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Payday Reports for 7/21 and 7/28

July 29th, 2017 at 06:27 am

$2500.00 Citi (7/21)
__250.00 BCC
_3200.00 Citi (7/28)
__102.13 Life Insurance (DH and Me)
__801.46 Various Medical Bills
___90.00 Next Tuesday's Physical Therapy
--------------
$6943.13

So of the $5700 that went to Citi, $5000 of that was medical bills that I kicked down the road from my daughter's ER visit and my ER visit for the torn retina and the accompanying emergency laser eye surgery. I still have about $1200 to pay on Citi before the due date on the 3rd so that will come out of the EF and I'll pay it on the 1st when the money arrives in my account.

The rest of the Citi charges were groceries for the month. I still have an additional $3500 of medical bills that I put on the AMEX card that is due on the 14th, so I'll pay that off with the paycheck on the 4th. There will be just enough in the half paycheck on the 11th to pay for DH's travel expenses and the remainder of the August bills and then he won't get paid again until the next paycheck which won't be until September 1st.

Barring any more medical bills, and I honestly can't do that when things are still trickling in, we should be able to start paying back the EF. Not that that will last long if DH gets laid off again in October. His boss's boss is trying to find a place for him elsewhere in the company because they don't want to lose him now that he's worked for them. Wish they'd had that attitude last August, instead of putting us through 9 months of destroying every financial hope and dream we ever had of staying ahead, in loving partnership with the (Un)Affordable Care Act, of course. But whatever. I'm not bitter, she lied.

Spendy Day

July 27th, 2017 at 05:50 am

I spent $35.41 on gas today at the Safeway gas station. The van was running on fumes and that bought 16.712 gallons. I paid $2.12 a gallon. I got 10 cents per gallon off for paying in cash and then I had 4 points, so got an additional 40 cents a gallon off.

I end up getting a lot of points from my mother. She doesn't have her own club card, so she just gives them DH's phone number and what she buys counts towards our points. It really builds up fast that way.

I also picked up two prescriptions at Walgreens for $21.08, then swung by the fruit stand and bought nectarines, corn, and watermelon, all from Eastern WA. He has someone who drives over the pass and brings back produce four times a week and he also sells local stuff, but our corn won't be ready until the end of August here, and nectarines and watermelon are not a crop in Western WA.

I also had a two hour session at P.T. today, so that was $120. She did some massage on my foot, because super klutz that I am, I dropped a glass Pyrex storage bowl on it yesterday. I still occasionally drop things randomly due to the nerve damage in my hand.

The medication the rheumatologist gave me seems to be working really well, so I hope it doesn't screw with my eyes. It's the first time I haven't has severe joint pain in ages. I still have it on the left side ankle, hip, and knee, but I don't feel it much on the right side anymore except just in my hand and wrist sometimes as opposed to all the time. I still get the random swelling, but it doesn't stick around for days, just usually 24 to 48 hours now. So a major improvement.

My FIL was in the hospital for four days and has now been moved to a nursing home. I don't think it is for good, just that he needs more care than MIL is capable of giving him. He ended up getting a blood transfusion and IV fluids, but they still couldn't figure out what was wrong with him. It wasn't his heart (he's had a previous myocardial infarction), it wasn't his kidneys (one only has 4% function as a result of the heart thing), and it wasn't the cancer. His blood pressure was really low, he had a high fever, and chills that wouldn't stop. Prayers for him would be appreciated.

My daughter's new psychiatrist wants her to see a nutritional counselor, but the woman has a two month wait time for new patients. She has a partner that does the same stuff, but that woman doesn't take insurance, so she's out. We can't absorb the cost of anymore out of pocket stuff. The shrink won't see her if she isn't seeing a therapist. I thought the shrink was supposed to take the place of the therapist.

I mean, if she's just there to prescribe pills and not to help fix the underlying problems, she's not that much good to us. Although the new pill is making a major difference and I am glad to have her off the certraline. I've seen huge progress with her anxiety issues and she isn't acting depressed anymore, either. I just wish the medicine didn't make her so sleepy.

DS and I are doing low carb and heading towards the keto diet. It is nice to have someone to do things with. He is carrying an extra 20 pounds he wants to get rid of. He's been going out on 2 hour walks for the last week or so, but he's too self-conscious to go use the gym by himself. If I can stop hurting myself long enough with my clumsiness, we'll start going to the pool together again.

There's not that much else going on. We don't have any pregnant livestock so the youngest babies are coming up on ten weeks old. I don't breed for July or August delivery as it is too hard on the animals with the heat in those months. The garden continues to thrive and produce. So really nothing to speak of on the farm front, either.

I'll try to do a payday report for last Friday tomorrow. Or maybe I'll just wait until Friday and bundle them in one post.

$1.14 per Gallon for Gas and Why That Scares Me

February 8th, 2016 at 10:05 pm

I had nearly an empty tank of gas and I had 3 points on my Safeway card, so I went to their gas station and filled up. Usually I have 5 points when I fill up, but I have been spending less on groceries the last month.

It was $1.439 cash price before my points and $1.139 after my points were taken off. I got over 16 gallons and spent only $23.47.

Such low prices are kind of scary for me as it could affect my husband's job. We were okay the last time prices tanked down to 99 cents, but that wasn't at contract renewal time. This is. I don't like it. It makes me worry. I know we would be okay for 18 months if he lost his job, but we'd have to start over again and saving money and we'd be stuck here for a long time.

There is a house I found recently that is $260,000 on 5 acres one county over that might be the one. And it is stick built not manufactured even. We would have enough to make the 20% down payment after our income tax return if I borrowed half of the Emergency Fund. But it is not even something we can dare to do right now. Found another one as well, that might do us well in our own county for $309,000. But again, we can't take the risk until we know. I hate not knowing.

