Tuesday, January 31, 2017

More tv

It's payday today. Always a good day. Got my few bills that come out of this check paid (most are set up with autopay) and money transferred to savings. Right now I just have a tax account (for my self employment income) and a travel savings account that I'm putting money in. I like the Capital One savings where you can create sub-savings accounts. I'm going to start putting money into the "Pet account" again too. To be used for vet visits and eventually the extra expense that comes with aging dogs. One dog is 8 and the other is 4. I called our garbage service because I have yet to get a bill (they bill quarterly) and they did not have our PO Box, so I didn't get the bill. I know I gave them our PO Box. The only utility that I had to call back with our PO Box was the telephone company, because I had set that one up before the move. The day we signed papers, we had a couple hours to wait to get keys and we went and got our PO Box set up, then I called and set up garbage, propane, electricity, etc. Anyhow, all paid up now for garbage until May.

We decided to upgrade our Dish satellite service. We only have one tv and got set up with the "Wally" receiver, which doesn't have OnDemand nor can it record. I really didn't care about recording, but want OnDemand and didn't realize the Wally doesn't have that capability. So, a technician is coming tomorrow morning to swap receivers and give us the Hopper. It will be an extra $15 a month, a $50 one time charge and also a service call. The service call is $95, but if I sign up for the monthly service protection for 6 months at $9 a month, that would be cheaper than paying the $95 service call fee. I just have to remember to stop it in 6 months, and I have made a "reminder" on my work calendar to do so. When DH was visiting his friends on his little vacation last month, he said they had the dvr, record up to 16 shows or something like that, so he got to see what it was like....but they have a tv in like every room of their house! The most we've ever had was 2 tv's and now just one. I will not have a tv in the bedroom, nor did I let the kids growing up. I know if we had a tv in the bedroom DH would watch it late into the night, and I'd get no sleep. When we used to have our motorhome there was a tv back in the bedroom and that's exactly what he'd do...then fall asleep with the tv on. Drove me nuts. I yell at him if he brings his phone to bed and uses it.

We are such homebodies and this is really, for the most part, our entertainment budget. We aren't really getting the most out of the movies offered because half of the time we don't realize a movie we'd like to maybe watch has already started, so we either skip it or watch part of a movie. I'm sure I will really like the dvr feature. We never had it with our cable at our other house (though it was only an extra $5 per month). I will probably drop the Netflix I recently signed up for again. I still have 2 more months free (with the gift card I received for Christmas) but will probably let it go again. I think with the movies and shows I will have available to me now, I probably won't watch it much. 

We are getting more snow today. Probably 4-5 inches so far. The weekend really warmed up to almost 50 degrees and Sunday afternoon we took advantage of it and got our car totally washed and cleaned out. It was sooo dirty.  We washed the outside, DH vacuumed and cleaned windows inside and I used the Armor-all wipes on the hard surfaces inside. The dogs pretty much go with us all the time now, so lots of dog hair to vacuum. I don't think we've had the back seats in the upright position since we got here LOL. We put the old twin size duvet from DD's bed in the back and they ride there. Easy to pull duvet cover off and wash, too.

I'm trying to read that book for the book club. It's an ok book, I just have trouble reading the smaller print, so I'm not reading for very long periods, which is making it hard to get into it. I tried to download it from my library, but it's on a wait list and not likely to get it in the next month. I may just have to go ahead and purchase an e-book copy so I can get it read.I hate paying for books though.

Sunday, January 29, 2017


I woke up with a headache and usually when that happens once I get up (and eat) I'm fine, but this one keeps getting worse. Ugh.

We had a great time over at our neighbor's next door to our property yesterday. They had invited another couple that lives down the road, but also ended up including another couple too. Everyone brought something (banana bread for me), plus the hosts had some goodies, so we all ate good! One of the couples, the wife is new to the area too. They just got married last summer and prior to that she had lived in another state and a big city.  Our neighbor guy is a hoot and great at making people laugh, that's for sure. Their house is just awesome. Makes me can't wait to build our house out there.

Neighbor lady is in a book club and asked if I like to read. So, yes, since I love to read I am going to give her book club a try! She gave me the book to read and their next meeting is at the end of February (once a month). She said sometimes there are only a few that show up, sometimes 10. It's just very casual and do it when you feel like it. A once a month book club sounds like just my speed of socializing.

Well, off to take some advil and see if that helps.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Filling in the calendar ;)

I was joking with DD last night that I'm going to have to get a calendar for all our social engagements we are getting now. LOL.  In addition to our coffee at the "property" neighbors house tomorrow, we also have now been invited to sit at the table of a charity dinner that DH's (rich) friend has a table at in early March. Some annual charity for a wildlife foundation or something like that. Aren't we just the social butterflies now? LOL

I'm making a loaf of banana bread, this afternoon, to take over to coffee tomorrow. Last night I made myself a cheesecake. It's been a long time since I made one of those. Hmmm...I don't remember the springform pan leaking before, so my oven started smoking and a little flame as it dripped on the heating element. EEEK! I guess you are supposed to put foil or something underneath, but the directions didn't say that. The directions for this recipe called to bake for 30 minutes and then turn oven off and let sit inside there for an hour. Fortunately the smoking/flames started right at the time I was turning it off, so I took it out for a couple minutes to get the little bit of smoke cleared and stuck it back in (figured what did I have to lose at that point) for the remaining hour and it turned out fine.

