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Archive for March, 2007

Plans for Today

March 31st, 2007 at 12:37 pm

We're loading up the car for a trip to storage today. Most of the stuff we will be taking in this trip is stuff that has been stored in my closet pretty much since we moved in. It will be nice to have the space in there for other things. I've got 4 cubicles that can go there and organize stuff that is just floating around, mostly. Like my yarns and other knitting supplies, sewing basket, photo albums and cooking and garden magazines I don't want to recycle.

After that we are swinging by FIL's house and picking up his truck and we will load that up as much as we can and take it in.

We ended up with a 10X15 foot storage unit, that is also 15 feet high. We ended up with the bigger one because we wanted to be able to go through stuff there, instead of here at home. When we go through stuff at home it just seems to make the house a huge mess. Obviously I will be weeding out paper junk beforehand, but we will be putting the table up in there as a work surface so that we can figure out what we will keep and what we will try to sell on e-bay, and what might work for garage sales.

We also decided to move the majority of our bookcases and books in there. We should be able to fill the entire back wall with that. We will leave a space along the front of the bookcases and the other storage containers, and then leave a path down the middle of the unit so we can walk back and retrieve any book we might need later on, which is another reason for the larger unit.

It has been so long since I've had an organized house. The kitchen is about the only thing that stays organized and that's because it has a gazillion cupboards.

So how does this relate to finances? Well, when stuff is misplaced and I can't find it, I'll often go and buy a new widget. If I was organized I'd be able to find my existing widget. This happens far too often and I am tired of wasting money on widgets.

We've rented for six months. This summer we are hoping to build a new storage shed in our yard and then we won't need to rent one after that. But I think in the meanwhile it is worth the money for us to get the junk and excess stuff out of here. Not to mention it will make me a lot happier and not so overwhelmed with the whole "Where do I start?" in the house.

Payday

March 31st, 2007 at 12:36 am

Bills paid so far today:

$400.00 MC credit card
$400.00 House mortgage
$ 93.00 Power bill
$ 72.00 Cell phone
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$965.00 total

I still have to round up some other bills and deduct the upcoming auto payments for Life Insurance and the security system.

Not really much to talk of today. The doctor did start me on thyroid medication, so we'll see how that goes for the next six weeks. Well, I hope. I'm tired of being exhausted so much of the time. That was $21.99 for the new prescription.

Odds and Ends

March 29th, 2007 at 07:16 pm

In addition to the $13 in rolled coin and $10 survey check that I deposited yesterday, I also had $25 in ones. So that was a total of $48 to the vacation fund. The new total in the vacation fund is $134.47.

Today was the day of the weekly auto deposit to savings of $10. I also had an additional $30 to add, so that is $40 that is being sent off to ING for the EF. That brings the new total in that account to $578.95.

We rented a storage unit this week and have started moving stuff into it, not much yet as its just whatever fits in the trunk on a day we are going there anyway. I think we may get a U-haul for one serious trip, though. But first we will try to borrow FIL's truck.

I had my carnial sacral therapy this morning and it went well. I am starting to see a bit more improvement.

DH came home yesterday so I drove to the airport to get him and we filled the car up with gas @ $2.95 a gallon. Ick.

Rose went to a birthday party last night and while we were out in that area we drove around looking at the houses there. They were gorgeous. This one for sale had a magnificent view of Mt. Baker and it was for sale so we grabbed the flyer. It was really an amazing house, 3000 square feet, tons of windows, custom built log cabin house with dark green trim, 3 bd, 2 ba, lots or room, granite countertops in the kitchen, huge decks, a loft, tile floor in the kitchen, hardwood floors in the other rooms on an acre of wooded land, jetted bath tubs and an outdoor hot tub. The roof was aluminum though and I don't like that. I like shingles. But it was still lovely.

The cost, though? Woo Hoo. $950,000! Holy guacamole. But I think for what it was that was a fair price, just not for us. I don't think I'd ever be willing to spend that much money on a house.

What am I Doing?

March 27th, 2007 at 11:21 pm

I just went online and ordered 3 books from amazon. This is stupid. I know I'm reacting to the news of having to have another operation by spending more money on books. I suppose it could be worse, I could be reacting to the news by having a mega food binge, something I try not to ever do as a recovered bulimic (of 11.5 years).

After buying the 8 books yesterday I really should not have done this, or at least recognized what was going on. I've read three of them since I bought them yesterday. All hugely good books. The Wave, which I talked about yesterday was incredibly gripping after awhile, a real page turner. Then I read and finished The Girl Who Owned A City by O.T. Nelson, really, really good and I'll give it to my daughter to read since the main main character is 10 years old and a girl. I picked it up for Rose because it looked good but had to read it first, also because it looked good.

