me a garlic chopper so I don't hurt my skin again the next time I make garlic powder from scratch. I like gadgets. She also gave me $100. She had meant to buy me an Instant Pot or an Air Fryer, but she ran out of time. Of course, now I have the money in hand, I kind of want to save it. I won't, because I really want an Instant Pot.

It didn't snow, for which I am grateful. I so dislike snow when we have to drive in it and DH had to fetch his mom and take her home so he was driving. I just don't like adding slipping on ice to the drunks that are usually driving home from Christmas activities. Not a good combination.

Friday and Saturday we spent working on clearing out our storage unit. We are about half done and it took several pick up loads to do it. We are going to rent a u-haul for Saturday and Sunday so we can be out by the end of the month. They are not making us give the required notice if we are out by then because of the leak in the roof. We moved as much as we did with DH's dad's pick-up, which will be our pick-up as soon as all the will stuff is finalized. It will be weird being a two car family again.

There are so many toys in there. I found a box of Barbies that will go to my great niece and there are several boxes of stuffed animals. We need to find a place to donate the majority of those, too. I don't know if Good Will will take stuffed animals. I am wondering if the domestic violence shelter or the Agape House will. Agape House is a women and children's homeless mission shelter. My mom says if nothing else to hang on to them until next Halloween and she will hand them out instead of candy! I like that idea, but not the idea of continuing to store them all so we'll see.

There are several boxes of linens as well from beds we don't have the size of anymore, queens and twins. I know Good Will will take those, but I think the animal shelter will, as well, although the latter might just be towels and blankets and not sheets. They use the towels in washing the animals and the blankets to give them a soft spot to lay on.

There are a few boxes of papers that need to be shredded and old magazines. I am thinking about taking my portable power station and my shredder to the unit and shredding the papers there as opposed to bringing them back home to do it. But it is so cold I'd also have to take the heater as well. So maybe not.

Either way, I need to get those taken care of while DH is at work today so we have more space to put things. These units are not as tall as the other one so we can't stack as high in them. They also have a sprinkler system and we can't stack against those either. It'll all fit once we winnow out the stuff that shouldn't be in there anymore.

I think we should be able to clear about 10 big Rubbermaid totes that way and then we can take some of the stuff that is in boxes and transfer them to the totes. I prefer the totes since they are waterproof and stand up better to stacking than cardboard.

Well, I best quit wasting time on the internet and get to work.

Goodish News and Thanksgiving Plans

November 21st, 2017 at 11:10 pm

DH got the job he interviewed for. It is only a three month job, though, hence the goodish but not full-on good part. He will start in two weeks. I figure if it gets us through February, then we'll have our tax return to live on for a while. There is a possibility they would keep him on for other jobs after that. Someone had told him before he left the slope that there would probably be a job for him in April. Probably and possibly are not something I hang my hat on, though.

He will make enough for us to do pretty well for 3 months, and I will bank as much as I can. We'll still be living with austerity measures, though I will start paying the kids an allowance again once we get a paycheck and we will have a small Christmas after all. He hasn't run the numbers yet, he's waiting on one piece of info about medical deductions so he can give me pretty precise data. Then I can make up a preliminary budget and know more firmly where we stand.

We should get his first unemployment check tomorrow and there will be at least one more. We are putting that money in the bank. If we have to, we will use it for COBRA. If not, we will use it for living expenses.

I still don't feel very secure about the future, but at least I have something of a plan for the next several months. Prayers for something longer term and more secure would still be appreciated, though. I am so glad we don't owe anything to any creditors. I can't even imagine the state I would be in if we did. Well, absolute panic, probably.

I got my first commission check from Thrive Life. Well, I haven't actually gotten it yet, but it is there once I send for it. It's $13. Not much yet. I make about 2.5 times that with youtube each month. But I won't turn it away. Right now they are having their Black Friday sale through the 27th, so a lot of stuff is marked down. I wasn't going to order much, but now that there is an income that will be coming in, I will make one big order and then drop down to $50 a month minimum for consultants, which we easily use. I just want to take advantage of their sale prices for meat now.

I have some interest from some cousins and other family members, so we'll see if that amounts to anything. We are going out to my MIL's house tomorrow for a Thanksgiving meal that I won't be cooking. My niece, who works for a catering company and is going to school to become a home economics teacher, will be making everything but the turkey. MIL knows how to do a turkey, but DH is going out to help her around noon to get it in since she can't lift it and then coming back home.

