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Everything posted by Gelly

  1. Gelly

    Happy New Year

    Wonderful updates! I wish you luck in finding the right answers for your own retirement this year. Your sons sound like they are both solid and levelheaded guys, and I am sure they will both be successful in navigating adulthood, with their parents' wise advice Thank you for sharing!
  2. Hey there! You are such a crucial part of LLNOE that has inspired the rest of us to stay determined on this path, I felt it was important to let you know that we are rooting for your speedy recovery and getting back in the saddle! You got this!

    1. pcmedic


      Thank you. I posted an update on the forum

  3. Hello friends, inspirations and financial confidants, I was working through a pile of collections statements and plugging numbers into the Debt Snowball Spreadsheet when I decided to stop by LLNOE and see what was going on as of late. It's really incredible, I began this journey in 2011 and so much "life" has happened, ups and downs, stupid and wise decisions, career momentum - everything! And it is so funny, as I technically sit here in BS2 again, it does not upset me because I've been through this before and know it can be done again! I feel pretty elated about our future together so whatever dirty work needs to be done now, is totally worth it. So last time I left you off, I shared that I'd sold my house, reconnected with a fellow and we were renovating an RV. I was getting my schooling finished, paring down possessions and was looking at beefing up my IRA. Fast-forward about 8 months to today: that fellow asked me to marry him, we his mom and sister planned an elaborate backyard ceremony and we are happily newlywed as of June. We have an insane amount of plans/dreams/goals to keep us occupied and are eager to get cracking. I finally got my associate's degree in hand/on a piece of paper/ready to frame on the wall like I wanted. I had applied for a different position within my company around the time of my last blog post - I got the job and started in late February. I love my new team, new boss and the line of work I've gotten into, and was offered a substantial pay raise with the inclusion of a monthly commission that I was not previously eligible for. So, really - all great things! Our RV renovations are complete "enough" - the bathroom is still an untouched time capsule of 1987, but everywhere else is complete barring some minor cosmetic finishes. RV Living is certainly interesting, but honestly, it's eye opening how little we really need to lead perfectly healthy and normal lives. We purchased 2.5 raw acres locally in March using proceeds from my home's sale to help with down payment and begin our Construction Fund. We're slowly but surely taking the steps to make it build-ready. Logging, well drilling and electric hookups (must cashflow these) are all are items needing completion before we can even think about turning to a lender for a home construction loan. On the other hand, DH is toying with the idea to try cashflowing/DIY'ing a build (he works for a home builder and is pretty experienced) and keep living in the RV during the process, but I am not quite there yet mentally We have a decent amount of debt to drill through to bring us, as a married couple, back to solid footing. DH had a lot of medical and court-related debts in collections for years so now's better than ever to clean that up. Back story on the court stuff: When he and I dated 10 years ago, we had a great time and fell hard for each other. We dated almost 4 years during the ages of 21-25 years old so pretty young. But he liked to drink a lot. It got him into a couple of fights/incidents and even a couple DUI's. Both our moms and I intervened but he didn't want to accept that he had a problem. Things looked bleak so I ended the relationship. During this time I'd also found Dave Ramsey and was trying to take responsibility for my adult life. In fact, I probably ranted about him on this very blog in my early DR days, haha! DH is now 5+ years sober and he's the wonderful man I knew before alcohol was involved. He's totally willing to work the DR plan and I've got a LOT of experience with that! So it is our intent to really knock this out of the park and carry on. Can't go back and change mistakes now, but we can be responsible and own up to them and get them squared away. I tallied up all of our shared debts, including my credit union VISA which is clearly out of control since I set it up as my overdraft protection.... yeah, my car loan, and his collections debts from varying debtors. It's nearly $50,000. Yes, I do feel a little queasy typing that up and sharing with all of you. From experience, though, I know that's a very necessary but painful step in the right direction. On the bright side: I'm attempting to settle the collections accounts for the original amounts owed rather than all the interest. Several of the accounts are currently sitting at 2x the original amount just from 12% interest fees and length of time debt has been sitting. It's fair to offer a payoff of the original balance to a collection agency, right, since they got the debts for far less? I used a low snowball estimate in the Debt snowball sheet, and the prediction was an August 2020 payoff. Well, I want to be paid off in, like, January 2019, so we've clearly got some work ahead of us! Attaching a photo of our RV, taken from me standing in the kitchen It is good to be here and read up on how everyone has been. Thanks for the support and inspiration, as always!
  4. Yeahhh... Nah! good for you that you know better!
  5. Gelly

