Home > Archive: November, 2006

Archive for November, 2006

A Little Warmer Today

November 30th, 2006 at 03:09 am

It warmed up today to 26 degrees F, still below freezing but a lot more bearable and easier to keep the house warm at a lower temperature. Tomorrow it is supposed to be 32 degrees. It is also supposed to snow. Guess how happy I am to hear that? I just got dug out, for goodness sake.

It has been 8 days since my kids last went to school. Crazy. At this rate we'll be making up snow days until July. Which will give me a lot of time to work in my garden without the constant "Mom can I's" that I always get the minute I walk outside the front door.

I got a call from the library's automated system this morning to tell me each of my kids have an overdue item. The library isn't even open because of the storm! Like it would matter if I could turn it in they wouldn't be able to check it through. Stupid computers.

The school website hasn't yet posted whether there will be school tomorrow or not, but I am doubtful. The roads are still pretty icy and since 95 percent of our school district is bused, and because it is still so cold out for kids to be waiting for the bus, I somehow don't think it will happen. Yet, I hold out hope.

I did make the kids clean up the living room today. They have been camped in it for a few days and I was just sick of the mess. Now I'm on here mostly avoiding doing another load of dishes and finishing cleaning out the freezer now that I have an empty trash can again. Or almost empty. Paper plates are starting to look very appealing right now. Seems like these kids do nothing but eat when they are home.

At least today is a no spend day. I see a lot of those in my future, but hope I can at least get to town on Friday to pay the mortgage. I suppose I could do it over the phone since my CU that gets the paychecks direct deposited holds the mortgage, but I'd also like to deposit all that rolled coin and the survey check I have burning a hole in my purse. And maybe dump the kids with my mom for a couple of hours so I can just recharge my batteries. I need some me time, seriously badly.

I also need to go to Costco to get toilet paper, lettuce, meat and Omega 3 organic eggs. I'm on my last carton of eggs though it has 14 in it (out of 18). We usually go through 4 a day when DH isn't home, so that puts us out on Saturday, or not enough for everyone to have them on Sunday. I also need to get some more of those nitrate/nitrite free, sulfite/sulfate free, sugar free sausages. And some organic milk. I really don't care for this other stuff, although the kids like it.

I am trying to keep my chin up right now but I feel very whiney. At least tomorrow is the $10 deposit to savings, so my savings will go up.

Edited to add:

And they just posted school closures for tomorrow on the school's website. Darn it!

8 degrees F

November 29th, 2006 at 06:20 am

Okay, I have to admit it. My furnace is currently set on 74 degrees. And I don't even feel guilty because 4 hours on 70 did NOT get the house warm. Did I mention that almost all of the wood has frozen into a big lump that is refusing to yield any real useable bits? Anyway, after a half an hour at 74 the house is finally warm, so I will go turn it back down to 70.

It is, as my title states, currently 8 degrees outside, for our non-American friends that is way below freezing, which is 32. It was warmer during the day, 14, but the sun was out so it felt warmer and the wind wasn't blowing and that helps.

The three of us managed to clear the snow off the car, dig it out and shovel a path from the back of the car to the end of the driveway. I tried to open the doors on the drivers side. The door has a keypad, which unlocks the doors and the trunk. Well, it unlocked every door but the driver door which was frozen. I couldn't get the back door to open, so I went to the other side of the car which is more sheltered and under the tree. That one I managed to get open, then crawled through, unlocked the driver door and pretty much kicked it open, or at least pushed really hard with both feet. Turned it on and got it defrosting and popped the trunk and yay! had a can of deicer, so did both the front and back windows on the driver's side. The kids had to crawl through to the back from the front but managed okay.

So we ended up going to town and getting milk after all. I had to get regular milk because they were out of organic in the gallon size. Now I have enough of a problem paying the price for a gallon of organic milk, I am NOT going to pay a buck less than that for a half gallon, that's for sure. But I got 2 regular gallons for $3.96 so not bad. Picked up a few other items.

At least by the time we got to town the doors had thawed out and everything opened properly. We probably could have waited the storm out but quite frankly if we hadn't had a change of scenery I think we all would have gone nuts. No school again today and none scheduled for tomorrow.

The roads are a little scary, mostly ice, but I have years of experience driving on ice. And at 20 to 35 mph depending on conditions, there's not much I can't handle. Steered out of one skid just fine, which surprisingly happened when I was only going 14 mph. Some people were crazy and trying to pass, thinking what? that the speed limit is 55 so they're going to try to go it, and let's just say there were a lot of cars off the road. Though I do have to say when we got to the bare patches it was annoying that no one sped up on those sections. But oh, well.

On the way home, we were less than a mile from home when we had to stop and wait for an accident to be cleared. Had to wait about half a Hilary Duff Christmas CD before we could continue on. I think that's about 20 minutes, for those of you without kids.

