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Archive for April, 2013

The moving meeting

April 30th, 2013 at 10:17 pm

The hub and I met with DD1 and her hub tonight to work out details for the moves. It will take planning and juggling, but I think we have a good plan. We will be moved out of the city house by Jun 3. The kids will start paying rent on the city house on Jul 1, which gives them a month break to pay transfers and deposits on utilities.

The kids are relieved to have a nice home to move into. There is much to do, but I DO feel it is a good decision. I just hope our fix it budget is sufficient to get everything done.

The hub leaves tomorrow, back to Alaska. I will have lots to stay busy with the next 3 weeks while he is gone.

The extra income will help pay the expenses of fixing up the country house and paying down debt. We are taking a huge step towards our bhag of being debt free except for mortgage, and retiring plans!

Dead battery and yes, its back to the country for me!

April 29th, 2013 at 08:51 pm

The battery on my car went kaput today. The hub is charging it tonight to see if that works. If not, he will replace it before he heads back to Alaska on Wednesday.

The wheels are in motion to move back to the country. DD1 and her hub are excited to move here, the hubs nephew actually already had a place lined up so this works perfectly for him and I have a few weeks to get my moms little place ready to move into.

Then, we will gut the country house and fix the MUST FIX items and decide what wish list items will make the cut.

Between now and ALL of that...I have to pack and figure out where all this stuff will go for the next few months.

Let the fun begin!

I think...I am moving.

April 28th, 2013 at 05:30 pm

Life is funny sometimes.

A few weeks ago, DD1's landlord decided to move back into the house DD1 is renting. Rentals are very hard to find here right now. The landlord gave DD1 two months to find somewhere to move, but they are having zero luck. DD1's family includes her hub, GD (7), GS (4) and grandpa...who DD1 cares for, a fish tank and two dogs. I told her the chickens can't come...my city neighbors would grumble.

This weekend, the hub and I spent the whole weekend cleaning up the property (2 acres) at the country house. And it has made me miss country living. I also am tired of paying two house payments.

The hubs newphew has been staying in the country house, but I am frustrated by how run down everything looks.

So....

The hub and I have decided to make some changes.

Our plan is that I will move into my parents little park model RV that sits on the country house property.

DD1 and her family are going to rent my city home. This will help them, and will pay most of the mortgage while still giving us a tax break next year.

The nephew will have until July 1 to move. At which point we will start on repairing the inside of the country house-

If I end up regretting the move, I only have to make it one year. Next year DD1 is planning to buy a house, and at that point I can move back to the city or sell the city house. In either case, either house will be ready to sell.

The next two months will be super busy-

I am moving out of a 1600 sq ft 3 bedroom, 2 bath house...into about 400 square foot one bedroom, 1 bath. Needless to say, I will have to find a place to store stuff until the big house (1800 sq ft, 3 bedroom, 1 and a half bath) is ready to move into.

Tonight, I am sunburned, my muscles ache and my arms feel like jello. I wrestled with blackberry bushes most of the afternoon, but ultimately, I won. Big Grin

DD1 is excited to have a possible solution to where they will live.

My head is spinning from such a fast turn of events.

Work on the country house- got sooo much done!

April 27th, 2013 at 06:51 pm

We worked at the country house all day today. The hub rented an escavator to tear out blackberry bushes, move big-heavy stuff and to load the dump trailer quicker. After seeing how much we got done, it was money will spent.

I didnt get after pics yet, but I will tomorrow.

Being out there all day helped me realize how much I miss country living. I miss my clothes line and the open space. The house has 'settled' and there is some structural damage to two walls, so we will have to have a contractor take a look at it to see how much it will cost to repair.

In addition, we will need to paint inside and out, put new flooring in, update the kitchen, repair the repairs my son did or had done as they are not holding up.

ugh.

However, if I am only paying one house payment, there should be some extra money to do all of this.

