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Long time without visiting

March 15th, 2011 at 01:55 am

WOW. I have not visited here in over a year! Things are pretty much the same for me. Credit card balances continue to decrease and no new charges. My daughter started dancing in the summer of 2009 so we have been squeezed with those bills. Both of my girls are in high school now and lots of fees etc... so I would say I have fallen dreadfully short of meeting my savings goals.

The only bright spot is that I have not managed to take on new debt. Sigh.

My husbands budget system and questions answered

January 9th, 2010 at 11:58 pm

cptacek (spelling?) asked me what great system my husband was using for our budget. Nothing earth shattering...just a spreadsheet. Now, I am very poor with spreadsheets and anything beyond word on the computer but my husband is a genius in my eyes!

I guess what makes our spreadsheets great is that they are REALISTIC and include every penny we spend. I mean EVERY penny. Unlike in the past when I had total control of the bills, M. plans for things in advance. Example, cheerleading camps, pay to play sports fees at school, dance competitions, propane fill ups.

Yes, we now pay our propane bill 100% in full when they fill it up. It is empowering. So, it's not like our system is great, but for us it works really well. We have this summers vacation budget, school shopping budget and next Christmas budget worked out.

If my husbands gets bonuses they will go to the credit cards and a down payment for a new car for me. (used car)And MAYBE living room furniture, we'll see...

Another person asked me what the MEN type 1 gene is. It stands for multiple endocrine neoplasia and it is a disease that causes tumors (benign) in your pituitary gland in the brain, parathyroid glands, and pancreas...also our family's mutation seems to cause adrenal tumors. It is an autosomal dominant gene which means my kids had a 50% chance of getting it from my husband. We have 2 girls and one is positive and one is negative. It sucks.

Fortunately, it can be dealt with by lots of monitoring and surgeries. My husband is 33 and last year had 50% of his pancreas removed because the tumors he had were growing and had a chance of becoming cancer (not the same type of pancreatic cancer in the general public but still scary). MEN affects people differently, there is a chance E. will not have trouble with her pancreas until she is really old or maybe never at all.

Now, my oldest daughter who is 15 is negative for MEN but has Lupus...totally different disease. She takes plaquenil prescribed by her rheumatologist daily plus multivitamin with iron, fish oil, biotin and a specialized herbal supplement from a holistic Dr. She is doing well (knock on wood)

I hope I have answered peoples questions ok.

This Thursday E. has her first appointment at the Cleveland Clinic! Nervous.

In the money department I received an unexpected $560 refund from an insurance policy that was "involuntary terminated." (due to M.'s medical problems I assume)
The money is sitting in the bank. Not sure what to do with it. I need a new pair of running shoes so that will pay for those. I think I will keep the rest in the bank for now. Something will get paid that needs to with it eventually, but I'm going to buy the shoes this week.

I started the Biggest Loser contest at work because I gained 18 nasty pounds since my lowest weight of 128. SUCKS. So that makes me #146! But I reminded myself that a year ago at this time I weighed 176 pounds (eek!) so I have managed to keep 30 pounds off this year. That is an accomplishment!

I look at this contest as a way to motivate myself for that last appx. 25 lbs. I would like to weigh 120-125. I am excited about this. When I lost my weight last year it poured over into other aspects of my life. M. became involved in our budget, the house became more organized and I stopped shopping just to shop. I am doing this with one of my best friends and we both need to lose about the same amount of weight, it is also a contest because the winner gets vacation days and I WANT MORE VACATION DAYS!!!

Well, wish me luck!!!

Long time away from here

January 2nd, 2010 at 02:38 am

I can't even remember last time I visited but I decided to update. Things are going well in general. (Knock on wood) We have all but 3 credit cards paid off. Capital One, Bank of America and Chase...that is it for credit card debt. My husband has a great system in place.

We paid for Christmas entirely in cash but on the downside we spent way too much on the girls. One thing I would like to improve this year is SAVING money. We spend spend spend and we need to be saving more.

My husband splurged and bought me an Armani watch for Christmas...it's so pretty and for all the times I say I don't care about brands, well, maybe I do just a little tiny bit. (:

For 2009 we made about 10k less than last year but are definitely on better financial ground thanks to paying down our credit cards! Our total credit card debt today is just under 15k. I think last year at this time it was around 23k.

I have a facebook account now and have found a bunch of old highschool friends. Well maybe more acquaintences but some friends.

We found out a few months back that our youngest daughter is positive for the MEN type 1 gene but that our oldest daughter (the one with Lupus) is NEGATIVE! I wish both of them were negative and I cried for a long time when I found out about E. When we told her she cried and cried and screamed and it was horrible. But we told her to look at her dad, grandpa and aunt, they are all alive and living happy, productive lives...they just have to have surgeries and see the Doctor more than "regular" people. We are dealing with it. She has her first appointment at the Cleveland Clinic on January 14th. Feels like a strange inaugeration of sorts.

Well, I hope everyone here has a terrific new year and I will try to blog more than I did in 09 because it keeps me on track.

GO OHIO STATE BUCKEYES!!!

