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Archive for June, 2013

Organizing a small living space

June 30th, 2013 at 03:47 pm

Today was one of the more productive days Ive had in several weeks.

I have spent the day at home weeding through the things I thought I needed to bring (which was more than I really needed) and organizing the things that I am keeping in the little house. I am learning that 390 sq ft is plenty of space for one, especially when you stick to the necessities and organize so that everything has a place. The stuff I am moving out, will go out into my dads workshed.

Here are a few of the closets that Im done with:

My closet:


Bathroom:


Above the stove:


Dishes:


This morning I put a pot of boneless ribs in the crockpot. I found a bbq sauce I really like and this will make good leftovers again this week. I also have half the split pea soup I made last weekend ready to defrost for meals this next week.

I also tossed an enchilada casserole together using leftover flour tortillas, some black beans, green salsa, cheese and olives, which will take care of a couple of meals.

Looking forward to a 4 day work week ahead. DD1 is home from their vacation and DD3 comes back from Alaska in a few days- DD3 is going to stay in the big country house for a while- so I will have someone to visit with in the evenings.
And a final picture...of my cat. Sometimes, you just want to sit in a paper grocery bag: Smile

Internet is working again and Payday at last!

June 29th, 2013 at 09:03 am

My internet hasn't been working the past two days. I semi-embraced the forced 'unplug' but missed reading the blogs.

I used part of the time to reorganize my tiny bathroom and it is now much more functional.

There is very little on TV that I want to watch. Even with the "free premium channels" that the provider tossed in to the move deal. Those will definitely go away when the trial period is over. Since I would not subscribe to it, but R wants it, I am budgeting the expense to come out of his account.

Yesterday WAS payday THANK GOODNESS. I paid my bills and have some left over that I will allocate this weekend to different save/spend buckets. Working two budgets, with both paychecks hitting the same checking account, then splitting some of the bills and directing others to "his or mine" makes for a tricky spreadsheet. I haven't got it perfected yet. I am using two checking accounts, but the bills are all allocated to come out of one of those. I will have to work on simplifying this process.

Today is a girls day with DD2. She is kid free for the morning, so we are going to take advantage of the opportunity.

Update on Z:
The case worker says that he will be moving to N Dakota with bio-gramma in 30-45 days. Neither bio gramma or bio mom have taken advantage of phone visits and haven't spoken/skyped with Z in a few months now.

Time will tell. He had a major success this week, he went potty in is little training toilet. He was so proud of himself. Big Grin

Is it payday yet?

June 26th, 2013 at 08:24 pm

Only two days until payday. I am ready for Friday.

I bought two citronella candles today, which was my only spending. I am averse to mosquitos. They spread disease and make you itch, neither quality appealing at all. Sitting outside at dusk, here in the country, is always a slap-fest this time of year- so I am hoping the candles will help. $11

Lunch was split pea soup (from the crockpot batch I made over the weekend) and dinner was a tamale from Costco.

With DD1 off on vacation with her family, DD2 working lots of OT, DD3 in Alaska, and DS living in Cali...life has been uncharacteristically....QUIET. I am ready for grandkids to come visit again.


Totally OT...

I had a 6 month recheck on my annual exam yesterday. Fingers crossed that it comes back with different (better) result from the initial exam. There are just some things us women should only have to endure every 12 months at most. The good news, I have lost 10 lbs since my last visit. Big Grin

No spend day and unexpected guests!

June 24th, 2013 at 08:47 pm

Today was a no spend day. Smile Left over bbq pork for lunch and chili verde tacos for dinner. And tomorrow I have soup ready for lunch and will have chili verde enchiladas.

Love love love the slow cooker. I took a pack of boneless pork ribs and browned them right in the slow cooker..then seasoned them with garlic salt, seasoned salt and pepper and let them slow cook for a few hours. When they were done, I halved the meat into ziplock bags and one bag got bbq sause, the other green salsa.

Tonight I had guests...three of these little guys were passing through:


Cooking for one in the crockpot...makes for some yummy leftovers to freeze!

June 23rd, 2013 at 05:36 pm

I made split pea soup in the crockpot yesterday. The pot full of soup cost under $5 and there is enough soup for many meals, plus some to freeze.

To break it up a little, today I am cooking boneles pork ribs, again in the crock pot. (Love my crockpot! Even cooking for one is so easy!) Part of the pork will be used in chili verde tacocs and enchiladas, the rest will be pulled pork sandwiches. I have everything necessary except sandwich bread, which I will get later in the week.

