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

The Great Freezer Meltdown of 2006--Revisited

November 25th, 2006 at 12:27 am

Yep, you got that right, revisited. I cannot believe this happened again. DH is the culprit, he was the last person in there on Monday. Of course with the holidays and everything, I didn't even go into the laundry room until today and guess what? The freezer door was wide open. We lost everything. This makes me so mad (not at DH, just that it happened) as the stuff actually made it through the power failure and there had to be over $500 worth of frozen food in there, maybe $600.

I filled up the garbage can, though I haven't hopped inside and done the garbage dance yet to smoosh it down and fit more in. I still could probably fill the can again. This means an extra can has to be put out this month. At least. Which means an extra pickup charge on the garbage bill. I'd gotten down to putting a can out every 3 weeks instead of every 2 and now I'll have to put out at least 2 in a row. Sigh.

I'm ready to get rid of this freezer. The door doesn't always fasten right. It belongs to my mother and it is older than I am. She wants it back and is going to give us our freezer back. We traded a couple years ago because she wanted to downsize and had a chest freezer as backup. Well, the chest freezer died, so we figured we'd trade back. Not sure I want any upright again at this point. But I certainly don't want the old menace, so as soon as I can get it all cleaned out she can have it.

50,000 Hits!!!!

November 24th, 2006 at 03:00 am

Wow, I just checked my blog statistics and I've hit the big 50K. Can't believe that, its just been a little over 7 months since I started this little thing. Weirder still to think how many people are actually reading it. Weird, but definitely cool.

So I divided my number of hits 50,216 by my number of entries 290 and the result was 173. Now I know there probably aren't actually 173 people reading each entry, some of those are bound to be people checking back to read comments, and you know, me checking back to read and answer comments, but still, probably 100 people are out there reading what I write. Wow. Little old me. It's nice to know someone is listening.

My Thanksgiving

November 24th, 2006 at 02:44 am

Today was a no spend day. That's easy when nothing is open!

My thanksgiving went well. I got to sleep in and not cook anything. For some reason when I got to Mom's they didn't want me coughing all over the food, so I guess that is one thing this never-ending cold has got going for it.

I came home with a ton of leftovers and without my children, who are going to stay until Saturday and then my mother will actually drive them home, which almost never happens.

I made up all of my divided microwave dishes into TV dinners and froze them. I had ten in all and still had leftovers. Mom also sent home the carcass with me and I threw that in the freezer. I'll make stock when I'm feeling better. I'll end up with an awful lot of food, none of which I paid for.

I tried cranberry something or other, jelly maybe? for the first time and sweet potatoes for the first time. My sister made them. The one I like. The other sister didn't show. She's not much on family, even her own. Usually my nice sister doesn't come to Mom's for Thanksgiving, they do their own thing, but they moved this year and I think they were all missing us, plus her kitchen is tiny now. I liked the sweet potatoes, though I think she put too much brown sugar in them and the cranberry stuff was too sweet, I don't really care for the flavor of cranberries in juice so I wasn't surprised that I didn't really like that stuff. But I'm glad I tried it.

It was a nice visit, but I am glad to be back home. I think I will sleep for the next 24 hours or so and see if I can't beat this thing. After I get caught up on the blogs, of course.

The Neighbor's Dogs

November 23rd, 2006 at 02:59 am

Entry 5. I know, I know. But this is too funny not to share.

The neighbor's dogs have been barking for about 2 hours straight. These dogs drive me crazy because they are so loud. When DH and I were putting a tarp on the shed to cover where the shingles ripped off in the wind storm the other day we couldn't even hold a conversation standing five feet from each other because of those ^%$&*!@% dogs, let alone when we were on opposite sides of the shed. Every time I go outside I get yapped at. Doesn't matter that I'm in my yard minding my own business. Yap, yap, yap, yap, yap.

This is the neighbor that has 11 dogs and puppies. Not 11 dogs including the puppies, but 11 not counting them. They have their front porch penned off so that you can't get to their front door and their are dogs on the porch anyway. The back door is blocked by dogs, too. So you can't really go over there and complain about the noise without getting jumped by the dogs. These are big dogs, labs and rotties and shepherd cross of some sort.

Sometimes they let one of them run loose and it charges me. I've just about had it with the dogs and have thought about calling SPC on them, they can be fined for allowing the dogs to run loose. And they can be fined by our homeowner's association, too for letting them run loose, especially after one of them tore another dog apart that was being walked on a leash by a little girl.