But we got home safely and soundly and I have enough milk and other things that I shouldn't need to go out again for anything. That doesn't mean I won't. We may go to Mom's tomorrow to do laundry and give me a break from the incessant "I wanna play in the snow," which ain't gonna happen in the teens and lower, babies. At least Grandma has TV. Yes, I will deaden their minds for a day every so often if it means I get a bit of peace. LOL I want school back in session!

Another Power Failure

November 28th, 2006 at 10:12 pm

This one only lasted a couple hours, thank goodness. When the power did come back on though it was 30 seconds on and 30 seconds off over and over again for about 15 to 20 minutes. Very frustrating when its lunch time and you are trying to microwave something that normally takes 2 minutes, but every time the power surges, you have to reprogram the cooker.

Oh, well, its been on now steady for a half an hour so I have high hopes that it will stay on now. It seems a tiny bit warmer today, the sun is out anyway. I haven't gone out to check for sure but since the garbage can is facing a different direction than it was last night, I think the trucks made it in alright. I didn't hear them though, they usually wake me up with their noisy disiel engines, even if its just for a few seconds. I suppose I will have to haul it back to the house soon and see if there was mail and paper delivery today.

Today will be another no spend day as I still don't feel like digging out the driveway just to get milk. I'm hoping it starts melting soon. It looks a lot more compact this morning, so maybe it did melt a bit.

School and sports activities were cancelled again today. I've done two loads of laundry and am working on a third. Have clothes hanging from one shower pole on hangers and on one drying rack. I have another drying rack and another shower pole to go, so should get through 4 loads of laundry today, I think. Not letting the kids go out today frees up a drying rack from their outdoor gear.

I am getting that dryer fixed though, or possibly getting a new one, not this payday but the next one. I am tired of not having it when it would have been easier to use it to dry the kids's jackets, gloves and boot liners. Those don't tend to dry out overnight on the racks. I will still use my drying racks a lot but I want the option of using my dryer.

The cheapest dryer I've seen is just under $200, so about $220 with tax. It is $70 just for the service call to my area and then it depends on how much it will cost to fix it. If it is cheaper just to get a new one, I probably will. I just don't like that idea, I try to reuse, reduce, recycle as much as I can. Still, if its going to cost me twice as much to fix it as to replace it, I can't financially justify just fixing it. It's a bit of a conundrum.

Digging Out a Little

November 28th, 2006 at 04:27 am

Well, I decided not to chance it and dug out the garbage can and a path from it to the end of the driveway. I left it in the middle of the driveway mostly because I have no way of telling where the edges are, but they will be able to access it easy enough from the truck. If the truck comes. Please let the truck come. It was so cold shoveling that it took my lungs about 2 hours to feel normal again afterwards. They felt cold on the inside.

I have decided that I don't care how badly my kids whine and beg tomorrow they are staying inside. It is just too cold. They had really red patches on their exposed bits of skin and I'm worried about them getting frostbite now. It's 25 degrees on the porch thermometer, but the wind goes right through you, I'm sure the wind chill is bringing it down closer to zero.

We are out of milk so I may try to dig out the car from the end of the driveway to the road. The road is plowed. It's still ice, but its sanded and all I have to do is get out of the development and turn onto the highway. It's plowed down to bare road. Just not sure if I want to really do that or not. It's so cold. But there doesn't seem like there will be a break in the forecast, fortunately no snow tomorrow, just cold again.

We haven't been eating all that great today. Nachos for breakfast (but hey, organic ones!), pancakes for lunch (multi-grain! with real organic maple syrup!), tv dinners for dinner (not a single redeeming quality). Not much in the way of protein, especially quality protein. Air popped popcorn for snack with too much butter. Ugh. But my energy levels are tanked. Do you ever notice how when you are trying to stay warm you sleep more? Is that where my energy levels went? Of course, it could be just a carb coma from all the junk I'm eating.

And the freezer under the fridge is getting cleaned out. I found a box of shrimp scampi so that will probably be lunch tomorrow and another day.

I wonder if I could get the kids to drink powdered milk. They drink non-fat anyway. Hmm. I so don't want to dig the car out, can you tell?

Snow Has Stopped, Wind Has Started

November 28th, 2006 at 12:24 am

The snow finally stopped sometime last night or early this morning at 2 feet deep. The wind is just starting to pick up. We are pretty sheltered here between two foothills, but my mother says the rest of the county is getting socked.

There was no mail delivery or paper delivery. I started getting paper delivery again last month after I ran out of my stock pile when we started using the wood stove. I do read it first though. I called the Herald and they didn't even put out a paper for today, no one could get in to deliver it anyway.

