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Archive for January, 2015

I Did It

January 31st, 2015 at 10:33 pm

I won my dietbet. And I lost 13 pounds since December 31st. I don't know that I'll get much more back than the $30 I started with. It was a small group of 19 and 15 of us have hit our goals, and the other 4 still have a little over 24 hours to submit their final weigh ins.

I am thinking about doing it again, but I think I may wait a week, and join a larger group. Although there is a six month dietbet that I am thinking of doing. It's $25 into the pot each month for 6 months and the goal is to lose 10% of your body weight, which I need to do, and I think I can do. They take half the pot and it goes for the end, but each month you can win as well if you hit the goals, so there is monthly motivation as well.

I found it to be pretty supportive and better than paying for Weight Watchers or the like. With WW there is no getting your money back.

I am, however, thinking about going back to Curves. Our insurance will pay for the sign up fee. The only thing is that I don't really know if I can do it. My physical therapist says the only way I will know is if I try and see how my knees handle it. I may have to avoid a machine or two or I might not be able to do it at all because of my knee. I know they used to do a 2 week free thing many years ago, but I don't know if they do that any more.

The other thing I am thinking about is rejoining the gym, but with just me, not the whole family. Then I can swim, which is always easy on my knee, not to mention the rest of my body. It costs about the same as a Curves membership. But I really like the hydraulic equipment at Curves as there is no fiddling with it. And I don't really like the equipment at the gym because you have to reset it for each person.

I don't really want to sign a two year contract either as we would likely move before it is up, and that is what Curves used to require. I don't know if they still do. They gym just requires one year and then goes month to month.

I'd check out the YMCA and see what they have, but it's a 4 or 5 story building with elevators nowhere near the changing rooms so a long walk on a bad knee and both the pool and the gym are on different floors from the changing rooms. I wonder if we still have a YWCA. We did 20 years ago. I'll have to investigate that.

Meal Planning

January 28th, 2015 at 08:25 pm

I forgot to post my meal plan on Sunday night. I am going to go ahead and post the meals I've already made this week anyway as I like going back and reviewing what I've made in the past when I am stuck for ideas.

Monday:
Beef stew
Green beans
Strawberries

Tuesday:
Chicken stir-fry
Strawberries

Wednesday:
Homemade pizza with onions, bell peppers, pepperoni and homemade rabbit sausage
Cole slaw
Strawberries

Thursday:
Garlic Butter Roasted Chicken
Baked sweet meat squash
Broccoli

Friday:
Pork chops
Broccoli
Pineapple

Saturday:
Sloppy Hoppies
Cole slaw
Oranges

Sunday:
Fried rabbit
Fried potatoes
Broccoli
Pineapple

EF Update

January 28th, 2015 at 08:17 pm

I was reconciling my accounts today and realized I forgot to add some interest into the EF at some point. It was 35 cents. New balance is:

$11,569.55

Emergency Fund Update

January 22nd, 2015 at 11:29 am

$11,549.20 Beginning EF Balance
___,_20.00 Last week's and this week's auto deposits
----------------
$11,569.20 New EF Balance

I have done some figuring and we might be able to get around using the EF for house stuff by using money in the other funds instead.

$500.00 from Propane Fund
$300.00 from Property Tax Fund
$800.00 from School Fund
$200.00 from January 2016 Money Fund
+_70.00 from Dues Fund Excess
--------------
1870.00 Total

That would leave us with $200 in the Propane Fund and $200 in the School Fund. Property Tax is paid in full through April and with the house closing at the end of February we would not need to use that money to pay PT. However that is the last place I will take it from just in case the sale falls through. I would draw it from the other funds first.

Things and Other Things

January 21st, 2015 at 07:44 pm

There really hasn't been all that much to write about this week. I've lost 9 pounds since December 31st, so my diet is going pretty well. We haven't spent much money this week.

We may have some house expenses coming up. Apparently there has to be an inspection of the foundation and we will have to pay for that. I'm not sure why the sellers have to pay it, though. It seems like the buyers should have to pay for all inspections, but I guess not in this case. I swear, I never want to deal with this type of house again in my life.

So, so far, it looks like we're going to have to pay $1000 between the wood stove fix and the foundation inspection. So I probably will end up taking money out of the EF. Since DH also is having dental work done tomorrow and just had a second sleep study done and will have to buy a B-PAP machine, which is more expensive than a normal C-PAP machine, and since our deductible started over insurance won't cover much if any of it, we may really be seeing a dent in the EF.

DH says I can take most of his school money ($800 of the $1000 we set aside) since he doesn't think he'll be ready to do that until after the income tax refund comes back anyway. I hate to do that, though. Of course I hate depleting the EF even more, but we'll see.

Our real estate agents (husband/wife team) wants to sit down and discuss our looking at houses as soon as the sale closes. I don't want to and don't like the pressure. I think we will need to save for an additional year before we are ready to buy a house, possibly longer. I just want a bigger EF and a bigger down payment so our mortgage payment doesn't cost an arm and a leg every month. I just don't think I am ready to go through the stress of looking at houses. DH is probably going to have to tell them to back off.

