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Archive for December, 2014

Also Doing Dietbet

December 31st, 2014 at 06:55 pm

I forgot to mention yesterday that I decided to sign up for dietbet. I did a $30 one. I figured maybe if I had some monetary skin in the game it would make it more likely to hang in there during the hardest part, the first month. Once I get my groove on, I generally do pretty well, and with having been off soda for probably a year now, this time I'll be doing it without my biggest temptation.

I am using survey money. Anything I win will go towards the DRIP thing I'll be starting up. The initial investment will go back into Dietbet for the next round. I want to lose 15 pounds this month, but I'd be happy with just making progress.

I have gained back all of the weight I lost before, plus another 15 pounds. And it is making life difficult. This time I need to make the changes permanent. I really hope I'm finally ready to do that.

In other news we lost Lemon today. She had hurt herself a few days ago and while we had been treating her injuries, she just couldn't recover. She died this afternoon. That brings our duck flock down to 4 females and one male. It is sad, but it doesn't hurt as bad as it did when Sienna died. Ducks are not affectionate by nature, and while they make me happy with their antics, they are not something I have cuddled with. It puts more space between me and the loss.

Going for a No Spend Week

December 30th, 2014 at 05:49 pm

Aside from the auto deductions and the AMEX bill, which have money set aside for them, I am hoping for a no spend week starting tomorrow and going through next Tuesday. We have plenty of food, milk, and medication and toiletries in the house and no reason to spend any money on anything, so this week should be a breeze to get through. I won't have physical therapy again for 8 days, which I will have to pay, or I'd be trying to go no spend until January 9th, which is our next payday.

Today we spent $75 on rabbit feed and oats and I spent $90 on physical therapy.

The kids start back to school on Monday and normally I would buy lunch meat, but I am just going to make an extra pizza on Sunday and then they can take that for lunches. They both like cold pizza over sandwiches anyway and since I make it with lots of onions and peppers it is reasonably well balanced.

My husband taught my FIL and my mom how to butcher rabbits so they could help do it and DH could keep his injured finger out of them, so on Monday they butchered 10. These ones were a few weeks older than our norm, so it'll be close to 35 pounds of meat and about 2.5 pounds of livers. I will be working on cutting it all up tomorrow for grinding. We should get about 35 pounds of burger after the bones are taken out.

Then I will boil up the bones, pick off the remaining meat, and can the stock. I might even make up some ready made soups to can with the meat from the bones, although generally I save that for making enchiladas.

I am about ready to start cooking again, even though I'm not over this illness. My brain is starting to unfog, which is good. And since DH just left for Alaska and won't be able to help, I am glad I feel like I am capable to start at least making dinners again.

Meal Planning for the Week

December 28th, 2014 at 11:11 pm

Monday:
Rabbit stew
Fresh bread
Cole slaw

Tuesday:
Chicken stir-fry
Rice

Wednesday:
Fried rabbit
Fried potatoes
Green beans

Thursday:
Roasted chicken
Baked potatoes
Broccoli

Friday:
Homemade pizza (onions, peppers, pepperoni, prosciutto)
Cole slaw

Saturday:
Sloppy Hoppies
Cole slaw

Sunday:
Meatloaf made with ground rabbit and duck eggs
Mashed potatoes
Green beans

A Small Investment

December 28th, 2014 at 08:19 am

Recently DH and I made the decision to make a small investment in new dishes. We don't have a lot of plates and bowls anymore. The kids have broken a lot of our old set over the last few years and since it has been discontinued, it is almost impossible to find. In pricing new dishes of any quality (not china, but not melamine, either), I found them to be about $7 to $8 a plate.

So instead I went on ebay to look and see what they had in the way of old dishes in good condition and I found they had some that matched the stuff my grandmother had when I was a little kid. We were able to buy 13 plates, 10 of which were in mint condition for less than we would have paid for new, and they are all usable. The small chips in the 3 plates are fixable, though I would still like to get 2 more plates that are in mint condition.