I tried to call the garbage people to see if there would be pick-up tomorrow or not. No answer, but I called right before 4 and they close at 4, so now I don't know if I missed them or they couldn't get in. I really need to put my garbage out but if they aren't coming, I really don't want to shovel a path to do so. Why did the freezer have to break down last week of all weeks? Oh, well, at least the stuff is frozen solid outside and doesn't stink.

Today is a no spend day, obviously. I will probably try to get out tomorrow to get milk, as we are low, but we'll see.

It's Lovely Weather for a Sleigh Ride Together With You

November 27th, 2006 at 04:42 am

Oh, my gosh, we are at 18 inches of snow now and there is absolutely no sign of stopping! I wonder if the airplanes are going to freeze to the runway again like they did the one year we had the huge storm. The photos were gorgeous but scary. If this keeps up, we may end up with 2 feet by morning. I do hope it stops soon. I really don't feel like hauling out a metal ladder and shoveling snow off my roof so it doesn't collapse. If it stops short of 3 feet deep then I probably won't have to, but seriously, it is showing no sign of stopping. I bet Mt. Baker Ski Resort is through the roof happy.

The birdbath looks like a giant wedding cake. I can't even see Queen Frog (garden ornament) anymore and its not like she's small. The arbor just looks like one very tall white structure (its cedar colored), the tree stumps are buried, and the neighbor's yellow van is completely white.

The trees are so weighted down with snow that branches that are normally 12 feet off the ground are brushing the top of my car (about 5 feet tall) and there's not a bit of green to be seen on the evergreens. I'd take photos but the digital batteries are not in the charger or in the camera, so that's not going to happen. Just look at Contrary1's picture and then imagine 8 trees about that size in a circle and way more snow.

I'm pretty sure there won't be school tomorrow but you never know. We deal with snow all the time here, maybe not this much every year, so we may just have late arrival with limited bus schedules. I hope there is school. My kids are itching to go back after the long weekend. I guess I'll call the weather line in the morning and find out.


November 27th, 2006 at 02:14 am

3rd entry today.

Today I went ahead and activated my Citi MC that has been sitting in the credit card box since February and transferred the 22% MBNA mastercard balance onto it. It is now at 6.99% until March of 2008.

Another thing I will have to do is call up Auto Advantage, Preferred Home Network, Bargain Auto Network and a couple of others that I did as trial offers months ago and cancelled, mind you within the 30 day trial periods, so I never should have been charged more than $1 for any of these things. Well, they've been charging the card. I thought DH was watching that one and he thought I was and we didn't catch it. Well, I'm going to get on the phone tomorrow and raise high holy hell with these folks. Just as soon as I find my notebook with the confirmation numbers and names of the people I talked to when I cancelled.

DH is also taking care of disputing the charges. As soon as we are credited back with all that they owe us than that MBNA card will be cancelled.

I guess I won't be doing business with TriAlegant ever again. Their the parent company that is currently ripping me off by not following through on cancelling all those things. Very irritating.

I also have a few other things to cancel that need cancelling, so have to get my papers together for those as well.

Cooking Up a Storm

November 26th, 2006 at 09:27 pm

Or maybe cooking during the storm.

2nd entry today.

There is a foot of snow outside and no sign of it stopping anytime soon. The kids are having a blast, though I do keep making them come inside to get warm.

So far this morning I have turkey noodle soup cooking, finished making the TexMex Turkey and Rice and decided to make some Turkey Cacciatore while I was at it. I will have some nice freezer meals for the chest freezer.

I'm going to have to dread the storm and bring in some firewood, which means I'll have to kick Rose out of my snow boots. She's not going to like that, but I'll do it the next time she comes in to get warm. I have to set up the drying racks, they've managed to soak their scarves and their coats are going to need time in front of the fire as well.

They haven't plowed our road yet, though I'm sure the highway is in good shape. It usually is if you can get to it. I'm glad I have nowhere to go. This will really help with my no eating out for 2 weeks goal. It'll help a lot with no spend days, too!

I do hope the school buses can get through tomorrow. It's going to be a long day otherwise.

Money In from PTRs

November 26th, 2006 at 09:18 pm

Received the transfer from paypal for ReadRevenue on Friday, $3 and will transfer that to the payoff account next time I go to town.

The auto transfer to savings of $10 happened on Friday as well, since banks were closed Thursday. I will be sending that off to ING.

The owner of TinklyCash must have finally gotten back from his trip as that $5 showed up in paypal yesterday so I transferred that to my CU. It will go to the payoff account, too.

I should have enough to cash out at ReadRevenue again in 2 days and DaysLook in 4 days ($5) if they keep up the same level of emails that they are currently sending.