We will all go out after we put the ducks away for the night, which is at sundown. It works out nicely because SIL (I don't know if her boyfriend is coming or not) and other niece's fiance don't get off work until 5:00 and sundown is 4:30, so the kids will have a chance to get washed up and changed and we will probably still get there before anyone else besides niece and MIL. Assuming I feel good enough. I am on the upswing, but I am still weak and exhausted.

Then we will be making our own Thanksgiving dinner my way on Thursday with an organic free range turkey, organic mashed potatoes and gravy, and my homemade stuffing, plus my home canned green beans and corn. I think I will skip the pumpkin cheesecake this year and do a chocolate cream pie the easy way, graham cracker crust, chocolate pudding, and whipped cream, but only if I feel ambitious. Which I don't, at the moment, so maybe no desert at all. We'll see.

Thanksgiving with No Drama

November 24th, 2016 at 11:50 am



I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving this year. We are staying home as we did last year and looking forward to a day of peace. My MIL and FIL are going to her brother's house. I don't care what my SIL is doing. My one sister never spends turkey day with anyone but her husband and kids. My other sister will probably stop by in the evening, but otherwise it will be just us and my mom.

I'm so tired of the extended family drama caused by DH's sister and I'm just not willing to put up with it anymore at Thanksgiving and I'm starting to feel that way about Christmas. She's making things so hard on her parents this year and quite frankly, she's always made things hard on us. Every holiday we've spent with them turned into a screaming match between her and her now ex-husband, her and one of her daughters, or her and whatever random guy she brought to Christmas each year after the divorce even if they'd only been dating for 3 weeks, until DH and I put our feet down several years ago about not bringing random men to Christmas. That didn't stop the fighting between her and her kids, but it kept the stranger element away.

DH's sister is having a fit apparently because we said this would be a good year to stop exchanging gifts with her since DH is out of work still and we don't have an income. She now has a grandchild and a new generation to focus on and DH doesn't have a job. She can funnel her money there and not worry about us anymore. She consistently gives us stuff we don't want, have specifically asked her to stop giving us, and can't use due to allergies and she knows it and ends up with it because of it. So really she's just buying it for herself anyway. The kicker is, she often manages to find a way to have FIL pay for it than never reimburses him.

My sisters and I stopped exchanging gifts 20 years ago. My mother and I about five years ago, other than a token. It's not like we're singling her out. But she's just being so selfish about this. This is the same woman who expected her parents to pay her mortgage for her when she lost her job and couldn't work for 2 months due to losing her credentials (she got them back, it was a wrongful termination), and totally lost it and didn't talk to them for 6 weeks when they didn't.

Even though her father is going through chemotherapy, is retired, and needs every cent to pay for the frequent trips to Seattle for treatment and his own mortgage and bills and food. They don't have extra. She had access to a HELOC, but her parents have always bailed her out before. She's tried to get us to pay her mortgage before in the past, too, right after trading in her car for a newer one she didn't need, and other questionable financial choices. We refused. The woman doesn't know how to pay money back to family.

It didn't occur to her that the circumstances her parents are in have changed since the last time and that they don't have the money to do that anymore. Oh, the fit she pitched about that. DH had to really go after her on that because she couldn't believe they didn't have the money.

And she's been stealing from his parents. They made the mistake of putting her name on one of their credit cards. Fortunately it only has a $2000 limit. The point of the card was so that when FIL was first recovering from surgery and DH was still working in Alaska, SIL could use the card to go pick things up at the grocery store for them or to pick them up food at a restaurant or to pick up prescriptions, at least until he could drive again. MIL doesn't drive anymore.

Turns out that she'd go to the grocery store and she'd buy their groceries and her groceries at the same time, on FIL's card. She'd go pick them up fast food, but she'd get food for herself and her daughter and eat it first before bringing them their now cold food from the restaurant. She'd go pick up a prescription at the pharmacy, but she'd slip some other items onto the bill. FIL sent her in to pick up some undershirts for him and she ended up buying herself several tops and her daughter a couple of pairs of jeans.

