Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Pay stuff

Well, I sorta got my retro pay raise from the first half of January. The paystub said the net pay was $13...the gross was $169.  Where did it all go? LOL. It went to my 401k. That's an error on the payroll company's fault. I have my 401k withholdings set up as a flat $ amount per REGULAR payroll period. (vs. having a % of all my pay withheld). So, when I get a bonus check, there is no 401k withheld from it.  So, this extra "retro pay check" should not have had a 401k withdrawal on it.  I also got my regular check and the $115 was withheld, too. So, I ended up having $115 withheld 3 times this month, instead of 2 times.  If the raise had been on the first check (they forgot to enter the raises) I would have gotten the extra $169 with that check and only had 401k withheld one time for that income.

oh well, not that big of deal. Just extra retirement savings, but I had budgeted for that money once I knew it was coming.  It also doesn't appear this payroll company has started the new tax tables yet with the tax cut. I'll have to look over the old tax table compared to the new one, but my federal tax % rate was actually a bit higher than it usually is and according to the new tax table I looked at last week, it was supposed to go down a bit and give me about an extra $40 per paycheck.

Our building loan appraisal has been ordered. Now about a 4 week wait, I guess. Since we're "out in the boonies", according to them, the appraisals take about 4 weeks.......and cost more to come "way out here".  Which is kinda ridiculous.  Our property is about a 35 minute drive west of the city.  10-25 miles south of the city is a valley of towns that has boomed with houses and population in recent years. Lots of traffic to get down there, and probably would take a good 35 min or more to get down to appraise all those places, but they don't consider that farther away. Dumb.

I'm hoping to start picking up a little extra money from my side job. Quite awhile back (like 6 months) I offered to do more work, since I have more hours per week living here and not commuting 7 hours a week of my time, like I did where I used to live. I think she just kind of forgot about our discussion/my offer to take on some other tasks. I decided to email/remind her about it. She did email me back right away, but was on her way to a deposition hearing and so her mind was bogged down with that issue. I'll probably have to ask again, but if I can earn a couple hundred more per month, that would be great, so I'm going to keep offering. I know she has more on her plate than she has time for. I'm hoping she takes me up on the offer.

She actually texted me last Friday evening, 5pm her time asking if I was available? She was at the attorneys office and they needed a date on a lunch meeting that took place with the guy they are suing. She knew she had the info at their office, but couldn't get that to the attorney until Monday and thought maybe I could look up the expense report and give her the date. No problem. Within 2 minutes I had the info to her. I was glad I could get the info to them and quickly, as I know she's and her husband (company owner) are under a lot of stress from dealing with the lawsuit,

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

This and that

Our builder still hasn't gotten all his paperwork to the banker lady. When DH was on the phone with him Friday he said "I am on my way to the bank right now". Later she emailed and asked if we we sending it or the builder. I replied the builder said he is getting it to you. Yesterday no word. Around 3pm I emailed the banker and asked if she got the stuff from builder and she said not yet. DH texted him and his reply was he tried to call her 2 times on Friday but didn't hear back from her (what happened to you were on your way there?) and now has an appointment with her Tuesday morning. Good grief. We had told him in November we wanted his paperwork done by the end of the year so we could get it to the bank in early January.  Today is Jan 30th. So annoying. I'm sure they are all like that. We did find out that he also recently built this banker a house and she must think he does a good job.

I got a nice email from one of our company owners this morning. It said it's rare to get "thank you's" in this business. This is a first from this client after 30 years of interactions. Thanks for your help and follow up on this sample order. $100k order now pending :) and he shared the clients email.

that was nice of him to share the feedback with me (and cc'd my boss). I'm not supposed to have to follow up on the sample and misc orders I place (the sales person is) but I usually do anyway ;)

My neighbor friend across the street walked over last night and brought me a belated birthday gift....a box of nice little frozen individual cheesecakes :) Yummmm! She said she was going to make me a cheesecake (she's a good cook), but she's still been getting over being sick (for a month now, poor lady) so she bought the cheesecakes instead. Very sweet of her. They are the perfect size and I don't feel like I have to eat the whole cheesecake before it goes bad, haha. I think I had mentioned one time that cheesecake is my favorite, so she must have remembered.

FIL is not doing well again. I didn't realize he has COPD (heavy smoker) but he tried to make a dr appt yesterday and they were booked so told him to go to an urgent care place. So, I guess he now has some antibiotics or something. DH was on the phone with him last night. I'm not sure where he went to urgent care but doesn't sound like it was very close to their house. I used to work as a bookkeeper for a physician's group that included an urgent care office. It's like a mile from their house...DH was like why don't you just go there? I guess FIL wasn't even aware of it. Instead he had to drive probably a half hour through lots of traffic, icky parking, etc.  Word of advice.........don't smoke....FIL has COPD and MIL has half a lung removed.

We don't know what SIL is thinking. In trying to get them to move she is looking at houses that cost as much if not more than the house they are in! Plus still a good sized yard to take care of.  She shared a house listing on Facebook with her daughter that "this would be perfect for grandma and grandpa" it would not! It cost more than their house is worth and yard and it's also old and probably needs lots of upkeep. Like FIL said to DH on the phone........I already have a house - I don't need to move to another one. I think FIL seems to somewhat be thinking about a manuf. home in a park.  He's just wearing himself down to nothing trying to take care of MIL and won't be any good to her, if he keeps getting worse.  Sad.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Nothing exciting going on

It as a pretty unexciting weekend. I had a bit of a stomach ache since like Thursday. Not sure what it was from. Kind of stomach cramping. It's a lot better today. I had been drinking a whole bunch of water from our tap last week- who knows maybe the water has something it it my stomach doesn't like. Guess I'll use the bottled water, too, now.

Spent yesterday afternoon and evening on the couch binge watching Longmire on Netflix. My DD had sent me a Netflix gift card for my birthday. It's the last season 6 I'm watching. Now DH decided he was enjoying it, but has so many questions, LOL. I told him to watch it from the beginning season 1!