I spent $60 at the gocery store yesderday- which, except for the bread, is all that I need for the week. I still have some of the black bean soup that I made last week, that I am going to refreeze for later in the week or next weekend.

I splurged on my hair today. I had it cut and colored again. Cost plus tip = $100. (ouch)..my rationalization is that if it helps my very bruised heart a little, it is money well spent. I LOVE my new look. I also gave myself a pedi today. I honestly feel 51 instead of 52. Big Grin kidding.

Other than gas for the car and $4 to get into the community kids club with my grandkids yesterday, that is all I have spent. Starting with my payday next Friday, there will be extra money to pay back for today's haircut and my "extras" account will start to rebuild. I will be budgeting for hair care from now on..I just feel better with a nice cut.

My girls have suggested that we take a girls trip down to southern Calif to visit my friend. I have been looking into airfare and it has really gone up. However I have a companion ticket credit and about $250 in credit that I can use on Alaska Air, so I am seriously considering it. My friends birthday is the beginning of August, which would be a good time for all of us.

Free lunch yesterday!

June 22nd, 2013 at 08:11 am

Yesterday was actually a fun day for work. I got to go to the coast and work on small, miscellaneous projects. Nothing intense or taxing...just minor and fulfilling. A very welcomed change to the normal pace.

Since I was on the road all day, lunch was on the job. The weather was sunny and gorgeous, so we sat outside and enjoyed the warm sushine while we ate. Sitting in the sun always makes ice tea taste so much better!

When I got home, I took a bag of frozen soup out to thaw for the weekend. There is nothing better than 'free' leftovers when you are stretching a budget. Smile This weekend should be low key-

This weekend I plan to scale back on the things I have in the house. There is simply too much for 390 sq ft.

But right now, I am simply enjoying a nice cup of coffee, listening to the birds enjoying their world.



Tough week..but I can do this!

June 19th, 2013 at 09:09 pm

Tough week. I have been hurting inside and out- bruised body and a bruised heart. Hard to focus on finances like this, but its been a fairly frugal week. When you dont eat, you dont spend a lot on food. ugh. Enough of that.

I am keeping my finances separate. I think that is best. Unfortunately, there were lots of joint expenses and I have little to live on until next Friday. He said take what I need, but I am determined to make it on my own salary. All bills are paid, and I have enough for food and gas.

Tomorrow is a big day at work. A huge project is finished and I will finally start to slow down to a semi-normal pace, the first since the beginning of the year...after June 30, work life will get fully back to normal- (which is still busy, but not nearly as ridiculous as the last 6 months)

I wish I had a crystal ball. You would think by my age I would have an idea of what the future looked like.





Spent $4.25 today, total indulgence!

June 15th, 2013 at 08:41 pm

I needed to return a couple of books to the library today, but the one I usually go to would have been a nightmare to get into because of a community event that was going on downtown. So, I went to one of the smaller ones that was closer to home anyway. Not as much selection, but it was close, there was plenty of parking and I found a book to check out. (the Christmas Fix It and Forget It, a slow cooker cookbook). Even though it is a "Christmas" themed book, it has several recipes I want to try.

When we moved our satellite service, they gave us "premium" channels for no charge for six months. I have yet to find anything on them, so I am glad they are free. I watched DD1s kids for a while today so she and SIL could go on a date for Father's Day. They have given up TV service and instead use Netflix and Hulu. Their cost is about $20. Quite a savings over what satellite and cable cost. I will definitely keep that in mind for future decisions.

I spent $4.25 today. I stopped and bought a ice coffee and a water on my way to DD1's. I found a small insulated lunch box in my dad's shed the other day, and I plan to start using that to cart cold water when I go to town. The coffee was because I didnt sleep too good last night because of the bangs and bruises and I wanted a perk me up to watch the kiddos.

I have an appt for my hair tomorrow, but I am going to call and postpone it until next weekend. I think it still looks ok from the last cut/color...and I am a little too sore to go through the process...although, the black eye would probably look nice with a new do. Big Grin

R has called every day (at least twice a day) and really wants to work through the problem. I get six free counseling sessions through my job, so I will call next week and make an appointment to help sort out what is best. In the meantime, I am using this month to sort through feelings and heal my heart.

