Home > Archive: May, 2016

Archive for May, 2016

Not Much Going on and a Military Question

May 27th, 2016 at 06:05 am

It's been a slow couple of days. I went to Water Zumba on Wednesday, took today off from exercise, and will go to water aerobics tomorrow. I really wish they had the Zumba three times per week.

The Integrated Chemistry and Physics curriculum seems to be going well so far. The other stuff hasn't arrived yet. I think we will be able to finish off the Money Management course in 12 days if the online program doesn't malfunction again.

I haven't been spending the last few days. Tomorrow is payday so there will be a few bills paid and a trip to the grocery store. I also have physical therapy tomorrow so there will be money spent for that.

I know there are a couple of military families on here and I have a question. If the spouse in the military dies and the family is living in base housing, how long would the family have before they had to vacate the house?

Unmotivated and Prayer Request

May 23rd, 2016 at 04:59 pm

I am not motivated at all today. I am trying to get myself motivated to go to Water Zumba, which I would need to leave for in 20 minutes and it's like pulling teeth. I crawled back into bed this morning after chores and haven't wanted to budge. I don't feel sick. I don't know what it is. General lethergy? Laziness? Back of the mind worrying?

My FIL is having cancer surgery today. It is a 7 hour surgery if all goes to play. I won't know anything for quite some time yet. IF you all could pray for him or send out positive thoughts or healing vibes, that would be wonderful. His name is Rich.

Maybe going would help me take my mind off of things.

Nothing Financial Today

May 22nd, 2016 at 01:02 am

I didn't go to the gym today. We scraped and scrubbed rabbit cages and dropping trays and then scrubbed 18 water bottles and feeders, so I got a lot of exercise in doing those. The hose is not very close to the rabbit shed so there is a lot of walking back and forth, too.

I also pulled weeds, hilled up dirt on the potatoes, and planted the tomatoes (that I started inside from seed) and basil (that I cloned) I had hardening off, so got some more exercise there. I'm counting that as exercise, since it took 2 hours to do the cleaning and an hour to do the planting.

I will go to the gym tomorrow, though. I want to swim laps. Then I'll take Monday off since that is FIL's surgery and DH will have the van in Seattle. I will go to Water Aerobics on Tuesday. I think an every other day pool workout is probably what my body wants to do.

I have dropped 5 pounds this week. The exercise is really making a difference. I wish I could go for walks though. But I'm not sure if my knee will ever allow that again.

I'm a Great Aunt Again for the Fifth Time and Other Stuff

May 21st, 2016 at 06:25 am

My niece, the one who is only a year older than my daughter, gave birth to a baby girl last night and named her Braelynn Alice. I like the combination of a very modern name with an old-fashioned name. I did much the same with my daughter's name. She was 8 lbs 5 oz and 20.5 inches long. I've been to see her twice and got to hold her today. She has masses of black hair and I think her eyes are brown. Baby eye color often changes, though.

I can't even imagine having a baby at 20 years old. I know women used to do it all the time, but I felt so young when I was 20, not at all ready to be as grown up as having a child makes you need to be. But I think she will be a fantastic mother. She has such a nurturing instinct and she has always loved babies (which I did not).

I didn't go to the pool for 2 days as I really overdid it and then I gave myself a massive bruise on one shoulder. I got back there today. I have decided not to do anymore back to back classes. One a day, every other day until I can build up my muscles, then I can consider going more days a week. But I don't think I will try back to back classes again any time soon.

DH got a confirmation on the overtime so that will be nice. I had to order new curriculum for my son. The program he's been using, which is online, is down all the time or glitches, and earlier this week, it erased all of the progress he has made in his English class. It's just gone. And half of the history lessons he's done vanished, too. He's going to finish his money management class and then I'm pulling the plug on that curriculum. If I'm paying $100 a month, I expect it to work all the time.