Anyway, a couple of minutes ago I heard this really, really loud obnoxious noise, so I went outside and there were six families from the neighboring houses standing there holding a boom box and blasting it at top volume in front of the neighbor's house. I went out to see what was going on and the song they were playing was "Who Let the Dog's Out." That was enough to bring the neighbor out of the house and people were finally able to talk to him. I just sat on the porch and laughed quietly with tears streaming down my face. I sure hope he finally gets the point.

Check in the Mail

November 23rd, 2006 at 02:41 am

Gosh, this is entry 4 for today, already. Some days I guess I have a lot to write about

I received a $5 survey check in the mail today from Your2Cents. That will go into the credit card payoff account.

I also rolled coin today so I have a total of $15.50 of rolled coin to deposit.

I saw the most interesting toy at the store. It is called Pig E. Bank and is an interactive purple piggy bank. It isn't even that expensive, but it teaches you about saving money and stuff. It comes with some toy money, also but its a real piggy bank. It was less than $10. This might be a real teaching tool for someone who wants their kids to start saving money.

Don't Shop at Suncoast--Part 2

November 23rd, 2006 at 02:33 am

Well, Yummy's Kmart rant reminded me that I haven't updated on the Suncoast rant so here goes. Five days after I emailed them I got a nice form letter that basically said "Your correspondence is very important to us and will be answered in the order of which it was received. If you want to speak to an actual human good luck, because we don't actually have any here, though you may be able to coax out a customer non-service troll if you hop up your front steps on one leg backwards while whistling Dixie and rotating a hula hoop around your hips. You must submit the digital recording of this via our email which we probably still won't answer." Or something to that effect and meaning, but not quite in those words. 2 weeks from the date of the complaint and nothing further has been received from them.

Big Payment to MC #2

November 22nd, 2006 at 08:54 pm

I sent off the payment to my MBNA master card of $1200. This should bring the balance down to right around $5300. I am hoping to have this paid off by the end of April. It has the highest interest rate and lowest balance. I like it when it matches up that way, as it means I can get rid of the smallest balance first without feeling like I should be paying the higher rate cards first. It seems more motivational to know I can pay this off in a few months than it does to think of how much longer it would take to pay off one of the higher balance cards.

I need to find out about transferring the balance to a lower rate card. Originally the interest on this one was 6.9 percent for the last year, but now its jumped up to 22% and that is not acceptable to me. Maybe it won't matter that much if I can't if I can pay it off in 5 months, but it is the principle of the thing.

Cash In the Bank and PTR speak

November 22nd, 2006 at 10:01 am

I have insomnia and so am up late reading blogs and thought to check with paypal since it is officially tomorrow and yes, the money did come through from ReadRevenue, so I transferred that to the CU. Probably won't see it until Monday because of the holiday. Anyway, when it comes in it will be added to the account we are using for paying off MC card 2. I know $3 won't make much of a difference but its something.

Still waiting for the owner of TinklyCash to get back from his business trip. I've moved up the waiting list to only being second in line so obviously some stuff has been processed as I was 8th before. That'll be $5 more to the credit card if it ever shows up. I'm already halfway to another payout with them, if I ever get this one. He's supposed to be back the 25th, but who knows?

I know they pay out, they have before it is just annoying having to wait so long, they ought to have a backup system.

Dayslook has started sending me emails again, so I guess they've got the kinks worked out. Or judging from their new website page, maybe they added kinks. I'm pretty sure I won't stick with them once I hit payout. Some of their content has gotten a in theme. But I have enough money in that account to not want to just abandon it. I can put up with it for a little while.

CashOrigin seems to have shut itself off again after a five day run of emails. Sigh. They have more problems, or at least I have more problems getting consistent email flow with them.

Okay, I am starting to bore myself, so I'll just send this off now and try again to sleep.

Ripped Off

November 22nd, 2006 at 12:26 am

No, this isn't an entry about being ripped off, its an entry about ripping something off. Or rather something I want to rip off. That would be my ugly front porch. Some days I just want to tear it off the house and truck it to the dump. It's not very big for one thing and it isn't all that safe. I mean it is structurally sound but it is easy to miss a step and slip down the stairs a bit.

