Saturday, December 31, 2011

Saturday, Out with the old in with the new!

     My new washer is in and the first load has been washed.  I am a little behind on laundry as I have not had a working washer since last weekend.  I thought last weekend it could be fixed.  When the washer was moved it was obvious that the transmission was out on it so really not worth fixing.  I took the last load of washed costumes back to the high school from the play and also a big basket to good will.  I have been very inspired to read everyone's  goals for the new year.  I am still pondering mine.  I just don't want to throw a bunch of stuff out there and feel like a failure.  But I really like what Sarah had to say about changing priorities.

     I need to see the changes I make in my budget or life as priority changes and not failure.  When you total your car it sets you back financially and you must change plans to set things right.  This is not failure.  I am just too hard on myself.  This leads to stress.  My biggest goal this year is a life of less stress.

     My new budget for the new year is going to look very different from what I had originally planned.  But it will lead to less stress on my part.  It might lead to slower debt pay off but maybe not in the long run.  I just don't plan on having as many large expenses this year.  Really I just can't have that many things go wrong.

     I have joined Carla's challenge and I have my little note book all ready.  That will be the hardest thing for me is writing things down.  I have tried to do that over and over for years and have always failed.  But I will try again.  I have been stuffing change away in my pig and I am excited to not open her until next December.  I like that fact that the challenge can be fit to our rules.

     I am just positive that this next year is going to be great for all of us, because we have all made such great progress and we have each other and that is what counts.

Have a great and Happy New Years Eve!  May we all be blessed as abundantly as we were last year !


Saturday, Things I achieved in 2011

     It was a great year for expensive trials but also expensive blessings.  When I listed all the things I had spent money on I began to understand how hard it was for me to get debt paid off, but I also need to realize that many of these same negative monetary experiences were also things that will lead to positives in the future.

1. I paid off our truck in 18 months down from a 5 year note (Original loan 19,300.00)
2.  I paid off my mother early (original loan $12,000)
3. I  paid off another consumer loan
4.  I refinanced the house and home equity line down to 3.36% making a possible pay of in 3years 5 months
5.  I took two large high interest studio notes and refinanced them into the truck equity at 3.99%
6. I bought a new(used car) and put $2500.00 down on it, to keep payments down under $350.00 and guarantee a pay off in less that 4 years.
7.  I had my first grandchild
8. I was able to help daughter #2 with her exams to finish her licensing.
9.  My youngest graduated from High School with a 3.79 GPA and a 4.00 her final semester enabling her to go to our State University with over 1/2 her fees paid with Governors Scholarships.
10.  Our middle daughter graduated from Dental Hygiene school and passed all her exams and now has a very good job.
11. I helped youngest daughter get a car that will last her hopefully through college.
12.  I had three very successful Dance productions
13.  The studio came in at maximum enrollment this fall, we had to put students on waiting lists.
14.  We finally made the parents get on the right page to pay tuition in a timely manner.
15. My mother survived 2 very bad heart attacks.
16.  My husband survived a very bad choking episode followed by surgery to help correct a problem.
17.  I created a blog that helps me set goals and get out of debt
18.  I have made many new friends that I can't imagine not having in my life right now.
19.  I paid off $28,000 worth of debt
20. I was able to survive many financial set backs without going further into debt!

     It was a great year.  See the glass is half full!

Have a great and productive day!


Friday, December 30, 2011

Friday night, I am home from the specialist!

     Long drive, long visit, blood work,  yes they had to mine for a vein, x-rays, I feel like a pin cushion, and because my medication is going generic, it has stopped working well, so I get a new more expensive medication that has to be injected by IV drip requiring a 5 hour round trip to the specialist.  But remember this is happening in 2011 so it is okay!  Once the first drip is administered I can do the injections at home weekly.  The joints in my feet are collapsing and my right wrist is collapsing, but my blood pressure is 96 over 54 so I will outlive my washer!
     I had to laugh at the receptionist as they have started a new program and the rheumatologists office to help patients.   Do you smoke?  No. Have you ever smoked?  No.  Do you drink? No.  Have you ever drank? No.  Are you over weight? No.  Do you exercise?  I teach 16 hours of dance a week.  Can we give you some special diet advice on whole foods and grains?  I grow a huge garden, grind my own wheat and make bread, have my own chickens and fruit trees and bees.  Oh we can't help you with this program but we can put you on a new medication that will cost about $1500.00 a treatment.  Okay I am grateful.  Just sarcastic.

     I can't beleive tomorrow is New Years Eve!  I haven't made plans. Yikes!


Thursday, December 29, 2011

Thursday, so I bought a new washer

     Hubby and I bought a new washer $679.00 with delivery and hauling off the old machine.  I am paying all the medical bills, I am fully funding my emergency fund and whatever is left will go back on the credit card.  I already made a $500.00 payment to the card.  I will survive.  Actually I will more than survive.  
     I really like Sharon's, motto of spending less and living more.  I need to pay less and save more.  I stress myself to the max with unrealistic goals and then feel like a failure.  So stupid.  I need to relax and stress less.  This blog actually helps me to do this.  I get great advice and support.  It is a way of thinking out loud.  You get others in some what of the same position you are in, that can say yes you are doing it right or no your need to do this.
     My biggest goal for next year is less stress and my goals financially will reflect that.  My budget will reflect that.  I will still get out of debt and it will be okay.  Just think of how far I have come.  I just went out and paid cash for a washer.  Two years ago I was so in debt I would have had to have charged this and just had less to spend.   My post yesterday listed all the big expenses I incurred in 2011 ending with the purchase of a wash machine, but I did not go further into debt for any of those things.  How many people can do that?
  I did however incur debt last summer keeping the studio bills paid and that will not happen again. I will have a savings for that.  I may not have to use it if we can keep a summer ballet program going.   But I will not worry about that now.  I cannot control the summer but I can save for it. 
    Tomorrow I will list all the great things, I think I have accomplished this year.  NDChic has a great post about this.    This blog was started to help me see Out My Window and appreciate what I have.

I just want you to know I have a lot!  (that was for Judy)

Have a great evening,

Thursday, frustration,where do I go from here?

     Well now that I listed most of my big bills from the year and I have yet to go out and find a washer, I am in a funk over how to set up the debt repayment budget for the new year.  I think part of my problem with indecisiveness is that I make these goals and then *WHAM* they are shattered by a large expense.  Remember in early November I had three $800.00 bills out of no where.  Yes I paid them but there went the $3500.00 I was to pay to debt.  I should have had the last CC paid off last month.  I am not going to be able to pay it off this month either.
     I feel like a big old failure.  But I have not incurred any new debt with my large bills except for the car.  I called and talked to daughter last night and she thinks that I try too hard and then I don't have enough money to live on and I go backwards.  Redoing the bedroom cost about $2400.00.  I did not flood the basement on purpose and I could not leave the mold to eat the sheet rock.  But there goes my $3500.00 payment.  J (daughter) just thinks that I should be happy I had a way to pay for this without debt.  I see myself backsliding on my goals.  She also wants me to slow down and pay at least $6000.00 into a studio savings for this summer.
     My original goal was to pay off the last CC which now stands with a balance of $7219.00
I have $4100.00 to put toward this card.   However, I have a $445.00 water bill, at least $500.00 worth of medical bills to pay, my emergency savings is under $500.00, and I owe another $512.00 to the pharmacy.  So you can see that paying a huge payment to the CC is pretty stupid.
     I was going to pay $3500.00 a month starting in January to the truck loan and have it paid off by May.  J says this is impossible as things will come up and then I will still not have the truck paid off.  The minimum payment is $500.00 easily doable, but not in the summer when we have no money coming into the studio.  I need at least $2000.00 a month to get buy in the studio.  She wants this funded first.  She says to pay the CC off in the next two to three months, fully fund the studio savings and then put the rest to debt.  Actually when she ran the numbers we could still pay off the truck in May but it will be very close.  Budgets always look great on paper and then you start to try to live within them and all ^&%44 breaks loose. J just does not want to see me stress all summer about the bills.  I run a zero based budget as I am trying to pay off debt and I have done really well this year but summers are always hard and I never have any money and then bang I am back in debt to a CC.

     I guess my question to you is am I trying too hard? or am I caving?

    I think I am struggling with the fact that my arthritis has been very bad the last few weeks.  I am going up to a specialist tomorrow in Spokane.  Both of my wrists are stove up.  I had terrible fevers and chills for almost a week related to this disease.  Now I still work and get things done but I am just miserable and in pain all the time.  I hate it.  It is hard to brush my teeth and comb my hair, just simple things that you need to do to live.  Getting in and out of the tub is a nightmare.  I am typing right now with a space heater on full blast blowing on my legs.  I cannot get warm.  My temperature gauge is faulty, the worst part of this illness I swear.