So the credit card is now maxed out and FIL is keeping it that way for now. DH and I agree they have to get the card back and take SIL off it, so hopefully DH can convince them. FIL is capable of driving now, DH is home when he's not, and heck, I'll take him, if it comes to that. I think FIL will be easy to convince. It's MIL who always gives in to SIL.

Though I think after the most recent stuff she might be finally seeing clearly. The latest was she finally called them the other night saying she was going to pick up something to eat and asking her if they wanted her to pick them up anything. But it was clear from her message that what she really wanted to know was if there was room on that credit card so she could use it to pay for her own meal and incidentally bring them by some food. FIL and MIL were asleep and didn't answer the phone.

I'm really at the point where I just don't want to have Christmas with her at all this year. Neither do the kids and I flat out asked DH and he said no, not really, but he was worried about how his folks would take it. I said we can still see his folks, just on our own. Two of the grandchildren are adults now, one with a child of her own. His parents will have to get used to the changes now anyway. And if we end up moving to Kentucky or Kansas we won't be coming back for holidays at all.

Payday Report

November 13th, 2015 at 11:39 am

$2044.59 BOA Visa
___55.25 Garbage
__197.67 Christmas Fund
__300.00 Meat from the Farm
__200.00 Groceries
___50.00 Allowances
------------------------
$2847.51 Total Out

I probably won't spend all of that $200 this week since I just bought groceries yesterday. I just have one or two things to pick up that weren't at the other store.

The Visa was high this month because I had DH purchase all of his holiday travel tickets last month. Waiting too close to his travel dates at this time of year would mean his plane tickets would cost double of normal. So he bought 3 tickets on that month's Visa instead of the usual 1. Fortunately we are at a place in the budget where I was able to absorb that without too much of a blip.

I misplaced the Comcast bill for out internet. I need to find it. It's not due until the 21st. If I can't find it by the 18th, we will go in person and pay it. It is out near the airport and I'll be picking DH up that day so it won't be an extra trip. Usually I pay it at the start of the month, but as I had to pay some doctor bills then, I decided to wait until closer to the due date.

I never set it up to pay online as they charged a fee for online payments. I don't know if they still do now that online paying is becoming a norm, but the last thing I wanted to do was give them extra money. Plus I really didn't want them having the ability to just take money out of my account or off my card. I've heard too many horror stories about that company to let them have carte blanche.

I'll get it figured out, though. And look some more for the bill. It's got to be around here somewhere.

Christmas Fund is Fully Funded

November 13th, 2015 at 11:23 am

$752.33 Starting Balance
+197.67 Deposit Added
---------------------
$950.00 New Balance

It feels good to have that out of the way. Now I can start my Christmas shopping and get it done with well in advance. I pick up our heritage turkey tomorrow for Thanksgiving. I included that in the Christmas Fund as I didn't really want to have two separate ones listed here for such a small thing. I call it the Christmas Fund, but I guess it is really the Holiday Fund.

Christmas Fund Update

November 12th, 2015 at 11:26 am

$743.33 Starting Balance
+_10.00 Weekly Deposit
-----------------
$753.33 Ending Balance

$197.67 to go.

Christmas Fund and Holiday Prep

November 6th, 2015 at 02:47 pm

$662.33 Starting Balance
+_81.00 (Egg Money, Farm Sales, Coin Jar)
-----------------
$743.33 Ending Balance

$206.67 to go.

This weekend I will go to pick up my Thanksgiving turkey and pay the balance, so I'll deduct that amount from my end goal once I know what it is. I should have this account fully funded by November 20th. Then I can get to work actually buying the Christmas presents and have it done hopefully by the beginning of December.

The kids already know what they want. I want to get a strum stick and perhaps a small TV and DVD player for the bedroom. We don't have a TV anymore and I do get a little tired of watching DVD's on the computer. I think DH knows what he wants. Then it'll just be shopping for MIL and FIL, SIL, and one niece, since the other is now 20 and has aged out of our buying gifts. We don't exchange with my mother.

I think I'd like to have a small tree this year, and maybe a wreath for our door, but we'll see. It is hard to have a tree when we only have 1000 square feet of space and most of it is otherwise occupied.

CF Update

November 5th, 2015 at 03:25 pm

$652.33 Starting Balance
+_10.00 Weekly Deposit
-----------
$662.33 New Balance

$287.67 to go.