I cleaned up the bottom of the oven today, before I turned it on to make banana bread. Of course I apparently didn't get it all off and it was smoking a bit. So, I had to turn it off, let it cool down, wipe and wipe some more, but now my banana bread is baking nicely (I hope!).

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Spendy day

I went ahead and ordered the electric blanket. I found a 20% of coupon in "my account" with BB&B. The blanket was $155 (OUCH!), less $31 for 20% off and less $50 gift card, so I was out of pocket $74. Hopefully it lasts a good long time. I saw the heated mattress pads and considered those, but they are same price too. I've never tried flannel sheets but I think I'd feel too warm in them all night. I have a feeling we'll just be using the heated blanket to warm up bed to get in and then turn it off for the night. Our down comforter keeps us warm, it's just that coldness the first few minutes of getting in bed that is rough (we must be getting old!). I also shopped thru Swagbucks site to make the purchase so should get some points back for that too.

Then DH decided to figure out what he wants to get for new work boots (I forgot about this) as his have finally worn out and the sole is splitting away. He wanted to get the same Timberland kind he has and found them on Timberland website for $127. I told him to send me the link as most likely I can find the same boot cheaper on another website. I decided to go with Amazon for $98. There was one place for a few dollars less, but since I just got a $25 Amazon giftcard code from Swagbucks, I decided to use that towards the boots, bringing my out of pocket down to $74 for that, too. Better than $127, for sure.

Cold sheets

I've been looking online at electric blankets for our bed. It can be really chilly to get into it at first! Wow - they are so expensive! I just received a $50 Bed Bath and Beyond gift card, so I think I will put that towards one. Where is a 20% BB&B coupon when you need one?! Seems like I'm always getting them in mail or email (and rarely buy stuff) and now there aren't any out, apparently. Since the dang blankets (in king size) cost $125 on up, I'll hold off and wait for a 20% off, for sure.  I looked at a couple of cheaper ones but the reviews were terrible, so guess you get what you pay for in this case. Reviews on so many of the blankets say they don't last long and stop working. I'll be pretty mad if something I pay that much for doesn't last long. Plus, I like that the king size have dual controls, so we can each heat our side to however we want. I'll bet my dog that sleeps with me will be liking it. LOL.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

What I'm reading and watching

Most of my entertainment (especially in winter) comes from reading and watching tv (and Facebook LOL), So,here's what I'm reading and watching currently:

Books - I'm reading two right now. The main one is "Going Clear". A book about exposing The Church of Scientology. My thoughts on this "church": NUTS!

I chose it to read because DH and I found the Leah Remini show about Scientology on A&E the past couple of months very interesting. This book even delves more into the craziness of it all. So ruthless and controlling.

The other book is one I received from DH for Christmas. "History Will Prove Us Right", about the Warren Commission during the Kennedy assassination time. This one is taking me awhile to get through, mostly because I do better reading on my ipad, where I can adjust the font a little bigger and this is an actual book.  Anyhow, for now it looks smart sitting on my coffee table - HA!

Prior to starting the "Going Clear" book a few days ago, I just finished reading a Michael Connelly book "The Crossing". I can't read one of his books with "Mickey Haller" in it, without thinking the character and voice as Matthew McConaughey, haha.

Watching - mostly I've just been watching "This is Us". I still have the latest episode from last week to watch. Apparently we no longer have NBC on our Dish satellite as they are arguing over the contract, so I wasn't able to watch it on regular tv last night, like I had hoped.

We did also start watching the new series "Six" on History channel. That was a pretty good show and one I figured DH would like, as well.

What are you reading and watching?

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

New recipes and cooking methods

Due to necessity, I had to come up with a new way to make hamburgers! I have always broiled burgers under the oven broiler setting on a broiler pan (unless it's summer and I was using an outdoor grill). First off, let me say that since I can remember I have never really liked home made burgers. But DH likes them and they have always been an easy meal to make for the family, so they have always been our our dinner menu list every so often. I have never figured out how to keep the patties from shrinking up so much, either.

Fast forward to our new house here and the weird set up that there is no oven vent to outside. Seriously, dumbest thing ever. There is a microwave over the oven with a fan underneath that just blows the smoke into the kitchen. Again, dumbest thing ever. I probably make burgers about once a month or so. First time I tried it set off the smoke alarm....the next time I kept the sliding door open, but that was when the temperature wasn't 5 degrees outside, so needless to say we have not had burgers in a couple of months.

