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About this blog

The long road that I've finally found...

Entries in this blog

 

Control

It's funny how much things calm down when you start feeling more in control. Still have a ways to go, but this week we have not eaten out once, and we're slowly looking at where we are - where we have landed. This is good.

kmickeyd

kmickeyd

 

Furnace died

We've been struggling. No two ways about it. It was a nice boost to have the truck paid off. We went crazy. It wasn't pretty. And then, the furnace died. Full replacement necessary. $5000.   I am laying most of it out there. You can't beat on me more than I've beaten on myself, and I don't need to beat on myself any more. 2015 has been a very, very rough year on us. I'm ready to move on.   New debt total is unknown. Around $42,o00 once the money clears from the furnace. Stude

kmickeyd

kmickeyd

 

Finally, some breathing room

We have a supplemental insurance through work, a hospital indemnity one, and due to dh's 3+ week hospital stay, we received a lump sum of $4400. After much discussion and prayer, we decided to pay off the truck, which was at $3400 - not our lowest, but second lowest. However, in doing this, we now have an extra $300 in our budget every month.   I am SO glad we did this! We will have the Discover card paid off by the end of July with this move.   We have not had much breathing room in o

kmickeyd

kmickeyd

 

Looking up. I think.

Dh has been doing very well since we got him home from the hospital - stronger and steadier every day. We have home health care coming in 3x a week, including physical and occupational therapy, and that helps a lot. His stomach has been upset trying to get used to food other than bland hospital food. It's not even that we're eating bad things - even just basic spices seem to be bothering him. Slowly getting used to things - we're eating pretty bland until then (turkey & gravy tonight, pl

kmickeyd

kmickeyd

 

Somehow, we lost April

Dh was released from the hospital today. He was in there since April 8th. I will be home from work another week, as he needs 24/7 care for at least a week. It's wonderful to have him home.   I haven't surveyed the full damage to our budget yet. I ate breakfast and dinner at home, but would usually get lunch to eat with dh in his room. Parking was free. The hospital was about 35 miles away, and I was there every day, but it's the same commute as to work, so it was very likely within our

kmickeyd

kmickeyd

 

Hospital cafeteria food kinda stinks.

Dh is in the hospital again. This is the third time in the last six months or so. Different issue this time, which I guess is good in the terms of - we've been working really hard to keep his other issues under control.   I've packed some snacks and water, because hospital food stinks, usually makes my tummy hurt, and is expensive. They also don't have free parking at this hospital (he had to be transferred to Madison for specialist care).   I'm so ready for life to get back to normal

kmickeyd

kmickeyd

 

So Flippin Sick

In mid-January, I was diagnosed with pneumonia and put on antibiotics. Then I felt better. Then I had a relapse. More antibiotics. Felt better. Another relapse. More antibiotics.   And I'm finally feeling human again. I don't think I've ever been this sick in my life, and I include chemo in that statement. It was horrible.   So we ended up eating carryout a lot, and/or pretty crummy stuff that dh could make easily. It didn't totally wreck our budget, because we just weren't goin

kmickeyd

kmickeyd

 

Attracting Money

DR says it sometimes - when you treat money well, when you organize and plan and have your budget in place and follow it, more money comes to you.   In the last three days: Sold a cast iron teapot for $46 Got a $5 rebate from something I bought on Black Friday (holy cow, what a long time!) Got a $245 escrow rebate because our property taxes went down last year Got enough points in the Piggy app (can't remember what it's called - you scan in your receipts) for $10 Paypal And got

kmickeyd

kmickeyd

 

Small Wins Randomness

Got out of the house to get much-needed groceries. With this relapse of pneumonia, it wasn't my smartest idea, but we were out of staples like milk, eggs, etc, and dh is feeling pretty punky, too. I was in better shape of the two of us. One hour out of the house and i'm exhausted.   I need to make a Sam's run sometime very soon. Our membership expires soon, and I there's a few things we need before we can't get back in. Then I'm going to see how many months we go without needing anythin

kmickeyd

kmickeyd

 

My nerdy CL find today...

So many of you know that I love to can, dehydrate and preserve in the summer. I'm always on the lookout for canning jars for a good price, and I've been keeping an eye open for at least one more dehydrator.   I have a Craigslist alert on for dehydrators, and boy, did I hit the jackpot! For $25, I got: TWO five-tray dehydrators, 47 canning jars (mostly pint), Victorio strainer for canning, and an apple corer. He also threw in the canning rings he could find around the house,

kmickeyd

kmickeyd

 

Taxes & "Found" Money

Just finished serious pass #1 at our taxes. Because of the blog income, we owe about $3300 for federal taxes, but will receive about $800 from state. I just can't win at evening that out. At least I can submit taxes, get our state refund, and have until April to get the federal taxes saved up.   Dh and I have a goal for $200 in "Found" money this month. So far, it's piddly, but it's only the 3rd.   I had an ebay auction end with no bids, it automatically relisted, but I got an email

kmickeyd

kmickeyd

 

Snap me out of this!