Cheap Gas

December 12th, 2015 at 11:02 pm

I had 5 points from my shopping at Safeway in the last 30 days, which meant I got 50 cents off per gallon. If I keep careful track each month, I can gas up right before points expire, which generally coincides with when I need to fill the tank. It's a lot less these days now that we are homeschooling again (did I tell you guys that?) and I am not driving to and from the high school twice a day five times per week.

So I ended up paying $21.60 for 14.037 gallons of gas. That is $1.54 per gallon! It was priced at $2.03 per gallon if you used cash or $2.13 per gallon if you did not. I had cash. I cannot remember the last time I paid such a low amount of money for a tank of gas.

Grocery Shop and Gas

November 11th, 2015 at 10:45 pm

I made it to the grocery store this morning without children, which is always so much cheaper to do. I bought everything on my list except one thing they didn't have and ended up getting some organic apples instead. I also bought a magazine. I had 2 good coupons for stuff on my list and saved $10.96 off my total. Since I mostly buy whole foods it is hard for me to use coupons at all, but I needed to stock up on some soup for DH and a condiment they had on the coupons. I ended up spending $135.02 total.

I have been shopping a lot at the new Safeway these last few months and I find I am saving a lot of money (about $300 per month). They are cheaper on most items. I almost never go into Haggen anymore. Their shelves are never fully stocked and it is frustrating to waste a trip there and only be able to get half the things on my list and still have to go elsewhere.

Between Safeway and Trader Joe's I can pretty much get everything but the filler free lunch meat. I will stop at Haggen and check if I am going by anyway and if they have the lunch meat (sometimes they are out of roast beef) pick some up. But I no longer go there specifically. It's a shame. They used to be such a good store a few years ago before the original owners sold it off.

After I shopped, I stopped at the Safeway gas station and bought gas. I had 5 points on my Safeway card so got 50 cents off per gallon. I also used cash so got an additional 10 cents off per gallon over the credit card price. I got 15.695 gallons at $1.81 a gallon, spending a total of $28.55. I timed it perfectly so that the majority of my October shopping points still counted and I had almost a completely empty tank of gas. Go me.

Gas for $1.86 a Gallon and Rethinking Costco

October 22nd, 2015 at 10:45 pm

I just filled up my gas tank for $1.86 a gallon. I had 30 points on my Safeway card since I've spent $300 there this month. So that was 30 cents off per gallon, and then I used cash which made it an additional 10 cents off per gallon. So while Safeway's regular gas price won't beat Costco's regular gas price, with points and cash discount, it is 20 cents cheaper to get it at Safeway. Plus Safeway is only a mile from my house and not on the other side of town.

I am thinking hard about letting my Costco card go when it expires in March. I keep it mostly for buying organic olive oil, butter, toilet paper, organic brown rice, organic sugar, organic tomato sauce and paste, organic frozen broccoli, and organic chicken.

But...we have a freezer full of chicken we grew this year. I now have enough spaghetti sauce canned for a year from my garden. I could stock up on a year's supply of olive oil, butter, tomato paste, brown rice, sugar and frozen broccoli right before it expires. I don't have to renew it and I can revisit the idea in a year of using the membership. Or my FIL and MIL have a membership so we could have them pick up what we need when we need it.

I used to buy cheese there, but Safeway's sales and often their regular prices are better than Costco's regular price. I am finding a lot of things that is true on. I know if I watch sales I can probably find Charmin for cheaper and find coupons for it. And when we run out of chicken, Trader Joe's does have less expensive organic chicken nowadays.

Another reason I am thinking of dropping Costco is that they will no longer be partnering with AMEX, which means I'd have to get another credit card and I don't want to.

It's just that the many things that used to be selling points for a Costco membership are now being chipped away at and as prices rise it just no longer seems the bargain it once was. The parking is atrocious and it's just getting to the point where it is not really worth it anymore.

It's Officially Ours

March 17th, 2015 at 12:13 am

The title to the van came today, so it is officially ours. We will go to talk to our insurance agent tomorrow and show him the title so we can adjust our vehicle insurance. It's taken a load off not to have that debt there anymore. You'd think I'd be floating with all the changes that have happened this month.

We are busy building raised beds for the garden. And this time I really do mean we. I am getting more comfortable using power tools, figuring out the leverage I need for the drill, when to stop so the screws don't go through the wood too far. I am also figuring out the measuring by watching how DH does it. I've never really paid attention before on how he does it so you can keep your line straight down 8 feet of board.

I want to know how to operate things in case I am ever on my own when repairs need to be made and they can't wait while DH is away. And since women generally live longer than men, one day I may not have him to do it for me, so it is best to be prepared, even if that is likely decades away at this point. Plus I like building things. Shop class was one of my favorite classes in middle school.

We did figure that if I am going to be able to use a PVC cutter, though, it needs to be electric or a ratchet style. My grip is not strong enough to do a regular one. This is due to when I tore ligaments and tendons in my hand when I was in my early 20's. The grip will always be weaker than if I had not sustained the injury. I have to use ratchet style pruners for the same reason.

So far we've built 3 raised beds, all 8 feet long by 2 feet high by 2 feet wide. They are all filled up to the 1 foot high mark with rabbit manure and spent animal bedding. I also did one somewhat like a hugelkultur bed, with some old tree branches in the bottom. It's deep enough that it won't interfere with planting. As the wood rots it raises the temperature of the soil in that bed. It's an experiment. We'll see if it works.

DH went to get soil so we will hopefully finish those beds up tonight. I need to get my strawberry plants in the ground. They have been sitting in a box since the came on Friday. I did water them, but the longer they are out of the ground the worse it is for them.