Last week (as I'm running out of dinner ideas) I decided to give frying the burgers in a fry pan a try. I was looking at google and saw a recipe to saute some chopped onion in the pan first and fry patties on top. So, I gave it a try. OMG! Best burger I have ever eaten (and that includes some good ones at restaurants). They were so juicy and didn't really shrink up. Plus the onion gave the burgers great added flavor. We liked them so much, I made them for dinner again last night (and was able to use up some more of the buns leftover). And, there was very little smoke and no alarms going off!

I was also craving chocolate cake a week or so ago but didn't have any cake mixes in my pantry. But I do have baking cocoa in my pantry, so I made a cake from scratch. It was yummy but did sink in the middle a bit. Not sure what caused that. Google gives several possibilities as so why, but sounds like maybe I over mixed the batter with my kitchenaid mixer. The cake and texture reminded me a lot of the yummy (from scratch of course) chocolate cake my grandma used to make.

Monday, January 23, 2017

I don't get it

While I completely respect and support peoples right to peacefully protest, I'm not sure I am understanding completely what the women's marches on Saturday were all about. From the signs and interviews I saw with some, their purpose seemed to be all over the place (except they didn't allow all women - pro-life women weren't welcome), which made it hard to follow and understand where they were coming from. From hating Trump, disavowing him as their president, abortion rights, equal rights, etc. Even my 21 year old daughter texted me that she just didn't "get it".

I'm not sure how dressing up as a vagina proves a point, but I guess others do understand it, so that's what counts. I'm not sure how having Madonna as someone who speaks for women's rights is making their point. She spent her career saying "look at me, the sex symbol". The upset and angry women are supposedly saying "don't treat us like were just a <insert lewd word>", yet are dressing up as one. I'm not getting the connection or I am misunderstand the message, I guess. Maybe I just don't care enough. I don't know.

I do know that I do not feel, as a woman, that my rights are less or that my rights will diminish. I work in what would be considered a male dominated industry. If women are so inferior, then why, out of the 4 executive managers at the company I work for, why are 3 out of the 4 women? Why, out of our sales force, are there more women then men? They all make the same salary and are on the same bonus program. My family has strong successful women. One (just retired early) was high up executive in a huge company. Another was a very high up newspaper editor. Another relative is a partner at a law firm. A good friend of DH's wife was (retired early too) a high up exec for a global company. Another wife of one of DH's friends was VP of an insurance company. Most of the women I personally know actually make more than their husbands. None of these women act like inferiors or act like they are being discriminated against or are a victim. Maybe it's just as simple as if you see yourself as as inferior and a victim, then that's what you will be.

Ahh well, that's the great thing about this country. We can all have different views.  The sad part is now it's apparently not ok to have a different view from some. I'm gonna go make my man a sandwich....because he's been doing laundry all day :)

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Weekend this and that

I haven't been doing a whole lot the past couple of days, mostly watching the Inauguration stuff on tv. I'm so ready to see this country get back on track with the economy, jobs, healthcare and national security.

I did get a couple of nice/surprise phone calls. I don't know if I mentioned this before, but when we were in the process of buying our piece of land we got to know the only neighbors there a bit. Really nice couple in their early 60's. We saw them the two times last spring when we were looking at it and then after we made offer. We called them a couple of times updating them on our fiasco of trying to sell our house, etc. They called us once or twice for an update.

The day we got here, we stopped in where the wife works here in town to say we made it. When we were rounding the corner to get to our street to get our keys at the house that next day, the husband happened to be walking across the street near where he works and we stopped and said hello.

And that was the last we heard from them! We've been here since first of October. I figured (this being such a small town and all) we might get a call to come on over, have lunch or something. We've been out to our property a few times. One time saw the wife outside for a minute and waved to her. The other times I don't think they were home. On New Year's day we went out there (the dogs love to run around the 2 acres and we wanted to see what it and the river looked like in all the snow) and didn't appear they were home (hard to tell because they park in garage). DH had me call them to leave a message when we got back home so that they'd know it was us who made the marks in the deep snow to turn around next to their driveway. Wife was home and we chatted for a few minutes on the phone. She was very nice but still, nothing like "hey, come over for a visit sometime" type of thing. 

Maybe it's just me, but that seemed kind of strange to me. There's not a lot to do or a lot going on around this area, so you'd think socializing would be the thing to do. Plus, if you know someone is new and doesn't know anyone, it would seem the neighborly thing to do.

Anyhow, Friday eve the phone rang and it was the wife inviting us over for coffee next Saturday and she's inviting another couple that live out that way (our property is 10 miles outside of town). So, of course I accepted and we are looking forward to it.

Then my cell rang and it was my old high school friend calling to see how it all was going. She's been taking a break from Facebook all month (her sister's husband is dying, so sad) so just wanted to say hi and that she had been thinking of me. It was a nice little chat and so nice that she took the time to call.