DD had a job interview last Wednesday. She thought it went well, but it's for the state (purchasing) and they had a salary range listed on the paperwork they gave her at the interview and it's barely more than she's making now, so she left there thinking she probably would not take the job, unless there was some better benefits to make it worthwhile.  She had listed my boss as a reference (she had done an internship at my office years ago) and my boss called me and said she got a call as DD's reference. And she had also listed a co-worker she's good friends with and they called him too.  Now, this morning the lady who interviewed her emailed and asked for another professional reference of someone who supervised her in the past.  Well, she really doesn't have any one she can give. Her only previous job was at the restaurant for 2 years during high school and those managers are long gone and she's not going to give out her current manager, obviously.  I told her to just tell that and oh well. The job is at the state prison and has the potential to be in contact with some prisoners, if they are cleaning around the offices.  Not worth $43,000 a year to take a chance like that, in my book. That prison had a guard murdered several years ago. Who knows when one of them could snap.  Plus, her current job sent out her "self review" last week for her to complete. In it she put that she is interested in becoming a "Buyer 2" level.  Also, her boss called her to his desk on Friday and told her her work is always perfect and he wishes he had 4 of her.  Whatever raise, she gets in the near future, even if's it's pathetic like last year, it will end up being more than she would make for the State job. She doesn't hate her current job, just not thrilled with the pay after almost 2 years and some of the work is a bit boring/annoying.  She just texted me that her boss told her to edit her self review and toot her own horn more, LOL.  I know it's a big corporation she works for, so I'm sure the review stuff goes to his manager and their HR corp HQ office, too.  If they are smart they will give her a decent raise to make sure she wants to stay.

We're back in sit and wait mode on our house. The builder finalized numbers on Friday and told DH he was on his way to drop off with banker lady. A couple hours later, on Friday, she emailed asking if he was sending to her or we he obviously had not done it yet.  Now it's midway through Monday and no word yet.  (rolling eyes....)

Friday, January 26, 2018

A good start to Friday

Yesterday I was busy with both my jobs.  Trying to get year end stuff battened down to get to the CPA's for taxes. Busy busy.  I have more time with my full time job to get this done. That CPA always files an extension so never gets it done until August, LOL  My side job's CPA likes to get it done quickly. I'm surprised they haven't emailed me already asking for it.

Last night was a book club meeting. Sort of...  About 10 days ago one of the ladies emailed that so and so was out of town on a family medical emergency and probably wouldn't be back. Should we postpone it until February. A few replied they were having trouble finishing the book and would be fine with waiting. Then my property neighbor replied that, while she was having trouble finishing the book, at the meeting before last they had all agreed we need to stop canceling and postponing. Finally, she just put out an email that said everyone is invited to her house for a dinner get together and we can just talk about whatever, no rsvp needed. Just come if you want.

Well, only 2 of us showed up! The other lady had finished the book and while I hadn't finished it either, I had seen the tv mini series of it (11.22.63 by Stephen King), so knew how it turned out and we shared that with my property neighbor.  Then we ate a yummy dinner of Costco chicken fettucine, salad, rolls, soup and I had brought some cheese and crackers. I guess property neighbor had told the other lady, before I got there, that she had decided to take a break from book club for a few months. Not sure why, but I'm guessing she's not enjoying all the cancellations, because one or two can't be there or didn't finish the book.

My boss just called. Good news. She wanted to tell me what my raise is. $4,000 a year, so more than I was expecting. I'm very happy with it. And it goes retro to 1/1 so there will be a little extra on my next check for that, too. Plus I earn another 10% of that for bonus, so in total it's a $4400 a year increase. My goal is kind of over the few years that salary increases would end up covering most of what I make on my side job - that way if I ever lost that job for some reason, I wouldn't be hurting much at all. But, I was emailing the co-owner lady of my side job some financial statement info and she replied back that I can't retire before she does or she will be lost. I said that's what my full time boss always tells me too. Don't worry - I'm working forever LOL.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Forward motion

We had some major "sticker shock" when we got the "final" numbers from the builder for the house and shop. Eeek! Both numbers together put us in the position where then we would have to sell this house first, because having both loans at the same time would be too much. Just building the house only puts us in position to have to sell this house to get that loan. We do NOT want to have to move twice. Let alone find somewhere we could move for 6 months while it's all being built that would hold a house, garage and shop full of stuff and take 2 big dogs as renters. Plus there literally is pretty much nothing to rent in this county. And who knows how long it will end up taking to sell this house.

We discussed not building the shop and trying to do it later, but that puts us basically as we are in now....we'd have to stuff everything that is in our current garage and shop (20x30) into our new 3 car garage. DH would be stuck again with no way to even move inside the garage. No way to get all that stuff organized so he can at least start to get rid of/sell some of it (he says he will when he has space to move around it, I'll believe it when I see it). He needs the big shop. Plus, as I mentioned above, we'd have to sell this house first and find somewhere to live and store all our stuff.

Then DH came up with the idea to build the shop first. Get the first loan for that. Builder said he can build it in 2 months. Then we can move all our current garage and stuff in there, get it out of this place, so that we can then list this house and show it without the garage and shop stuffed to the rafters, as they are now. Hopefully, get this house sold fairly quickly. Then we'll just have to move the rest of our stuff into the shop and live there (hopefully our friends rv is still available to borrow). The shop will have a bathroom and shower, as well as washer/dryer.  I guess if we have to live inside the shop for 4 months we'll survive it. Then we will add another construction loan to build the house. Combine all into one loan, once it's all complete.

I just talked to the bank lady and she thinks that is a really good way to do it, since we are going to have to sell the house. She said they do in-house financing on the construction loans, so not a problem for them to do it this way. Plus, she works with our builder a lot, so she's very comfortable with him. We are working it into this first construction loan that while they are excavating and doing the foundation for the shop, the excavating and foundation also will be done for the house. That way it's done and ready to start framing as soon as we can get this house sold. It also gets that done in good weather, because while excavating and concrete work can't usually be done in the middle of winter, framing and inside work can be done, if for some reason it took us longer into this year to sell this house.