C1-360 Interest to the Christmas Fund

November 1st, 2015 at 09:38 pm

$620.84 Starting Balance
+_31.49 Interest Added
----------------
$652.33 New Balance

$297.67 to go. This is moving along nicely.

And Another CF Update

October 29th, 2015 at 06:56 pm

$610.84 Starting Balance
+_10.00 Weekly Deposit
----------------
$620.84 New Balance

$329.16 to go. I think I will have this fully funded by the end of November.

Christmas Fund Update

October 28th, 2015 at 04:19 pm

$555.84 Starting Balance
+_55.00 Deposit (Egg Money, Coin Jar)
---------------
$610.84 New Balance

$339.16 left to go.

Christmas Fund Update

October 24th, 2015 at 01:19 pm

$455.84 Starting Balance
+100.00 Deposit Added
-----------------
$555.84 New Balance

$394.16 to go.

Christmas Fund Update

October 22nd, 2015 at 11:32 am

$445.84 Starting Balance
+_10.00 Weekly Deposit
--------------------
$455.84 New Balance

$494.16 to go. I'm almost to the halfway point.

Now I need to go and recreate my budget spreadsheets. *sighs* I've been putting it off, but can't do that any longer.

Christmas Fund Update

October 15th, 2015 at 11:40 pm

$435.84 Starting Balance
+_10.00 Weekly Deposit
-------------------
$445.84 New Balance

It looks like DH may be getting some overtime, so I may have this fully funded by the end of the month. That would be nice.

Christmas Fund Update

October 8th, 2015 at 01:55 pm

$345.84 Starting Balance
+_10.00 Weekly Deposit
+_67.00 Rabbit Money
+_13.00 Coin Jar Money
---------------------
$435.84 New Balance

$514.16 left to hit my goal of $950 (revised down from $1000 since I put a $50 deposit down for my turkey).

Farm Sales

October 3rd, 2015 at 11:50 pm

I earned $67 today selling a rabbit to the lady at the farm we buy meat from sometimes. I also spent $204 buying bacon and pork chops. We got quite a bit of it. Part of the $204 was that we put down a $50 deposit on our turkey to be picked up 11/14.

The rabbit money will go into the Christmas Fund, but I'll also be able to lower the fund goal to $950 since I already spent $50 on the turkey. I also need to track down another heritage turkey for the holidays, since I couldn't raise any this year. I think we definitely will next year, though.

Christmas Fund Update

October 1st, 2015 at 02:25 pm

$254.81 Starting Balance
+_29.50 C1-360 Interest
+__0.20 WE CU Interest
+_51.33 WECU Interest
+_10.00 Weekly Deposit
----------------------------
$345.84 New Balance

$654.16 to go to hit my goal of $1000.

More to the Christmas Fund

September 25th, 2015 at 03:57 pm

$186.81 Starting Balance
+_68.00 Deposit (Egg Money, Coin Jar, Surveys)
---------------------
$254.81 New Balance

$745.19 to go.

Christmas Fund

September 24th, 2015 at 07:07 pm

$176.81 Starting Balance
+_10.00 Weekly Update
--------------------
$186.81 New Balance

$813.19 to go.

I haven't been posting much. I've been sick. I'm still sick. My biggest symptom is exhaustion. Low grade fever, mildly stuffy, a little bit of a scratchy throat. As colds go it isn't miserable, I just can't get to the point where I am not tired. The first few days I slept constantly. Now I just wish I could. Hopefully it will pass soon. It feels a lot like mono, but I had that as a kid and it is my understanding you cannot get it twice.

Finances are on autopilot. We do have to do some shopping, though. DH has lost about 50 pounds and his pants are falling down. He needs a new belt, some new jeans, and some undergarments. And DS needs the same as we never did get him any at back to school time and he's grown several inches since last year. We will try to keep the spending down, though.

I need to get some new long-sleeved shirts. My old ones are too big. I want turtlenecks to protect my throat. I will probably order them from a catalog though in a variety of colors. I hate shopping for clothes.

Sometime in the next month or so we need to get a new microwave. Ugh. I also hate shopping for appliances. Actually, I just hate shopping.

Christmas Fund Update

September 17th, 2015 at 10:28 am

$136.54 Starting Balance
+_10.00 Weekly Deposit
+_10.00 Egg Sales
+__1.00 Coin Jar
+_19.27 Safe Driver Refund Check
----------------------
$176.81 New Balance

$823.19 to go to hit my goal of $1000.

