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Bookkeeper Eats Free!

November 4th, 2009 at 11:49 pm

Took another load of wood to my Dad today. Afterwards we were talking about getting something to eat before we headed out of town towards home. FrugalSon said, "Today bookkeepers eat free." That meant me, since I keep his financial records. I took him up on his offer. We had a very nice meal at a nice Mexican place - not here:



He did have tamales & an empanada and I had steak fajita nachos. Yums! We're calling it my birthday lunch. My birthday is later on in the month, but hey, it works for me!

Thanks FrugalSon! What a generous soul.

My Honey Bear & His Sidekick

November 2nd, 2009 at 03:40 pm

Yes, Hubster is an awfully sweet man, but that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about my plastic honey bear, Hank. He's about to get all likker'd up inside.



On Saturday I went to our local farm store where they were having a 20% off everything that fit in their 'green' bag sale. You had to buy their 99cent bag. So worth it.

They were having honey on sale. 5 lbs. bottles - which normally sells there at 13.99 a bottle, on sale for 10.99.

I had four dollar off coupons. I ended up getting my honey at $7.99 a bottle. Almost half off. SCORE!! How Sweet It Is!!

I bought four jugs. Honey does not go bad. It might crystalize, but stick jug in warm water and the honey melts back. This stash should last a while.

I have been weaning myself off of white sugar and have gone to using honey as my main sweetener.

I refill my little honey bear, Hank, from the big jug. A savings device. Buying those individual little bears can get costly. I'd like to have a nice glass or ceramic honeypot. Maybe I could put it on my Christmas list, along with the tea ball I'm asking for?

And as for honey bear's sidekick?

Meet Poppie, The Popcorn Clown.


Not OUR Poppie!


A hold over from my childhood days. We keep our 'currently using' popcorn in an old Grapette Syrup bottle in the cabinet. Our storage for larger supplies is elsewhere. Poppie, kind of scary in a droopy sort of way, but friendly none the less. These are neat old bottles that had a slot in the top for making him into a bank.

Here the 1 lb. bags at the grocery had been going for .88 a bag for years. All of a sudden they are up to 1.39 a bag! I like to stock up so I don't have to wander out in the snow and ice later. Said farm store had 12&1/2 pound bags on sale for $5.49. Since they fit in the 20% off bag? I got two bags, making my outlay for popcorn at .359ish a pound. SCORE!!



Popcorn - an inexpensive, yet filling snack. It's a Sunday afternoon tradition at my house, no matter how large the luncheon feast, we pop a big bowl of popcorn and settle in for a movie & nap.

My bag was heaaaaa-vy - 45 lbs plus. I also stocked up on a few spices while I was at it. I can pack a bag let me tell you! And, now I have another nice little green bag to go with my others.

Hank & Poppie, a couple of friendly faces when I open my cupboard - they, along with Pigger, help me save & stretch our food money.

His Inner Sanctum Violated

November 2nd, 2009 at 03:06 pm

Yesterday was spent working on a really detailed networth statement and cooking a fabulous Sunday dinner.

On the norm I just catch the various bank accounts & retirement funds, but yesterday went to zillow & edmunds and did a more in-depth look at where we are at starting Hubster's official "Golden Years" with ALL of our assets! Not too shabby. Could of been a lot better, but for us, it's looking better than expected and Hubster was quite pleased with the "If We Cashed in All of Our Chips" numbers. I am too!

One of the things I'd been forgetting to put into our networth calculations is our burial plots. Ours are paid for already but we might end up selling & replacing them in a different location. Depends on if we decide to downsize and where.

Today I've got a To-Do list that far outnumbers five - there are 45 things on my list! Boy, am I behind!!

The majors today will be:

{x}2/3rds - filler now drying - 1)Filler on twin bed veneer. It's outside and up on the working platform.

[X]DONE w/a snafu - 2)Buy paint for above project. - Got the paint, started on back side of headboard. More gray looking than the deep black. I tried to tell the guy in the store that it didn't look right - he was filling in from electronics - but he insisted that it was right based on how dark it looked when dry. It did look dark, but I've got to go back tomorrow now as it just looks like a funky gray on the bed. POOODLES & FARTZWAZZLES!!

[X]DONE - 3)Mail off tube.

[X]DONE - 4)Content placed on my other blog.

[X]DONE - 5)Write & mail off sympathy note to friend's family. Long time ill, she passed away this weekend.

6)Get those newly figured out categories into YouNeedABudget software. I upgraded my software this weekend and we're going to be starting a fresh new budget this month with some newly aligned goals and taking into consideration the different income sources we're firing up. Keeping spending in a tight line will be KEY!! A fine balancing act, if you will. Of course we want to put off withdrawing from our retirement accounts as long as possible.



[X]DONE - 7)Get these entries up on Saving Advice!

Yesterday was a No-Spend Day.

I have a dime on my keyboard to start off November's $20 Challenge.

$20 CHALLENGE

$000.00 beginning balance
+000.10 laundress pay
_______
$000.10 Nov MTD

2009 Challenge Total $993.45
Cumulative Challenge Total $2047.21

Sicily's baking inspired me and I grabbed out my sourdough starter yesterday and made some fantastic sourdough rolls and I also made a chocolate pie. My fellows thank you Sicily!

While I'm out today I'll be making a bank run and depositing October's $20 Challenge Money. Yes, Pigger squealed again when I violated his inner sanctum!

And, speaking of inner sanctums, remind me to tell ya'll later, but Hubster has a stalker - one of his old fellow employees now hopped up on meth!

My Special Treat To You...

October 31st, 2009 at 11:42 am

Off with their heads...



THEIR Trick?
Pay Czar's Just Getting Started
http://www.politico.com/politico44/perm/1009/feinberg_fights...

YOUR Treat!!
The Zombie Jamboree* - a fun tune

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bNy2jA26Cg

*Language alert - contains curse word d*mn.

