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Home > Archive: October, 2012

Archive for October, 2012

Not Much to Report Today

October 31st, 2012 at 10:02 pm

I went down to the courthouse today and paid the property tax. I was off by $6.44, but I had plenty in checking to cover that. I'm glad I checked it beforehand and didn't just write it out for the amount I thought it was, which was actually last year's half year amount. I guess I didn't update that on one of the spreadsheets.

I also went to the library while I was down there. It is across from the courthouse. I had two books on hold, Why Gender Matters and The Artist's Way. I need to hurry and get through the book I'm reading now. I wasn't expecting the holds to come in so soon since I was a ways down the list.

I paid 50 cents for parking and $1 on library fines. Oops.


We ended the day with as many birds as we started the day with, always a good thing. No duck egg today, either. I think Lady is still freaked out. Five chicken eggs though. I'm going to have to make a meatloaf and a quiche to use up some eggs.


I think I am finally almost over my cold/infection/flu/general case of the yucks. I still am a little stuffy but that might be allergies. Still a little draggy, but that's probably just general tiredness. I hope.


I am really looking forward to payday Friday. We finally get to start making forward progress again now that the medical is paid off. I am so sick of debt. I just want to be done.

The Basement is Flooded

October 30th, 2012 at 08:15 pm

The heavy rains have brought a lot of water into Mom's basement. We've had the sump pump on all day. Mom doesn't want to run it while everyone is sleeping for fear that it might go dry and burn out. It's not looking likely that it will let up overnight, but I understand her concern. I put on her Wellies and went down to lift it up onto a shelf for the night because there is always the chance of it getting underwater during the night and the water getting into the motor and ruining it.

When I look at stories from the East Coast I am grateful that it is only a few inches of water we are having to deal with and not several feet. I can't even imagine how folks are coping with that. We've flooded pretty badly before, national disaster badly, four of five feet of water, but somehow it just doesn't compare. Usually our serious flooding comes from rapid snow melt, not violent winds and torrential rains. I've never experienced a hurricane. You folks over that way are certainly in my prayers and thoughts.


Physical therapy today was brutal. It felt like the muscles on the side of my thigh were stacked on top of each other. P.T. meant $90 out that I had forgotten about, but I still should have an extra $210 left to send to debt when payday comes Friday.


I gave in to a craving after P.T. I has 25 minutes to kill before it was time to pick up DD, and DS was at a homeschool field trip with Mom. It is so rare for me to be alone anymore ever because of homeschooling. I don't eat before P.T. because it makes me nauseated if I do. I made the decision to swing through DQ and get a burger, fries and a bottled water. I spent $5.86. And I enjoyed every bite of it while I read my book and waited in the school parking lot.

I've done pretty well on the not eating out front. I've certainly broken the drive-thru habit. I think this is the first time I've been to a drive-thru since spring. It was good to get a little something and I feel like that's satisfied me and I can get on with the home-cooking.

I had $60 in cash left from last payday, so I took the money out of it. That left me with 4 ones and some change for the coin jar. I added $4.13 to the regular coin jar and a penny to the Canadian coin jar. Whatever is left of that cash on Friday will go into the Freezer Fund. That and $100 on Friday will top off that fund.


I'm going to pull the tomatoes tomorrow, I think. Half of my kitchen table will be devoted to ripening them. I hope we have enough newspaper to wrap them. I do have several brown paper bags that I've saved that I can use as well.


The remaining ducks survived the night. I was afraid the racoons would be back. The ducks look so sad though, wandering around and trying to find the missing two and calling for them. They really were a social flock. It's a little heart-breaking. Lady didn't lay today. I think she might have been shocked out of it. We'll see if there is an egg tomorrow. We got six chicken eggs, though. Life goes on.

I Hate Racoons

October 29th, 2012 at 01:02 pm

I utterly hate them. They are savage, evil animals in a deceptively cute package. Early this morning a raccon killed two of our female ducks. Did it bother to fully consume either of them? No. It ate half of one and killed the other without eating it. I understand nature, but you know, take what you need, don't kill more than necessary. I swear those racoons are having a good time with it.

So Noisy and Len Tao are gone, laid to rest, leaving us with only Patches and Lady Henry Inigo Montoya. We won't be letting them out until at least 9 a.m. from now on. At least by then we can be sure the predators are gone. At least the chickens are fine. Times like this, I wish we had a dog.


