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Archive for November, 2006

A tale of 2 Daughters

November 30th, 2006 at 04:01 pm

I hope they don't mind me sharing this with my frugal friends here...

I am watching my two eldest daughters prepare to buy their first homes, and I couldnt be more proud.

DD1 (24 w/ 14 month old daughter) is planning a full year in advance. She and her DH have given notice on their apartment and are moving into a travel trailer at DHs moms home to save a years worth of rent and expenses so they can payoff their debts and save as much as possible. Our trailer has a slide out and more room than their 5th wheel, so we will loan them ours during the months that we arent vacationing....Plus, they are welcome to move out here anytime they want if they desire a change of in-laws Smile or scenery!!

DD2 (21 with 2 1/2 year old son) is buying her first home and found a fixer-upper that is within her budget. She found her niche in sales and makes really good money--and has been careful to pay off debts as they come along. She is starting the work on her new home today!!And will move in by Christmas.

Two very different approaches to homeownership...but mom is proud of both.

I told DD1 that she should keep a journal of this one year adventure and possibly write about it someday...I think she is going to do that.

I'll keep you posted on the progress!

Busy day yesterday

November 30th, 2006 at 08:23 am

Yesterday was a very busy one indeed.

I took my mom to have the transfusion, then went grocery shopping (long overdue) and spent almost $150 (and I didnt have even one coupon Frown) but was able to stock the pantry/freezer and get some deals for Christmas dinner items.

Then, back home to unload and pick up my dad...off to his pulminary appointments. Unfortunately, the doctor wants to rerun the tests at the end of the month as my dad has bronchitis and the results could have been so low because of the infection.

Then dad took my to a late lunch. Their money is so tight I ordered the cheapest thing on the menu...which was a small stack of pancakes. We stopped and bought DH some Irish Creme liqueur for his morning coffee and went by and saw DD2s new home (I'll write more on this in my next post).

Then we headed for home...by then it was 5pm and about 35 degrees out. brr. Thankfully, when I got home there was still a small fire in the stove!

DD1 brought my mom home from her dialysis appointment at about 7pm.

Today is a stay home and get some things done day. (thank goodness)

I think the best thing about the day would have to be the enthusiasm in my dads voice as we drove home. He enjoyed lunch and the visit to the new house...perhaps I should look for ways to encourage him to get out more. He even mentioned that he'd like to go to a movie this weekend...hmm...

Money focus is kaput right now

November 28th, 2006 at 06:06 pm

We woke to snow this morning. Although true to the climate, it didnt stick long. But it sure was beautiful while it lasted.

I've had a difficult time focusing on finances lately. There have been so many health issues around here coupled with the bathroom remodel and Christmas shopping...Ive been very neglectful of tracking.

Tomorrow is a big day. My mom has no energy lately---and today the doctor confirmed that she is extrememly anemic and will need a blood transfusion....and I wonder if you all can guess what triggered this??? Yep, that darned dog bite!!!

Then, my dad is going for a breathing test/ pulminary doctor appointment. He has been having hallucinations and I am hoping there is an easy fix (like adjusting his oxygen?)

The hallucinations themselves are worrisome...but even more troubling is that they are all 'visits' from his siblings...who have long been deceased...I am trying not to read anything into this until after we see the doctor.

I have been trying to convice DH that he needs to go have that leg checked...but because it hasnt gotten any worse, he is not very cooperative.

Needless to say, trying to organize for Christmas and have a bathroom remodeled and find homes for my last 4 puppies has left me with little desire to worry about a budget...

I hope tomorrow sheds some light on my dads issues and fixes my moms. I just want them both to feel better.

Money...well, the new year is coming...and that is when I will mop up and start over.

Our Sunday after Thanksgiving Tradition

November 26th, 2006 at 09:24 am

Each year for the past 5-6 years, I have taken my parents to Sunday brunch in a little restaurant in historic Jacksonville. The town is decked with Christmas and they even have carolers dressed in their old-time finery.