I have to say, the last six months have been amazingly stressful. So the latest part is that I have pneumonia and have been off work for over a week.   After a medium-sized meltdown yesterday, dh and I sat down to talk about the budget and where we can cut - again. It went well.   We have a goal for February - $200 extra, above my salary and blog money. This may be from selling stuff, stuff like Swagbucks, surveys, etc. I have a nifty little visual to help us along.   The good new

kmickeyd

kmickeyd

 

That to-do list

Today has been rough, but there's so much to do before I return to work, i threw myself into it to see what I could still get done.   Here's my list of done things for today: Finished packing up/freezing/making what was out in the garage/fridge. I have ham stock in the pressure canner right now (6 quarts), and making another batch of ham stock. The only thing that will be left is this second batch of stock - needs to sit overnight, and then I'll be making some soup with it, freezing th

kmickeyd

kmickeyd

 

Heartbroken

Today we put down our 14 year old cocker spaniel, Molly. She has been ailing for quite awhile, but I took her to the vet on Monday for a checkup and the vet said she was in mid-stage kidney failure. She's over 90% deaf, over 75% blind, and just in general has not been a happy girl for a long time.   Molly was my first dog. We never had dogs when I was a kid, my mom is terrified of them. It feels like my heart is just being crushed.   Its' just so hard to keep on track with anything -

kmickeyd

kmickeyd

 

Regaining Focus, part II

What I need to accomplish before returning to work Jan 5th: Update pantry tally - Done, 12/29 Update freezer tally There are four full containers in the garage (my second fridge in winter time) that need to be divided up into meal-sized portions and put into the freezer. (beef stew) (white chicken chili) (ham and bean soup) (cauliflower maccy cheese) And there's a ton of ham to put away into the freezer for summer meals And two hambones to make soup - one is on the stove right now

kmickeyd

kmickeyd

 

Maintaining focus

I can pinpoint when I lost my focus this year - June 15. Work got stressful, I was traveling for work, and things just started to slide. We didn't add debt this year, but we only paid off about $3000. That's just not acceptable.   So I take off two weeks this year at Christmas, just like I did last year, and I get some time to breathe and focus. And now I'm in the zone and ready to roll, but things are a mess. Our budget is in tatters, our pantry and freezer tally are woefully inaccurat

kmickeyd

kmickeyd

 

(Deep breath in, deep breath out)

I'm slowly learning to accept that I can't do everything.   That's REALLY hard to admit.   Friday was a very, very good day - I had a presentation in Chicago and it went great, felt awesome, reminded me how much I love my job.   Last night I was able to finally plow through all of dh's new medical paperwork. I ended up with four piles: (1) what Mark needs in a folder near him (exercises, info, etc), (2) Home Health paperwork for billing, etc, (3) to be filed, and (4) toss that sucke

kmickeyd

kmickeyd

 

Figuring out our New Normal

The last month has changed our lives, to say the least. At the end of September, dh went into complete cardiac and respiratory failure. Luckily, we were already in the ER when his lungs decided to give out and he stopped breathing on his own. He spent a week in the hospital and I missed almost two weeks of work.   We learned a lot and started his new regimen and I got back to work. And then last week, it seemed to be starting all over again. He went into the hospital on Thursday and got

kmickeyd

kmickeyd

 

Finally, the house is back to normal!

The last two weekends have been spent canning the fruits and veggies I got at the produce auction, and then the normal work week kept me from the deep cleaning the house needed. This weekend I was finally able to get things pretty much back to normal. It's been an interesting experience - sometimes it's very helpful to have normal chores that allow my mind to wander and think about things.   I got everything taken downstairs to our pantry. It took both Saturday and Sunday to do so, and ac

kmickeyd

kmickeyd

 

Produce Auction - end of summer edition

I just love the Amish produce auction. The last three years, I've gotten amazing prices for my tomatoes for winter storage. There were SO many people there yesterday - I was there from 10:30 until about 3pm. they didn't even get to the smaller lots for home canning, etc until about 1:45.   I had a budget of $150 and I spent $128. Not too bad! I bought myself a nifty little headspace measurer (a whopping $1) and the rest is going to the snowball.   Here's what I got. I'll get the am

kmickeyd

kmickeyd

 

Reducing preservatives and additives in our foods

Slowly but surely, I am trying to reduce the additives in the foods we eat. We no longer have things like Hamburger Helper in our home (and you never would have convinced me, but the recipes I"ve found take just a TINY bit longer and taste SO much better!). For the most part, we are finishing up what we have and then seeing if there are better options.   The funny part is that I'm finding that in most cases, it's not only better for us, it's more frugal. Our example this weekend is chili.

kmickeyd

kmickeyd

 

Can I get a woohoo!? (Just a little one)

I just got home from a two-day work overnight/out of town thingee. As you may know from previous whines, I really struggle with that, both money-wise and overeating-wise.   I am VERY proud and happy to say that I packed snacks (apples, blueberries, string cheese, water) and budgeted $15 for dinner and $6 for breakfast (lunches were covered) (both will be reimbursed). I spent $15 on dinner, a (relatively) healthy choice, didn't overeat, and had enough left over for breakfast today. NO other

kmickeyd

kmickeyd

 

Sometimes I really wonder...

I was going to entitle this, "Sometimes I really hate myself...", but I knew I'd get [email protected] from some of you because of that, so I changed it.   Sometimes I wonder what's going on in my head.   We went over budget by $1200 in the last month. And not for good reasons. Most of it went down the drain with eating out.   There is a reason, and it is my work travel. I was gone out of state for almost one full week, and then I had a two-day workshop immediately following that, so another t

kmickeyd

kmickeyd

 

Weeks from Hell are done, and nice haul from Amish produce auction today

So, two big things -   The two weeks from Hell are over, which is great. From June 15, I've had two days off (including yesterday). The traveling was okay, but I'm such an introvert it's soooo hard to be on the road. I'm very very glad to be home, and man, am I sick of travel-food.   Today I went to the Amish produce auction that's held about 3x a week throughout the summer. There wasn't as much there as I had hoped - they were done within an hour, which is CRAZY fast considering what

kmickeyd

kmickeyd

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