His first new books arrived yesterday. It is an integrated chemistry and applied physics course and is two full credits. The local high school would consider this two year's worth of science as they give .5 credit per semester. He is really excited about it and is already working on it. I think it is set up very well. And it's all offline, so no website to go down.

I also ordered Washington state history, World history, and Algebra 1 from Hooked on Schoolhouse, which is an interactive CD-ROM based program. DS has been struggling with Geometry, so we are going to go back and do Algebra 1 again first. He missed a lot of school when he took Algebra as a Freshman and he had a bad teacher who couldn't keep the class under control, which made it hard for him to focus. He's good at math when he has the foundation in place, so we are going back to make that foundation stronger.

I got Hooked on Schoolhouse French, too. Again, all interactive CD-ROM stuff with worksheets to print out.

I also ordered a 6th grade spelling book because his spelling is really bad, so we're going back to drill. They don't seem to make high school spelling books, so I figure we'll do 6th, 7nth, and 8th and that will give him plenty of practice.

I got him a tenth grade Vocabulary and a 9th grade writing. His essay writing is not very good and he needs practice in the fundamentals. He will do a tenth grade literature course at the same time, skipping the stuff he already did in the online English course that vanished on him, which was mostly Shakespeare and poetry.

He should be able to test through some of the World History fast since he's taken a semester's worth of it and start about halfway through. The WA state one is not very long, so he'll zip through that.

Once he gets through all of that, we'll get 11th grade curriculum, mostly from the same place we got the science curriculum. Except for French which will stay with Hooked on Schoolhouse.

I spent about $600 on curriculum, but it'll average out over the next several months, instead of paying $100 a month. It'll be paid for with some of the overtime money.

Moving Fund Update

May 21st, 2016 at 04:51 am

$45.15 Starting Balance
+15.00 Pinecone
+20.00 Rabbit sale
+10.00 Egg Money
+_9.00 Coin Jar Money
$99.15 New Balance

$2400.85 to go.

Possible Overtime and Exercise

May 18th, 2016 at 04:39 am

DH texted me to say he might only be coming home for one week instead of two. There's a good chance he will get a week of overtime, which would be great for our finances when so much is up in the air. It means we can sock some more money into the Down Payment Fund.

Fortunately it would be the second week and not the first week he's coming home, as FIL goes in for surgery on the 23rd and DH needs to drive him to Seattle for it. DH had planned to bring him back home, too, but FIL has to be in the hospital for five days, so he'd have to go back before that time.

I'm not really capable of driving to Seattle and back on the same day. My leg will go into severe spasm and I'd likely be unable to walk for 3 or 4 days afterwards without assistance. I also tend to get super tense and freaked out in Seattle traffic. They drive like crazy people there. It's worse than California between LAX and Disneyland, which is saying something. We'll figure something out.

I did a one hour water aerobics class this morning. It was a different teacher from usual. She is the Wednesday teacher. I've never done a Wednesday class before. She does a lot more stretching stuff than the other teachers. Which is good for flexibility, but doesn't get the heart rate up for as long.

I am debating on going to a class tomorrow or not. My body really feels like it needs a rest, but I won't be able to go on Thursday because my son has his standardized testing that day and someone has to be with him and DH doesn't get home until later in the day. But I could go swimming Thursday evening instead of a class. My foot is kind of hurting so swimming would be easier on it than water aerobics.

But also tomorrow is the water Zumba class and it is only twice a week, so if I don't go tomorrow, I won't get to do it again until Monday. Well, I guess I'll see how I feel in the morning.

More Pool Time

May 17th, 2016 at 06:06 am

I went to the gym today and did a 45 minute water aerobics class, sat in the hot tub for 15 minutes, and then did an hour water Zumba class. It was fun and I kept up okay, though learning the steps in the water Zumba class was a little harder. I tend to have two left feet when I am first starting out. Eventually I get things though and do pretty good. I think it'll be five or six more classes until I am at that point though.