Today is our day. This year is a little different. My dad (lovingly known as papa since my kids were little) is nervous about going. He is now on full-time oxygen and has a hard time walking even 5-10 steps before running out of breath...He rarely leaves the house anymore.

But he is up, showered and dressed up...and i think he is looking forward to it. I do not know if I will have him here next year, so I intend to enjoy this day!!!

It is my treat to my parents...and money I absolutely dont mind spending int he least!!!

Better go get ready!

Things Ive never bought

November 25th, 2006 at 10:28 am

Things I have never bought:

1. a NEW car
2. Drugs (never did em)
3. cigarettes (ditto)
4. Lobster
5. Life insurance on children
6. liver, kidney heart or any other organ meat.
7. A hunting license
8. A vacation home
9. Caviar
10. A boat
11. A big screen TV
12. Surround sound
13. A wine rack
14. Prepaid attorney
15. Shoes that cost more than $45
16. A suit that cost more than $75
17. Sushi
18. A cat (all have been free)
19. A tram ride
20. A timeshare

OMG- Black Friday HELL...aka..Black Friday Aint for Sissys

November 24th, 2006 at 04:17 pm

... Famous last words...I'll never....

DD1 and I decided to brave the crowds for a couple of the really good deals today. Id never gone to the big-boy black Friday stores...but low and behold, I found myself in a moment of weakness and agreeing to meet DD1 at 4am at CIRCUIT CITY this morning.

I ended up waking up at 1am and not going back to sleep. So I went to the Cir City website and was pleasantly surprised that I could order everything I needed and pick it up at the store.

So 3:30am, off I went and was over an hour early to the opening, only to find that we were at least 150 people back...egads...apparently, alot of people couldnt sleep. But we actually were in about the first 10th of the line by 5am...that line went way around the buildings and down the street!!!

Not to worry...my stuff was pre-ordered all I had to do was pick up...which went just as planned! DD1 bought some stuff while we were there and it took a little longer for that, but all in all it was fairly easy ~ especially doing the leg work on my computer first.

I commend Circuit City, actually, they let about 200 customers in the store at a time--which REALLY helped aleviate congestion, confusion and angry customers.

Then we went to Target. Umm...*shiver* They CLEARLY had no limits on the number of people in the store at a time. ALL SHOPPING CARTS were in use...not a good sign. The line to check out literally wrapped around the store!!! Ive never seen so many angry, frustrated folks...Luckily, we found a line that was way short in comparison and for some reason, the floor staff was not directing some of those customers to--but it got us out of there in about 20 minutes so I am glad we found it.

When we finished at Target, that was all I wanted of shopping...so we called it quits.

I am pleased with my purchases and am happy with the discounts. But I don't know if I will try this again...next year, I will opt to order on line and pick up the following week instore (which is an option at Circuit City)and stay in my jammies next to the fire!!!

So...how was your Friday?

Thanksgiving Wishes

November 23rd, 2006 at 08:11 am

Gobble, gobble!

I wish you all a day of thanksgiving in your hearts!!

Enjoy your day, no matter how you celebrate!!!

Stay safe!

{{hugs to you all}}

Remodeling Funny

November 21st, 2006 at 09:37 pm

I mentioned earlier this week that DS is remodeling our lower bathroom.

Well, tonight I came home and DH was sitting in the living room playing X-box...not too unusual...except for a seat, he was sitting on our new-yet-to-be-installed toilet!!! lol-

I guess DS called it quits and just left the new toilet in the middle of the living room, so DH decided to put it to good use....said it was pretty comfortable.

Oh boy, good thing there's not room in the bathroom for a tv and an x-box---

men!

That's alot of pie!

November 21st, 2006 at 09:17 pm

DD3 and I spent the day together today doing some shopping. It was a girls kinda day.

For lunch, we stopped at Marie Calendars- and boy were they busy making and selling pies.

There were literally pies everywhere! And stacked way deep!

