Home > Archive: April, 2013

Archive for April, 2013

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

April 30th, 2013 at 03:51 am

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 29th, 2013 at 12:30 am

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 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.


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 28th, 2013 at 01:51 am

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.


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 27th, 2013 at 04:27 am

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 03:33 pm

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 25th, 2013 at 04:26 am

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 05:41 pm

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.

Text is and Link is

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 05:03 pm

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 23rd, 2013 at 02:58 am

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 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 house at a time

April 22nd, 2013 at 04:46 am

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 10:57 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.


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 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 17th, 2013 at 01:23 am

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 ready to have him home for his two week break!!

Laundry and Crockpot soup

April 14th, 2013 at 09:13 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.