Friday, January 31, 2014

Friday, blah must start taxes today!

     So I am getting ready to take all my files up to the dining room and get ready to do my taxes.  I am also getting ready for a back ache sitting hunched over an adding machine.  Every year I get stiff and sore doing this.

     I need to go to Staples and get a new ink cartridge for my adding machine.  I also need to do a little banking before I start.  The last bill of the month will be paid.  I will pay the tithing on Sunday, then off to February.  Wow we just had a bad brown out and I did not lose anything!

     Hubs and I went to Arby's last night for dinner.  I had a coupon and a free meal card so it cost us nothing.  They have these huge fish sandwiches on special and I just eat the fish, my chicken eats the bread!  I was just too wiped out to cook.  My arthritis meds are working but boy do they make me tired.  I mean bone crunching tired and I don't like that feeling, although I will take it over the pain.

     I need to finish one project in the shop today, I am going to get my housekeeper to help me as the project will be easier with two of us measuring.  Housekeeper is having surgery on Monday, so I may be at her place most of the day after the accountants, reversing roles.  I just don't want her to be alone before her mom gets off work.

     Well I have so much to do in the next two days, adding and adding.  But it will get done and I won't have to face it for a year!  Yippee!

Out My Window:  It is supposed to get cold again, drat hate the bills when it is cold, but love the snow.  Okay don't throw things at your screen, because they won't hit me.

Have a great and productive day!


Thursday, January 30, 2014

Thursday, making more money, we are getting a Winco!

     No, I am not applying for a job at Winco, (settle down Judy).  We are just getting a new Winco grocery store here.  Yippee!  Winco is the cheapest grocery store in the state or area.  Many people drive the 30 miles to Moscow just to shop at one.  I never miss an opportunity to shop at Winco when I can.  This is really going to cramp the style of many of our grocery stores around here.  Groceries here are very high.  I am so happy.  The store is supposed to be open this summer.

     I was a secret shopper at Winco for the 7 years my oldest was in college and law school.  I am going to contact the company and see if I can get this back.  It was $120.00 every three months.  Not bad for shopping where you go any way.  I will take $40.00 a month in free groceries.  I also like Winco because they have a huge bulk food section.  You can get dark honey for under $3.00 a lb.  I can get many grains for bread and really good prices.  Judy was just saying how expensive bread is.  Now I realize that the cheap white bread (I like to call foam) can be purchased for about $1.00 a loaf, but I want a good thick, nutty, grainy Whole Wheat bread.  The loaves are heavier but there are less slices.  The kind of bread I like is over $5.00 a loaf.  We go through at least 3-4 loaves of bread a week.  I figure I save at least $50-60.00 a month just making bread and rolls when I need them.

     Hubs and I went to the grocery store last night and spent $52.00.  I had three no spend days in a row and was trying for 4of them, but hubs was adamant about going to the store.  Yogurt, tortillas, chips for super bowl, soda, fruit, cream of tarter(on sale) and a prescription.  We are having one family over for super bowl.  They are bringing dip and a rice and chicken dish, we are providing chips, drink, and dessert and I will make something good and chocolatey.

     Thanks for you comments on my rant about having no extra money when you start cutting your budget to pay off debt.  Cash only living hit the nail on the head with her comment about finding more work.  When things get really stressful for me financially I just work more.  I find extra ways to earn money in addition to trying to save money.  My sewing is certainly a way to a earn more money.  In the past I have done many things to earn extra money.  My only problem with this, is that I would spend and then find a way to earn and then spend some more, eventually I had 6-7 jobs or contracts and I am sure this is what led to my health problems.  I think my body just broke down from stress and over work.  It affected my immune system.  So although I do advocate trying to earn more money as a strategy for getting out of debt, it can be a double edged sword for me.  I had to learn to spend less, so I could work less.

     What things have you done in your past to earn more money and help pay off bills faster?

I sewed like a Banshee yesterday and I need to get into my shop today for a few hours.  I may also sew some tonight when I get home from teaching.  I am doing taxes tomorrow.  I am hoping to really hit them abd get them done in the next two days.

Out My Window:  It rained all day yesterday.  I was hoping for more today, but it is just overcast and cloudy.

     Getting a late start today, but I had some house work to catch up on.

Have a great and productive day!


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Wednesday, It's raining!

   Yes, I woke up to a heavy rain!  This is great it will mean snow in the mountains and we are basically fogged in but what a help to the winter wheat that is sown all over the hills around this place.  I can hear the farmers singing!

     I love the fact that other bloggers do the same things I do with their spare time, shows me that I am not the only nut on the planet.  My Sissie and I were discussing blogs about saving money on cooking and at the grocery store, little secrets we have picked up over the last 26 years of trying to get out of debt.  Obviously the little secrets did not work.  What we finally came up with in our discussions is that Sis and I already do all those things.  We have always been scratch cooks.  We have always, shopped the sales for food and bought loss leaders and kept a pantry to save money.  We both sew and mend and can make do and make something last.  If I pick up a book on money saving strategies, I am already doing 90% of them and the other 10% I just would consider too cheap or unsanitary.