Insomnia

July 12th, 2009 at 05:11 am

I have been suffering from insomnia. Terribly. Despite the Restoril I still have trouble falling asleep and the worst is that I cannot stay asleep. It sucks.

The strange part is that I'm not sure I am actually sleeping. Does that make sense? I woke (?) up at 2am this morning and felt as if I had been awake (?) since 12am when I went to bed. Usually, around the late morning hours...4 or 5 I fall into a sufficient slumber but this is my weekend to work so I have to wake up around 5:45.

During the week I work 11-7am yet I still have trouble staying asleep as I sleep in the day time. It seems I can at best sleep 6 hours in a row many days...although I do have days when the exhaustion finally overhelms my worries and I sleep 10-12 hours.

So what do I worry about? My daughter #1, then money, the mortgage, the future, my husbands health and on and on. My mind is restless.

Despite the fact our finances are in much better shape than one year ago I still exist in anxiety.

I tried to meditate and pray last night and without sounding flaky I had an interesting experience that maybe I will elaborate upon later. But for now I will keep it to myself.

Once again, I have a busy week ahead of me. The girls start cheer practice and we have Dr. appointments...nearly every week we have Dr. appointments.

Well, this has been a bummer of a post but I need to speak.

On a lighter note, I received two certificates from Dish Network (my provider) for 2 free pay per view movies.

Saturday Update/weight/running 3 MILES in 30 minutes!/money

July 11th, 2009 at 06:06 am

M. received his bonus money yesterday...what a relief. It will be nice to see the BIG BAD chase credit card balance be a thing of the PAST!

My weight is still at 133 because though I exercise a lot I eat a lot. But at least I am not gaining. Yesterday I ran 3 miles in 30 minutes and 56 seconds. I am nearly sure I could have gone faster but I walked for part of that on the incline and once I saw that I was close to 3 miles at minute 25 I kicked it up and was running 7.5 for the last five minutes. This is progress for me! In January I was only able to WALK 1 mile in about 25 minutes.

I have to admit, I love running. Anywhere too, it is such a great way to release tension. Yesterday I was running sprints at 9.0-10.0 and I felt like it wasn't fast enough. Very good for the soul...at least mine.

M. is also on vacation the next two weeks as his brother is in from Nebraska and his sister will be coming up from Georgia next week. We have our nephew staying at out house this week.

The house is fairly immaculate...per our standards, though perhaps not for others. Smile We were going to buy the blinds and curtains for the kitchen but we have decided to delay that til august or september because we have been spending a lot lately...going swimming, eating out. I know, not good but at least we use cash I guess.

I finished the Twilight series in 4 days. I need to watch the movie. My daughters tell me it's not that great, hmm. We'll see. I am currently reading "eat, pray, love" by Elizabeth Gibson. This is a book to digest slowly unlike the Twilight saga so I am taking my time reading it, so far it's pretty good.

OH!

Yes, I have been spending too much on books lately.

I don't have an entry title

June 30th, 2009 at 11:27 pm

Nope, no entry title.

I have been reading voraciously, all kinds of novels. Once I begin a book I feel like a drug addict must, each page pregnant with potent intentions, driving me to continue inhaling the words, to feel the climax and resolution. Strangely provocative sentence I guess.

Spent ten bucks at Walmart for the latest one.

I know, I know, the library is free. But me, the inherently disorganized spirit will forget to return them or worse yet, lose them.

M. is in New York until Wednesday night and I miss him. The girls and I did not follow our menu plan today. Instead of veggie tortillas we indulged in the Digiorno pizza typically reserved for Fridays. I confessed this sin to M. on the phone but he didn't seem too terribly agitated. Though I am sure he will think about it now and then...as he boards the plane, drives home, opens the freezer and sees his Red Baron without it's ever present partner, Ms. Four Cheese Digiorno.

Sigh.

C. went to an Indians game last night and I could see her on the television each time there was a right handed batter. It was very odd. She went with a friend who has access to these seats via his rich boss. Her friend is only 15 and a half but he gets paid nine dollars an hour under the table to do work I am sure violates most child labor laws. But anyway...

M. will not be very pleased with my spending in his brief absence. Bought a smelly candle, a magazine, a book, 3 liters of pop, orange soda in cans, chocolate bars and two bags of cheetos. yikes.


I'm feeling goofy

June 28th, 2009 at 02:55 am

Because I am so tired. Down to the last 5 hours of this crazy weekend. My goal is to stay awake until 11am (and while driving home) and hopefully crawl into bed around 11:20.

I failed to fill my Restoril prescription on Friday so I had my husband do it Sat. Well, turns out my Dr. had prescribed the brand name in a strange dose and our pharmacy, Walmart and CVS did not carry it. They wouldn't substitute the generic (Temazepam) because it wasn't prescribed that way. I paged my doc but couldn't get a hold of him.

I was at work when I found out and started to freak out. I had to go home at 3pm and somehow fall asleep in order to be back at work at 11p and work for 12 hours!

As it turns out, fate/luck whatever you want to call it was on my side. I just happened to be doing rounds with our in house psychiatrist whom I know well. He heard my dilemma and told me he would prescribe them for me! So I dialed the pharmacy number and he called in Temazapam 15 mg. 30 pills with instructions to take one at hour of sleep as needed. Relief!