I had so much energy afterwards I felt like swimming laps, but decided that would definitely overdo it. I think I will sleep very well again, tonight. Tomorrow they only have one water aerobics class, but it is an hour. Unfortunately it ends at 10 and then lap swimming isn't until noon. So I'd either have to come back then if I wanted to exercise longer or come back at 8 p.m. Yeah, not so much.

The exercising is definitely a control thing. Since I can't really control our financial future at this point I am channeling it all into working out. Which is good up to a point, but I really do have to be careful not to go at it too hard. I don't want to hurt myself. It's a good distraction though. And it makes me too tired to dwell too much on life in limbo.

And it could be worse. I could be focusing all my attention on food. I don't want to do that because I can get a wee bit obsessive when I do. Like the way I am obsessive about budgeting and savings, which can sometimes get out of hand, too. I mean there are only so many scenarios I can run on spreadsheets for the future, but that doesn't stop me from running them.

Ah, issues. I have them.

Diet and Upcoming Medical Things

May 16th, 2016 at 05:50 am

Gracious, but I was sore today, but in such a good way. I will be starting back up with the water aerobics tomorrow. It'll be nice. I slept like a log last night, my body was so tired from swimming for an hour. And I think my new pillow helped a lot. It was expensive, but it works much better with my c-pap machine, and my neck felt so much better this morning.

I am hoping I will sleep that hard again tonight as I could really use the sleep. I feel like I am on the edge of a cold, but it could just be the weather swinging from 75 degree days to 60 degree days. Or it could be the pollen. Or a combination of both. I am fighting hard not to get sick just when I am getting on a roll with exercising again.

My diet has been good for 3 days straight and I am hoping to keep it clean like this now. May 31st can't come soon enough. I will be glad to see the bariatric doctor and see if there isn't something more that can be done to help me (short of surgery, I don't want to do that) get the rest of this weight off.

Today was a no spend day, but I will have a prescription to fill on the 17th, and I have to pick up straw for the duck and turkey coops tomorrow. Otherwise I won't be spending anything else until payday. I've got a big dental bill to pay for my son's fillings. Not huge, but somewhere around $200 to $300. It was closer to $600 before insurance. I am going to have to stay on him about brushing his teeth better. I shouldn't have to with him being 16, but I do. Maybe if I tell him he's going to have to start paying a percentage of his dental bills out of his allowance he'll get the picture.

DH still needs to get crown work done and not sure when we'll be able to do that as it will be around $1000 out of our pocket. Guess where DS gets his bad toothbrushing habits from?

I know it is possible to correct lazy brushing and flossing habits as I've done it myself. But the males in my life haven't managed to get it together in that regard. My DD is fastidious about it, but she had braces for 3 years and had to be a fanatic about it, and those good habits have remained.

I have to call the ENT tomorrow. I keep forgetting, but DS has been having bloody drainage since his surgery and just remembered to tell me last week. It's been weeks since his surgery so this really should not still be going on. I'm sure fixing the problem won't come cheap. We'll see.

Well, I better hit the hay.

Swimmingly and Shoppingly

May 14th, 2016 at 09:58 pm

I received my $15 check from Pinecone today and sold 2 dozen duck eggs for $10. That'll go into the moving fund on Monday.

I also went to the pool today and swam laps for an hour. Well, mostly swam laps. When my arms would get too tired then I would walk the laps. Part of my physical therapy exercises are to walk forward one length of the pool, then backwards one length, then sideways with the left leg being the lead leg, then reverse with the right leg being the lead leg. I lost track of how many laps I actually did, but I was in there for the whole hour, then did some stretches and then sat in the hot tub for 15 minutes (glorious).

It's been a while since I've been to the pool and I will probably pay for all that exercise tomorrow, but for now I feel really good. My diet has been stuck in a rut (though I hit my dietbet goal for this month last month) and I think it is because I've been slacking on the exercise. I haven't been sleeping great either, and again, the exercise usually helps with that. I have a feeling I will sleep like a log tonight.