     The main problem I see and I don't know if anyone else encounters this, but the only place to cut back is groceries or personal items.  We have never had cable in the last 25 years.  I keep cutting every expense I can and I always have.  But when you have set bills, mortgage, taxes,car payments, doctors, you can't cut those.  We try hard to keep our utilities down and we think about ways to save gas, but these things although they help have not really kept us from going into debt.  I guess I can be as frugal as I want at the grocery store and it really won't help me make my car payment.  When you have cut the budget back to the bare bones you still have the massive bills to pay and that is discouraging.

     My question is, when you have already done all the cutting, what do you do?

     I just received my internet bill and it was $24.99 down from $59.00.  I just received my first reduced cell phone bill and it was $111.00 down from $185.00.  My life insurance however went up from $30.12 to $46.50.  So not everything is a win.  By March first daughter # 2 will be off our car insurance so that will go down by at least $50.00 a month.  I find that these breaks in adding to my budget help me get out of debt faster than a free can of tomatoes at the store.  But I'll take the free can of tomatoes any day.

     I was able to sew most of the day yesterday and I got a great deal done, but I have to do the same thing today and tomorrow.  Taxes are for Friday and  Saturday, yippee, I can't wait.  (Heavy Sarcasm)
Trying to get caught up and I don't think it will ever happen, if it did I would complain about being caught up:)  You gotta love me.

Have a great and productive day!


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Tuesday, up and att'em, What can you do in 10 minutes?

     It seems like a lot of us are out of sorts and I don't even have the intense cold to blame.  I really feel for you that are enduring the negative weather.  We are having a pretty typical winter here but we really need more snow and rain.  We will face severe drought conditions this summer if we don't get more sow in the mountains and more rain here below.  Weather:  It is always something.  I heard one old timer say, "I have been here 45 years and seen two normal years."  That about sums up the weather.

     I had so much trouble sleeping last night.  I just really dislike not being able to sleep, it is so aggravating. I hope tonight is better.  On top of being off your game and then no sleep seems kind of unfair to me:)

     If you will notice the side totals I paid all the bills for the month and I am down over $3000.00 so that is a positive note.  I still have a large payment to make to Studio CC and will report that at the end of the week.  I also noticed that two of my bills were close to turning over into a lower e 1000  place.  If I had noticed that when I paid them I would have paid more.  I just love it when a bill drops below a 1000 place.  I just feel more progress even if something comes in at 4,999.  I can say I am below $5000.  Silly but it works for me.

     I did not get as much sewing done yesterday as I seemed to have so many interruptions.  Today I have no excuses and will spend the majority of the day sewing.  I had more working come in yesterday and have more coming in today so I need to get busy.

     I played , "What can you do in 10 minutes yesterday."  I had so many interruptions, so I would tell myself I have 10 minutes what can I get down rather than wasting time?

 I can fold and transfer a load of laundry.
I can clean out the sock basket and put away all the socks and a load of folded laundry.
I can iron 12 pillow cases on the mangler (I know, I know how most of you feel about ironing)
I can organized my sewing into manageable groups.
I can wipe off the kitchen table and put away the dishes.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Monday, Okay off the pity party train

     I need to get my butt kicked into gear.  I am behind on many things and just wasting time right and left.  The problem is I really don't care and I need to CARE!  So this week my goal is to get off the pity party and get back to work.

     January, which is the longest coldest month of the year is almost over, so I cannot use that as an excuse.  I have more than enough to keep busy so I cannot use lack of work as an excuse.  My arthritis is controlled although I still have significant pain, so that is somewhat of an excuse, but as it won't be going away using it as an excuse is just too depressing even for me.  I refuse to be taken down.

     This week I need to get my taxes lined up as the accountants appointment is next week. Before I allow myself to get out any tax folders I want to get caught up in my shop.  This will be my goal for the next two days. I must get reasonably caught up.  More work will be coming in today and it is getting a bit overwhelming.  Funny how that can happen in a week.  I am very grateful for the work every little bit helps me to get further and further out of debt.  The more I make in the shop the less I have to use out of paychecks and they can go right to bills. 

     I plan on paying the car payment today even though Hubby does not get paid until Thursday.  That way I can update my totals and then face February.  February is always my hardest month financially as I have extra bills that month.  Once I get the house payment made I will work on another big bill and see if I can get the shop to pay it.  It will be a thrill if I can get that done.

     All I can do to really help myself is work.  The more money that is made the more bills I can pay off.  There is a fine line between working hard and working too much.  SO I must watch myself.

Out My Window:  Cold, overcast, blah!

     We have groceries and both cars are full of gas, I hope to not spend very much money this week.