And they worked beautifully. I do not care if I had to rely on a benzo for sleep because it is the only way I think I could have made it through this weekend.

Maybe my life is out of balance.

That is the deadly side of debt isn't it? And that is why I need to free myself from its clutches.

I think I have escaped the dusty plateau of my stagnant weight story...I am now down to 133.4 on the demon work scale and 131 on the home scale.

Saturday Update/minor weight loss

June 27th, 2009 at 04:12 am

Woke up at 4:30 am and got in 45 minutes of exercise. Weight is now 133 according to my home scale and 136.2 according to work scale...the discrepency? Who knows but from henceforth the work scale will be known as "The Demon Scale." But hey, still a minor drop so I will take it.

Went on a 12 mile bike trip last night with C. and M. Was great. Then we came home and ran/walked one mile and then I did 45 minute tape. I know it sounds OCD but that is it for the weekend as far as exercise goes because of my work schedule.

I plan on taking my first dose of Restoril around 2pm this afternoon so I can go home and hopefully fall asleep for 7 hours then get back at 10p and drag myself into work for another 12 hours.

I WILL get through this and the extra 4 hours will be put toward my new tire fund. Husband had to get up and fill my tire with air this morning just so I could get to work. We are all tired of this!

Our plan to pay off the three credit cards remains in place and I can't wait to see those demon balances go away. Almost like a screw you to the credit card companies...even though it is our own fault we got into this mess. But the 25% we are paying on the chase card feels like robbery.

Our garage sale netted us a profit of 46.45. This was after the money we put into the ingredients for the cookies and the cardboard signs. Of course, it is all gone. Used 30.00 to buy two solid oak nightstands for our bedroom...and they look so pretty! Eventually I want to sand them and paint them white but I have enough house projects to keep me busy for awhile!

I will try to post some pics of our house soon.

I cleaned the living room yesterday and rearranged the furniture. Love it. Should have done it months ago. Surprisingly, M. likes it too.

E. remains in Port Clinton up by Lake Erie. She calls or we call twice a day. So far so good. Luckily my busy schedule keeps me from worrying too much about her.

Well, I better get to work! Have a good Saturday everyone!

Sad and Happy

June 22nd, 2009 at 11:33 pm

I am experiencing lots of mood swings this summer. One minute I am basking in the relaxing hum of summer and the next I am ready to cry.

Is it my hormones?

My girls are growing up but I think it is more than that. On July 2nd they get their genetic tests drawn and a few months from then we will find out if they have what their dad does. MEN type 1.

Now, there are far worse genetic diseases to have but this is no piece of cake. My husband has half a pancreas, no parathyroid glands, 1/4 of a thryoid gland and he is 32 years old!

I am mostly worried about C. because she is the one with lupus...what will her body do if it has to deal with MEN too?

I know this is not money related but these worries have consumed me lately.

It's funny though. When my girls were younger (and me too) I never would have thought I would have any kind of strength to deal with minor tragedies. But when you are living with these chronic illnesses in your family you get used to it. But sometimes something inside me cracks open and I just lose it. Is that normal?

I was thinking the other day that as a mother I am becoming my daughters past. They are moving forward so quickly and I am watching them leave and it is the most painful thing ever. Loving your children hurts. It is the best thing in my life but at times the most angst filled.

Well, those are my ramblings for the day.

Licenses, Bikes and Budgets

June 21st, 2009 at 07:55 pm

Is paid for and renewed for the next two years! All CEUs complete. One less thing to worry about. (my nursing license)

Spent 13.21 at Walmart today for junk food.

My brand new Trek Bike (hybrid ladies 7000) has been ordered using 98,000 Mariott reward points. Can't wait to get it!

We had steak for supper...it was delicious but I feel like a fatty. I will have serious damage control to do this week. ugh, I hate overeating on the weekends, I gotta get control over that.

We went over the budget tonight and we will have to increase our auto insurance in October when C. gets her permit. I have no idea how much it will be. Does anybody? She has a 4.0 GPA so that gets us a discount right? I hope so.

We have been thinking about giving her my Toyota next April for her car and then me getting a new car. But she has to get a part time job to help with insurance and gas.

Happy Father's Day!

I have ugly furniture and payday update.

June 20th, 2009 at 03:32 am

I got paid yesterday. Made $300 more than usual thanks to the extra hours I picked up. $109 of that will go to renewing my nursing license and the Continuing Education units I had to pay for.

I am on vacation in precisely 35 minutes! I will be off the next 7 days. Have no big plans. Wednesday is the garage sale and I STILL have a lot of work to do to be ready for it.

I am a little upset with my husband because all of a sudden he seems to want to spend money. Wants to buy C. a trampoline for 350.00 and I think that is foolish...we need to put that money on credit cards.

Also, he doesn't seem to think some new furniture and getting the cats declawed is a priority...at all! I am going to have a talk with him because I had to cancel a friend's baby shower at my house and move it to another location because I was too embarrassed of my living room.