So, the builder will be getting her (today he said) all his paperwork she needs so she can order the appraisal. Then should have funds in about 45 days to start the shop build. Once it's built we can move all this stuff in, get our house listed and hope it sells quickly. Then we start again the build paperwork on the house, get that appraised, 45 days later, he can start building and another 4 months later we can move in.  Sounds easy, right?! BAHAHAHA!!

In the meantime we are still going to get some other estimates on flooring, granite, etc. See if we can get those numbers down some. Builder is pretty sure if we go get an estimate from the flooring guy he usually uses, it will be cheaper. I think we might stick with the cabinets lady. Even the guy at the building supply place told us to use her and not even get a bid from him, as they couldn't beat her prices.

One step at a time. That's what I keep reminding myself.  That HUGE project planning and implementing the move over here, that's what I learned through all the obstacles. Just keep plugging away one step at a time. I just keep reminding myself we are going to have one beautiful house on a river when all this is said and done.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

of course.........

As I fully expected FIL has flip flopped again and doesn't want to sell/move. DH's sister and her husband spent the weekend driving around looking at potential places they could move to...over age 55 apartments and mobile home parks. Trying to come up with a plan. Their house is in no shape to show, as I mentioned. Minimum they'd just have to majorly declutter to show it and it should get repainted inside. As DH told them, rather than fork out cash up front to replace icky old carpet they could offer an allowance to a buyer. Unless they just wanted to dump it for a very low price, they'd need to at least do the above. And there is the issue of them needing to be gone during showings. DH had suggested maybe they could stay at SIL's for the couple of months. Houses sell within days/couple of weeks there (if priced right) and then 30-45 days to close. SIL's response to DH on that was "that won't work at this time". Not sure what that means, but whatever. They have a 3 bedroom one level house that just the two of them live in. She already spends several days a week helping them, running back and forth between her place and theirs.  It was kind of like she wanted DH to come up with a solution and everything we suggested none of them wanted to do, LOL. I know if we had still lived over there, we would have let them move in with us temporarily. Of course it would have been hard, but it's only a couple of months.

Stay/move - none of it is ideal anymore due to their age and MIL's health. So, I guess FIL can just keep plodding along as they have been. At least his back is feeling better now, which was probably why he was ready to throw in the towel last week and now isn't. We can't make him do something he doesn't want to do, so until he's no longer able to care for himself and MIL, there's nothing we can do to make him move. I feel bad for SIL, as I know she is doing as much as she can. At least she only works Mon-Thurs and has Friday to help get things done.

I'm out of suggestions for them all. I've suggested meals on wheels or something like that, I've suggested hired help for some of their needs, even if it's yard work and house cleaning once a week. Suggested reverse mortgage to stay in their home and afford nursing help for MIL. Suggested selling and various options of new living arrangement. Can't really think of anything else they could do to make their lives a bit easier on them.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Micellaneous Monday chat

We decided to get out of the house yesterday and go to the city for some "Christmas" shopping. DH's presents to me were sticky notes with various gifts for me to pick out or trips to specific stores. Yesterday we went to Kohl's and Bed Bath and Beyond. At Kohl's I got a new pair of tennis shoes (needed) and 3 tops. I like Kohl's stuff but every time I have been to their stores and find something I like they are usually out of it in my size...or DH's...we were trying to find him a pair of basic sweatpants. They literally had like a few in each kind they carried and either nothing in large. Same with shoes I looked at. Of course the ones I liked did not have a 7. I sometimes can wear a 6 1/2 so I tried that and they were ok, so I got that size. At BB&B I got a new turkey roasting pan ($15), two new pillows ($15 ea) for our guest bed (because the ones we have are really old) and two towels and a hand towel. It was after lunchtime by then and we were super hungry and DH decided a McDonalds Big Mac sounded good. We have not had McDonalds since we moved here! Sure tasted good and we didn't get a stomach ache later like we thought we would, since we're not used to eating that junk anymore.

Back at home, by dinner time we were both still full so we just had a cheap and easy dinner of grilled cheese sandwiches.

I think I need a new mouse. Every time I need to use my right click button, like for copy and paste, I have to click it like 3 times to work. Maybe I'll plug in DH's mouse (it's fairly new) and see if I still have the same problem. I do a lot of cut/paste for work and it's starting to annoy me to have to keep clicking.

I didn't sleep well and woke up with a headache. I know it's because I/we are stressing out over this house building. 

Saturday, January 20, 2018

A quiet celebration

Yesterday was our 33rd wedding anniversary. DH had some flowers delivered, very pretty. I only had to work a half day. We decided not to go out and eat for dinner. Roads would have been icy by evening and that dark highway often has deer and elk that like to get hit with cars. So, we saved some money and I made a nice dinner of salad, bbq ribs, rolls and some watermelon.  Later for dessert we had root beer floats. Just watched his Friday evening shows and I sat there and read some while he was watching. Finished up one book and another I've been waiting on via e-library became available.

I had this whole long post written up about our house building issues. We met with him on Monday. To shorten it up: he gave us a bid/cost breakdown 18 months ago. The only two things we changed/added (compared to first number) was granite countertops (a $5,000 increase) and changed the two big beams on the front and back covered porches to be curved beams ($12,000 per builder). The front beam had to bec changed to curved, so we wanted back one to match. His new quote was over $85,000 more than 18 months ago!! He's totally jacked up everything. Plus, we have told him from DAY 1, and in email and it's on the plans, we want cultured stone around bottom of house. He never had that included in his "lumber/siding" package number. Now we are about $13,000 over what we qualify for without having to sell this house first. But, we still need his "final" numbers after our meeting on Monday so we can try and figure out where to cut (at least) $13,000....and that doesn't include the paved driveway we wanted to add....and we're giving up the shop. We've changed nothing on the masterbath tiled shower......he upped it from $4500 to $7500. I can't imagine installing some wood look porcelain tile planks would cost that much. It's not like we're using some expensive tile with a fancy design. Still waiting on him..........SO frustrating!!