TinklyCash stopped sending more than 2 out a day and so did CashOrigin, so hopefully those will reset soon. I do them when I'm watching a movie or even reading a book, I know PTRs can be so mindless, otherwise. I just wish I could figure out a way to knit and do PTR's at the same time, while watching a movie. Now that would be efficient use of my time.

Winter Wonderland

November 26th, 2006 at 04:02 am

It's snowing hard and fast here tonight. That doesn't always mean anything here on how deep it will get. We've been known to get 3 feet overnight or 2 inches. Usually somewhere in between. We had about a half inch when I got up this morning and an inch by 2 p.m. and then it stopped. Started up again a half an hour ago and its already added an inch.

I decided to go in and pick up my kids instead of having my mother bring them home. I really needed to go grocery shopping. I went to Fred Meyer so I could also pick up waterproof gloves for the kids and look at the boots. They had a good price on the boots so I got Tobias a new pair. His old ones are too small, they were too small by the end of last winter. Rose can wear mine until I get a chance to take her to try things on. Her feet are shaped in such a way that I can't just pick her size and they'll fit. I found good gloves for them, too.

I stocked up on apples, oranges, and bananas. They had braeburns on sale for 88 cents a pound. I wanted the more expensive honeycrisp but couldn't justify the $1.99/lb price and braeburns are good. Organic bananas were 79 cents a pound while the regular ones were 99 cents, weird. The oranges were a little more than I like to pay but I didn't want to go to another grocer and I knew they were still cheaper than at the organic foods store.

I bought some root vegetables, parsnips, turnips, rutabagas, carrots, sweet potatos and will be roasting them probably tomorrow. I have only had sweet potatoes once before but I think its going to be fine. Have some acorn squash I can add to it.

I picked up the organic deli meat without nitrates/nitrites and sulfates/sulfites for school lunches and some organic 100% whole wheat bread and same type of hamburger buns and organic non-fat milk. They had bagged broccoli/cauliflower cut up for $1.25 for a one pound bag that they were clearancing, I got two. Looked at the chicken but the stuff they had on special was from Cincinatti and I prefer to get my chicken locally. Usually they have local stuff on sale but I think they are still trying to move a lot of holiday stuff out.

After FM I went to Terra Organica, the organic foods store and picked up a couple packages of organic 100% whole wheat tortillas, 2 packages of organic multi-grain pancake mix, and some free range organic chicken broth.

Then I went and got my kids and Mom sent me home with a couple of uncooked sweet potatoes that sister had left behind and the rest of the 100% whole wheat rolls from Thanksgiving.

I'll need to go meat shopping I think sometime next week. I really need to see what I have in my half size chest freezer, which I think is just turkey legs and necks (no thank you anytime soon), a 4 pack package of bacon (and not the good kind, I mean it tastes good, but its full on nasties) and 4 pounds of hamburger. I think there might be some steaks and a whole chicken in the freezer that is in my fridge. Maybe I should concentrate on getting that used up first and then worry about meat shopping later on.

When we got home the kids played in the snow for a half an hour and then I made them dinner, turkey and cheese quesadillas and leftover potatoes and gravy. I'm going to throw the turkey carcass in the crockpot tonight with water, salt, celery, carrot, onion, garlic and dried parsley if I can find it. I usually use fresh parsley when making stock but didn't think about it when I was shopping and don't have any now. Then I'll make turkey noodle soup tomorrow with the result. I'll make whole wheat egg noodles with my pasta maker or see if I can't find where the whole wheat spaghetti noodles got to. I'll freeze part of this.

I think I'll make up TexMex turkey and rice tomorrow, also. I have a really easy recipe. Cook rice, dump leftover shredded turkey on top, cover with two jars of medium salsa (organic, preferrably), stir, heat, stir again. Voila. Sometimes I'll throw in extra diced tomatoes, drained if I have a can. I prefer to use brown rice but it works with white minute rice, too,and is faster. Usually I make it with leftover chicken but since I have all the leftover turkey, that's where it goes. I'll freeze up some of these in meal sized portions, too.

Just checked the google weather report for my little town and its supposed to snow all day tomorrow. Really, really glad I got groceries today.

I am feeling better again. I got quite a lot of extra sleep while the kids were at my mother's and I am hopeful I am on the upswing, but I did feel a bit dizzy today while shopping and I still have a cough. If the roads are not too bad I will try to see the doctor though on Tuesday. I want to make sure I don't have bronchitis or the start of walking pneumnonia. He's usually slammed the first day back after a long holiday so I don't even want to try for Monday.

I finished reading the book Odyssey by Jack McDevitt. Hard sci-fi/excellent. Watched the movie Someone Like You. Funny, sad and sweet romance and Hugh Jackman is always good whether he's a romantic lead as in this or Wolverine from X-Men. And pretty to look at. LOL