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Van Maintenance

June 3rd, 2021 at 09:55 pm

We took the van in for a 5000 mile check up yesterday.  It was basically an oil change and fluid fill up and an inspection to see what else needed to be done now that the car has reached ten years of age.  They do have things they rec at either 10 years or 100,000 miles.  Well, we only have 51,000 miles, but we bought the van in June of 2021 so we are going with getting the work done that is recommended.  We paid $94.69 for that appointment.

Because we want to drive this van until it dies, maintenance if very important to us.  Vehicles, even used ones, are super expensive, so we take as good of care as possible of our vehicles.  They want to flush the transmission at $315, flush the coolant at $200, do an induction (cleaning the build up off the inside of the engine) at $170, and something to do with the electonic fuel injection at $170.  That's a total of $855 worth of work.  I only have $708 in my car maintenance envelope after paying for the other.  That's a shortfall of $147.00.

Since DH will get quite a bit of overtime on the next paycheck, I will take out $200 for car maintenance, which will cover the shortfall and leave a little left in the envelope.  I set aside $100 a month generally in this envelope.  I will set aside an additional $100 the following payday, too.  I don't like to run that envelope so close to bone.

I didn't end up planting any seeds yesterday, but we did get the wire hoops cut to size and put into the bed and then measured out and fitted the netting to the hoops.  We hand watered, too.  It was still pretty hot and it just sapped your strength.  Today is 68 and much cooler so we will try to get it done.  My soaker hose is supposed to arrive today.  I got it for the bed that has the tomatoes, peppers, and summer squash in it, because those don't like to get their leaves wet and will get blight if they are wet too much.  This way I can water at the base and not have to worry about that.

If I like the way the soaker hose works I will order them for the other beds, too.  I want to see how great the coverage is with it.  A soaker is the type that beads out water droplets not sprays them out.  That's a drip hose.  People get them confused, understandably, and then complain on Amazon reviews because it doesn't work the way they thought it would because they ordered the wrong thing.  A simple reading of the description would tell them.  But the whiney reveiws were actually helpful because I knew for sure it would do what I wanted it to do.

Tomorrow is my MRI on my back.  Since the 20 weeks of physical therapy did nothing to improve things, they are now looking for disc issues, most likely a slipped disc.  It would be nice to have an answer and maybe a better course of treatment.  I really don't want to be on pain killers the rest of my life.  It addles my mind.

Van is Back and Planting Potatoes

June 12th, 2020 at 05:21 am

The van work cost $987.33. Ouch. But the guy said there is nothing else wrong with it and that the tires were in excellent shape. They rotated them, changed the oil, changed the filters, replaced the brakes, flushed the lines, and washed the vehicle. I forgot it was supposed to be salsa red and not pollen yellow! This is the most expensive service we've had to date, which is not bad for a nine year old vehicle with less than 50,000 miles on it.

I think I am going to up my car maintenance fund to $100 a month instead of $50, though. At least until it hits $1000, then stop. While I don't think anything else that is big is going to come along, I'd like to be ready for it if it does. We were only half ready this time and I had to rob other funds.

We planted more potatoes in the garden tonight. We got in 3 rows of Yukon gold potatoes and two rows of Russets. Tomorrow we will try to get in 3 more rows of red potatoes. I may have a bit more seed potatoes than that, but will run out of prepared garden area. I might plant the rest in containers if there is any. Or garbage bags.

You can grow potatoes in garbage bags and then unfold and fill them as the plant grows. I've never done it before, but I've seen it done on youtube and it seems to work. I'd just have to figure out where to put them. Maybe the other side of the house in the narrow strip. We've grown potatoes in the ground over there so it does get enough light for that. We'll see.

Van is Getting a Brake Job

June 11th, 2020 at 09:14 pm

We took the van into the shop today to get a new battery and an oil change and then DH mentioned, "Oh, and by the way, last time it was in, they said it would need a brake job this time." And I'm, "You didn't think to mention this to me." He forgot. Not his most shining moment, but I love him and he's a good man, just has a sucky memory. Anyway, that will be $892 before tax so I'm thinking around $982 with taxes. We have high sales taxes to make up for no state income tax.