I found out from DH that it could be a couple more weeks before we know anything about the contract. No one knows why it is taking so long for them to make a decision. The current contract ends mid-June. I would hope they would come to a decision by then, but I'm not really holding my breath. It's more like I'm waiting for the chance to inhale.

The stress of not knowing has been messing with my eating as well. Which is why I forced myself to get back in the pool. I will go again tomorrow, too. It is a better way to channel stress than through food. Or shopping.

Although I did go shopping. I bought a new, smaller kiddie pool for the ducks to replace the other one that is harder to dump. And I also got new sheets and pillow cases for the bed and a new pillow, plus sunscreen and bug spray. I'm going to donate our old sheets to the animal shelter. They are always looking for sheets, blankets, and towels.

Yesterday I also bought my sun 3 tank tops, 2 shirts, and 5 pairs of shorts for the summer. He has grown so much the last year. And I got 3 tank tops for my daughter. I am sure when my husband comes home he will need to buy shorts. He has shrunk out of his old ones and I'm not sure he has any from before in his current size. We did get him a swim suit last time he was home and one in the next size down as well as he is still losing pretty fast, and swim suits don't stay on the rack very long around here. By actual summer, they are usually gone.

All of the spending was planned though and budgeted for.

Starting a Moving Fund

May 13th, 2016 at 06:09 pm

Now that the EF has hit $20K, I am starting a Moving Fund. I will be holding off contributing to the EF further and funneling that money into the new MF. I know that we still don't know anything about DH's contract situation, but I am going to plow forward like we do. If worst comes to worst this money will just end up being dumped into the EF to live off of.

My goal for the Moving Fund is to save up $2500. I think I probably only need $1500, but I always overestimate things like this and then if I need more I have it. We'll need to be able to rent the biggest U-haul for 3 to 5 days and to pay the mileage variance for several trips, plus insurance.

We'll likely be eating out during that time period at least once a day, possibly twice or at least getting deli meat and chips for sandwiches, so I'll need to have money for that. I'll need $400 set aside for utilities for my mother, to pay for the final month after we move, since the bills will be for the previous month.

I'll need around $200 for piano movers. Maybe less if we don't go as far as the next county, but it'll still be $150 if we move in county. (And I'll need money for a month later when it will be tuned as that is how long the thing has to settle before it will hold a tuning).

Of course we'll need gas money above and beyond the norm, both for the U-haul and for the van. And we may or may not need deposit money for new electric, gas or propane, garbage, and internet hook-ups. With our credit history we shouldn't, but who knows?

I'd rather be over prepared than under prepared. Anyway, so the opening deposits are these:

$24.50 Coin Jar and Egg Money
+20.65 Remainder of normal EF Monthly Deposit
$45.15 Opening Balance

$2454.85 to go.

Met My Goal--$20,000 in the Emergency Fund

May 13th, 2016 at 04:51 pm

$19,870.62 Starting Balance
+__,129.38 Monthly Deposit
$20,000.00 New Balance

My monthly deposit is usually $150, but now that I've hit $20K, I am going to take a break from adding to the EF for a while and work on our Moving Fund. So the remainder of that deposit will go there instead until I get it where I want it to be.

Odds and Ends

May 11th, 2016 at 01:05 am

I sent for a $15 check from Pinecone. I have not been doing swagbucks in a while and I don't do it consistently anymore. I should get back to it, I could use the gift cards, but most of the time when I think about it, it's more of an "eh," sort of thought. I used to have it running in the back ground a lot, but that was before they stopped letting you disable the sound for the whole session and you had to disable it on each video instead. That's more of annoyance than I wanted to deal with. I haven't done it in a few months so maybe that's changed, but I really can't be bothered at the moment.

My son will be doing his standardized testing on the 19th, but he has to do a practice test on the 12th (only a half hour). And it really irritates me that everything is on East coast time, so there are no afternoon sessions on the West Coast. DS is not a morning person.