    Life After Divorce

    Last time I poked into this LLNOE blog, it was April 2017. I was just beginning to dive into a divorce. Of course it wasn't what I wanted to have happen, and hindsight is 20/20.. If I could go back and change some decisions, I would possibly have chosen not to get married to him in the first place. (But then, would I be where I am now having learned the things I did through that marriage.. hrmmm.. head scratcher) But now that it has been 8 months since that blog post, I can absolutely state that I do not regret the decision one bit. In fact, I have learned so much about myself in this time and realized how strong and capable I really am! The divorce was clean, simple, easy. There were a couple of minor flare ups due to his co-workers and parents putting a bug in his ear that he should fight for more, but I reminded him that he signed the papers agreeing already to everything we had agreed upon in the first place. I went to the courthouse in July and the divorce was finalized. He did not show up. The house, which I'd bought previous to marrying him, was mine, and I went straight to work tidying it up, re-staining the porches, had the gutters and siding and windows cleaned, brought in some fresh gravel and bark, patched small holes and spot-painted.. Basically freshened up the entire place. Called a DR ELP realtor to sell it. I purchased the home in 2013 for $170k, had offers in less than 1 month, and the house was sold in early October for $245k I pared down my things tremendously, giving away (joyfully! it's fun!) items I knew I wouldn't need to friends and family. I even let several of my cousins "shop" my home as I was packing for things they might want OK, it was a lot of fun! My ex was all moved out by June, so by this point is was just my possessions. My aim was to fit (without the awful stacks of boxes) whatever I was keeping in the family room-turned-bedroom at my mom's place that I was moving into. So yes, I went from a 3bd/2.5ba to a large room in the basement this summer. During this entire whirlwind, I was reconnected with guy I used to know pre-marriage. He helped me with a lot of the house freshening work and we got out a lot during the summer, rollerblading, walking the dog, etc. We had some history from our early twenties, but we learned pretty quickly that he and I both want very much the same things in our lives. We're both the self-motivated, always trying to improve ourselves, love projects, can't sit still kind of people. We've been spending a LOT of time together! So he has in his possession a travel trailer/RV. In decent shape, a bit old, but taken care of over the years. Boy, did I dream that thing into oblivion! I've always been keen on the idea of tiny home living, extreme downsizing, or living so cheaply that travel and experiences are always an option. Sooo.. I suggested we renovate that sucker. And surprisingly (or not?!), he was quite receptive to the idea! These days, my weekends have been spent renovating an RV. We are over the halfway mark. My weekdays are spent at work/home. I will certainly share some pictures once we finish the kitchen this month! I enrolled for a couple of classes at the local college as I am just 3 elective classes away from my Associate's. Correct, I am 30 and still don't have it on paper, framed on the wall And I am so sick of that! So Accounting 201 and Business 201 begin January 2nd! (Paid for in cash, with a 3/5ths reimbursement from my work when I successfully complete!) I want a Bachelor's in Business. Business fires me up and gets me going. Since that degree covers so many careers and fields, I think it's a good option. I am on BS4 right now and at the moment, actively seeking out an investment professional/firm/bank/whatever who will get me set up with a Roth IRA (I know..) so I can get rolling with my full contributions for 2017 before the deadline. I also just spent an afternoon early this week working on my Sinking Fund for 2018 (one of my favorite things to plan, ha!) Although I don't own a brick and mortar home right now, I feel pretty good about life. Photo is from a road trip I took in May with a girlfriend. We drove from the Puget Sound area of WA down to Lone Pine, CA, and back up over the span of about 6 days. We stopped near Crater Lake in Oregon, Lake Almanor & Lake Tahoe in CA, and Diaz Lake too.. Lots of camping, lots of reflection, and lots of quality girl time that I so desperately needed.
  6. Gelly