And when we are done, the house value will hopefully increase, the hub will be back into the house he loves with his wood yard, and we will have lots of room for the kids, grandkids and future generations to visit and play.

The hub spent $600 on the escavator for three days. It cost $160 for two large dump runs. All of the bio-mass trips were no charge except gas to get there.

We have been stashing $500 a month aside for repairs on this home, so everything was covered so far with that fund. I will have to increase the monthly amount though, to cover upcoming expenses. I will have to play with the budget to determine how to best do that.




Hit and run - tough day

April 26th, 2013 at 09:27 pm

SIL learned today that 1 of 23 lymph nodes had cancer. We will learn next week if this means chemo, and if so, what the treatment plan will be.

Today was a tough day at work. Our surveillance cameras caught a hit and run in progress. Law enforcement needed us to review the footage and provide any evidence. This job fell to me. The victim is a 5 year old girl. What is wrong with people that would do this? Reviewing the footage was so sad. I hope they catch this guy and that he is held accountable. Still no news on the little girl. I will be keeping an eye on the news for updates.

I am ready for the weekend and anxious to see what all the hub has done at the country house. He has been working for a couple of days, so there should be quite a bit done already! Tomorrow we will spend all day out there working on this project.

DD3 leaves early in the morning for Alaska. I am excited for her to get to go visit and sightsee.

No new news on Z.

Hubs paycheck and the weekend ahead

April 26th, 2013 at 08:33 am

The hubs paycheck was $462 more than budgeted. Last night I wrote a post explaining how we went over budget and needed the extra for this that and the other. While it is true that we went over budget the past few weeks, if we are careful with what is left, we will be just fine. So I deleted the post and transfered the whole $462 to CC4. Big Grin The housing buckets all refill on the 3rd. We have $180 in the checking account to last until the hub leaves on Wednesday. We just need to stick to the plan of working on the houses this weekend and keep expenses down.

DD3 is flying back to Alaska tomorrow. She made a friend while working up there and she would like to try to find a non-slope job in Anchorage or Wasilla and stay until summer hires start. Her ticket is round trip incase it doesnt quite work like she hopes. I am glad she is trying her wings while she is young and free! She is my little free spirit.

Today is the day SIL learns about the pathology reports. I sure hope it is good news.

The city house vs the country house

April 24th, 2013 at 09:26 pm

have been following housing values on Zillow, and both houses are climbing fairly steadily- which is reflective of what I am also hearing in the local market. If the city house continues on its current trajectory, I should be able to put it on the market within 3-6 months.

The country house value is also climbing. Fortunately, it is in the black already, since we have owned it so long. It just needs some TLC to return to its former glory. The hub and I will be spending this weekend at the house starting that process.

It is encouraging to see housing turning around. I would love to be able to eventually sale the city house without taking a loss...but time will tell.

Live Below the Line

April 24th, 2013 at 10:41 am

I stumbled onto an article that discusses a challenge of living on $1.50 a day for 5 days. It is called "Live Below the Line" and will run from April 29-May 3. Basically, people are taking the challenge to live on $7.50 worth of food for 5 days- which is below the extreme poverty line and is meant to simulate what 1.4 billion people worldwide survive on.

Here is the link that tells about it.

https://www.livebelowtheline.com/us-how-does-it-work

Sounds intriguing. It will be interesting to watch the challenge and see the results and awareness that come from it.

Now its got me thinking...

More debt payment and an update on Z

April 23rd, 2013 at 10:03 am

Our budget is on auto pilot for the rest of the month. Some of the line itms on next month's spreadsheet are already funded, so I went ahead and paid a couple of the bills. One was CC4- that payment brought our total debt repayment for 2013 over $21k!

Update on Z
DD2 had an interesting talk with Z's bio mom (A, age 19) last night. This is the first time she has reached out in over a month and probably the first 'real' talk theyve had. A asked DD2 what she should do about Z. They talked about leaving Z with DD2 and A being part of his life. A is thinking about it. Her oldest child, a girl (sister), 5 lives about 30 minutes from us and the father has custody. A lives about three states away. Sister was about Z's age when they were put in foster care. The separation is still impacting sister- who needs reassurance often that she wont be left alone.