I know once we paint it it will start to look better, but I also don't want to pain it because we do have plans to replace it in about 2 years. What I really want is a set of steps leading down to a deck near the ground. Well, what I really want is an elevated deck but that requires a building permit and submission of plans and extra paperwork I'd rather avoid. If the deck is less than 18 inches off the ground we don't have to do that stuff.

The deck kit we want costs under $1000 currently and DH and I know we can install it ourselves. We put together the play structure fairly easily and discovered we have quite a bit of competence in this area. By the time we are ready to put this deck on the house we will have built the elevated tree house play structure as well. It's sitting in the shed waiting to be built.

I don't know why the porch is bugging me so much today, it comes and goes. It's just kind of an irritant in the background much of the time. Today it is a big one.

More Money Gone

November 21st, 2006 at 07:23 am

Well, today was the day I took DH to the airport. I had to take $40 out of the CU to give him for his travel money. He spends $15 on the way up, about $10 for little things at the commissary during his work hitch, then $15 on the way home. He has gotten this down quite a bit from when he was just using the credit card and buying a lot more junk along the way.

Since we made the decision not to use the card for anything but airfare and hotel it is making a difference. We are able to pay off each month's charges on that card, plus a little extra so that card is slowly going down each month. For so long we were so close to the limit on it, it is so nice to have breathing room.

We ate out again tonight and spent $40 plus $8 tip. I hate that. We were so strapped for time it just was the easiest thing to do. Well, from today on for at least two weeks, I don't care how easy it is, no more eating out! I've got plenty of good food in the house and I will cook and that is that.

DH is gone for 3 weeks this time, so I will have to make sure I don't fall back on eating out out of boredom or loneliness. This really is my bugabear. Not that I am really ever lonely with the kids but its not the same thing as having your spouse home every night.

Tomorrow is the last day of school until Monday so I will take full advantage of having the house to myself. I still need to call my mother and make plans on what days she wants the kids. And hope she hasn't changed her mind. I am still sick, kind of holding my own, not getting better or worse, not really, though some days I think I am getting better only to turn around the next day and feel yucky again. I probably ought to get in to see the doc soon, but he is so hard to get into during the holidays.

Hey, does anyone know if its possible to set the all entries page to ignore a blog so it doesn't show up? I've got one that keeps bogging down my computer with its huge number of graphs and charts. My poor 56K can't handle it. It'd be one thing if it was once or twice a day but when he dumps ten in a row on a page, my computer just about grinds to a halt.

Hanging Lights

November 20th, 2006 at 07:10 am

I helped DH hang twinkle icicle lights on the house today. We put the new LED ones on the front peak that faces the road. Then we put the non LED ones along the length of the house that is technically the front of the house, though it sits sideways on the property, around the porch and then we still have to do one more string to finish the last length, but we ran out of light. We won't have them on this soon but DH leaves for Alaska tomorrow night and won't be back until the 12th or 13th. I can do everything else myself, but not the gutters. Well, I could, but I really don't want to.

We also got all the Christmas stuff down from the 2nd floor of the shed so I can set everything up easily at my leisure.

We did go to town again today and get some more gutter clips and some cable, 2 50 foot lengths and 2 25 foot lengths and we will run these through our standing displays and lock them around the huge cedar trees. We were robbed last Christmas, someone took $90 worth of our lights right off our apple tree. We caught them in the act, but they took off and had already gotten most of the stuff off the tree. We managed to save two. They were those big ball lights they had at Lowe's a few years ago that had fifty lights each and were in really unique jewel tone colors and they don't carry them anymore. I was really mad I couldn't replace them, but in retrospect they were huge energy hogs no matter how pretty they were.

We also ate dinner out, an unplanned spend. Hopefully that is the last of those for awhile.

Christmas Shopping

November 19th, 2006 at 09:21 pm

We've been Christmas shopping the last couple of days and have paid for everything with cash this year. I think this is the first year in ages that we haven't used a credit card at all.

The kids are all taken care of, they were easy though. They only wanted two things each and those things happened to cost the limit of what they will get. So they each got a Nintendo Gameboy DS, one black and one white, the game Dogs--Dalmation version for Rose, and the game Mario Vs Donkey Kong 2 for Tobias. They will get stockings and nothing else this year. I did get the game systems on sale so I was really happy about that. They may go on a better sale the Friday after Thanksgiving, but I don't shop then, and its done and out of the way now.