Last night I transferred the money from ING to pay the property taxes on Wednesday. Since I set aside $100 a month and property tax is $518.17, I had some surplus money in that category, so I took $1.61 to even out my Emergency Fund, which now sits at $1000 exactly, and then the rest of it I dumped into the Freezer Fund. Along with another $10 I shifted, the Freezer Fund now sits at $851.03.

That's basically it, I'm just saving up for the sales tax now. My usual $100 per month will be added next month, plus whatever coin jar scrapings there are and it will be done. I think an even $1000 is a good place to stop. So nice to see a goal within sight. Once I hit it, I'll resume adding money to my emergency fund to build it back up.

I'm not exactly sure when we will purchase the freezer. I guess it will depend on how fast our house sells. If I know we are going to move away from here shortly after it sells, it feels kind of senseless to have it here and then have to move it again. Seems like it would be easier to just have it delivered to our new place when we buy it than to have to move it later and risk the damages that always seem to happen during moving. Well, it won't hurt the money to sit there collecting interest until we know what we are doing.


This morning when I took DD to school the rain was pretty fierce. The street was flooded about six inches, because leaves were clogging the drain. Our basement is flooding too, but we turned on the sump pump early so it's not too bad. We're actually having a clear patch right now with more rain due tonight. But a little sun is better than no sun. And a little rain is better than what they are getting over on the East coast.

Last Sunny Day for a While

October 28th, 2012 at 05:10 pm

Since today is supposed to be the last sunny day for the next ten days, and because I abhor working outside in the rain, and because I feel pretty darn good today, I spent some time in the garden. I pulled up several spent plants and tossed them in the chicken enclosure. The chickens seemed happy to get them.

I noticed that some of the broccoli plants that I thought were never going to do anything have small heads on them. These ones were the first planted but seem to be the last to do anything, even though they had plenty of time. Same type as I planted on the other side of the house, too. With at least ten days of non-freezing temps I think there will be some to harvest in about 10 days.

Thank goodness broccoli thrives in cool temps. I was so disappointed that they didn't do well over the summer, but I was too stubborn to pull them up, hoping for an Indian Summer, and I'm glad I waited. Now I'm wishing I had gone ahead and planted some lettuce at the start of October. It's so unpredictable. I do not remember a year that we did not have a good hard frost by now.

If I am able to harvest every broccoli head that is presenting when it gets to full size, it'll likely be another ten pounds of produce. And organic broccoli in the store is currently $2.99 a pound so about $30 worth. If any more appear and the weather continues to be mild, who knows what I'll end up with? I really was not expecting to be harvesting anything so it's wonderful that I can. Every little bit helps reduce the grocery budget for the month and allows money to be reallocated elsewhere.

Aside from all of that, I added 47 cents to the coin jar that I found when I cleaned out my purse.

Today is a Good Day--Meal Planning

October 28th, 2012 at 01:36 pm

I got a full night's sleep and have some actual energy today, thank goodness. I think my fever broke, too, so that's always a bonus. First thing I did was go down to the grocery store and buy a couple bags of organic white flour, organic milk, a bell pepper, and orange juice. It cost me $35.82. I should not have to spend any money between now and Friday. I am still trying to use up the stuff in my freezers and I still have broccoli and kohlrabi and a few green beans left in the fridge, so menues will reflect that.

Sausages (from the ranch)
Fried potatoes

Chicken and Broccoli stir-fry (including celery, carrots, onion, green beans)

Homemade pizza with ham, pepperoni, onion, bell pepper, and diced tomatoes

Braided chili loaf

Spaghetti with homemade sauce
Homemade garlic bread

Meatball sandwiches
Canned pineapple

No Spend Day

October 27th, 2012 at 08:19 pm

It seems like I seldom have one of these anymore, but since I was too out of it to drive again today and the weather didn't cooperate with walking, I didn't go to the store and buy flour. I really must manage it tomorrow because it's hard to make a menu plan for next week without one of my main ingredients. Well, I do have whole wheat flour but I use it in 3:1 ratio (white being the 3) because it doesn't rise well if I use just whole wheat.

I'm just glad I have plenty of eggs, because they are figuring prominently in breakfast and lunch without flour to make bread. Speaking of eggs, the last two holdouts (the black Australorps) of the new chickens started laying yesterday. It's so funny seeing pullet eggs because they are so small, but they size up pretty quickly. So with those two laying we got 8 eggs today (2 duck, 6 chicken).