    Divorce & Downsize

    So this is more of an intense update since my last couple blogs. As the title of this entry implies... We are getting a divorce. I'm not going to go into it in loads of detail here, but it's something that needed to happen (regardless of how happy we may have appeared) and the decision will likely benefit both of us in the long term. We are being amicable, he still lives in the house today but we have a deadline date set for him to be moved-out by (Saturday June 3rd). He has plans to move his stuff (which is 90% of the furniture in the house) to a storage barn at his aunt's house and likely move in with her for now too. As far as splitting everything - it's been very clean and fair. Everything was either in his or my name already, we did not share loans/deeds/etc so there literally is nothing to fight over. No kids certainly made this easier too. All papers are signed, court date is in July and no lawyers are being involved. I told him that as long as he lives in the house, that it is only fair he keeps contributing to the bills/expenses as he always has. And that when he moves out I will take over; and we will go to the credit union and separate our bank account at the time that he moves out. He has been agreeable to all of this and since this process started nearly a month ago, he has not done anything shady like hide money, hold back his paychecks, refuse to contribute, etc. I am taking this life change as an opportunity to further, or pursue my desires to downsize/minimize and reduce my financial overhead - considerably. I have run a sample budget assuming running the show with just my income - and it's doable, just shrinks my snowball a little. Obviously some existing expenses would no longer exist, and others would shrink such as grocery, gas & car insurance line items. But I would like to look into selling the house. Keeping a 3bd/2.5ba 1490Sqft house for myself and my 2 cats is pretty ridiculous. Home prices in my area have soared since I bought in 2013. A lot of trees across the road were cleared since I purchased, a church was built actually, which opened up the waterfront view quite decently. The house was appraised in December last year (I was going to refi to 15 or 20yr loan, but that fell through) and the appraised value was $235k - I bought for $165k. I know that I can't make any big decisions until after the divorce is final. But I am extremely confident that me staying in the house isn't the best plan. Should I hold off on conversing with realtors or doing any research until the divorce is final? Or is it OK to look into things this early? My vision or dream for the future, ultimately, is currently to downsize to a (used) 5th wheel or towable home, and put it on a slice of land in my area that I could build on down the road. Also, I would love to travel. I have been avoiding spending a ton of time at home because it's become a little more awkward since he and I still share the home. I visit friends and family & have upped my time spent at work and doing workouts at the studio after work, so I spend a bit less time actually at the house. Just keeping really, really busy, basically. So I am fine, I have a wonderful, huge support circle, and for the most part, the people in my life that matter to me understand what is happening. I guess I am just in a place where I want to make decisions but it's just too soon for me to be able to... So the only thing I can do is take it day by day!?
  7. Gelly

    Spring Break!