I only had $456 in the car maintenance envelope. If he'd told me I would have been putting more in there besides $50 a month. *sighs* Well, I borrowed $75 from the household envelope, $400 from the laptop envelope, and the rest of the grocery money, since that and the household envelopes refill tomorrow. So that wipes out the laptop fund. It was either that or borrow from the Gift/Christmas envelope and we've got 3 birthdays in August plus Christmas coming up, so I didn't want to do that. My laptop is still hanging in there.

The important thing is that I have the money for it, don't have to dip into the Emergency Fund or use the credit card for it. And I want the brakes in top condition before we have to go to Seattle on the 22nd.

I hope they've broken up the occupation of Capitol Hill by then. It is too close to Virginia Mason for my liking and we will be on edge the whole time, because they do intend to expand if they are not stopped and I am really worried they will try to take the hospital campus, too. I don't want to be in the middle of that at all. Scary times. And our governor is clueless or he is flat out lying to the public. The asked him about it at the press conference yesterday and he said he was unaware of it. Unaware after two days? It is his job to be aware of an insurgency like this in his most populous city. You won't catch me voting for him again, and not just for this reason.

But I digress. I'll have to bump up the laptop fund savings for a bit to replace what I took (all of it) as soon as this month is over. This month is all about that last debt payment. Then we will have freedom to get a few things before buckling down again and working on the EF.

Dead Battery, Spot Prawns, Making Ice Cream, and Cleaning House

June 7th, 2020 at 03:09 am

The guys came back from fishing with a lot of spot prawns, hopefully the first of many successful trips. They got two of their pots picked even though they were in the area. Poachers are rotten people. It's not that hard to get your own pots. If you can afford your own boat, you can afford your own pots and bait. Some people are just bad to the core like that. Still, we have plenty for dinner tomorrow and some for the freezer.

I did some cleaning in the kitchen today and I made two batches of hard ice cream, one strawberry, which I haven't made before, and one chocolate. I use the no ice cream machine method. All it requires is a mixer and sometimes a blender, depending on what flavor you are making. Besides chocolate, in the past I have done maple cookie and vanilla. I want to try blackberry, orange, maple pecan, and root beer flavors this summer. Maybe a mint chip for the others (not one I care for). It's super easy. It takes about 5 to 10 minutes of hands on time and then into the freezer for 8 hours.

I do have a hard ice cream maker but it only does one pint at a time. I also have a soft ice cream maker. One day when I have more space I will use them again, but this really is just so simple.

I got some laundry done today and some dishes as well. I didn't do any gardening, though. I also took DD to physical therapy, did a quick grocery run for ice cream ingredients, and then went back to wait to pick her up. While waiting I read a book that is on my phone. When DD came out I tried to start up the car, but the battery was dead. I had to call a towing service to come jump start me since DH was out to sea. He is never home when this happens! The jump cost $85. If DH had been around it would have cost nothing. They were fast to come though. I probably waited 15 minutes from the time I called, if that.

We will be buying a new battery and I am going to bite the bullet and go back on AAA. The local service they used to use that I hated has now gone out of business and the good one that is left in town is what they have to use. So my issues with AAA have been resolved. If I order now, the cards should come before the trip to Virginia Mason in Seattle June 22nd.

I am still waiting to hear back from the liver doctor. If she wants to see DD, I am hoping we can make it for the same day as it is in the building across the street from where her other appointment will be. It would be nice to just make one trip this month instead of two.

Where is everyone? It has been awfully quiet the last couple of days.

If anyone wants to see the latest, I put up a new gardening video:

Text is and Link is I've made a ton of progress since the last one.

Payday Report for 3-22-19 and 3-8-19

March 22nd, 2019 at 11:00 pm

I need to get back in the habit of doing these again. I had a little bit more money go out than was in the paycheck, but was in the checking account. The actual amount of pay for the two week period is $3274.62. It is quite a substantial raise.

$327.46 Tithe
_400.00 Grocery Envelope
_300.00 Medical Fund
__75.00 Household Envelope
_441.41 Automatic Payments
__61.74 Life Insurance DH
__60.46 Life Insurance Me
_100.00 Blow Money Adults
_800.00 Monster Mom Loan
__95.00 Allowances Kids
_100.00 Holiday Fund
_523.67 Citi Visa
3284.74 Total Money Out

So for the previous pay period the amount was 2687.71, but we also had the tax refund of $1349.00, so I combined those together for the budget and the total was $4036.71. I messed up the tithe by a couple of dollars but rectified that in the 3/22 budget.