Z and sister see each other fairly regularly, so moving Z would also impact the brother/sister relationship.

Not sure if this will change anything or not, but it was good that they talked about Z and what this all means for him.

Weighing the options continues..

April 22nd, 2013 at 07:58 pm

The hub didnt waste any time starting on the work on the country house. He was out there today planning his attack.

I have to say, the idea of a simpler lifestyle is very intriguing. If we sale the city house, I could either take a less stressful or a part-time job. Just knowing the option is out there is fun to ponder. I loved it when I was home before, when I started this blog and was a work from home caretaker for my parents.. and I know I would enjoy more free time for grandbabies and less stress at work. But, over the next few months, there are plenty of changes coming, and work stress may let up a little through those changes. Obviously, if I stay at my current job, the ability to pay and save is expedited..so we will weigh the decision carefully for the next few months.

I have started a list of finishing details we need to make on this house that will need to be done before it can be put on the market.

Our initial goal is to clean and clear until the end of summer. That will give the hubs nephew 4 months to find a new place to go-and 4 more months to figure out finances to afford the repairs.

SIL continues to heal..and still has no news on the pathology tests. We will hopefully hear on Friday.

Getting the financial house in order...one house at a time

April 21st, 2013 at 09:46 pm

The hub and I are discussing the possiblity of selling the city house in order to get the flywheel turning a little faster on our long term financial goals.

We went to the country house today, which I have not been to in over a year. I was sadly surprised at the condition of the house. It is not being cared for and it will take some expensive repairs to get it to a condition I will feel comfortable living with. Pets and carpets definately do not mix when pet owners arent being responsible. All of the carpets, and possibly the sub-flooring will have to come up. And the list goes downhill from there.

But for long term goals, it is something we have to tackle head on. The current renter is the hubs nephew. To his credit, he has taken care of the hubs 2 dogs for him (the dogs live in a 60 X 60 pen outside- the pet that has destroyed the carpets is the nephews lab). He pays $350 per month, which is often less than the electric bill- so we will offer him the trailer my parents lived in for free to care for the animals...and then empty and gut the house and start fresh witht he repairs. Once we have a good amount completed, we will put the city house on the market.

Thats our plan for now. First of course, we need to set some timelines and goals and a budget. DD2 stopped by with her kids while we were out there and it brought back REALLY good memories of the little ones having two acres to run around on. They were having a blast.

Nothing is set in stone yet. We are still just decidiong what is the right thing to do. I am ready to concede that one house payment is more realistic for our goals.

The amount of work to pull this off seems overwhelming today. But that is why I will break it down to step by step goals and timelines. And determine a budget that aligns with the goal.

Stay tuned. I am sure this is the first twist to a very wind-ey goal.

SIL out of Hospital and Hub is home!

April 19th, 2013 at 03:57 pm

I am so glad today is Friday. After two weeks of juggling work, hospitals, grandbabies, garage cleaning, etc. I am worn out..and to top it off, I think I picked up a bug of some sort along the way- or else there really is an elephant sitting on my chest! My voice is toast. I sound like a pubescent teen boy.

BLEH!

The hub got home last night, but I just saw him for about two minutes this morning before heading off to work. The big bed was overflowing with little ones last night....



so the poor hub just slept on the couch.

On Sunday, I am hanging a "Do Not Disturb" sign on the front door and we are going to have quiet time!!

SIL got out of the hospital today. We still dont have pathology results to know if he will be having chemo, but at least he is well enough to go home!

The hubs paycheck was $372 more than budgeted this week. In addition, the electricity bill was $80 less than budgeted...so I paid an extra $500 to CC4. I am on track to have that debt below $5k by year end!

A jump in the credit score!