Now, I am not being superficial, well maybe a little, but our couches are a hundred years old, torn to shred by the cats and are all stained up. They are out of style and just nasty. My oldest daughter doesn't even want to invite her friends over!

Now, the outside of our house is very pretty, most people driving by would probably never assume our living room resembles a bachelor pad. But it does and I am sick of it and the idea of spending money on a trampoline just gets me a little agitated.

So, I plan on going home soon and calmly discussing this with my husband. Wish me luck.

p.s. I am down to 135 lbs! yay!

mid-week update

June 17th, 2009 at 11:30 pm

Not spending much this week. Gave C. 30.00 today as she went shopping with a friend but she only spent 7.00 on food so that's good.

Spent 30.10 on gas and another 5.00 on gum and water...silly but I needed some gum. Husband has not spent any money this week!

All bills are up to date and paid. H. wants to get our bikes this weekend but I am still so hesitant to spend that money even though it is an investment we will so enjoy. hmm...

weight update

June 16th, 2009 at 07:00 pm

I lost 1.5 lbs the first 15 days of June. I am happy but I was hoping it would have been a pound more. But hey, I'll take that.

I exercised 2 hours today. One hour by myself at home and one hour with my friend walking and kickboxing/lunges/running up and down bleachers. Feeling pretty good. Still would like to get to 130 by July 18th but I think that is unrealistic unless I starve myself...and I don't have 2 hours everyday to work out.

There is no change in the money situation right now. My husband and I were talking last night and have decided we would like to get some new furniture around December...our "Christmas present." 2 couches, curtains for living room, and coffee table. That leaves us needing 2 chairs but that will have to wait until we have cash. I think the furniture will be around 1300.00? Not sure.

We have managed to save almost 3,000.00 in our savings account! This is huge for us. But we have to start buckling down and pay off the d@@n credit cards so this won't last.

Well all, have a good night!

Weekend shopping

June 14th, 2009 at 05:39 am

We did our weekly grocery/household shopping. Spent total of 169.00. So that means we stayed within our budget...we budget 150-175 every week. We used to budget a lot less but lets face it, it wasn't realistic even with using coupons. We already shop at Walmart for certain things but we go to our local grocer for all produce and meats because the quality is so much better and a lot are locally grown in summer.

What does everybody else spend a week on groceries and household necessities? We are a family of four with two teenagers who consume a lot of food!

This was an expensive weekend overall though. We spent another 50.00 on mulch but guess what? WE ARE DONE! The beds are clean and look beautiful. We have one large area to plant and it's a blank slate so right now I am brainstorming. I will try to post some pics of our yard and gardens.

We spent another 25.00 on weed barrier and on Friday we spent 45.00 on oil for the cars and a small amount of junk food for C. and her friend that spent the night.

phew...a lot of money! No surprises though...other than the junk food which was 11.00!

I am just so excited that we have a nice lawn and pretty gardens. Since moving into our house 5 years ago it has never looked this nice and most of what it took wasn't a major investment in money but in energy and time. But so well worth it.

Our project next weekend is the master bedroom, master bath and master closet. We are doing a complete deep cleaning, walls and carpet and ceiling. We are getting 2 new pillows and a sheet set...I see they are on sale at Kohls right now!

This project should consume all of Saturday and Sunday especially if we decide to paint which I am hoping the husband says yes to. (I think I can talk him into it!!)

Our big garage sales are June 24th and with each load of laundry I wash I am getting rid of a lot of clothes to sell. Mostly of the girls and all my old nursing scrubs that I shrunk out of. Smile

We have some busy weeks ahead of us but I can't wait to have a completely organized house. It's a funny thing how it started with organizing our finances ya know? Once you budget and plan you can actually get things done! Love it!

OH! Forget, received 75.00 in mail from medical bills we overpaid last month. We used it this weekend to pay for the mulch!

Losing Weight?

June 13th, 2009 at 04:28 am

Still holding at 138. Depressing!

I have been ravenous lately. I also have been running at least 20 miles a week. So why am I not losing weight? My hypothesis is that I am burning a lot of calories and then eating a lot because I am so hungry. (Overeating is more like it.)

I am at work right now and will leave at 3p. But I did a 20 minute boot camp workout this morning before work and ate a light and fit yogurt with water for breakfast so I am feeling good about things.

I just really wanted to weigh 130 by July 18th but I might have to reassess that goal. At this point I will settle for 135 which if I buckle down should be reachable!

Arrogant Bill Collector

June 11th, 2009 at 02:32 pm

Well, I dealt with a very rude man a week ago and thought I would share my experiences. We had a hospital bill from an ER visit for my daughter several months ago...she hurt her hand in gymnastics. Anyway, we are blessed with wonderful health insurance (knock on wood!) and our ER bills are always covered 100% or very close to.

So, I thought nothing of the bill I received a few weeks after C. went to the ER. I just figured the insurance had not paid yet and well you know...that certainly it would soon.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago. I have no idea how this happened but anyway, we received a call from a collection agency and they told us a hospital bill for $548 had been handed to them by our hospital for this ER visit. My husband said that couldn't be right and that we would talk with the insurance and our hospital.