----

Here's a link to Hulu and some of the shows from "The Bank of Mom and Dad".

Be sure and watch the followups as well.

http://www.hulu.com/bank-of-mom-and-dad


I could stand for them to be a bit less boney and have more meat, but tasty none the less!

---
I have a spooky Halloween thing going on - my blog posts keep disappearing from the roll! Go to my HOME button and read back thru, my other post for today has some neat tunes in it. Does anyone know, did I push some PRIVATE button that made me disappear?

Edit to Add: Ahhh, I think I figured it out - if you do your posts early and put them in as drafts? It makes your other posts disappear from the main blog roll. Poooh! Go check out my other posts!


http://luxliving.savingadvice.com/2009/10/31/whos-the-quee...


Find out her name - Who's the Halloween Queen?

Who's The Halloween Queen?

October 31st, 2009 at 11:17 am



Happy Halloween To You!


Click here to listen to one of my favorite bands from way, Way, WAY back in the day!:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHEuSGGmX-c


My favorite song of theirs is Chant 13th Hour.

Hope everyone has a nice safe holiday weekend. Enjoy the candy! I'm looking to after the holiday sales to stock up on some dark chocolate! $$'s saved. M&Ms here are up to OVER $4 a bag from $1.98 last year.

Think we'll snuggle in later tonight, pop some corn and watch one of my favorites - Don Knotts in The Ghost and Mr. Chicken.

Here's the Haunted Organ song from that movie:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nz_crHdfggY


...and if you really like good organ music?

Here you go:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_FXoyr_FyFw


---
Dodd moves to freeze CC interest rates:

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1009/28769.html

---
One of my favorite treats to get at Halloween when I was a kid? Coins! So, if you've yet to buy candy, you might try running to the bank early this morning and getting a couple of rolls of pennies, nickles, dimes or quarters to hand out. I used to just love that! See, I've been a money nerd for a long time!

Strength to Bust Thru The Web?

October 30th, 2009 at 09:02 pm

Do I have enough strength to bust thru the web of too much to do???




Today's Five - Fortified Plus

[X]DONE - 1)Dressed to shoes
[X]DONE - 2)Makeup
[X]DONE - 3)Bed made
[X]DONE - 4)Laundry
[X]DONE - 5)Breakfast
[X]DONE - 6)Walk
[X]DONE - 7)Replace Calculator Tape
[X]DONE - 8)Vacumn Living Room
[X]DONE - 9)Fix Lunch for self & Hubster
[X]DONE - 10)Dust TV w/static brush
tried can't find wire 11)Put wires on family art/Hang in Studio
[X]DONE - 12)Put papers back in safe
[X]DONE - 13)Get gift tube put together
[X]DONE - 14)Beans in Crockpot
[X]DONE - 15)Bake cornbread for supper
[X]DONE - 16)Find Orange Paint in basement
[X]DONE - 17)Paint orange on wall
{x}half done - 18)XFind address for tube / Xpackage up / mail off
[X]DONE - 19)Closet, find 2 things to donate - (I found four things)
[X]DONE - 20)Read for inspiration on Flylady dot net - I have seriously fallen off wagon w/Hubster home this year.
21)Work on New Proposed Budget for SS & Pension
22)Revamp house-budget's categories on You Need A Budget software
23)Update Networth for October
{x}half done - we spoke, we'll speak some more! Big Grin 24)Talk w/Hubster about Roll Over funds where to invest - I'd like munis or T-bills or even somewhere outside the bounds of US borders, the state of the U.S.$ is worrying me.
[X]DONE - 25)Find 2 jobs online for Hubster to apply for tomorrow. He's still looking for employment because he can draw UE till late Dec. even w/SS.
At least in our state, here's a legal opinion:


http://nelp.3cdn.net/f96d84de63766102b2_8rm6b99ab.pdf


Hubster called UE office today and got the same answer.

And, if he gets a part-time job we might have access to a cheaper health-care insurance plan for him.


"Habits are cobwebs at first, cables at last." ~ancient proverb


Don't laugh at the first five or so of these on my list. The only thing I was consistently getting done was laundry. Some days I'm a nightgown girl all day, and it was getting to be too often when I had nowhere to go. Got to get back to my Flylady routines. I don't mind having one day a week to stay in my jams. But more than that? It's just too easy to let everything go to pot. And I need to eat breakfast EVERY day!!

I need good habits and I get better at keeping those good habits up when I keep in touch with the Flylady dot net method. I can't keep up with all the emails but I can check my book & read online to inspire myself.

Right now the second coat of paint is drying on my little orange spot and then I can move the chair back and vacumn that last tiny little corner & put the vacumn totally away. Everything else has been vacumned, even the dining room which I had no intention of doing today!

Another area that was getting sloppy was the cooking. If I don't stay on myself it's just too easy to forget to get anything out of the freezer and then just run out for fast food. That's got to stop! Beans are cooking in the crockpot and smelling good. After checking the cabinets and freezer I see I'm out of ham up stairs and will have to make a return visit to the basement to check for some canned ham to oooomph up the beans.

Okay, I told ya'll my house was a scary place after dark. While vacumning in the foyer I decided I'd open the front door to get right up to the threshold edge. Boy am I glad I did - the cobwebs - you wouldn't believe!!! It's scary in the daytime too!

No one ever uses my front door, like hardly NEVER! Jumping Jehosophat that thing was full of cobwebs which is unusual. So I go to cleaning it up and finally figure out why. The last time someone had it open (like maybe early spring?) someone (I'm not naming names), but someone AHEM! left the glass up on the storm door and it only had that very porous screen covering that part allowing critters into the space between storm door and wood door.

