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Grocery Ad Lull, Endocrinologist, and Wal*Mart Trip

July 24th, 2018 at 06:40 pm

Well, this is the second week in a row where I have gone through the grocery ads in preparation for my Friday shopping and only found one thing that was worth buying. Last week was a milk sale and this week is a beef roast sale. Since I am not sure when we will get down to the farm to buy more beef, I will probably stop into Safeway for the meat deal and for the organic milk, lettuce (mine has bolted), and radishes, but the rest of my shopping will be at Winco. The other stores are just so high priced when there is not a good sale going on.

Things went well at the endocrine doctor. He has ordered more specific blood tests, checking individual hormone levels. The took 5 of the large vials of blood. DD was a little woozy afterwards, as she hadn't eaten in case they needed fasting bloodwork, so I got her some onion rings from the last of my blow money. I get more on Friday, though, so that is okay.

We stopped at Wal*Mart as well and I got two packages of white wash cloths. They had product shrinkage though. Used to be those were 12 packs. Now they are 9 packs. It has gotten so hot here that we all need to wipe down during the day at least twice. It's too expensive to keep hopping in the shower every couple of hours! So having a big stack of wash cloths will be very helpful for quick, icy cold sweat relief. I had 12 white ones that were just for me, but I use those on my face morning and evening and the others kept stealing them even though they have their own color codes ones. Now maybe I can keep up.

I also bought a couple of cheap notebooks for budgeting and meal planning since the back to school sales have started. I'll probably get a few more in the coming weeks, but two was sufficient for now. It took me forever to find college ruled, but I did. I also got an accordian file for my daughter to keep her medical records in and a dry eraser for the white board. I also got DD some gum. I spent $20.83 out of the household envelope.

I really should have picked up tissues while we were there, but I totally forgot we needed them by the time we got there. So they will be on Friday's shopping list. I'll probably just stop into Kmart, though, because it is closer. Wal*Mart is a ways out, but it is near the endocrine doctor. I don't like making special trips just to go there.

I don't want to make dinner. It is so hot. But I really don't want sandwiches two nights in a row, either. Maybe I will make fajitas in the Instant Pot. Then at least I won't be heating up the house further. Man, I wish we had A/C.

I had to go change the ducks' water around four today as it had gotten so hot they couldn't drink it. I moved it further into the shade and they were so happy to get cold water. They all splashed around in it and then I filled them again and they drank it. Then they all waddled off in their little line to hide out under the raspberries where it is cooler.

I feel bad for the rabbits with their fur coats, but they all have an individual fan attached to the front of their cages and they are hanging out directly in front of them and seem to be doing fine. I'll have to watch them closely if we crack the next temperature decade. Or whatever you call groupings of ten when it is temperature.

Mattress Shopping and Medical Things

July 10th, 2018 at 05:45 pm

DD and I went mattress shopping today. We found a mattress and originally it was going to cost us $763, but we ended up getting it for $740, because the guy did not have any cash in the store. I had 10 $100 bills to pay for it and he asked if I had any other money. He asked if I had any twenties. Well, I had a twenty in my allowance envelope and I twenty in my household envelope so I told him I had two 20's. He didn't ask if I had any other money, which I did, but I wasn't going to volunteer it to see what he would do. So he ended up giving it to us for $740. Salesmen know that if you walk out of the store without buying they may not get you back in the door again.

He said usually he has cash in the store, but everyone who bought mattresses today paid in cash. He's so used to everyone paying by credit card or financing, that the small amount of cash he keeps on hand was wiped out. He even checked his wallet! It's his store so he can do that.

I wonder what he would have done if I hadn't had it. Maybe he would have knocked it down to $700. Maybe I should have hemmed and hawed, but I felt like $23 off was a nice discount already and I did have lower bills, even if I did have to rob another envelope. Now I will have to straighten that out, but I will have to break one of the $100's before I do.

We used some of the $5000 MIL gave us to make this purchase. DD has been having major back issues on the garbage bed she's been using. Hopefully the new bed will improve things. I know it did for me and for my son when we got new mattresses in the last couple of years.

We got a call from the endocrinologists office and they are getting DD in on the 24th of July. It was their first available emergency appointment and she's on a wait list for if someone cancels. Usually it takes 3 to 4 months to get into this guy, but after he looked at her test results he wanted to get her in quickly, hence the "emergency" appointment.

So even though no one has actually explained the test results to us yet, they are clearly significant. From what we were able to decipher online from our copy of the report, there is stuff wrong with her pituitary, her adrenals, and then of course the hypothyroidism. So two weeks and maybe she can start getting proper treatment for everything and maybe she can start functioning as a human being again.

Two weeks feels like a long time right now, but in medical time it is very fast. If I had gotten the message a little sooner we would have been able to get her in tomorrow, but between the time the front desk guy called and she called back it had been filled. Oh, well.

I have surgery on my toe tomorrow anyway. I am having the toenail root killed on the inside of my big toe because of all the reoccurring ingrown toenails I get. I've had one of the smaller ones done, and it destroys a small sliver of the nail bed so that the toenail just doesn't grow back along that part. It has worked wonders for the other toe. So I will likely be out of commission around here for a day or so and then be limping along for a few days before it is fine again. They do cut out the portion of the nail that has already grown, so that is why it'll mess me up for a bit.

Maybe tomorrow I'll give in and do take out. We have enough money right now to do so, I've just been holding on to it. If it is intentional spending I feel okay about it. It's the "I'm too tired or too lazy to cook," that is the problem. Not a planned for take out meal. We'll see how I feel once the lidocaine wears off.

Grocery Spending Tracking

June 1st, 2018 at 05:49 pm

DS and I did the banking this morning and I funded my envelopes. I put $200 in the Grocery envelope and $50 in the Household envelope. I put $200 into the Medical checking account and took out $35 for DS's allowance. DD is not getting one as she is doing no chores while recovering from surgery.

After that DS and I went shopping. In the Household category I spent $19.54 on dishwasher soap. It was a very good sale. In the Grocery category I spent $159.66. I still need to buy tissues and body wash from the Household and yogurt and soup from the Grocery categories. I may get some butter, too, yet, but that depends on how fast we go through what we have. I am hoping to push the butter off another week.

Groceries I bought at Safeway:

4 Miracle Whip
2 lbs organic tomatoes
4 boxes organic spaghetti
2 boxes organic penne pasta
12 Chef Boyardee Mini-Ravioli
6 organic Nectarines
1 cantaloupe
2 Jif naturals creamy peanut butter
1 Justin's honey peanut butter (for DS)
4 organic ketchup
1 2 lb bag Mexi-Blend shredded cheese
2 potato bread
2 dynamite bread
1 Thousand Island dressing
4 jars Prego pasta sauce
3 1/2 gallons of milk

I spent $117.61 there. Almost everything I bought there was on sale. Only the milk, bread, and Jif peanut butter was full price.

What I bought at Haggen:

3 lbs organic grapes
1 organic cauliflower
5 lbs organic broccoli
1 bunch cilantro
1 yellow summer squash
1 container shredded Parmesan cheese

I spent $42.05 there. The only thing on sale was the grapes. The other items were cheaper at Haggen then at Safeway, though. Now I need to sit down and make up my meal plan.

Grocery and Household Planning

May 31st, 2018 at 02:16 pm

I went through my freezer to decide what kind of meats I want to build my meals around this pay period and checked on my levels of onions, potatoes, carrots, celery, and sweet potatoes (all still good), and then I sat down with my price book spreadsheet and the grocery ads and filled things in around what I already have plus any super sales for staples I want to get.

I wrote everything out on a master shopping list divided into different stores and I put the prices of everything down and added them up. I am under budget with enough left to get milk or bread if we run out later in the week.