DH has been doing the grocery shopping with me at the little store in town. Such a change from the first 30 years LOL. You couldn't have paid him to go grocery shopping. LOL. We were going to stop in the lumber store for some things but they are closed all week because they are moving into a new building down the street from where they were. Can't go today because they aren't open on Sundays, LOL. Love small town life :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Hump Day

It seems like every week I go pick up our mail I'm getting some sort of money in the mail! Various refunds from escrow regarding our real estate sale and purchases. Rebate money. Class action settlement checks that I signed on for way back when. Gift card from boss. Last week was a check from Verizon (as DD switched to her own account and the acct had originally been set up in her name and we added on later) but that was in her name, so I had to mail it to her. LOL. $7.93 thank you very much. Then today I get a check for each DH and I for $8.93 from some Chase class action suit, where they apparently looked up customers credit info even though the accounts had been closed or something to that effect.  The other day I received my $30 rebate on the KitchenAid I bought for DD. This one was a visa card.  The checks I just keep putting in my savings account.

DH just got this snow roof rake thingy he ordered on line. He's out there using it and thinks it's the greatest thing ever. Just in time, as we are supposed to get rain and good to get that snow off the roof, I guess, so it doesn't just turn to a bunch of ice.  He already told the guy across from us about it and told him he could use it too :)  I have a feeling he'll be taking it over to his friends place, too, and letting him use it.

Warming up here! supposed to get mid 30's and rain today and up to 40 degrees tomorrow. Our back patio and driveway are sheets of ice right now with the little rain we are getting.

A week ago or so I sent DH a link to some plans I found in Pinterest to make a wooden ladder for blankets. He kind of ignored me at first but in the email to him I said "might as well make 2, because as soon as DD sees it she will want one too".  He mentioned it yesterday and said he wanted to find some old barnwood to make (rather than just the 2x4 and 2x6 wood from hardware store the plans call for). He told me last night he's been looking on Craigslist for some old wood. Found a place near the city, so maybe next time we go in, we can check it out.  DD was messaging me the other night and said she wants to get a blanket ladder made (I never told her I asked her dad to make us). I showed the text to DH and said "see? told ya she'll want one too".  LOL.

I think the bonus check fiasco is finally/almost resolved. At least it has been confirmed they voided and reversed it, but it seems that maybe my regular job company was given the credit back for it, not the side job company. That little part needs to get confirmed, but it's resolved for the most part.The payroll company still doesn't quite know on their end which company they gave the credit for it to.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

First paycheck

Our "new" payroll check details got posted yesterday. I don't usually care about the details of my checks as they are basically the same, but with it being a new year (and taxes always change a bit) and I reminded the payroll person (again) to get me set up to have state income tax withheld, I wanted to see the details. I also discontinued having any money withheld for FSA. All in all, I seem to have a total paycheck of about $80 less than previously.

I had used FSA previous years because of DH's pricey Crestor medicine, but that went generic (and free on his insurance) mid year last year, so I don't need to use the FSA this year and didn't sign up to have it deducted from my checks this year.

Last Friday my boss sent out the annual "it's time to do performance reviews" email and we are supposed to have our "grading of ourselves" back to her by this Friday. That typically means some sort of raise will be in my near future. Based on the small raises I have received the last couple of years, I'm guessing this year's raise will probably just cover the $80 less per paycheck I'm experiencing. So, it won't really feel like I got a raise, but it also won't feel like I have less money either. All good. Hopefully we meet this years sales goals and mid year (and year end) we'll get that 15% bonus, instead of the 10% we have been getting, and that will feel like a raise.

I'd really like to increase my 401k contribution, which I usually do when I get a raise, but I know (unless the raise is more than I am expecting) I probably won't want to if I'm not really seeing extra money in my twice a month paychecks. I think what I'll do is see where we are at the end of the first quarter. If we are on target for the bonus (end of June) then I will increase my 401k contributions.

It's kind of hard to get real creative with grading myself and coming up with new goals, when my job stays so much the same, for the most part. I mean, there's only so much "new" you can implement for accounting, ya know? LOL. And I'm terrible about remembering what 3 accomplishments I had over the last year. I did start a document at the beginning of last year to note something down if I thought it worthy of being considered an accomplishment. I opened the document and there was only one thing on there for earlier this year, LOL. So, I need to come up with two more. I'm sure there is stuff I did that was noteworthy, but I tend to just pass it on through my brain as just doing my job.

It's kind of interesting to see the progression of some salaries over the years, especially the managers. When my boss first started in 2007, she was making about $30k more a year than me. Now, she is making $120k more a year than me, as well as big bonus's. Some employees get 5-15% raises and some get small 2-3% raises (me!). I'm not really sure of their "formula" for deciding who gets what. There were several years that I got nice raises of 5-8%.