      I worked all day yesterday to send out a letter and new schedule to all the parents.  Over 90 letters, stuffed, addresses, stamped, mailed.  What a lot of work.  I also had some sewing that had to get done.  Tonight hubby and I will go to a 50th wedding anniversary celebration for some friends of ours and then we will go find a new washer.  Sorry I am in such a mood, but I will feel better soon.

Have a great and productive day.


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Wednesday, A response to Judy

These words are above my machines and in my studio, I make my kids memorize them, they are words to live by.  I spent many years trying to hide what I wanted to do or could do for fear that people would not like me.  Well guess what they will either like you or not and it is their problem.

                                                                 Our Deepest Fear

     Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.  Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.  It is our Light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.  We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous?  Actually, who are you NOT to be?  You are a child of God.  Your playing small doesn't serve the world.  There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.  We were born to manifest the glory that is within us.  It's not just in some of us, it's in everyone.  And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.  As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

                                          Nelson Mandela 

By the way my wash machine just died.  But that is okay because it is still 2011!  Right?  It was next year I didn't want any large unexpected expenses.  We will just add it to the $24,000.00 I already spent.  Yippee!

Sarcasm drippeth


Wednesday, is next year going to cost as much?

     In reviewing the calendar for last year, I started to realize just how much money we spent on non essentials.  Now I am not saying these were not worth while expenses, just that they will not occur or I hope they will not occur again this year.  We all have emergencies that we cannot avoid and we will all continue to have these.  But I just had a whopping amount of money go out of my budget that I wish I could have applied to debt.

January:     Christmas bills because I was bad in 2010.  I will not have that
                  problem this year. $2,412.00
                  Help daughter with school $500.00
February:   New grandbaby, cost of travel, gifts, time off work, subs, $1500.00
                  Purchase loops for daughter for school $600.00
March:       travel with the family to see grand baby blessed $700.00
April:         Mom has major heart attack, travel, time, work lost, $1500.00
May:         Graduation expenses and testing for daughter's license $3000.00
                 Purchase a new (used car) $2500.00 down payment
June:         Youngest graduates, party, gifts, pictures etc. $1000.00

July:         Vacation $700.00
                Purchase new (used car) for youngest daughter $2500.00 down
                Mom comes to visit and gets very sick, supplies $500.00
August:     Get daughter ready for school (College)  set up apartment and
                move her.  $2000.00
                 Daughters new (used car) needs a clutch $750.00
Sept:        Trip to sisters $1000.00 (I did not want to go and I will not go again this
October:   Mom has another attack (I did not go)
November:  Hubby has a medical emergency $700.00
                   New tires for truck $903.00

December: Bed room flooding has to be fixed, $2400.00

     Add these up folks and it is over $24,000.00.  See how hard it is to get out of debt?  Now some of these things are certainly not necessary expenses.  I did not have to go when the grandson was born.  But I did.  We did not need to take a vacation or go on the girls trip but we did.  My mother has had a bad health year, but is this going to get better? Probably not.  I do see several expenses that will not likely reoccur this year.  We will not need to put down payments on cars.  We will not need to set up a college apartment, the truck tires will last for at least 4 years.  Hopefully we will not have as many medical problems, but who knows?  The bedroom flood was an accident, but we all have those, right?

      This is why I started blogging.  I work so hard and I feel like I tread water!  But it is easy to see why when you list the things that go on here financially.  I can say that I have two daughters that are in very good careers and are on their own now.  Such a relief.  We have the other set up ready to stay for the long haul.  (Our oldest stayed in the same apartment all the way through Law School, 7 years)  it was pretty ratty when she was done.  We will expect the youngest to do this also if we feel it is a good situation. The medical emergencies we just can't avoid that is life.

     But here is to a new year without major expenses with cars and kids!  That is my one big goal!
Even if we can keep this list down by 1/2 it will be better.  But I think that this year will be the year I finally break out!  Because it is getting easier and I am getting tougher.

     Out My Window:  It rained here hard all day yesterday so it is much warmer!  But that means it is really snowing some where else.

     I have to do a mass mailing today for the studio with some tweaks on the schedule. I hate the time it takes, but that is life.  Also have sewing that has to be done and a bride coming over for a fitting.  I need to fill the truck with boxes from all the Christmas crap around here and take a run to the dump.  Also Judy has inspired me to clean out my closet and linen closet.  I think I need to start taking down Christmas.

     Have a great and productive day!


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Tuesday, Christmas guilt.

     Christmas was grand.  I am very tired, but today I am taking it easy.  Yesterday the kids left, it was quite last night and we ate left over oyster stew.  You know fish and company really do stink after three days.  I had so much Christmas guilt.  I cut back in so many ways this Christmas and was just ready for a load of crap from my family that never came!  I was just so tired and busy and behind and I thought screw it!  I don't care.  I hate not caring.  Here are the ways I am cut back and next year I will cut back even more.

     I did not make pj.s for everyone.  Yes, for years we all had matching night clothes even Grandma  and Grandpa.  Great family pictures but too much work.  This year I did not even buy everyone pj.'s.  The two youngest do not ever wear them except Christmas night.  They put on sweats and a t-shirt.  So why waste the money? I did buy a really cute pair of elf pj.'s for grandson.  $2.37 at Macy's. 

     I did not buy any expensive electronics, or outdoor gear.  Youngest daughter wanted her I-pod replaced and I was so tempted.  I looked at then several times.  But $400.00 for something she lost in a foolish way.  I just knew she was going to blow a gasket but she didn't.  So see you do not have to get everything on their list and you can set and enforce limits.  (I did not know that)

     I seriously cut back on Christmas Eve dinner.  We still had too much food and we will throw some out to the chickens.

     I did not fret over stocking stuffers.  Which by the way can add up fast!  I usually have so much stuff to put in the stockings, I cannot fit it all in.  This year I could  fit everything in and no body knew the difference.  The cute little soaps and crip/crap I spent money on, I  would throw away later when I finally got tired of seeing it in junk drawers.  I bought candy, a new toothbrush, hairbrush,ponytail holders,bobby pins, flashlights(with batteries) hand sanitizers to hook to key chains.  They all use these things.  I did not buy, socks, underwear,soap,chap stick, notepads,lotions etc.
No one complained.

      I did not buy movies or games.  We have enough, they have enough.  They all have Netflix, we don't and we can go to the $1 movie.  If I want it that badly I will buy it.

     I did not buy a Santa present for anyone but the baby.  This is usually the most expensive part of Christmas.  But they are 19, 24 and 31 do I need to be Santa? NO! No one complained.

     These are just the ways I can think of that I cut back but next year I will do more.  It is just time.  They are all adults and I want to get out of debt more than anything.  If I wasn't so in debt I would not have to work so hard.  They can understand that.

     So in a nutshell:

1. No p.j.s
2. No outrageous expensive gifts
3. Less gourmet foods, seafood, we still had too much!
4. No outlandish stocking stuffers
5. No, movie and game for each person
6. No Santa presents

     Now if you just read this with out explanation I sound like scrooge, but everyone opened at least 10 or more gifts.  That is enough.  I think sometimes the kids were just over whelmed and they get to be ungrateful.

Next year, I am going to cut back on cookies and only make 1/2 batches as most of my recipes are old  Swedish and make at least 10 dozen.  I made my favorite 13, but next year no double batches and I am going to make 3 kinds of candy and Swedish cookies.  I will leave the non-traditional to everyone else.  Just too much.  I will buy less seafood.  We could have gotten buy with 4 crabs, and 2 lbs of shrimp, 2 cans of oysters, 3 boxes of crackers.  My dream is to have Christmas at my daughters and just help her and contribute money.

     I also have the new artificial Tree for next year yippee!

Did any of you cut back?  If you did, in what way?

Have a great and productive day!


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve!

    Well grandson is here.  All the kids are home.  Presents are wrapped. House is a wreck.  Isn't it grand!

     I still have a couple of cookie trays to deliver.  We will have a big seafood dinner tonight.  Church in the morning, then homemade orange rolls and bacon.  We will go over to one of my clients houses for dinner about 3.
     I opened my secret Santa package from Jane!

It was so fun!  I have worn the beautiful shawl/scarf twice so far!  I have dansko clogs that match it, very smart and stylish.  She sent me a soap stone sculpture she had carved!  So talented, I am impressed.  Chocolate and caramel pretzel sticks (mine) and a very good novel, which I read in the past 24 hours.  Thanks Jane you are a very generous Santa!

    Well I am off to make beds and do a little vacuuming.

Have a wonderful and Merry Christmas you all mean so much to me.