But the breaker was a book called A Crack in the Line by Michael Lawrence (I think, it might have been Matthew) which I could not put down at all. I even took it with me to T-ball practice and read it when my son wasn't up at bat. If you like parallel worlds in sci-fi and enjoy reading young adult fiction (which I happen to still love at the ripe old age of 37, mostly because it rarely has swearing in it but also because its often better than the adult stuff and it is also what I write), then it is definitely a book to check out.

And it is the first in a trilogy (Withern Rises) so guess what I went and bought on Amazon? Yes, books 2 and 3 and got side-tracked and bought another unrelated book. So easy to do. I wasn't sure if the 3rd book was out yet, but it was released a week ago, lucky me, so I went for the hardback on that as the paperback was not out yet.

I think I've got this spending reaction nipped in the bud now and hope not to have to report tomorrow that I did something like this again. I have to say I did hold back and not get the two Billie Piper books I wanted, but it wasn't easy.

More Doctor Stuff

March 27th, 2007 at 04:56 pm

Sigh. Well, I had my little outpatient procedure today and darn it all but I am going to have to have another surgery. I am so not a happy camper. I guess I can count myself as fortunate it will be a minimally invasive operation instead of the gut you like a fish kind the docs seem so prone to want to do with me. But still no sign of tumors of any kind, so I rejoice in that fact. It will be done inhouse in the office which has two surgery rooms, I will be knocked out, but it won't cost as much as going to hospital or the surgery center. So again, I will count myself as fortunate

It'll knock me down for about a week, but he said after 24 hours I can resume light duties or whatever. I assume that means dishes and laundry but I will do my best to make sure that is all out of the way ahead of time. And I may be unfrugal and just spring for microwave save paper plates and bowls, some plasticware and a bunch of napkins or paper towels to get through the week with. Maybe make up some dinners ahead of time for the freezer, or really be unfrugal and just stock up on Marie Calendar TV dinners.

I'm waiting to see what dates are available. If I can get it done on the 13th or 15th, I'll do it before I go to Disneyland so I'll have 2 full weeks to recover. If not, than I will wait until I come back and do it second week of May.

I will try hard to keep a positive spin on this, but I so hate having surgery. And I'm a bit annoyed at my body for being so useless at times. But it could be so much worse, it really could, has been in the past, this is just a minor repair jobby.

I guess DH's promotion and accompanying raise will have gone into effect just in time to pay for this when we are billed. Another thing I can feel fortunate about. Never having to put a surgery on a credit card again. That is something I wouldn't have been able to say a year ago. But I can say it now.

Vacation Fund

March 27th, 2007 at 04:45 pm

I rolled up my change jar today so that I can deposit it tomorrow when I go to the CU. I have:

$10.00 in quarters
$ 2.00 in nickles
$ .50 in pennies
$ .50 50 cent piece
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$13.00 rolled coin
$10.00 from NFO that I still haven't deposited
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$23.00 total to the vacation fund

Doctors and Shopping

March 26th, 2007 at 02:52 pm

Okay, so $15 co-pay for the doctor and my blood pressure is down to 114/80, so he decided to reduce my dosage from 40 MG to 20 MG, but make it one with a diuretic because I still seem to be swelling up way too much. And he gave me six weeks worth of samples. And a flu shot. My doctor gives flu shots in the spring and then again in the fall. He says they only really last 6 months without the booster. And he gives them in 2 doses, so I will get the booster dose in 2 weeks when I go back for the blood pressure check. He is good about combining appointments so that I don't have to make a seperate visit for every little thing.

He also sent me to the vampires, I mean the phlebotomist, for a blood draw to see if my throid might be underachieving. We do the test every couple of years because every single female in my family has an underactive thyroid. I have always been borderline normal. So that was another $15 co-pay.

I couldn't find any tops I liked or the CD I wanted so I decided to go to the bookstore. Like I'd find tops or CDs there, right? $61.82 later I decided I really should stay out of bookstores. I forget after about six months go by. But I'll have plenty of reading material to read on the plane for my trip. And at least I paid for them in cash.

So one of the new books I started reading today. I'm already 9 chapters in. Which isn't as much as it seems because the chapters are short and I'm only on page 49. So far so good, but a little weird. "It's called The Wave by Walter Mosley and I found it in the sci-fi section but it seems more like a supernatural fantasy to me. Maybe it was mishelved, or maybe because it didn't have a unicorn, a dragon or a vampire on the cover they assumed it was sci-fi.