It's good to clean ocassionally! Big Grin Really, I keep telling myself that. If someone had come to that door, they'd for sure think no one had been in this haunted house for ages! Truly. There was dust and cobwebs and other ick on the doorknob even! Oh my. Well, Housekeeper of the Year? I'm not. But, that glass over the screen being down? Will save some utility bill $$s come this winter! And it keeps winter weather off my wood door too.

Back to my list! Crack that whip. I likely won't get it all done, but I'm on it like white on rice.

Please Don't Squeeze the Squash???

October 30th, 2009 at 07:39 pm



Clearing out my purse - squeezed out a measley .25 cents to take to the challenge.

$30.82 Oct balance
+00.25 three nickles & a dime - hate to get caught too short in the wallet! :{ Looking mighty scary in there. Slim pickin's.
______
$31.07 Oct MTD

2009 Challenge Total $993.35
Cumulative Challenge Total $2047.11

Stirring the Pot

October 30th, 2009 at 11:52 am



As I'm often likely to do towards the end of the month, I went online and rounded up these accounts, just to stir up a bit of the juice in the old interest pot and decrease the leftover flotsam in my personal checking!

RV Land Travel Fund - strictly in savings form
$232.34 10/9/2009 balance
+002.66 eye of Benjamin
_______
$235.00 new balance

Houseboat Fund - riding the waves of DOW
$407.54 10/9/2009
-019.70 investments down - hex on the WallStreet gurus & their Congressional familiars (not to worry I still have the shares in good stuff - think DCA, steady DRPs)
+002.16 root of Money Plant (come on, 7 come 11, baby needs a new pair of deck-shoes!)
_______
$390.00 new balance

I used to own one of these cool granny pots pictured above. I paid $80 for it and used it for years and years in my yard for Harvest parties & other picnics. We'd build our fire INSIDE of it and use it to roast weinnies & marshmellows and keep our backsides warm and our fingers de-iced! Great fun. I sold it a few years ago, but I wish I still had it - I think I'd like to hold our elected officials feet to the fire over the current economy!! And I'm sorry to say to all her fans, but Nancy Pelosi* is looking rather witchy to me lately!

*Might as well stir the political pot while I'm at it!

edited later to add:
Pelosi - Can't always get what you want

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1009/28919.html

Back from the Races

October 29th, 2009 at 01:18 pm


Yesterday was a new day at the Frugalicious races...

Got up early and Hubster and FrugalSon loaded up the back of my pickup with wood for my Dad using the wheelbarrow as I was not venturing back into the muddy yard with my truck again after getting sunk and stuck the other night. I picked what appears like the last of my tomatoes for the year and took about half of them for Dad.

Then Frugalson & I loaded up and went to the bank and got my signature on Hubster's Carpenter's Pension notarized and then scooted on over to the post office and got it mailed off.

We took off on the backroads and drove the hour and half trip to my Dad's and he and FrugalSon unloaded the wood while his wife and I visited. They got through and I got to visit with my Dad for about 30 minutes and then we started heading back.

Dad had slipped me $40 for gas. He can well afford it and if he didn't get wood from me? ...he'd be buying it from someone. Nice. It takes about $50 to fill my truck and I can get one full trip to his town and back out of it, plus some other running around my town. Last trip was on me.

I needed to treat my helper to lunch so at his choice we stopped for a burger basket, frosty rootbeers and had the rare treat of fried pickles as an appetizer. Yummers. $17.23 + $3.00 tip.

After lunch we stopped at a good garage sale. I bought myself two nice little side-tables - they are very heavy, have a cute rustic style to them and are formica-ed on top. So useable with those tops & too Too TOO cute to pass up.

I don't know that I NEED them, but will try to work them into the house. If they don't work out I might sell one or both of them in my booth at a profit. Or maybe FrugalSon can use them downstairs in his apartment. They are sweet little tables & at $25 for the pair, I can easily double my money. The finish on the legs is a bit aged, but they could be really cutened up w/some beige or antique white paint on the legs! Or, even some barn red or a forest green for a bunkhouse or cabin look. Here's one of them before cleanup:





Also bought myself a cute new to me denim jacket for a $1.00, and the guy running the sale, who was flirting with me ended up giving me a paperback for free - wooo, a big spender type! Big Grin

He was a nice man, but kind of overtly obvious with the compliments, thinking my son was my husband because obviously I couldn't P.O.S.S.I.B.L.Y. be that old, etc. Yeah, right. Nice to hear, but you know it's patently not true. I do look younger than my age, but not THAT young.

Also got two paintings in frames for $3 each. We'll probably paint over the canvases and have the frames to use for our creations. Cheap art material!!!

Then it was off to my Mom's house where they gave me a very nice metal patio table. They had three outdoor sets? I think one of them was from stepdad's Mom's estate. They are closing in their back patio and now have one inside that room and one set outside and this set just extra. Nice. I had given CashHappySon my old set when he moved away.



This patio set is black. My other outdoor set ALMOST matches it but is white/yellowish. The white set is 'chippy' and likely this coming spring, I'll wirebrush it down and paint it out black to match. I spot-shot the rusty areas the other day w/rustoleum to get it thru the winter. I nearly STOLE the white set late last year at a thrift store. All seven pieces for only $27.00! The other little table Hubster is using indoors for his printer stand.


(note one of the little arched water spigot cubbie covers that Hubster made the other day over on the left)

Mom THINKS she knows where the umbrella and stand is at in her storage building.

I'm counting my parental units as Corporate Sponsors! They're members of the Golden Eagle Elite Club!! Thank God for our parents. They've all done so much for us through the years.

We visited with Mom about 15 minutes and admired stepdad's handiwork on the new patio room, then jumped back in the truck.

Stopped at vitamin store and spent about $30 there, needed more magnesium for routine maintenance and also Sambucol to keep the sore throat and flu bug away. Pricey stuff but needed for to the keeping away of the creeping crud & the blue funks!