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Thursday, The Christmas house

     I have one more batch of cookies to make and then I am done baking!  Yeah!  I will male up the trays and plates and clean the kitchen while I do the last batch of cookies.  I need to go in and clean the master bed and bath as Hubby stayed home from work yesterday and the housekeeper did not go in there.  I also need to straighten my shop and get a little laundry done.
     The spare bath downstairs is wrapping central and I need to finish up and get everything moved out before my oldest daughter, son-in-law and GRANDSON arrive at 6 p.m. tonight. I baked all day yesterday but it is just not as much fun as it used to be.  I feel like it is one more job I have to do.  But every year I cut back a little.
     Everyone will appreciate the treats.  It is nice to not have to be anywhere every minute of the day.  But I still feel like I have so much to do before everyone arrives.  I went through 6 lbs of butter yesterday and 3.5 dozen eggs.  Swedish cookies rely heavily on those ingredients.  Cream, butter, sour cream, eggs.  Something they had a lot of in my family.  I always make all the traditional cookies.  Some are very hard and time consuming but I feel it is important that my girls know how to do this and appreciate the heritage.

     B and I were up until 11 last night finishing the rosettes.  So messy but so good.  I will finish the jam wreaths today.  This is a double decker cookie with jam (lingonberry) in the middle and a cut out section to show the berry center then covered with powder sugar.  Daughter #2s favorite.

So the washing machine has finished and I am going to go in and start another load before youngest brings in all of her laundry from college.

     Merry Christmas mom!

Have a great and productive day!


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wednesday, I think I have the sewing done!

     I have a tendency to put off hard stuff.  I thought I had just a few things to alter yesterday, but they were all hard!  Like trench coats that needed hemmed.  With lots of lining and seams and pleats. Yuck!  Then coats that needed the sleeves shortened. Heavy winter parka's that have linings.  It turned out that I had to sew until 6:30 last night to get everything done.  But I will make $286.00.  I really don't need the money right now, but I had promised the items before Christmas.

     I then went to clean the bank and ran to Wal-Mart. I got  phone call from a woman at church she was in hysterics trying to finish a large denim quilt for one of her children.  She had already made 2 of them and she could not get the last one to sew straight.  I told her I would meet her in 30 minutes at my shop.  Well she was using a heavy duty hand quilting thread in her cheap machine a big no no.  She had the timing all thrown off.  The machine was very mad at her.  So I helped her finish her quilt then at 10:30 we made fudge.

The easiest fudge you will ever make!

1 lb of cream cheese (do not use an off brand or low-fat)
1 cube butter (do not use margarine)
2 tsp of vanilla
dash salt
1/2 to 3/4 cup powdered cocoa
Melt cream cheese and butter until it is soft then mix with mixer add above ingredients until it is shiny and smooth,

 Now add 2 lbs of powder sugar, Yes 2 lbs.  Knead when your mixer starts to moan.  Add nuts if you wish press into a pan.  Refrigerate.  The best fudge you will ever eat.  No stirring,no sugaring, no burning.

I have to get to the store for coconut, and a few items I forgot.

Have a great and productive day!


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Tuesday, so free!

     I feel so free, but this also makes me unmotivated.  I really have to go in and sew for a few hours.  I need to clean the kitchen.  I have to wrap presents.  But here I sit and blog.  I just really don't care.
     I did get to Macy's today and exchanged that sweater, no problems.  Bought a pair of black pants that don't fit.  No I did not try them on, I hate trying things on. Now I will need to go back.  I did find Grandson a pair of elf pj's for $2.49.  What a bargain.
     I am going to make caramels, toffee, and fudge tonight.  I will also make all the cookie doughs that have to be refrigerated before they can be rolled out.  This will make things go faster tomorrow.  Hubby picked up walnuts and heavy cream at Winco, while he was out of town yesterday.  He is so miserable with his cold but he has to go up for a very expensive map-training course. So he took off this morning sniffing and dripping.  I went to the pharmacy last night and bought him, dayquil tablets and packages of kleenex.
     B is going back to Moscow to work for the next 2 days.  So I will clean the house and hopefully I can stay on top of her until the other come home!  I will have the house keeper change all the sheets tomorrow and help me bake.  She loves it.  She says it is the best bonus ever.  She gets paid 4 extra hours, has a blast and gets all her baking done!  I send her home with 13 different kinds of treats.  If I did not have her help I could not do this so it is worth it besides I love her.
     So now you can see what a lazy procrastinator I can be when I am not behind the 8 ball!    I really just want to go out a shop some more and read books and watch movies and eat crap.  But I will not!

   Out My Window:  I need to go check on the chickens!  See I am even neglecting the chickens.

     Have a great and productive day!


Monday, December 19, 2011

Monday night, why did I want the kids back home?

       My house is a wreck,  There is not a bedroom with a bed made, the family room is a disaster, the kitchen is disgusting.  Curling irons, bobby pins, hair bands, dirty clothes.  Every cupboard and drawer left open.  Just a pig sty. I am used to a very clean house.  No clutter.  My shop gets trashed but I can handle that, I am working in there and I clean out constantly, but this is just inconsiderate.  I took daughter #2's stuff and put it in a cardboard box in the garage and next week when she comes home she can just look  for it.  I also hid the straightener and the i-pod player in my closet, I am sure it will be needed tomorrow and it will not be returned until I get a guarantee that it will not be left out.  How many cell phone cords can 2 kids have?  I swear there are 20 plugged in right now!  Okay enough I love my children but they are pigs!

   I just found out that my expensive medication will go generic in  August of next year!  Yes that $2000.00 a month will probably drop to $1000.00 and then 6 months from that date down below $300.00.  Yahoo!  I can afford that.  We also received the rest of hubbies doctor bills for his choking episode and it will be about $350.00 more dollars, so that isn't too bad.

     I am anxious for the grocery store sale adds to come out tomorrow as we always do a big seafood dinner and prices are so high I am wondering what I am going to cut out?  We can afford it but for me it is the principle of the thing.

    Macy's is at it again.  Flier came out last week with cashmere sweaters at $39.00 regular $109.00 but when I went to get one they were marked $59.00, I asked the clerk about it and she said they were not offering everything at this store.  So I bought what they had.  Well tomorrow that same sweater is $39.00 and you can get $10.00 off a $29.00 or more purchase.  So guess what is going back?  I will then repurchase it for $19.00.  I guess it pays to do your shopping late.  If there was any place else to go, I would so be there.

     I think I am done shopping, except for the sweater exchange and a few stocking items.  I do have to plan a menu and shop for dinner, that is it!

     I returned many items today, and I turned in all Jr. High bills, have most of the laundry done from the show, I also mailed three packages today for Christmas.  I so love the fact that I have to shop for my in-laws and make sure their package is mailed on time. Spent over 3 hours doing this today with my 1.5 hour wait at the post office.  It cost $57.00 to mail three packages!

      I got hubby a real nice gift for his Birthday.  He came home today with my cold!

Have a restful night.


Monday, Hooray I did it, I am free!

     The shows are over!  I can concentrate on Christmas.  My husband turns 61 today! We celebrated with the girls yesterday.  Homemade fried chicken, biscuits, mashed potatoes, Waldorf salad , German chocolate cake. Yum.  Hubby is at a conference out of town today.
     The Jr. High show went well.  But I did announce my retirement.  I will never do another show for them. Just too much at Christmas.  I do not make any money although money is not the object.  You do this for the love of the theater and to help grow a program.  You do this to give artistic children a place to belong.  But I have worked with this school for 18 years and I am tired and so done!  If all goes well the studio debt will be paid off in May and I want to make money for the first time in my life!  Instead of paying huge amounts of money to high interest debt, I can put it to use to make my life better.  I feel a little selfish, but I have given my time away, long enough.  I want to do for me.  Is that wrong?
    My Daughter lectures me constantly on slowing down and taking care of me.  I have a hard time with this.  But I am just getting so tired.  I know some of it is age  and some of it is health, but most of it is just maturity.  You need to know when you are done!
     Out My Window:  We did have a beautiful day Saturday, warm, sunny, of course I did not get to enjoy it.  But it did remind me that there is a sun out there.

     I actually sat down last night late and paid all the bills and balanced both the check books. If the Jr. High money comes through I should see a pay off at the end of the month.  I am so excited.  I still have $800.00 in the Christmas stash.  Which I will whittle down today.  I have many returns to make today and many stops to turn in receipts and costumes although I am not done with the laundry yet.  I also have some sewing left to do, but I am going to run get all of my errands done this morning and sew this afternoon.  Yeah!  I have 2 weeks off!  No classes, no teaching, no rehearsals.  We still have to do the bank and I will have to sew but I am free!
     Also the bedroom is done!  It is very nice.  It has no artwork yet, but that will come in time.  Brown furniture, wheat colored walls, cream carpet with brown flecks.  All the trim is white.  I was able to purchase 600 thread count sheets, mattress pad, 4 pillows, blanket, bedspread, shams, bed skirt (makings), curtains and rods and an accent chair and lamps at Ross for under $200.00.  I took these really cheap curtains and cut them off.  They are room darkening and have insulation (thanks, Judy for the tip).  I also bought a curtain for a valance as the window in the room is one of those deep celled escape hatch windows for firemen.  (hubby and installed this 11 years ago by hand, we dug dirt for days).  I took the left over fabric and made 4 really nice accent pillows (I had the forms in the shop closet).  I also made the bed skirt with an extra sheet and old queen fitted sheet.  I did this in the few breaks I had over the week end. I am just so glad it is done!  If you are willing to find a piece (in this case an odd accent chair in beige, blue, brown, white) and work with that you can really pick up some bargains at Ross.  I think the bed set was $19.00 and the lamps were $14.99 a piece.  I just looked for stuff  that was really marked down and fit together.  The other great thing about this is that I can pay for it!  I have never in my life been able to just pay for something.  How is that!

