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Archive for March, 2021


March 22nd, 2021 at 01:50 am

My eldest sister moved out yesterday.  Not without almost coming to blows with Mom.  I say that, but I don't mean they would have physically fought.  It was a pretty strong verbal one, though.  My sister had a small stack of things she did not want to send with the movers and my mother wanted them to go with the movers instead of waiting a couple hours for my sister to come back and transport them in the car.  Mom couldn't get it through her head that my sister didn't want to send her personal documents, jewelry, laptop, and other most special items with the movers and wanted to move them herself in her car.  Some things you don't want to risk having misplaced, buried by boxes, or stolen.  It's like she's trying to slam the door on her on the way out.

Eldest sis will be much happier out of here.  Mom's been really petty and vindictive about her staying here even though she was invited to stay here.  They just don't get along well and it isn't my sister's fault.  She's never been able to get along with Mom since she hit high school on.  Even at 61 she can't.  I don't blame here, though.  Mom picks at her constantly.

She will be living in a small efficiency apartment 2 miles away.  It's a cute little apartment complex with one on the corner that always goes all out to decorate for the holidays.  I love driving past there to see whatever new thing they've got up.  Right now it is still leprechauns, but won't be much longer. Probably won't see anything else until they decorate for Easter.

Anyway, sis is safely out of Mom's war path and things seem to have settled around here.  My nephew (from my middle sister) is still living here, but I think he is getting close to proposing to his girlfriend.  She isn't allowed to live here, not even if they get married, so he would be moving out.  He's not got a job, though.  He has been living on his savings since he moved in here and could probably do so for another year.

I think he needs to get going on his life, though, get back into the work force., move out and marry this girl.  He'll be 30 in April.  We have fully reopened here, so it really is time for him to go get a new job.  It's one thing when a sixteen year old wants to play video games all day, every day.  It is kind of sad when someone his age actually does it for six months straight.  He doesn't help around the place, which is mostly what irritates me.  If you live in a household, you should contribute to it.

I have qualified for the Covid vaccine and so has my daughter, but not my husband and son.  I'm not sure when that will happen though.  DD needs to get a lumbar puncture soon due to issues with her spinal fluid putting pressure on her brain and eyes.  And I will be having the full roto rooter now that I'm over fifty.  I'm scheduled on April 20th.  I should have had it done last year, but Covid happened.  Not really looking forward to not eating for 24 hours and drinking that junk that makes me sick.  I've had an endoscopy before, but never a colonoscopy.

I need to schedule a mammogram in there at some point, too.  I haven't had one since I was 45.  Once we know when the lumbar puncture is, we can figure out when to get the vaccine.  Plus DH and I are going away for a little vacation on the 23rd of April to the cottage by the sea.  I need to get away from here and recharge by the water for my own mental health.  So it might not be gotten until May unless we can fit both injections around everything else.  I'm not really in a rush unless they start requiring it to enter businesses or something.  We go out so little, just to grocery shop and go to the appointments.  But we will get it when we can figure out the time.

Or I may go sooner and we wait a little more for DD.  Might not be a bad idea if we have a bad reaction and go down for a day like some people (my physical therapist had to go to bed for 24 hours after her second shot, but no one else she knows who got it has), to not do it on the same day so I can take care of her if it happens to her.  People with autoimmune dieseases like us are a little more prone to that reaction.

I have to go and pick up my new lenses tomrrow for my glasses.  They didn't measure right and the reading portion is so small I have to tilt my head up, but then look down through the bottom to even read.  Either that or literally hold them up an inch.  So no, that was getting fixed.  I had to go back 3 times before they would do it, kept trying to adjust the arms to fit better, but it didn't.  I do get one free remake with what I purchased, so hopefully nothing else bad happens.  I had a lot of issues with the coating on the last pair.  I will just be glad to have it sorted out and see if I can read comfortably again.  If not, I may just get a pair of prescription reading glasses made with my old frames.  But hopefully not and it will all just go well.

Planning for April

March 20th, 2021 at 11:28 pm

I just spent about a half an hour setting up April's budget spreadsheet.  It is a 3 paycheck month which means there will be some extra money and I wanted to make sure I had everything allotted for.  I'll be using the extra to put $400 into the Clothing Fund, $400 into the Gift/Christmas Fund, and $546.87 into the Emergency Fund.  The rest will be grocery, medical, household, gas money, and allowances.

The first paycheck in May will be on the 14th and no bills are due until the 21st, so I get to shift some things that were previously coming out of the last paycheck of the month to the first paycheck of the month.  My budget is a living document, constantly shifting, since I budget for the month but we get paid every two weeks.

DH did manage to get his hours in this week even though things were not up and running until Friday.  I don't remember if I mentioned it here or not, but his work got hacked and infected so they couldn't be online for many days.  He did what he could at home and saving to his hard drive, but last week had to take a vacation day.  This week he didn't.