    Winter quarter ended last week, boy am I glad! I went into it thinking it would be easy but I feel as if though I suffered quite a bit. I decided that due to a couple of planned out of state trips in the next 3 months, that going to school Spring quarter might be pushing it. So my plan is to go back this summer and either do 1 or both of my final 2 classes needed for the AA. April brings a 2-day fitness convention [put on by the format I teach] in Pittsburgh. I am really looking forward to meeting some like-minded people, learning what I can, to come home and make my classes even better. For 10 days in May-June, DH and I will embark on a camping road trip from Seattle(-ish) to Vegas and back. I look forward to using smart budget-friendly Pinterest ideas for food/meals/prep, enjoying the time off with DH and hopefully strengthening our relationship. We are meeting friends in their timeshare in Vegas for a couple days, then driving home. Already have our campsites reserved and road trip mapped out. Less than $90 for lodging alone! We have no clue how old the previous mattress was, but the new one is definitely a positive change so no regrets here on the purchase!! As for the wedding: DH picked up the slack for the entire troop of groomsmen, covering their tux rentals at Men's Wearhouse up-front until they could pay him back [We have slowly been making headway on debt, but a cashflowed mattress replacement & my husband's being a best man in a wedding this month are the true reasons for the "slowly" bit. We have no clue the age of the previous mattress, but the new one is amazing - no regrets! As for the wedding: DH picked up the slack for the entire troop of groomsmen, covering their tux rentals at Men's Wearhouse up-front until they could pay him back [which was not planned for... at all.] Now for the positive financial-related things that happened since my last blog entry: 1. DH got his IRA setup and now has pay deductions occurring every week. I think his company does a full match until he reaches his contribution max for the year - I don't quite understand it100% and don't have paperwork to look at - just seeing the paystubs. But the first week of his retirement deductions he put $55 into the account and his work matched him with another $55. Pretty cool, I am just proud of him for finally getting this set up. It had been on my mind for a while that if he didn't start ASAP he would be suffering in the long term! 2. I got a raise! It was in part due to my position falling in a Metro area workgroup. Their payscale is higher and I was 'behind', having come in from a rural area workgroup. Because I was given a West Region Engineering & Construction Excellence award for 3rd QTR 2016 as well as awarded the final 2016 award, I got a gaudy desk clock and a 9% raise. I'll take it! 3. DH got a raise, unexpectedly. Boss told him one payday that they "threw a little something extra in there for him". He looked at his stub and they'd bumped him another $1. That is $2 in about 3 months, definitely not complaining. He has been taking on more responsibility and is a Lead tech due to high turnover the past several months. Now that I have a little bit more spare time, I am hoping to spend more time here at LLNOE boards, helping me to stay on track and make the right/smart choices. I was so giddy when I realized today I don't have to go to class tonight, so what the heck should I do with myself?! I am hoping that DH brings home some of the "pay-back cash" and I can hit the grocery store and get some meal prep done!! Fingers crossed. (Until then it's pantry/freezer clean out status for us, LOL!)
  8. I am back in college this quarter, taking 2 classes. I have done school on and off for years, but I know I need to buckle down and finish getting that associate's. My mom and I are kind of in a race, to see who can get their bachelor's faster It's kinda fun. Obviously she has the advantage of being ahead of me already, but it's fun to share and joke with her. Anyway, being a student sucks the time out of my week. There is a lot of basic structured homework (online, business algebra) and then there is a LOT MORE homework and peer work in my Technical Writing class (in person). Oddly, though, as much as I have to pour time into it, I love that class and look forward to the evening class sessions and spending time with my peers. What gives... Plan is to keep doing 2 classes per quarter. At that rate I should have my ATA by Christmas. I am teaching fitness classes now, 3x/week and it provides a little bit of a side income. Nothing that I super depend on, but it's a nice motivator and keeps me exercising because I have to be there for class. I took a training last February and started the Saturday AM classes up in April. I teach a bootcamp style class 2 nights per week as well - I was a sub before, but the studio's owner asked if I could take some permanent time slots, so I obliged. My actual (ha!) job is going swimmingly. I still love what I do, everything changes and evolves over time, such as the project scopes I am involved in or the processes - lots of mergers and reorganization - but I am generally quite happy with my gig and my peers. Husband mentioned last week that we should "go back to budgeting hardcore again".. Coming from him, I knew $#!+ was serious. In the past, I was the one who took the hardcore budget nazi role, but he's right. We've slacked and although we're 'fine', things could be much better. I ran numbers into the snowball calculator and the VISA can be paid off by Halloween. But I am pushing for summer time instead, just gotta get creative. DH is on board, which is music to my ears, and is all that matters to me at the moment! My retirement is something I never chose to halt for long, so I've been saving and increasing my % regularly. However, I was having anxiety about DH's retirement. At 26, he still doesn't have a retirement savings. After months of bringing it up/putting it off, I finally told him last week that I would really like for us to set up his account, NOW. He agreed and we have an appointment Thursday. DH's work does not offer a 401k so he will be setting up an IRA. I think the next difficult step will be ensuring that he sets up a decent % to save, because he will not be used to having money taken out of his pay checks. I just hope there is an easy way to deduct the $ automatically so DH doesn't "feel" it, but he is paid by check and the workplace also does not offer direct deposit. So I think it's going to have to be manual?? Ugh.. Mom is treating us, and several of my family members to the Rachel Cruze event in Seattle next week. Dinner, then the talk She is super excited, so am I. Couldn't have come at a better time. Anyway, that's us in a nutshell this afternoon. I'm always more gazelle when I am here, so here I am.
  9. Good to see you! I remember you well and I am kinda/sorta/lurking back here again, myself. The hot tub certainly sounds nice. I know some days I just need a soak (in my bath tub) with some essential oils/salts and let my stresses dissipate. Not going to harp on you about anything; you know what you need to do. I am so glad you have pulled thru that low and are now in a decent job and your OWN HOUSE! eek!
  10. Gelly