I'm not complaining. I'm thrilled to have my work from home job and that is enough for me right now.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Doing Winter

It was a very enjoyable 3 day weekend. The birthday celebration at our friends house on Friday evening was very fun. Lots of good food to snack on all evening, as well as cake and cupcakes. Met some new people and it was nice to get out for an evening (and not cook!). Before we went to their house we went into the city and did some shopping real quick. $200 later we walked out of Target. That did include a bottle of wine for the birthday lady - picked because we liked the bottle and the label, LOL, as we know nothing about wine.

Saturday morning we went and did the rest of our grocery shopping in town here (milk and stuff). I can't remember now what we did the rest of the day. Not much, apparently.

Sunday our friends (same one's we went to on Friday) asked us to go out to dinner. There is a nice steakhouse place near their house, but out in the sticks, that DH has been wanting to go to. I guess it's been around a very long time as DH's dad remembers it from over 35 years ago (though it's changed hands a few times).Very good food and we had a nice evening with the 4 of us. Still less than a half hour drive from our house, so not too far. It's so nice to leave the house and not give our neighborhood and house a second thought.

This morning I cleaned bathrooms, dusted and cleaned a few dishes in the kitchen sink. I ironed the new burlap table runner I bought and put it on the table. Kinda cute and rustic.

I had today off, so around noon we headed out to our property for a walk around. It's good exercise when you try to walk around in 2 feet of snow! So beautiful everywhere around here.

The road back to town

 Supposedly the coldest/most snowy winter since like 1996. So we'll get our first winter out of the way as probably the worst of most of them to come. It hasn't really been that bad at all. I am liking it and love that the snow stays around (vs maybe one little snow that melts by afternoon each winter). I think we'll stay :)

Friday, January 13, 2017


TGIF! and it's a 3 day weekend :)  My bonus check is still not resolved. I'm sure they are busy today putting out other fires. This payroll company just got bought out a couple months ago by another (larger) payroll company (but same people/office are taking care of our payrolls) and this paycheck was the first using the new company's payroll system. Everyone appears to have gotten paid (all direct deposit) but no one's paystub has been loaded online yet so people can actually see the detail. As an admin I can't see anything yet either. The only issue appears to be one of the owner's at my side job company - his check was like half what it is supposed to be and we don't know why yet.

This evening we have been invited to dinner at our friends that live about half hour away. It's the wife's birthday and her DH is inviting her mom and a few people for a birthday dinner. Since the city is about a 15 minute drive farther than their house, we are going to leave a little early from home and run into Target and stock up on a few things I am almost out of. One being DH's razor refills. I just couldn't spent $28 at the little grocery store in town for 8 razors! LOL.

Plus I need to pick up a little something for the birthday lady. I'd just like to get her some flowers, so will probably have to make an additional stop at a grocery store, as I'm pretty sure Target doesn't carry any fresh flowers. There certainly isn't anything in town here at the grocery store to get her, unless I wanted to get her a bottle of wine. I'm just super excited not to have to make dinner tonight, I need a break!

I started watching This Is Us, via on Demand, (the only way I can seem to get Dish on Demand is through my ipad mini) last night. I think I was hooked within the first 5 minutes and the end of the first episode was a neat little surprising twist. So, that's probably what I'll be doing most of this weekend, binge watching all the episodes that have aired so far.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

What a mess!

My goodness, what a little mess a bonus check has turned out to be!  Ok - my side job and my regular job both use the same payroll company (a pretty small company) to process payroll. I am on the payroll, as a w-2 employee for my regular job. I am not on the payroll for my side job. I am paid with a company check, supplied with a 1099 at year end and pay my own taxes on it.

So, the side job owner's wife and her hubby had a miscommunication. He told her he was giving me a bonus and wanted it grossed up to cover taxes. She knew I'm not on payroll (he does too, for that matter) and had a company check cut to me, which I cashed. Well, the owner contacted the payroll company, explained he wanted to give me a bonus and wasn't sure how to go about it, since I'm not on their payroll (wife didn't know he did this). Well....they decided "oh, we'll just add it to her regular job's income (and w-2) but invoice the side job company for the bill to cover the payroll check........

I get the check and of course don't cash it, since I already got a bonus in the form of a company check. I have spent since the day after Christmas trying to get a stupid answer on this! I said that if possible, I would just like to return this check to the payroll company,  they can void it out and reverse the income recorded to me.....if NOT, then ok, I'll just deposit it and mail a personal check to my side job, to pay them back for the 2nd bonus. Just let me know which way we are doing this.

I cannot get an answer one way or the other! Finally, last week I mentioned it to my boss at my regular job. I wanted her to know that the payroll company added income to me under their  account (and my w-2 with them) in case there ever was an audit or something and records didn't match as to what my regular job has on their books as paying me in total wages, compared to what the payroll company shows as them paying me in total wages for the year.  She said she actually knew about it, they had asked her if it was ok to do it that way.