I should be able to add to this a little more substantially either tomorrow or next Friday. Depends on whether or not they take the medical out of tomorrow's paycheck or the next one.

Christmas Fund Update

September 10th, 2015 at 08:56 am

$126.54 Starting Balance
+_10.00 Weekly Deposit
---------------------
$136.54 New Balance

$863.46 to go to hit my goal of $1000.

Starting next payday (9/18) I will be able to start contributing more substantially to this fund.

Another Christmas Fund Update

September 4th, 2015 at 09:41 pm

I deposited a check today from Pinecone and some money from the coin jar.

$89.85 Starting Balance
+30.00 Pinecone
+_6.50 Coin Jar
+__.19 Interest
----------------------
$126.54 New Balance

$873.46 to go.

Christmas Fund Update

September 4th, 2015 at 06:43 am

$79.85 Starting Balance
+10.00 Weekly Deposit
--------------------
$89.85 New Balance

$910.15 to go.

Very Peeved at Amazon

December 17th, 2014 at 08:19 pm

I tried to use my checking account to pay for an order on Amazon because I didn't want to use a credit card. I've done this before with no problems and there is plenty of money in the account. But they won't accept it. I wonder if it is some kind of fraud protection since it is Christmas time? I don't know, because there was no information as to why.

So I ended up using the card and will just send that amount to AMEX, but I don't like having to take that extra step, when I should have been done with it in one step. I am starting to think that these companies are going to force us to use credit cards no matter what.

EF Back to $10K!

December 12th, 2014 at 01:16 pm

Today is payday and I was able to achieve my goal of getting the EF to $10K by the end of the year. Exactly $10K.

$9676.22 Beginning Balance
+_323.78 Amount Added
---------------
10,000.00 Ending Balance

My goal for 2015 is $15K, with a mini-goal of $12K.

Between what I saved for December/January bills and today's paycheck we have $6067.22. $2100 to $2500 will go for the car. $1000 to Mom's loan. $225 to the chiropractor. The early January bills it will need to cover will be $500 or so. That leaves us with $1842.22 to cover Christmas and anything else between now and the next paycheck on January 9th. And we have $200 in grocery store gift cards. We should get by on that just fine.

The Christmas Bonus comes on the 19th or thereabouts. We have no idea of how much it is going to be and it will be mostly relegated to the EF and DH's bachelor's program.

The important thing is that despite the curve ball of the car repair, we won't have to touch the Emergency Fund to cover anything. I am so happy about that.

December Money Fund and Propane Fund

December 1st, 2014 at 12:57 pm

We had an additional $360.13 to transfer to the December Money Fund. $59.09 was what was left in the checkbook after the last pay cycle. The rest was extra money in the paycheck since DH has finally hit that point where they stop taking that one tax out for a while.

$2447.00 Beginning December Money Fund
+_360.13 Amount Added
--------------
2807.13 Ending December Money Fund

I also added $100 to the Propane Fund for the old house.

$500.00 Beginning Propane Fund
+100.00 Amount Added
---------------
$600.00 Total Propane Fund

My Thanksgiving

November 27th, 2014 at 11:07 pm

I hope your Thanksgiving was as wonderful as my homegrown one. This was the best Thanksgiving food ever and it was so great knowing how I raised and grew almost all of it.

Our feast:



My plate:



Expenses, School Concert, Work News, and T-Day

November 26th, 2014 at 07:00 pm

Yesterday I spent $166.22 to buy my son dress shoes and socks for his concert. I was very irritated that the teacher was insisting on dress shoes when I think that black tennis shoes would have been perfectly fine and definitely indistinguishable from the audience. But not having the proper attire counts against their grades. Ugh.

Unfortunately when your kid has a size 15 foot, you pretty much have to take what they have and you have to go somewhere expensive to even find a shoe size over 13. We went to a men's suit store. It was either that or Red Wings, which is more expensive. They are nice shoes and hopefully he can wear them for a while before outgrowing them. He is only 14 and since his father has a size 16 foot I can't be sure his feet won't still grow. I am sure when he does outgrow them they will be nice enough to recoop the cost a bit on e-bay, since he will only wear them to concerts.