    Fitness & Well Being

    GLG, I never did officially post about it, so you didn't miss anything I have an appt with the midwife that I was meeting before, and she is eager to find the cause of the miscarriages. I will be pursuing figuring out the fertility issue, for sure, because I want to KNOW what's up. But will I be actively trying to get pregnant again once we find out where the problem(s) lie? Well, I am not so sure. I'm want to get back to college again to finish up my associate's. Then I want to get my bachelor's degree in business online. I also want to keep furthering my career while I get the college underway. Not that a baby would be unwelcome, just maybe not top priority. That was a long response. Ha!
  11. Gelly

    Fitness & Well Being

    These words seem to be the theme of my priorities as of late. Obviously with the new year just behind us, it's fitting. But I really am getting back into my previous workout routine @ the bootcamp studio. I am even scheduled to sub a couple classes at the end of the month. I went in to class last night and was shocked at how much strength and endurance I'd lost. When you can't even do a minute of full form jumping jacks because you feel so sluggish and out of breath, that's bad! With pregnancy off the table again, I am ready to get my body back to where it was (...again!) Not to mention that I am signed up for a training class in February to become a Kettlebell class trainer. That will be so much fun! It's basically a 1-hour workout with music and a kettlebell. They target all areas of your body, and judging from videos I've seen, it looks fun. The prospect of possibly being able to lead classes in the community in the near future excites me. But I need to be at my best to do that well! We have been making some changes to our routine, it seems, too. We got weekly pill boxes (his & hers) from Rite Aid so that we can fill them up with our vitamins and supplements and actually take them regularly again. (This is also a good way to clear the medicine cabinet clutter of all the supplements we'd acquired!) A lot of our past weekend was spent outside. It helped that the weather was NICE. Clear, dry and sunny. A rarity this time of year. But we took advantage, hit a mini golf course (outdoors) for a couple of rounds and the next day we explored an area of our town that I suspected had great vantage points. Sure enough, I was right.. A short uphill walk took us to an Olympic mountain view on one side, and a gorgeous canal view on another. Just getting out and moving around and having fresh air was so uplifting for me. DH seemed to have a nice time too, so I really hope this level of activity between us keeps up. I looked into a local kayak and SUP rental and I think I want to take the next nice weekend we have and go rent kayaks. DH is scared they'll tip, but these are recreational and not tippy. I hope I can get him to do it, because we live in prime kayaking territory! We could go out for a bit and then eat a picnic on some little beach, how cool would that be? I am still working through the January freezer-clean-out dinner recipes. It's been slow going. We picked up Pho one night when I was still sick, so that actually made for 2 nights worth of dinners by eating leftovers. We went to my sister's birthday dinner where my parents paid for everything, so the leftovers there made breakfast and lunch Sunday. So stuff like that has made my freezer cleanout progress go a little slower, but it's still going. I just ADORE that I have a dinner list and a grocery list for each dinner. I can ask DH "which of these sound good to you?", he picks a couple, and I run to the store for maybe 4 ingredients for the next couple meals. Last night I put lentils, curry paste, coconut cream, and veggie broth in the slow cooker before I left to workout class. When I got home we had curried lentils (popped some raisins in there for a sweet surprise) - and squash on the side. Meatless Monday! I also restocked on DH's sandwich ingredients and snack foods for his workday, so we can once again curb his desire to hit the gas station type places for a corn dog and soda. DH's drinking has seriously near-stopped since the big holiday travel incident. At least it has with me around. He said he brought some beers home while I was on my work trip last week. He also made sure to pick up the house real well before I got home, he was very thoughtful about not having me come home to a messy place and being upset. I didn't even bother myself with what he may or may not have drank while I was gone, because, well... I was GONE so I didn't care. When I've been home, we've had the 1 bottle of wine that we shared on NYE and we both had drinks at my sister's birthday dinner. I try to keep my drinking to special occasions and so far that's been on target. Drinking midweek irks me and DH knows it so I am pretty sure he has been purposefully changing his habits to follow my suit. It's been a very nice change, and I haven't asked him about meetings or therapy (neither of us have gone to either yet at this point). His mom is so glad he's cut back too, and thinks that the incident scared him enough to actually follow through. So, only time will tell how this piece of our life goes, but so far so good. Pepsi still replaces beer when we go shopping (he doesn't even try asking if we can buy beer). I still don't really mind it. I'll take my DH hyper and goofy over a drunk jerk I will keep my home organization and decluttering updates to the thread intended for it, but I will say that am definitely HAPPY and content and excited about the progress. I don't even mind that it's slow progress anymore! It seems that now that I've accepted that it's a Work In Progress, it's more fun! We are changing one of the bedrooms that currently houses: mine & DH's favorite toys and books growing up, my old beanie baby collection, a crib that was my FIL's that doesn't meet safety standards, toys, a child's desk and high chair, and a bunch of random maternity and baby clothes/supplies. It was always designated "the nursery" because I kept getting pregnant and that was its original intent. But we are going to donate a lot of the maternity/baby stuff, give the in-laws back the crib which we would never use anyway, and keep some of the relevant toys for the occasional kids that visit and need something to stay occupied. The room will eventually become my office though. I couldn't be more excited to be able to work from home or do college online courses without cats or the TV interrupting! Well, that sums it up for now. A lot more personal than finance in this blog post, but we are still making some progress on the VISA and the car loan. Last week's paycheck of DH's was one of the lowest we've had due to the New Year holiday + 2 sick days he took. Yikes! Our blow, grocery and gas all took a hit. Going to list a few things for sale as soon as I can get to it and hopefully get some cash that we can use for gas money, which is what we will need most. Thanks for all your support and wisdom up to this point. All we can do is move forward & hope for the best!
  12. Gelly