The waitress said they are making pies 24 hours a day this week and that by the end of Thanksgiving they will have sold about 10,000 pies and 350 or so turkey dinners> (Complete packed up meals for families---this does not count the meals they will serve at the restaraunt.)

So my daughter and I were talking about it...and at the grocery store, we saw stacks of pies...at Costco, pies are selling like crazy..there are at least two other pie- making restaraunts in town....and then there are all those homemade pies...

1000's and 1000's of pies all consumed in one day.

I am munching on the slice of cherry pie that I brought home for dessert tonight. I have to say, its awful tasty.

I wonder how much money goes into Thanksgiving Pies?

If I could have a nickel for.....oh well, I guess Ill just enjoy it!

Im the budget bully of the family

November 19th, 2006 at 08:49 pm

This weekend was my weekend to be the budget bully.

I am doing anything possible to stay frugal and on task. I am using less laundry soap, dishwasher soap, toilet paper, shampoo, etc. I have stayed true to my DO NOT BUY list for 2006---even when that means going the rest of the year with one pair of jeans and a pair of black sweats...and holey tennis shoes.
I use coupons and I watch sales and I stock up on good bargains. I dont get my hair cut, do my own nails and make do with what I have, even though that means a kitchen that has linoleum peeling in spots, a glass stove top thats cracked, and an entire linen closet of hand-me-downs. And the wheels on my dining room chairs broke many years ago...but who needs wheels on dining chairs anyway?? (But we are down to 4 out of 6 original chairs and the table wobbles because it has been repaired many times).

Am I painting this frugal picture???

So, Saturday night, DH pops out with "Ive figured out how I can afford a new ATV."....(to the tune of $6000)...Uh, I dont care how much figuring we've done...I would like a few things FIXED OR REPLACED around the house before we even CONSIDER toys...and then the not-so-fun conversation ensued. I cant really say it was an angry conversation...but I definately felt like the mom of a spoiled toddler for the duration.

Tonight, we head to walmart and DD3 comes up with shampoo and conditioner, and a pair of flannel jammies.

Um, I have a CLOSET FULL of shampoo and conditioner that I got at great deals...nice stuff too---but she doesnt want to use it because they dont "match"..or they make her hair greasy, etc, etc. So I said fine, then buy them with your allowance...otherwise, you are welcome to use anything in the closet.

Oh boy...and for the jammies...Ive bought her 4 pair in the past two months...so NO she didnt need them...and ended up buying those herself.

I dont think Id be nominated for wife/mommy of the year tonight.

I hope I am not being a martyr. I truly want to forego so that we are in a better financial place...but somedays I feel as though I am swimming upstream.

Somedays I wonder...

Thank goodness tomorrow is a new day with new possibilities.

Sigh.

The good and the scary bad

November 19th, 2006 at 08:26 am

First the good:
DH and I went to DD3's school play last night. It was fun to watch those young people acting their hearts out. There definately were some talented teens up on that stage! It was a play about a trial regarding creation vs. evolution...Play content has sure evolved since I was in high school!! To say the least, it was controversial.

And the scary bad:
DH has had a bad cold the past several days and was feeling pretty ucky during the play, but he was also complaining that his leg hurt.

Some of you might remember the scary bone infection that camethisclose to landing him in the hospital a couple of months ago. It finally cleared up after a week of daily dual-shots of pennicillin..but the doctors were very concerned about it.

When we got home, he took his boots off, and the mysterious swelling is back....with some redness around a minor nearly-healed scratch that he got about 4 weeks ago. I am PRAYING that the scratch has somehow gotten irritated and that this is not round 2 of a bone infection. (Although - I do not see how it could cause the whole lower leg to swell like it did...)

DH is still asleep this morning...and I hope he feels much better after a nights rest.

We do not need another medical issue with all thats transpired lately. But more importantly, I want this to be minor and not the onset of something serious.

Our medical budget is shot to h*ll this year...which, is insignificant right now...I just want his leg to be ok...


Step Backwards

November 18th, 2006 at 03:54 pm

My challenge account took a step backwards today. Actually about 200 of them.