I went to the town store yesterday and only bought 2 things. Gallon of milk and 1/2 gallon of ice cream. My goal is not to go to store again or order anything online for the next 10 days.

I had some money left on an Amazon gift card, so I ordered a pair of hair cutting scissors, that arrived yesterday. Boy, they are nice and sharp. I tried them on my bangs. Can't wait to try on the ends of my hair to shorten up a bit. They were only $11.

Not sure what we are doing this weekend. Probably not much of anything. I'm heading to the shower and then will do my Saturday morning housecleaning chores.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Elder care revisted

DH's sister is the one  who lives near and helps out their aging parents. She sent DH a message yesterday that their dad is now (again) seriously considering moving to something they can manage or is assisted living. He's getting completely worn out trying to care for DH's mom, who is not well at all. It's really hard to give advice/suggestions!

First off, MIL refuses to go to a nursing home (or whatever they are called these days) and FIL refuses to put her in one, so that is off the table. (even though that is what is needed to be done)

SIL looked into somewhere "assisted" they could live. They make too much (apparently over $35,000) to qualify for a SHAG apartment and moving into an actual assisted living complex would be $4,000-$5000 a month (like my mom's boyfriend is in), which they can't/don't want to spend.

At a very minimum, they REALLY need to sell their house. It's a two story, split level, so basically has 3 levels. MIL can barely walk and is on oxygen. She's also starting to get dementia, which of course is really wearing him out. She basically lives in their downstairs family room, where they have set up a bed for her. FIL has to do all her care and cooking. The house is getting rundown and has a good sized yard that needs tending. Just too much.

I suggested to SIL that they sell their house and move into something smaller, one level and cheaper. A place like where my mom lives, gated community with a manuf. home run about $100k (plus there is a monthly lot rent of like $640/mo). Zillow shows inlaws house valued at $286k. With the condition it's in they would not get that, for sure. It's very outdated inside (built in 1980's) and would not "show" well at all.  They'd probably be lucky to get $200k. Most likely someone would buy it to flip and resell. DH also told SIL that they couldn't be there when prospective buyers are looking, which is hard with MIL being so bad and hard to leave house.  DH told her the best would be to move them in with her for the time it takes to sell (things sell there very fast, even crappy homes), maybe have the inside repainted and new flooring, to make it look better and get more out of it, and then they do as I suggested, and buy something cheaper, smaller and one level and no/little yard.

My thought was if they bought something like my mom is in, they could use that remaining money out of their house sale to hire some daily help to come in. Even if it's for a few hours to help with things. I don't know what that would cost them, but has to be cheaper than assisted living. Something like those "Visiting Angels" company or something along those lines.

I really don't know what else to suggest to her/them. I know every time DH talks to his dad (about once a week) he seems more tired each time. We aren't even sure if they have their house paid off or not. I thought SIL said they did, when she was here visiting with us this past summer. But it sounds like they might have a HELOC/line of credit on it that they owe $20,000. She said her dad was sending like $100 a month payments, getting nowhere with it, so she set it up so $500 a month would come out of their checking towards the balance. But at least they could pay that off by selling house and use that $500/mo toward hiring help.

It's also going to be a decision they will have to make in the near future anyway. MIL is 85 and will just keep getting worse. I'm sure her time left on earth is pretty limited. At a minimum, some kind of nursing home care is shortly down the road, I'd say within the next year.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

The food and stuff budget

As I mentioned in my last post, my food/cleaning/health&beauty/pet expenses (ie. my food/misc budget line) seem like they are way out of whack. I started a little spreadsheet to see how much I am actually spending. I think it will probably need at least a 2 month tracking to really see what I am spending. We do a lot of "stocking" up, so some of it will last quite awhile. Even so, I have a feeling I am spending way more than what I have listed in my budget line for this stuff.

Monday we shopped at 3 places:
a feed supply store for 2 bags of dog food. $40 ea. I also recently ordered a bag online from to give that a try (they delivered in like 3 days). It was $4 cheaper thru them, plus I got a first order discount. One bag lasts about exactly a month, so no change there in cost compared to what we have always been spending. We also buy treats and cosequin, on a regular basis.  My estimate for that stuff is about $40/mo. Won't have to buy dog food for 3 more months.

Target: I picked up 2 prescriptions for $11 (I just include this in my "food/misc" budget line. That amount is constant and doesn't really change much.

Then, still at Target, we picked up various items that totaled: $120
We also got 2 big cases of TP (DH goes thru TP like crazy! plus he's completely brand loyal). But this should last us 2 months?, 2 boxes of Ritz crackers, a bag of Oreos, a big "bonus" can of Folger's coffee (I don't think I quite have enough left to last a month, so decided to buy, but this should last me several months), large jar of Jif peanut butter (I'm brand loyal on this one), 8 12-packs of Mountain Dew. He tries to only drink 2 can per day, but sometimes it's 3. He's addicted to the stuff. This should last us 5-6 weeks, kitchen trash bags, a big jug of laundry detergent and box of dryer sheets.  We really didn't need the laundry stuff this trip, but he always thinks we do.  The soda I had a 25% off cartwheel coupon as well as got back a $5 gift card, so it came out to $3.33 per 12-pack. I had a 5% off coffee store coupon and forgot to give it to the cashier. There was a $1 coupon stuck to the laundry soap, so I did use that and saved 5% using my Red Card.

At the grocery store we spent a whopping $330.75. 6 cases of water on sale for $2.50 ea. A few bags of chips, dh got 3 more 12 pk sodas (root beer and orange), other snacks, bread, rolls, and stuff to make dinners and lunches: lunch meats and cheese, hamburger, steak, chicken, bbq ribs, frozen skillet meals. Basically, from what we got I count enough stuff for about 26 dinners....almost a whole month. We got juice, milk, coffee creamer (bought the biggest this time - the medium usually last me 2 weeks, this one should last a month, frozen strawberries and bananas (so DH can start drinking smoothies again), my instant breakfast I drink every morning (bought 20 servings, but still have about 12 more from previous purchase).