    The first week jinx

    Get some rest!!! You can handle whatever happens tomorrow, tomorrow! LOL
  13. Gelly

    The first week jinx

    Oh my gosh that is SO SCARY. God was definitely looking over your family! I can see why your DH is freaked out. SMH. I hope this is all for you guys and you are back to normalcy soon!
  14. So far so good here too! I've made two of those nine meals already.. now on business for a week so DH has some leftovers to work with but I'm willing to bet he is going to go to the grocery store for cereal or sandwich stuff soon LOL. When I get back I'm gonna catch up on all those other dinner recipes and get our pantry and freezer BARE! (like someone else mentioned it's nice when everything's freshly scrubbed wiped down and sanitized! can't wait..)
  15. Wow. I now have a dinner menu for January for 9 different dinners using the meat and grains and veg I already have. Hot dang! - Chicken Casablanca w/rice - Asian quinoa salad w/ teriyaki chicken - Italian chicken soup - Moroccan Harira (a bean soup) - Curried Lentils w/butternut squash - Dill/Lemon Salmon w/quinoa + brussels sprouts - Meatballs (and a lone porkchop!) with mushroom gravy over rice & green beans - Oven roasted trout w/rice & green beans - Baked Dijon salmon w/rice & mixed veg I mean really once you put it down on paper it's amazing how many meals I may be able to squeeze out of "there's nothing to eat in this kitchen"! What's better, my total additional groceries required (for misc fresh ingredients, 90% produce but some pantry type stuff and 1 meat item) will most likely cost less than 1 week of our usual grocery expenses. Yeah!!! Need to do this more often.
  16. Teas are amazing. I tried to get into them for a while (and did, successfully for maybe 2 weeks) then it was just as easy for me to 'fall off the wagon' and stop drinking them. But I have a nice variety in the pantry, and for me, it's a super easy way to get more water intake. I still haven't made my meal plan yet. We kind of did chores and ran errands all day. But I am getting to it right NOW!
  17. Next appt/ultrasound is not until January 12th (or 19th)? - I had to push it out because it was going to be this coming Tuesday but I am traveling out of town for work next week. Midwife was booked and also going to a workshop or something so it will be quite a wait So far no AA meetings attended on his end yet & no beer bought or alcohol consumed.. Just lots of Pepsi. So far we're fine, but I definitely want to see him actually commit to meetings or meeting with a therapist or something.
  18. I am going to take today to focus on making some kind of meal plan with what we've got. Already have a couple recipes planned (a salad and a chicken+rice type dish that utilizes one of the vinegars as part of marinade) but if I don't plan for stuff like that trout, then I probably will not end up using it! It is nice to make a grocery list that only involves one or two ingredients needed per dish, as opposed to shopping for everything at once! Once we literally run out I hope our grocery envelope will have built up enough for me to hit Costco or Winco or Walmart and get more bulk frozen/pantry goods... that I will actually use
  19. We used to have two standing freezers in our garage at one point, both were handed down to us. We sold the smaller one because we did not even need that many. But we kept one for future use (someday!), it's a good thing to have. It's definitely unplugged and cleaned out at the moment. Our freezer drawer in the kitchen can hold SO much that I don't see us using the garage one unless we bought a cow or bulk meats. So I inventoried, got a little busy last night as I usually do. I rarely hop on LLNOE in the evening! but here goes. in my pantry… Bulgur Wheat about 2 cups Red Quinoa, unopened bag Basmati rice – a large storage container full about 2-3LBS? Lentils – about 4-5cups Popcorn Kernels (a bucket from a boy scout sale) 1 Box each spice cake & yellow cake Assorted nuts (walnut, pecan, slivered almonds, pine nuts) Box