$401.70 Tithe
_400.00 Utilities to Mom
_400.00 Grocery Envelope
_300.00 Medical Fund
__75.00 Household Envelope
_280.00 Chiropractor Family Plan
_108.91 Internet
__74.54 Garbage (We had extra pick ups and it's a 2 month bill)
_567.14 Car Insurance
__50.00 Car Maintenance Envelope
_100.00 Gas Money
__90.00 Allowance DS
_200.00 Clothing Envelope
_100.00 Laptop Fund
_500.00 Monster Mom Loan
4036.71 Total Money Out

And yes, I do save money each month for car insurance, but I just left that in savings, because it was easier to pay it out of the income tax refund than to wait three days for it transfer between banks. It can be part of the EF now.

It's Snowing Again--Bah!

March 7th, 2019 at 02:58 am

I'd say bah humbug, but that seems particularly a Christmas season thing, although quite frankly it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in this winter not so wonderland. It's not snowing as hard as last time yet, but it is sticking and there is about an inch and a half and no sign of stopping.

Most of the last batch of snow had melted a couple of days ago except for the huge piles that were plowed in grocery store parking lots. Now it starts all over again. I really dislike snow. I am not one of those people that looks out the window and thinks oh, how pretty. No, I am one of those people who looks out the window and says, crud (or something slightly, but not significantly, stronger), this is going to be a pain in the butt.

DH has been home sick for the past two days and even my mom is sick. Those two never get sick. I'm glad DH has sick time accrued and that things are not particularly hectic at work right now. The rest of us are sick, too. I had two days of feeling better and then went right into this runny nose thing with a voice that sounds like James Earl Jones is using me as a ventriloquist's puppet. I don't feel like death, I just sound like it. I think I am actually the least sick of everyone today.

I am more than ready for spring, but I don't think spring is ready for Washington state. Getting snow in March is a rarity, but we have gotten it as late as early April twice in my lifetime. I am so done with this. I want spring and I want it now, please and thank you.

We can't pick up the truck until tomorrow. All the work was done, but then a recalled part came in so they asked if they could keep it and do it in the morning so that we don't have to bring it in again. I just hope the snow isn't so bad tomorrow that we can't retrieve it.

We just got a notice on a recall for our 2011 Toyota Sienna on the propellant for the airbag, so we are going to have that done when we get the oil change for the van as well. Might as well do both at the same time. Apparently when the propellant gets old it can explode on impact and shoot metal fragments out through the air bag, causing injury and death. So apparently this has happened. Yikes. Weather permitting, we'll get this done next week.

MIL is Generous

March 3rd, 2019 at 08:48 am

So DH was out at MIL's on Friday helping her with some banking stuff in her city and he spent a bunch of time out there talking to her. I guess he brought up all the stuff we are going to have to do with the truck and MIL offered to pay for it. She said that FIL had been planning to have all that stuff done and just not ever gotten around to it. I guess she felt bad because we inherited a truck that has turned out to have all these issues.

So she says she wants to pay for not only all the things that have to get done when DH takes it in next week, but to have the paint issue fixed as well. Which means we actually get to use our tax refund for something else and not truck repairs.

MIL doesn't have to worry about money at all anymore and she has been so generous to us. This is why I want to work so hard to get us out of debt and on our way to financial security. So we don't have to worry in the future and can afford to be generous in our old age.

I am feeling a little better now. I came down with a virus that had me throwing up for two days straight, which was probably why I was dragging so hard this week. Everything has stayed down today, though, and I'm not nearly as exhausted. Still tired, but normal tired. Which for me is still probably more tired than 80% of the population, but any improvement is better than none. Tomorrow I might even be able to eat a vegetable.

It's Official

February 28th, 2019 at 04:39 am

I should have posted this the other day, but I have been dragging and the extent of my online activity has been on the level of watching videos of a cat singing the Game of Thrones theme song on youtube or the like. Yeah, that's where my intellectual capacity has been at. So not a lot of brain power going on.