Now, she just got an email from the payroll company - with an invoice attached to it, because they say they now voided the bonus check.  What??!! First off, no one told me it got voided and second off - why in the world would my regular job company have to pay anything on it at all?! The payroll company cut the check the week before Christmas, withdrew the money for the check out of my side jobs bank account (like they do with any payroll the process for them). If they voided the check that I have sitting her on my desk, then the payroll company needs to reimburse my side job for it! My regular company sure doesn't owe anything for it.  Someone is totally messed up.

Good grief - I should have just cashed the dang thing, wrote out a personal check that day and mailed it off to my boss's wife, so she could deposit it and the company get refunded for one of the bonus's paid to me. Simple as that. I just wanted to try and get that 2nd bonus off of my regular job's w-2 for the year and not get the 2 incomes co-mingled. I really don't know why they are making this so difficult to resolve.

The savings and the expenses

Veering back to the subject of frugality for a post! What a concept, huh?!

Clothing - not much new needed for me and what I have bought was cheap Walmart stuff. I knew I'd need a few long sleeved shirts or sweaters. I've never been much of a sweater wearer (though I do like to wear an open sweater over my tops), since we lived in mild temps,but I do have several long sleeved t-shirt type tops. But, when we first moved here I picked up 2 sweaters and a long sleeve cotton shirt - each was $10 or less. I also bought some new warmer pj's. The pj top was from Walmart too, very soft and thick/warm for $10-12 bucks (I can't remember now). The flannel bottoms I got thru Kohl's using up some Kohl's cash I had.  I was also really needing some new undies and a bra - both of which last time I purchased were from Walmart. The cheap bra I LOVE. $12 and the most comfortable bra I have ever had, so a couple weeks ago I picked up another one and also an 8 pack of undies, which were only $9 for the pack and will last me 2-3 years (this I know because 2 1/2 years ago was the last time I bought them LOL)

That's really all I need for clothes for the near future. Since I work from home and spend most of my days at home, I really don't need much in the way of new clothes, that's for sure. I will probably need some new snow boots, mainly just taller boots, due to the amount of snow here! But I will try to get through this winter with what I have and then hopefully buy a new pair on clearance at the end of the season. I would like to buy something quality and that pair be my snow boots for many many years to come.

We did buy DH 2 new pairs of jeans, as he had one pair wear out finally and rip in the crotch. For the past several years I have been buying him Wrangler relaxed fit jeans (versus the pricey Levi's he used to wear), which are about $16 at Walmart or Target. DD got him 2 new sweatshirts and a long sleeved heavy weight button up shirt for Christmas, so he is good for clothes. We did splurge and buy him the Carhartt lined work coveralls recently, which aren't cheap, but at least they were 20% off and will most likely last him forever.

We haven't been out to dinner (we were going once a week) in a few weeks now, so are saving a bit there. There's only one restaurant in town and I think we were getting a bit tired of the same menu each week, so have taken a break.

We don't use our front door much (we go in and out thru the garage side door) so dh put an old fleece blanket down along the door on the floor to try and keep more heat in the house.

We've never before had to pay for sewer (had a septic system) and paid only $20 a month for well water, so having to pay for this is a change. The bill for sewer/water has ranged between $60 and $70 a month. I have no idea if this is normal or not. Since we hardly ever go anywhere anymore, we have started to cut down taking showers every single day. DH usually goes every other day now and I've been starting to skip it on Mon and Thurs, when he's doing laundry and there's not much hot water left to take a shower. We'll see how that affects the bill. A few dollars a month isn't worth being stinky over, but we seem to be ok if we skip a shower once in awhile LOL.

If I buy food here at the grocery store in town (which I have to do a lot in this weather because I can't drive the 55 miles to Walmart in the snow) it's generally more expensive than if I go stock up on groceries in the city. I am taking any casserole I make and putting half in the freezer for another meal. We eat canned veggies quite often, and I've been putting the leftover corn or green beans in a container and saving it for another meal.

We hardly go anywhere now (especially since I work from home all the time now) so our gas expense for my car has gone way down. A tank of gas has been lasting us a month, most of the time, especially now that it's winter and the trips to the city are fewer and farther in between.

Whatever I have shipped here I make sure it's free shipping (usually through my Amazon Prime account), plus we no longer have any sales tax (used to be almost 10%). Of course, on the flip side of that I now have a state income tax to pay, which I didn't have before, so really no savings when all is said and done.

We were able to license DH's pickup truck with a permanent license, so just a one time fee and never have to pay anything on it again (since it's over 11 years old).  The dog's city license tags were $5 each for a lifetime license for each LOL.

Heat/electricity is quite a bit higher than we had before, but I expected that. 1) we lived in an area with low electricity rates 2) our electric company was a small co-op that was the cheapest in the region, so we had it good for all those years 3) I knew rates would be higher here and 4) we'd use more because it's so damn cold! LOL.  My bill I just got today is about $100 more than my highest winter bill at old house. Spring/Summer/and Fall (based on my Fall bills I did already get) are fairly comparable to what we paid before, so it's just a few months a year I have higher than previous bills.