of iced tea packets Bottle “Basil Martinique” vinegar (white chardonnay vinegar based) Bottle “Africa Ras-El-Hanout” vinegar (apple cider vinegar based) The vinegars we bought at the farmer's market, but we've barely put a dent in them. I guess we can use them for marinating, but ????. They are wine bottle sized, filled with vinegar/wine/citrus blends and stuffed with actual fresh herbs, spices and such. No idea how long these keep for but they visually look fine. And my freezer.. Bacon ends from farmer’s market Hash brown patties – bag of 3 Salmon Chicken breasts Italian Meatballs 1 pork chop (I know) Fresh caught trout – about 6 Chicken basil + sun-dried tomato sausage Frozen peas Mixed berries Mixed veggies Brussels sprouts Beets Green beans Butternut squash So yesterday I set out to use some of the bulgur, what a fail. I tried to make tabbouleh following a recipe but I definitely got something wrong. The bulgur was supposed to soak up the fresh tomato juices, but it didn't. Once I added dressing, the whole dish was like a cold soup. At least the lamb meatballs I made to go with them, were DELICIOUS! (had to keep with the indian theme) I think some of my obvious meal answers are to pair quinoa or rice or a grain with a meat and a veg. I'm terrified of the trout, they've got skin on and I just don't like the freshwater flavor. I can cook up all the bacon ends at once and keep the crispy bacon in the fridge for salads, toppings and in breakfasts. I just got cream cheese so that I can make cream cheese frosting to go on the spice cake and bring to work after the new year to share. Other ideas?
  20. I like the idea of it but I just don't have quite as much as you do that needs using up, I suppose!? In fact, we have already been "cleaning out" or pantry-surfing for the last week and a half or so. However. I'll join in with what I've got. I know I have a few pesky pantry and freezer items that NEED TO GO.. I look at them and go "nah" over and over and they never get used. I'll check back in tonight!
  21. You can do this! The mortgage amount (due to stupid tax and all that) is wild! I can see how that would be a burden on your shoulders. One goal at a time.. I will pray that your DH attends FPU with you (you never know!) and maybe you guys see more eye to eye on DR/finances
  22. Called DH during my lunch break today and talked to him about our issues a little. I told him I want to begin seeing our counselor again (but alone this time) and that I would love for him to begin attending AA. He began coming up with excuses "But I don't need AA, I can cut back on my own" and I told him he's said that before and we keep going in circles with it. Told him that I don't need to live with these alcohol problems surrounding me and I will choose not to if it comes down to it. Then the conversation got to the point where he said he's talked to his co-worker recently (the one he drives the truck with everyday) about AA before and that maybe the co-worker could be his mentor. (Co-worker can't drive the work truck due to DUI and has experience in AA). So if that helps get him in there, then so be it. I really hope something comes of this, because I am tired of the cycle we have been running. through with each other. I know he's got good intentions sober, but the drunk version of him is so ridiculous & I can't stand him!
  23. Now that Christmas holiday is over and we are done traveling for a while (went to AZ to see DH's parents and just got home yesterday morning), I am back home and I guess back to some normalcy. But my motivation seems shot and I have been keeping to myself a lot more. I'm not using social media as much as I used to and I'm not going out of my way to text or call people or attend things. Our pregnancy seems to be on the rocks - the ultrasound a week and a half ago apparently showed the fetus was not as far along as we had calculated - 6wks not 8wks - and they couldn't see a heartbeat. They sent me home with no photo and no explanation of what was going on until I was able to talk to