April 16th, 2013 at 06:23 pm

Paying down debt really impacted my credit score. It has jumped 66 points in a little over 2 months! I am now what my credit union calls an A+ "borrower", although I have no plans to borrow!! (I started as a B)

My son's kids (ages 5 and 3) are in town. DD1 came and snatched them before I got off work so that they could play with their cousins. She is bringing them back in about an hour...I can't WAIT to see them!!

The tax checks cleared my account today. I paid the 2012 tax bill, plus my first quarter 2013 estimated taxes.

I am going to chat with the hub when he gets home about the long term finanial plan. The value on the city house is climbing back up, rather quickly. If it gets back to the price I paid for it, I may put it on the market. Saving that house payment would equal an earlier retirement- which somedays sounds very nice. When I add it up, my paychecks go towards the house and added expenses from it, the expedited debt repay, (which will be done by about year end), and the higher tax bracket we are in. Perhaps there is a better way if we think outside the box...look beyond what is comfortable and 'known' and consider the possiblities of "what if"...

Things will be changing at my job in June. I will finally get two extra employees to help with all that I am currently juggling., which should help with the stress. So I want to wait until at least then before making too many decisions, but the workload is just incredible, and if something doesnt give, I am ready to call 'Uncle".

SIL is getting better by the day. He still hasnt heard about the lymph nodes or whether chemo is in the future.

The hub will be home in three days. Its been 5 weeks..so ready to have him home for his two week break!!







Laundry and Crockpot soup

April 14th, 2013 at 02:13 pm

I am making split pea soup in the crockpot today. I love split pea soup and bought a ham on sale after Easter. It smells so yummy! No one else likes it, so I will have plenty for meals and to freeze.

When I was going through my moms things, I came across a candle warmer. I had a few candles that were ready to be tossed as the wicks were down too far to burn safely, and the warmer has given MANY extra hours of scent from the candles. (Thank you Nana!)

I have been doing laundry all day today. The grandkids used all my extra blankets while they were here and there was an accident or two. They also used some of them to build forts..and so I need to get all of them washed before my sons kiddos get here on Tuesday.

My work clothes are all ready for the week ahead. Towels are done. I am pretty much down to just a few more blankets and a few odds and ends.

SIL is doing a little better today. He hasnt been able to eat anything yet, but the plan is that he can start having some water this evening or tomorrow.

Quick update on Z-

It has been four weeks since Zs bio fam have tried to contact DD2 for a phone visit. Not sure what happened- the case worker hasnt spoke with them either.

SIL's healing begins...

April 13th, 2013 at 08:39 pm

Hello. A quick update on SIL. Yesterday, they cut a big L shape from navel to hip, to just under his rib cage,...Today they had him up and standing. It is amazing how quickly your body starts to heal.

Tomorrow, he will start walking a little. And the healing begins.

Again, thank you for all of the support here. This has been a gut wrenching week. The reassurance, advice and suggestions have been greatly appreciated.

One of the books I had reserved at the library came in and I picked it up today. Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover. I have been anxious to sit down and start it, but DD2 came by with the kiddos after their visit with daddy this afternoon. I fed them all bbq burgers, then DD2 went in and took a nap- so I watched the three kiddos. Bathed, fed and ready for bed, they all just left a few minutes ago. This gramma is POOPED again.

I am keeping tomorrow OPEN for reading and laundry.

DD3 did a dump run today. It was $35 for all the 'stuff' that came out of the garage. Next will be a big donation to Goodwill, and then the organizing of the rest can begin. I took 'before' pics, tomorrow I will take 'during" pics and then when we are done, I will post before, during and after shots.

This upcoming week is going to be another busy one. DS kiddos (age 5 and 3) are coming up from Sacramento on Monday with their other grandparents, and then they are staying with me and DD3 Tue-Fri. I am SOOO excited to see them. This trip was planned before SIL went in the hospital- so the timing could be better, but I am sticking to the plan because I REALLY want to see them!