Now that our "projects" for this house are done (DH just installed the last of them....a $9 oak towel ring for our bathroom) I am in saving mode towards our house building! This spring/summer we want to start doing as much as we can towards it with cash and the first project will be doing some site work/dirt moving and cutting in the driveway. DH's good friend is going to help with that too. I have no idea what that will cost us, but I'm sure much cheaper than the builder quoted us doing it in the house building estimate. We also have to do a well and septic system, which we will try to pay cash for too over the next year.

Right now I have almost $5,000 in savings, so it's starting to build up.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Mom, health and misc

I don't talk with my mom every day - usually about twice a week, sometimes a once a week phone call, if we have already emailed (plus DD talks to her about once a week). Well, I guess last week her furnace went out Wednesday morning and they didn't get it fixed until Friday morning and it was pretty darn cold freezing temps there. When she told me about it, I just assumed she went and stayed at her boyfriends place while it was broken........No, no. She stayed at the house because she didn't know for sure when they were getting the part and coming to fix it! I found out about all this after the fact (we talked on Saturday) so I didn't say anything to her, but I so wanted to say "Mom, why didn't you just tell the heating company that you were going to stay at BF's and to have them just call you on your cell phone when they were able to get back out to your house to fix it?"  She could be back at her house in less than 30 minutes.  But no, she sat there for 2 days in a house that was like 50 degrees with a little space heater and lots of blankets.

Remember when I had such bad acid reflux most of last year? My doctor had put me on Protonix about a year ago and it worked really well. She had given me a 2 month prescription, and when it was almost out I had emailed her to tell her it was working great and do I just continue to take daily, etc. She told me to try going to every other day. Well, I did that for about a month or so and it gradually just got worse. So I started taking it daily again, but never got back to where it worked again. Over the summer it got really bad. A few weeks before we (finally) moved I realized it had to be stress causing it. It always started late afternoon and would go all evening, oftentimes an hour or two into when I was trying to sleep. I started spending my evenings reading books and just trying to relax more and it started getting better. Since we have moved, the acid reflux is completely gone! I eat whatever I want, however much I want again. I haven't had one time where it has affected me again.

In other health news that is probably more info than anyone wants, LOL, it appears I may have finally passed into the menopausal stage. It has been 3 1/2 months since my last period. If so, it's been a very easy transition, nothing like most women describe it at all. Keeping fingers crossed it stays this way.

Dinner was easy last night. About 4pm DH got on his "annual catch up" phone call with an old friend and they will literally talk for like 5-6 hours! This guy used to work for DH and they have remained in touch, even though friend moved back to Northern California years ago. He calls DH up about once a year or so and they catch up. Well, I guess he tried our old home # and got the disconnected recording and he didn't have DH's cell #. He doesn't do social media, but had his sister try to find DH through her Facebook and then tried Twitter and found DH. Friend (who hates social media) even set up a Twitter account just so he could message DH to call him. LOL. DH rarely does twitter but by coincidence just happened to look at Twitter yesterday and saw the tweet from this friend.  I knew he'd be on the phone for hours, so finally about 6:30 I had a bowl of cereal for dinner. When DH got off the phone at 9:30 - just as I was about to head to bed, I just heated him up a couple of corn dogs and that's what he got for dinner. Tonight we'll have the steaks we were supposed to have for dinner last night :)

Right now DH is out shoveling the driveway and getting the car warmed up so we can run to the post office and pick up the mail and some packages. That stupid bag of dog food finally got delivered and it was sent via USPS! All the other times I ordered it (Amazon) it was shipped UPS. So now we have to get a big 40# bag of dog food at the post office. So dumb. I had also ordered a towel ring for our bathroom and that is ready to pick up too. I'll be glad when we build our house - we'll have mail delivery out there.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Just a bunch of not much

We didn't do very much over the weekend, but the time sure seemed to go by lickety-split. I spent Saturday morning cleaning house, while DH went underneath the house to check it out. It's a clean, neat crawl space and DH was surprised at how warm it was down there at like 55 degrees (considering it was only like 5 degrees outside LOL). The previous owners left a few boxes of "stuff" so DH wanted to also get that out of there. One box was life vests and boating stuff. One box was a bunch of unmarked VHS tapes. We don't have a VHS player anymore, so no way to see what is on them LOL. The guy did mention to DH before that he liked to record the local university football games, so most likely that's what they are. There were also 2 air purifier machines. Didn't find any pot of gold or hidden money LOL.

Our masterbath at far corner of the house always seems quite a bit colder than the rest of the house. While underneath DH saw that some of the insulation was falling down in that area, so he stapled it back up. Haven't really noticed much difference yet, but we'll see. We've pretty much had to have a space heater in the bathroom all winter. The toilet seat is so cold! and when we take bath's the bottom of the tub is pretty cold too, even with the hot water heating it.