Anyway, the raise for DH is official and all of the paperwork has now been signed. It won't be on the next paycheck, but will be on the last one of March. He's officially told the other place he won't be working for them.

On the bad side, the alternator is going out in the truck so we are going to have to get that fixed to the tune of around $600. I have $250 in the car maintenance fund. They had said it was going at the oil change DH had last week and today when DH pulled in the driveway it was really straining. Hopefully we can get it to the dealership without having to call a tow truck.

They made it sound like it would probably last six months, but we don't think so after today. It also needs the air filter, the cabin filter, the spark plugs, and the brake fluid replaced and we have decided to do all of that. So we will dip into the EF for this for the rest of the money. I had been planning to use the tax refund when it came, but I don't think it will be here in time now. But we will reimburse the EF when the tax refund comes. Sadly, it will probably use up the entire tax refund. But at least we will break even.

I will start saving $100 a month instead of $50 a month to the car maintenance fund for the next two months, just to build that back up again. Or maybe keep it at that level. The truck is a 2007 and there may be some other issues coming up. A belt or a fuel pump or something, though as of now those things are fine according to the mechanic.

I worry less about the van. It is a 2011 and we haven't hit 45,000 miles on it yet, but it will be needing an oil change shortly and I would like to eventually get the dent pulled out that DH put in it a couple years ago.

Not Quite Every Day

January 11th, 2019 at 05:30 am

I had hoped to be blogging every day this month, but that's a little harder than I thought it was going to be. Most of the time I forget until after midnight, but today I remembered.

Tomorrow is payday and so today I sat down with the grocery ads and went through to see what the sales were. They have been awful for the last 3 weeks, but redeemed themselves this week. I was pleasantly surprised by the meat sales. Boneless skinless chicken breasts and thighs are both on sale for $2.99 a pound. New York Strip Steaks are on sale for $5.99 a pound. We usually get the sirloin ones, because they go on sale at $4.99, but when strip steak is just $1 more per pound for a far superior cut, I will go for it. They also have grass fed beef on sale for $4.99 a pound so I am going to stock up.

They have a couple of pork sales going on as well, but I need to see how big they are, whether or not they have bones, and figure out what they mean by half cut chops. I have never seen that term before. They are both really cheap, one was $1.69 a pound and the other was $2.49 a pound, but those prices may even out depending on bones and I'd rather have boneless if it is a roast. If there is bone in a chop it needs to be on the edge. So we'll see on that one.

They have a pasta sauce I like but don't usually buy because of price on sale for 3 for $5, so I am going to check out the ingredients and see whether or not it has soy in it. If it doesn't, than I will go ahead and get some tomato based ones and some Alfredo ones. While I can make Alfredo sauce, it requires having cream on hand, and it is just easier to have jars on hand.

My son's special peanut butter is on a very cheap Friday only sale, so I will probably get four jars of that, too.

We are very low on cheese, so I will have to go to Winco. They have the best cheese prices in town. Since I'll be over there I'll stop at the Dollar Tree and stock up on soup, too. Fortunately all the grocery stores I shop at are on a pretty close loop. Two miles unless I include Costco and the Food Co-op, which is an additional mile, but still easily on that loop.

DH is taking the truck over to get an estimate on repairs tomorrow. They are a body shop that will bill my mother's insurance directly, but also one that is highly recommended in this town. He'll get an estimate on how much it would cost to paint the whole truck, too, since I want to start saving for that and I have not got a clue on how much that will cost. He also has a dentist appointment tomorrow for a cleaning. Good thing he only has to work until 11 a.m.

Still sticking to the meal plan really well. I don't really like the tater tot casserole my family loves, though, so I had tuna fish spread (no bread), a big salad, and finished off the canned pineapple from earlier in the week. Normally I'll make myself fish and chips on a night like this, but I didn't want to put forth the effort after all the cleaning I did today.

I'll clean out the fridge tomorrow before I go shopping. It's not bad, but someone spilled something in there that looks like juice and didn't tell me and it will need a bit of scrubbing and it is easier to do that before all the new stuff goes in and gets in the way.

I'm not sure if I'll do a one day shop or a two day shop. It really just depends on how well my body is doing. My joints have been hurting the last two days so I may not be able to do it all in one go.