I budget $650 a month for all the above. You'd think that would be enough for 2 people to live on. I know it's more expensive when I have to shop at the town store, but we try to stock up in the city and I order online. I just try to get milk and bread there in between trips to the city. and sometimes ice cream LOL.

Monday's total was $542.  Seems a terrible amount, if I only want to spend $650 for the next 30 days. We won't be doing a big trip for another month now. Our last trip to the city to stock up was Dec 8, so over 5 weeks. I didn't spend much at the local store the first 2-3 weeks after that trip, but then the last 2 weeks I did, as we were running out of stuff, as well as I placed online orders.

Other than milk (and we are out of ice cream) I really don't think I would need to buy anything at the town grocery store for the next 2 weeks. It will be interesting to see what I end up there for. I know I will end up buying stuff I have forgotten or whatever. Probably will need more chips. I also tend to spend at least $25/week for online orders. Plus, we go out and eat about 2-3 times a month. Sometimes it's just $12 from Wendy's in the city, sometimes it $50 at the nicer restaurant we like. The town restaurant is about $25. I include those in the budget for food/misc.  Maybe I need an "entertainment/fun" line going forward and have it be there instead of food/misc. Bottom line it all comes out the same, but it might be a better "mental" trick. Before the 30 days is up I will need to order our older dog's cosequin and brushing chews, about $30.

I'm not really looking for ways to cut down. DH eats what he eats (and me too) but I just think I'm not budgeting based on reality. I'm not tracking the spending, so I'm not sure if I'm really in the ballpark for what I am budgeting. DH mentioned that when we get our house and have lots and lots of storage room, he'd really like to stock up on everything we can - less trips to the city. If we start doing that I can make sure we are stocking up only when stuff goes on a good sale. That will save.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The weekend and plodding along with the house build project

Sunday, we took our neighbors across the street out for dinner as a belated happy birthday to neighbor guy. It was a good dinner. His wife has celiac's so she has to be careful about what she eats, but she said her dinner was good.  She's kind of hard to please, LOL. She doesn't like much of anything - people, places, etc. HAHA! I like her though. Not sure we could be super close friends (but that's probably just me) but easy to talk to and laugh with. We kind of have the same sarcastic sense of humor.

We met with our builder yesterday afternoon to go over his numbers in more detail. I'll get to that in a minute. We went into the city early to pick up my prescriptions and do a little Target shopping first. We still had time to kill, so we drove over to Cabela's to look at their stonework on their building. When we were at the mason place last month he recommended looking at their stone (we liked it). It's a man made stone, but sure can't tell. We also went into a furniture store to just look around and see what we liked. Honestly, I'd rather do that part myself to keep DH's ideas out of decorating LOL, but he also liked what I had in mind, best, too. Anyway, we got ideas and costs, as we will need a new living room set. Even if we weren't moving we would need new living room furniture. Sitting in the recliners made DH realize how crappy his chair has gotten.

Our builder meeting was somewhat as expected. Much higher numbers. Due to several factors. The initial numbers he gave us are nearly two years old now and we added/changed things. The other major factor, was with those initial numbers he gave us almost 2 years ago we never go to the point to sit down and go over in detail, since we decided to postpone the building. Well, he was missing and underestimated some of the items, for sure. That part was disappointing. He did say our bid for our well pump (we've had it drilled, but no pump installed yet) is really high, so let's hope he can get that down.  Add it all up and we are quite a bit higher. With the bank saying we could qualify for a certain amount AND still keep this house, we had hoped to stay under that number, so that we do not have to try and sell this house first. What if we couldn't sell right away? it's not the market here like in the city. If we are waiting to sell to build, we might not even get it done this year. If we did sell, we'd have to find someplace temporary to live, etc. Just not our ideal situation.

We decided to just do the house, for now, and not add the shop. Then we can get started this spring and have the house done (he said 6 months building time). Get this place up for sale as the house gets closer to being done. Once we get this sold, we will be getting some money out of it and then we can use that towards the majority of the shop and get a second loan, if needed for the remainder. Again, not what we were hoping for, but adjustments have to be made and that is how we will make it work. The builder has also worked into this house number doing the excavation and foundation for the shop, so that major cost would already be done.  The bid we got from that H Co guy for the excavation, septic/drainfield and driveways was really good. DH thought so and so did our builder, so I'm sure we will end up using him. Plus DH has seen his work and it's very good.

Because of our good friends referral (he built their house and they did alot of the work themselves) he is basically building our house at cost and charging us a contractor fee that is nowhere near what most charge. We are helping out where we can, like getting all these bids and DH will end up lining up the excavting/septic guy. As he explained yesterday, most contractors will have all these line item costs (and budget over, if they can) and if they come under, that money just stays with the contractor. Ours will not be. He said we will go over all the invoices together and if we are under, we can either just stay under budget or use that money towards another item we want upgraded or that maybe came in a little higher. We are going to end up with a house worth nearly double what it will cost us, according to him. We'll see, but I think it will definitely end up being some extra equity into it, once it's done.

We also showed him some pictures of the rockery wall we had started. He was like OMG - those rocks would normally cost $200-400 each! Once it's done it's really going to add to the value of our home, I think.  Weather has been pretty mild this winter and they are thinking that if the bank moves along according to schedule we should be able to get started in March, putting us in the house around September.