     Well I need to go get my errands done.  Christmas is in the air!

Have a great and productive Day!


Friday, December 16, 2011

Friday, on my way

     I was up early and hit the theater, the studio, the Jr.high office, several stores for supplies for dinner.  I think I got it all.  Now I am waiting for daughter to join me for the next hour.  I have to be to the Jr. High at noon.  So much to do, but I really just want to curl up and sleep.  I want to make  Christmas cookies and wrap presents.
     Foster son's cell phone is on the fritz so have to go and get that fixed.  He pays the bill but stays on our plan.  I swear cell phones are my downfall, one is always broken.  We have to keep 5 going at all times.  What a pain.
    I can hardly wait for this weekend to be over!  Daughter takes her last final today!  She will come home for a few days at a time.

Have a great and productive day!


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Thursday, late night coughing

     Well here I am coughing my guts out, don't worry the codeine will kick in soon.  Bedroom furniture delivered today, it looks so nice.  No linens, no curtains, no lamps.  But daughter will be home tomorrow and we can take care of that later. Have a big list of last minute Jr. High stuff, but Mom's will come and help in the afternoon.  Had a mom come with a steamer to help press all the costumes that needed help.  So nice.  So grateful for the mom's that go the extra mile to help.  Made the kids walk over to the High school to pull sets and furniture, then made them walk back with pieces. Nothing was large so it was easy for them.  Had one young man lose his trousers on sate, thank goodness for long johns, I told him it wasn't that kind of show.  We all had a good laugh, including him.  If you can't laugh at those kind of mishaps on stage you will never make it.  Okay screen is getting fuzzy and I am coughing less......

kmi mik

Thursday, I am close to done!

     I have been dashing in to shop between rehearsals and I am almost done.  Now I have to sit down and account for the money I have spent.  But I can do that this weekend.  I feel like I am wrapping up such a busy schedule.  The play will soon be over, the bedroom is done and the furniture will be delivered today,  Christmas shopping is almost done.  Still have to figure out stockings. Shop for food, but I have all next week.  No lessons, no school, just the shop it will be great.
     I also added $119.00 to the Christmas fund yesterday.  I have 3 bridesmaid dresses that have to be picked up for a Wedding on Saturday.  I keep wondering when they will do this, it is getting close.  I am not here a lot.  I will not be here at all on Friday as I will be at the theater.  The # they gave me is a cell phone and it is not working.
     The young man who was renting from us came and picked up his bed yesterday.  But there is still more to come and get, but that is good, it was the largest object and I can move the rest of the stuff into the shop.  I want my shop bathroom back!  It has been full of boxes for 2 weeks.  Just nice to get my house back.  You know what I mean don't you Sharon?

     Out My Window:  Still cloudy and cold, drab I hope this doesn't continue through January.  I will have to leave  the valley to see the sun.

     I will go pull props this afternoon, and I will pull set pieces (very few) tonight.  I have been very lax with this show because I just don't care.  Also so we don't get our stage until Friday afternoon so what is the use?  Jr. High kids are visual learners you cannot tell them in theory they have to do it and experience it and I am not going to waste my time.  I do have a nice group of kids.  A few I would like to throw out but you always have a few of those.  Sometimes years down the road they turn out to be your best.  I am always reminding myself how miserable I was to work with as a kid.  Kind of humbling when I think of it.

     I have developed a bad cold.  I am on a Day Quil high right now.  It has been coming on for 3 days and now I am on the first day of the three days there.  Yippee! Drip, sneeze, headache, can't hear, cough, wet pants (oops too personal).
     I am really tired of being so busy.  I hope in the new year to try and scale back.  I know I have to do the three dance shows a year, but I would like to get rid of all the others.  Just too much, it makes me cranky.

     I need to go clean up, run through the house, do a pile of sewing, make a prop list and hit the theater.
Cold medicine is making me goofy, like I need help with that!
 Have a great and productive day!


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Wednesday night, Who keeps eating the Christmas candy?

     Okay I still need to find a gift for the son-in-law, one for daughter #2 and my husband.  Hubby and I will go out and get something for our grandson.  I will send boxes to my mother and in-laws and to my secret blogger on Monday, then I just have stocking stuffers, but someone keeps eating the stocking candy.  Jane has not biked here yet so I know it isn't her. Hubby is on a diet....... I couldn't possibly have eaten 8 Russell Stover Santa's.  See what stress does to me? 


Wednesday, Still saving, not spending

     I will have the biggest Christmas fund ever because I don't have time to shop and when I do I return the gifts! Ha!  Added $22.00 yesterday and much more will come in today and tomorrow.  I hope to top out at $1000.00 this will include the groceries also.  It is so nice to realize that I am not going into debt for Christmas.
     I have to pull all the costumes for Jr. High show today and I am dreading it.  I am sure I am making it a much bigger job in my mind than it will be.  But it will get done. I have a dance mom with Theater experience coming down today to help me. The cast only has 16 kids but some have up to 4 costume changes so that is a lot of work.  Hubby is busy making me a frame for Scrooge's bed so I can hang bed curtains.  What a nice guy.  I also need a tomb stone on wheels and a crutch.
     After my rehearsal tonight I will be able to do a little shopping.  I plan to return to Macy's.  Yes I think I will get a red wallet (gasp) and a couple of sweaters.  Hmmmmm? I think I will have to get online for the rest of my purchases, or drive to Spokane.  Both girls need and want boots and you will not be able to get those here.
  Great news! Youngest daughter got a new roommate yesterday for next semester.  I was worried as she had no one this last month and we had to come up with the extra $300.00.  I could just see my budget blown to pieces next semester.  She can borrow more money, but I would prefer that she did not. The new roomy was excited as she only has to bring down personal items and a bed.  How easy is that for a move?
     I took a few things down to the studio yesterday that belong to the old roomy here.  I still have a nice bed and a desk.  But I will move those to the studio also.  We just don't have the room here.  I can't beleive this kid just walked away from all of these possessions.  I mean a ton of very nice clothes.  Weird.  I am sure his parents will come and get them.
   Out My Window:  Still very cold and miserable.  I long for the sun.  Maybe it will peek out today!

     I see that many of us are already blogging about our goals for the new year, but I am going to wait until after Christmas.   I really don't know where I will stand and I want to get one thing done at a time.  I feel like I have made really good progress this year.  My daughter (and attorney) will look at my books and pay off strategy when she comes in a week.  She always has a plan which usually differs from mine.  But this is a child that has yet to buy a house and has thousands in the bank.  She is very good with money.  Much better than me.
     I think this will be a good Christmas, mostly because two of the girls have good jobs and are not expecting me to deliver.  I can handle the youngest.  She is also growing up.  I think it is an eye opener when you have to call your mother for $3.00 because you are out of milk.  She really sees that she has to budget and she can't just have anything she wants.  I am looking on line for a used Ipod.  Has anyone ever bought a used item like this?  I know I will not get her a new one as she needs to learn to listen when I tell her to not take her expensive stuff to parties.  But I am some what at a loss on what to get her.  I also wonder if these will go way down after Christmas?
     I feel so bad for Mysti with her i pad dilemma.  What a mess.  But she is in the same boat I am in.  New car (Cars with the girls) and two to buy for without a lot of cash laying around.

     Well I have a pile of sewing that will not do itself and then off to pull costumes!  Hooray my favorite thing to do! Not):  But maybe, just maybe I will get somewhere on my Christmas list.

     Have a great and productive day!


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tuesday late night, who picks up the confetti?

   I just got done watching the biggest loser? It is the first TV I have watched in weeks.  My question is, who picks up all that confetti?  Just wondering, is it a vacuum? Brooms? Oompa Loompas?

Just wondering!