Safeway is having a very good sale on Cascade dishwasher soap. I need some, but the sale is $5.49 each if you buy 4 or more, so I am going to go ahead and buy 4. I like having a stockpile and I have $12 left in the household budget, so with payday's $50 added, I'll have $62. I also need to buy my son's body wash and some Puffs tissues, likely a 6 pack. I went through a ton of tissues with this cold. How much body wash I buy will depend on the cost of the Puffs, but I would like to stock up a little.

With the extra $12 I can easily absorb the cost of the extra dishwasher soap into the Household envelope. Unlike with food, I have to account for sales tax of 8.7% in the Household budget. Next week I will be buying more toilet paper (I like to have 2 cases on hand) and deodorant. Something else may crop up, but so far the $50 a week seems to be covering it all.

Tracking our expenses so closely is making me feel an enormous amount of freedom. I know that we will meet all of our bills and have enough extra to pay some on the Monster Mom Loan. I don't feel nearly as overwhelmed now that I know where every dollar goes. I am looking forward to tomorrow when I can fund my envelopes. It is good to have focus again and realize there is a way out if we keep our eyes on our goals.

Pleased with Purchase

September 24th, 2017 at 09:59 am

After a lot of looking, and I mean a lot, I finally found a new cross body purse. So many purses just have handles and I hate that, because most of the time I need to have both hands free and I am not the type of person who is comfortable just putting my purse in the front of a shopping cart. I like it on me where it is less likely to get snatched.

I was looking for something in the teal to blue family, similar to my broken one. I couldn't find anything online that I liked. Well, there were some concealed carry cross body bags that I did like, but they were a little ostentatious for my personal taste. I do not, at this time, conceal carry, so it didn't seem all that practical for me.

I looked through several stores at the mall when we were there for my son's job interview, like J.C. Penney, Kohl's, Torrid, H&M, and a few others but ended up going to Macy's and finding one there. I hate going into Macy's because of all the perfume and they are pretty overpriced for my budget. Not Nordstrom's level of overpriced, but still.

I found two purses that I really liked, but one was $200, real leather with turquoise, lots of tooling, but no. I won't pay $100 for a purse, let alone $200. The purse I ended up settling on was a purple and white floral one from Kipling. I don't generally go for patterns and it is a bit more feminine than I typically get, but I still liked it. They were having a purse sale and then it was marked down an additional 40% off. Then I got some additional kind of discount off the total purchase because I had a Plenti card (which is Rite Aid, so I don't know how that works). My total cost for an $80 purse with tax was $38.40. The original price was $89.

It was a little higher than I liked to go, I usually keep it under $30, but was the only thing I had shown any interest in at all. It had a slot big enough for my phone. I was shocked at how many purses are still being designed with slots that only fit flip phone sized phones. It also had a large enough center compartment to fit a paperback novel in. And it has zippers and not snaps, which are the first thing to break on a purse in my experience. Those were pretty much my only requirements, plus pretty.

There were a lot of ugly bags. What I like to call "old lady with no taste" bags. Some pretty awful colors. The spring colors were so nice this year, but apparently the fall colors are not going to be. Here's hoping I can get a couple years out of it before it falls apart. I used to be able to go five years before a purse would break. Now it is closer to two years. And those were not expensive bags at all.

I did take off the little gorilla key chain that came with it. I guess it is the Kipling mascot. I will give it to my great niece the next time I see her.

The Week Just Whizzed By

September 22nd, 2017 at 07:53 pm

DH arrived home on Friday morning last week and he'll be leaving again on Sunday. It feels like I've barely seen him as he's been doing so much running for his parents and appointments. DH spent all day Wednesday in Seattle with his parents. The day before that he got his permanent crown put on.

My son had a dental cleaning, my daughter and I had eye exams and I had a tiny cavity filled on the front of one of my teeth. It was an old filling that had fallen out being replaced by a new one. I had physical therapy and my daughter had an MRI.

We also went to the mall so I could find a new purse as my old one was falling apart. DS had a job interview at the same time, so we saved a trip. Now DH is over doing will and living will stuff with his parents. Tomorrow we have to butcher and then go to BelleWood Acres to U-pick apples and then run over to another farm and see if they have green beans.

DH and I did manage to eke out enough time to watch the second Guardians of the Galaxy movie together Thursday night. I need to do a couple of payday reports, and figure out how much we've spent on medical/dental this week, but the majority of money went to the Citi card.

Thing 1: Daughter's brain MRI came back and there is nothing physically wrong with her brain. Meanwhile the new migraine medication is working well.

Thing 2: The cancer doctor in Seattle is starting FIL on some auto-immune drugs that may help prolong his life. We're talking about a few months though. So we are still looking at 6 months to a year, though that seems better than just the 6 months he was told by a local doctor 6 weeks ago. He seemed in much better spirits when we saw him yesterday.

Thing 3: I've made the decision to give up the chickens. I think I've made the decision to give up the ducks, too. I don't want to give up the ducks, but I really do think it is for the best.

Odds and Ends

July 18th, 2017 at 08:25 pm

I fell asleep at 1 a.m. and slept straight through until 10:30, got up long enough to make sure my son had taken care of the animals, drank a glass of water and went back to bed until 2:30. I slept hard. Apparently my body really needed it. I still feel tired, but hopefully I will sleep just as hard tonight and I'll get caught up on this sleep debt.

We weaned kits yesterday. Just Ella's and just the males. I was going to do Persephone's boys as well, but there is something wrong with the cage I was going to put them in, so I have to clean another cage before I can do that. I'll get it done tomorrow.

The garden is going crazy. I've never seen squash leaves this big before and the Brussels sprouts are huge. I am glad I gave them so much space. That is something that is hard for me, because they are so little when you plant them and you have to plant them based on how big they will be and not try to fill in all the space early on.

I spent $64 at Trader Joe's. I stocked up on chicken, lots of eggs (the birds are being slackers), rice, and picked up some Proscuitto.

For dinner tonight I made two new recipes. The first was a lazy version of chicken saltimbocca. I am not all for pounding the chicken out flat or browning or making a wine sauce. I just took the boneless skinless chicken thighs and seasoned them with salt and pepper, laid out a piece of prosciutto, put sage leaves down on it, put the chicken in the center and wrapped the prosciutto around it. The into the cast iron skillet for 30 minutes at 425 on the middle wrack of the oven. Came out perfect and everyone loved it.

Then I made a new version of Mexican rice. Almost everything in that recipe was from Thrive Life, so freeze dried. I used their chopped onions, chopped green chiles, and instant rice, then added fresh garlic, salt, and tomato paste. It was a big hit with my son and my daughter liked it well enough. I thought it was great and will make it again. I really love using the Thrive Life stuff. It is so nice not having to chop stuff up for recipes, just rehydrate however much you need and go to it.

I deposited the refund check from one of our medical bills. It was just $126.03. I haven't decided what I am going to do with it, yet. Probably put it aside for any incoming bills.

DD's appointment yesterday with the eye surgeon made him decide to send her to a neurologist. So we are waiting on a referral for that. The appointment was a $40 co-pay. He also gave her a new medication to try since Topiramate wasn't working for her migraines. I don't remember the cost on that as I bought it was a bunch of other things at the drug store that came to a total of $ 91.53.

I am trying not to be spendy, but sometimes you just have to buy things.

Doing Much Better and Errands

May 12th, 2017 at 10:15 pm

I am doing much better today than I was on the tenth. That night I was able to sleep and got 8 hours and then last night I got 10 hours. The water pills (diuretics) have been doing their job and while my legs, ankles, and feet are still swollen, it isn't nearly so bad. I'm able to wear my regular shoes again, my socks don't feel like tourniquets, and I was able to put my ring back on my finger since my hands are back to normal. It was pretty scary there for a while.