We found the weight bench DH wants and its within the budgeted amount so I'm happy there, too. We haven't bought it yet.

I also found the gifts for MIL and FIL, but not bought, and the neice I haven't bought for yet. I am making up 2 batches of lasagna and freezing them for our gift to SIL and BIL. That just leaves my parents and 3 nephews. My sisters and I don't exchange, we just do the kids under 18. I am making my dad some knitted hats. I am not sure what I will do for my mother yet. Maybe a blanket if I have time. Or some knitted slippers or socks. I found directions for making them with the knitting looms online, so I think I will at least try that.

Oh, we also went to Lady Foot Locker and bought basketball shoes for Rose and a new jacket. It's down and very warm. She finally outgrew the jacket we bought for her four years ago (we bought it big). We got the jacket for 1/2 price and a free bag of athletic socks ($9.99), since they had a buy one get one half price on anything at the store.

I just have to rave about how wonderful the service was that we got at that store. The girl worked with us for probably 30 minutes, making sure everything fit right and finding what we needed. I told her how much I appreciated her taking the time and that I was really impressed with the service. You just don't get that in shoe stores anymore. I mean the men's Foot Locker was, "Here's the shoe, try it on and I'll get back to you." I think it is very important to say thank you for good customer service.

We bought 5 packages of LED Christmas Lights at Target to start replacing some of our other ones. The energy savings should be pretty good. I am going to replace them all over the next few years, I think. They are a little more pricey than the other kind but they are supposed to last longer, too. We also bought a swag light, a green one with a red bow in the middle. I have been wanting one for a few years.

Anyway, so a lot of money spent these last two days but everything on or under budget so I am happy.

These Lists Keep Coming

November 18th, 2006 at 01:20 pm

Okay, here's mine.