Have a great and productive day!


Saturday, January 25, 2014

Saturday, Lazy day:)

     I have nothing really planned for today.  I will go get my nails done, and I have a really messy kitchen to clean.  I baked bread yesterday and did not clean up.  I just left everything to soak.  I can do about three loads of laundry if I want to and I should get more sewing done, if I want to.

     We need to replace the light fixture in the garage as it is broken, so I believe we will be making a run to Wal-Mart for that.  While I am over by Clarkston, I will get a couple of zippers from Jo-Anns.  Also need to check Wal-Mart for zippers.

     Two weeks ago I bought a large ham and it has been in the fridge, so tomorrow I will bake that up with sweet potatoes and veggies and we will be eating on it for the rest of the week.  Ham, ham and eggs, and potatoes, Ham and cheese sandwiches, scalloped potatoes and ham, bean soup and ham.  One ham can make about 10 meals for us and we love it.

     I have to start the taxes this week, yuck!!!!!!! so that means I also have to get the shop caught up.  I was blessed with work this last week, therefore I had better appreciate it.  So all in all I have plenty to do today, but it is nice to know even if I don't do a darn thing the world will not fall apart.  Well that is not true, Hubs went into the messy kitchen this morning and broke a glass because the counters were so full and I have very little counter space.  Maybe he will clean the kitchen?  Now I am laughing.....

     Out My Window: over cast but we did see some sun yesterday afternoon for a while, I was just down in the shop.

Have a great Saturday, I would say productive but hey why does every day have to be productive?


Friday, January 24, 2014

Friday, Cold, cranky, put out....

     The shop was crazy busy yesterday.  I should be happy, but I am in the January blues.  It is cold , it is overcast, it is long, I want to complain.  Blah!

     Okay I need to get over this attitude.  I have a great many things to do so no reason to sit here and feel sorry for myself.  I will make a list.  Lists sometimes make me feel better.  Especially if I actually do the things on the list.  Let's make an easy list.

1. brush teeth (yes it is 10 a.m. the shop is opening and I have not brushed my teeth)
2. comb hair
3. makeup?
4. clean bedroom (it is a sty)
5.put away laundry
6. DO LAUNDRY (I think there are about 4 loads)
7. make some bread
8. Sew?  What a novel idea....
9. sleep, go back to bed, wallow, eat chocolate.  Do I have any chocolate?
10. go look for chocolate.


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Thursday, back from Mom's

     Hi everybody, I am happy to be back, although the shop has had three people here already and several phone calls and it is only 10:30.  I have yet to unpack or empty the car.  I am sitting here with a wet head, no makeup and another bride is on her way.  I have laundry out the wazoo and laundry to put away.  Books need to be balanced and money shifted around. But the shop will have to come first, except the dry hair and makeup, as I look like a wet dog.  I am so pretty.

     I was able to get so many little projects done at mom's.  We cleaned out bags of trash out of cupboards, and hauled 5 big boxes to goodwill.  Her house is really starting to look nice.  Rearranging what she has and opening things up has really helped.  I left her yesterday with her sewing all set up to make baby blankets and when I called her later she was making cookies, so she is really happy and back to normal.

     She went down with an area agency on aging person yesterday to continue the restraining order on my brother who at this point remains in jail.  His lawyer has been calling and begging mom to take him under house arrest and this has been very stressful for mom.  Bro has also been calling none stop and threatening suicide to get his way.  The order will keep him from phoning, writing, or coming to her house should he get out.  It is just so sad, but she is standing firm.

     I am still keeping an accurate record of my spending with my little book Sissie gave me.  It would be nice to see just what I do spend and then determine what I really need to spend.

     I see everyone do these no spend days and I have also tried this but do you really think it helps?  I do notice if I stay out of stores I don't spend money.  I went to Missoula twice in the last month and I did not go to the Mall.  I did not need anything, but I am sure I would have found something if I had gone.  I really stuck to my budget.  Proud of myself.

Out My Window:  Foggy and cold, we need either rain or snow badly as we are going into a serious drought without them.Send some of that snow our way would you guys?

Well I need a few days to get my $%it together so to speak, I just feel really out of the loop.

Have a great and productive day!


Friday, January 17, 2014

Friday, frustrated with people in general

     I have been getting several phone calls from parents to join Celtic classes.  These phone calls are time consuming and I am busy, but if you want your business to grow you have to field them as the true professional that you are (sarcasm)  Last night I had 4 new students.  Two did not show (these were the least aggravating).  One showed and bawled the whole time.  She was 10 and had great technique, looked like an intelligent kid, cried and hung on to her mom.  The Second refused to dress and sat by her mother the entire time, the Helicopter mom explaining over and over about her piano and choir classes.  I could give a rip about those, are you taking dance or not?  I have a Celtic show in 9 weeks and I need to get choreography started.  I have plenty of students and I don't need more.  I especially don't need ones with parents that have not broke them of the crying, clinging habit by 10 or 12.