I ended up calling the insurance company to see what the matter was, they said they couldn't process the claim because they needed more information, I said "what?" They said, it was coded wrong at the hospital...they had coded it as a "car accident." Well, it certainly was not a car accident and I called the hospital and they submitted the correct bill and I thought that was that.

Apparantly not.

About 2 weeks ago the bill collector man called again. He told my husband they still had not received any money. My husband was working and told him that we would call our insurance and figure it out. He forgot and I did too.

2 days later, the bill collector called again and I spoke with him. This is when it got ugly. I told him that we had not called the insurance yet but that I would take care of it right away. I swear he snorted and arrogantly stated, "It shouldn't take you a week to call your insurance company!" I replied, "Well I'm sorry but I have a busy life and I forgot..." Something like that.

So then he asks when they are going to receive a payment and I said well obviously they were not going to receive one from us because the hospital had recently resubmitted our bill to the insurance because it was originally coded wrong.

Then it got truly hideous. Again, that snort and he says, "Yeah, right, we hear that excuse all the time." I started to shake. I raised my voice and said, "Well, I am telling you the truth...it's not an excuse." Then he says, "We know where your husband works and it looks like this is heading toward garnishment." I reply, "I am calling the ins. and the hospital right now!" And then I hung up.

So, I call the hospital and luckily, a friend of mine that works in the billing dept. answers. It took at least 10 minutes until we figured it out but guess what? The hospital had already received payment IN FULL ($548) from our insurance company a couple of days prior AND the best part was that they had notified the collection agency that payment had been received. I was ecstatic...how many times in life do you get to says "take that a$$hole!" to mean people?

Not often enough.

So, my friend faxed the information again to the collection agency. I hung up the phone and dialed the bill collector. I was ridiculously sweet and told him that the hospital had already received their payment and that perhaps he should learn how to handle his job appropriately AND that it was extremly unprofessional to threaten someone with garnishment when a bill was already paid! He didn't say much, not even sorry so I said I wanted to speak with his supervisor.

He snorted/laughed again. "Well, I am the supervisor here so that's not gonna happen." I could feel myself losing my temper and my husband was in the kitchen with me so I handed the phone to him and whispered, "Don't get us in legal trouble but let him know he is an a$$hole."

My husband did just that in a calm, professional manner...he is so good at that!!

I was so worked up my entire body was shaking when the exeperience was finally over.

So, that is my story of the arrogant bill collector. It felt so good to say..."I told you so!"

Shopping Haul

June 8th, 2009 at 06:28 pm

I had a productive weekend! Kind of expensive but stayed within budget.

Mulch: 50.00 (still need to spend another 50.00 this coming weekend to finish)

Flowers/perennials: 88.00

Walmart (weed barrier, misc. landscaping tools) 29.00

Lowes (pots, something I can't remember) 18.00


Kohls: (2 summer dresses, Vera Wang shorts, Vera Wang top, 2 pair wedge sandals, 3 tops, 2 Elle Camisoles) 202.00!!

Original total at Kohls was 373.00 but I saved 171.00 because of their buy one get one free deals. YAY!

Total: 387.00

I still need the following items...soon

1. 2 scoops of mulch
2. Bathing suit
3. 2 pair flip flops
4. water shoes for vacation
5. 2 pair jean shorts
6. one sleeveless tee
7. Gray capris
8. jean capris

This is going to be appx. another 300.00.

We have postponed our vacation until August so that gives us more time to put money away...it is going to cost around 600.00

I have an extra 24 hours on my next check so that will be about an extra 480.00 after taxes, plus extra for overtime but I am too lazy to figure that out right now.

Finally!

June 5th, 2009 at 07:34 pm

Finally my weekend has arrived...well in 30 minutes! Made my to do list for the next three days and let me say I am gonna be quite the busy bee. Flowers, mulch, shopping, cleaning.

Oh, but it will feel so good when it is all done!

Strange thing today, my husband told me that he thought it would be fine to do the mulch/flowers and the clothes shopping both this weekend with a total budget of $500.00. Hmmm...something is up. I don't really feel comfortable spending that much money. In fact, I don't want to spend any money on clothes because I still have almost 20 lbs to lose!

Oh, yeah, forgot I gotta get my workouts in this weekend too. It will all come together I think, it usually does.

Ate oatmeal raisin cookie and a cheeseburger today so my total caloric intake is around 1800. ouch, too much. But I have been running my butt off the last 7 hours at work so probably burned that cookie and part of the cheeseburger off!

What a blur

June 5th, 2009 at 12:15 am

...life has become this week! Working a lot of extra hours. I'm in the middle of my next to last shift. I will get off at 7am Friday then come back to work at 3pm Friday. Not much sleep but I have the the next three days off. Thank goodness.

Got paid today, 1113.67. Yikes almost $200.00 short because I missed a a shift due to daughter being sick. But in two weeks I should have an awesome paycheck.

The last day of school was Tuesday. YAY! I love the relaxed pace of summer...I get a lot of sleep! Well, maybe not this week but at least I don't have to worry about running the kids back and forth to school.