Last night I found 12 matching bowls, so we will be getting those next. They have the same pattern on the outer rim, but the picture on the bottom of the bowl is different from the one on the bottom of the plate. They complement each other nicely.

They do have matching tumblers, but they are more expensive so I don't think we will be getting those now, but it is something to keep my eye on.

These dishes make me so happy and remind me of all the time I spent with my grandmother. And the whole family really likes them, too. The best part is they are dishwasher safe because of how they were glazed. The design won't wear off like with some of the older china.

Emergency Fund Update

December 27th, 2014 at 06:19 pm

$11,010.00 Beginning Balance
+____10.00 Weekly Deposit
----------------
$11,020.00 New Balance

Christmas in the Emergency Room

December 25th, 2014 at 10:03 pm

Potato peeler: 5
DH: 0

We spent a couple of hours in the emergency room today. DH managed to peel a chunk of flesh off his finger when he was peeling potatoes and we couldn't get the bleeding to stop. It wasn't the sort of injury they could stitch up, either. It took a long time get it to stop and even now it's still leaking a bit.

We got to spend a couple hours alone together. It was much more restful at the ER than at the in-laws house. SIL and her daughters were fighting as usual and it was particularly obnoxious, so it was nice to be able to get away from that for a while, even if it wasn't good circumstances. The ER was deserted so we got taken right back.

They did numb it for him and put on a vasoconstrictor (sp?) gel that helped constrict the blood vessels. Cautery would have been the best thing for it, but I guess they don't do that anymore. It's going to leave a dime-sized scar anyway. They also gave him a tetanus shot because it has been a long time since he had one.

If this had to happen, I'm glad it did before the deductible resets in January. ER visits are usually a few hundred dollars. We only saw a nurse and PA, though, no doctor, so that should help with costs.

I'm not sure how we're going to get the rabbits butchered now. I knew DH putting it off this long was going to come back and bite him in the butt. Hopefully we can get someone to come help.

I hope everyone else had a less eventful Christmas. Now my wish for the new year is to have far less crazy!

Farm Sales

December 23rd, 2014 at 06:16 pm

I made the most I have ever made on farm sales in a month this month.

$67.50 rabbit meat sales
+39.00 egg sales
+20.00 live rabbit sales
---------------
126.50 total farm sales

I am excited to see it doing so well. That was enough to cover a month of rabbit feed and a month of turkey feed and 1 bag of duck/chicken layer feed. That's not what I'm doing with it though. I have decided to take my farm sales money and my survey money and start investing in DRIPs.

I would like to end up with enough in drips that by the time I am 65 I can switch from reinvesting to getting the dividends paid and make enough income from it to provide about $2000 a month for retirement. I know that I'll have to add more money to it than what I can make with the farm and surveys, but I think we can manage that.

The Van, The Farm, The Holiday Prep

December 20th, 2014 at 02:03 pm

We got the van back on Thursday night. The cost to fix was a total of $2439.89. That is a big chunk of money that I definitely could have used somewhere else, but at least we had it and didn't have to touch the emergency fund. And we got to drive the loaner for a week for free. The dealership actually loaned us the minivan they use as one of their shuttles to drive customers to and from the dealership when their vehicles are being worked on.

Today is the first day it has rained hard since we got it back so it will be the first test of whether or not the roof still leaks. It hasn't in the sprinkling that has been up to now.

The starter and battery seem to be working fine, though. We're going to give the van a long run today and go down to the farm we buy our beef from. Since DH ended up getting the extra weeks we don't have to pinch like I was afraid of, so we are going to buy some beef for canning. Having canned beef is such a time saver for me and very convenient when I am sick. Beef stew is so easy to make with that on hand.

We have been going through our canned potatoes pretty fast so I am also going to go out to Safeway this weekend and use some of the gift cards to buy several pounds of organic potatoes to can. I much prefer having canned potatoes on hand since they don't sprout. Less waste that way. And they can be used for everything, mashed potatoes, fried, hash browns, casseroles, stews.