We have not had a frost yet. We were to get close on Thursday, but it didn't drop past 36, so my gamble to leave the tomatoes on the vine has paid off. The lowest temp in the forecast in the next 10 days is an overnight of 43 F, and that is November 5th. So I'm going to continue to gamble and try to let those tomatoes ripen. It's supposed to rain all but one of those days, so the tomatoes may not make it due to that, but I am still hoping to extend the garden season as long as possible.

The level of food in the freezers is definitely going down. I can see it visibly now. I am trying to use up the items in them over buying new because I want to defrost everything. If I am very careful with my spending over the next 6 days, I will have $300 leftover from the last pay cycle. I am going to throw it at the credit card.

I have to pay property tax on the 31st. The money is sitting in the account just waiting. This is the second time I've budgeted for it, saving $100 a month. It is nice not having to scramble at the last minute.

I have over 3/4 of a tank of gas so I am good there. Other than buying the flour and some milk and orange juice, I shouldn't have to spend any money this week before payday.

Best Laid Plans...Again

October 27th, 2012 at 12:11 am

So the plan for tonight was pizza for dinner. Homemade, mind you. There was absolutely no reason for me to think that would be a problem, but when I went to make the dough all I had left was one cup of flour. Um...what? I always have flour. Always. And I'm the only one who gets into it. And since I haven't made bread in a couple of weeks I've had no need to keep an eye on the flour level. I always know how much I have on hand and when I need to buy more. Then I remembered DS's paper mache project with his dad last weekend. Made me sick to my stomach because I realized they had used the organic flour to do it, too.

So, no pizza for dinner. Don't think the idea of delivery didn't flit through my head because it did. Instead I threw together a meatloaf, the ingredients of which were easily at hand. I will buy some flour tomorrow. I just couldn't stand the thought of driving today, not even the six blocks to the store and with my cough it is too cold and rainy outside to walk. Not that I have the energy today anyway.

Seriously, today was a day when I really felt my disability. I just did not have enough spoons.

Text is http://www.butyoudontlooksick.com/articles/written-by-christine/the-spoon-theory/ and Link is

Eating Ice Cream With a Fork

October 25th, 2012 at 01:49 pm

Did you ever have one of those days where everything you are looking for seems to not be in the places they belong? The keys, the checkbook, your jacket? I swear that every spoon in the house must be in hiding or in the dishwasher, because there aren't any in the drawer. Hence my title. Even though most of my symptoms are gone, my throat remains sore and raspy. Ice cream helps, but it is a weird experience eating it with a fork. Still, whatever works.

I cancelled my appointment today. It saved me $90 for the week. I am still just too worn down. I rescheduled for Tuesday.

I found a dime in the cupholder in the van so added that to the coin jar.

Yesterday I spent $40 on a prescription, $33.23 on OTC cold medicine, $4.44 on a pill splitter, and $12.93 on orange juice. The orange juice was not a planned purchase, but I was really craving it the way you do when you're deficient in something. So I bought 2 gallons.

I am very tempted to get takeaway for dinner, except I don't want pizza and they are the only place that delivers. I don't have the energy to make baked potato soup, which was on my menu plan for today. It's labor intensive. I think today will just be chili from a can with leftover baked potatoes and green beans from a can. It's warm and hearty and the capsicum clears my sinuses. It's also a quarter of the cost of takeaway, maybe less.

Three of the chickens are now laying eggs in the box on the back porch, Curious, Georgie, and Queen. Guess the fence repair just made them learn how to fly over taller fences. Still, farm fresh delivered to your back door can't be beat. Big Grin

Financial Housekeeping

October 24th, 2012 at 06:47 am

I reconciled my checkbook with my account this morning and it came out to the penny! After making two errors in the last six weeks or so, it was nice to have everything match up exactly as it should.

I also updated my spreadsheets. After my appointment today I will be able to record the final medical payment for the month and close off the October spreadsheet. November's I set up last week so it's all ready to go. I left a note on it to remember to provide for haircuts for DD and myself this month. It's been six months for me and I definitely need the ends trimmed properly. I am also thinking about going with bangs. Right now they are past my chin.

The mortgage balance has posted and it is now at $15,801.43. If I pay $100 extra to principal for the next two payments it will be under $15,000. I like the idea of finishing off the year under $15K.

The rumor mill has it that this year's Christmas bonus will be double last year's, which will make it 10% of yearly income. But even if it is only 5% like last year it will be very nice. Since DH is going to be working an extra week or two more than he did last year, even that 5% will be higher than last year's 5%. Between that and our big tax return due to medical, we may be able to pay off the last of the credit card debt. At least I hope so. I just want it gone.