Plus I want to enjoy being totally debt free for a while (except the loan from Mom), which we will be once we pay the guy who did the house repairs and pay off the van. I just want to have all that stress free time to save like maniacs. Of course that is assuming we can put up with Mom's particular brand of crazy for another year. At the very least we want to finish off the school year, here, though.

Also DD is talking about moving in with two of her friends in the summer of 2016 and if that is the case we can actually look at some smaller houses. She wants to find a job after graduation and work for a year, saving as much money as she can, before getting an apartment. We will try to pay for one class a semester at the community college for her. She'll have one credit when she graduates because her Psychology class counts as a college level credit.

The ducks laid two eggs today. We haven't gotten 2 eggs in a day from them since December, so either they are starting to gear back up again due to the longer days or one of the 2 new ducks has relaxed enough to start laying. Wade has been mating both of them so that might have kicked one of them into gear. Both ducks have been completely accepted into the flock now.

Nothing else really going on around here. Sticking to the meal plan and not going out to eat.

In Search of...

January 20th, 2015 at 12:54 am

I need a new blender. The motor on my blender burned up right when I was in the middle of making homemade mayo for the first time. So of course we couldn't get it to emulsify and ended up wasting a cup of oil and a duck egg. Or well, we would have, but I threw some honey into it and a little store bought mayo and am using it as the dressing on coleslaw. I will try again in the future, but obviously not until we get a new blender.

So, this is the second Oster I've had that has had the motor burn up after using it for less than a year. And this one was maybe used 20 times. That's all. So no more Oster for me. Can anyone recommend a good blender that lasts and doesn't try to catch the house on fire? I'm just looking for a place to start my research.

Meal Planning for the Week

January 19th, 2015 at 03:35 pm

I am baking my first loaf of bread in the new bread machine today. I gave my mother hers back. I love the new one so far. It is so much easier to put the parts together and use. I loathed my mother's machine, and only ever used it to mix dough and would bake in the oven instead. Hers had a round loaf pan which is just all sorts of impractical. The one I got for Christmas has a rectangular loaf pan with 2 paddles so the bread will come out looking like a normal loaf and not something that won't fit well in a sandwich baggy.

Hopefully it turns out well. I used all purpose flour and not bread flour. I hate using bread flour as it has all kinds of additives in it. But I was assured on the bread machine forum that it was fine to use in this particular machine. I am looking forward to having fresh bread in the house again. It has been a while, but is something I definitely want to get back into.

Anyway here is my menu plan for the week.

Monday:
Teriyaki Chicken
Baked potatoes
Green beans
Fresh bread

Tuesday:
Braided Chili Loaf
Baked Broccoli and Cauliflower
Oranges

Wednesday:
Spaghetti and Meatballs
Garlic bread
Leftover Broccoli and Cauliflower

Thursday:
Meatball Sandwiches made using leftover meatballs, leftover sauce, cheese, and leftover garlic bread
Cole slaw

Friday:
Rabbit Stew (rabbit, potatoes, carrots)
Fresh baked bread
Green Beans

Saturday:
Chicken stir-fry (with broccoli, carrots, celery, snow peas, water chestnuts, onions, bell peppers)
Egg fried rice

Sunday:
Beef pot roast
Mashed Potatoes and Gravy
Homemade biscuits with choice of homemade jam
Green Beans

Stuff and Other Stuff

January 16th, 2015 at 11:06 pm

We went to Costco today and spent $211. I stocked up on toilet paper, bought some tikka masala spices, vitamins, fuzzy socks(!), and of course groceries. We also got gas. It was $1.84 a gallon and we got just over 11 gallons. We paid just a smidgeon above $20. I can't even remember the last time that happened.

The house contract was signed Monday night by all parties. They have scheduled their inspection. We have to do $500 worth of work on the wood stove to bring it up to code. I think we will be able to swing that without touching the Emergency Fund. Since I have $700 in the propane fund (and still have $50 of credit with the co-op) and still haven't had to fill the tank, I can take most of it from there, and I also have an extra $70 in the dues fund. I am trying not to get excited about the house sale happening because it fell through last time, but I am a little bit.

I have now lost 8 pounds since starting my diet December 31st. I hope that continues to go well. I still need to lose a few more pounds to win my dietbet. I think I am going to make it. I've got 15 days left. Even if I don't win, the support of the group has been wonderful and it is worth that for $30. But I want to win.

I have managed to keep my calorie intake in my goal range every day but one. I went over by 15 calories that day, so I still consider it a win.

Tomorrow I have someone dropping off a baby aloe plant for me and another person buying 2 dozen duck eggs for $10. That will bring farm sales for the month to $37.50.

I received my Costco bonus check for $46.27 today. Of course I didn't open the mail until after we'd come back from our shopping trip to Costco. Wish I had because that check can only be cashed at Costco. DH will have to run in there on Sunday. We'll be going past it on the way to visit his parents so we won't have to make a special trip.