I lost 15 pounds in the last two days, but it is all water weight that I gained very quickly. I'm back to what my weight was before this happened. I must have been exposed to or eaten something that caused massive inflammation and water retention, but I can't for the life of me figure out what it was because I did nothing out of the ordinary.

After two nights of good sleep, the discoloration under my eyes is almost gone and the discoloration on my eyelids is gone. I looked like I had a couple two day old shiners there for a while when I wasn't sleeping. Lack of sleep like that is kind of crazy-making. I wonder if lack of sleep contributed to the water retention or had the increasing water retention contributed to the lack of sleep? That's probably a chicken and the egg scenario.

DH got home last night at midnight and it is good to have him back. I was capable of doing a Costco run today so we went and spent a little over $250. Half of that was on household supplies and the rest on food.

We also went and closed out our account at Credit Union #3. That will streamline our banking. This was originally DH's childhood account that had his allowance direct deposited out of his dad's paycheck each week when he was a kid. We've barely used it at all in the last few years and haven't used it at all in the past 15 months and got a note that said if it was inactive for 3 more months they'd close. It seemed silly to keep it open, especially because when a bank or CU closes your account they send the money to a government holding account and not to you and that is a major hassle I didn't want to go through. I've been wanting to close it for a while anyway.

Now we just have CU #1 where we do our primary banking with a checking account and savings account and CU #2 where I keep short-term funds that I don't need right away, since it is out of the way to go there and they only have one location. I have to actually deliberately plan to go there to easily use that money or transfer it electronically to my online bank account and then from there to CU #1. I set it up to be difficult for me to dip into that money without serious intention.

We also have the C1-360 online savings account for the Emergency Fund. Again, it is without super easy access, though in a true emergency it would not take too long to transfer money from it. And I keep a $1000 baby EF at CU #1 for an immediate emergency situation, like an unexpected car repair or a five day power failure where we have to eat out or something.

While I am pretty disciplined these days, when I set things up, I wasn't. I think I could probably have all the money in one place now, but I'd rather avoid temptation. Does anyone else do this sort of thing or am I just uniquely weird with my banking?

Yesterday was Spendy

April 14th, 2017 at 01:35 pm

So my foot is doing a lot better after the needle incident. Boy howdy was it difficult to walk the first 24 hours. I felt it quite a bit yesterday, but today when I stood up I didn't feel it when I walked. I can still feel it if I press on it with my finger, but I don't need to do that. It looks good. We couldn't really flush the wound, but we did smear antibiotic ointment on either end and I see no signs of infection.

Yesterday was a long day for me. I had to go to Walgreens and pick up a prescription for my daughter, $5. Fortunately they have a drive-thru so I didn't have to get out of the car for that. Then we went to Lowe's which is right next door and picked up some bags of garden soil, 2 major power strips with surge protectors and large separations between some of the plug-ins so when you have the giant plugs that will normally cover two plug-ins or the weirdly shaped ones that go sideways like a phone charger cord that will do the same thing, that is not something that will be an issue unless you have more than 3 of those. It also has usb ports in them. I spent $110.66 there. The two power strips were $52 of that amount.

After that I went to Rite-Aid to buy a padded envelope and then to the UPS store to mail DH his computer cord that he left at home. That cost $77 to do 2-day air to Alaska. He needs his computer usable ASAP though, so not much choice there. I'm going to be double checking his stuff next time. I don't want to pay that again.

Then we went to Trader Joe's and spent $82.28 on groceries. After that I picked up my daughter (my son ran all the errands with me to make sure I didn't fall down) and took her to the lab for another blood draw while my son walked home from the lab because he wanted to go for a walk. It took us 40 minutes at the lab. This time it was 6 vials of blood for 29 tests, as opposed to the 8 vials of blood last time.

By the end of all that I was wiped out. All of my joints were aching,my leg muscles were very tight, and I felt like I'd been put through the wringer. I think I've got something auto-immune. Either rheumatoid arthritis or MS like Dad had. But we are too busy getting my daughter diagnosed to deal with my stuff right now. After she is sorted I'll deal with me.

I was too tired to cook dinner so we grabbed fast food which was another $30.47. I felt bad about it, but I woke up with so much brain fog I did not think ahead and make it a crock pot day. I had no resistance by then.

Today will be better. I've got the fixings for loaded baked potato soup and the potatoes are already chopped up, so aside from cooking the bacon and assembling the soup, there is not that much to do.

We do have one errand to run today, but it is somewhere that has ride on carts so that should make it easier on me. I've also got my ankle braces and knee brace on this time. That should help, too.

Odds and Ends

March 16th, 2017 at 08:34 pm

Well, after my little rant last night I got an email from AdSense today saying my payment should be deposited in 4 to 5 business days. So I guess I finally got everything filled out right with no more hidden boxes to check or secret codes to enter. So I feel better about that.

DH still hasn't heard back from Company B. He's going to give the guy a call tomorrow and try to get an update on the situation. He's still applying for other jobs. I just with there were more available. The previous administration's policies really damaged the industry in the last several years and it is taking some time to turn the old dinosaur back around now that some of those restrictions have been lifted.

We went to Costco and did a major stock up. We bought a lot of cheese, butter, toilet paper and Kleenex. I also got $52 worth of razors. We also picked up vitamins. I'd say half our dollar amount was non-food items. We got spices as well. Mostly several bottles of salt and pepper now that they are no longer out of stock. We spent just over $300, $157 or so of which was food, the rest household goods.

I was disappointed in the oranges. They were either partly green or moldy. Yuck. I know they are now out of season, so probably wouldn't be that good now anyway. I was hoping they'd have Bartlett pears, but they only had D'Anjou and I don't like those nearly as well. They did have Asian pears, but I didn't like the way they looked either. So no fruit purchases were made. I guess we'll be eating canned fruit this week and apples I already had in the fruit drawer.

I was going to look at the cookbooks, but they had an entire herd of people parked in front of the books and they don't have a large book section anymore since they moved to the new store. I do like to look over the cookbooks for something promising as I make so much food from scratch. Although I haven't seen any good ones at Costco in over a year, so I probably didn't miss out on anything.

We didn't do anything else today. Well, I crocheted a granny square. I have to do one more to meet my goal of doing two a day until I have enough to make my blanket. I was hoping to get the desk built today, but that didn't work out. Maybe tomorrow.

Sick, Sicker, Sickest

February 17th, 2017 at 01:17 am

Yeah, so I've been quiet, but I'm alive. I had a very bad virus, or possibly the flu, that put me down hard for about a week. I came down with it the night of the 2nd, but it didn't hit hard until the night of the 6th and then I was down for the count. Oh, it was a rough one. I slept for about 4 days straight at that point and then finally began to feel human again on my birthday, the 12th. Human enough to make a cake anyway. I'm 47 now.

On the 13th I felt up for going to Costco. We were out of a lot of staples like flour, sugar, salt, cheese, and were almost out of toilet paper. I also bought some chicken, fish, and frozen broccoli. I had planned to pick up my birthday present, too, a food processor, but they didn't have them anymore.

On the 14th I felt like I was relapsing so I went back to bed and took it easy. On the 15th I had physical therapy and went to Walmart and bought a food processor there. Now we can give MIL back her ancient one that travels all over when you use it and shakes so bad I was always afraid it was going to fall apart in front of me.

I also went to see if I could find some tennis shoes because all I have now are loafers and flip flops. I found some Dr. Scholl's that actually fit in width, so I could buy a size 9 instead of a size 11. They have great gel insoles, too. I bought two pairs of the same shoe and will put one up in the closet until the first pair wears out. It is so hard for me to find shoes that fit. And I picked up two new nightgowns as I had to toss one that got eaten by something and all torn up and the other is wearing so thin it is practically see-through and not at all appropriate to be wearing in front of my teenage son.

