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Archive for June, 2007

Slightly Annoyed with Comcast

June 30th, 2007 at 05:30 pm

Our new Comcast bill was due yesterday, 6/29. We paid it in person on 6/28 at the local Comcast office. In the mail today we got a late notice bill from them that was issued and mailed on 6/22. What kind of a business sends a late notice bill 7 days before the bill is actually due? Of course, it says if it has already been paid to disregard this notice. But hello? Don't send me somewhat "threatening letters" a whole week before the freaking bill is actually due. Stupid way of doing business, not to mention wasting paper and postage.

To ING

June 28th, 2007 at 09:07 pm

I deposited the check from the orthodontist. It was actually $286.80 and not $286.40. Then I sent it to ING. My little EF is starting to pick up some speed now. This brings the total to $399.50. After interet is deposited on the first I'll have hit the $400 mark. I'll be able to deposit all survey checks to the EF now that the vacation fund is topped off. I am waiting for a total of $65 to come, or it might be $70, I've lost track.

Paying the Bills

June 28th, 2007 at 04:23 pm

I am finally getting around to posting the bills I paid from last week's paycheck.

$910.37 Medical Mortgage
$400.00 House Mortgage
$282.22 Propane
$201.89 Comcast (installation charges on top of cable/phone/internet)
$ 44.58 Garbage (2 months)
$ 71.36 Cell phone
$ 84.00 Herald
$445.00 MBNA MC#1
$110.00 Power
$ 50.00 Physical Therapy
$185.50 Car insurance (3 months)

A fair chunk of change going out, there. Tomorrow is payday again, but not like this one. This is the big one for the month and has a full seven days of wages on it. Tomorrow's pay usually only has one and a half days on it. This time it will be two and a half days on it with the new schedule change, and it will be like that from now on. The first payday will have 4.5 days on it instead of 5.5 days, so the difference is at both ends of the cycle. Then we have one week where he doesn't get paid at all, out of every four.

I'm glad the vacation money is taken care of now. And the association dues, which I thought were due at the end of June are actually due at the end of July, so that makes me happy.

Vacation Fund Update

June 28th, 2007 at 01:13 pm

I forgot to list that I topped off the vacation fund on payday and it is now fully funded at $700.00. I put it all in ING so that it could earn interest between now and vacation. The interest will stay in the Emergency Fund.

Savings Update

June 28th, 2007 at 01:11 pm

I transferred my weekly $10.00 to ING today and that brings the money in the EF to $112.70.

I received a refund check from the orthodontist for $286.40 and once I deposit it I will add it to the EF. Which will bring it to $399.10. Oh, maybe I should throw in an extra 90 cents to make it $400. Though I may be close to that when the interest is added on the 1st. I've already earned 76 cents and there are still 3 days left in the month.

A Year's Worth of Free Heat

June 28th, 2007 at 12:33 am

Three nights ago at 6:30 p.m. I got a phone call from my mother saying that her across the street neighbors had just taken down 3 enormous spruce trees. And they were giving it all away and did we want some. Yes, we did. So we bundled into the car and got there by 7:30 and worked until the sun went down around ten.

We came back yesterday and my mom had rented a gas-powered splitter, so yesterday and today that is what we did all day long. Split the rounds, split the splits, stacked it, loaded the pickup and brought it home, lather, rinse, repeat.

We got at least six cords, which when it is dry will get us through a year of heating. We cut a lot of it up fairly small so it would dry faster. I've got two cords of dry wood already so I can always burn some green with the dry so I'll be able to use it a little sooner.

We will fill up the indoor woodbox and wood cart so some will dry faster in the house as well.

We have transferred three truckloads home so far and have about four more. It's not a full size pickup so it takes a lot less at a time. We will hopefully borrow FIL's truck Friday or Saturday to move the rest in just two trips.

We are supposed to be in for another thunderstorm tomorrow and we both need a day off from such hard work anyhow.

Anyhow, this should in the long run save us about $1000 in propane usage. Not bad for what will end up being four days of work.

Thunder and Lightning

June 24th, 2007 at 10:37 pm

Oh, what a storm we had today. Gorgeous and loud and it even took the power out for a minute. Not long enough to be inconvenient, just long enough to have to reset the clocks on the stove and the microwave.

Spent $12 today on groceries. And generally spent the day totally vegging, reading stuff on line, watching The Sound of Drums. Completely taking the day off.

Tomorrow on the other hand is supposed to be beautiful and so that means yard work. A lot of yard work. Definitely will make up for the lazy day today.

Today was Fun

June 23rd, 2007 at 11:14 pm

DH and I had a great day by ourselves today. Spent more money, of course. We found the shoes for Mr. Bigfoot and there was a really good sock sale at Reeboks so we ended up buying socks for everyone. I've been wanting to do that for awhile, replace all the socks and have each person in the family have their own style, all matching, so I don't have to match socks in the laundry, and when one gets a hole in it all the other ones match up with it.

I think we got enough that I shouldn't have to buy them for two years, possibly two considering the quality of the socks. And they are big enough for the kids that even if they each go up three sizes they will still fit them. It's a really silly thing but it makes me inordinately happy to no longer have to match socks, just sort by size.

We didn't end up going to the movies, it was just so nice out neither of us wanted to be indoors for a couple hours in the middle of the day, so we just did a lot of walking around.

We had dinner at Outback and it was wonderful and I had enough leftovers for a whole other meal for tomorrow. We did not get super expensive things off the menu either, as it is possible to do Outback without spending an arm and a leg. Just have to avoid the appetizers, the drinks, and the seafood. Sigh. But it was still good even with all of that.