The hub gets home at midnight on Thursday, and gs's (age8, almost 9) birthday is Saturday.

Busy, busy, busy....but life is good.


SIL Surgery update

April 12th, 2013 at 07:58 pm

The outpouring of friendship and support here is humbling. Thank you to all of you.

SIL (age 34) got out of surgery a couple of hours ago. The two masses were both cancer, but different types. He had two different surgeons, but they used the same incision. One took out his kidney, which had a golf ball sized mass in it (renal cell carcinoma) the other took his appendix which had a baseball sized mass of a cancer with a very long name,
and about a foot of colon.

I learned today that in the world of cancer, if you have two separate masses, it is better if they are different types because the cancers did not come from the same source and metasticize. So in a weird way, this was good news. He will most likely still have to undergo chemo. But he was a very lucky young man that he went to the ER when he did. The surgeons were surprized that he had two types and one rare, at such a young age.

Again, thank you for all the prayers and positive energy. Tonight we all feel relief that we know what the "demon" he was/is fighting.

Now the healing can begin!




Surgery tomorrow

April 11th, 2013 at 10:03 pm

SIL will have surgery tomorrow. They are removing his kidney, his appendix and part of the colon.

Then, they will talk about how to fully eradicate the cancer from his body.

I havent had time to track anything financial. Life has been more about family this week. Hospital visits, taking care of kids, work and sleep.

Here is a sweet pic of the grandbabies making a wish in the wishing pool outside the hospital tonight. Their wish? That daddy gets better and comes back home soon.

Update on SIL

April 9th, 2013 at 08:35 pm

Thank you to everyone for your prayers and positive energy. My SIL's test results did not come back looking good. They will biopsy the kidney tomorrow, but the doctor felt the likelihood this is cancer is 85%. The pivital point starts tomorrow when they determine if it is, and if so, what type. I kept Z tonight, so DD2 would just have to care about the older kiddos. I offered to keep them all, its been a long day, but she really wanted the older two with her. SIL was in shock, but determined to fight whatever this is. DD2 is exhausted.

On a side note, my other SIL came by and managed to fix BOTH cars today. So, I can return the rental tomorrow.

A few days ago, my big concern was cleaning a garage. Nothing like the possiblity of the C word to change your perspective 100%.

Again, thank you for your kindness.

Prayers, thoughts, energy, vibes...can you help?

April 9th, 2013 at 09:04 am

Yesterday, my SIL ended up in ER with abdominal pain. This pain has been constant since Thanksgiving. It was initially diagnosed as a parasite, and he has been treated with antibiotics and pain pills. Unfortunately, they found two masses with a scan yesterday. One on his kidney, the other on his appendix. He is having tests this morning and then, today or tomorrow, he is most likely having surgery.

There are so many who read these blogs that I am asking for prayers, good thoughts, positive energy, healthy vibes...whatever you believe in.

We will hopefully know more this afternoon. Frown

Car Karma

April 8th, 2013 at 12:15 pm

This morning I was driving to work in the hubs truck and it died. Right in the middle of the street, and just like that.

I was on a hill and was able to coast backwards almost to the curb, but it was far enough away that we couldnt leave it. DD3 came and stayed with it and I took her truck on to work. She ended up calling a tow truck to take it back home...$85 to go about a block. OUCH.

I have conceded to the fact that I need to rent a car until we figure out how to get my car (and now hubs truck) fixed. $219 a week for a compact. My SIL is coming over one night this week to look at both. The hub thinks the truck is a blown fuse, which should be an easy fix. The car rental place said I only have to pay for days I use it. So hopefully, it wont cost the full $219.

Thankfully, I have a little over $400 in the car repair fund..so the tow, the rental, and hopefully the car parts will all be covered.

I really want these vehicles to be WORKING. What does my husband do again???? Argh. To his defense, he cant fix them from 3100 miles away.

