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Bookkeeper Eats Free!

November 4th, 2009 at 03:49 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 07:40 am

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 07:06 am

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 04:42 am

Off with their heads...



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

YOUR Treat!!
The Zombie Jamboree* - a fun tune
[url]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bNy2jA26Cg
[/url]

*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.
[url]
http://www.hulu.com/bank-of-mom-and-dad
[/url]


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!

[url]
http://luxliving.savingadvice.com/2009/10/31/whos-the...


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

Who's The Halloween Queen?

October 31st, 2009 at 04:17 am



Happy Halloween To You!


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

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


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:

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


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

Here you go:

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


---
Dodd moves to freeze CC interest rates:
[url]
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 02:02 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:

[url]
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 12:39 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 04:52 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
[url]
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1009/28919.html[...

Back from the Races

October 29th, 2009 at 06:18 am


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.