We filled up the nearly empty gas tank while we were down there as gas is always cheaper in that county than our own. And we got a dozen glazed from Krispy Kreme, totally unecessary spending. But we don't have one anywhere near us. So aside from that $7 for the doughnuts we didn't need, we dropped about $150 today. Pretty reasonable considering $45 was for gas at $2.93 a gallon and we filled the tank.

New PC and More Medical

June 22nd, 2007 at 11:33 pm

We spent a lot of money today. Well, for us its a lot of money. We bought a new desktop computer with flat panel monitor for $745. We'll get back a rebate of $150 on the computer and $50 on the monitor. So all told it will come out to $545.

There was no real fix to the old one. We could have replaced the power supply thingy that was fried and the motherboard that went with it for about half the cost we paid for the new one. We decided we'd just rather put that money into a new one instead. But the hard drive is okay and DH will be able to hook it up to the new one so we can retrieve all of our photos and the few documents and spreadsheets that were stored there.

I have been looking for awhile but was hoping to put it off longer, but then the PC went belly up and it really couldn't be postponed too much longer. And DH really wanted to just go ahead and get a new one and not try to fix or replace bits anymore on the old one.

So I decided not to stress about it and I'm happy with the result and so is DH and so will the kids be when we pick them up tomorrow night from my mother's house.

I got the final bill (at least I hope it is the final bill) from my surgery in May and I owe $1187.60 now that insurance has paid its portion. I'll call them on Monday and see if I can set up a payment plan of $200 a month. Or even $250. I wish it didn't have to be so darn expensive to have medically necessary services in this country. But that's another rant for a different day.

DH and I are going down to Burlington tomorrow to buy shoes for Mr. Bigfoot. He's a size 16 and it is hard to find them in our county, but there is an outlet mall that has a Van's store in Burlington that carries 16's.

We are also going to see a movie (Silver Surfer) and have a little date. We only see 2 to 3 movies a year in the theater, ususally some kind of sci-fi thing because they're always better on the big screen. Our other two movies this year will be Transformers and Harry Potter. DH really wants to see Transformers on the big screen. I wasn't that keen on it until I saw Josh Duhamel was in it, then I was okay. I did watch the cartoon as a child, but still...

But I really like Josh Duhamel. I was in the audience of a talk show when he visited the PNW a few years ago, back when he was still on All My Children, which I didn't watch, but I was really impressed with his manners and how respectful he was to the hosts and to the fans afterwards. So I followed his career after that and its nice to see him in a big movie. Plus, eye candy.

On the gardening front, I've got two heads of broccoli that are close to ready to harvest. I can't wait. There's nothing like going from garden to pot to table in less than an hour.

Today was payday, but I'm not going to get around to doing bills until Sunday I don't think. And that's about it from my little corner of the universe.

Survey Earnings

June 21st, 2007 at 09:29 pm

I did another survey with Your2Cents and cashed out today, so will have a $5.00 check coming. They say 6 to 8 weeks but they have never taken more than 3 to get here.

I took a 75 point survey with Lightspeed and a 50 point survey with GTM. I also caught up on my backlog of MyPoints. I'm close to getting a $20 gift card, though I'm thinking of saving my points up for longer and aiming for a $50 gift card that I can use at Christmas. I just need to cash out well before December so I don't face one of the card out of stock shortages like last year.

Savings Update

June 21st, 2007 at 01:42 pm

I added $10.00 to ING today bringing the total in the EF to $100.72. The vacation money is now in the account, so there is more than that in ING, but for accounting purposes I will continue to list them separately.

But it feels good to have hit the $100 mark again.

Milestone for me, too

June 20th, 2007 at 05:51 pm

Just checked my stats page and sometime in the last day or two when I wasn't looking I hit 150,000 hits. Pretty cool.

No Spend Day

June 20th, 2007 at 04:33 pm

Today is a no-spend day. I do like having those. I was very tempted to go down to the gas station and buy something earlier. Except there wasn't even anything I specifically wanted to buy. I just wanted to go look and "get something." How lame is that? Fortunately I recognized it for what it was, boredeom.

It was a very similar feeling to the one I get when I'm not really hungry but find myself peering into the fridge to see if anything "looks good." Again, boredom. I think I've been doing too much cleaning today so my mind is rebelling a bit.

I've got three loads of laundry hanging on the clothesline. The rain never showed up today, so hopefully its gone and I can get some more on tomorrow. Makes me feel frugal to hang it.

I need to finish cleaning up the kitchen. I made chicken soup in the crockpot this morning and I have a sink full of dishes that need to go in the dishwasher. But I'm in a real "I don't wanna" place. Dinner does need to started though and I don't want to have twice that many dishes in the sink when I finish with dinner so I suppose I'll have to.

It's 75 today. It's been quite a jump up the thermometer. I won't complain about it though or it might go away. I like 70 best. But 75 is preferrable to 60.

Tomorrow is the last day of school. It gets out early at one. And DH flies home in the morning. So its going to be a full family afternoon. Maybe we'll go for a bike ride.

I'm not looking forward to school being out. Well, Tobias is going to summer school until the end of July. His reading is behind. Both the teacher and I agree that it is because he is lazy and doesn't put forth the effort, there is no learning disability, but this program specializes in reading so I agreed to send him.

His sister was exactly the same way. It wasn't until the fourth grade when she really took off and left everyone else in her class in the dust. I'm not worried about him. And it will be nice to have him it four mornings a week from 9 to 12. He needs the structure or else he will run wild.

It is weird for me to have resistant readers because I was reading at 4 years old. But its not something I will stress about. T loves to be read to and I know it will click eventually, as it did with Rose.

Okay, I really better go tackle those dishes so I can get started on dinner.