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Viewing the '2013 Goals' Category

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.

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


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!

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.

Busy, spendy day!

May 31st, 2013 at 09:46 pm

Today was a vacation day.

The hub made an appointment (and paid!) for a side by side massage for us! What a treat! A foot soak and neck wrap, followed by an hour of stop-it-some-more massage, followed by a sauna and shower..uh, yessss!

Then, I had to get my driver's license renewed ($40). The DMV always takes so long- but an hour and a half later, we were done with that chore. While we were there, we got the paperwork ($4)to dispose of an old vehicle that no longer runs- I cant find the title, so this is the alternate option. The hub will be selling it for scrap.

Then, we went to lunch and enjoyed a lunch of mexican food.

Today was also payday for both the hub and I. Because it was the third payday this month, my paycheck had a little over $100 extra because the extra deductions dont come out when there are three paydays in a month. That extra was easily gobbled up when we went to Costco this afternoon and bought a memory foam topper for our bed. We are sleeping on a smaller bed, that is not the quality of our king sized bed, so we are hoping this topper will help. We also got a tri-tip, dog food, and some food for the week and supplies. We spent $270. (OUCH) When does this simple living plan start equating to spending LESS? Honestly, I think we are done getting everything we needed for the little house, with the exception of fixing the AC.

Tonight the hub is working on his friends log truck up near the hubs wood yard- it is so nice to be out here and not in town. While they are working, I have been reading one of the books I checked out from the library. "Wild" by Cheryl Strayed. It is interesting. I can relate with the author, who lost her mother and then struggled with dealing with her grief. I am enjoying the read...and having the TV off while the hub is occupied outside. Big Grin

Tomorrow should be a stay at home, no spend day, which I am really looking forward to.

Settling in

May 30th, 2013 at 12:50 pm

The hub and I are finally all moved in to the little house. Although, we still have some work to do since our perceptions of what would fit in 390 sq ft vs the reality means we need to continue to downsize before everything that will stay, fits.

Our first (real, moved-in) night, Sunday, we had my sons two little ones (5 and 3) with us, as well as DD3, our lab and my very jumpy-from-the-move cat. Having one queen bed and two recliners made for a night of little sleep-(except for the two kiddos and the dog who conked out and slept just fine)

I did learn that a king sized top sheet, adjusted correctly in the new bedroom, about 3 ft over the bed, will reach all four walls and, when secured, comes out looking like a giant tent when laying in the bed. The grandkids loved it.

On Monday, the hub bbq'd and we invited his nephew over. The nephew has been living in the big house, but is moving out this weekend. After he moves, the next phase of this master plan begins. We plan to rip out carpets and most of the flooring, remodel a wall and fireplace, repaint the entire inside and out, and lay new flooring. If there is money left in the budget, there are other repairs on the wish list, but for now, that is our scaled down plan.

Before the hub leaves for Alaska, I am going to learn how to mow, weed eat, and take care of things on my own so that I am self sufficient while he is gone. It has been comforting knowing his nephew was nearby if something came up. After he moves, and the hub leaves, my nearest support is 30 minutes away. Guess its time to get reaquainted with all the neighbors..

Yesterday, the internet and TV were hooked up. The hub definately missed watching his programs. Me, I missed the quiet last night. And the internet is intermittent at best as they hooked it in the big house, which is about 200 ft from the little house so the signal isnt real strong. But, it is something.

My cat has settled down and is actually enjoying being a country bumpkin. He has already caught his first mouse and is doing a good job of claiming his outdoor play space and hunting territory among the three dogs. He plays hard and sleeps well. As it should be.

I am enjoying the book on CD that I checked out from the library. It is a murder mystery and makes the drive to and from work fly by.

I am taking tomorrow and Monday off. After all the moving, kiddos, work, etc. I am really ready to enjoy the peace and quiet for a few days.

Checking in

May 28th, 2013 at 08:55 pm

We are all moved in to the little house. All 390 sq ft. We don't have Internet until tomorrow so I'm writing this on my phone. This is a journey I want to blog about but will wait for a more convenient way to do so!

Being back in the country is wonderful. It is so peaceful. I'm also enjoying being unplugged. I checked out some books from the lib and actually have time to read. I also checked out a book on CDs and its making the 25 min drive go by faster.

Hope to blog more tomorrow night!