We have a lot of plans this weekend and I am scared of overspending because our budget is very tight in June. We need to mulch our flower beds and I want to get three hanging baskets and some annuals to plant in the beds.

I would also like to run to the mall this weekend and use my Victoria's secret $10 card and Express $20 card. They are burning a hole in my pocket.

Today I managed to get 4 loads of laundry done AND put away. I also cleaned out my dresser and have a large pile of clothes I am going to sell at my grandmother's neighborhood garage sales the last Wednesday in June. I have been going through the girls clothes too and they have lots to sell. Most of it is Abercrombie and Hollister...stores like that so we should make some money.

We had to postpone our Cedar Point trip until July because we forgot about the garage sales...family tradition!

Some bad news, got on the scale today and it was up 2 lbs. I have no idea why because I have been exercising my a$$ off and eating no more than 1400 calories a day. Maybe I need to chill a little, my body might be revolting.

But anyway, to weigh 140 lbs SUCKS. It was so nice to be in the 130's. I am hoping today was a fluke and I can drop those lbs. quickly! My husband tried to placate me by saying I look thinner and I must be building muscle...maybe.

I saw an old childhood friend at the gym today, she joined last week. She had always been heavy but she is morbidly obese at this point. I am just so happy she is starting to exercise though.

Have some frustrating patients right now and being so tired isn't helping my mood!

The week ahead and WANTS vs NEEDS

June 2nd, 2009 at 03:18 pm

I have quite a busy schedule this week. Working a lot of extra hours. I sat down today and made a list of all the NEEDS and WANTS in my life that next few months.

If I say it is detailed...well that is an understatement. I listed every item of clothing my family and I NEED and also a few wants. I included landscaping costs, clothes, new furniture, curtains, blinds, pillows and sheets. Those are the biggies. OH! And getting 3 cats declawed so they don't ruin new furniture!

Now, of course many of these are WANTS but there are some needs...specifically the clothing. Especially mine. Since I have nothing other than workout clothes from Walmart and a few new scrub outfits I bought recently for work. OH! And $10 flip flops from Walmart, actually cute.

Now, some may call the furniture a definite want but if they walked into my living room they may change their minds. However, that is definitely last on my list and contingent upon my husbands possible bonus. And trust me, the couch and chair I want are from IKEA so not exactly splurging here!

Didn't workout today but I put in over 3 hours yesterday to make up for not being able to exercise again until Friday. The scales are still hanging on at 138. Despite the fact I probably burned at least 1400 calories from exercising the past 48 hours. Well, I better not get too OCD about it.

I plan on listing my NEEDS/WANTS list later...would love to hear everybody's opinion on if they think I'm right and what their own wants/needs are!

My BIG accomplishment

May 31st, 2009 at 06:26 pm

Today I did something I have never done before, something I never dreamed would be possible:

I RAN 5 MILES IN 53 min and 29 seconds.

I RAN 3.30 MILES WITHOUT STOPPING.

5 months ago when I started my journey to wellness I couldn't even run at a 5.0 on the treadmill without feeling like I was on the precipice of a severe cardiovascular disaster. Now, I feel so strong! Not a marathoner by any means but still strong!

After the gym husband and I did the weekly shopping. Spent 184.00 but had a 20.00 gift card to Walmart so total was 164.00 This is all our food and household essentials, animal food, detergent etc...

After supper I took M. to the high school track and we ran 2 laps and walked 3 laps. We ran up and down bleachers like crazy fools and did lunges and some kickboxing.

Great Workout day!

My new goal is to be 130 lbs. by July 18th. (Big family reunion) That is 8 lbs to lose...gonna have to work my rear off. My final goal is 120 lbs.

I picked up 4 extra hours of work this week so that will be a nice little bonus on my next check. We are going on a 3 day vacation in 3 weeks, 2 days at Cedar Point. We're probably going to spend around 600.00 so every cent counts.

This is the first vacation we have taken in many many years.

I hope everyone had a nice weekend. The weather in my little world is gorgeous!

Weekend update with Ms. Pearl

May 31st, 2009 at 06:03 am

Went to see Angels and Demons last night...pretty good.

Spent $37 for 3 of us. C.'s friend gave me 20.00 toward the price otherwise we would have paid more because of the popcorn, candy and drinks. Wow, they are too expensive!

But now that we have an actual WORKING budget we can have an occassional movie night. Besides I received 16.00 refund check from the radiologist that we over paid, also have 20.00 Walmart gift card to put toward groceries so this will not have any effect.

More good news is we are expecting another 70.00 in refunds from local hospital that we overpaid...insurance paid my entire surgery. Oh yes, another update, I had my gallbladder removed the end of March. I was off work for 4 weeks but I was paid my 2 weeks vacation and have disability insurance so everything was cool.

Long paragraph, excuse me.

Came home from work yesterday to find Husband had cleaned out a flower bed. Removed scraggly bushes so I have a fresh pallette (spelling?) to plant some pretty perennials and annuals. So excited!! We cleaned up another bed last weekend...two more to go.

Plan to exercise when I get off work at 3p today...going with my cousin and Aunt. They recently started working out with me and have each lost 10 lbs. Yay!

