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Archive for April, 2011

Packing and Other House Stuff

April 30th, 2011 at 11:25 pm

DH and I went out to the house today and finished cleaning out the laundry room and the one kitchen cupboard that hadn't been packed up. We did a load of big dishes that will get packed tomorrow when we go back and then just under the sink in the two bathrooms and everything will be packed. We will have FIL's truck tomorrow and should be able to get the house completely empty and everything but the piano taken to storage. We will move the piano first thing at the end of May. I don't know if the dump is open tomorrow or not, it being Sunday, but if it is we will do a dump run as well. If not we can keep the truck and do it Monday morning.

This will set us up to start ripping out the carpeting the next time DH comes home. Once the carpet is ripped out and disposed of we will paint the walls of the rooms that need to be painted, which is three of the bedrooms, one of the bathrooms, one wall in the laundry room and the playroom and living room. After that we can start putting in new flooring (linoleum in the bathrooms and wooden flooring in the other rooms), put in two new toilets and one new sink, and by then it should be warm enough outside to paint the two sides of the house that need it and the porch.

I think we are going to have to hire a landscaper to do the yardwork, though. I can't get down on my knees anymore since the surgery and DH has never been one for yardwork beyond mowing the lawn and weed eating the ditch.

I know the roof has gotten mossy so that will have to be taken care of. The carport roof needs to be taken down because it is collapsing in the middle (it was built out of wood and not to code by the people who owned the house before us) and the shed needs new shingles because the repair we did left it with part black and part brown shingles. The shed needs to be painted as well.

There's a lot to do but hopefully we will be finished by the end of July and can get it on the market by August. That would be nice. If not, oh, well. It's not like the mortgage payments are breaking the bank at under $400 a month.

We found $2.25 in coins in the laundry room, including a 50 cent piece and a Sacajawea dollar. Most of them had to be cleaned with Comet just to get the gunge off them. They went into the coin jar with the eventual destination the emergency fund.

Property Tax is Paid

April 30th, 2011 at 03:39 pm

I paid the half year property tax on our old house yesterday. I forgot to do it before the courthouse closed at 4:30. Seriously, why are they not open until 5:00? And why do I forget that all the time? Anyway, I ended up paying it online, which made it cost an extra $12. I guess that's what I get for waiting until the last minute...again.

Oh, well. Such is life when you take a couple days off from being organized. Getting myself back there again, pronto.

DH and I are going out to the house for a few hours tonight to see if we can't get the last of it packed up. Then maybe tomorrow we can borrow FIL's truck and take a load to storage and maybe do a dump run, also. There is definitely enough to do a dump run. Which reminds me, I need to cancel the garbage service for the house on Monday. All the stuff we have left is too big to fill up the can with and will have to go to the dump, so no point in paying their monthly service charge when we are no longer needing to put anything out.

Neighbor asked if we were going to keep our generator. I think we are just going to let him have it. We paid $500 for it, but it's ten years old and he keeps an eye on the place for us, chases off the kids who sometimes like to congregate in the yards of empty houses, and makes sure the windows aren't broken. We don't need one for town and the type we would need if we did would have a different tail on it anyway. So no big deal to let him have it, especially for all the stuff he's done.

He also asked if he could have our compost. Not the bins, just what's in them and I've agreed to that. I was just going to dump it into the existing flower beds but I wasn't looking forward to the backbreaking work of shoveling compost, so he'll come and take it and we won't have to worry about it spreading it. One less thing on our to do list.

One of Those Days

April 29th, 2011 at 12:55 am

Today has been one of those days where I just feel like I've been behind on everything. Hence the staying up until one a.m. to get it all done. I am going back to the dentist tomorrow, they are going to do more cleaning, but I don't think any more dental work unless it's to fix the tooth that has been hurting since they filled it last week. It's a dull pain, but I don't think it should still be there. I hope it doesn't cost extra because it's their fault it didn't get done right the first time.