Tomorrow is Father's Day. I miss my dad so much this year. I wouldnt have shared the events of the past couple of weeks with him, but I sure would have enjoyed his stories and hugs. If you still have your dad- I am envious. I know every father/daughter relationship is unique and not all are good ones- but I would truly give anything for a day, an hour..a hug with my dad.

Happy Father's Day to all of our daddy bloggers and visitors! Enjoy YOUR day tomorrow!



OUCH. What was I thinking?

June 14th, 2013 at 07:09 pm

OUCH.

I was asked to help out at an event today. All I had to do was ride one of two segways, that were decked out with marketing for my job, around town for a couple of hours. I was nervous, cause I am NOT an adrenaline junkie...AT ALL. But I decided to do it. Everyone else was having fun taking turns..

I made it an hour. Then, I got bumped off, which was no big deal...but when I went to step back on, the darn thing shot towards me and knocked my feel right out from under me and I face planted on the metal bar. My cheek hurts really bad- its swelling and discoloring ...my arm is scraped and bruising, as is my shin...my back is starting to ache and boy, do I feel abused! Thankfully, nothing feels broke. NOT a good start to the weekend.

Plus, my ego is bruised. Dumb segway.

Hopefully, tonight is the worst of it. I have a long to do list this weekend and have no time for any more pity parties.

Today was my payday- I repaid the money that I had borrowed from savings to pay for the hotel last week. ($370) I also repaid savings, put money into the basic checking account, which will cover gas and food and was able to put $300 towards debt.

I had to drive my car this week when I travelled for work. I will turn in a check request next week which will result in about $40.

Last night I stopped by Kohls and asked if I could use my expired 30% off, since I hadnt gotten to use it yet. Thankfully, they said sure..and I bought myself a belated birthday gift...a cute sundress..it was normally was $56, but after the sales price and 30% off, it was only 26. It is cute, comfy and just what I wanted for summer!

Next week, when R's paycheck hits, the state taxes will be paid as well as several bills.

I dont anticipate any extra expenses this week. This weekend I am just sticking close to home. I have the fixins for some soup, which should provide dinner for 3-4 nights and I have several things in the freezer. My treats were coffee creamer and a seedless watermelon.

Aside from being pretty sore, swollen and bruised...life is good!



Peace, quiet and good news from Zillow!

June 12th, 2013 at 09:25 pm

After the craziness of the past couple of weeks, it is blissfully quiet in the little house tonight. I can hear birds, crickets, a few dogs barking in the far off distance, but other than that, it is peaceful.

R really wants to keep his deposits coming to the joint account and asked me to keep taking care of finances jointly. Since he makes much more than the bills, this isnít an issue. Everything is set up to auto pay anyway. I will continue to track everything so that it can be easily divided- and put all extra towards the last of the unsecured debt. Any big house repairs are on hold for now.

I am looking forward to life in the little house for the next month. I have my black lab and my cat to keep me company. They love country living. My cat, who was Mr. GQ in the city house, always groomed and proper, has comfortably and happily slipped into the role of redneck kitty. He is now a dirty little guy who looks like pigpen from Charlie Brown when he lies down, with a big puff of dust settling around him- but he clearly enjoys the new life style. Both he and the dog love going for walks with me when I get home from work.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that the value of my home went up significantly on Zillow this week. If the zestimate is anywhere near accurate, I am now just about back to what I owe on it. A nice feeling, after watching it nosedive about $40k into the red the past two years and then climb painfully slow back up to black. I will take whatever good financial news I can get.

Tonight I definitely feel like coming back to the little house was the right decision. I love knowing the grandkids have plenty of room to play here- (I plan to resume date nights next week!) plus I am going to save about $1500-1800 month on rent and utilities- and I have my pets.

For tonight, life is good!

Pride and anger - keeping both in check

June 11th, 2013 at 01:38 pm

I am humbled by everyone's support. This has been a very tiring experience. Thank you.

I was not as successful as Id originally hoped on finding another place. Apartments dont really leave room for the grandkids to play outside and houses I realistically can afford are either very run down or in a questionable area. Neither of which are desireable. I miss my house. What is frustrating is that no matter what angle I approach it, I will be paying very close to what my house payment is for these places.

My moms little place is free. So, I am going to stay in the little house for now. He goes back to Alaska tomorrow, so I have the next month to figure things out and save some money. My pride takes one for the financial team.

It is easy when you are in the throes of anger to know exactly what you will do. Then reality sets in. I am extremely confused, disappointed, hurt, and sad. I dont think it was as bad as I originally thought, but the lie is still there. He is extremely remorseful. Counseling may be the short term answer, at least for me.