Then we stopped at the Dollar store for FrugalSon to buy more minutes for his Tracphone.

Then we got home by about 3:15 and I crashed! Then I got back up and took vitamin herby stuff to keep from being sick as I felt achy, and ate the rest of the Tortilla Soup from the other day at about 5:00 p.m. and then laid back down.

FrugalSon stayed outside and unloaded all the new bunkN'junque off the back of the truck.

FrugalSon then went out and helped Hubster who was mowing on the rider, by pushmowing the garden area and then the top-yard for the last mow of the season and to run all the gas out of the mowers so they can be winterized.

Hubster spent the day yesterday raking up all the leaves and twigs and general messiness that the tree cutters left behind and trying to repair a cheap-o rake that kept breaking on him. The last rake we had lasted about 15 years. This one? Lasted less than one season! Come on folks lets manufacture something worthwhile could we????

Then they stayed outside till dark-thirty chainsawing and stacking the rest of the wood in the front part of the yard. We are racing trying to beat winter! I had made Hubster promise not to chainsaw until I got home. I rushed around as much as possible for this daytrip to get back so he had some daylight left to work in. Supposed to be cold and wet the rest of the week here.

After all that cutting & stacking they came in and FrugalSon heated up the Black Bean soup that was also in the frig and they had that and sandwiches and marble cake for supper while I was going thru a nice little sleep cycle on the couch.

Poor FrugalSon had quite a busy day off!
I am feeling much better this morning. Like a new woman. Bouncing up at 5:30 a.m. Hubster is still sawing logs. In bed, that is!

Taking the $8 I didn't blow at a garage sale to the $20 Challenge.

$022.82 balance
+008.00 garage sale leavings
_______
$030.82 Oct MTD

2009 Challenge Total $993.10 (think I'll beat a thousand this year? Who'll give me odds?)
Cumulative Challenge Total $2046.86


*Little known L.L.Frugalis factoid: I used to jockey as a pre-teen.

S.S.S.G.

October 28th, 2009 at 09:14 pm



S.S.S.G. = Social Security Speedy Gonzales.

Hubster's first SS check which we applied for on Monday morning 10/26/2009 at 9:00 a.m.? Hit our bank this morning Wednesday 10/28/2009 by 8:00 a.m.! Holy Cow, when did the U.S. government get so efficient???? I am thrilled, amazed, gobsmacked, etc., etc., etc.

We are both pretty darn impressed!

"¡Andale! ¡Andale! ¡Arriba! ¡Arriba!" (Spanish for "Go on! Go on! Up! Up!) Yeeeehaw!!

Here I was thinking they were Speedy's cousin, Slowpoke Rodriquez!

One of my favorite childhood cartoons:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fXJv5-L6FwM


---

Today and Carpenter's Pension

October 28th, 2009 at 03:29 am



Tonight we filled out the online forms for Hubster's Carpenter's Pension to begin. We had busy busy daylight hours today that kept us from getting it done during the day.

It has to be printed out and taken in for a notarized signature. Spouses are protected from being left out of pension benefits and decisions by the law requiring that we sign off on the decisions. It's rather a strange thing. His application signature? Requires no notarization. Mine as spouse? Does.

Anywho, I plan to go first thing in the morning to the bank and get it notarized and off in the mail. The way I understand it we are asking for it to begin on 11/1. Not sure when the first check will arrive though. It will be back-pay from 11/1/09 though no matter when it actually starts.

First we had to get an estimated payment paper from them, which we did, telling them when he was planning on applying. That & the online application gets them on notice that he's to be put in the starting line up. Once they receive the notarized paperwork evidently they spring into action and send you a letter telling you when the first check will arrive.

We're going automatic deposits on this as well.

Once it's up and running they notify the authorized state insurance agency that he's eligble to go with that HCTC (I think it stands for health care tax credit) thingamadoodle that will get him the 65%-80% discount on some health care insurance coverage. The money in the pension check will be nice, but the healthcare benefits that we're hoping to get until he qualifies for Medicare? EXCELLENT.

Step by step folks. It's a process.

Keeping yourself going lockstep through the process can be, shall I say, taxing. He hates paperwork and gets majorly frustrated by all the little boxes to be checked and legally jargoned disclaimers that are made.

Also required are copies of birth certificates and marriage license. Fortunately that was all still out of the safe from the SS office visit.

Once this starts I will be so relieved. If you've been reading along with me from the beginning this was the mysteriously disappearing pension. I fought long and hard thru Congressmen, etc. to find out where it was 'hidden' and get it on somebody's radar that several million dollars of this company's pension funds had just slipped silently away after a company bankruptcy and was hidden deep within several layers of insurance buyouts by a major insurance company and it's many subsidiaries - I'm not naming names but it almost barked like a dog in it's commercials, Charlie Brown.

Finally we were able to get it taken over by this Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. It's a really AWESOMELY GOOD thing that they are doing protecting people's pensions in these trying financial times.

Today was a personal No Spend Day for me.

Today we went to another town to deliver some of CashHappySon's winter clothes.

Today the nearly local parental units came over. Since early this year they now live 30 minutes away instead of two hours away.

Today I got my truck stuck in the muddy yard trying to load up more wood to take to my Dad's tomorrow.

Today my Step-dad helped get the truck unstuck.

Today I baked a chocolate marble cake.

Today I balanced the housebudget checking account.

Today I called the bank on the sudden $15.47 checking fee that they whomped on our housebudget account. Because of Hubster's age we have a FREE Senior checking account.

Today they refunded the mistaken monthly fee.

Today my Mom had a brain scan and a check on her caratroid (sp?) artery to see why she's getting so confused and forgetful. No indication of when the results would be back.

Today my Mom told me the same story for about the 100th time.

Today I acted like I heard it for the very first time, again.

Today we had quite a spirited family discussion of the moral tone of our country and bashed various and assorted politicians.