Tuesday, Christmas shopping dreams

     Okay first we have the nightmare.  Last Saturday between shows I went to Macy's to purchase a wallet on sale for my oldest daughter.  We looked at several red ones.  I finally chose one and took it to the register.  It rang up for $47.50.  What?,I asked that is 40% off see the large sign right on top of the wallet display?.  Oh no, I was informed this wallet is from this small 12x12 inch group in the front of the display that is not on sale.  I was irritated as $47.50 was over my budget and I did not have time to argue so I left intending on returning this purchase. 
     Last night after my long rehearsal Hubby and I go back to Macy's it is about 7:30 at night.  I go to the wallets and they are all marked down to 50% off SCORE!  So I choose the one I want and take back the original wallet, I do not tell the clerk why I just get back my money.  She rings up the new wallet, it is not on sale.  Again I point out the sign and she says that sign is for tomorrow mornings sale.  I then explained to her the reason I had returned the first wallet is because I felt I had been used and lied to and now this was a blatant bait and switch which is illegal in the United States.  She said she was sorry.  So I put down the two cashmere sweaters I was going to buy and got my money back and left.  Then I called the manager and told him what had happened.  He apologized and said he wanted to make it right. 
     I have very little time to shop and now they have wasted two trips of  mine.  So I will go back on Wednesday to see what they will do to appease me.  Can you beleive some merchants?  What is wrong with people?  DO they do this on purpose or are they just stupid?! Remember this is a very small town, we have a Macy's ( and not a nice one like a class C store), a very poor Penneys, Wal-Mart. K-mart, Ross (which is always sold out).  That is it for a population base of about 40,000 with the outlaying areas.  We have to travel 120 miles to shop.  Nice I just don't shop here ever.

     Now I take Hubby and go to Hastings, I think their books are overpriced, but I am not above buying a good quality used book.  I find every book I need on my list 3 are nice but used.  Then I go to check out and I pull out a Hastings gift card I have been lugging around forever.  I thought it had a couple of dollars left on it.  No, it had $50.00.  So my books only cost me $42.37.  This made up for the Macy's fiasco.  Now I have a few presents bought.

     We also ran to Ross and found a pair of gloves (columbia) for son-in-law and a neck heat wrap for daughter. I'm making my list and checking it twice.  Hubby and I will try to go out again tonight when I get out of the studio.
      I am up to $757.00 in the Christmas fund less the presents I have purchased.  The carpet is down in the basement, the room is not quite done.  I am not sure I really like the carpet.  It is nice and clean but it is an indoor/outdoor glue down because of the water problems.  I am sure once we get furniture in there it will be fine and I can get a couple of area rugs for warmth if I have to.

     My husband is a very punctual man.  He has now been late for work and has missed his car-pool 4 times in two weeks.  He does not hear his alarm clock.  He snores badly and I wake him up constantly, so I get up and go to another room about 2 o'clock in the morning.  I could stay but then I get no sleep.  He also has left his shower running the last two mornings.  He thinks he has turned it off but he is leaving it at a very heavy running drip.  He just doesn't hear the water.  So now we are entering the phase of profound deafness where I feel that I have to babysit.  I know he can do this himself he just has to figure it out! Love my life!

     I am going to see if I can find a website for the deaf that has any suggestions.  The phone is ringing off the hook this morning with alterations.  I have had three calls since I started typing and three customers.

  I am going to the studio this afternoon, to tape the floor and sort the laundry and the costumes.  I will not do any cleaning and sorting until Christmas break.  I also have made a costume and prop list for the Jr. High show and I need to organize it so I can get those costumes pulled tomorrow.  I will try to get the kids to help.

     Well I had better get busy because no one else will do it!

Have a great and productive day!


Monday, December 12, 2011

Monday, One more show to go.

     Well the show was fabulous.  I am so glad it is over.  The parents were pleased, we did not have any horrible things happen.  Just the normal glitches of live theater.  Hair pieces and hats going airy.   Kids running off stage and falling in the wings, the normal, normal.  Quite a few laughs.  Do not know how much money we cleared for the charity.  We always send the cash boxes home with others so we are not targeted over the weekend with cash.  This way no one knows where it went.  We have had two instances in this little tiny town where thieves have broken into the car where people have put the cash box and into the house, so the police that guard the school always tell you to send the money home with someone you trust that is not associated with you.  Since people have done this there have been no more problems.
     I am tired but also relieved as you can imagine I would be.  The Jr. High Show is this weekend, so I need to gear up for this.  I need to make a list of furniture and props, and I also need to pull costumes.  The studio has a little party tomorrow so that will be fun.

     The bedroom is painted and the carpet has been delivered.  The room looks really nice.  Daughter and I went and bought a new bed and night stand and small dresser media stand between shows.  I realize that I will now have to pay for this somehow, but it has not been delivered so if the show does not come out on top (which  am sure it will) I will just get the bed.  Regardless of the outcome I will write a $500.00 check to the charity.  We always have  and I think I am doing well because of it.

      Out My Window:  It is still unseasonably cold here.  Foggy, nasty, overcast.  Put a warming light back on the chickens.

     I did not sew at all Friday, but I now have $709.00 in the Christmas fund.  I do have a few gifts bought, but boy do I need to get busy. I have brides maid dresses to do today and a rehearsal from 3 until 7.  Maybe Hubby and I will go out after that and shop for a couple of hours if we are not too tired.  I need to make a list and just go.  But you see I don't want to spend any money.  I spent money on the bedroom and I feel that was a necessary improvement for the house.  You really could not stand the mold smell in that bedroom once we started to rip into it. (bad idea)

     I am looking forward to this week and I am going to try to have a positive attitude about this show and Christmas.  We had so many parents  that stepped up to the plate and helped out so much so I hope I can have the same with  this show.
     I am going to try and catch up on the blogs later tonight.  Keep pedaling Jane!  

Have a great and productive day!


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Thursday, trying to stay positive

     I am trying to stay up and positive, but it is hard. I sewed like a firestorm yesterday and I will take in no new sewing in the shop until next week.  I mean I will not do any more for customers until next week.  I also have $645.00 in the Christmas fund with $140.00 more to be picked up today or tomorrow.  I do have plenty of work for next week, but with the Jr. High show who knows when I will get to it.

     The piper costumes were brought in by a Mom last night and they are so cute.  I traced the blouses on UPS and they are due in late today. She has not finished the hats so they will come to the theater. Also picked up Nine ladie dresses not done yet from a mom and I will finish today.  (her husband needs a heart transplant and is going blind)  I just figured she had enough on her plate.  She was a big help in getting the 2 cow costumes done.  I will meet with a crew at 7:30 to move the floor and all props to theater and green room tonight. 
     Met with set man yesterday on moving tree platform for Partridge.  He will deliver on Friday afternoon.  I am so relieved to have the sewing caught up in the shop.  Now I can concentrate on the show.  I also will not meet with the Jr. High again until next Monday, so I don't feel so fractured.
     I was able to get foster sons Christmas gift purchased yesterday and it was over budget so I told him no stocking this year and I wasn't going to wrap it!  I wasted at least two hours yesterday trying to get a window replaced in the truck we had purchased him for his B-day.  It is a 1989 hi-lex?  Anyway finally found one at a wrecking yard.  Kids!  Like I needed to take care of that in the middle of all I have to do.   But where do these children/young adults go when they have no support group?  He is such a kind sweet young man, he just needs help.  Not financial help just life help.  Like who do you call?  How is that done?  Can he borrow a socket set? Can he borrow the battery charger?  Can he work on his truck in the garage where it is warm?  The sad thing is that there is a whole under currant of society out there that needs the same help.
     I have a list of things that have to be done today before three o'clock when I teach.

     Cow costume
     2 Nine ladie dresses
     One turtle dove skirt
     Alter a package costume (too big)
     sew the lead dancers new pointe shoe ribbons
     Finish pear costumes (2 are almost done, head pieces done just need elastic, finish cutting one out)
     Take everything to theater
     Pull floor, unroll at theater
     Set up platforms at theater and gaff the blacks onto stage
     Take all artificial trees to theater and set up

Fall into bed,  Hoorah!

     Out My Window:  Very cold here, like below freezing, everything covered in a heavy frost.  Brrr!

     I need to shower and hit the machines, I have my lists, please don't let me get to many interruptions today.

Have a great and productive day!



Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Wednesday, My best Christmas memory

     Now before I tell this do not start thinking this is an awful story that poor child because to me it is a wonderful memory and really shaped my independent life.
      I was born and identical twin in the late 50's before preemie units came into being.  I weighed a whopping 3.6 and went down to 2.11.  All they could do back then was put you in an incubator and keep you warm.  They also pumped you full of pure oxygen, which in turn ruined your developing eyes and blinded most of us.  My older sister  (by 7 minutes) was much bigger and stronger and she was in the hospital for 6 days, I was in for weeks.  I was legally blind soon after birth.  We were cute, smart children.  We had two very bright parents and a Great grand father that lived with us.  All three doted on us and it was obvious.
     My sister was stronger and more outgoing.  She was just dominant, I wanted what she wanted.  I loved what she loved, I did what she did.
     The first Christmas I really remember wanting something specific was in first grade and I am sure that this was spurred by the new black and white TV my dad had brought home.  Both of us just had to have a "new baby brother"  It was the first boy doll.  Christmas came and Santa had left "baby brothers".  Sister's was perfect, mine had the eyes poked out and a note saying that it had fallen from Santa's sleigh and he would fix it after the holiday's.  Now I still carried around my blind baby and loved it to the horror of the relations, I was not upset and I do not remember if it was ever fixed.  My parents had gone to the store too late (as usual) and could not find two so the manager had found the broken doll in the back.  I had to have what my sister had at all cost.
     My second grade year we wanted "baby first step" the first walking doll. Christmas morning you guessed it, sister's doll was perfect, mine would not walk, the note said it had fallen off Santa's sleigh.  Again I do not remember being upset although I do remember the relatives laughing about Kim always have a Santa damaged gift, because they were laughing I thought I was special.  I do not remember if this ever got fixed either.  It was shortly after this Christmas that school teachers realized that I could not see.  I was bright and memorized very quickly.  I could see up close and I was able to fool everyone.  Plus I had a twin at my side to help me.  No one knew until they separated us in to different classes in 3rd grade. It had become very obvious that I was to dependent on my sister and she was too dominant.  We were actually placed in different schools.
     My third grade teacher loved me, she realized immediately that I needed glasses.  I will never forget that first pair of glasses.  The doctor had just given my mother the lecture about not making me wear them all the time.  They were thick and heavy and I would probably protest, to just take things easy.  But those glasses were my life.  I put them on and on the way home I was exclaiming "Mom I can see trees on the mountains" "Mom I can see cars", I knew what a car was but before they were large dark whooshing objects.  When we arrived home I ran around the house.  Pictures had stuff in them.  China plates had a design! My grandmother was an artist and so was my father, I had never, ever seen detail and I was thrilled. My mother was crying by the time I was done with my victory dance. In all the years I wore glasses, they were the first thing I put on in the morning. The last thing I took off at night.  They were my freedom and I never broke a bow or lost them as a child.  I became more independent.
     Enter 3rd grade Christmas.  I was in the drug store and saw a beautiful long haired red dog.  He was large, bigger than me.  (red is the favorite color of most partially blind people) Sister wanted the" Barbie folding fun house"  (Later referred in family tales as the "Barbie F$%(&#$@, Fuc%$#%, fun house" as it took dad all night to put together)  I was supposed to want the "Barbie folding swimming pool".  But I wanted the dog.  My mother did everything she could to talk me out of that dog.  But I was adamant. My sister was down right angry, she used all of her persuasive powers to get me to change my mind.  She used all of her persuasive power to get my mother to get me to change my mind, but I held firm.  I knew in my heart I would never get the dog, I was resigned to get what sis wanted me to get, it would be okay, it always was.
.  I played and brushed that dog until it had bald spots.  But it was mine.  I will never forget the Christmas, I danced with a red dog.
     I am still running with scissors and the list seems to get longest at this point instead of shorter, but I will persevere.
     Christmas fund up to $575.00, bedroom on the mend but too expensive.
     Have a great and productive day!


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Tuesday, still moving forward

     Well I was very busy yesterday but I am pretty proud of myself as I got a lot of things done, little things that will make my life easier as the week goes on.  Like call daughter and say can you just order son-in-laws gift as you know where to look for the best price and have it shipped to my house and then I will send you a check?  Sure mom.  Done!  Or how about e-mail the newspaper with all the info for the two shows and have them write the articles and get them in the right days!  That was a two week in advance assignment.  Or call Jr. high secretary to make a poster and tickets and get the office runners to put them up around the school.  That way I know it is done and I don't have to do it or assign it and then go to see that it is done!  Oh I am clever.
     I was able to get all of yesterday's sewing done and of course have a huge pile to do today.  I need to revamp the pear costumes and finish two more of them.  The turtle doves were ordered in by a design company and are just not right, so I will revamp them also.  Then I have to wait for one more package of shirts to come in for the Pipers.  Also have a mom out with sewing that I need to call and check on.  If she isn't done I will get hers and help.  That should tie up sewing for the show.
     I was also able to clean out the bedroom, except for the bed.  The man is coming to tear out the carpet today and he can shove the bed around as he tears it out.  But the downstairs bath is full to the brim with renters stuff.  It is neatly boxed so it will be easy to move.  I am also going to ask the man who will rip out the carpet, what he would charge to paint.  I know I can do this myself, but I just don't see how I can do it before the 19th and that is cutting the carpet laying too close.
     Ceiling, closet, patch, dry walls, trim dry times then carpet down.  Then we have to get a new bed in there and some furniture, which will have to be delivered.  Curtains.  It can be spartan but it has to be done.
     Out My Window: only 2 eggs yesterday, I think the chickens are mad at me for the way I fed them yesterday!  Chickens can hold grudges.  Remember the zucchini?

     I will not go into the studio until late today, my teachers can handle it and I will sew later and get the bedroom worked on.  My goal today is to get the pear costumes done, get paint and supplies for bedroom, get sewing caught up in shop.
     I have $487.00 in the Christmas stash and growing.  If I can get this show over with I can start a little on Christmas.  But Jr. High will occupy most of next week, and that does not leave me much time!

      Well I had better get my butt in gear.  Frugal Dad has a great post today with a lot of great posts attached.  If you have time, which I do not.

Have a great and productive day!



Monday, December 5, 2011

Monday, get ready for the ride of your life!

     The show goes on Saturday at 1p.m. and 7 p.m.  I can't beleive it is time already.  I have so many lose ends to tie up.  They will get done but it just puts me into overdrive.  Which I hate.  I am already high energy enough of the time.  But all I can do is make lists and get things done.
     I have $437.00 in the Christmas fund too bad I have no time to shop and if I did ,where here would I buy anything?  I really need to get on the internet like Amazon.  I will try to do that late tonight.  Christmas is coming and my wallet is getting fat.  Oh wrong lyrics.
     I have to pay bills tonight also.  Tuition is coming in full steam ahead.  I am so hoping to pay off the CC.  I also found carpet I like for bedroom.  I just need to get in and get it boxed up and then my housekeepers husband will come and rip up the old stuff.  I am going to try and get him to do that tomorrow, so I will need to get in there sometime today.  I do think I can do this in an hour.  That way the housekeeper can get the cleaning of the floor done.  Her husband lays carpet and can put the molding back on so they are excited for more Christmas money.  Getting this room redone is my Christmas present.  If it is possible.

     Out My Window:  Chickens were out of feed and their water was frozen this morning.  My hands are not strong enough to get their feeders down and open so I took out a pan of water and threw handfuls of grain on the ground.  Hubby can take care of it when he gets home.

     I need to get dressed, do some laundry, straighten the house, sew, get costumes done that are due out tonight and work at least one hour in that bedroom.  Can I do it?  I will try.  One thing about being so busy I don't have time to waste money.  Okay large sums of money.  I can still stop at McDonalds.  But I am positive proof that one can survive on Diet coke and "Sees chocolates"  At Christmas time the banks has all of these chocolates behind the teller line.  I forget to eat all day and run like a rabid squirrel and then get to the bank and eat an entire layer of chocolates.  Bad Kim, bad.

    Everyone go and give" Little Lamb" a big Bunny hug, she lost a beloved friend and needs some hugs.

Have a great and productive and Supportive day,(Up arrow)


Saturday, December 3, 2011

Saturday night, All day rehearsal,

     Oh my soooooooo tired, rehearsal from 8 until 3.  Then home to make a tossed salad for 30 to take to church Christmas party.  Just got back from party that I had to force myself to sit through.  I realize I have and I mean have to go to the grocery store. 
      Rehearsal went well, but so many costume glitches.  I thought I was almost done and almost every number has a problem. I also need to go to Joann fabrics as I ran out of under lining for pear costumes.  The mock-up is darling but the design needs to be tweaked.
     The shop was so busy yesterday afternoon and I am very behind.  I mean with clothes that cannot be put off, like dress blues, inspection blues, police uniforms and bridesmaid dresses.  I need Christmas money so it is good, but I also have to find time to do all of this.  I will, I always do I just need to whine.

     Out My Window: What window?  I left in the dark for the studio and came home in the dark.

     I am gong to the store and then I am going to bed!

Have a great Saturday night!


Friday, December 2, 2011


     I had a contractor come in yesterday and he said the sheet rock is fine.  It is not mushy or molded through.  We are to pull up carpet and then continue to wash with bleach and vinegar let it dry and replace the carpet.  So that is a big load off.  I tried to get out yesterday to look at paint and carpet but it never happened.
     Frantically working on costumes, and I do beleive we have everything purchased for the show as far as costumes are concerned.  I made a list, I have checked it twice, and I have started to eliminate things on the list.  We will still have our share of aggravation.  Daughter is home today at sometime and that will be a relief to turn some things over to her. Even if it is only for 2 days.  We have to get the program hashed out tonight and that is always fun, oh and also the music cut and ready, yeah!  Got to love show time, the world speeds up and I feel like I slow down.
     Went to the CU board meeting last night and felt like all they do is disagree.  There are some real strong people there.  I feel sorry to have been put in with them.  Not that they are not all nice great people, but I feel that the situation is antiquated and no one wants to change, if they don't change they will fail.  I will not run for the board as I will not be there when it goes down.  I just have to supervise and that is fine with me.  I can count cash drawers, and check records and stay out of the fray!