I have blogged about this in the past and received mixed reviews but we have decided to invest in new Trek bikes. We will be receiving one free using M.'s Marriott Rewards points and will be buying 2 more...yikes I know expensive but we are tired of borrowing my Aunts bikes and we have a trail and State Park close by and have been using it a lot.

It is such a good thing to do as a family!

But not to worry...it is all in the budget!

When it was only me doing the budget I was WAY underestimating basic needs like food, car maintenace etc... now with M. helping (basically taking over, but that is fine with me.) We are amazingly organized and actually have enough money for weekly grocery shopping.

Of course, I still expect many bumps in the road...always surprises lurking around each corner I suppose...

This coming week I face a HUGE test. Need to buy some summer clothes...I have none. NOT utilizing the cliche, I really don't since losing weight. I plan on going to Old Navy first and have a budget of 250.00.

In the past I always, always, overspent. I will let you know how it goes, I am actually nervous!

OH! I updated my side bar in case anyone is interested.


Long time...no blog

May 30th, 2009 at 06:00 am

Hello all! I have not posted for several months but occassionaly still peruse the blogs. But I am hoping to blog a little more these coming months.

Finanacially things are much better than they were several months ago. Here is the good news:
1. My car is paid off. (extra 310 mon.)

2. The orthodontist is paid off (extra 235 mon.)

3. All medical bills are paid off
(Only medical bills are monthly prescriptions.)

4. Husband has been much more active in the budget and now does the monthly bill paying almost all online, it is all computerized and categorized etc... wonderful! We have a long term and short term budget.

5. Have not had any late payments since March.

6. Money is actually being put into savings and budgeted for propane, haircuts etc...

7. My husband and I do weekly grocery trips together. We have a running grocery list on the computer that we update
weekly.

8. We have successfuly planned and stuck to our weekly meals.

Bad news...
1. We still have credit card balances but they are slowly going down.

2. M. didn't receive any bonuses for this year but he thinks he might in a few months since they have made large sales and are getting busy.

3. Have a lot of car maintenance to do this summer...luckily M. does it all like brakes, oil, etc.

I guess the good news outnumbers the bad but the whole credit card issue still bothers the hell out of me.
Only owe 140.00 on gap so should be paid off in July!

So, that is a quicky update. Hope everyone is well.

OH MY GOSH! I forgot one of the biggest BIGGEST accomplishments of my life thus far! I have lost 37 POUNDS since January 16th!
As of this morning I weigh 138 pounds!

I exercise a lot and run 12 to 15 miles a week.

So, yes, that is really good news!

Free Stamp

January 14th, 2009 at 06:04 pm

I was second in line at the post office a few days ago behind a man with four large boxes asking too many questions. There were at least four people behind me. There are two windows in this post office but the one was "closed."

Before long, an older man appeared in the "closed" window and asked if anyone just needed to "pick something up." I said "I just need one stamp." He said "Ok."

I walked to the window and withdrew a five dollar bill from my purse. Upon seeing the five the man asked me "Is that all you have?" I said "Yea, I'm sorry." He said "Don't worry about it, I'll take care of the stamp." I thanked him over and over and walked out of the post office with a smile on my face! I have never had a free stamp before!

Hope everyone has a good night, I'm off to work.

Bad weather

January 14th, 2009 at 10:09 am

The girls are getting out of school early today because of the snow. M. is on his way to get them now.

I hate snow and cold weather! I can handle a little snow and cold temps but by the end of January I am ready for spring...and this is only the middle of the month!

I have to work tonight...boo...and I should be sleeping but I slept all night so here I am.

This looks to be a definite no spend day due to the weather!

Raise

January 13th, 2009 at 03:25 am

My husband and I were talking last night and he made a comment that we shouldn't count on him getting any sort of raise this year and definitely not much of a bonus...(btw, his bonus that last two years has been 30k)

Then, in the same breath he asked if he thought we could get all our credit cards paid in full by the end of the year. What world is he living in? Dr. Seuss land?

I told him there is no way in hell that we would be able to pay off all our cards without a good bonus. Then I asked him if his company was having trouble and he said, "no, not at all." Then why no bonus? "Well, in this economy everyone is being conservative." That got me thinking, even though a business is doing well could they use the recession as an excuse to withold compensation for their employees?

I told him he should at least get a small raise...even I got a raise in October and I work for a very stingy company!

I hope he is wrong and he gets at least a sizeable chunk of his bonus...I think he probably will get half but we'll see!

I have nothing planned except to sleep today after I take the girls to school. I have to cancel the ortho appt. becaue it is finals week and I don't want C. missing any of her classes...she is on the verge of having straight A's this nine weeks and last nine weeks she missed straight A's by having a 92% in Science. At her school an A is 93% or above. I've got my fingers crossed!

This time of year my town looks drab and ugly, brown slush snakes through the streets and left over Christmas decorations feel hollow and tacky. I would love to move sometimes to somewhere warmer without brown slush. C. would too. I told her good grades will help her escape this ugliness. She agrees.