Since it is working now, he is working the weekend and is authorized for ten hours of OT this week, which will be nice on the next paycheck.  If I did the math right it should be around $1017 extra.  But I might not have it quite right due to taxes.  Anyway, we will pay for 3 fishing and shellfish licenses and with what is left at least half of that will hit the Emergency Fund and then half will go into the Beef Fund, which should put us at enough to buy a full grassfed beef and start saving towards a pasture raised lamb.  Not sure about pork.  It hasn't set well with me this year unless it was bacon, ham, pepperoni, or sausage.

I finally got my new social security card last month so I can now get my fishing license this year.  It's a mess, because when I first got a license in the 90's they wrote down the social security number wrong.  So when I went to apply for a license two years ago I couldn't get one without my social security card which I had misplaced somewhere in the house years ago.

I wasn't doing that great that year so just decided to deal with it before the next season.  Well, that was 2020 and social security was closed for a good portion of 2020.  You just couldn't apply for a new card.  Then I finally applied for a card at the end of summer when they reopened and waited the six weeks and it never came.  Turned out they never sent it.  But they closed down again for some particularly bad covid weeks.  And of course once it was working, you can't apply during non business hours, which is so bizarre, so I didn't think about it at the right time of day.  Once I could apply again and remembered at the right time of day, I did and the card finally came in February.  So now I can get the darn fishing license.  What a pain that has been, just because some person transposed one digit on my 90's application.

I want to fill the mini-freezer with spot prawns, crab, salmon, trout, and cod.  With 3 of us fishing that should happen a lot faster.  At least if stuff goes as well as usual.  The guy who takes us out on the boat is DH's boss.  I am going to have him teach me how to gut a fish.  It's a skill I would like to learn.  He always does it, but I want to know in case we ever go fishing without him in the future.  That and how to remove the gills.  I've watched videos, but I think in person is always better.  DS said he will teach me how to fillet.  I've filleted chicken breast off the bone, but never fish.  DH isn't good at it, so I will definitely take DS up on his offer.

Emergency Fund Update

March 20th, 2021 at 05:43 am

$13,325.73 Beginning Balance

+__,_37.49 Allstate Safe Driver's Refund

+__,___.51 Lousianna Pacific Stock Divident Payment


$13,363.73 New Balance

Working in the Garden

March 18th, 2021 at 02:56 am

My husband, son, and I spent a few hours working in the garden before the son went down.  My son was weeding the strip beside the house where we will be planting the blackberry bushes.  He got a 4 x 2 foot area and a 4 x 3 foot area weeded.  These are the nasty weeds that are really hard to get out because they have runners.

My husband got the garden bed empty that was so heavily invested with morning glory.  The root structure in there was unbelievable.  The three sides to the bed still need to be taken down, but he was beat after that, so that is a project for the next nice day we have.  It's supposed to rain tomorrow but be overcast only on Friday.  And then rain for the forseeable future.

I was working on digging up and dividing strawberries.  It took me about 3 hours, but we have quite a tidy amount to sell and I've expanded the ones we are keeping to fill a 12 by 4 foot garden bed with four rows.  I filled 4 garbage cans that I grew tomatoes in last year and then 3 more containers.  There will be lots of strawberries this year for fresh eating, jam, and freezing.  I should be able to sell 4 dozen plants at a dollar a plant.

I'll be able to divide both my peppermint, lemon balm, thyme and spearmint this year.  And I've got some more fennel volunteers that can be sold.  And I can divide my bee balm and plant it in a couple of locations.  We will also be selling raspberry plants because we have way too many plants based on how many people actually eat raspberries.  We will keep a few of the thornless ones and plant them in a different area away from the fence, so we can see if the morning glory starts creeping over from the neighbor's yard again and do something about it before it gets into ours.

I got a check in the mail today from Allstate for the safe driver's refund.  It's for $37.49.  I will deposit it on Friday (payday) and send it to the EF.  I am starting to think maybe we will hit the original goal for the EF for this year after all.  Wouldn't that be something?


Big Emergency Fund Update

March 17th, 2021 at 10:22 pm

In the first time in forever I have a large deposit to make to the EF.  This is a portion of the stimulus we recieved.

$11,325.73 Beginning Balance

+_2,000.00 Amount Added


$13,325.73 New Balance

Retirement Update

March 16th, 2021 at 04:54 am

The retirement plans seem to have recovered from the chaos that was last week.  The new balance is $48,301.95, a rise of $1,228.61 since March 3rd.  $770 of that was contributions, so $458.61 was pure interest.  I really don't like the volatility since January, but what are you going to do?  We invest for the long-term.  I have the choice of looking at the roller coaster or ignoring it and I'd rather look.  I am looking forward to it hitting $50K, hopefully sooner rather than later.  But whatever happens, happens.

Money Money Money (and Medical)

March 13th, 2021 at 01:46 am

Our income tax refund of $809 was deposited into our account on Wednesday and I just checked and our stimulus payment is pending for next Wednesday.  We got the full amount for us and our dependents of $5600.  That's $6409 to work with.  This is what I am planning.