     Out My Window:  It is cold, foggy,the deck is covered with a fine frost.  Truly winter.  I received my first power bill and it was for $246.00 last month and it wasn't even cold.  We really need to replace windows and doors like Judy, but no money right now.

     I was not able to sew at all yesterday or add to my Christmas money.  So today before my rehearsal (at 3:00) I will get busy and get some work done.  Shame on me.  Laying around yesterday reading dime store novels.  I had a mother come help me yesterday and she will help again today, so that is nice!

     There are several blogs out there that are just starting with debt repayment and they are so discouraged.  One blogger was upset as she had not made any progress the whole year.  She had not paid down her debt at all.  She felt like a failure.  But I told her I went like this for years, pay off ,charge up, progress, no progress, but I was learning.  I was not going deeper in debt.  I was developing skills and eventually it worked.  Christmas is a bad time to self reflect sometimes as money flies out the window, (yes ,Jane here also) but we must not forget what we have learned from each other and the great support network we have made.  We all learn from our trials and errors.  We will master this, we will also backslide (some of us) but we will also conquer this problem.

  If I played the lottery (which I don't) and I won (which I won't) I would pay off all of our bills and we would have a big old party. Because I cannot do this alone (I feel a Broadway tune coming on)  Mark will you back me up on this one?

Have a great and productive day!


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Thursday, still saving but frustrated!

  Well I have $406.00 in the Christmas account not counting my change jar that I have not touched since Sept 5th.  I also received a phone call from the older couple that had Thanksgiving dinner with us.  She wants the family to come to her house Christmas day for dinner.  We always have a big Christmas eve meal and I make orange rolls Christmas morning.  This is great, it makes her happy and I do not have to spend the money.  I am looking for ways to save right now as Murphy is here and staying.
     I received a $467.00 water bill, that is due December 20th!  Yes,our lovely flood and our renter and his 45 minute showers to cover up the fact that he was smoking and not always cigarettes caused the bill for November to be about 2x as high as usual.  Oh well he is gone, at least I have not seen him for 2 weeks.  We think he comes back when he knows we are not home.  Nice kid but what a dunce.

   Anyway about the room.  I do want to get it done before Christmas as my oldest daughter and husband and her baby will stay in there.  The flood did major damage to the sheet rock.   Because the student did not tell us for 4 days that the room had flooded (I think he was in a stupor and thought he had caused it.)  We did not get to clean up right away.  This basement has flooded before and we have gone right in and sucked out the water, dried the carpets and it is fine, but 4 days was too long we have major mold issues now.
     The room smells musty and old.  Tore off the molding around the room and closet yesterday and all of the wallpaper is off thanks to the housekeeper!  There is black looking mold up at least two inches all around the room.  We went in and cleaned with bleach and vinegar and it certainly does not smell as bad to day, but a man will come over to see about cutting the bottom off the sheet rock, at least 4 inches.  I told my husband that I was not going to let the sheet rock touch the floor and put 4 inch rubber molding around  that was if it floods again I can be sure it does not wick up.  What a pain and an expense.  Like I need this right now.  But I also cannot have black mold in the house with the medication that I take.  It is one of the big no,nos.  Now that the mold has been disturbed we have to take care of it.
    Why does everything have to be a huge project?!
     Was able to sew some yesterday and pass out some costumes.  I have a finalized list and it is long, but doable.  Have parents crapping out on me right and left, but I am used to that.  Then I have lovely parents that do too much, love them!  I am taking a woman out to lunch today from our church.  She needs friends.  I really like her, very talented musically, but some what caustic, I understand her, but most people are put off by her, she just marches to the beat of her own drummer.  I then have to teach and have a sub going in tonight as I have a meeting with the CU board of directors( I serve as the trust control liaison)  It is a biyearly meeting I cannot miss. Blah!  Like I have time for this right now.

      Out My Window:  COLD!  I mean 31 degrees which is cold for our part of the country!

     We have already had over $1600.00 come into the studio for December's tuition.  I think the parents have got it now.  Maybe I should not say too much this could all be for naught.  But at least I can pay the $500.00 CU bill and do payroll tomorrow. 

     Well I am going to take a bath, the I will sew until noon, go have lunch, go teach, go to the meeting, I also have to get to Joann's for fabric, we are short a pair of drummer pants! Does it ever end.  NO!

     Sending love to Mark in his time of sorrow, I wish everyone had a brother as great as you!

Have a great and productive day!


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wednesday, I am saving

     Well I am saving for Christmas, don't know when I will do the shopping but at least I will have some money.  So far I have $270.00 saved.  All my savings has to come out of the shop and since I am very busy with  all the shows sewing is hard.
     The first classes back after Thanksgiving break have gone pretty well.  We still need a lot of rehearsal and we don't have much time left.  I did manage to get 4 costumes sent out to a mother to sew and then I realized that I am short a cow costume so I have to get that done.   I also had a mother come in last night and we figured out how to fix all the Lords a Leaping costumes.  She is going to do this tomorrow or Friday.  We are short one pair of pants for the drummers.  I have no idea where they went.  Also a dad came in last night and fixed the drums so they fit the dancers better.  Have you ever danced a fast Celtic number with a drum around your neck?  I am task master.  So now I have to make a master list and get as many costumes passed out this Saturday at the big rehearsal as possible, that way I am not inundated at the dress rehearsal.  I will put a mom in charge of hair,hairpieces, and makeup for each class.
     I started to pull the wallpaper off the walls in the downstairs bedroom.  I am just going to work for 1/2 hour a day in there.  Just like I weed the yard, if I do this it won't seem like such a big job.  When I am done with this I will remove all the molding around the room and wash all the walls with a bleach solution to kill any mold that might be lurking.  I want to paint and have new carpet laid.  I did call a carpet man yesterday and he is coming to measure.
     In the mean time I have a a lot of sewing to do in the shop.  So this morning I am going to do a quick run through the house, pull wall paper and then start sewing.  I am also going to remake the Master list for the show on props and costumes.  I have made several of these but I update as the list gets smaller.
     We are already getting tuition for December, can you believe that?  I sent out a three page note about the recital, upcoming rehearsals and costume info, but the first paragraph was thanking the parents for their prompt response on tuition. I wanted them to know how much we appreciate not having to nag them.

     Out My Window:  Still losing leaves off the trees,  Hubby has hit the back yard, but sometimes it looks like we have not touched this yard! 
     I actually paid the house payment yesterday, and set up December's budget.  I have never done this before a month starts in the last 5 years.  See what good influence you bloggers are? I used to pay my house payment on the last day of the month before I was charged a late fee.  Now it is paid by the first.  Of course I am broke but at least I know where I stand.  I also know what I need to do for Christmas and it depends on me.  No guessing and hoping that the money is there and then over spending and depression setting in in January. I still look at my bill book as a miracle.  It is still hard to pay the debt and it is slow going with backward steps sometimes but I know I am making progress just in the relief I feel and the number of bills I pay a month.
Have a great and productive day!


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tuesday, tying up loose ends

     I feel like yesterday ran by in a rush.  I was only in the shop for about 2 hours and had over $200.00 worth of work come in.  Now when am I going to do that I wonder?  I was able to order the rest of the costumes that I needed mostly parts , hopefully they will  come in on time.  I also handed out three pages of info to each parent outlining costumes, rehearsals, thanking them for swift payment last month and asking for the money to come in again as swiftly:)  I real want to pay off that last charge card and I have used it a lot for this show.
     A few months ago when I went down and borrowed money from the credit union to pay off the studio CC and the studio credit line, I did not close either one.  Our credit score took such a hit that I was afraid to close anything.  When you refinance a house and buy a car and co-sign for two others and a college apartment in 6 weeks it kills you credit score.  We have no new debt are paying larger payments than ever have never been late but we took a hit and a big one.  So I will not close anything.  The problem is I need a studio card for costumes and electronics etc.  I have been using our personal card and I can't get it paid off,  I will but I ordered a new $5000.00 limit card for the studio and I was turned down stating too much credit open.
 I still have a $21,000.00 cc open with US BANK that is paid off.  I have a $10,000.00 credit line open at US Bank paid off.  I really now only have the house, the car, and the truck(aka collateral to pay off US BANK) and the one card left.  Only the one credit card is not tied to collateral.  But I cannot seem to get any new credit.  So I ask?  Do I close out the two US BANK  accounts and take yet another hit on my score?  I really should not be using a personal charge card for a business when we run an LLC.  But I cannot get a card, I have tried.    What are your suggestions?  If I go in a close out of all those account that now stand at zero how long will it take me to recover enough to get a studio card?  Financial advisers all say not to close accounts as it hurts your score.  The funny thing is I have never had less debt in the last ten years than I do now.  We are making more money and making larger payments yet my score stinks, like I did not pay my bills on time.  So frustrating.  Anyway suggestions wold help me make a decision.
I need to run to the bank this morning and get some sewing done.  I can't beleive it is almost December but I am excited!   Yeah in three more weeks I will be free, counting the days.