We got done with builder at 4:30 and still had to grocery shop and then a 45 minute drive home. We sure didn't feel much like doing it then, but we were pretty much out of food at home. We each grabbed a cart and DH went off to fill up with water, soda and chips, while I worked on the rest of the list. At least that saved us a little time by splitting up to shop. I really feel like I am spending way more than normal for food/cleaning/healthcare and pets but not sure on what! I think I'm going to track it really close for the next two months and see.  Maybe it's just because we mostly do one big shopping trip and it feels like such a huge amount.....but the little trips to the town store and online orders are adding up more than I thought, too. It doesn't seem like 2 people and 2 dogs should be spending this much.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Boys will be boys

Linda over at Practical Parsimony just wrote about men and how they will sometimes let their little boy inside come out to play.  It reminded me I did not share what DH did a few weeks ago. He had gone back out to the property after that section of rock wall got done and some big trees knocked down. When he had shown me the rock wall and I noticed the big logs, I said "oh, you should keep some of that, it makes good craft things".

So, he's out at the property a few days later, by himself, and texts me these pictures

A snowman and a choo-choo train! I'd say he had fun being a little boy for awhile 👦

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Money notes

The new IRS tax tables are out and should be implemented soon by employers. That was pretty quick for them to get out. I'm impressed.  It looks like I will be seeing about $80 a month more in my checks. I'll take it. And as soon as I get off my butt and call Dish and change our satellite package I should be able to save another $40 a month. Add in my estimated net raise I'm supposed to get and that should total about $300 a month more in income soon  That helps.

And then yesterday my Paypal debit card got hacked! Two small charges for a $1 and $3.66. I have my account set up to email me when a charge is made (plus I check it every day). So, on the phone, have to cancel the card and get those two disputed. Getting my auto payments changed to my other debit card. I'm sure I've forgotten something that isn't monthly I have set up.

We are meeting with our builder on Monday afternoon, to go over his numbers. He still didn't give specifics over the phone yesterday morning, but it's sounding like we will probably need to do our plan of build house first, while we keep this house and live in, then do the shop after we can sell house. He said he would be able to get the bank all the info they need on Tuesday or Wednesday. I let the bank guy know that and he said as soon as they have it they can get the appraisal ordered for the construction loan and then he said funds are available in about 45 days. I doubt we'd be able to start building in 6 weeks, due to the weather and temps, but at least we'd be ready when we can. At least that's the plan - you know that 4 letter word that never wants to follow along ;)

We have not been to the city since before Christmas to stock up on food and stuff. I've just been doing a little shopping here in town. I am about to the end of my freezer and cupboards for dinner foods. I went to the store yesterday afternoon and got some fried chicken (it was really good) from the store's deli and a few ingredients to make a pizza tonight. Tomorrow we are taking neighbors across the street out for dinner. Monday, we will stock up again while we are in the city. 

Thursday, January 11, 2018

In waiting mode - again

We are still waiting for the builder to give us his numbers. DH left him a voicemail and email yesterday. While we know it will probably be quite a bit higher, due to the original numbers we got are now almost 2 years old and we added/changed things, we can't really make any more decisions at this point until he gets us those.

Basically, I've been pre-qualified through the bank, up to a certain amount, and that we would be able to not have to sell this house prior to building (ie have both payments). We are pretty sure this approved loan amount will be under the total cost to build both the house and shop, but easily should be under the cost to build the house. And with that amount, our land itself, (without proceeds from sale of house) is more than enough to cover required 20% down. We were kind of thinking yesterday, if his numbers for both come in higher than we are approved for, we will probably just have him build the house and not the shop. Then, when we sell the house and get out from under that $1000 payment, we can use the proceeds from house sale to build the shop and have to borrow a little for the balance. Of course, final amount needed would all depend on how much we end up getting on this house. We do not want to have to sell this house first, try to find somewhere to live and store all our stuff. That would be just total added stress we do not need. We'll have a completely crammed 3 garage until we can build a shop, but that's ok.

It felt like this pre-qualification process went smoother than 2 years ago when I first tried to get qualified through that bank lady my boss uses (and turned into a fiasco!). Being now more than 7 years past bankruptcy and a better credit score made the world of difference. While I'm sure the actual underwriting process will be just as annoying, at least this part felt easier. And we're not waiting on a sale to close, that kind of thing, either.  We're just waiting on the dang builder! We finally got a site work (foundation, septic) quote, today, from that one contractor that kept blowing DH off.  Like 2 1/2 months since he first contacted him about all this.

I've been trying, this week, to get back into doing M-Turk. Even if I can just do $2-3 a day, it adds up. So far, so good this week. They seem to have changed their layout and now putting in a search criteria doesn't disappear every time you complete a survey and want to go back to searching for the same types. Makes it a little easier, I think. And they have a spot you can quickly copy your ID number, needed for some jobs.

I was doing my daily Swagbucks stuff yesterday and noticed I somehow got $5 (500 points) more all of a sudden. Well, apparently when I made my JC Penney online purchase awhile back (and rec'd 10% back in Swagbucks) I also received a $5 bonus. That sure made those few Christmas gifts I bought even cheaper! Nice deal.

DD has got a job interview lined up for one of her resumes she sent out. In a couple of weeks. It's a job for the state as a purchaser. She doesn't know how much it pays, but I'm sure more than she is making at her current job. If nothing else, it gives her some more interview experience. She hasn't had much..she always get the first job haha!  Keeping my fingers crossed for her. She did get awarded a $200 gift card from her employer a couple of days ago, based on her good work.