DH and I built a light stand for seedlings last week and I finally got some of my seeds planted today. I planted tomatoes, ten each of the following varieties:
--Opalka
--Constoluto Genevese
--Lillian's Yellow Heirloom
--Abraham Lincoln

They are all organic seeds, all open-pollinated heirlooms. I planted twice as much as I need so that hopefully I will have five of each one. I can sell any extras in a plant sale.

I also planted two types of lettuce: Flashy Trout's Back Romaine and Hyper Red Ruffled Waved Looseleaf Lettuce. Both are heirloom, organic, and open-pollinated.

I still need to do some chard and some kale starts. And I want to get some radish and bunching green onion seeds into the gutter garden as well. I am excited to be so far ahead of the game this year. Last year was very last minute scrambling to do anything with the garden. This year I'll be ready when the last frost date passes to get growing.

Paid Off the Van

March 10th, 2015 at 12:51 am

I went down to the credit union and made sure there wasn't a hold on the money deposited to my account from the house sale. I transferred enough money from the savings to the checking account and then went onto the website I pay the van loan on and paid it off. Yay! No more consumer debt!

Now all I have to do is wait for the title of the van to come and then I can go down and change our insurance. We won't have to carry as much now that it is owned by us. Of course we still have to carry liability, uninsured motorists, and medical and I wouldn't want to go with out that, but we don't have to carry comprehensive anymore.

If we get into an accident that is our fault and totals our vehicle we have enough in savings that we could go and buy a used car outright or fix most of the damage. But that is highly unlikely given DH hasn't been in an accident since 1995 and I haven't been in one since 1988. We are very cautious drivers. If we get hit it will likely be the other person's fault.

I do still need to pay the guy who remodeled the house, but I am not sure what is going on there. They have declared bankruptcy and it sounds like they want me to hold onto the money until after everything has run its course. I have only gotten this second hand from Mom, though, so tonight I will find out for sure. If that is the case then I will send the money to my online account which earns more interest. I really don't like the idea of holding onto it, as I'd rather have it taken care of.

I have a question about the house sale, maybe MonkeyMama might know. Do we need to do anything to declare it? Does it go on income tax for next year? Is there some sort of form we have to fill out and send in? The title company was kind of vague about it and while I did ask them, all I got out of them is that it has to be reported but not how. We are nowhere near the capital gains threshold.

Payday Report

January 17th, 2015 at 06:48 am

$1700.00 Bank of America
$1000.00 Loan to Mom
__225.00 Chiropractor
__103.00 Medical
___90.00 Physical Therapy
___42.88 Prescription
___50.00 Allowances
___20.11 Gas($1.84 a gallon!)
__100.00 Cash for Week
---------------
$3330.99 Total Money Out

The Van, The Farm, The Holiday Prep

December 20th, 2014 at 10:03 pm

We got the van back on Thursday night. The cost to fix was a total of $2439.89. That is a big chunk of money that I definitely could have used somewhere else, but at least we had it and didn't have to touch the emergency fund. And we got to drive the loaner for a week for free. The dealership actually loaned us the minivan they use as one of their shuttles to drive customers to and from the dealership when their vehicles are being worked on.

Today is the first day it has rained hard since we got it back so it will be the first test of whether or not the roof still leaks. It hasn't in the sprinkling that has been up to now.

The starter and battery seem to be working fine, though. We're going to give the van a long run today and go down to the farm we buy our beef from. Since DH ended up getting the extra weeks we don't have to pinch like I was afraid of, so we are going to buy some beef for canning. Having canned beef is such a time saver for me and very convenient when I am sick. Beef stew is so easy to make with that on hand.

We have been going through our canned potatoes pretty fast so I am also going to go out to Safeway this weekend and use some of the gift cards to buy several pounds of organic potatoes to can. I much prefer having canned potatoes on hand since they don't sprout. Less waste that way. And they can be used for everything, mashed potatoes, fried, hash browns, casseroles, stews.

We have gotten presents bought for DH's mom and dad, DD, me, DH, and some of DS's. We still need to buy for SIL and youngest niece since DH never did get around to talking about not exchanging with them this year. We also need to get our wrapping paper out of storage and bring it home.

I am still pretty tired and sinus-y, but a lot of the virus seems to be passing. Just wish the exhaustion would go. It makes it hard to do things or be enthusiastic about the holidays.

EF Back to $10K!

December 12th, 2014 at 09:16 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.

Car Repairs--Ugh

December 11th, 2014 at 10:20 pm

Well, it is going to cost around $2100 to fix the leaky roof of the van. I will never buy a vehicle with a moon roof or sun roof ever again. I didn't care one way or the other about having them. We almost never even use the things. If we lived in a better climate I wouldn't worry about it, but since it rains here 8 to 9 months out of the year almost every day, this isn't something we can ignore or we'll end up with a mold problem.

The whole point of buying a new car was so we could avoid expensive repairs for a good seven to ten years. I won't go for that logic ever again. This thing is only 3.5 years old. The whole point of buying a Toyota was that it had the reputation of being solid and not having major issues (well, that and good resale value). We plan to drive this vehicle for many years, drive it into the ground actually, but I think next time we'll be going back to Ford (used, of course). Never had a problem with them. Lesson learned.

Things and Other Things

December 11th, 2014 at 01:03 am

Yesterday I got my $78 check in the mail from Pinecone. We also got the $50 Safeway gift card for Christmas from DH's work. DH came home last night. He will be here for 22 days. It is nice having him home again.

***

Change of plans on the Christmas bonus. I was hoping to put half of it into the 401K, but apparently the only choices there actually are is to contribute the percentage you normally contribute from each paycheck, or put all of it in. I didn't want to jack up the percentage because it would then interfere with the next paycheck, too.

Since we don't know how much the van is going to cost to fix, I guess it is just as well. I will try to put half of it into the Emergency Fund instead. As long as there is enough to start DH's bachelor's program, I don't forsee that being too much of a problem.