$641.00 10% donation to the local Christian Homeless Shelter

1350.00 Handicapped Ramp Fund

1000.00 Vacation Fund

_500.00 Meat Fund

_500.00 Miscellaneous Fun

2000.00 Emergency Fund


$5991.00 Total

That will leave us with $418.00.  I am not sure DH will get all of his hours in this week.  They are having a cyber security issue that isn't allowing anyone to work online.  He is doing what he can and saving it to his hard drive, but there is a lot of sending around of drawings for checks that can't happen if you can't send them around or can't even send them in to the office to be printed out because of this.  So I will be holding on to that money in case the paycheck is short.

This will finish off the Handicapped Ramp Fund so we will be able to order one for the front door.  Our share is $1750.  This one is twice as much as almost triple the amount of the back door because it will go down the frong of the house from the steps, then there will be a platform for a turnaround and it will go all the way back the length of the first ramp to the ground and end in front of the steps.  It's a lot of money, but these ramps don't have to be maintained like wood ramps do.  It mostly just needs to be swept periodically and pressure washed a couple times a year since it is aluminum.  Wooden ones will rot out on the pilings after five to ten years, so those would have to be replaced frequently) and would require staining or repainting every few years.

It will nice to have a good bump in the Emergency Fund and to pay for a little vacation for DH and me to get away to the cottage by the sea we've gone to twice now.  He will be taking several days off in April.  Part of them will be spent getting the garden up and going and then we will go away for a few days.

MIL is talking about taking us on a family vacation by the water as well.  It probably wouldn't be until September or October, after the summer is done, but still nice enough out to cook on the BBQ and walk on the beach.  And soak in the outdoor hot tub.

DD wants a web cam.  She is the only one who doesn't have one, so we are going to pick her up a cheap one.  She starts online therapy next week, so this way she can do it in her own room instead of mine and with my laptop.  Her brother was just diagnosed with ADHD and we think she has it, too.  But it is a process.  First counseling, then a psychologist, and then the psychiatrist who can prescribe meds.

I also think I might have it.  Girls and women present differently than boys and men do, but as I was filling out all the forms during DS's drug trial I felt like I had a lot of the same issues.  Each week we had to fill out a sheet based on symptoms during a four week trial of adderall.  Except it was a blind study so two weeks were placebo, one week was 5 mg and one week was 10 mg.  He had to fill out his own forms based on his opinion and I had to do one based on mine.  Every time I filled it out, I was thinking I really have a lot of this stuff, too.  I always thought it was the fibro fog and the last brain injury, but now I have to wonder.

So once we DD gets through all this, I am going to talk to my doctor about it.  I've been thinking I might be needing anti-depressants again for a while.  I haven't needed them for about 15 years and never needed them for more than a year at time, but I kind of feel maybe I do.  Or maybe it is just fibro.  But I'd like to see about it, you know?  Because it is not normal to want to stay in bed and sleep all the time, even with fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis.





Beef Fund Update plus Meal Planning for the Week

March 3rd, 2021 at 02:52 am

I am still following a meal plan pretty closely to keep food costs down.  I haven't posted them for a while.  As you know my normal grocery budget is $400 every two weeks for an adult family of four.  My goal has been to save $100 out of that into my fund to buy a side of beef, or maybe a whole one, by the end of summer.  I also save any extra from that grocery budget that I didn't spend.  For the month of February I was able to save $242 into my Beef Fund, bringing the total to $1002 saved so far.

Day One:  BBQ Pork Ribs (Hak's Organic BBQ sauce), baked potatoes, Normandy vegetables, apples

Day Two:  Mexican Food, MIL's treat

Day Three:  Gluten Free Baked Lasagna, salad

Day Four:  4 Meat Meatloaf, fried potatoes, green beans, apples

Day Five:  Homemade gluten free Pizza with pepperoni, ham, sausage, red onions, bell peppers, and fresh basil, pineapple

Day Six:  Chicken stew with parsnips, sweet potatoes, potates, celery, onions, garlic, thyme, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper, broccoli, and oranges

Day Seven:  Beef Chuck Roast, baked sweet potatoes, green beans, bananas

Interest Income to EF

March 3rd, 2021 at 02:39 am

We had a whopping $2.75 in savings account interest this month.  I've added it the Emergency Fund.

$11,322.98 Previous Balance

+__,__2.75 Interest Added


$11,325.73 New Balance

Retirement Update

March 3rd, 2021 at 02:30 am

DH got a decent end of year bonus finally of $682 put into the 401k so our retirement account grew quite a bit despite some major ups and downs (more downs than ups) last week.  It now sits at $46,803.34.  That is an increase of $719.30 since my last update.  I really don't like the lack of stability in the stock market since the Syria bombing.  I know it always gets volatile when something like that happens, but I am hoping it will settle down soon.