Payroll is tomorrow and the lady at the company that does our payroll emailed my boss and cc'd me saying "sorry, I processed payroll and got the shareholder's salary increases included but not the "others". Hmm...wondering exactly what she means by "the others".  Well, the others have to be us regular employees, but who? exaclty. When I asked my boss last week if I was going to be getting a  raise this year, she did say she was working on them next week...but usually we don't get them until we have a review....and nothing has been sent out about reviews, either.  The 2 owners and 4 managers (shareholders) always get their increases the first paycheck of January....the rest us is a wait and see deal.  I seem to have gotten left off the reply back (LOL) on whether she wants to just have the payroll company add it on retro next check or so a separate run checks just for the increases.  So, waiting to see what happens on a raise too.............wait wait wait. Ugh.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Starting the document fun

I've started the loan application process for a construction loan. Even though the builder hasn't (still) given us his updated numbers, I was hoping to at least see what we qualify for and then we can adjust, if necessary, when builders numbers come in.  I am first trying the bank that the builder had recommended to us, back in June of 2016. He works with them quite a bit and they are very familiar with working with him. So, I emailed the same lady from before. Through their bank the process works as you get approved for your long term (mortgage) loan first, then you get approved for the construction loan. Another guy does the long term loan part so she has passed me on to him first. I have a feeling he is her husband, as they have the same last name and it's not a common name, LOL. He said we have enough down with just our land owing free and clear, so that is good. We have also added $15,000 in land improvements, which should increase that even more. Plus we will be using proceeds from sale of this house towards down, on top of that. I asked what the "construction reserve" % would be........they do not require a reserve! That is very good news. The other bank/lender I had talked to "back then" wanted a 10% reserve.  I should at least know about a pre-approval this week, it sounds like. If I knew what the builders numbers are going to be (obviously more than 2 years ago, when he did a cost breakdown for us, are going to have to be adjusted), I could have a better idea in my mind what our down payment will be, but it should end up being in the 25-30% range.

I needed to get him some documents emailed yesterday morning. The usual: last 2 years of tax returns, w-2's, etc. I had already gotten those ready. He also requested a copy of my driver's license. My nifty little scanner doesn't do hard documents like a license, but I have another printer scanner. I haven't used it since we moved here, I don't think. LOL. I have a b/w printer I use for my printing needs. Well, apparently even though plugged in, it was never set up to scan on our home network. I couldn't remember how to do it. Ok, I'll just print a copy of it with that machine and then use my nifty scanner to scan that piece of paper. Nope - the printer is almost out of ink and the copy wasn't legible. After googling it I realize the printer/scanner needed to be plugged into a computer via USB. Where is that USB cord? I got lucky and found it (or one that worked) in my desk drawer. Finally, I had my driver's license scanned.

DH had thought he recalled his neighbor friend across the street saying his birthday is in January. I texted his wife yesterday to ask and say we wanted to take them out to dinner for his birthday....or even if it's not his birthday LOL. She replied back that his birthday was the day before, LOL, and have DH text him to set up a time, maybe Sunday?. Friend isn't due back from his 2 weeks away at work until tomorrow. Sunday would be good time to have an evening out. I don't work Monday and I'm sure she doesn't either, since she works for school.

That's all I've been doing this week. Finished a book, waiting for the next one in the series, but in the meantime started Origin by Dan Brown. Really good so far, but I've liked all his Robert Langdon books (and movies).

Monday, January 8, 2018


I decided to talk DD out of the Hawaii trip this year. Several reasons, but mostly because she doesn't know she'll be getting engaged the week after we'd get back and I'm sure she will want to save for their eventual honeymoon :)  Plus, even though she was paying for most of it, it was still going to cost me at least $500. Airfare to fly to her and food, etc. She was ok with my decision and after she is proposed to then I can explain better why. LOL.

We are still waiting on our builder to get us his cost breakdown. I went ahead and emailed the banker lady I had saved her info from when we were checking back in summer of 2016 for the construction loan. I filled out their credit app and emailed it to her with info. She did reply back earlier today and said how their process works is they have to have the long term (mortgage) loan approved first and then they do the construction loan approval. She wanted to know if I had another lender I was working with on the end loan, or wanted to do both through them. I said both through them.  Hopefully we'll soon have an idea of how much we can do, etc.  Then when the builder finally gets us numbers we'll know if we are in the ballpark or need to cut down some (which I imagine we will, as DH has been adding and adding to it).

Today was sunny and 46 degrees. It felt so warm out when I went to the post office. We still have snow on the ground, but not very much. And guess what happened last night. DH was on the phone with his dad about 8:30 and was looking out the guest bedroom window. Sees a couple deer walking down the street. Get up this morning and all the thuja trees we planted on one side of our fence had pretty much been stripped clean LOL. We could see the print track from neighbors yard over to ours and they just jumped the 4' chain link fence and had themselves a feast.  Oh well. We thought maybe being in town and having the fence we'd be ok planting those. I'm sure they will now be back for the ones along the other side of property.

I forgot I get off next Monday for Martin Luther King Jr.s birthday. Looking forward to another 3 day weekend.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

A better day

Yesterday was a much better day for DH. I only had to work a half day and by early afternoon he asked if I wanted to go pick out a framed picture/art that was one of my "sticky note" Christmas gifts. I had seen a wolf painting I liked at a big touristy gift shop that is at a neighboring town, a month ago when I went with neighbor friend to the craft fairs and shopping. Of course, now I didn't see it (I couldn't remember exactly what it looked like) on the wall with all many pictures they have in their "gallery" area. We have a very blank wall in this house that is part of our living room and then extends down to the hallway. We've never had anything hanging on that wall, but when I decorated for Christmas I hung a big hooked rug with a Santa there and it made that wall not look so bare. After I took down the Christmas decorations then that wall seemed really bare to us.

So, he was feeling much better and we drove over to the gift shop. Since they didn't have the picture I recalled I liked, we found another one, bigger, we both liked and a smaller one too. We ended up getting both! It's really hard to take a good picture of the wall it's hanging on. Still looks like a big empty wall, but it really doesn't.
 There was already a nail hanging there from previous owner, so we just used that.
This is the bedroom one. Again, already a nail hanging there and now we have something we like that fits that space. I don't like/want dead animals hanging all over my walls (like most people's homes are around here!), so pictures will be there instead. LOL  I know I'll be able to use these in our new house, somewhere.

We stopped at the burger drive through across the street and that was dinner. In the early evening the cabinet lady finally sent over her quote, so that gave us something to look at and go over all evening. We were happy that her quote pretty much came in at what the builder had done as his allowance on his quote to us. His quote was now almost 2 years ago and he is doing up a new one, which we assume will be higher. Plus the cabinet quote included laundry room, which we hadn't talked with her about, so that was even better. She also sent a 3-D type drawing of what our kitchen would kind of look like, so that was awesome. Now I can really picture myself standing in the kitchen with cabinets around me.