As much as I don't like spending right now, I don't feel bad about these purchases. The food processor helps so much in shredding cheese, cabbage, and onions alone. It saves me so much work and makes it so much easier on me to cook at home. It also saves money to do these things at home as cheese is cheaper in blocks, cabbage is cheaper not pre-shredded, and onions are cheaper not pre-chopped. And the shoes and nightgowns were needed. Well, maybe only one pair of shoes was needed, but as hard a time as I have finding them, I felt it prudent to get the second pair now.

DH got me a single red rose for Valentine's Day. We usually don't bother with the holiday at all, feeling it's a commercial made up holiday, but he bought me one and I do like having it as it slowly opens. I also got a Fragrant Jewels bath bomb for my birthday that had an amethyst and silver ring inside that I used on Valentine's Day. Very pretty piece of costume jewelry and a very nice soak in the tub full of purple water.

I'm still running low on my reserves from the virus, so I have to be careful not to push too hard. I am back to eating nutritionally (i.e. more than ice cream, soup, and tea). My son is over the virus, my husband is a few days behind me, and my daughter is still in the middle of it, but at least on the upswing.

I'm going to try to make the rest of the month be no spend except for medicine and milk.

Swimmingly and Shoppingly

May 14th, 2016 at 02:58 pm

I received my $15 check from Pinecone today and sold 2 dozen duck eggs for $10. That'll go into the moving fund on Monday.

I also went to the pool today and swam laps for an hour. Well, mostly swam laps. When my arms would get too tired then I would walk the laps. Part of my physical therapy exercises are to walk forward one length of the pool, then backwards one length, then sideways with the left leg being the lead leg, then reverse with the right leg being the lead leg. I lost track of how many laps I actually did, but I was in there for the whole hour, then did some stretches and then sat in the hot tub for 15 minutes (glorious).

It's been a while since I've been to the pool and I will probably pay for all that exercise tomorrow, but for now I feel really good. My diet has been stuck in a rut (though I hit my dietbet goal for this month last month) and I think it is because I've been slacking on the exercise. I haven't been sleeping great either, and again, the exercise usually helps with that. I have a feeling I will sleep like a log tonight.

I found out from DH that it could be a couple more weeks before we know anything about the contract. No one knows why it is taking so long for them to make a decision. The current contract ends mid-June. I would hope they would come to a decision by then, but I'm not really holding my breath. It's more like I'm waiting for the chance to inhale.

The stress of not knowing has been messing with my eating as well. Which is why I forced myself to get back in the pool. I will go again tomorrow, too. It is a better way to channel stress than through food. Or shopping.

Although I did go shopping. I bought a new, smaller kiddie pool for the ducks to replace the other one that is harder to dump. And I also got new sheets and pillow cases for the bed and a new pillow, plus sunscreen and bug spray. I'm going to donate our old sheets to the animal shelter. They are always looking for sheets, blankets, and towels.

Yesterday I also bought my sun 3 tank tops, 2 shirts, and 5 pairs of shorts for the summer. He has grown so much the last year. And I got 3 tank tops for my daughter. I am sure when my husband comes home he will need to buy shorts. He has shrunk out of his old ones and I'm not sure he has any from before in his current size. We did get him a swim suit last time he was home and one in the next size down as well as he is still losing pretty fast, and swim suits don't stay on the rack very long around here. By actual summer, they are usually gone.

All of the spending was planned though and budgeted for.

Odds and Ends

May 10th, 2016 at 06:05 pm

I sent for a $15 check from Pinecone. I have not been doing swagbucks in a while and I don't do it consistently anymore. I should get back to it, I could use the gift cards, but most of the time when I think about it, it's more of an "eh," sort of thought. I used to have it running in the back ground a lot, but that was before they stopped letting you disable the sound for the whole session and you had to disable it on each video instead. That's more of annoyance than I wanted to deal with. I haven't done it in a few months so maybe that's changed, but I really can't be bothered at the moment.

My son will be doing his standardized testing on the 19th, but he has to do a practice test on the 12th (only a half hour). And it really irritates me that everything is on East coast time, so there are no afternoon sessions on the West Coast. DS is not a morning person.

And he will have to do the testing on my laptop because it is the only one that can handle their system requirements for the testing browser, which means I won't have access to my computer for several hours on the 19th. Grr. I am also irritated that there is no time built into the testing schedule for lunch. They get two fifteen minute breaks in 6 hours of testing. I guess the bright side of doing the testing at home is that he can have food right there with him.

I can use my old laptop, but it is so slow, and I can't do video editing on it since the software on it doesn't play well with the forced Windows 10 upgrade.

I guess I can spend the day writing. I should anyway, but I hate having to use the old laptop as the replacement cord doesn't fit snugly and falls out, and the battery in it is so bad it only holds a 30 minute charge. Maybe I'll duct tape it for the day.

We have two rabbits due to kindle. One was due two days ago and the other was due yesterday. The one that was due yesterday is pulling fur, but otherwise no kits yet.

The garden is roaring along. I have harvested chives, oregano, kale, chard, pak choi, sorrel, and 3 types of lettuces already. I saw a head the size of a softball on one of the Romaescu broccoli's yesterday so maybe by next week we'll be eating that, too. I can already tell it is going to be a ridiculously good garden year.

Almost everything is planted. I have to wait a bit longer for putting cantaloupe in the ground. I've also got a couple of sweet potatoes in jars of water that I'll be putting out in large containers just to see if they will do anything. They both have lots of leaves on them and one has lots of roots, the other only has 2 roots. This isn't sweet potato country, but since this summer is shaping up to be like last summer I thought I'd give it a whirl. If nothing else it has a pretty flower.

We still don't know anything about DH's job or the contract. I'm starting to wonder if they'll make the announcement before the old contract runs out in June. We're already 1/3 of the way through May so it is starting to seem more and more likely that those are the intentions. Frustration, they name is Lucky Robin.

The stress is getting to me. I am stress eating and I did a little stress spending, too. Although that's not so bad. I bought $120 worth of new clothes, but only paid $40 for it, since I had that many points in my rewards program. I needed new tops as all of my old ones were too big and another summer nightgown as most of my summer nightgowns show a little too much on top and with a sixteen year old boy in the house I was having to wear a t-shirt over them which defeats the purpose of a lightweight nightgown.

I also bought two sun dresses, one for me and one for my daughter. I am really happy with all of the tops, too, because they are my colors. So many times in the past I have been forced to buy pastel things if I wanted clothes that fit, but this year they have some strong teals and turquoises going on as well as magenta and deep purple. All that's missing is jewel tones.

I'm going to weed out the tops that are way too big now. Even my favorite ones. I've already done it with my jeans and sweats. Fortunately my other dresses can just be belted in more so they'll last at least another summer.

Not much else going on. I've got a lovely herbed chicken roasting with potatoes and a relatively open evening to binge watch Girl Meets World on Netflix. Which is so good, if you ever loved Cory and Topanga and Boy Meets World, once you get past the first cheesy episode.

Insomnia Has Me Tonight so I May as Well Write

February 14th, 2016 at 04:54 am

It's been a busy past couple of days. I turned 46 on Friday and made a fantastic from scratch two layer yellow cake (in my new Kitchenaid mixer) with milk chocolate ganache frosting. I received a beautiful locket from my daughter and an amethyst pendant on a super flimsy silver chain from my in-laws. I will have to replace the chain if I ever hope to wear it. I don't do delicate chains well at all. My son cleaned out the van with some help from his sister (a lot of help).

Today we spent a couple of hours at a thrift store and I was able to find a couple of greenish/teal/seaglass glass canisters with bail and gasket closures. They actually had 4, but 2 of them were pretty scratched up, but I didn't get those ones. They match the mixer and the new toaster.

DH picked up another pair of jeans (he's losing weight so fast we are buying jeans once a month at this point, hence the thrift stores. He also bought some shirts that were dressier, but short-sleeved.