1. I have a penguin collection that includes 60 unique items.
2. I love science fiction, particularly military science fiction ala Elizabeth Moon, or sciency science fiction ala Greg Bear, but my favorite author is fantasy writer Anne McCaffrey. Aside from Anne I donít care much for fantasy.
3. I write teenage romance novels as a hobby.
4. I wrote my first ďbookĒ in 3rd grade.
5. I have never won a contest, but every contest I have entered my daughter in, she has won.
6. I hate professional sports, but love watching K-12 soccer, basketball, volleyball, and football. I will watch the Olympic sports of ice skating, gymnastics, swimming, diving, snowcross and stunt skiing.
7. My favorite television show ever was Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
8. I cannot follow a recipe as written unless Iím baking cookies.
9. I have every movie Arnold Shwarzenegger has ever made except Predator. My favorite movie of all time is The Terminator. I was sad to see him become a politician as I figured it would mean his acting days were over. His real acting days, I mean.
10. I have kept a diary in one form or another since the 3rd grade and I still have them all.
11. I am madly, deeply, passionately in love with my husband, who is the only man I have ever slept with. We did not live together before we got married and we had a 4 and 1/2 year engagement, even though we knew we wanted to get married within one week of starting to date. We have been together for 16 years, married for 11.
12. Before I had children I had an IQ of 158. After I had children, I had an IQ of 144.
13. I like to make up words and break the rules of English.
14. I lost my winter trimester of my freshman year of high school due to illness, except for my English class, in which I got the highest A of the class despite only attending class 25 days that term.
15. I made up my lost credits by taking junior achievement after school as a sophomore and attending the vocational school for one summer between sophomore and junior years, so I could graduate with my class.
16. I did not understand algebra until college. I didnít have a good math teacher until college.
17. As a child I had a photographic memory just like my dad and my son. A head injury sustained at 13 caused me to lose this ability. I can still memorize relatively easily but canít glance at a page and remember it like before.
18. My husband is a Republican, my parents are Democrats, and I am an Independent. Holidays can be quite interesting.
19. I have 2 older sisters. I donít like one of them.
20. I love science, especially geology. Glacial geology was my favorite of all the geology classes I took in college. Political Science was my favorite class period.
21. I love watching forensic crime solving shows on TV. Real ones, not fictionalized ones, well, except for Bones. Canít do this any more as we no longer get cable. It is probably the only thing I miss.
22. I want Sami and Lucas to live happily ever after even though I havenít watched Days of Our Lives in years. I still keep up in one of the digest mags.
23. I taught my husband how to cook when we were dating. He cooks almost as well as I do now.
24. I was 20 years old before I had any kind of real ethnic food for the first time. Taco Time doesnít count.
25. I worked my way through college flipping burgers.
26. My first job was picking strawberries at age 4, before they changed the labor laws. I also picked raspberries and blueberries every summer. The first thing I bought with my berry money was a Snoopy wristwatch. It was powder blue. The last year I picked berries was 15. I paid for a trip to a week long Christian youth conference in Colorado, including airfare, with my earnings that year. I did go back and sort raspberries the summer I was 19.
27. My parents do not call me by the name they gave me. They use a nickname of my middle name.
28. I freaked out when I saw a movie with a character that had the same last name as my very rare maiden name. Fortunately I was watching it on DVD at home.
29. I am addicted to books on tape and listen to them every night at bedtime.
30. I still call music CDís albums, even though I havenít bought an actual record album since 1988. I still call recording something on DVD taping it. I still call typing a number into a touchtone phone dialing.
31. My cell phone only makes phone calls. It does not take pictures, email, play games, text message, or play MPG files. My cell phone company cannot believe that I like it that way.
32. I still have a few boxes that I havenít unpacked since we moved into our house over 8 years ago.
33. Instruments I have played in my lifetime are violin, organ, flute, viola, and piano. I taught myself piano 2 years ago, though I am still learning. We own a violin, viola, 2 guitars, electronic keyboard, recorder, song flute, bagpipe practice horn (canít remember the name, but it doesnít have the bags or anything, it is DHís) and a piano (that I got for free, itís a 1917 Cable-Nelson Upright Grand piano).
34. I participated in an orchestra for 8 years and Concert Choir for 3 years.
35. I had P.E. waived from the 8th grade on so I could take more music classes.
36. I think people should have to take an intelligence test to have children, own a pet, or drive a car. If you donít have common sense then you shouldnít be allowed to do any of them.
37. I love puns and make them all the time without intending to.
38. My kids think I am hilarious. This is not quite the same thing as thinking I am funny.
39. I was not allowed to talk on the phone with boys until I was 16. Or to date until I was 16. I did both anyway.
40. In middle school I spent every Friday night at a roller skating rink that had been converted from an old armory for the army. To this day I cannot hear Tainted Love, Angelís on the Centerfold, Somebodyís Watching Me, I Love Rock and Roll or Jack and Diane without flashing back to the skating rink.
41. When I am particularly unsettled I go to the water. Either to a waterfall, my first choice, a stream or river, or a lake. It always calms me down.
42. My favorite fruit is nectarine, with bing cherry running a close second. My favorite vegetable is kohlrabi.
43. All of my K-12 teachers were afraid of my mother.
44. I prefer cheap milk chocolate over the expensive ďgoodĒ stuff.
45. I have a different tablecloth for each season of the year.
46. My computer desktop currently has a picture of yellow tulips against a blue sky.
47. My best friend growing up turned out to be a jerk. It was really too bad as she had tons of talent and unlimited potential.
48. I have not had a pet since my cat died 10 years ago. She was the most beautiful Calico Tabby cross I have ever seen and her name was Honi, pronounced like honey.
49. I painted my house dark forest green with brown trim.
50. My favorite color flowers to plant are the blues and the oranges, but not together.

Adventures in Power Tripping

November 17th, 2006 at 06:02 am

...or what happens when the power goes out and you can't see where you are walking.

48 hours without power is about 40 hours more than I can handle. 40 hours without a phone line really drove me nuts. Not being able to access this site or the internet? 3 hours of that was about enough. 2 days with the school closed due to a power failure, no ability to watch movies, use the computer, use the game cube, and reading by candlelight in the evenings made for 2 stir-crazy children and 2 just plain crazy parents.

But thank heavens it is back on now. Phone came back first, then power. We ended up spending an unbudgeted $100 on food, some eating out and some to restock the fridge. We had to throw away much of what was in the fridge, managed to save some apples and oranges and some veggies, but tossed out all the meats and salad dressings, cream cheese, sour cream, yogurt, the pre-chopped veggies had turned brown, and some of the condiments.

I had moved some stuff to a cooler, milk, eggs, butter, turkey and ham (the organic nitrate/nitrite free stuff for sandwiches), mayonnaise, jelly and peanutbutter. And it was still cold and good, so we didn't lose it all. Just some.