the midwife the following morning. Super stressful. Granted, it is apparently hard to see a heartbeat on a 6wk fetus but based upon our history I don't have hope. Nothing has passed since, except some extremely light spotting off and on. So I'm expecting that this will be another miscarriage. I don't "feel" pregnant and if this is over then I want my body to hurry up and get this over with. A ton of people in my social and family circles is announcing their new pregnancies so I really want to crawl into a hole for a while. I'm so over this. On the finance side of things, we're doing OK. With gift money we've received we have not really snowballed any of it - just frittered it away as I suppose gift money should be. Budget line items from paychecks are being taken care of and we have been snowballing from my paychecks.. Just not the extra money we do come into. There was an incident Sunday night on our travels home that really spiraled out of control.. I'd booked the travel arrangements back in Sept for this AZ Christmas trip. We would have a very short window of time - 4 days - to fly down, hang out, and fly home. So I tried to maximize that window by booking the first flight out of Seattle on day 1 and a later flight out of San Diego on day 4 (7:30pm to be exact). Well, on day 4 we left AZ earlier to give us time and also take our chances attempting to catch an earlier flight. Got to the airport and found that all flights back to Seattle were fully booked so not really a chance to squeeze in anywhere, even on a standby list. So we were at the airport for 6hrs until our flight. DH got so mad at me for booking the flight that I booked, because it was so late and that I never consulted him about it when I was booking. Over the course of our wait he had 5 beers at an airport restaurant (don't even want to know how much that cost) and he was so argumentative, grumpy and all around awful to me. I was texting his mom what was going on, which further pissed him off because I wasn't "keeping it between him and I". To make things worse our flight had a delayed landing and our shuttle bus back to our home town was delayed another 25min as well. It's all part of holiday travel but he was being such a monster about it, and the alcohol definitely didn't help things. I literally was running through my head how I could go about filing for a divorce. Fast forward to today, he's since apologized, bought sodas in lieu of beer when we got some groceries yesterday, and after I suggested he look into going to AA/we look into counseling again, he says he's thought about it. From experience alcohol is a huge roadblock to success in all areas of life. I've had an alcoholic boyfriend before, and I was able to dump him and move on... But now it seems I'm married (ie, Stuck With) another one. I can't just dump him. I live with him, share vehicles and a home with him, etc etc etc. Again, I am so over this. There is a bright side to my blog post today. Next week I travel for a weeklong training at work. So I'll be on my own for a blissful (I guess) 5 days staying in a hotel. I like to opt for meal per diem so I get a refund at the end of the week, and only spend $20-$30 out of pocket for all my food, saving a bundle of money that I can use to snowball. So, there's that. ETA: Oh, and my budget shearing last week paid off (a tiny bit) on the Verizon bill. Used to be $88 consistently, but this new bill was $75. Still high. We cut where we could going from 2G to 1G and nixing the insurance. Going down to 1Gig/mo did not do a WHOLE lot after all; apparently the employee discount does not apply to anything less than 2Gig service. So the discount went out the door, which sucks. But still, we have a smaller bill.
  24. Gelly

    Shearing the Budget

    OK, I ran my spare phone under Total Wireless' check and it won't qualify. such a bummer! Still need to run DH's actual phone though. Just not sure where to get his phone's code if we don't still have the box it came with.
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