I'm planning out my shopping for next week. It's going to have an inordinate amount of expensive ice cream, dye free jello, dye free fruit bars (that are also free of apple or grape juices) and TJ's pudding on it, since my little allergy boy is getting his tonsils yanked. I bought a big bag of potatoes for mashed potatoes and we have eggs to scramble. I figure that'll make up the majority of his diet for the first few days and then we'll move on to soup. I've got a turkey carcass that needs boiling down soon and then I can freeze the broth for making soup next week.

Mom went and bought some more chicks, say they are under the heat lamp in the rarely used bathroom's bathtub. Good thing there are four bathrooms in this house. They are cute little things, but not quite as cute as last time when they were only a day old. Not quite as cuddly at four days old and with some of their feathers showing already.

I don't know what they are, but they aren't the same as the red one and the black and white one that are grown. The chicks are yellow (3 of them) and light brown with a black stripe down the center (the other three). They don't mind being handled either, but then the chickens never did. It was the ducks that were against it and we won't be getting more ducks.

I just really hope the chicks and the older chickens will get along when they are introduced. That won't be for at least several weeks though. I'll try to get a pic to post as they really are very adorable.

Property Tax, Tonsilectomy Scheduled, and Lunch Out

April 27th, 2011 at 10:18 am

I transferred the money out of ING for property tax this morning and sent it to my local credit union. It's due on Friday, which is the day it will arrive in my account. I still think it's ridiculous that money transfers take that long when it's you doing it, but when it's them taking the money out for payments and stuff it's so much faster. I want that three days' worth of interest, as miniscule as it is. Anyway way, that's $518.17 for half the year.

The ENT scheduling nurse called this morning and we scheduled DS's tonsilectomy for May 6 at ten with a check in time of nine. I was surprised they had an opening so soon. It's right in the middle of the yearly testing (that used to be the WASL but is some new test now that has an abbreviation that sounds like a sneeze). So he'll miss some of that, but he's only grade 5 so I don't particularly care too much. I'd rather he miss testing than miss real school lessons, you know? He'll be out of school most of the next week, maybe all week if the recovery is slow enough.

DH and I are going out to lunch today for Mexican food. DD doesn't care much for it, it upsets her stomach, and DS's throat is still too sore for spicy, so we're going without them. We will probably spend about $20.

Even More Medical

April 26th, 2011 at 05:32 pm

We took DS to the ENT today and he definitely will be getting his tonsils taken out. Today's appointment (once it's gone through the insurance) will cost us $150 since it was a new patient visit (we're still working on our deductible). So far we've accrued over $1000 on our deductible this year (but only been billed about half of that so far). It has been an expensive few months! And will only get more so with his surgery and then mine. We've got about $1300 more to go on the deductible.

I have to pick up my super expensive prescription today which is (I think) $150 also. Hopefully after my surgery I won't have to stay on it. Next week I'll have to pay for my high blood pressure medicine. Which is also expensive. I will be glad when we hit that deductible and they start paying for prescriptions.

Next month I am going to have to take money out of our debt repayment for medical. I've been waffling on it, but decided I'll hold back $1000, and maybe an additional $500 that would have gone to rebuilding the EF. It will set us back a month, but we should still have the final credit card paid off at the end of the year, just December instead of November.

I think I will be able to send for my $250 cash back check from one of our credit cards next month. That will go to the EF.

Happy Easter

April 24th, 2011 at 02:49 pm

Not much to blog about yesterday so I didn't. First day I missed in a long time. DH went out to the house with his dad to work on the shower stall. He ended up having to come back into town for parts and then go back out again, so he used 4 gallons of gas instead of 2. That'll throw things off a little bit. Glad we aren't making a trip to Seattle this month after all.

DD went to a birthday party. I gave her a twenty so she could buy a present and the change she brought back was $3.25, all in quarters, so it went into the change jar.

The people that fixed the plumbing on Friday came back to take away the broken up blacktop from the part of the driveway they dug up to get to the pipes. The backhoe is still here and will likely remain here until Monday.

My mother decided not to repave that part of the driveway and brought some good dirt/compost in and is going to plant potatoes there. The sewer and gas pipes are eight feet down so the plants shouldn't interfere with them like the honeysuckle roots did. 3 feet of pipe was just jamemed with honeysuckle roots almost in a solid mass.