Today I cooked a pot of Tortilla Soup for lunch.

Today I paid two CC's in full, as I do every month. We are still debt free. Housebudget paid.

Today I paid the water bill, 3000 gallons this month - $40.45 - that's for 3 adults, 2 of us who are home all day every day now. Housebudget paid. $2.50 of that is for prepaid ambulance service. ARG!

Today I cooked steak, baked potatoes and a salad for supper.

Today Hubster worked all afternoon cutting up the biggest chunks of the wood into small enough pieces so my Dad can carry them.

Today was quite a day.

Now, I'm going to bed w/the lumberjack! Talk to you all later.

Good night Gracie!

---
link to Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.
http://www.pbgc.gov/


link to PDF file about a Predictable Secure Pension For Life - has a nice checklist:

http://www.pbgc.gov/docs/a_predictable_secure_pension_for_...

---

Bugging ebay for my refund

October 27th, 2009 at 09:36 pm

I am dinging ebay again for my small refund of $7.76. Come on Meg - cough it up! First request in late September. It's just one of those things so easy to slip off the radar. I want my refund.
I'm not going to go away.



Visited the Social Security Office

October 26th, 2009 at 09:07 pm



We definitely applied for Social Security benefits for Hubster this morning.

On SS he'll be getting about an $185 a month increase over unemployment. A raise! Not near what he was making last year but a raise over what we've had coming in this year. Unemployment will stop (at least we believe it will). He's to call and double-check on that. If not, it runs until Dec 24th.

This gives some extra moolah to the budget to help him get some kind of health insurance.

To facilitate that we are also going ahead this week and starting his carpenter's pension. It'll be small (decidely not the 80% of final salary he was promised for years!) and we are likely going Joint Life on it so it should continue to me for my lifetime at the same rate as we'll draw now if something were to happen to him. If we just went on his lifetime it would be more in the check now. But I'm younger by a good bit and likely will be the longer liver.

Once this starts he'll be able to get health insurance thru our state approved insurance program and PBGC (Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp - they took over the pension plan when his company went kaput) will help offset the cost of that approved insurance somewhere in the range of 65-80%.

If we can do that until he's eligible for Medicare it should all work out. At least that's the current plan. With the pension & SS increase over unemployment there should be room in the budget to cover this healthcare expense.

At any rate, SS checks should start within the next few days to a couple of weeks the lady said. She was very nice and quite helpful really. There were a gazillion people there but we had the first interview of the day and were called first out of the crowd because we had an appointment scheduled.

I stressed over this interview more than was reasonable. Just silly really, but I was - woke during the night, triple-checking to see that I had all the needed paperwork, then woke early before the alarm and rechecked it. What a goose! I seldom get that worked up about anything.

I'm unclear as to when the carpenter's union pension check will start arriving - somewhere in the 1-3 month range after they receive the paperwork.

SS will be a direct deposit.

Where's the Orange Paint?

October 25th, 2009 at 09:03 pm

...it's down there.

YEP, you know where.

(cue spooky music)


Well, it's got to be dug out SOME TIME so I can paint the spot where the smoke alarm used to set. Some wacko man type personage must of installed it in this weird space between rooms. It was there when we moved in. Along with the thermostat that now sits hidden behind the big picture there. Who puts a thermostat smack dab in the middle of a wall? A man, I'm telling ya!!

This new trim installation in the dining/foyer area gave us the opportunity to fix this area into two different paintable spaces. As it was, whatever color was painted on that one wall in the living room had to tie all the way over into the foyer AND dining room area.

before:




after:



This way if a person wants to they can paint those two wall spaces a different color, and I'm likely to change the orange wall in the foyer area (to the right) later to the same yellow that's already in the dining area and on the other side of the foyer.



The trim in the dining room had to be thin to fit over the door AND go all the way down that long skinny little part that divides the addition of the dining room from the older portion of the house.

Okay - Who's ready to go d.o.w.n. **THERE** again and dig out the orange paint?

Not me.

Not today anyway. Perhaps some time next week I'll get my bravado up and venture into the basement again.

And, then Hubster can reinstall the smoke alarm ?elsewhere?, I'll finish painting the ceiling in the dining room and we can then consider this little chapter closed for now. Oh yeah, the new paint on the ceiling trim? Makes the rest of the trim in the room look like crap! Big Grin Always something, huh?

I love my orange wall. It's very warming at night in the rest of my cave (living room) with the lamps on. I realize it's not for everyone and will most likely have to be changed back to boring bland if we list our house for sale in the future. But for now, it makes me smile.

All except for that little white circle!

Orange paint - On next week's to do list.

Living Room
Before:

Do not adjust your screen, those WERE wavy lines you see at the ceiling line!

After:

Free boards in the attic, some paint, a lot of cussin' & discussin', and a couple of tubes of caulk later? Ta-da. Then you saw it - now you don't!

The Week Flew By!

October 25th, 2009 at 03:22 pm

Yesterday was a No Spend Day.

I spent about two hours in the basement yesterday looking for Hubster's Honorable Discharge paper, and realizing that I've a ton of work needing done down there - out of sight, out of mind.


Photo caption: Fortunately NOT my basement!


Ours is bad, but not THAT bad.

The biggest part was moving boxes out of the way of our long-term filing cabinets. Ninety-nine percent of those boxes came from MIL & FIL's estate. I am going through the boxes and selling stuff in my booth, it just takes time. Gaa! They were major hoarders though - not her maybe, but my FIL definitely was.

Tomorrow morning we have our appointment with Social Security to begin Hubster's SS payments. Wish us luck. Hopefully I have gathered all the necessary papers.

Hubster spent yesterday working on making some very nice vent & water connection covers for the outside of our house. The construction of our house is a wild mixture of cement block, rock and siding. There's a weird little arched recess where the water hose connects out front and he's decided this year (we've lived here since '99) that it needs covering. Whatever. It'll be nice. The man does good work.