And he will have to do the testing on my laptop because it is the only one that can handle their system requirements for the testing browser, which means I won't have access to my computer for several hours on the 19th. Grr. I am also irritated that there is no time built into the testing schedule for lunch. They get two fifteen minute breaks in 6 hours of testing. I guess the bright side of doing the testing at home is that he can have food right there with him.

I can use my old laptop, but it is so slow, and I can't do video editing on it since the software on it doesn't play well with the forced Windows 10 upgrade.

I guess I can spend the day writing. I should anyway, but I hate having to use the old laptop as the replacement cord doesn't fit snugly and falls out, and the battery in it is so bad it only holds a 30 minute charge. Maybe I'll duct tape it for the day.

We have two rabbits due to kindle. One was due two days ago and the other was due yesterday. The one that was due yesterday is pulling fur, but otherwise no kits yet.

The garden is roaring along. I have harvested chives, oregano, kale, chard, pak choi, sorrel, and 3 types of lettuces already. I saw a head the size of a softball on one of the Romaescu broccoli's yesterday so maybe by next week we'll be eating that, too. I can already tell it is going to be a ridiculously good garden year.

Almost everything is planted. I have to wait a bit longer for putting cantaloupe in the ground. I've also got a couple of sweet potatoes in jars of water that I'll be putting out in large containers just to see if they will do anything. They both have lots of leaves on them and one has lots of roots, the other only has 2 roots. This isn't sweet potato country, but since this summer is shaping up to be like last summer I thought I'd give it a whirl. If nothing else it has a pretty flower.

We still don't know anything about DH's job or the contract. I'm starting to wonder if they'll make the announcement before the old contract runs out in June. We're already 1/3 of the way through May so it is starting to seem more and more likely that those are the intentions. Frustration, they name is Lucky Robin.

The stress is getting to me. I am stress eating and I did a little stress spending, too. Although that's not so bad. I bought $120 worth of new clothes, but only paid $40 for it, since I had that many points in my rewards program. I needed new tops as all of my old ones were too big and another summer nightgown as most of my summer nightgowns show a little too much on top and with a sixteen year old boy in the house I was having to wear a t-shirt over them which defeats the purpose of a lightweight nightgown.

I also bought two sun dresses, one for me and one for my daughter. I am really happy with all of the tops, too, because they are my colors. So many times in the past I have been forced to buy pastel things if I wanted clothes that fit, but this year they have some strong teals and turquoises going on as well as magenta and deep purple. All that's missing is jewel tones.

I'm going to weed out the tops that are way too big now. Even my favorite ones. I've already done it with my jeans and sweats. Fortunately my other dresses can just be belted in more so they'll last at least another summer.

Not much else going on. I've got a lovely herbed chicken roasting with potatoes and a relatively open evening to binge watch Girl Meets World on Netflix. Which is so good, if you ever loved Cory and Topanga and Boy Meets World, once you get past the first cheesy episode.

Couple More Farms

May 10th, 2016 at 12:10 am

Da da da da da da duh, do do do do do do doo... That's the limbo song, and yes, my life is still in it.

There were a couple of farms that came up on my search this weekend in the next county over that would be really nice to go and check out. I just kind of feel like we'd be wasting the realtors time, since we still don't know about the contract. The pre-approval is completely approved now and I have the letter in hand, so we can move on anything if the work situation clears up in DH's favor.

One of them was really kind of perfect when it came to land (over 20 acres) and has two barns and a greenhouse with both water and power to it. The house is older, but in decent shape with newer paint, roof, and flooring. And the house was spacious, but the taxes weren't ridiculous. It's not so far away that we couldn't keep the same doctors and see my mother often, but far enough that no one would drop in without calling first to make sure we were there.