I got a barely used wallet. I did find two plates in our pattern, but they were marked up and it didn't look like it would come off with scrubbing so I didn't get them. I purchased a nice waterproof winter coat for $20. It was a Lane Bryant so I know it was at least $100 new. The old coat I have is not waterproof. I also picked up a $10 waterproof jacket for my son and it fit him so I gambled well.

DD came with us and bought some stuff with her own money as well. She has an affinity for grandpa style sweaters and teenage boy style hats.

We did a little grocery shopping, but kept it limited. If I hadn't needed toilet paper and quart size freezer bags I wouldn't have gone at all.

We also picked up prescriptions at Walgreens and some OTC meds as well. I have to build my stash of Sudafed back up again. Now that my son is taking Claritin D all the time we have to have one licensed driver get the one, and another get the other. Then DD will get one for the medicine stash. This way we'll have a couple on hand for when we all get sick again and no one feels like driving. I miss the days when you could buy a 90 day supply of Sudafed over the counter. Stupid meth heads ruined that for all of us breathing challenged types.

I hope after DS's surgery he won't have to use the Claritin D anymore. That would be wonderful.

We may be going to look at a couple fixer upper houses tomorrow. They are low priced sold AS IS. The barns are in good condition and are both almost 5 acres each. We'll have to see about the houses. I know it is jumping the gun and all, but we are just looking. We are not buying yet.

Today was Beautiful

January 6th, 2015 at 08:43 pm

It was 50 degrees out today. That's practically tropical for this time of year. While the sky was pretty overcast, there were patches of blue and the sun peaked through from time to time and other times was backlighting the clouds in a gorgeous fashion. It is nice to have a break from all the dripping.

I didn't make it through my planned ten days without spending money. I bought a jacket today. I was able to get it today only at 50% off both the jacket and the shipping. I've been needing a new coat. I have my parka for the really cold days, but it is too hot to wear if it is over 40 degrees. But 40 is too cold for just a sweatshirt. It is also waterproof, which is a necessity here.

My other lighter weight jacket I use when I take care of the animals, and it is a good coat for this type of weather, but it smells like barn, plus it has gotten a bit ripped up by the rabbit claws. I don't like walking around smelling like barn in public!

It is a really pretty shade of blue and it will go very well with the new purse I got for Christmas. They are both a pretty jewel tone. I love jewel tones. The deep colors look good on me. I'm not one who can wear pastels or browns, oranges, or yellows. But the deep colors of blue, green, red, burgundy, and purple and the brights like teal, lime, turquoise, hot pink, and magenta, I can do very well. So I am happy to find a coat in a good color for me.

The diet is coming along. I have lost 6 pounds so far. I had a bit of bad day a few days ago and ate some fudge my son had made. By some I mean 4 pieces. It is gone now. I made the kids eat it and take it to school. So that made my loss stand still for a couple days. If it is not in the house I won't eat it. I shouldn't have let him make it in the first place. I need to be much more further along before I can resist things like that. I'm not against a treat now and then, but I need to stay away from chocolate.

I am glad that payday will be here on Friday. It has been a long, long time since the last one. But we made it through without having to touch the EF, which is wonderful. I feel very positive about our finances right now. I hope that feeling stays with me for a long time.

Payday Update--I'm Behind

July 2nd, 2014 at 12:59 pm

Friday was payday and while I paid all the bills I didn't record anything in my spreadsheet or on here, so today is my catch up day. I tried not to let things slide while I was really sick, but some of it did. Fortunately it was just the record keeping part and that is easy enough to catch up on.

$300.00 Beef and Pork from the farm
__90.00 Physical Therapy
_100.00 Turkey, Chicken, Duck Feed plus straw/hay/grit
_144.00 Water/sewer Old House (2 months)
__45.30 Life Insurance DH
__41.88 Life Insurance Me
__70.86 Car Insurance
__47.17 House Insurance Old House
_186.00 Storage
__41.16 ADT Security Old House
__30.64 Electricity Old House
__80.58 Lowes
__15.00 Prescription
_225.00 AMEX

I also spent $175.00 on a big Costco stock up of things like TP, paper towels, juice, vitamins, olive oil, and butter. Should be quite some time before we have to go back.

And I have $90 set aside for physical therapy on Thursday.

Some Shopping and I Still Hate Girl Scout Cookie Season

March 5th, 2014 at 08:30 am

We went to the dreaded Wal-Mart yesterday to find a shockingly empty parking lot (only half full) and a badly understaffed and understocked store. There were no greeters and no shopping carts inside the store. I haven't been in there for over a year. I'd never seen it like that. We went to try to find some sweat pants for the kids. Of course all they had was swim suits, shorts, and tank tops. Wal-Mart used to carry sweats year round.

I did pick up some cheap plastic pots so I can repot my spider plant, poinsettia, lemon thyme and rosemary. I also got some glass plates to put under each pot to catch drips and dirt. I couldn't get potting soil though as the garden center was closed and locked. They didn't have anyone to staff it.

I bought some black towels for the rabbitry, new underwear, a Ball canning book, a new set of canning stuff (tongs, funnel, magnet, bubbler) and some totes for storage.

I'm afraid I snapped at a girl scout on the way out who had asked me on the way in to buy cookies, but I swear they are like little raptors pushing cookies in your face. I hate girl scout cookie season. Most of them are aggressive and rude. I was very tempted to tell her if she could pronounce all the ingredients on the box I might make a donation, but I sure as heck would not buy the box of poison she was peddling. I held my tongue and just gave a very sharp no after my earlier polite one.

I hate that they are allowed to camp out at store entrances. Drives me crazy. It's going to be like that all month everywhere I go. Even if you don't make eye-contact or are clearly making as wide a loop around them as possible and still get in the door, they come after you and get in your way. The adult supervising them just lets them do whatever they want. No manners are taught at all when it comes to selling. It's just all about pushing the sale and being in your face.

We never would have been allowed to behave like that when I was a girl scout.

Yesterday was Not a No Spend Day

January 19th, 2014 at 02:11 pm

I ended up buying some things after all that I hadn't planned on. I decided that I needed to get 2 new pairs of jeans. I have been wearing my jeans to do farm chores and they are becoming too shabby to wear off the property.

Then DS informed me he had outgrown all of his underwear but two, and DD informed me that she had outgrown all of her socks. I got DS 3 4 pks of underwear because they were cheaper that way and DD 2 6 pks. DD needed a cheap bottle of conditioner and both kids wanted a new brush because they didn't like the one I bought to replace the broken one. I do like it though. It is way better at getting out tangles. So DD wanted a round styling brush and DS just wanted one like the broken one. I also bought a hair dryer because ours shot out sparks and ceased to work.

Fortunately it was all at one store and I had over $13 in credits on my store card. I also ended up getting $5 credit for my next purchase. I was able to ignore any further suggestions from the kids, one of whom wanted yet another pair of PJ bottoms and the other wanted a new sweatshirt and a shirt. None of those things are needs, though.

Oh, and I did buy a set of headphones, but DD is paying me back out of her allowance. Total spent was $130, with DD owing me $20 of that back.

DD gave DS a haircut last night. Someone called him a young lady when he was out with his grandmother so he decided it was time. It wasn't that long, maybe 3 inches, but it was long enough that it was curling so it did give a little bit of a feminine style, but he was wearing boy clothes so not sure how he got mistaken for a girl. DD has gotten quite good with the clippers. I only had to trim up a bit around his ears. So that saved us $15. It's not quite a buzz cut, but no one will be mistaking him for a girl with it, that's for sure.

Some Frugalish Things

November 10th, 2013 at 10:17 pm

So my mom's handyman's wife does alterations and I got her to replace the zipper on my jacket. It cost $20. I thought it was a great deal, because it included the zipper, which was 27 inches long. And it's a better zipper than the original. My five-year-old jacket now has many more years of life left in it. I just need to be careful when I am holding the young rabbits. They are what chewed through the zipper in the first place. And then the tab fell off.