I had a few very frugal dinners this past week. Soup and sandwiches one night. Two other nights were "leftovers" - actually, when I had made a couple of casseroles last, I took half and froze it up in a ziploc bag. Was sure nice to just thaw out, put in a casserole dish and bake.

Yesterday I made a chocolate cake from scratch. Didn't turn that great - kind of sunk in the middles fo the 2 9" rounds, but still tastes ok. Kind of reminds me of the devils food cakes my grandma used to make from scratch. We spent the rest of the weekend time just watching movies and DH had to shovel snow yesterday evening and back at it again this morning. It's piling up!

We were going to go out to dinner Saturday night with friends, but the wife threw out her back. We are supposed to be going to their house next Friday for her birthday and have dinner. Looking forward to getting out and doing something.

I might fly my daughter over here at the end of the month for a weekend. Flights are pretty cheap and that can be my birthday present from DH :) She's checking on her schedule to figure out which weekend is best. Pretty much have to book at least 2 weeks in advance, otherwise it's like 2 1/2 times the price. I have that $150 Visa giftcard I got from my boss and that will just about cover it, anyway.

I always forget we now get Martin Luther King, Jr holiday off at work, the past few years, so get a nice 3 day weekend next weekend.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Prime shipping means 3 weeks

Having stuff shipped here from Amazon isn't working the best. I ordered dog food (like my 3rd time ordering it  - a bag lasts us a month) on 12/21 and as of today it still hasn't even shipped (supposed to finally ship today) and not be here until Jan 9th. And it's considered a Prime item! Ok, ok. I get that apparently I live in the sticks (literally can see cars driving by on I-90 out the side of my house!) and that they can't do 2-day shipping. I'll accept that it's ground shipping, but not to even ship an order for over 2 weeks after ordering?! Frustrating to say the least.

Today I ordered something that was a Prime shipping item. Options said $3.95 if I wanted it shipped overnight, so I decided I'd pay the extra for that. Nope! Won't even let me PAY to ship overnight to my address. Good Grief!

Fortunately we were able to get to the Tractor Supply store (60 miles away) last week and stocked up on 2 bags. That is apparently the nearest (and only) place to get this food around here. That was DH's first time at that store and he loved it, as I knew he would. Ended up spending another $120 there - haha! Got him a pair of Carhartt insulated bib overalls (20% off on sale), a couple of tools and some picture hanging hardware.  Next time I need the food, I think I'll try ordering direct from Tractor Supply and have them ship it and see how long it takes.

Then there is something I want to order on Ebay (a table runner) but the listing says will  not ship to PO Boxes. Do I assume that to mean she ships via UPS only? that's fine, but I guess I need to clarify it for sure, (because if someone sends me something to my street address via the postal service,the lady at the post office gets mad at me!)  so I messaged the seller. This PO Box stuff messes with my mind. haha!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Back to "normal"

So, back to work today and back to "normal" with DH. Ugh! He can be so much work sometimes. We had already discussed last week that my first day back (after 10 days off) I would be very busy and not up to all his constant interruptions. Well, of course, first thing off this morning he's at it. His computer is at a small desk next to mine, so we have to share the room. Fine, but he's constant non-stop chatter and every sentence is a question (even if it's not a question). He'll make a statement, but that is always followed by a "you know?" which I have to answer him, he'll say "you know?" again. It's not like he's even talking about anything important. He made some dumb statement/question joke about joining some religious group common here in this state and I replied back "no, don't think so" with a laugh, but he then has to basically ask the same question 3 more times! I laugh and say no and he asks it again. I say no again. Then he has to ask why? even though the whole conversation is ridiculous. No, we are not going to become Hutterites! LOL.

Finally, I said - I have a lot of work I'm trying to get caught up on, can you leave me alone for awhile? He goes outside to play with the dogs. While he's outside, I get a phone call for work. He comes back into the house cussing up a storm because the dog lost his tennis ball in the snow again. I quickly get up and shut my office door, so my caller doesn't have to listen to him in the background.

Then he's mad at me for telling him to leave me alone for a little bit, until I get through these 2 weeks of emails. I have a "problem" because I can't work and talk to him at the same time. I said yes, it is MY problem, so deal with it. LOL. Good grief. Grow the heck up and give a person a little space. If he was working on something and didn't want to be constantly interrupted I'd have no problem leaving him alone for awhile.

I'm booted off work right now (why I'm typing this) because they upgraded something while I was off, and now need to finish the update, so I can't work until that is done. My side job changed email servers (again) while I was off and I just finally got that working again on accessing my emails.  Always something going on.

I'm through the "urgent" emails and now just working on all the stuff that doesn't get done by anyone else when I am on vacation. Slowly but surely. Hopefully I'm fairly caught up by the end of the day.
The work update is done, so I can log back in, so back to all the work!