We had quite an adventure yesterday morning with the kids getting trapped at the school, a tree down across the road halfway between the school and our house, a tree down further down the road in the other direction, a tree down across the exit, but not the entrance driveway to our development. We called the school, they were keeping the kids at school until the roads were cleared even though there was no power.

So we decided to walk down to the school, which is 1.2 miles one way. We told the school we were coming and to tell our kids. It was raining pretty hard and the wind was whipping pretty good, but we wanted our kids home with us and the fireman said it could be several hours before they cleared the road in either direction. So we walked and the one tree was really big and had brought down the messanger cable as well as the power line, and the cable line. When they did end up cutting the tree up, they accidently brought down the phone line as well.

There was a safe place to get around the downed line on a side road that came out again further down the highway. So we finally made it to the school after about twenty minutes of fast walking. So we go to find our kids. "Oh, that bus decided to go on a reverse route and try to deliver as many kids as they could. But they'll bring back the ones who they can't deliver." They couldn't tell us that on the phone? So now we are at the school with the possibility that our kids could be at home, or they could be brought back to the school. You could say I was one p.o.'d parent.

We couldn't get ahold of the bus driver on his radio as he had turned it off, due to too much chatter on it. Argh! So we told the school that if they kids did come back to hold them there and we would come back when the road was clear. Then we walked back home. Just as we were passing the tree, they finally got it cleared (several hours, my eye!), so we got to walk the highway with a ton of cars zipping by to make up for having to wait in a really long line for so long. Fun.

Got home to a note on the door that the kids had gone to the neighbor's house, like we figured they would, so it all turned out okay, but the kids told me that the bus was driven over some downed wires and he had squeezed it through under some wires that were angled down across the road and went around a tree. That I am not happy about. The kids safety should come first, so I am calling the bus garage tomorrow to complain now that we have phones again and school and buses should be running tomorrow.

School conferences were supposed to be this week but obviously they were cancelled. I hope we can reschedule for tomorrow as DH flies out on Monday and he really wanted to go. He almost always misses them and this one just coincided with his being home for a change. Also basketball practice was cancelled, too.

So anyway that has been my last two days in a nutshell. A very large, very full nutshell.

Oh, and today was the automatic deposit to savings of $10 so I will send that off to ING tomorrow. I'm not sure where my total is at right now and I'm too tired to look it up.

Feeling a Little Better

November 14th, 2006 at 09:50 pm

I couldn't get into this site all morning and just about had a conniption. I like reading the blogs in the morning, its a habit now, so to not be able to get in drove me right up the wall.

At least its working again, so yay. I am feeling a bit better today. I took a 2 hour nap and I really think the extra sleep is helping. I hope. So far, every time I've thought I was getting over this cold, I'd backslide.

The kids got out of school early today as conferences have started. I got their report cards yesterday and they are both doing really well. Rose is still having problems with spelling but that is to be expected. I still think there's something more to it, she has an aunt and an uncle who are dyslexic and her paternal grandmother and father have difficulty spelling. But so far, the school says no, she's not dyslexic.

My conferences are tomorrow and I will ask about having her tested again.

I am trying to make this a no spend day, there is no reason to go anywhere except to basketball practice tonight. Rose says Miss Bullypants has started being nice to her, so the session with the counselor seems to have worked for now.

Not too much coming up on the financial horizon. DH comes home tomorrow and we always spend more money when he is here than when he is up on the slope. Not necessarily his fault though, it just seems to happen.

Oh, wait this can't be a no spend day as I wrote a check this morning to fund Tobias' lunch account at school. And tomorrow won't be either because Rose needs one, too. Sigh. Oh, well.

I am close to cashing out at ReadRevenue, so that will be $3, and I am still waiting on TinklyCash, as the owner went on a business trip to somewhere in Asia so things are processed a lot slower when that happens. I've moved up from 8th on the waiting list to be paid to 2nd, so hopefully that $5 will come through soon. CashOrigin has finally started sending emails out again, so hopefully that one will be soon, too, I was pretty close before, I think.

Not Much to Add

November 14th, 2006 at 07:59 am

I felt so crummy this morning that after I got the kids on the bus I went back to bed and slept until 1:00. I feel kind of guilty for not getting stuff done but if you can't rest when you are sick, when can you? So just had to let it go.