In all the cleaning this past weekend, I managed to misplace my glasses. Boo. I looked everywhere last night, no luck. So I am wearing an old pair, that has a prescription close to what I am used to.

DD3 and I will be going in about an hour to rent the car- Barely noon, and its been a day.

Garage - Day Two

April 7th, 2013 at 04:18 pm

I put in about 5 hours so far on the garage. Our dump isnt open on Sunday, or I would have gotten farther. While its far from where I want it to be, I am really happy with the progress. I have been through every box that is not in the rafters.

I have at least a full truck load to take to the dump next Saturday (unless I can convince DD3 to do it this week while I am at work...hmmm...)

I have a really big box of burn/shred. Most likely I will send it out the to country house for the burn pile- unless there is a community shred day soon.

I have a small pile for each of the kids that I might turn into memory books for them. Old report cards, photos, school projects, etc.

A few donate boxes for Goodwill. (Next Saturday too.)

And then there is the stuff destined to be stored in the garage. When the hub comes home, I have a honey-do list for him...hang cabinets, put up shelving and put the filled storage bins in the rafters. I am going to create a storage map where everything needs to go and then hang it inside one of the cabinets for easy reference.

Big Grin Then, I can mark this job complete. I am on track to finish this project by my target date of end of April.

Cost of project: Dump run, storage bins: TBD
I will post pics of before and after when its done.

The rest of the day will be spent getting laundry done and prepping food for the week ahead.

Its been a very productive day. But I am pooped!

The Garage

April 6th, 2013 at 12:54 pm

I started on the garage today. Right now I am sorting through my parents things. At least all the things that were brought here.

My dad was an interesting man. He liked containers, and containers for his containers...and to put things in containers, which lived inside bigger containers. Papers in plastic files inside of accordian folders inside of containers. He really liked the faux leather zip pouches. They kept every piece of paper that ever entered their house. But it wasnt organized...except for some of the receipts that were in plastic things, inside of .....

So, I have had to touch every piece of paper. Boxes of paper. Junk mail, medical bills, birth and death certificates, family records all mixed together. It is quite a task, but I am halfway through their stuff and have a small box of keep papers, a bigger box of keepsakes and three huge boxes of shred, toss and donate.

Opening some of the envelopes was tough...Christmas cards they gave each other- those are in the keep pile. A reminder of the love they shared. Stacks and stacks of medical bills- my parents both had poor health the last few years...if you smoke, please consider quitting, it is not worth it. The bills are all in the shred pile.

COntainers and file folders and accordian folders, and tin boxes, and little glass containers, etc..etc..a BIG box of them are in the donate pile.

It is a bittersweet task, but I am committed to getting through this stuff so that I can declutter and clean the garage. So far, no creepy crawly things have challenged me..but I am wearing gloves and using caution with each new box.

I have a long ways to go, but the journey always starts with that first step.

Confession!

April 4th, 2013 at 07:40 pm

You know that first day...after youve been sick...when you FINALLY feel human again. Yeah, today was so "that" day. Big Grin Woo hoo!

Confession time. Earlier today, I was looking at the budget and looking at the hubs paycheck..and I had less than frugal thoughts. (you know those thoughts..) So, I quickly posted my previous post and updated my sidebar so that I was COMMITTED to sticking to my plan. Without knowing it..my SA friends helped hold me accountable today. Once it was posted, it was true and real and I had no option but to transfer the whole amount to the CC payment, which I did. Without blogging and tracking here, I know I wouldnt be as faithful to debt repayment. I simply cant believe the difference posting my sad, but honest truth on the sidebar has made. Any time I am tempted or unsure about the right thing, I remember the sidebar and the goal is crystal clear again. Seriously, it has been my eye opener, and what finally pulled my head out of..... the sand.

Tomorrow is Friday, which means date night with one of the grandkids. This week it is my little 4 year old granddaughter. I always look forward to date nights- there is just something special and irreplacable about one-on-one time. And the cool thing, its about spending TIME together, not about spending money.