Have a great and productive day!


Monday, November 28, 2011

Monday, Internet troubles

     Well thank goodness that Holiday is over!  I am very frustrated, installed a new security program as ours was about to expire and all He##  broke out on this computer.  I had last week off and really got nothing done for the upcoming show.  Had to entertain the old folks and cook.  It was fine but an irritation.  No rest ,up at the crack of dawn for me.  My one week to get ready for Christmas shows blown by blither.  But I must remember that someday I will be old and I will be upsetting someones apple cart.

     I hope every one had a great Holiday, I ate too much and still have pie left,  I am also making Turkey soup today.  I have so much to do in the next three weeks it is actually scary.  But one day at a time.  It is my youngest daughter's birthday today.  We celebrated yesterday before the girls left for their various homes.  They were actually quite nice to each other very little fighting over the holidays, I think being separated and getting a good job has made them easier to live with.  Absence makes the heart grow fonder.
      You will all be proud of me.  I was so frustrated Saturday morning when my in-laws left.  I had that day to get so much done and Daughter #2 says, "Mom next weekend is the big rehearsal the next the show and the next the Jr. High show.  When are you going to do Christmas?"  Duh, I don't know.  I avoid Christmas until the last minute and then spend too much money in desperation to make things right.   She insisted in doing all the decorating Saturday.  We worked form noon until about 10:30 p.m.  The tree is up, entire upstairs done and it looks beautiful  We actually went a bought an artificial tree.  I always wanted one but with a forester for a husband this was hard.  Well nursery trees this year are about $80.00 for the size I want.  It is always dead and crackling by Christmas   We found a 7.5 foot prelit pine it is gorgeous and I will use it on stage at the show.  We can move it in three parts.  So tax-deduction, show expense.  Yeah!  When I go upstairs I can almost feel the Christmas spirit. I also got the kids to fill out Christmas lists.  All were reason able except for the youngest.  She has a lot to learn.

     Out My Window:  The larch trees have lost all their needles and stand like huge naked sentinels in the back yard.  Hubby picked up truck loads of leaves this last week.  I was having trouble with a large plastic broom rake.  It was not picking up.  I kept turning it over thinking that I was not using the correct sides.  Well low a behold we have worn the middle tines off on both plastic broom rakes.  How funny they have to be 10 years old.  That is a lot of raking!  We went and purchased new ones on sale as all of the Christmas was crowding out the yard tools.

     I get a little bit of joy every time I walk through my front room!  I ordered feather pieces we are short for the show and I need to go get copies made this morning.  I am about caught up in the shop.  But you all know how that goes.  I have so many costume issues to cover in the next two weeks so I had better get busy.  My goal is to have this last CC paid off by the New Year.  So I had better get my butt in gear.
I will try to catch up on the blogs tonight!

Have a great and productive day!


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wednesday, Thanksgiving eve

     Crazy here, people all over.  Daughter #2 will be home this afternoon.  In-laws in spare room/bath.  Girls in renters room downstairs with bath.  We are in our own room, with bath so why is my bathroom covered with curling irons and make up bags, and used towels and dirty underwear? (not mine)  I have little Claire here this morning also.  Cats, dogs, kids, in-laws got to love it.
     I put up most of the new hardware in downstairs bath last night.  I still need to hang the mirror and get the new mirror hung on the back of the door. I will also hang two new towel racks in spare bath upstairs and a new mirror in hall way.  My father-in-law came down last night and he was so shocked that all the old hardware was off and the new installed.  Hubby watched PBS all night.  I told him I have never had any help with anything before why would I expect it now?  Hubby is out raking leaves this morning, I think he was shamed into it! :)
     I removed most of the towel holders when kids were young, but I can put them back now.  Jane and I can take care of ourselves.
     I am going to finish hanging things and try not to hang myself in the process although it is tempting.  Then I am going to make the squash, sweet potatoes, pies(apple,cherry, peach,pumpkin), the relish tray, cheese ball,and stuff the turkey tonight.  That way I only have to reheat and do rolls tomorrow as the turkey roasts.  I have a DCS convection/microwave that is such a blessing this time of year.  My brother purchased it at a scratch and dent sale from a high end cooking store.  He is a gourmet.  He then did not have room for it in his newer place so I got it!  Yeah for me!
      It is nice to be able to cook a large dinner like this and see all the things that we have produced ourselves on the table.  Squash, onions,apples,pumpkin, cherries, peaches,eggs,bread, rolls,carrots, I am a scratch cook and it shows on my husband!
     To all of my special blogging friends, have a precious and wonderful Thanksgiving, don't eat yourself sick and know that I am grateful for all of your support.

     Have a lovely Thanksgiving


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tuesday, A little over 1/2 done

     In laws are here, have not slapped any one yet.  This is a good sign.  I still have about 1/2 my list to go.  It took longer to pay bills and balance books than I thought.  I am also broke!  I will be until I get some money in the shop. Scary!

     I was able to get all of my aprons done and they are so cute, I am going to finish pot holders this morning.  I also need to make a list for last minute groceries.  Mom and Dad and I are going out to find some new towel racks for the down stairs bath.  The ones down stairs are oak and some are broken.  I think they are at least 30 years old.  I don't know how much sewing I can get done with them here.  That is the frustrating part about having company.  I do not get to walk away from my business.  Oh well, it won't be forever.

     The Help is at the $1 theater also we are going to the early show tonight.  I will have oyster stew for dinner, it is simple and warm.  The house feels so cold to me today. Probably because it is cold out side.

     Dad fixed the loose gasket under the kitchen sink for me, it involved bending over and tightening a large screw.  Something my hands could not do and it involved bending over so Hubby would not do that.  He absolutely will do nothing that causes him to bend over.  At the bank we clean, the tellers throw tons of paper clips and rubber bands all over the floor. He has to pick these up by hand and I am thrilled.  Because he is forced to either bend over or get on his hands and knees something he refuses to do at home or in the yard, which is very unfair to me.  I go behind him and if he does a sloppy job I count how many I pick up and then tell him the totals.  It makes him so mad but tough you have to do a good job or you lose your job.  Funny he has never had a promotion and spent the first ten years we were married unemployed.  It could be now that you think of it , that he might have been required to move quickly and bend over to pick something up.  Hmm..... sarcasm.  He does have some good qualities.  Just not as many as me!:)

     Well, I had better get my butt in gear, I want to get a few things done today before Hubby gets  home and insists that I play the part of the devoted wife, which I am not!

Have a great and productive day!


Monday, November 21, 2011

Monday, I will get those bills paid today!

     I have too much to do today, I bet you have never heard me say that before.  But my In-laws are coming so I need to get busy.  Oh the joy of the Holidays!

  1.  Go to Joanns to get trim to finish last apron
  2. Dust and clean Family room
  3. Change sheets on guest room bed
  4. sweep out garage and straighten shop
  5. clean and straighten kitchen
  6. make a last minute list for Thanksgiving dinner to give to In-laws
  7. Pay #$%@ bills and straighten desks (Wasn't this on the list last Monday?)
  8. Make 10 pot holders, (I have all the stuff and left overs form aprons, they will look cute in the pockets)
  9. Finish an sewing in the shop

There you have it. the list it is official.

Out My Window:  Okay, you can not see the back yard due to the leaves, it is time to rake.  My father-in-law will kick my husbands butt out there I am sure.

     I am going to get dressed and get busy, because I usually sit around reading novels and eating bonbons. I will report on the progress of my list later.  I have had 4 phone calls during this post for sewing, money, money money, I know you are the root of all evil but I love thee.

Have a great and productive day!


    Sunday, November 20, 2011

    Sunday, I'm alive!

         This was not a fun week, I posted last Monday about how hectic it would be and then splat!  I did live through it, but I was down for about 4 days.  Now I am very behind.  I still have not balanced my checkbooks or paid my bills.  I will try to do that today, but I keep getting headaches when I work too hard.
         We had our first big performance last night, it went well, but the stage was icy by the time our kids performed.  We always perform last after the park is lit.  They save the best for last! Our two turtle doves actually took off their point shoes and rolled up there tights and danced barefoot in sub zero temperatures.  But the ice was just too dangerous.  I have a reputation for being a hard a## and this did not help.  I did not ask them to do it, they just ran on stage like that and the music started.  They were still beautiful.
         One thing about being sick is that you do not spend money!  Unless you go to the doctor.  I did not eat, I did not drink, I did not move!  Now I must move.

    Out My Window:   Cold! Leaves every where, messy, wet, but beautiful.

         I am going to take a nap, and work on my aprons later in the afternoon, I also must pay bills!

    Have a restful and peaceful Sabbath!