***

This morning DH had the car towed to the dealership and they are dealing with both the fact that it won't start and the fact that it is leaking water into the seat belt well every time it rains, resulting in a soaked driver's side seat belt. There might be a leak in the moon roof, but they were able to rule out a defective door seal.

We will know more tomorrow, but it is $99 to diagnose what is wrong with the starter (or whatever) and $99 to diagnose the leak, so we are already $200 into this before anything is actually fixed. Oh, and it cost $70 to tow it the 3 miles to the dealership, but I think we will get that reimbursed from our insurance. I believe we have towing on it. We used to. Might have stopped that when we got AAA, though. I didn't want to do another AAA call, because that is for emergencies (even if they do take forever) and we only get so many service calls per year.

***

I have made the decision not to keep one of Sienna's kits. One of the does has a white spot on her face (as does one of the bucks, and Sienna had a white spot on her shoulder) and this is a genetic flaw. The other one doesn't but with 2 kits showing up with it, I don't want to take that chance as it is a disqualification for show. We wouldn't be able to sell any of her kits as show quality. The other doe kit is very jumpy, too. We didn't start working with them young enough for them not to be skittish, because of course we never expected to lose Sienna.

Cinnabun has had a personality change anyway, since we moved her into Sienna's cage. She is now being pretty sweet, so between her and Firefly, I have enough female reds. I had briefly considered keeping a red buck kit, but again, that white spot could turn up and also if I raise another red buck kit, I don't want him to be related to Wildfire. I want more diversity than that.

I miss Sienna, but keeping one of her kits won't bring her back and won't strengthen my lines, so I am trying to be practical.

***

I have someone who has expressed interest in buying duck eggs for hatching. Hopefully she will get back to me soon because it will take a few days to collect them. Hatching eggs cannot be washed or refrigerated and have to be treated differently than normally collected eggs. And they can only be kept for 7 days before going into the incubator. After that viability plummets.

***

Not much else going on. The kids will go on a field trip on Friday. They will pack a lunch, but will also need money for dinner. DH and I will go coat shopping while they are gone, so there are a few expenses coming up.

We will have to wait until the current spate of aggressive wind storms are over before butchering rabbits. Bad weather freaks them out and we try to keep the experience as calm as possible for them so they are not stressed. We have 18 to do over the next 3 weeks and then we will be done butchering again until June. It'll be nice to put that chore away for several months. It'll also be nice to have another 45 pounds of meat in the freezer.

Murphy Can Bite Me

December 6th, 2014 at 03:01 am

Two and a half hours waiting in the cold with two children on a AAA tow truck. That is how I spent my late afternoon and early evening. The starter on our van is the problem, completely out of the blue. It hasn't been acting up at all. But it is definitely the starter. On our flipping three and a half year old van. Hello, Toyota? I expect better than this from you. Who knows how much it will cost to fix or replace.

Also, AAA and your promised one hour wait time, can bite me. Single A, more like. I told them I was disabled and had kids in the car, too. Seriously thinking about switching to Allstate's road side service instead. My leg is in spasm from sitting in the van so long and I don't know if I will be able to walk without using a cane tomorrow. I am icing it now.

So I have recently been encouraged to see the positive side of things. So here it is: At least we had just bought dinner to take home. And were in a well-lit drive-in restaurant. And I didn't order the fish and chips because I can't use their ketchup. I usually order the fish and chips but was in a strange mood for a burger instead. Which comes with secret sauce, which doesn't make me get stomach cramps like their ketchup does. And I ordered onion rings so I did not need ketchup. So nobody went hungry.

And my mother was home and could take care of putting away the ducks, turkeys, and chickens, so they didn't stay out after dark where predators could have killed them.

And I had a book and the kids had the tablets my in-laws gave them at Thanksgiving, so they had entertainment. No one was bored, only cold.

Tomorrow I will borrow my mother's car to do the grocery shopping. I had planned to do it tonight, but that is out. I am hoping my leg works as I really hate using those electric ride on carts at the grocery store.

Well, I am off to feed and water and cuddle the rabbits. They always improve a bad mood!

Wiped Out--School and Garden Update

September 5th, 2014 at 04:14 am

I am so tired. My body does not want to adapt to the new routine. I can't seem to get to sleep before 2 or 3 a.m., the sleep I get is surface sleep, not restful at all, and then I am having to get up at 7. And then after the kids get off to school and I take care of all the animals, I can't get back to sleep for a nap. I don't understand it, because I've been asleep by midnight pretty much all summer.

School is going great for the kids so far, though. They are both really enjoying their teachers and classes. And it is super nice to have the day to myself. Even if I can't manage to nap.

The garden is going gangbusters. The green beans are starting to produce, but not enough for canning yet. I think I may end up buying some this weekend and then if I have any of my own for canning it'll just be additional. Next year I will plant a lot sooner. Things just kind of got away from me in the spring and I didn't get going soon enough.

I plan on getting 40 pounds of tomatoes this weekend, too. While my tomatoes produced, it has never really been with much. The most I could can at any one time was 3 pints. I just ended up making spaghetti sauce and freezing it instead. But I do want to get some diced put up and maybe make a batch of ketchup. The Indigo Rose tomatoes have been fantastic. I am not one for eating raw tomatoes usually, but these ones taste sort of like melons with a rich tomato flavor added in. I will grow them again, along with the Russian Moskovich, but I will not grow the other two varieties I bought again.

I have some great zucchini, leeks, sweet meat squash, green onions, broccoli, cauliflower, and kohlrabi. The cukes are slow, but I'm getting 2 to 4 a week. I have more peppers coming but don't know if there will be time for them. I hope there will at least be time for them to be green if they can't get all the way to red.

On the spending front, I spent $90 at physical therapy today and $55.48 for a tank of gas.