     Then I have a gentleman drop off 2 compression stockings that need new zippers.   I call the number and tell the person whom I have already talked to that they will indeed be $25.00 a piece to replace.  She goes into a tirade about how I was not home (I was at mom's) and she had to send this gentleman several times and waste his gas (not my problem)  I did not return her calls (I was at mom's no cell coverage) not my problem.  I had discussed with her the probable cost and when I saw them I was sure of that cost.  I told her to order new ones, but these cost over $200.00 each and are ordered from Germany.  Then $25.00 to fix them is a bargain.  Yes she agreed.  But now it is way too expensive.  She wants both done for $40.00.  I don't dicker.  She is on SSI, I have caused her stress.  No lady you have caused me stress with your blame and complaining.  You can just tell that this is how she has always gotten her way and bullied people.  I am a very giving person and would do the socks for free if she was truly and honest humble person but she is not.  She is looking for blame and twisting details to get a lower price.  GO SOMEWHERE ELSE!

     Oh, Kim you are such a grouch!  No just tired of stupid people.  Call me Sluggy Jr.  Okay I cannot aspire to such a great name but really folks?  Really?

     Okay rant over.  I paid all the small bills yesterday and continue to save and try to get through the month.  I am really shocked at how much I have spent this month on groceries so that is coming to a stop.  I will be going to Mom's tomorrow and Hub's is going to Boise next week so neither of us will need to eat here until Wednesday (me) or Friday (him)  that should help.  He will also get reimbursed for his gas and food next week.  

  I am going to sew all day today and am rather looking forward to it!  I have to run and get a bunch of zippers, don't have them in my stash.

Out My Window:  Foggy, bad, Foggy.

Have a great and productive day!


Thursday, January 16, 2014

Thursday, up and at'em

     I will pay all the little left over bills today that Hubby's last paycheck does not pay.  Then all I have to do is make the car payment and pay the tithing at the end of the month.  Just having them out of the way is freeing and now that I am on budget billing for utilities it will be easier to budget next months bills.  I am excited to see where my internet, cell service and utilities go down.  But my life insurance goes up at the end of the month.  It goes up by $15.00 a month.  It is  term policy and I will keep it until the house is paid off.  It will go up every year.  I cannot get another policy so I must bite the bullet.  I think I will be getting at least 4 new student tonight and that is great!  Every added student adds tuition and that helps so much.

     I have a meeting tonight with the Civic Theater about next years Nutcracker.  It is hopeful that with this contract I will be able to wipe out the studio CC.  But I don't want to get ahead of myself and then feel defeated.

     I am going to my mom's this weekend for the three day holiday as I don't teach and I don't have the bank.  I can come home on Tuesday or even Wednesday if I wish.  Mom wants me to really clean out her kitchen cupboards and I want to attack her bedroom and bathroom.  We might even be able to do a little work in her basement.  Sis and the friends did so much after I left, so I will just see what needs to be done.

     There is quite a bit of sewing for me to get done today, so I had better get to work.  I have to be at the studio at 3.

Have a great and productive day!


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Wednesday, going back?

     It is so nice to have a blog when you run a business like mine, that is somewhat seasonal.  My shop has been really slow and it is scaring me.  Yesterday and today it has picked up a little.  So I went back and read last years Jan. and Feb. and realized that they were a little slow also, but by the end of February all hell will break loose.  So I have decided not to worry about the flow of traffic and take it one day at a time.  Things may get really tight but there will be light at the end of the tunnel.

     In fact right now I have plenty to keep me busy and my plan after this post is to get my chubby little butt in there and get to work.

     Making a batch of meatballs today to freeze, just because I have the ingredients and they are popular with everyone.  Changed the sheets on the beds so I need to get a few loads of laundry done also. 

     I took in an additional $700.00 last night in tuition so I can pay the huge heat bill and few other small bills.  Just working at trying to have enough left at the end of the month for a large CC payment.  If I can do this I will feel pretty on top of the world.

     I had a talk with my Sissie, (she is wise) and she said I would always have studio debt of some kind, and to concentrate one thing and stop spraying all over. She had a way of calming me when I am close to the edge.

     Out My Window:  Sunny, warm for winter. Too warm but I will love the heat bills next month much better than this month I think!  There is always something to be thankful for if you really look at it.

Have a great and productive day!


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Tues. Terrible headache

     Woke today with terrible headache and I slept too late.  I was up late reading so it is not that I slept too much.  Waiting for the Advil to kick in so I can function some.  I have  a sewing appointment at someones house in 1/2 an hour so I need to feel better fast.  I also need to go clean up a little as in brush teeth and fix hair and maybe a little makeup?