Best of all, no wetlands restrictions, which is something we are really running up against in my county. We found a lovely house on ten acres, but 9 of it had to stay in wetlands. If we'd even been able to use 2 or 3 acres it would have been fine. It was in the middle of prime farmland, too. I don't mind leaving trees and I don't mind leaving swampy areas alone, but to be that limited on your own land is mind-boggling. And it's true on lots of property with no houses, as well.

Sometimes I think they just make some of this wetland stuff up. The certainly didn't care about it when they built the mall on a massive swamp in 1988 and it caused major flooding in the streets because that swamp was no longer there to drain run off into. Or when they put in a huge medical complex in the late 90's. Or when Walmart and Costco went in. That was all true wetlands.

But whatever. Existing farms don't tend to have those issues because that is what the land is zoned for and no one comes in and changes it after the fact as it is grandfathered in to any law changes.

I feel like all I do these days is wait. I don't believe in any day now. It's just another phrase that means nothing. I don't believe in the phrase we'll know tomorrow, either. At least not when it comes to DH's situation. Trying to keep positive in real life, but it is good to be able to vent here.

Emergency Fund Update--Medical Refund

May 7th, 2016 at 05:48 am

$19,807.97 Starting Balance
+__,_62.65 Refund Check from the ENT doctor
$19.870.62 New Balance

$129.38 to go to hit my milestone goal. I should hit $20K next Friday.

Pending Mortgage Pre-Approval but Life in Limbo Continues

May 4th, 2016 at 08:25 pm

So we heard from our credit union and have been tentatively pre-qualified for a mortgage. We just have to get them the last two statements from my savings account to prove we have money for closing, the last two tax returns, and the last two W-2's. We had everything except the 2014 tax return, which DH says is at work.

He is on his way back up to Alaska so hopefully he is right, but work can issue him a copy if not, so either way we should be able to send those documents in soon.

But we can't move forward ourselves until the company DH's work has bid on the contract for makes the announcement on who got it. They've known for almost 2 weeks now, but as per usual, they let their announcement deadlines go whizzing past. It is frustrating beyond belief to continue to have to live in limbo.

I am such a planner, especially financially, so not being able to plan seriously screws with my head and my sense of security. It kind of feels like when I have some OCD stuff going on and something prevents me from going through the rituals to calm it down. Like checking my alarm clock four times at night, but I can't because the power is out. It builds up and makes me a little antsy. Only this is bigger than that sort of thing. It's a low level of anxiety that is almost constant and doesn't want to be shoved back down into its hole. And I don't like it.

Bought a Keurig 2.0

May 2nd, 2016 at 07:09 pm

I've never owned a coffee maker in my life. DH rarely drinks coffee, but the kids (19 and 16) do, and they were spending their money on Starbucks. I did not want to see that when they can make a decent coffee at home. Of course we got the refillable pods, not the individual little cups.

Since they would only make one cup of coffee in a given day it seemed like a good option, but it can also make a pot (if you buy their carafe), so if we have company once we move, we can make coffee. I might use it for making herbal tea infusions or hot chocolate.

I have to see the fact that we could get it in a color that matched my Kitchenaid and toaster was an added benefit. It was on sale for $119.99 so with tax it came to $130.43. I'd saved up and was waiting for a sale. We could have got a cheaper coffeemaker, yes, but weighing everything else, I think this one is best for our needs. Plus teal/turquoise. Sometimes pretty wins the day.

Farm Sales and Coin Jar to Emergency Fund

May 2nd, 2016 at 06:50 pm

$19,715.97 Starting Balance
+__,_92.00 Amount Added
$19,807.97 New Balance

$192.03 left to go to hit my milestone goal of $20K. I will hit that this month. I am excited.

Between the Emergency Fund and the Down Payment Fund we have $64,523.97 in savings. I've never had so much savings in my life (not counting 401K). It is a good feeling, especially considering where we started.

Another deadline for the contract announcement has come and gone. It's very frustrating. But we could live on our savings if we have to, which is very comforting, even if I would hate to see it go.