Tomorrow I go in for another kidney test. I hope this will be the end of it. My kidneys haven't bothered me at all in two weeks, so I think it was just a long-term infection or I'd still be in pain. But everyone just wants to be sure. At least there are no tumors this time, so big yay in that department.

My goal for the month of April and these last few days of March is to get myself completely healthy for my vacation. I've done Disney sick and no thanks on that score. It ruins half the fun. So, I have to make sure I take my vitamins, do my one hour on the treadmill every other day and try to drag my sorry self back in to Curves. I always feel better when I exercise but its the starting it up again that is so hard to do. It also means not staying up past midnight writing, which is pretty hard sometimes when I get in the groove.

Today is a gorgeous sunny day. The creeks flooded 2 days ago after the deluge and there is still standing water everywhere. The main creeks is five feet across and normally it is down at least a foot from the bridge that goes over it. Now it is running with maybe an inch or two between the top of the water and the bottom of the bridge. And on either side of the creek there is water for a good 50 yards. I have never seen the creek flood this badly before, usually its maybe 20 feet on either side.

There is one house a mile down the road that has its driveway underwater and huge ponds on either side. Now the front part of their property tends to fill up but again, I have never seen it this bad. There were geese in it! Not just ducks. Really weird to see.

As far as I know, the river did not flood this time. Of course it may have further down up by Ferndale or Lynden when all the branches and tributaries have joined up on the last leg out to the bay. I know they were on flood watch. But I didn't see anything about it in the paper, so it may have just been the huge amount of runoff from the foothills as the snow melted and the rain hit hard.

I guess that about covers it for today. Or at least for this afternoon.

Money Out Today

March 26th, 2007 at 09:20 am

I am going to the doctor this morning for a blood pressure check, so that will $15 out for a co-pay. He may or may not change my medication and if he does, he may or may not give me samples to try it first. If not, that will be a prescription co-pay.

I am also going to buy a couple of shirts today if I can find some that I like, so I can retire some old ones that have seen much better days. And one CD that I have been saving up for with the recyling money. I think that will be about $30 dollars between the shirts and the CD.

I hope to make it over to the storage place to rent a unit but that may not happen until Wednesday when DH is home.

And I need to buy gas but that's on the pre-paid Costco cash card that I loaded, so no money out there.

I also need to pay the medical mortgage, the phone bill, and the water delivery bill. So that'll be about $1100.

I was thinking about dropping the water delivery again but we had a test result come through on the tap water reservoir Saturday with e.coli again, so nope. I'd rather pay out for it than risk our health.

I Hate Taxes!

March 24th, 2007 at 06:46 pm

Well, obviously. Everyone else does, too, I'm sure. DH found out why they took so much out of his bonus check this year. Apparently our wonderful IRS branch of our government has a new tax law in effect. (If you didn't recognize it, that last sentence was dripping with sarcasm). Bonuses are now considered income and are taxed at the higher 25% rate as well.

But you know what really sucks? Reimbursements are taxable this year. Reimbursements? How the heck can they consider the company giving you your own money back as taxable income!?! And at the higher 25% also. I mean come on. This one is utterly ridiculous!

I know we will get it back with a few thousand dollars with the next refund. But they already take way more out than they should. As I've moaned about many times before, we can't do anything about it. Because he works 2 weeks on and 2 weeks off, he only gets paychecks for 2 weeks out of every four, but they have to tax his checks as if he were making the same amount all four weeks (which would like double our income and put us in a way higher tax bracket). Our lovely IRS does not allow exceptions to this rule. And that extra $3600 each year would have come in handy during the year. That's $300 a month more we would net if we could have it through the year.

I really wish something could be done. We already take the maximum of allowable exemptions, just to get as much as we can. DH plagues HR each new tax year to see if it has changed, but nope. Of course it is in the government's best interests to not change the laws, they get a whopping (to me) $3600 a year from us that they get to earn interest on.

Anyway, just a rant. I now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.

More on "The Job"

March 24th, 2007 at 11:38 am

DH has been told that his contract for the new job will be given to him to sign on April 10th and that the job will start on April 17th. I still don't know if I'll believe it until his signature is on the dotted line. Seems to me like so much could happen in the next 17 days.

I am trying to keep an upbeat and positive attitude about all this but I do not want to be disappointed. I guess I'm trying to keep a lid on my expectations, even as the light at the end of the tunnel gets ever brighter. I want to be happy and excited, but its more like I'm just starting to bubble over a bit. Holding everything in check until it is 100% in place.

I want this so badly because it means finally crawling out of this debt hole dug by so many medical bills. I want to be free of that burden and this is a means to accelerate that. Just the thought that in a few years time we will be out of debt instead of in years and years, makes me want to believe in the company. But I don't. Not yet.