Last week while I was out running around - museum presentation, breast cancer awareness party, and a funeral - he got the dining room trim up and painted. I'll get pics later.

The ceiling trim there & in the living room looks fabulous and makes the rooms look completed to my eye. He could care less, but it drove me batty from the day we arrived, the rooms just didn't look finished. Now we still have all three bedrooms, the utility room, the bathroom and the strange pass thru area between kitchen and dining room that need the same treatment. But they'll wait till later (hopefully spring).

I've yet to get the bed drug out and veneer filled & painted, but it's been piled with 'stuff' out of the dining room all week. Hope to get it all unloaded and then tear the bed down and get onto fixing it. I'll need to buy more paint so thinking that'll run about $20.

On Friday I rode along with parental units to a funeral (it was my nephew-in-laws mother who passed) about two hours from home and we stopped beforehand for lunch $5ish at fast food place, and then we went to a nearby town for a few hours in an antique mall. I spent nothing there which was a real feat as I had a long time in there as my Mom picks up every single item (or so it seems)! My Stepdad and I each made about six laps around the mall in there and Mom only got half-way thru before we drug her out! Then we ate supper on the way home and I spent $6.00 for a burger basket & fries and drink and $2.00 on the tip.

I balanced two checkbooks yesterday.

Need to take Ms. Carmel to the puppy groomer and have her nails clipped - $5.

Need to send money to the plumber for that hot water repair earlier this month - $300.

It's bill paying time and most everything is automated these days so it'll be interesting to see how my little routine differs now that there is no house payment to be made. I am planning on setting up an autodraft for the old mtg. payment amount out to savings for a future roof, HVAC, carpet, etc. fund.

Took Mom & FrugalSon to Lunch

October 23rd, 2009 at 01:45 pm




Last year at the Breast Cancer Awareness party I won a gift certificate for $15 at an eatery in another nearby town. All year long I had tried to use it when I went through there, but it was never the right time for me to stop, or they weren't open.

I even spent a bit of time trying to find where it was even located at first. Had to make long-distance call to the coordinator of the party to find it's location.

Once I located it I could never hit it with my hunger and their hours coinciding. However on Wednesday it was Breast Cancer Awareness party day again and I was able to take Mom, FrugalSon and myself to lunch. Our lunch meals were on special for $4.95 each, so all I ended up being out was for our drinks and a tip, at about $6.50 total.

Ta-da, my wallet is lighter as I'd been carrying that envelope in it all year long.

And, we had a good time and even brought some leftovers home for the pupster!

Hole in the Bottom of the Well

October 23rd, 2009 at 01:16 pm

Evidently there is a hole in the bottom of my well as I was looking underneath my truck seat for a paper that had slipped away and I found two paper dollar bills and a nickle. Taking it to the $20 Challenge. How long it had been under there? Who knows! Look underneath your vehicle seats. It can be profitable.

About time old Nellie started paying off!

$20 CHALLENGE
$020.77 balance
+002.05 drip-dropped
_______
$022.82 MTD

2009 Challenge Total $985.10
Cumulative Challenge Total $2038.86


Old Nellie the First

Had it!

October 20th, 2009 at 05:12 pm

Yesterday evening I did get the Lux's House of Beauty treatment done, but it was after 11 p.m. and I was too lazy to log back on and get it crossed off the to-do-list!

Hair is now looking fabo!! Had Lux's Night of Beauty. Cost $6 & tax for 2 boxes of inexpensive hair-color.


Photo: Milton Berle


And come on ladies & gents - no one commented on how frightful I was looking yesterday without it! Not a single one of you!! And I sooooo count on you folks to keep me looking cutting edge on a dime!

Today's Plans...More than Five

October 19th, 2009 at 02:54 pm

Greetings My Lovelys,

Today's TO DO list - Made last night, which is actually a better time to plan, as that way you can hit the ground running rather than kill a perfectly good morning farting around on the computer! Big Grin Who me???

Most of us say we're morning people, so why do we waste the better part of the day?

Everybody on board? cause away we go...

[X]DONE - 1)Make Bank Deposit.

[X]DONE - 2)Call Dentist - make payment plan. Write check.

[X]DONE - 3)Post Office - Drop off bills.

[X]DONE - 4)Move money back local to repay Lux for Tree Surgery.

[X]DONE - 5)Stop AT&T automated payment - so we don't get crammed on that $12.95 IDL charge we didn't authorize. Make online payment instead.

[X]PARTIALLLY DONE - got it purchased. 6)Buy Haircolor for Lux's House of Beauty night. Get it on head!! Big Grin Be boot-i-fied! Under $6 - long hair, buy 2 boxes.

[X]DONE - 7)Buy brackets for Museum Project. Under $3. Plan B - try this afternoon at another place when I go out w/Hubster because Plan A place was closed. Plan B place had them but they were $7.50 in the metro area. Local would've been much cheaper! Procrastination costs again. Frown

8)Package FrugalSon's SOLD painting & prints for shipment! They can go out in tomorrow's mail.

9)Call tribe about sons' enrollment.

[X]DONE - but No Sale - Buyer didn't show - ARRGGHHH!!! 10)Go with Hubster this afternoon to drop off Craiglist sale of extra mirror - $34 inflow.

[X]DONE - 11)Call Jennifer with donation information for Breast Cancer Awareness.

[X]DONE - 12)Have Meatless Monday (thanks Paulette Goddard for the idea!) Beans are soaking for supper.

[X]DONE - 13)Laundry.


I'll update again as the day goes along.

Must get busyyyyyyyyyyy and go to town.

TTYL! Got to go see if Ol' Nellie can get me to town and back.



Your friend,
~L.L. Frugalis, Bus Driver to the Stars

My Intentions Are...