I'm not crazy about the idea of her planting veggies there because the part of the ground where the overflow pipe comes out spewed sewer water for three days. That can't be healthy. Hopefully she'll just avoid that area, since they actually dug up thirty feet and there is plenty of ground that didn't get contaminated.

As for today my daughter is making the entire dinner. I said I didn't want to do anything, didn't want to be involved in making an elaborate meal and was happy with spaghetti, but she wanted to do something so I told her to go ahead.

We had a turkey at Christmas that we didn't use. We had ended up celebrating Thanksgiving a couple weeks late since DH was in Alaska on the actual holiday, and so nobody was in the mood for making another turkey so soon. So it sat in the freezer since Christmas, but it looked good when we thawed it out this week. So basically we are having Christmas dinner for Easter. She gets to turn it in as a missed lab in her home ec class, too.

I didn't see a price on the turkey so I can't really do a breakdown, but I'm sure it was close to $30 since it was a free range organic bird. Only a 12 pounder, though. And we'll be eating off it all week so that definitely brings the price down on everything.

Payday and the Evil that is Racoons

April 22nd, 2011 at 08:25 pm

DH put his airline ticket on the wrong credit card. I went to go pay off the interest that always comes through after you pay off a credit card, which was $40 and some change and noticed he'd put it on the paid off Master Card instead of the air miles reward VISA. The two cards look very similar, both black, both from BoA.

It's an easy mistake to make. *sighs* But now it's got $355 on it, so I can't pay it off again until May 13th. Frown It's not the end of the world, I was just looking forward to seeing it zero out again, and at least it means that the VISA is still under $20,000 which it wouldn't have been if he'd put it on the air miles card. He's going to take it out of his wallet and stop carrying it altogether.

I made a payment of $1000 on the interest free medical debt loan I owe my mother, which brings our balance to $89,000, with seven years and six months and 89 payments to go, $21,000 paid off so far.

This was the little payday, it only has two days wages on it, so the rest of the money, plus what I've put aside, is going to stretch over the next two weeks of no paychecks.

I didn't take any cash out of the bank as I still have $52 in my wallet. I think I can get by on that for the next week.

A racoon got into Mom's chicken coop last night as she forgot to do the locks. Racoons are very capable of opening simple doors and it did. It killed 4 chickens. What really gets me is that it only ate one of them. It killed the other three just for sport, I think. Racoons are just such nasty creatures. So we are down to zero ducks and two chickens.

I kind of wish she'd give the chickens to this lady she knows on a farm. I think it's just too much work for her and that's why she's gotten so lazy about things. But her laziness has lost her one duck three days ago and now four more chickens. She started with 10 chickens and 4 ducks. Only one animal death was not due to her being careless about something. I'd rather see the chickens go than have to listen to that inhumane screaming in the middle of the night as a racoon kills a chicken. It's one of the most awful sounds in the world.

Appointment Scheduled

April 22nd, 2011 at 02:34 pm

After calling up the specialist yesterday to complain about it being over 2 months with them sitting on their hands I finally got a call this morning from Virginia Mason. The problem? The local specialist never gave the people at VM my phone number so they had no way to contact me. For over 2 months. You can bet I will not be dealing with these local people again. But I did get an appointment set up, not with the original doctor that was recommended but one of her partners who does the same type of surgery over scar tissue. I chose to do this so that I could get in in May. Otherwise I wouldn't have been able to get in until the fall. After waiting two months already, I just did not want to wait that much longer.

DH will be home at the time of my appointment so I won't have to worry about driving in Seattle traffic. The VM people gave me the names of two hotels they are affiliated with but we will have to check out prices and see if they are cheaper or more expensive than a regular hotel. At least progress has been made.

Dentist, New Glasses, and Calling Doctors' Offices

April 21st, 2011 at 05:02 pm

It's going to cost my mom $4000 to get the plumbing fixed. And they are going to have to dig up part of the driveway to do it. She planted hyacinth vines about five years ago and the roots are growing through the pipes. This is why you never plant exuberant, fast growing vines anywhere near a foundation or where there are water/sewer or gas pipes. At our old house the hyacinth and clematis are well away from anything like that. And when we do get a new house we will definitely locate all our pipes before we plant anything.