And whoever said you cant teach an old dog new tricks hasnt seen this gramma MASTER the hubs truck. Ok, so it jerks after I shift into 2nd gear, and it takes forever to find reverse...I think I am doing GREAT, considering I was scared to death of the darn thing a week ago.

Extra pay to CC4

April 4th, 2013 at 08:51 am

The hubs paycheck this week was a whopping $577 more than we planned, which went towards CC#4.

Hours and rewards

April 3rd, 2013 at 08:09 pm

The hub is working crazy long hours right now. Yesterday he worked 15 hours, was off for 5, and has now been at work 18 today. The next several weeks will be extremely busy like this- and then they will go into "maintenance mode" where he works 11-12 each day..3 weeks on/ 3 weeks off until the ice road season starts again.

I had leftover black bean soup tonight- and still have soup- so I am going to freeze the rest for either next week or the week after. Im ready for a different meal choice! Tomorrow I will be making teriyaki chicken and jasmine rice.

Our mileage Visa upped our rewards to 3X mileage through the end of June for groceries, gas, restaurants and hotels. I will definately use it for groceries and gas. The hub will also use it a couple of times for his hotel in Anchorage. He already earns 500 miles each time he stays there, so the added miles will be great. When you buy as many tickets as we do, every little bit helps!

The decluttering slowed down when I got sick this past weekend..but what I lost in action, I made up in planning. I made lists of what I want to tackle. I am SO ready to minimize and have fewer 'things' to take care of. I definately have started training my brain to rethink whether I want to allow anything new in the house. My parents definately had hoarding tendencies and weeding through their 'treasures' that they found at garage sales and Goodwill (or just on sale) has made me realize how much I dont want to go down that road.

Rant - Sneaky money sucking auto renewals!

April 3rd, 2013 at 03:00 pm

Not part of the auto renewal rant, but what started it....My satelite tv company recently offered a deal. Rent four movies, get $10 back. (The refund made the cost seem palatable) DD3 really wanted to catch up on movies that she missed while in Alaska, so we did. Today, I double checked that the four movies were on the statement, but there was no indication of how to get the $10 back. It looks like I will have to send via US mail a form and they will send back via US mail a voucher. Umm...my bad for not looking at the small print and details first. But I will jump through the hoops to get the $10 back and consider it a lesson learned. Obviously, when you order movies online, receive your bill online, pay your bill online- you should be able to get your refund ONLINE. I guess they hope most people wont take the time.

Which leads me to my rant...While I was looking on the site, I saw that there is a line item (with a Zero balance, but still) on my statement for NFL Sunday Ticket...hmmm. I did order that last year, but was not planning to do so again. But when I looked a little further, I found that ANYTIME you order a season pass for sports, you are automatically set up for auto renew each year for the 'best price available' with the following statement on their site: "Also remember that sports subscriptions canít be canceled, refunded, or credited (in part or in whole) after the season starts." WTH? I emailed them to let them know I DO NOT want to auto renew and will make sure that I receive confirmation of this long before the season starts. I am so glad I stumbled on this NOW. Obviously my fault again for not reading the fine print.

So frustrating. While I felt I got an okay deal last year at $199 for the season ticket, it is not something I would do again..but if I hadnt saw this I would have be SOL. A sneaky money sucker IMO. I definately did not see this when I signed up initially and do not apprectiate the "opt out before it starts or pay the full price' requirement for future years when you think you are signing up for one season.

I noticed that my anti-virus auto-renewed this year, even though I remember selecting DO NOT auto renewal when I downloaded it. I would much rather get a notice it is expiring and shop around/make sure I still have the computer before I renew. In the end, I renewed with the same company, but let them know that I didnt appreciate/want the auto-renewal.

I realize that others may love auto-renewals- and on things that I expect, like my insurance, I do too.

But in this case, I wasnt a fan.