     Okay headache gone and appointment kept, still not 100% but at least not throbbing when I cough:)
I was busy yesterday, sewing, working on books, and cooking. I have posted in the past about my new mixer and I thought I would show it to you.  Making 4,  2 lb loaves of WW bread is so easy now.  I love dense ww and nutty breads, but they are $5.49 a loaf and it is a small loaf.  This will save us so much money.  Why do you go to the store?  For me it is bread and milk, and we don't drink much milk.

Put raw  hard red wheat into grinder.

Out comes the WW flour, which I fine and course grind 1/2 and 1/2

My new Bosch mixer, throw everything in and start mixing keep steady for 8 minutes.
While bread is mixing, add carrots, onion and de-boned chicken and celery to homemade chicken stock. This pile of peels will go to our real chicken!
Waiting to be x-ferred to Judy!
                                              Bread is ready to cut into 4 loaves!

                                                                     Bread is raising!

                                                                Into the oven!
                                                     Now enjoy your bread. See that Judy is looking on
                                                             in rapture, she is such a kind judge.

     While I was raising and baking I was also down stairs sewing and doing the bills.  I paid almost every thing due except little bill's under $100.00 that can be picked off as money comes in.  So now I must be very careful and I am broke so to speak.

     I did pay off the Overdraft protection $1000.00 so another bill bites the dust.  This is now how I will have $100.00 extra in my budget for something else.  My real goal this month is to be very careful now so I can get a large payment onto the studio CC by Jan 1st.  Anything left in the studio account by the 1st will go on that card.  I really wanted to pay off the Studio loc which will be under $4000.00 soon and free up another $150.00 a month, but the Studio credit card is so high and scary.  I just have not decided.  Can I let it go one more month like this?  We will see. Decisions, decisions, all based on fear and frustration.

     Hub's and I had to go to the grocery store last night can you believe that after our expensive trip to Winco?  I was out of garlic, now who runs out of garlic?  I don't think I ever have as hub's accuses me of putting it on ice cream.  But alas Judy ate the last clove.

     I picked up diet coke, bread crumbs, lots of garlic( keeps  away the vampires) and cheap burger and sausage.  $29.46, and no more grocery stores for a while.  I swear!

Out My Window: Beautiful sunny, dry about 50 degrees.  I love the weather but we really need rain and snow or we will go into a severe drought.

I had better get to work, my kitchen is a disaster, I have an antique wedding dress soaking in the wash machine to get the stains out and the shop is calling.

Have a great and productive day!


Monday, January 13, 2014

Monday, I need to stop feeling rich......

     It is easy to feel rich when you own a business and receipts start to come in and your bank balance grows.  You look at that sum and feel rich.  However you have not paid any bills and in reality you are not rich you are broke.  If you paid all your payables you would have no money.  Right now I feel rich and I don't want to pay my bills.  I want to imagine I have a lot of money.  Does anyone else do this?

    I had two parents pay for the semester and the total of the two checks is $1000.00 which has made me feel even richer. So I will use this money to pay off the overdraft loan or else I will fritter it into the big rat hole.  So today I must pay all the bills I can and grow up.  Drat and double drat!

     I dropped Hubby off this morning and picked him back up, made him some pancakes and he is a happy camper.  He came down the stairs and almost fell, so I am insisting that he stay on the couch or in bed until later this afternoon.  If he falls I cannot pick him up.

     I have a pot of chicken parts boiling on the stove to make broth and when it is de boned I am going to put it in Judy and make a chicken stew.  I am also going to throw together 4 more loaves of bread.

     There is sewing to do in the shop and I need the money so I will get busy.

Out My Window:  Beautiful day, sun is shining it is 48 degrees, it is tempting to work outside today.

Have a great and productive day!


Sunday, January 12, 2014

Sunday, Time to change

     We switched Church times again this year.  So church will start at 1 p.m. instead of 9 a.m.  I don't like mornings as it is really hard for me to get going quickly, but I love having the afternoon to take a long nap or go for a walk.  Having afternoon church is nice as I can sleep in and take time to get ready, take a long bath, soak, but my whole day is gone by the time I get home.  Gripe, complain, never happy. Right now I am really rested and I can blog before I get in the tub.

     Hub's and I drove up to the University yesterday to deliver a bed frame to B (I bought a really good twin bed frame for $5.99 at Goodwill) and we also bought her groceries for the upcoming semester.  We stocked up at Winco and really bought a lot of meat.  I will not have to buy meat for another few months.  I did not plan to spend so much money, but the deals were too good to pass up, so I will be redoing my budget a little in the next 2 months.

     Hub's has a colonoscopy tomorrow so I will be cooking nothing today that has a good smell as he would be forced to eat one of his young.  Hub's does not like to skip meals. He is just a little grouchy.  He isn't often grouchy, this has just not been a good week.