But enough of that. I have a month to determine what to do.







Strawberry Pie tonight!

June 3rd, 2013 at 05:18 pm

Pull up a chair and have a slice of birthday pie with me...I am 52 years old today!

DD3 landed on the Slope this afternoon for her summer job. She is such a great daughter- she had one of her friends deliver a fresh strawberry pie out here today. HOW SWEET! My mom used to make sure I had one every year on my birthday..and since she has been gone, DD3 makes sure to get mom one. Smile (Even when she is thousands of miles away in Alaska!!) I am so blessed!

I am wrapping up a busy four day weekend. The hub and I spent most of it working on the big house and squeezing in some RnR.

Yesterday I decided to really deep clean the bathroom in the big house. There is just something yucky about scrubbing (someone else's) grime that has been accumulating for probably a year. Uh, beyond YUCK actually. But, I used several pairs of gloves and LOTS of those mechanic-strength blue paper towels. It took almost two hours, but when I was done the bathroom was completely disinfected and it sparkled. Today I stopped by the dollar store and bought a new shower curtain liner. We will need to move electrical switches and outlets and hang a new mirror, but otherwise, now that it is cleaned, I dont think we need to redo anything major. I had budgeted $3000 for the bathroom, but I think it will end up costing under $500 for electrical and drywall repairs and new mirrors.

Let me take a step back and talk a little about the home repair budget. When we first decided to move back to the country, I made a list of all the things I thought I needed. The budget was a minimum of $40,000 but could have easily gone way above that amount.

Thankfully, the semi-frugal part of my brain (and my desire to retire eventually) has kicked into gear and I have re-examined wants vs needs vs goals.

Because the one of the load bearing walls in the living room is not sealed well, and therefore neither weather or pest resistent- plus the brick work on the fireplace (same wall) is crumbling...AND the wood stove is too small for the house and doesnt heat properly, repairing this wall is a NEED. The estimated cost for this wall, plus new brick work and a new wood stove =$12,000-15,000. This is our first and main priority.

New kitchen cupboards would be really nice...but they are not a need, they are a want. As are updated appliances. However, the budget jury is still out on whether or not this will make the budget cut.

New flooring is a need, since what is currently in the house has been damaged by pets...and given the state of that bathroom, for my peace of mind, new flooring is a must for me.

New paint falls into the need category, in my opinion. Patch jobs, half painted walls, kids allowed to use markers, have all factored into this. I will probably hire my sons mother in law (who owns a painting company) to do the painting. having someone else paint, is a want. I could paint on my own, but the house will need to be painted in July or August. The heat and the fumes dont sound AT ALL fun to an asthmatic-menopausal gramma. Big Grin

Laundry was all washed and line dried. I have missed my clothesline. I love the smell of line dried sheets!

We went to lunch today with SIL who just started six months of chemo. He has been through round one and has lost some weight. It was good to visit with him. He has such an amazing outlook.

The hub is going to bbq some steaks and corn on the cob tonight- which will be followed up by the pie!

And tomorrow, its back to work.

Tri-tip for dinner tonight

June 1st, 2013 at 10:19 pm

The hub was up early this morning to work on a log truck for a friend. The friend will bring the hub a truck load of logs as payment, which we will cut and process for firewood this winter for the country house, and to sell. The hub has regular customers each year of about 15-20 cords.

The hubs nephew moved about 70% of his stuff out today. We will start working on cleaning the house out tomorrow. The carpet in the two small bedrooms does not appear to be too bad. I may try a good cleaning on those to see if they are salvagable. One of the rooms will become the grandkids play/sleepover room.

The other bedroom will be a craft room for me.

This afternoon we needed to run to town. A couple of weeks ago, I had bought a tri-tip dinner from a door-to-door sale for our local high school cheerleaders. $25 for a bbqd tri tip, salad, bread and cookies What a deal! Today, we picked it up and then stopped by the city house to pick up our broom and kitchen trash can- two things we forgot to grab. DD1 is working diligently to get unpacked and settled, but they have a ways to go.

On our way back out to the little house, we stopped and bought some agave nector for my tea, wet dog food, coffee creamers and milk.

Our grandson asked to come and stay the night. He is NINE already. So he came over this afternoon and played hard. He is sound asleep.

The hub is really enjoying the TV- I am in the bedroom with no tv and enjoying the peace and quiet.