I was also irritated that she required dark socks as well. All of my son's socks are white. The shoe and sock requirement did not come out until Monday. At the beginning of the school year all that it said was required was black pants and a dress shirt for boys and a skirt and blouse or a dress for girls. They have choir robes they wear over that anyway, so not sure why the shirt even matters, but whatever. We had plenty of time for and bought in early October.

If I had known about the shoes we could have bought online and saved some money, but there wasn't time. It was just really irritating to have an unexpected expense. Fortunately my daughter has both black flats and black boots so her footwear was covered.

The concert was okay, but it was very disorganized. The auditorium is too small for the sound system, or else the guy on the sound board just thinks that louder is better. The choirs were very good, except the poor girl who choked during her solo, as were the orchestras.

The jazz band was flat on one song and another song was the worst arrangement of Eleanor Rigby I have ever heard. Their 2nd song was really good, though, and the saxophone and trombone solos were wonderful. The percussion band was so overwhelmed by the loudness of the drums you couldn't hear the xylophones or the triangle at all. The drums seriously did not need a microphone. And the band instructor didn't know how to speak into a microphone, but had plenty to say. I've nicknamed him Mr. Mumbles.

Man, I'm grumpy. I'm still not over my illness. I think being out last night disrupted my routine and screwed with my circadian rhythm because I kept waking up all night last night. Which does not help anything ever.

I sold 2 dozen duck eggs today and so put $10 into the feed money jar. I've also given away 5 dozen eggs this week. 2 to my physical therapist, 2 to the chiropractor and one to my in-laws. Now I am down to just 18 duck eggs and 3.5 dozen chicken eggs. We will be making a couple pound cakes so that will use up a lot.

I found out from DH that he is going to be called back in early, on December 31st. So we have gone from 5 weeks with no pay to just 22 days with no pay. Way, way better, we won't have to touch the Emergency Fund at all, and I don't think we will need to touch the Christmas bonus either to cover the time off. That takes so much pressure off me right now. And it means I will definitely hit my $10K by the end of the year in the EF! We also don't have to be quite so tight with Christmas, thank goodness.

Tomorrow should be a much better day than today. A nice low-key Thanksgiving with the organic turkey we raised and butchered ourselves, potatoes we raised ourselves, green beans we raised ourselves, and homemade stuffing from homemade bread and homemade pie. It's a very self-sufficient meal and that feels really neat.

Trying to Figure Out Christmas and Some Rabbitry Stuff

November 23rd, 2014 at 02:25 pm

Now that I know that the 4 to 5 weeks without pay is taken care of, I need to turn my thoughts to Christmas and figuring out what I'm going to do about it. I've already told the kids we have a lower limit this year on how much we are spending. Usually we spend about $150 per kid, but this year it is $100. I'm pretty sure it'll just be videogames, that's usually all they want, though I may get the daughter some jewelry or something off etsy.

I know that I want a new breadmaker and a new purse, but the purse may wait until my birthday in February. If I can repair my old purse one more time, I think I can make it that long. I want season 7 of The Big Bang Theory, but I'm pretty sure my in-laws will get me that. Otherwise there is nothing else I really want or need, except a couple of metal dropping pans for two of the rabbit cages and that isn't really a Christmas present sort of thing.

I don't now what my husband wants. He usually takes care of himself, though.

MIL collects carousel horses and FIL collects nutcrackers so I usually try to find them some unique ones on etsy. Last year I found a stamped tin carousel music box and a steampunk nutcracker that were so cool.

I don't know if DH has talked to his sister about not exchanging gifts this year or not, but eldest niece there has aged out anyway. We stop giving gifts after high school. So that leaves youngest niece and SIL if we do need to give gifts. J is pretty easy to shop for. SIL we usually just give a gift card, but it's not going to be near as high as the last 2 years this year. We usually give her $200 on a Target since she is below the poverty level, and that way she can buy stuff for household use for a while. She's good at making it last a few months. But we can't afford to help her out like that this year.

We don't exchange gifts on my side of the family. My sisters and I quit years ago, and my mother quit for anyone not a grandkid or great grandkid about 4 years ago. So my side is easy.

I am trying to distract myself today. We lost Sienna last night, our nicest red doe rabbit. She broke her back. That is very easy for a rabbit to do if they get too hyper and jump around a lot. She was pretty hyper having her cage to herself again after weaning the kits. It was so sad and like a punch in the gut to go out there and see her like that. I will really miss her.


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