I am expecting babies sometime between tomorrow and Sunday. I've got 3 pregnant rabbits due to kindle. I hope all goes well. Tomorrow is day 30. My rabbits have gone anywhere from day 30 to day 33. Average is 31 days, though.

Two of my Barnevelders are laying eggs now. They are about half size, but are getting bigger. They are cute, perfect little eggs. All of the ducks are laying now and Addy's eggs are finally full-size. I am getting 1 to 2 chicken eggs and 3 to 5 duck eggs a day. I sold 2 dozen duck eggs earlier this week for $5 a dozen. I am selling enough duck eggs now to pay for one bag of organic layer feed a month. The ducks and chickens go through a bag about every 2 weeks.

Tomorrow is payday and I am very glad of it. I've got a lot to get done. It'll be nice to be able to get most of it out of the way without the kids underfoot.

Payday Report

June 15th, 2014 at 07:17 pm

$757.82 Van loan (plus extra)
_283.13 groceries
__50.00 gas
_204.00 for strawberries for the year
_140.52 Sleep doctor
__48.60 Phone (old house)
__88.15 Internet
___9.80 Book of stamps
_120.00 Physical therapy
_100.00 Emergency Fund
_100.00 Propane Fund
_100.00 Property Tax Fund
__19.00 Dues Fund
-------------
2021.02 Total Money Out

I also spent $48.03 on rabbit feed and supplies.

New Arrivals and Expenses Today

April 11th, 2014 at 05:38 am

I spent $116.91 on Royal Palm heritage turkey poults and Barnevelder chicken pullets today. Barnevelders are a very old breed and lay a nice dark brown egg, similar to a black copper maran. These guys will pay me back with eggs in about 16 weeks.

I am hoping that I got at least one male and one female turkey, but since they were straight run, I won't know until they are quite a bit older. If I got at least one of each, they will remain as our breeders. Royal Palms are still capable of breeding naturally and don't need AI like the more commercial breeds you'd find at the grocery store that have been bred so heavy breasted they can't support their own body weight at maturity so can't breed. They just fall over if they try.

The Royal Palm poults can be sold for quite a premium so it will be well worth the investment eventually.

Two of the turkeys will be for Thanksgiving and Christmas regardless of whether they turn out to be male or female. It'll be cheaper to raise them ourselves than to buy heritage birds at the holidays.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8ZBsHvnB9E

I also spent $41.26 for a 50 pound bag of game bird starter feed, a waterer, and two feed troughs, since the ducklings are eating enough now to need a second trough.

Then I spent $59.19 on a tank of gas for the minivan and $210.63 on groceries. They had a huge sale on turkey legs so I stocked up on a lot since they are so easy to make. I also bought a lot of other staples and some fresh veggies.

I canned 3 quarts of pickles today. Unfortunately the bottom of one of the jars cracked off during the canning process. I lost about $3 worth of food. Still, it is rare that something like that happens. I've never had a jar crack before in two years of canning. It is still far cheaper to home can even with the occasional loss, than to buy them already made when you are working with organic foods. And I can make it exactly the way I like it and in the quantities I want them to be in, with no yellow #5 or MSG. Well worth it.

Payday Report

December 16th, 2013 at 11:06 am

$1400.00 BoA VISA
__100.00 Emergency Fund
___19.00 Dues Fund
___72.56 Internet
___72.00 Water/Sewer Holding Tank
__757.82 Van Loan (plus extra to principal)
__100.00 Property Tax Fund
__100.00 Propane Holding Tank
___40.00 Allowances
__200.00 Laptop Fund
__100.00 College Fund
__100.00 Vacation Fund
__109.00 January Money Fund
__100.00 Moving Fund
__100.00 Appliance Fund
--------------
$3370.38

$700 of the payment to BoA VISA was the $700 I had set aside for Christmas presents. Since they were bought with the VISA I used that money to make the payment. I will make another payment next week to cover the other half of the travel expenses for DH.

Also had 3 Medical Bills:

$90.00 Physical Therapy
$10.62 Doctor
$13.70 Sleep Doctor
----------
$114.32


Payday Report and Rabbit Stuff

November 16th, 2013 at 05:11 am

I spent just under $60 on take away today. We will get several meals from it. I just know this weekend is going to be a little stressful and I may or may not be up to cooking too much. We have 2 litters due and the temps have dropped to freezing which means an awful lot of checking on the rabbits will be done on Saturday and Sunday to make sure no kits are born on the wire, but are born safely in a nest or at least promptly put into one if they are not. I have been lucky so far in that all of the kindlings so far have resulted in only one kit born on the wire (on Phoebe's first kindling) and I was there within five minutes of it happening so we were able to save it.

I'm not too worried about Lola, but this is Serenity's first litter, so I pretty much will be doing hourly checks for the next two days. Which means a lot of walking and since my physical therapist had a migraine today and I cancelled last week due to illness, I am not in the best shape for that right now. I've had to use the cane twice this week. But it needs to be done and I'm sure the kids will take their turns at it and alert me if I need to go out and take action.

Anyway, today was payday so here is the list of money that went out:

$225.00 Monthly Chiropractic Family Plan
_100.00 Emergency Fund
_100.00 College Fund
_100.00 Property Tax Fund
_100.00 Propane Fund
_100.00 Moving Fund
_100.00 Christmas Fund
_100.00 Appliance Fund
__19.00 HoA Dues Fund
_200.00 Laptop Fund
__72.56 Internet
__47.52 Phone Old House
__41.94 Garbage
_500.00 BoA VISA
_757.82 Van Loan (plus extra)
------------
$2463.84 Total Money Out

Payday Report

October 19th, 2013 at 12:57 am

Today is payday and here is an accounting of what was paid or put into savings.