      My bread turned out beautiful.  Four huge 2 lb loaves.  Took one to B and D#2 took one to a friend we ate one and are now down to 1/2 a loaf.  I don't dare make any today, but it is so easy now with my new mixer.  I was able to buy dark honey by the lb at Winco, which really lowers the cost of making the bread.  I will post pictures next time I make a batch.  Because it has no preservatives I will have to start freezing  loaves.

     Carla and I must be on the same wave length as she was getting very frustrated with her kitchen storage.  I have very little storage in my kitchen and I had a dishwasher that was not built in and it has been broken for 2 years.  We used it as a microwave cart.  I had it hauled away and bought a cart at Walmart where I can store my new Crockpot (I named Judy) and my salad bowls that I usually keep on a chair in the dining room.  I am a little worried as  my Microwave is a DCS convection microwave and it is heavy, the rack might not be sturdy enough for the long haul.  I will continue to look for one that is sturdier and I will take this one down to the studio as we really need a rack for our microwave down there also.  It is just so nice to get rid of that big old appliance in the kitchen.  I am also going to be cleaning cupboards.  I don't believe I have that much to throw away, I just need to reorganize desperately.

     Don't tell Sluggy, but I had to buy one large storage container for Christmas crap.  I looked in all my bins and there was just not room.  I am sure next year when we take out all the bins I can reorganize down to less but right now I am not willing to get out the mess.  I spent $4.97 too save myself time. I am bad.

     I really miss my sissie and my mom, I don't know why it is so bad this time, maybe the dark gloomy weather.

Have a restful and quiet Sabbath.


Friday, January 10, 2014

Friday, lowering expenses

     Thank you to all who responded to Hubby's tragedy (okay a little dramatic, but to him maybe not so much).  He is working his end of this debacle.  He also met with the eye surgeon yesterday and he does not have to have cosmetic surgery yet, but they will recheck next year.  So that is one surgery out of the way, He still has to have his esophagus redone and a colonoscopy.  Yuk!  Poor guy he will get it both ways.

     I called the cell phone company yesterday and had my bill lowered by over $40.00 so add that to the lowering of the internet $24.99 and I have an extra $65.00.  My next big plan is to pay off the OD account at my bank freeing up another $35.00 a month this will give me an extra $100.00.  I am not sure where I am going to put it yet.  I will put it toward something.  $100.00 does not seem like a lot of money when you have as much debt as I do, but the next bill to go will free up $150.00 and when you add that to $100.00 you get a nice chunk of change.

     I also called the power company and had both the studio and the house put on budget billing.  It will be fun to see if I can lower the bills average next year.

     It was terrifying for me to go to monthly billing for car insurance.  I did not do this until about 7 years ago.  I always paid every 3 months.  It was always such a struggle to get that large bill paid.  Then about 2 years ago I went to having it drawn out of my checking account even scarier for me as we all know how much attention I can pay to that.  This is just such a slow learning process for me and it is frustrating.  I tell my self to grow up and be more organized and it has just taken me years and years and I am still working on my bad habits.

     So now budget billing a consistent amount every month.  No small hurray bills so I have more money, but consistent budget.  It will work, see I am growing up!

     I paid all the bills at the Credit Union Yesterday except the house payment and the car payment.  I will pay the house next week and the car on the 25th. Then we will see where we stand.  What will Kim pay off next?  It is a strategy we will discuss later.

     I am going upstairs to make 4 loaves of bread today and I need to spend sometime in my shop.

Out My Window:  Cloudy, overcast, blah!

Have a great and productive day!


Thursday, January 9, 2014

Thursday, happiness, elation, depths of despair!

     How can one person go through so many emotions in one day?  Let me tell you how.

     Went to clean out desk and pay the one bill I had not paid last month and get this months budget ready, found out that our internet(which is crappy and slow) had gone up to $51.99.  No way am I paying that.  So called just like I did last year and got it lowered to $24.99.  I was Happy!

     Balanced checkbook and realized with hubby's 3 paycheck month and an extra check for $265.00 I could fully fund the emergency fund to $1000.00.  I was elated!

     When I was in Missoula I hand delivered Hubby's violin bow to be re haired by a reputable company.  Hub's would not mail it as two of his quartet players had sent in bows and their bow was not returned.  This is a silver tipped Winkler bow that he purchased over 40 years ago.  He has had several offers for much more than that to buy it from him.  I paid the man and extra $20.00 for shipping and insurance as I could not stay until it was fixed.  Man mailed it back with a $150.00 priority mail sticker and the bow came in with the tip broke off!  This bow is valued anywhere from $1800.00 to $3000.00.  We have found likenesses at Christye's and Sotheby's.  The bow can be fixed  because of where the break is and the springiness of the bow will not be damaged.  It will play the same.  (you can play on any violin it is the bow that needs to be really good quality).  The value of the bow however is greatly diminished.  Hubby is just sick.  So sick in fact he did not eat last night and hubby always eats.  We figured a mail carrier opened the screw end to see what it was as it looks like a pipe bomb and dropped the bow out of the case on it's tip.  But why, why did the string guy only insure it for $150.00 minimum value alone was $1000.00?  I left him $20.00 to offset the cost of more insurance.    I could hardly sleep last night.  Hub's has never had a boat or a motorcycle, or any toys so to speak, just his bow and instruments.  This is who he is, and I feel so bad for him.  So depths of despair.