I could have gone through the rigamarole of shipping it back to Land's End and making them replace the jacket, but I kind of felt like a rabbit chewing through the zipper wasn't a failure on their part. Plus they would have just pulled the, "Well, it's not exactly the same as the newly designed squall jackets, so it doesn't count as something we will replace for free." I figured it would be more likely I'd be out the shipping for sending it back and then have to pay for them to send it back to me when they denied it, so was a better deal just to have it fixed.

She did a great job. I can't even tell it is an aftermarket change. $20 is a good deal for me, especially since that jacket now costs $139. It was like $75 or something when I first got it. There might have been a coupon involved.

I also sewed up a hole in my sweatpants seam.

My daughter needed a new bag for school. Her backpack basically fell apart on Friday. So we found one on clearance for $15, originally $30 at Kmart. They also had canning jars for $10, so I picked up a case of quart jars. I wanted to buy a couple of pairs of sweat pants, but they didn't have any women's. They had men's, teen's, boy's, and girl's, but all they had in women's was light weight knit pants. Yeah, cause that is what I want to wear on these 40 degree F mornings.

After that we walked over to the Good Will next door and purchased some of those bowls with handles that I think were originally used for those really big fancy coffees, but we use them as soup bowls or for really big cups of tea.

I looked at both places for a 12 quart stockpot because I would like a second one, but Good Will did not have more than an 8 quart stockpot and the only one they had at Kmart was an ugly, light blue, mottled ceramic one by Paula Deen. Right size, but not in my kitchen. I prefer stainless steel anyway. I may have to put it on my Christmas list for the in-laws.

I can muddle through with one for a while longer, it would just be nice to have two pots of stock going at once so I can pressure can the results all at once instead of in batches. I mean the big canner can do 14 quarts of stock at once, so I'd like to take advantage of that and save the time. Actually, come to think of it, I could do my second batch of stock in the smaller canner. It's got the capacity to cook 12 quarts of stock, even if it can only can 9.

I think I will have to order my sweats from a catalogue. And maybe some warmer PJ's while I'm at it. Do they make king size flannel sheets? I can never find them.

Today's Spending

June 4th, 2013 at 06:02 pm

I ordered an electric razor off Amazon today. I haven't had one in over 3 years. I usually steal DH's, but he takes it to work with him, which means I don't have one while he is gone and I really hate using disposable ones. It doesn't bother me much during the fall, winter, and spring to have hairy legs, but now it's finally shorts weather, so I gave in and made the purchase. It was a $65 razor and with shipping it came to $82. Mostly because they didn't have a standard shipping option, only a two day shipping option. Oh, well, that was the one I wanted, one that was both rechargeable and usable with a power cord.

I also picked up a prescription today. It was $2.43. I am hoping to make it through the rest of the week with no spending. Well, I say week. I actually mean until payday on Friday when I will pay the bills and go grocery shopping. I shouldn't need anything between now and then. Still resisting the urge to pick up takeaway. The urge is always there, but I am getting back into the habit of cooking so it is getting easier to resist.

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.

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.

A Bit of This, A Little of That

February 19th, 2013 at 06:53 pm

It sure doesn't seem like there's much to report in on now that I'm not trying to pay off a bunch of credit cards. The mortgage and the van loan are things that happen once a month.

I did go to Costco today and got my AMEX rewards coupon check cashed. I will go to the CU tomorrow and make a deposit of that and the coin jar money.

I also bought cheese, toilet paper, and a case of oranges while there. I spent $41.61. I didn't think about olive oil which I am getting low on, but I have half a bottle so I think I'm okay for another month. If not, I'll shlep myself over there.

I did price the S&W organic tomato sauce in the #10 cans. It is $2.59 for 101 ounces, so 2 cans would be 202 and $5.18. They have stopped carrying S&W tomato sauce there and have switched to their own store brand. Because of DS's allergies we have to be very careful on brands and ingredients. But if we were to buy their brand it would cost $6.99 for 12 15 ounce cans for a total of 180 ounces. So obviously the #10 can is a better deal. I hope they are not phasing it out completely and I will still be able to get the big cans for a while.

I did put up some sauce last summer, but the kids will only eat it mixed with store sauce. Next year I won't bother putting up sauce, it's not worth the labor if they won't eat it. I'll just put up diced tomatoes. It's just not cost effective, either, to do sauce. Anyway, I will be making a trip back to Costco at some point to buy several of the larger cans and then every time I open a can I am going to put what is left of it into quart or pint containers and freeze the rest. It is much more economical and I don't have to worry about the allergy issue.

I have thought of just recanning it, as well, since I've seen where people have successfully recanned the large containers of ketchup and mustard. Should be safe, though I might want to add a bit of lemon juice to each jar if I do that.

Speaking of mustard, I am getting low so I will be making a new batch soon. I am going to add some cayenne this time. I want it to have a bit of a kick. It was good last time, but a little mild for my liking and since I am the only one who eats it, I can tinker until I get it to where I like it.

Well, I suppose that's about it. Oh, I got 2 $5 gift cards from Swagbucks today. That puts my Amazon gift card amount at $100. I should have enough to cash out again tonight or tomorrow.

Major Shopping

February 16th, 2013 at 08:43 pm

Today we did some major shopping. Mostly it was too replace things that are past re-mending (i.e. things that have already been mended once, often more than once).

We ended up spending $325.05 and supposedly saved $63.55 due to clearance and sale prices. DH got 3 pairs of jeans. He told quite a hilarious story of ripping out his jeans right before getting to the airport and having to mend them with duct tape because there were no sewing kits available. At least you can pass through airport x-ray machines with a duct-taped crotch. Good to know.

DS got a pair of Wellies, 2 sizes up, yikes, a pair of flip flops for vacation and summer and a new pair of tennis shoes. He also got several pairs of underwear. He's growing like a weed. He'll probably be as tall as me by the end of this year.

I got three shirts, slightly nicer than t-shirts, but not super dressy. I was happy to find one in kelly green. It is a hard color to find so when I saw it I jumped on it. There is a rather violent perdominance of neon colors in the stores right now. Painfully neon bright.

DD got a pair of flip flops, 2 pairs of sweats and a t-shirt.

Then for the household I got 6 new washcloths. I used to have 20 white ones, but my mother keeps stealing them. Just because she got the twenty pack of white ones from Wal-Mart once upon a time, she thinks all of the white ones are hers. Well, 4 turquiose, one hot pink and one bright yellow, should stop confusing her on that score.

I also bought a new sheet set for the king bed. The turquoise sheet finally gave up the ghost after a couple of sewing repairs. I plan to make linen napkins out of the side that isn't all ripped up. The replacements are a sort of bluish green sea foam color. Sheets are expensive. I got the moderately priced ones, but I still thought they were expensive for not all that much fabric.

The kids got headphones and batteries and DH got some body wash. We should not need to make any such purchases again for quite some time.

I added $3 to the coin jar today and sent $854 to the Vacation Fund. The puts it at $1119.65.

Credit Score Went Up, Ranch Visit, Shopping

January 26th, 2013 at 11:43 pm

Most, but not all, of the debt repayment hit our credit report. We have a monitoring service through Experian due to theft years ago. I'm paranoid enough about it, to keep tabs on at least one of our reports. So it is lagging one month behind on the mortgage, but it was lagging 3 months behind as I think the credit union only reports it quarterly, and it is one payment behind on both the AMEX and the BoA, but it will catch up. Meanwhile our credit score went up to 790.