My routine

January 12th, 2009 at 02:23 pm

...is starting to return. The funeral is over. My dad is returning to Arizona and the holidays and New Years Party are a distant memory.

This past month was hectic and overwhelming!

I took a personal day the end of this week so I will have a 4 day weekend and we are still thinking about driving to Pittsburgh to the IKEA store. The thing is, I really don't have the cash to buy much of anything so I probably shouldn't even go...the temptation will be overwhelming.

Even tonight I am tempted to get pizza. The house is relatively clean, the dishes are washed and the last thing I want to do is cook or make any sort of mess. I might have to break down and go to Pizza Hut. Sometimes there are needs of the soul and tonight takeout pizza is my need.

I paid the mortgage today and balanced the checkbook. I spent about 200.00 more than I had budgeted for for this month because of all the running around but at least it was cash spent and not credit. Still, I am looking forward to February and March when I will see my debt take a huge hit in the form of a paid off car and paid off braces!!

I CANNOT WAIT!

Well, I know I shouldn't financially but I think we're going to have not homemade pizza tonight.

Weekend Update

January 10th, 2009 at 05:01 pm

I ended up in the emergency room at 4am today. It seems I have a bad gallbladder. Fun. So now I have to see my family physician next week and then probably see a surgeon.

This totally screws up my year. I will postpone this surgery as long as possible because I don't want to lose my vacation time. So I am hoping and praying I can wait until Summer to have it but we'll see. Might not be able to which means I might be taking all my vacation time in a few weeks. Boo.

I feel great today and I slept almost 12 hours (7a-7p) because of the drugs they gave me in the emergency dept. I have to go back to work tomorrow so hopefully I will be able to sleep tonight!

I need to mail my mortgage on Monday! It's been a rough week though...glad it's over.

January 8th

January 8th, 2009 at 09:03 am

I was suddenly feeling crafty so I redecorated a bland white shade. I used things I had in the house so it was 100% free. I cut out panels of red and white toile and blue and white toile and hot glued them in large vertical sections. To properly delineate the panels I glued bright raspberry pink shiny ribbon from the top of the shade to the bottom.

It looks custom made and actually very expensive...like something I would find in a high end boutique!

It took me about 1 hour and there was no sewing involved. I am inspired now and will probably be on the lookout for old lampshades at thrift stores/garage sales.

My living room feels so fresh and it is such a touch of whimsy! I love the hot pink mixed with the red toile.

I think I am ready to buy fabric for my living room curtains. They will probably be creamy yellow accented with the red/white or blue/white toile and a little hint of pink and green. (Not too much pink , I don't want it too feminine for poor M.)

I don't have my camera or I would upload pics. The base of the lamp is silver.

The couches I found at Ikea online are tan and will go with anything. If I had the money I would buy those couches but I will wait until I can pay in cash! That's going to be awhile...sigh

But it made me feel good to know that I really don't have to spend a fortune to decorate my space. Curtains are my next goal and after that I will recover the pillows. These are easy and inexpensive projects that will make a huge impact in my space.

Now, if I can somehow persuade M. to repaint our living room...

Made my decision...probably

January 8th, 2009 at 06:24 am

After talking and talking and more scrutinizing of the budget I (or we?) have made the decision that come the end of May I will be cutting back at work and getting a prn nursing job to supplement my income if needed.

I will be reducing my hours from 32 per week to 24. That is a 32 hour per month decrease. It sounds scary but once we looked at the (mostly emotional) benefits of me staying at home more it made a lot of sense.

Now, that doesn't mean I won't work more...I will. Which probably sounds funny considering I am cutting back. Well, I am though. I will no longer HAVE to work certain days. I will have the flexibility to choose what other days I want to work. If we are having a busy stressful week I can forgo an extra day now and then.

The best part is that I no longer have to do that 4 day in a row night shift nightmare!!!

I am excited just for that reason! Are there cons? Of course. I will be giving up two nights a pay period on my favorite unit and when I pick up prn it will probably be on one of the outside units.

We have decided to wait until the end of May because by then the car and braces, along with 2 credit cards will be gone. I also plan on calculating my budget based upon my new three day week with any extra income going to credit cards.

I think it will make for a good summer. I will have more time with my family and with C. at 15 years old there are only so many more summers left before she goes to college!

______________________________________

In other news, I am feeling better though not near 100%. My throat is still sore and I am just physically exhausted. I lost weight though! I'm not sure how much but I put on a fresh pair of jeans yesterday out of the dryer and they were loose! Just water weight but it makes me feel good!

Today is the first day I don't have any hint of a fever! Now, if all this congestion could just disappear...

I love the physician who gave me this hydrocodone cough syrup. It helped me sleep! I don't plan on taking any doses today because it knocks me out but wow, that stuff worked! I can see why people can get addicted.

After I pick up the girls from school we are headed to Kohl's so I can get something to wear to the funeral tomorrow. I have two nice pair of black trousers and one is too small and the other too big. I may be getting something for C. and E. too...we'll see. They can wear tan dress pants to the calling hours but I want them to have a skirt for the funeral. I don't know why...just seems appropriate.

I'll let you know how much we spent, I would like to keep it below $100.


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