$1500.00 Bank of America VISA
__100.00 Emergency Fund
___19.00 HoA Dues (Old House)
__100.00 College Fund
__100.00 Christmas Fund
__100.00 Moving Fund
__100.00 Appliance Fund
___40.00 Allowances
__100.00 Canning Jars* and Rabbit Supplies**
__100.00 Cash for the Week
___25.00 Garbage
-----------
$2284.00 Total Money Out

*2 cases of quart jars and 1 case of pint jars
**Water bottles, a hay tunnel, and a bottle of Vetrimycin eye wash ($27, ouch)

I also spent $50 on gas yesterday. I will be buying a 25 pounds of organic carrots to can and a whole salmon to can.

Left to pay for the month of October is the water/sewer bill, half of which has been set aside already, and the property tax for the half year, all of which has been set aside except $25 and the propane bill, which is $80. Those will be paid next Friday. I will also pay the mortgage then instead of waiting until the first and will also put $500 into the January Money Fund. All the rest of next payday's money is allocated for November bills.

Payday Post

September 7th, 2013 at 06:02 am

Today was payday. Everything has been paid. Nothing is due until the 21st and after that nothing will be do until the 1st. DH ended up doing all his overtime work in five days time, so it won't be a full week of overtime, but five days is still pretty nice. I'll be able to put $1000 to the EF next week, but will have to rethink the other things I was thinking of distributing the extra money to.

We've gotten a lot of food this week. Not take out, but prepared food from the store deli. I've been out of it with my constant headache and mild nausea. Getting hit in the head with that pitchfork handle on Monday morning did me no favors. I have had no inclination to cook and with DH doing the overtime work at home, neither did he.

I'll try to get my act together this weekend. DH leaves on Monday and I can't keep letting the money fritter away when I could be cooking.

Anyway, the distribution of things today comes from a combination of this payday and last and is as follows:

$757.82 Van loan (plus extra)
__90.00 Physical Therapy
__58.00 School photos
_168.00 Storage
1000.00 Loan to Mom
_400.00 Utilities to Mom
__41.88 Life Insurance Me
__45.30 Life Insurance DH
__47.17 House Insurance (Old House)
__66.65 Car Insurance
__27.28 Electric (Old House)
__72.56 Internet
__50.22 Phone (Old House)
__55.25 Garbage
__19.00 Dues (Old House)
_225.00 Chiropractic Monthly Family Plan
_227.66 Laptop Payoff (from Laptop Fund)
_100.00 Property Tax Fund
_100.00 Vacation Fund
_100.00 Appliance Fund
_100.00 College Fund
__41.16 Security System (Old House)
-------------
$3792.95 Paid Out

We also bought gas and groceries and spent around $500. We are all stocked up on staples and aside from some vegetables and lids for canning and some milk I shouldn't need to go to the store or a farm again for a week.

This and That

August 1st, 2013 at 10:09 pm

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

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

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

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

Yesterday I got a prescription for $11.03.

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

Little Bits

April 11th, 2013 at 06:12 am

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

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

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

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

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

A Little Lax

March 14th, 2013 at 02:23 am

Record keeping has been a little lax this past week so I'll try to get that updated. My Emergency Fund is now at $3044.20, (or will be with tomorrow's auto transfer of $10) so I need to come up with $155.80 to hit my March goal. $100 will go in on my monthly deposit on Friday, and there will be two more $10 auto transfers this month, so that's $120 taken care of. That means just coming up with an additional $35.80 by month's end.

I added $3.32 to the coin jar yesterday.

Things that have been paid since Friday:

$336.00 Dentist
__90.00 Physical Therapy
_375.86 Mortgage
_150.00 9 Rabbits
_146.40 Feed and supplies for Rabbits
_187.72 3 Prescriptions
_300.00 to Mom for her utilities
_156.29 Doctor
_206.27 Sleep Doctor
_168.64 Doctor
_757.82 Van loan
__50.01 Gas
------------
2925.01 Total Money Out

I did not pay extra on the mortgage this month. I still might, but with all the medical bills, I chose to be more conservative. I did pay extra on the van loan though. Medical was ridiculous this month and it's only half over. That is just $718.92 out of pocket this month for medical expenses, $1054.92 if you add dental.

I met with the sleep doctor today and yes, I do have a mild form of sleep apnea. It hits me when I go into REM sleep or into deep sleep, which explains why I can get lots of hours of sleep but never feel rested.

I am now waiting to hear from which medical device company it is my insurance will work with. Sleep Doctor told me today that they are separating from Aetna as of May 9th. I asked him if that was because Aetna sucks and he said, well, he wouldn't actually come right out and say that.

But Aetna does suck and they like to deny things a couple of times before they will pre-approve anything and make you jump through lots of hoops. It's covering less and less and less and charging more and more and more. I remember when they used to be a good insurance, and you could go to whoever you wanted, but gosh, it's been over a decade ago. I really miss the insurance we had with DH's former company.

I think I'm now at least halfway to hitting my $2500 family deductible for the year. I just wish that certain things would count for it that don't. Like my physical therapy, which they don't think I need anymore, but every time I skip it I start losing my ability to walk, so I've been paying for it for a while now. Or the chiropractic at $225 a month for the unlimited visits family plan (which is actually cheaper for us than our portion of 4 appointments would be). That's $585 a month that doesn't go to our deductible at all, but thankfully we can use the HSA for. And our portion of dental does not count towards the medical deductible.

----------

The rabbits are doing great and the little ones are growing visibly now. I have to harden myself a bit to not grow attached to them as they are adorable. I am glad I have not let the kids talk me into naming them. In my book they are bunnies A through F.

The chickens are doing well, too, although I think it is time for Queen to have another bath. Actually, they could all do with one. Because of the heavy rainfall and mud. Apparently no one has told the chickens that when it is raining, it is not a dust bath they are taking but a mud bath. I am just extremely glad I got some Wellies, because I can't imagine walking around back there without good boots right now.