October 18th, 2009 at 03:12 pm



Here's my five I intend* to get done today:

[X]DONE 1)Sort some bills that need paying and write the checks, address, stamp. One rogue bill here ?somewhere? that came in earlier this week from the day Hubster got laid off in early January. He went to the doctor early that morning only to arrive at work to layoff news for the entire plant. Evidently they've been trying to collect from insurance company all this time and it's a no-go. I normally put all bills in one place and a quick glance this a.m. finds that paper missing - perhaps it's on Hubster's side of desk?

2)Clean off side desk-table whatchie. (I need to get you all a picture - great buy!**SEE BELOW) Maybe that bill is there? Piles of files and miscellaneous junk mail gets piled there from time to time. Okay, PEOPLE, who stacked this stuff h.e.r.e. of all places??????????

ON HOLD - MORE PARTS NEEDED 3)Get canvas framed & name plaque installed. This will entail encouraging Hubster to do it for me. Hopefully today. I need it for sure by Wednesday a.m. I keep trying to get him to let me do it with his instructions so I learn to feel confident with those tools, but this particular project is in need of the pro's touch.

[X]DONE - 4)Cook Sunday dinner - creatively, using any leftovers that can be incorporated into something looking like a balanced meal. Wish me luck, I'm going in to the tupperware...

[X]DONE - 5)Strip & wash current bed linens and get the flannel sheets on the bed. It's cold here! I told Fern already, I'm out on the heat challenge. Hubster turned it on early this a.m. as it got down to low 30's last night. His fault entirely Smile, I SWEAR I could've made it with more blankies & a nightcap! Shiver me timbers!


[X]DONE - Alternate #3)Paint one wall of living room & trim doo-dads so Hubster has them to work on dining room. His decision to start this late in the day! After this there is only one portion of one wall in the living room repainting job that needs doing. It'll wait for another day.

*I will update throughout the day as things get done.

**side-table desk whatchie:

Great for when a project needs more space, such as for collating papers, sewing, crafting, sorting STUFF, extra place settings for a crowd, etc.

I paid $49 for this and then went to Walmart and bought paint in their discounted 50% Oops Mixed Up The Wrong Color aisle to get paint that nearly matches walls & desk in living room - SCORE! The cabinetabledeskwhatchie was originally $69 at a junk/antique mall. I asked if they'd take $49 - I figured dealer had anywhere from $0-35ish in it. I'm perfectly willing for dealer to make a profit, but they don't have to make their entire month on my back, you know?

An FYI - ALWAYS ASK FOR A DISCOUNT at these places. Many are already preauthorized to give at least a 10% discount without contacting the booth owner. You can get often get more off by asking them to call them and just ask. Worth a try.

I resisted when I first saw this and left it there and kept thinking and thinking about it - always a good sign that the something would be useful to me, so back I went for it some weeks later glad to see it still there.

Anyway this thing was a perfectly servicable white when I got it but it didn't match the decor. ALWAYS when shopping in these places think of if you could make something work for your place with a bit of paint, spray or brush. I OFTEN spray paint items from the antique'heap. EASY fix. This thing has drawers on both sides (6 total) which is cool and the drop-leaves are also on both sides. I want to add wheels to it which would make it even mo'betta!! Note that for a future Five Things list? Maybe next month.

What? I told you if it stands still? I paint it. Forever am painting some thing.

Oh look. I even gave Hubster 3 drawers of this for his very ownsome. He accuses me that all the space in the house is mine and all he has is one sad bookcase to store his good stuff on.

Also when shopping an antique mall, think REPURPOSING. Just because it's always been used as a frobtottlebaum, doesn't mean you can't use it as a bobleknocker, does it? Go for it. Note our repurposed two user desk beside this thing - it used to be a kitchen table.

For all you Flylady fans - this however is one of my hotspots.

Five

October 18th, 2009 at 04:32 am



1)Laundry DONE

2)Paint ceiling in Dining Room 1st coat DONE (prep work so Hubster can get crown molding up in that room) Needed because WACKED OUT bug spray man hit the ceiling in here with his bug juice making BIG ugly stains! Saving myself the cost of hiring a painter worth it's price in a post-whiplash neck-ache to a Frugalista such as myself. Ben-gay here I come.

3)CashHappySon's coats & winter wear from basement DONE

4)Cut up last of canteloupe likely for this season before it's gone-by freshness date DONE

5)Hang up clothes on top of dog cage DONE

It's ALWAYS Something - Keep Vigilant!

October 17th, 2009 at 07:29 pm

Not much going on here - except I spent a bunch of money buying frames for mine and FrugalSon's artwork at the 50% off sale. That took a load out of my wallet and now I'm nigh on to broke in the checking account department. But we got lots of frames for artwork we've had sitting around, as we say in my neck of the woods, nekkkkid.

Good news for FrugalSon as he sold an artwork this year. His first. Big doings, and he had prints made of it and has sold those as well! He's now a PRO. Momma Frugalis is sooooo proud.

The dog herd left this morning again after another round of sitting. Another tiny bit of inflow here for the dog-sitting, and I'm going to take $20 of it and put it toward this month's $20 Challenge as that seems to be lacking and the rest I'll put towards the RV Land Travel fund LATER, if I don't have to have it to run on later in the month.

That frame expenditure ran me close to empty and I do have an out of town trip to make later this month that will likely take cash.

Today will be a No Spend Day.

Housebudget spent yesterday $90ish for groceries, and I spent $15 for a name plaque to go on the bottom of one of my paintings that will be going to a museum later this month as well. So, all said and done, I'm experiencing a temporary cash flow problem! Oh well. I can always pull back out of savings if I had to, but I won't do that unless absolutely necessary and I can't see any upcoming expenses that I haven't already accounted for.