We have gotten presents bought for DH's mom and dad, DD, me, DH, and some of DS's. We still need to buy for SIL and youngest niece since DH never did get around to talking about not exchanging with them this year. We also need to get our wrapping paper out of storage and bring it home.

I am still pretty tired and sinus-y, but a lot of the virus seems to be passing. Just wish the exhaustion would go. It makes it hard to do things or be enthusiastic about the holidays.

Meal Planning for the Week

December 18th, 2014 at 09:06 am

I forgot to post my meal planning for this week, but I still did it. We made up a big batch (16 cups) of brown rice at the beginning of the week, added corn and carrots and peas, and some soy sauce and have been using it as sides. I love having a rice cooker. I'm going to post the whole thing, even though it is already Thursday, because I often go back and look at the ones I have posted before to get ideas for future weeks.

Monday--
Teriyaki flank steak
Rice
Green beans

Tuesday--
Fajitas with chicken, bell peppers, onions, cheese, whole wheat tortillas
Rice

Wednesday--
Black pepper chicken
Rice
Man du dumplings (Korean, cabbage, bean sprouts, pork, mirin)

Thursday--
BBQ Chicken Wings
Rice
Cole slaw

Friday--
Homemade pizza (rabbit sausage, onions, bell peppers)
Cole slaw

Saturday--
Sloppy Hoppies
Cole slaw

Sunday--
Fried Rabbit
Fried potatoes
Green beans

Emergency Fund Update

December 18th, 2014 at 08:55 am

Today is the weekly deposit of $10 into savings.

$11,000.00 Beginning EF Balance
+____10.00 Deposit Amount
-------------------
$11,010.00 Ending EF Balance

Back to making baby steps for a while, but as I always say, even baby steps move you forward.

Very Peeved at Amazon

December 17th, 2014 at 08:19 pm

I tried to use my checking account to pay for an order on Amazon because I didn't want to use a credit card. I've done this before with no problems and there is plenty of money in the account. But they won't accept it. I wonder if it is some kind of fraud protection since it is Christmas time? I don't know, because there was no information as to why.

So I ended up using the card and will just send that amount to AMEX, but I don't like having to take that extra step, when I should have been done with it in one step. I am starting to think that these companies are going to force us to use credit cards no matter what.

Christmas Bonus

December 16th, 2014 at 06:09 pm

The Christmas Bonus came in the mail yesterday. We weren't expecting it until the 19th. It was the same as last year, gross, but less net as they took out some for 401K and 25% for taxes, which they do for all bonuses no matter how big or how small. Gubmint has to catch those super bonuses after all from those tax evading CEO's, by going after everyone who gets them right off the top. We'll get most of it back when we file our income taxes, though.

I am tentatively setting aside $1000 for DH's bachelor's program, and $1000 to the Emergency Fund. I'm not going to decide on the rest of it until I know for sure the exact dollar amount on the van repair. I'd like to set aside more for the bachelor's program. Ideally I'd like to have enough for two classes that he could take back to back. He does one at a time. And then we'd have the income tax return to pay for the next couple classes by the time he'd finished the first two.

$10,000.00 Beginning EF Balance
+_1,000.00 Amount Added
-------------
$11,000.00 New EF Balance

Flights of Fancy

December 14th, 2014 at 01:26 pm

No, not really. But DH and DS flew to Portland today. They should be back home in a couple of hours. DH needed 500 miles to attain gold status on his frequent flyer program and did a companion fare for DS who would have lost his miles if he hadn't flown this year.

Gold status is pretty important to DH since he flies every 2 weeks and it frequently gives him upgrades to first class which makes everything so much easier when you are 6 foot 3 and broad shouldered. He also gets free digiplayers and headphones, better food, and if he wanted, free alcohol.

It didn't cost too much and they get to spend a father/son day. It's a clear day today so the view from the plane window should be pretty great.

They'll have a meal out in the Portland airport so will likely spend about $30 there and then parking for the day is $12. All in all, about $500 for DH to maintain his status and get his perks. Since one upgrade to first class would be about $1000, and he generally gets them 12 times a year for free with his gold status, that is a bargain.