Speaking of houses...that one we really like about six blocks from here that has way, way overpriced itself has dropped in price again, down to $400,000. It is still way overpriced for everything (neighborhood, value of home, amount of remodel, amount of purchase price a year ago), but if it keeps falling like this and no one buys, maybe by next year it'll be down around the $300,000 mark (which is probably still too high, but is much more reasonable and affordable), we'd actually consider giving it a go. Of course we still have to sell our old house first. Who knows? Right now it's just a pipe dream anyway.

I went to the dentist today at 11. It is almost 5 and my mouth still hasn't thawed out from the novacaine completely. Half my lower lip looks like someone gave me a fat lip and it's darker than the rest of my lips. I have to go back in on the 29th. And maybe again in another week. Yeah, word to the wise, don't go three years between cleanings. Even if you don't have dental find a way to pay up front and at least get your cleanings done.

My glasses came in at Lenscrafters. They are going to take a bit to get used to since they are progressive lenses. I can read a lot more clearly now, even teeny tiny print. Figuring out how far away from the computer screen I need to be is the difficult part. I haven't tried driving yet. I want to wait a few days until I get used to the trifocal aspect of things. My clip on sunglass lenses fit just fine on these frames so I won't have to buy new ones, which is nice. But these frames are pretty similar to the old ones so I sort of thought they would.

I made an appointment to get my son in to see an ENT about getting his tonsils removed. I had to wait on hold for fifteen minutes. I listened to their darn stupid speel all the way around six times. I wish they'd just play music instead because I really don't care about plastic surgery or laser hair removal or acne treatments or anything the other partners in their thing do. I just wanted to make an appointment. Frown *sighs*

I called back my specialist yet again (going on 2 months and one week now) about the Virginia Mason thing and this time they said they had faxed them a couple weeks ago and all they got back was "Recieved." Umm...yes, and...? What does that mean? I mean, seriously, Miss Receptionist, could you be any less helpful? So she said she'd fax them again and call me tomorrow. (I won't hold my breath). I mean, give me the name of the stupid specialist at Virginia Mason and I will call myself and schedule an appointment. (Oh, no, they don't do it that way.)

I'm about to start all over. I'd have to go to Mt. Vernon to do it since this practice is the only urology office in my county. I am just so frustrated with them. Why is this so darn difficult for everyone to just do their jobs?

Okay, okay, I'll calm down now.

Picked up four more hams at the grocery store today. We spend $21.64 for 16.8 pounds of meat. I am making one tonight in the crockpot.

Great Ham Sale So Stocking Up

April 20th, 2011 at 07:29 pm

Okay, this is a second entry mostly just because I don't want to talk about food and plumbing in the same post. Major ick factor.

Anyway, DH and I went to the store today and bought five picnic hams at $1.29 per pound. We spent $41.89 for 32 and a half pounds of meat. They are all the perfect size for the crockpot. We will go back tomorrow and get more. We cleaned out the ones that were the appropriate size, but there were plenty of medium and larger sized cuts left. They probably won't go on sale again until Thanksgiving time, so I am doing a major stock up. Ideally I'd like to have about 20 hams in the freezer.

I'm borrowing $100 from the laptop fund to purchase more hams and will replace it out of next month's grocery budget. It is just too good a deal to pass up, but I don't want to totally wipe out the food budget for the next 3 weeks.

DS is starting to feel better. His tonsils are still swollen, but they are going down finally. He probably still won't go to school tomorrow, but will likely go on Friday. The long strep test came back negative, too. So we don't have to worry about that anymore, except paying the lab bill when it comes.

Breakfast and lunch today was eating up a bunch of leftovers, though we did drink milk at breakfast so $2.

Dinner:

Chicken ($5.21)
Corn (.89)
Purple cabbage (.69)
Milk ($2)

Total: $8.79

Total for day $10.79