The tree guys are all gone and Hubster has much chainsawing left to do on some big pieces - the base of one tree stump sits at 37 inches before it flared out toward the roots! Our collective emergency fund said OUUUUUUUUCHHHHHH over that expenditure, but twas needful. Back to boosting that savings now.

BEFORE after death by FREAKISH ice-storm



AFTER very sad, it changes entire look of main approach to house:


These are only the corner on one side. There were about 8 more gigantorific trees that had to come down all together all around my house. The back of my house now feels naked and VERY exposed! They cut to 14 inch length & stacked most of it.

While Hubster was out trying to get the rest of it cut up his chainsaw stopped oiling itself, so it's back in the repair shop, and who knows what that'll cost.

It's always something. ;{

Took one load of the wood to my Dad's this week, there are about five or six more loads to go! He'll have wood to burn all winter and some for next year likely.

Our phone bill came and whatever special we had signed up under has now ended adding another $20 a month to that expense, and there was a 'CRAMMED on' charge for IDL - some kind of identity thingawhich that we did not ask for at $12.95 a month, and now have to wangle around to get taken back off the phone bill. Ought to be a law. The phone owner cannot ask for it to be removed, it has to come in the form of a credit from the CROOK who crammed it on there to begin with. They have you by the neck!! ARRRRRRRRRRRRGGG!


Photo caption: Abott & Costello?


Did I mention? It's ALWAYS something. Vigiliance is key. Somebody always trying to play GOTCHA in the wallet department!!


$20 CHALLENGE
$000.77 balance
+020.00 Wooof-woof!
_______
$020.77 Oct MTD

2009 Challenge Total $983.05
Cumulative Challenge Total $2036.81

How Do You Roll? Let Me Count The Ways!

October 10th, 2009 at 11:17 pm



From May 1, 2009 until now, October 10, 2009, I have saved 61% of all the dollars that have crossed my personal path. Don't know about you guys but, I am impressed with myself as I had no idea! Well, I do know, ya'll will be proud too! Because that's just the way this group rolls.

You roll pennies, nickles, dimes, quarters! ...and you're supportive to boot!

This is not the house budget but my own personal dollars.

Well, YEAH & 2 gold stars for me! Like Pres. Obama's & his Nobel Peace Prize, just know that I'm totally SURPRISED!

My bank has added a new feature on tracking that I've been playing with today. It only goes back to May to tabulate results.

I'm tickled to see that number! 61%! If I wait till tomorrow to tell you, it's liable to be higher, as I just sent off some more dollars to online bank savings last night that haven't yet registered with my local checking bank's system. Big Grin

Try here (not sure that this will work)!

http://www.tvland.com/shows/munsters/games/tickleme/herman...


Tickle Herman several times and you get a different response each time!

Hermie & I will be over here tickled w/fat pigger!

------------
An FYI moment - from over on the money facts portion of my sidebar came this info - I knew it would be high, but didn't think it would be this high--

"In 75% of American households, women manage the money and pay the bills."

----
Today has been a No Spend Day!

Updating RV Land Travel Fund

October 10th, 2009 at 12:37 am

RV Land Travel Fund

$140.99 09/24/2009 beginning balance
$179.65 10/02/2009
$232.34 updated 10/09/2009


Updating Dream Car Fund

October 10th, 2009 at 12:23 am

Updating Dream Car Fund

$695.20 09/15/09
$718.43 updated 10/09/09

Updating Houseboat Fund

October 9th, 2009 at 11:55 pm

Updating Houseboat Fund

$407.54 10/09/2009 new balance

Some BIG Spending

October 8th, 2009 at 12:04 am

Plumber yesterday to replace all hot water lines in basement = $300.00

Tree surgeon to remove about 10 trees & haul off all brush = $2700.

OUCH!

My Frugalicious Gene is puckered up TIGHT!! aUUUGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH! Our poor House Budget.

Finished Painting Chest of Drawers

October 7th, 2009 at 04:22 pm

Finished this up on Monday. Just now remembering to post you the pics.

Before w/spackle on flaked off veneer spots:



After:

I am happy with the way it turned out.

Next? The bed in this room. Here it is when it was in the sun room. The ends facing outward are the scruffed up veneer parts. Will try to get a before shot of that, before spackling. There's also a desk and book case in the spare bedroom above that I'd like to paint out the same - only I think that will have to wait for spring.


Update - Grrls Just Wanna Have E-Funds!

October 7th, 2009 at 03:51 pm



Grrls (Lux's Personal) Just Wanna Have E-funds!-w/Fidelity

$1,391.56 02/18/09
$2,662.81 08/15/09
$3,044.52 08/24/09
$3,194.01 09/22/09
$3,346.03 09/26/09
+0,000.47 interest 09/30/09
+0,015.00 autodraft 10/01/09
_________
$3,361.50 New Balance-updated 10/07/09

I've Been Meaning to Tell You...

October 6th, 2009 at 11:10 pm

I've been meaning to tell you guys that the main reason I was absent here most of July was that my little black doxie died that month. I miss her still. She was the one who had broken her back and she had healed up pretty good and was getting around actually fairly well with a noticeable wobble. She was a pound dog and she was pretty old (estimated between 9-13) when we got her to begin with. She had about four or five good years with us.



Last month when Mom's three little doxie's came to visit was bittersweet, but gave our other pupster some friends to play with for that week. We had a whole 'herd'.


Three Amigos on Aunt's Lap


All the pet talk here just kept bringing up the thought that I hadn't told ya'll about her passing, and, well, I just needed to let you guys know that. You all were so supportive when she got hurt.

She was a sweet loving little lap dog, and I miss her. That's her in the top picture.

We are not planning to get any more dogs for a good long while. The other dog here actually belongs to CashHappySon and if he ever goes to live in a house will likely mean he'll want to claim her. I'm not willing for him to take her to live in an apartment and be cooped up. She loves to run!

Right now she's happily licking my sugar-free Jello cup!


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