     Actually he is handling this today in a very fair and Christian fashion, I am out for blood which shows you he is a much better person that I.

    So now I am working on getting $500.00 for the house payment next week and my next bill payoff will be the Overdraft Protection at our personal credit union.  Let's see if I can do it this month.  It will be tight, but I am really watching my pennies.

Out My Window:  The sun shown today and it was so nice to be out of the fog.

Have a great and productive day!


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Wednesday, Mirror, mirror on the wall....

     My oh my, am I judgmental. I spent yesterday unpacking and trying to organize things and all I did was make a big mess.  I had 4 loads of laundry to do and things to put away in the bedroom.  Now how did these bathroom drawers get so messy?

Why, why, why? Mirror, mirror on the wall I am my mother after all!

How did this much crap fit in one drawer?  Because I am my mother's daughter. This is heredity I tell you.

     I actually took 2 large 13 gallon trash bags of crap out of the bathroom cupboards.  I am a sick woman.  I can have a flat surface that is clean but not a drawer or a cupboard.  If you open these in my house you take your life in your hands.

     Hubs seems really tired this week, I am a little worried about him so I will keep an eye on him for a while.  We really need to go to the grocery store.  I did buy bread and milk last night and we did not need milk.  Maybe tonight I will not be so worn out when I get done teaching and cleaning the bank.

     My Sissie bought me a little notebook called "What did I buy today?"  To keep a record of my spending and so far it has worked.  But I am always good when it comes to this kind of thing at the beginning.  I am trying to stay on a cash system for gas and groceries.  One week in and I have written one check and that was actually a transfer.  I have not sat down and even looked at the bills or the books and hope to do that today.  Hub's gets 3 paychecks this month and I am going to get $1000.00 back in the emergency fund by the end of the month.  It is my first big goal.  Then I will attack something else next month.  That is all just that one thing.  We have a few doctor bills and odds and ends to clean up here financially to the tune of about $1500.00 but this will free up about $100.00 a month so they are next.

     I am a little discouraged as the power bill was over $350.00 and our city is now billing monthly for water.  We used to have high heat bills and no water bill and then in the summer high water bills and no heat bill, but now I am having to come up with extra every month.  I have refused to do average monthly billing with the power company as having the bills offset each other was working.  Now I think maybe having an average power bill would be better.  I could budget better.  I always knew that water,sewer, and garbage came to about $100.00 a month I think the average heat would be about $180.00.  Right now my only concern is where do I get $350.00 for the heat bill?  I also need money to make the house payment.  I had better get my butt in gear and earn some money.

     I opened the accountants envelope and my appointment is not until February 2 *sigh* of relief.  This gives me time to get the records complete.   The heat bill at the studio is also outrageous and I have to put a $525.00 coded lock on the back door.  I am about to throw in the towel.  Maybe I should budget bill the dance studio also.  It has been an unusually cold winter here and it is not over.

     Okay I have complained enough and gee no money has fallen down in front of me..... Maybe I need to do something constructive to help the situation, like get to work!

Out My Window: Gloomy, overcast, cold!

Have a great and productive day!


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Tuesday,Post on Mom....

    I drove into town at 2:45 Monday afternoon, just in time to open the studio.   I stayed at mom's longer than I thought I would.  Thanks for all of your support on the disability thing. It is a trial and I hate to pursue it but I can see the writing on the wall.  If I continue to work this hard I will shorten my life and the quality that I have left, so it must be done.  In the mean time changes are being made gradually to see this happen hopefully in the next 2-3 years.
     I came home to a very clean house and studio as daughters and husband worked while I was gone.  I still have work to do at studio and Hubs thinks I should throw some things away as it is becoming pack ratty upstairs so we might do a major overhaul soon, but not today.

     Update on Mom's place.  Sis and I worked very hard along with a girl friend. We wiped down every surface, and washed everything washable.  It took hours and buckets and buckets of water and cleaning products.  We had to throw away all pillows, mattress pads and blankets.  Anything that could not be bleached.  We found so much drug paraphernalia and many places where drugs had obviously been hidden so obvious that mom could not deny their use and abuse.  I don't know why she wasn't burnt up in her bed.

      The nice thing is that most of the damage was cosmetic.  There are a few stains on the carpets but not bad ones.  After we were done with the three bedrooms and the bath upstairs the place looked very nice.  It could have been much worse.  The wonderful thing about it is that every drawer is empty and all closets are cleaned out.  In and old house like that the closets go clear under the eves and can hold truck loads of garbage.  It is all gone to the dump.  All pillows and things replaced, it actually looks beautiful.  Sis has very good taste and mom has a house full of beautiful things and paintings so it was easy to redecorate.