Cleared the calendar

April 2nd, 2013 at 03:21 pm

Day two of PTO. I slept until 11:30 this morning. Thankfully, I do feel better this afternoon and will be back to work tomorrow.

Our Fed Refund arrived in the mail yesterday. I thought that was wierd. It usually is direct deposited to the account. Arent checks obsolete? Smile We also received a $20 check from one of the rewards CCs that we no longer use. All of the money from the checks is budgeted for.

The hub called yesterday to let me know that the job needs him to stay an extra week this rotation. I had to change his airline ticket that Id already bought, but it was only $40 more. His job will reimburse that. He isnt actually working an extra week in the end, it just means that when he comes home this time, he will stay for three weeks instead of two. So it washes paywise. I had planned a one night stay at a local indian casino for one of the weekends he was going to be home (he enjoys playing slots, I like to people watch- but dont enjoy the smoke). So I cancelled it, since he wont be here now. He suggested moving it to one of the weeks that he is home, but I think I will resist any plans for now. I want to spend some weekends home, just enjoying not going anywhere (or spending money for the place we stay). Maybe take a couple of day trips hiking locally with a picnic lunch. Big Grin

That means there isnt anything overnite and away on the calendar until next November. I am sure between now and then, something will come up...but for now, there arent any plans.

However, on the work front, I will be at the coast for about 6 nights in May over a two week period. That should be fun- and its free to me. I will be doing some staff training and staying at the company condo each night.

I am REALLY looking forward to the other end of the decluttering/organizing project when its all done. I anticipate being DONE with everything by the end of May.

Now that I am comfortable driving the hubs truck, I may finish up sooner, since I can take everything to the dump or Goodwill myself. (That will make the hub happy!)

PTO day today

April 1st, 2013 at 12:30 pm

This weekend, I spent quite a bit of time with Z..who had a runny nose, cough, fever....and today I am home with a sore throat and low grade fever. I seem to catch EVERYTHING the babies have. As soon as I realized he wasnt feeling well, I went into prevention mode..hand sanitizer, wiping surfaces, avoiding touching my nose and eyes. Who knows, I could have picked this up at work last week or from a grocery cart. I just hope it doesnt turn into respiratory. My asthmatic lungs dont handle that well!

I am thankful that I have a bank of PTO days...but I really dont like using them for sick days. (who does!) I appreciate being able to stay home in jammies under a warm blanket when I feel like this and appreciate that my job supports keeping bugs with fevers at home.

Today is a milestone for DS. He is branching out on his own again and started a new bug business. This time, I will not be investing- but will provide all the moral support he needs. His last venture was very successful the first two years (05-07)..and then the economy tanked. He sold his business, he and his family moved to California where the climate is more consistent and he worked for a small company there and has consistenly done wonderful in sales. I think he will be very successful this second time around.

My fingers are crossed for him!!

I have scheduled a couple of long weekends off in May and June when the hubs starts his three week rotations home again. My first instinct was to make reservations at the resort where we go occasionally for get-aways (well, my first was the cabin that I rented and later cancelled actually). But I have rethought. We enjoy time home too and I really want to tackle cleaning the garage. It is stuffed full of my parents/bother's things as well as two years of just putting things out there without everything having a home. Holiday decorations, the hubs tools and equipment, boxes of 'stuff' I didnt want to make tough decisions on..

So, while the hub is home in April, we will start by getting the obvious things out of the way. Then, I will have room to start sorting and organizing, decluttering.

I have noticed LOTS of spider webs out there...and with spring here, there will be creepy crawly things hatching. So, I need to keep some bug spray and wear good gloves. (I wish my son was going to be here so he could do a spray for me!!)

Instead of spending money on the rental, I think we will use that newly cleaned patio to host a couple of bbq's with friends and just hang out here.

We are planning 5 days at the resort in November, which is something we do every year around Veteran's day, but not sure what else we will do this year for mini-vacas. For now, plan B sounds like the right thing to do.