Payday Spending and EF Update

February 9th, 2013 at 02:18 am

Today was payday. I added $110 to the Emergency Fund bringing it to $1835.35.

Bills paid out today were:

$1000.00 to Mom
__100.00 to Chase
__757.82 to Van loan
__570.00 Mortgage
___25.00 Kids' allowances
___44.87 Phone old house
___72.56 Internet
__110.00 Emergency Fund
___19.00 Garbage (HT)
___72.00 Water/sewer (HT)
__100.00 Property Tax (HT)
__100.00 Propane (HT)
__100.00 Miscellaneous and Groceries
---------------
$3071.25

I also set aside $90 for physical therapy. Both the mortgage and the van loan had extra sent to principal. When the mortgage hits it will put it just under $14K left.

I need to come up with $64.65 this month to hit my EF goal of $1900 by the end of February. I added $13.03 to the coin jar, what was left of my miscellaneous money from last week.

I also filled up the van with gas, $49.79, but that went on the AMEX which gets paid off at the start of every month now.

Other than milk, I shouldn't have to buy anything for the next week.

DS needs new tennis shoes. His feet have grown tremendously. I will inherit his current ones. They are very nice Nikes that just happen to fit my feet. Hand me ups, I guess. I will probably get shoes for him next payday, not this one.

My first mammogram went okay. I don't know what I was being such a scaredy cat about it for.

Credit Score Went Up, Ranch Visit, Shopping

January 27th, 2013 at 07:43 am

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.

Another Shot off the Starboard Bow

January 11th, 2013 at 08:01 pm

Today is payday, finally, the first one of the new year, and the damage is $123 and some change more in taxes out of this first check. Next week will be a bit higher as it is a seven day paycheck and not just a five day one.

I started my morning by taking a shot at the Evil Empire and paid off another $2000. DH bought his one way plane ticket on Wednesday which had brought the balance on the BoA VISA to $5,983.64. So the new balance on the VISA is $3983.64. I will have 3 autopays coming out before the end of the month, so that will go up a bit, but I am still on track for paying the card off by month's end. Total credit card debt currently sits at $9083.64. This is the first time in a very long time I have been under $10K. Go me.

Then I made the car loan payment. I also paid another medical bill to the podiatrist and made a payment on my crown to the dentist.

$2000.00 to BoA VISA
757.82 Van payment (plus extra to principal)
205.30 Dentist
75.00 Podiatrist
50.00 Two weeks of allowance for the kids
-------------
$3088.22 Total

I still owe $350 to the dentist for my crown and should have that paid off by the end of the month. I am thinking of rescheduling my 2nd crown until after vacation in March. The tooth has not been hurting since getting the other crown put in. I don't think I'm hitting it anymore when I grind my teeth at night. The last one ended up costing $200 more than the estimate because of how much novacaine they had to give me.

I have just under $300 for the next week. I need to buy toilet paper and tissues. Normally I go to Costco for that, but I am just not up for a warehouse store, so I'm heading to Kmart. I've been out of tissues for a week, not great when everyone is sick. Even if Charmin is nice to blow your nose on, tissues are better.

I need to do a grocery shop, too. I have a coupon for $10 off a $50 purchase. This is one of the rare times I will use coupons, since most are for processed junky foods and are useless to me. They are also having a sale on Organic Valley products so I will get milk, heavy cream and half and half (the last 2 for making ice cream) if the sell by dates are decent.

Thinking...

January 11th, 2013 at 12:58 am

I have been wondering about maybe paying off the Sienna when we sell the house. Right now we have close to $800 a month going to it (we're paying more than the actual monthly payment). The van will be 2 years old on June 6th, so we have a while yet to go to own it free and clear. We've knocked off about 4 months worth of payments by paying extra.

This is only if we get anywhere near our asking price and can still bank a good amount for a new downpayment. With the car paid off it frees up $800 a month to go towards college or the EF or the downpayment. But I don't know. A bigger down payment means a smaller mortgage. Guess I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

I did talk to DD about the fact that if she went to the local community college for two years and then transferred to the local university (they partner so credits from BCC are transferrable to WWU), it would save us about $15,000. She seems amenable to that and it would give us more time to save the money for WWU.

I figure we can save about $12,000 a year for college each year once the credit cards are paid off. The $10,000 that we will save by her going to the community college the first two years can be saved for WWU and should be enough to cover the shortage for years 3 and 4. Assuming that tuition doesn't go up too much, of course. There will also be tax returns and hopefully yearly bonuses that could be saved for college if necessary.

How did college get so expensive? When I went it was about $100 a credit up to 15 credits and then anything between 15 and 18 credits was free and if you took more than 18 credits (not recommended) it cost money again. Mom paid for half, I paid for half.

It helped that I had a scholarship from work that was enough to at least pay for my books. It also helped that taking classes in the summer session was cheaper. But it's been 22 years and tuition has just gotten ridiculous, even with the local discount. We are definitely going to feel it, but we should still be able to manage without loans. I guess I've gotten good at managing these last almost 18 years since I've been married.

If my daughter can manage to find a job, I'll expect her to contribute. Same for my son when he gets there. But that's a big if in today's economy and I don't see that getting any better. This depression is going to get a lot worse before it gets better. I am just hoping we won't see an all out collapse of the American dollar, but the rate at which the government is spending I'm not holding my breath.

They just make me so mad. I mean, the aid to help Sandy victims has been tacked on with so much crap with each elected official getting a little something something for his own state. That sort of thing is business as usual for our elected, but it needs to stop. It should be about helping out the victims, not seeing what you can get for you and yours before you'll okay help.