      I spent a day just re-gluing wall paper, washing woodwork and ceiling fans.  All those large windows had long curtains and all had to be washed and pressed.  Mom is a pack rat of sorts and I think she may have developed hoarder tendencies in her old age.  Sis would go home to a girl friends house and I would stay with mom and continue to de junk the downstairs.  Sis would come back in the morning to a dining room full of things to be taken to the dump.  Old magazines, books, music, all were sorted and divided, keep, donate, senior citizens, then taken to the appropriate car.  Every drawer and counter and flat surface was covered with stuff, some of it broken and useless.  Mom refused to throw away much so we just did it on the sly.  I would get her to agree to donate a box of books and then find her going through the box later and keeping half of  them.  So I would go back and UN KEEP them.

     Sis still had to get up east coast time and run her company and Mom's internet was unhooked,so Sis had to stay at friends.  But I was able to get  so much work done one on one with mom and it is a better way as Sis and I are whirl winds and mom gets defensive.  The problem is we can't get Mom to keep anything neat.  Every surface has to be covered with crap.  I left yesterday morning about 9 and the kitchen table was empty.  When Sis got there it was a mountain of just stuff.  You can't keep up with her, or ahead of her. 

Example:  Mom was gone for the 6 weeks between the Holidays, she put up no Christmas things.   I went through the house and room by room took down anything Christmas from years past that had not been put away.  By the time I left I had one large box  full and another smaller box full.  She just doesn't see that things are accumulating and get rid of them or put them away.

     Mom will not go upstairs very often so as long as we can keep the boys out the place should stay clean and the housekeeper can just go up and dust and vacuum once a month. I am hoping that Sis and the girl friends can really deep clean the downstairs and pare down Mom's belongings.  Mom had four small end tables, and rocking chair, and huge leather chair and sofa, a large linen cabinet from Sweden and a electric fireplace all in a small room.  You could hardly walk through it.  I worry about her falling.  We were able to take two of the end tables upstairs to a bedroom and also the rocking chair, we just need to free up space.  Mom is also going to get rid of her large sofa in the front parlor.  It is hardly used.  When she does have formal company there are two chairs, a long window box and two piano benches, again just too much furniture in one room. Her bedroom is worse and she has files cabinets everywhere that are full.  She really needs just one.  So sis has her work cut out for her.

     Mom has a basement that is FULL of boxes of crap and I mean full.  You can hardly get to the washer and dryer, but that is a project for warm weather, where we can take everything up to the backyard and sort and eliminate.

     Out My Window:  Foggy and overcast, typical January weather.  It is also below freezing so I had better go check on my chicken's water.

     This has been a long post on mom and I will do another on my personal New Years plans as I have many.

Have a great and productive day!


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!

     Happy New Year!  I am up cleaning the house a little.(very little) Doing some laundry and getting ready to pack and get to my mom's.  I will leave in a few hours and will take the truck as it has 4 wheel drive low and high range just in case.  I will meet my sissie and we will clean the upstairs of mom's house.  Actually we will clean the whole house.  No easy task as it is a very large older home.  Hope mom survives.  Things are tense there with bro in Jail and our feelings toward Mom's handling of this very tense situation.

     My first goal for the New Year is to fully fund our $1000.00 emergency fund which is down to about $86.00.  I should be able to do that in the next 10 days and then I will tell you the next one.  As I meet a goal I will post it on my goal page.  In the mean time we will continue to save 10%, tithe 10% and pay as we have been.

     I also have a goal to clean out all the drawers and closets in every upstairs orifice so to speak.  It is getting bad.  I will choose a room a week and post pictures.
     Another reason for keeping this blog is my health.  It is a log on how my arthritis has affected my life.  I used to think that I was fine but it is very obviuos that I am not.  I work hard because I enjoy it and also because I desperately need the money.  I have to earn money to augment Hubby's salary.  We cannot make it on what he earns.  So I work.  Now I could work at a real job where I got a salary, but I have so many health problems I don't think an employer would hire or keep me.  I can work hard and I can get a lot done, but at my schedule if that makes any sense.  Last year I did no outside work for anyone.  I sewed in my shop and I ran the dance studio, I helped hub's at the bank(it is his contract).  I am ready to start the disability paperwork.  I hate to say that but I am.  Do I consider myself disabled?  No.  My medical records argue this.  The only way to really slow down is to have an income so I can.  I will work on this although it irks me to know end.  I have fought this fight for over 10 years and I am tired.

Now blogging buddies what do you think of this?  I need advise.

Out My Window:  Warm for this time of year, we actually walked the bridges yesterday and I am sore.  But it is overcast and gloomy as usual for January.

Have a great and productive day!