Now I'm all antsy for February 8th to get here and I can start paying the Chase card off. It's kind of contagious, that push to get further and further out of debt. Paying Chase off probably won't have much of an effect on our credit score. It's the car loan that is likely keeping it from going over 800. Still, we are positioning ourselves well to buy a new house.


We went down to the sustainable, free-ranging, organic (and grass fed in the case of the beef, no soy or GMO's in the case of the chickens) farm today and I spent $297.78 of my $300 monthly meat budget. We came back with 4 chuck roasts, 8 pork chops, 2 beef stir-fry, 2 bacon, 2 whole chickens, 10 ground beef, and 2 ground pork. We still have a couple of packs of bacon and some hamburger from our last trip, so this should meet our protein needs nicely for the month. And of course there are our free eggs from the backyard chickens.

I really hope to be able to order a half a steer this year. We will see how it goes. I also wouldn't mind a whole pig, but the ranch doesn't do that so we'd have to find another source. They do a $300 box of pork though. I'm not really sure if it's worth getting though, because we pretty much only eat bacon, ground pork, and pork chops when it comes to pork. Very occasionally I will make pulled pork for burritos from a roast, but not often.


On the way back from the farm there was a gas station that had gas for $3.17 a gallon if you had cash, so DH and I ransacked his wallet and my purse and scraped together $31 (including the last couple bucks of the meat budget money) for gas, since the absolute cheapest it is in our county is $3.25. So the tank sits at 3/4 full now. Well worth it since we were driving by it anyway.


We went to Costco after we got home and I used my rebate coupon. We stocked up on some toiletries, garbage bags, canned pineapple, butter, and oranges. Charmin had a $2 off coupon, so that was nice. We stopped at another store for Organic milk, green onions and bananas.

I feel like I put myself through the wringer today, though. On the bright side my knee isn't hurting. On the not so bright side everything else is. I'm sure it will be better in the morning, though. It usually is.

Went Shopping Today

January 12th, 2013 at 10:58 pm

I forgot about making buns for the cheeseburgers today, so I ended up throwing together a quick stir-fry. I cut up 4 boneless skinless chicken thighs that I ransacked the chest freezer for and put them in a marinade of 1 cup low sodium gluten free soy sauce, 2 T of honey, 1/2 T of ginger, and a 1/2 T of garlic powder. While that was soaking DD and I cut up 3 carrots, 3 stalks of celery, 1 cauliflower, green beans, and 1/2 a yellow onion. I did more of a combination of stir-fry and steam-fry as I don't like to stir constantly. It made enough for us to have it for dinner, for lunch tomorrow, and maybe still have some leftover. Doesn't it look yummy?

I also made a batch of cinnamon ice cream tonight and I have some French bread going in the bread machine.


I went to the store today and I ended up spending $127.53. I just didn't have the energy to go to Kmart and the grocery store so I bought the toiletries at the grocery store. I got a couple of things not on my list and forgot the peanut butter which we are totally out of.

I meant to spend about $100, but I went through the bakery. *sighs* I should know better, but I swear the box of cinnamon rolls just jumped into my cart when I wasn't looking. I also bought two boxes of psuedophedrine from the pharmacy and 1 box of Dayquil because my supply was woefully low and I feel a sinusy thing coming on. And then I remembered I needed batteries. But I won't need to buy anything else before payday on Friday and I have $70 left.

They were having a good sale on whole fish, but the fish counter reeked. I could smell it from 10 feet away. I have noticed that a lot at the small Haggen since the remodel. I know that they've instituted some cost saving measures to pay for the totally unnecessary remodel, like not restocking the salad bar or letting the hot food in the deli run out when it runs out, carrying less selection in some areas and way too much in others, raising prices, and pushing their own store brand far more than they ever used to, but the fish counter should not smell like that. I draw a line there. Clearly they are holding on to fish that previously would have been out the door before it stank. So no more buying fish or seafood from there. That makes 2 grocery stores I will not buy fish from.

Haggen has always been my favorite grocery store, but I will either have to go to the big one 5 miles out of my way or just stick to Trader Joe's and the Food Co-op (which carries fresh fish) from now on. It's a shame, too. I've been shopping at that store since I was 4 years old and they were just that store, not a small chain of stores. That's almost 39 years now. I have never been disappointed in them until the last year, but now I am.

Putting Off the Grocery Shop

January 11th, 2013 at 09:18 pm

I had planned to go today, but I decided to take another look through my freezers first. I am glad I did. I had thought I was out of hamburger, but I found six packages of it on the wrong shelf behind some frozen veggies.

I had thought I needed chicken, but I found 2 whole chickens. Unfortunately the chickens are frozen together so thawing in the micro is not really an option. The package is too big. I'll have to thaw it in the fridge roast it, and then divide it into portions for the freezer. I also found 2 pork chops, 1 pound of ground pork, 1 pound of ground lamb, 6 steaks and five packs of bacon.

After that I cleaned out the fridge and found a head of purple cabbage and kohlrabi in the back. These are both good keepers and were perfectly good. I have a cucumber that I will need to eat tomorrow. If I put it off much longer it'll be chicken feed, not people food. And of course I have broccoli. I am halfway through my lettuce, celery, and carrots, and I have plenty of potatoes and onions, so really, there's nothing I need to buy except dairy and fruit.

So how do I make use of that great coupon of $10 off a $50 purchase good through Monday? Well, $22 of it will be milk. And I will buy some flour and some tuna and some oranges. That should put me to the $50 point and then I won't need to set foot in the grocery store for another week, although I still need to go to Kmart for the toiletries.

I am going to make homemade sausage with the ground pork and ground lamb for breakfasts next week and make a couple of meatloaves for lunches. And the steaks will definitely make it into a couple of dinners.

I sent $100 (my January allowance) to my friend who is in desperate need right now. That'll leave me with about $100 for the week in checking after I do the shopping. I should be just fine with that. No more bills are due before next payday.

I sent for another $5 gift card from Swagbucks for Amazon. The last one hasn't come yet, should show up this weekend.

I added $5.64 to the coin jar.

Odds and Ends

December 30th, 2012 at 01:36 am

I finished knitting DS's scarf. Yellow is his favorite color and it is a hard one to find at a store. It was hard enough finding bright yellow yarn. This one is a single thickness.

This is one I made previously and I did fringe on that one. DS didn't want fringe on his as he thought it was too girly. It's a deep rust or copper color and a double thickness as well.

Now I'm working on one for DD, but the pattern on the yarn wrapper does not actually match the yarn, which is supposed to be purple for so many rows and then black for one row and then purple again. It says fourteen per row but it really needs twenty and it does make a difference so I am going to have to unravel it and start over. This annoys me, but oh, well. Life goes on.

On Christmas DH's FIL forgot to put the turkey neck into the roaster (or maybe didn't because it was still frozen). Last night I put it in the crockpot with some water and DS and I split it for lunch. I can't believe the amount of meat on a turkey neck, I always forget. And it is so tender and flavorful. Anyway, to the juices left in the crockpot I added all of the turkey carcass bones that I'd frozen along with all of the peels I've been saving for the last few months (onions, carrots, garlic) and some celery leaves, salt and pepper and filled it to the top with water, so it is cooking down for a total of 20 hours.

Tomorrow I will make soup with half the stock and freeze the rest. I wish I had some fresh parsley for it, but I'll add some parsley flakes to the finished stock. I am defiitely planting parsley next year. Right now I'm looking at potatoes, celery, carrots, and an onion for it. I don't think we'll be adding noodles this time, just lots of potatoes. I might even thicken it to make stew. This will be the last of the turkey, so we will have used every part. The chickens got the organs. I am very happy to have had a zero waste turkey this year, considering how much it cost.


We made a simple ice cream recipe in my new hard ice cream maker. It's definitely harder than soft serve, but still not as hard as hard ice cream from the store, but that might have been because we didn't do a custard base, we just did a simple one of 1 pint cream, 1 pint half and half, 1 cup of sugar and 2 tsp of pure vanilla extract. It will freeze all the way up overnight though and I'll see how the end result is. I haven't tasted it, but everyone else did and pronounced it good but light on the vanilla.