I think that about covers everything.

Payday Report

January 16th, 2015 at 10:48 pm

$1700.00 Bank of America
$1000.00 Loan to Mom
__225.00 Chiropractor
__103.00 Medical
___90.00 Physical Therapy
___42.88 Prescription
___50.00 Allowances
___20.11 Gas($1.84 a gallon!)
__100.00 Cash for Week
---------------
$3330.99 Total Money Out

New Ducks and a Farm Sale

January 13th, 2015 at 08:59 pm

We were given two ducks today, both females, from someone who was having predator problems and they had wiped out her flock except for these two. We have named them Bluebell (she's a Blue Swedish) and Daisy (she's a Khaki Campbell).

Integration was interesting. I think it is all going to be okay, though. It isn't like with chickens where the birds can be downright nasty to newcomers. They are very well taken care of, healthy animals. I wasn't planning to add any more ducks to the flock, but it is hard to say no to free, especially after losing Lemon.

I did a short little vid if anyone is interested.

[url]http://youtu.be/DCy6-buXFVA[/url]

Tomorrow I have someone coming to buy a 4 month old doe kit. It's a non-pedigreed but purebred New Zealand White, so only $20. Proven and purebred go for more and reds go for more than that. This will bring my January farm sales to $27.50. But DS gets a percentage because he does so much work with the animals. He gets 1/3.

House Stuff

January 13th, 2015 at 01:44 pm

After receiving a revised offer from the first set of buyers, we have decided to go with the offer from the second set of buyers. While the revised offer was $6K above asking price, with the amount of closing costs they still wanted us to cover and all the fees we would have to pay dealing with a VA loan, it still came out to $500 less than the offer from the 2nd set of buyers.

If they'd been willing to go up $1K higher or reduce the amount of closing costs they wanted us to cover, which they wouldn't, it would have been worth it, but all things being almost equal, we decided it was better to go with the people who were straight-forward and had less hoops we'd have to jump through, and who didn't try to majorly lowball us on their first offer. The first folks gambled. They tried to play hardball instead of making a fair first offer. They lost.

So the realtors will fax the paperwork to DH to sign and then once they've got it back, they will come over here for me to sign it this afternoon and we will be under contract again. Hopefully this time all will work out, but with the letter from the bank in hand, it seems like it should.

Got the Second Offer!

January 12th, 2015 at 08:48 pm

We got the second offer on the house and it is full asking price, except they want us to pay 3% of their closing costs, which I consider reasonable. My realtor has told the other realtor from the first offer that there has been a second, better offer, so they are going to revise their offer. But I doubt it will be better, and I'm more inclined to go with the folks that didn't try to lowball us in the first place.

I'd also rather our realtors got the full commission based on how much they have done as opposed to splitting it with the other realtor who basically showed the house twice and has come in at zero hour and also wrote an offer that was kind of insulting.

I know a lot can go wrong between now and then. A lot. And I know that accepting an offer and going under contract doesn't mean anything. But I am a little hopeful, finally, that something might actually come of all of this. Just even coming close to getting full asking price is remarkable. I'd be very happy with that.

Second Offer Soon

January 12th, 2015 at 04:57 pm

The second set of buyers got their financing and are currently having their offer written up by our realtors. The first set is being super impatient about getting an answer to their offer, even though they only made it on Saturday afternoon. But they can be impatient. This is a big decision to make and I am not going to rush it without having the other offer in hand. Plus they didn't put a time limit on how long we have to consider it.

I mean we will make the decision tonight, I am sure, but we won't before we have all the information in place. Waiting a few days is not going to be the end of the world for these people. I know it is hard to wait in this day and age of everything being fast, fast, fast, but some things still take time.

I kind of think they thought we would snap up their offer immediately because of the length of time the house has been on the market. But the thing is, we don't NEED to sell it. Yeah, it would be nice to have it gone and the money in the bank and it would make life easier. But we are not desperate enough to just take anything. It wouldn't hurt if they were a little worried now about the tightness of their offer and were second guessing themselves.

I don't want to be greedy. I just want to be reasonable and have the offers be reasonable, too.

Menu Planning for the Week

January 11th, 2015 at 11:08 pm

I have almost everything on hand that I need for dinners this week. I do need to pick up some cabbage for cole slaw and some broccoli and cauliflower, but other than that I am good to go.

Monday:
Crockpot BBQ Ribs
Baked Potatoes
Green Beans
Cherries

Tuesday:
Teriyaki Flank Steak
Fried Potatoes
Roasted Broccoli/Cauliflower
Strawberries (from my frozen summer stash)

Wednesday:
Bacon Cheeseburgers
Cole slaw
Oranges

Thursday:
Beef stir-fry with carrots, celery, onions, snow peas, broccoli, and cauliflower
Pineapple

Friday:
Fried Rabbit
Baked Potatoes
Green Beans

Saturday:
Homemade Pizza with rabbit sausage, ham, onions, and bell peppers
Cole slaw

Sunday:
Spaghetti and Meatballs
Garlic Bread
Cole slaw