I wish we could add an ammendment to the Constitution saying that bills had to be specifically for that one thing only and not to help pig farmers in Arkansas or corn growers in Nebraska (just randomly picking here) when it's supposed to go to rebuilding stuff in New York. That's half if not more of the problem with our debt. So much greed. That's the kind of entitlements that need to stop, the ones the officials get away with.

I wish we could make all elected officials live on a wage that was just high enough they couldn't get food stamps and make them have to pay for their own medical insurance and lose their vacation days until they've balanced the budget or at least cut all of the fat our of it. I bet it would happen pretty darn fast if they had to actually feel it.

Sorry, this turned into a bit of a rant. Don't know where it even came from.

Tomorrow is payday and I'll get to see what the higher taxes does to the paycheck. Ah, well, maybe that's where that rant came from. The waiting.

Easy Come, Easy Go

December 1st, 2012 at 05:45 am

I find that the closer I am to being out of credit card debt, the easier it is to pay the bills. It feels less and less like money slipping through my fingers and more and more like seeing the summit of the mountain and knowing it's not much further and just a little push will get me there.

I got to contribute $100 to the Emergency Fund this time, something I haven't done in a while. I also deposited the coin jar money to the EF as well, so that was an additional $97.05. The EF now sits at $1205.41. It is good to see it going up again.

I funded my funds, bringing the totals to $85 in the HoA Dues Fund, $200 in the Property Tax Fund, $400 in the Propane Fund, $400 in the Vacation Fund, $400 in the Mac Book Fund, and $200 in the Christmas Fund.

Expenditures for this paycheck were:

$1000.00 AMEX
__100.00 Chase VISA
__300.00 To Mom for her utilities
__100.00 EF
___21.98 Electricity for the Old House
___50.00 to the Holding Tank for garbage (not due 'til Feb)
__39.53 DH Life Insurance
__32.70 My Life Insurance
__59.89 Car Insurance
__45.63 Old House Insurance
__41.16 ADT Security for theOld House
_153.00 Storage
_100.00 Vacation Fund
__17.00 Dues Fund
_100.00 Property Tax Fund
_500.00 Mortgageon Old House ($376.14 plus extra to principal)
_100.00 Propane Fund
_100.00 Mac Book Fund
-------------
$2860.88

I also spent $56.20 to fill up the van. It was 3.39 per gallon. It's a little cheaper at Costco, but I really didn't want to go over there today and as long as it is no more than a 20 cent per gallon difference, I'd actually use more gas going over there and then waiting in the interminably long lines.

And I spent $230.41 on groceries. I stocked up on some things that my cupboards were bare on, mostly canned goods. I also restocked the flour stash and bought some oranges and milk. I am definitely starting to see the higher prices now. Even though I didn't buy any meat since we get it at the farm now, I still wanted to see what the current store prices are, and Holy Toledo are they high. I mean some of them are higher than their grass-fed, organic counterparts. I may need to up the grocery budget once we finish eating the inventory in the freezer. I'm trying to hang on to $600 a month, but half of that is spent at the farm.

I paid out DD's allowance for two weeks, $30. DS does not get an allowance until 12/14 as his was advanced to him so he could buy something on a really good sale. I also took out $200 in cash.

I bought DD a new MP3 player. She was willing to settle for the 4GB one, so it was $40. I used part of the $200 in cash for that. Since it was half what I was expecting it to be, I told her I'd just pay for it if she'd do some extra chores for her grandmother. So she's going to clean all of the bathrooms, mop the kitchen floor, vacuum, and clean out Mom's fridge. She's also going to do all of the laundry this weekend.

DD is going to stay after school one day next week to teach her English teacher how to knit using a loom. They're going to knit some hats for some charity and they need to make 26 between now and the 18th. Knitting goes much faster on a loom. I didn't get the details on what charity, but I think it was local. I find it kind of hilarious that my sixteen-year-old daughter is teaching a sixty-something-year-old woman to knit. It's like, shouldn't that be the other way around?

Speaking of knitting, I really need to get going and finish making DS's scarf so I can start on DD's. It's hard to work on his because he is with me so much since we homeschool him. I am trying to keep it a surprise. His sister has made him a hat in the same yarn.

I almost wiped out a pair of elderly jaywalkers tonight. I guess teenagers are not the only ones to dress all in black and take crazy chances walking after dark. If it hadn't been for the man's white hair and the woman's white shoe souls, I'd not have seen them in time to stop. And they were only 20 feet away from the well illuminated stoplight with it's cross walks.

14 days and counting until the bonus checks will be put in the mail...

Paying the Bills

November 9th, 2012 at 10:59 pm

Today is payday and for once I got to sit down early and do everything. As of today the only bill that hasn't been paid for the month is the internet bill. I don't think it has come yet. That means the vast majority of next week's paycheck can be split between credit card debt and Christmas. It feels nice going into the holidays without having to scramble this year.

DH's boss called him yesterday to let him know that he will be working an extra week on his next hitch. They still don't know about January. They'll have a better idea of that after he works the extra week. But one guaranteed extra paycheck is great. Especially if he has the three weeks off. I can just save it for that time period and if there is anything leftover put it toward debt.

I hadn't paid the car payment yet, so I'm including it here, but the money for that was from last week's payday. Here's what went out today:

$1700.00 to BoA credit card
_757.82 to car loan
_300.00 for glasses (3 months same as cash, paid in full now)
1000.00 to Mom
__37.68 Garbage
_100.00 to Vacation Fund
__72.00 to holding tank for water/sewer
__44.87 Phone at old house
__23.00 for kid's allowance (DS owes me $2, so that's lower than usual)
_300.00 for beef money
_100.00 cash for miscellaneous stuff
---------------
$4473.05

DH is going to be buying a new pair of workboots, too. They will be around $200. They are steel-toed, steel-shanked, electricity proof, water proof, and Arctic safe. The last pair lasted him about 5 years so that works out to about $40 a year. Not bad for safety gear.


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