DH told me that we will be getting an extra $142 for working this extra weeklong shift, to cover the cost of changing his ticket. Normally we have to eat that, but not this time. I am glad. I can add it to the credit card paydown account when it comes.

This and That

November 13th, 2006 at 02:10 am

I have the turkey stock simmering on the stove and it is filling the house with a wonderful aroma. I also have turkey legs roasting in the oven and we will be having mashed potatoes and gravy and green beans with it for dinner tonight. I am making enough so that I don't have to cook tomorrow for dinner. I still feel yucky.

We went out for lunch today. I honestly could not face the idea of cooking earlier so I took the kids through drive-thru and spent $9.39 to feed the 3 of us. Had to drive 20 miles to get to the nearest drive-thru also. Not great. It did however give me the quarter I needed to roll a roll of quarters up, so that with the roll of pennies will be $10.50 deposited tomorrow into the savings account for the extra credit card payment.

Tomorrow I have to try to remember to call the phone company and drop our long distance service. It is only $3.33 a month, which is $39.96 a year, but we don't use it so it is wasted money. I always use my Costco calling card when I do call long distance, so there is really no point at all in having it. I wonder if that'll reduce the taxes and surcharges any at all? Probably just a few cents if it does.

Laundry room still isn't done. I am studiously ignoring it right now. Maybe tomorrow.

Ups and Downs

November 12th, 2006 at 07:17 am

Entry 4.

I think I have been spending way too much time on the blogs and boards today. I did get some stuff accomplished in the laundry room today but it didn't get finished. I don't think it really even got halfway done.

I keep thinking I've shaken off this cold, I start to feel better and then the next day or two, bleah. I started coughing about 4 hours ago and its definitely in the bronchials now. Tobias is still not better either. He is almost never sick and this has just dragged on and on with him. He spent most of the day just laying on the couch watching his sister play video games, which is very unlike him. And his cheeks are bright red and he is running a fever again.

I did manage to get a load of dishes done, and do three loads of laundry. Two loads of towels are on the drying racks and one load of clothes is hanging (on hangers) from the shower rod to dry. I took 6 surveys, or tried to, only qualified for 2 of them, and did some PTR's. But mostly I just got lazy and didn't do much of anything that I had planned. Didn't even start the turkey stock going like I planned, so hopefully tomorrow I will get to that.

At least there was no temptation to go out and spend money. Even if we didn't feel yucky, it is pouring rain again. We may have flooding again soon. I am just so grateful the flood plain is 3 miles away from where I live. Not that I'd have bought property by a river in the first place.

Getting Set to Pay off Debt

November 12th, 2006 at 03:41 am

Entry 3 for today.

I have decided that each month I will take all of the money that was previously going to savings, except the $10 a week and put it into savings account at CU #3. Then when I go to write the regular check to MBNA MC1 ech month, I can also transfer the saved money into the CU #3 checking account and write a check off that account and tuck it in with the first check.

That will be the easiest way for me to do this, plus it will help me keep track of how much extra I pay each month, because it will be a seperate check. I'd like to keep a running total of the extra used the same way I was keeping a running total of how much I was saving. Well, I'll still be keeping a running total on the savings, but it won't be going up as fast as before. That will start next month.

This next payday there will be $1000 extra to send off to that card so I will do that online out of regular checking. Since I've already mailed that off yesterday (due on 17th), I don't want to wait a whole month to add it to the next check.

I think we should be able to pay this card off by April and then I plan to cancel it. I really do not need two MBNA Master Cards and since Bank of America bought them out, I now have 3 cards with them and I don't like that. I also don't like the changes that have been made since then with this one MC so I'll be glad to see it gone. Then I'll transfer as much as possible onto my empty Chase Visa when the lower rate on MC #2 runs out, they are always sending me balance transfer checks at lower rates. Then I will pay off what is left of the 2nd MC and hopefully that will be gone by the end of 2007. Next we will tackle the B of A Visa and then last the Chase.

Survey Money

November 12th, 2006 at 02:48 am

Entry 2 today.

I took a $3 survey today and that gave me enough in my account to cash out for a $5 check. I like this company a lot, Your2Cents. I have now earned $21 with them in about six months time. They always say 6 to 8 weeks for a check to come but it has so far shown up about 3 weeks after a cash out, each time. The surveys are not hard, they don't take a long time to load each page, and it doesn't glitch out on the last page the way Lightspeed does sometimes.

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