My son is very kindly putting our gutted out- not yet textured or painted bathroom back together. We purchased all the materials at the first of last year...but DH never got time to do it.

DS is trying to suplement his salary this winter with sidejobs...so i am paying him to do it.

So, unplanned money that I dont have will come out of my challenge account to very happily get this project done.

New challenge balance =$703.00

Hide n seek

November 17th, 2006 at 07:07 pm

Ok. How do you top a day of hide n seek and peek a boo with a 14 month old sweetie pie??

Simply...you dont.

GD needed a place to hang today...so I volunteered and she and I had a blast. I was envious of her though, on the way back to daddy, she got in a quick nap and I had to stay awake and drive...!!!

I did make it by the bank and bought a few groceries. Now Im back home and enjoying reading everyone's blogs!!

I told DD3 an old money story today about the missing dollar...Probably all you money wizards have heard versions of it...but Ill share it here for anyone who might not have heard it before.

Three guys decide to share a hotel room.
It is $30 so they each pay $10. They head off to the room, when the clerk remembers that there is a special on the room....$25 instead of $30. He takes 5 $1 bills from the till and heads off to return the money. But on the way, he thinks about the $5 not dividing so easily 3 ways...and the guys in the room didnt know about the special anyways...so he pockets $2 and gives each guy back $1.

So how much did each guy end up paying?? $10-1 = $9.

and $9 times 3 = $27

the clerk pocketed $2 and $27 + 2 = $29.
what happened to the other dollar?

It kept my DD3 busy for a while.

Big Grin

I forgot one...

November 17th, 2006 at 09:03 am

29. 23 years ago next Wednesday, I was robbed at gunpoint. I was a teller at a bank and pregnant with my son. The robber made me walk to the other teller windows to get more cash...all the while holding a gun on me! I later identified him in a lineup and he went to jail.

I have a list too!! 28 so far!

November 16th, 2006 at 07:06 pm

1. I was an honor student in high school but decided not to go to college.
2. I am ľ Cherokee Indian, but my full-blooded Cherokee grandpa (who was born in 1840) thought being an Indian wasnít cool so he put Ďwhiteí on every legal document we can find! He was 73 when my dad was born and died 3 months later.
3. A local detective and I co-founded a fraud team between law enforcement and banks that has now gone state-wide and has stopped many bad guys!!!. J
4. I grew up riding dirt bikes in the southern California deserts.
5. I once tipped over an outhouse (no, no one was in it)
6. Iíve never done drugs or smoked.
7. I am a PHQ. (know what that is?)
8. My hero has always been John Wayne- who died right before I graduated from high school.
9. Iíve only had one accident. I hit some black ice and rolled and totaled our car.
10. With the exception of Tijuana, Iíve never been out of the continental 48.
11. Iím more creative than organized.
12. I am claustrophobic.
13. I love rollercoasters.
14. I donít like seafood.
15. I once drove my Volkswagen through a park with lots of hills and then down a sidewalk to get back onto the street. (Oh, those teen years)
16. I divorced my first husband because of abuse.
17. My brother, and only sibling, was killed in a motorcycle accident in 1988.
18. My favorite movies to watch over and over are: Sense and Sensibility, The Notebook, and Everafter.
19. My DH and I never got to go on a honeymoon. We were married the night before he left for the Gulf War~ and I didnít see him again for 7 months. Our daughter was born on Christmas Eve, 9 months after he got back Öshe is now 14 (almost 15)
20. I have 4 kids and 2 grandchildren.
21. I hate mayonnaise, mushrooms and meat that comes from organs. (blech)
22. Iíve never seen a UFO.
23. I love going to the movies, but only go once or twice a year.
24. Someday, I hope to go on a cruise.
25. Every time I turn on my street, I am grateful that I live in the country.
26. We have a 2 story blue house with red and white trim. My kids call it a dollhouseÖand I LOVE it.
27. Iíve never seen Mount Rushmore, but hope to this next year!
28. Iíve lived in a haunted house.