Their website has all kind of recipes for it, regular ice cream, sorbets, sherbets, and sauces. I'll experiment with recipes until I find ones that freeze harder. There was a note with the recipe for Champagne sorbet that said that the alcohol will make it thaw quicker, so I am wondering if maybe that was part of the issue, since pure vanilla extract is basically vodka and a vanilla bean.

I probably won't eat too much of it since I'm trying to stay away from sugar more and not become diabetec, but there was one sorbet that used strawberries and 2 tbsp honey that might not be too bad. I won't even have to wait until summer since I have strawberries from the last season in the freezer. (I usually won't buy fruit out of season because of the cost).


Got a bill from the podiatrist, $114, for DS's toenail thing. That's for two visits and he spent a half hour with us both times. Since my podiatrist is way out of network the insurance didn't cover it. Still, he's the best and my family has an established relationship with him. Plus $57 per visit? I mean, who still does that? No one. Most doctor's charge $90 or more around here. Anyway, I mailed that off.


DH took the kids to Kmart today. DS got two more pairs of sweatpants and one more pair of PJ's. DD got one more pair of PJ's. They should both be set now for the rest of the winter. Stuff was marked down even more than the other day. DH ended up spending $48.87. I forgot to give him the saving's card again. Oh, well. I need to start keeping it in the checkbook, I think.


DH also picked up a prescription for himself, $2.50 and toiletries and cleaning and laundry supplies for $61.34. The latter stuff is all unscented, coloring free, natural stuff because of DS's chemical sensitivites and allergies so a bit more expensive, but we shouldn't have to buy it again for quite some time.


DD has volunteered to cut DS's and DH's hair tomorrow. We have a clipper so it's not like you can go wrong much with that and she's getting to be as good at it as I am. I just don't want to do it right now with a swollen knee.


I still haven't watched the Doctor Who Christmas special. I guess I am not quite the fangirl I once was in the Eccleston and Tennant years. I still hope to watch it tomorrow, though. I haven't watched anything since before Christmas. Who has time for TV right now?

I received a $5 Amazon giftcard from Swagbucks and cashed out for another one yesterday. I think that about covers it.

Payday Report for 12/14 and Ramblings

December 14th, 2012 at 04:06 pm

It is a weird feeling to have an empty bill box and to have paid all of the bills to the end of the year already. I know it's been like this for the last couple of months, but I'm still not used to it. I really like it though. Instead of being paycheck to paycheck we are half a month ahead and that is wonderful. I can't wait for that to be a month ahead. And then 2 months and then 3 months, etc., as we build the Emergency Fund back up.

So the last of the bills and some miscellaneous shopping were paid out of today's payday. The breakdown is as follows:

$90.00 Physical Therapy
$41.75 Various cold medicines to replenish stock
$70.56 Internet
$44.87 Phone line Old House (for security system to work)
159.65 Propane bill Old House (was already in savings)
144.00 Water/sewer (was already in savings)

I put $2500 into short term savings. That will cover all bills between January 1 and January 11th.

I will have two more physical therapy appointments this year so I have that money set aside.

I took out $215 in cash, but $15 went to DD for her allowance. DS doesn't get an allowance again until January (he got an advance). So that $200 should last us until the end of the year for toiletries and meals out. I have $1300 left of this paycheck, but we still need to buy presents for a couple people. Whatever is left will be sent to the credit card.

Next week's paycheck will be the 2 day paycheck and that isn't earmarked for anything yet. I will need to pay the $505 for my crown whenever they send me the bill so I'll probably set that aside out of it.

I deposited my coin jar money to the Emergency Fund and have hit my goal of $1500 in there by the end of December.

1457.42 Beginning EF
+_66.38 Coin Jar Money deposited
1523.80 Ending EF

Christmas bonuses should be mailed out today and they usually get here pretty fast since there are so many flights a day between Anchorage and Seattle and then between Seattle and here. It might even be here as soon as tomorrow (last year it came the day after the Christmas party, which is today), but I'm figuring probably Monday or Tuesday.

I am trying not to be anxious about it. It's just that we are so close. Even if it is 5% of income like last year instead of the rumored 10% of income it will still wipe out the BoA card with a little leftover for the AMEX and then the AMEX will be wiped out by the extra paycheck in January. Our tax return would then wipe out the 0% Chase card with plenty leftover since we'll be getting quite a lot back due to maxing the HSA and spending it all this year on medical. And if it's the 10% then boy howdy it's all gone before the year is up.

I just want it done and gone. It's been so many years. I want that weight lifted off my shoulders forever.

Insert Clever Title Here

November 27th, 2012 at 08:11 pm

I really don't like these shorter days. Getting up in the dark to take DD to school is not my favorite thing to do. Some kids have to walk to school in the dark and of course being the sensible and responsible teenagers that they are wear all dark colors and cross in the middle of the street. Ditto riding their bikes without head or tail lights. Or helmets.

I can't decide whether it's a death wish or the invincible gene. Either way, I don't want to end up with splattered teenager all over my car. It's dirty enough as it is. (Sorry, morbid humor. I'm just kidding in case anyone took that seriously). I get so tense because I am always afraid a kid is going to dart out in front of me. It's happened enough times as it is.


DS is still in a lot of pain. I went to the store today to get more medical tape, neosporin and some epsom salts for him to soak his feet in. Then after the soak we have to pour a bit of hydrogen peroxide on his toes, then dry them, then put neosporin on the wounds, then put guaze around them and tape it in place. The one toe looks better than it did yesterday. The swelling has gone down. The other looks worse. Anyway, I spent $12.43 on the medical supplies.


It seems like my cushion is being wittled away. Instead of an extra $400 to send to the credit card, I'll have closer to $300. Oh, well. Life goes in it's own direction, which is not necessarily the direction you want it to go in.

I'm just trying to hold out and not order a pizza. I think I am going to bump up pizza night to tomorrow. Homemade of course. I need to get past the desire to order one takeout. Mine always taste better.


We got the invite to DH's Christmas Party for work in the mail. December 14th. Not that we can go even, it's in Anchorage, but that means the bonus checks will be given out to those who go and mailed out to those who don't. Which means we should have it in about 3 weeks time. I so hope it is the rumored amount, which is twice what last year's was. I know I can do a lot with it either way, but to be able to pay it all off at once...well, I can't help anticipating it.


I am on my third day of no caffeine. I was throwing my diet out the window and up to about four cans a day of Pepsi Throwback. It was bad for me and it was getting to be an expensive habit. So here's hoping I can keep it out of the house. I am really tired, but I know that will pass in another couple of days. Already my stomach is feeling better and my heartburn is gone. I don't know what gets into me. I try to keep our food pretty natural and ethical and then I just kind of throw it out the window on one item. Human nature, I guess. Pepsi Throwback is actually in the 100 mile food shed, there's a bottling factory one county over, but that is not a good excuse!


DD's MP3 player broke and she about had a nervous breakdown. She's somewhat OCD (not as bad as DS) and listening to her music about a half an hour before bedtime is part of her calming routine. I helped her figure out one of the free internet radio things that you can put in one artist and then it plays other artists in that vein. She was a little worried about it running all night and I told her it was fine as long as it wasn't loud enough to disturb the rest of us.

I also told her we could buy a new one on Friday, that I'd advance her the allowance to do so. She's had her current one for several years and taken very good care of it, but it just won't turn on. Fortunately, she had all her music backed up on her computer, so the loss isn't total.

It's been such a long day. I'm glad that it's over. I'm looking forward to payday on Friday. I want to see that debt total go down. One more nail in the coffin of the Evil Empire.

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