I still have this stupid headache!

Friday, January 5, 2018

Feeling better

DH is feeling quite a bit better today, so it must be the higher dose of Crestor that was making him feel worse and worse. He tried this dosage a few years ago with bad results, so nothing's changed. His way of thinking....he'd rather just not take it and feel his "normal" crappy self than gain a few more years of life with lower cholesterol but feel absolutely terrible every single day of his life. It was so bad Wednesday night he almost went to the ER because he couldn't take the pain any more.  He couldn't even eat dinner Wednesday, he felt so bad.

He got better sleep last night and then was able to sleep in some this morning and eat breakfast and lunch. Hopefully he'll get back to his normal in a couple more days.

I'm taking sinus med for my ongoing headache. It is helping some, but not completely, so I'm not sure what is going on, but it's been 7 days of it now. It doesn't seem to bother me while sleeping, so at least there is that. I guess when I'm done with work (half day) I'll give putting my little rice heating pad on my neck for awhile and see if that helps.

We're not going to make a trip into the city, like we do often when it's my half day Friday. Neither of us feel like it, so sometime in the next few days it will be a trip to the local grocery store for more food. I did place an order this morning online with Target for a few food and healthcare items. I compared prices to Walmart and Walmart is still higher. Target doesn't have 2 day shipping, but also do not need to meet the minimum $25 order, since I have a redcard. When I was checking out there was a $10 Target giftcard balance on my account. I have NO idea how that got there! That is not something I usually forget about. It was a nice surprise, and brought my order down to $23.

Did I mention DD wants to take me to Hawaii as a Mother's Day present?! I think we are leaning now toward end of Febuarary/early March, as May might have us in the house building mode and not a good time to be gone. I think we found a hotel that will be decent enough. She's trying to get the most bang for her bucks, so she decided it was cheaper to stay in Waikiki, rather than go to Kauai, which was our first plan. We are just going to go for 5 nights, but for me will be extra because I have to fly in to where she is the day prior and fly home the day after we get back.  We'll see the beach and of course Pearl Harbor, just do window shopping and eating. I was there with my parents when I was like 13 years old, so it's been a long while since I've been to Honolulu.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Sick days

DH has not been feeling well at all. Extreme pain all over, especially in his back. About the same time he over-did it, a week before Christmas, with the rock wall construction he also started his new higher dose of Crestor. He had tried that dose several years ago and got all achey, so went back to 5mg. I didn't say 2-3 weeks ago "hey, today you are starting 10 mg" (we still had a few 5mg left when we got the prescription) because I know he'd also just get it in his mind he felt worse. So, it was hard to tell if he's been feeling worse because he totally overdid it or the medication. But, he keeps getting worse - so yesterday I  mentioned well maybe it is the higher dose of Crestor. At first he was like, but I've been on that for a couple weeks right? and I said yes, your extra pain started before that by a couple of days. But by afternoon/evening he of course tells himself it's the medication.  Well, then it's an easy way to find out. Stop taking it for at least a few days and see how you feel. Last night was terrible for him, he hardly got any sleep he's in so much pain. He took his last Crestor yesterday morning, so let's see how next few days go. He's pretty miserable feeling. He needs to combine a restful period of days (where's he's not in extra pain from doing something strenuous) with not taking the meds and see if he suddenly feels better. It's hard to tell when he's done some stuff to over use his muscles. Plus, he's had to shovel snow several times the past week, which doesn't help how he feels.

I also wish he'd sit better. He sits in his recliner all crooked - half the time with his legs up underneath him with his hips and back all twisted. That can't be good, especially if he's sitting there for any length of time. I know I cannot do it anymore (since messed up back in car accident) - I can't sit for very long on the couch with my legs curled up by my side. My back starts hurting. I have to sit with my hips and legs straight (I can put them up on coffee table) and a pillow behind my back.

And speaking of not feeling right - I've had a dull headache at the base of my skull since last Saturday. It took me until this morning to realize it's probably a sinus headache! I usually spend about a week or so each Jan/Feb with it. Ibuprofen or Tylenol won't touch it. I have to take a sinus headache pill.Where we lived before I always had a bad week or two of sinus headache late January/early February. Last year, in our new climate, it wasn't until like April. Not sure why it's early January, now, but I have a feeling this must be what it is. We'll see if the sinus med helps and then I'll know.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Monthly numbers report

Here's December. Some good, some not - or pretty much non-existent. 

401k - continues to go up and I was hoping to make it over $75,000 by 12/31. It was $74,866. So close! But today it shows it made it over, to $75,639. Plus my company will be funding their matching and profit sharing for 2017, which will add a little over $4000 to my balance in the near future.  Technically, from 11/30 to 12/31 it was a $988 increase.

Google adsense: $27.37. I think my best month so far and I've reached the $100 threshold again, so will get another payment from them.

Credit score:  743, up from 740. It shows it will update again in 2 days and I will see then what it is. All good, in my book, for applying for the construction/mortgage loan.

M-Turk - I've totally not done anything in last couple of weeks. I think I might have earned about $23, which is my last transfer of earnings I did.

Swagbucks - I can't seem to get the activity report to work, it will only show 3 days of the month. I have about an $18 balance in there, so I am thinking that is about what I probably earned. I'm waiting for $25 and will cash out for a gift card or Paypal transfer.

Bonus's: $635 from side job, $3900 from regular job.

When I was trying to track my bonus check package via USPS the week before last, I came across something new with post office (or at least new to me). Have you heard of "Informed Delivery"? You need a USPS account (which I already had set up) and it will show actual photo's of mail that is on it's way to you! It will email you a daily digest of mail that is on it's way to you and also show when it's delivered. Kinda neat. I kind of like it in regards to having a PO Box.....let's me know if I have mail to pick up and/or worth the trip to the post office. LOL. When I first logged in my USPS account, it still had my old address and showed a piece of mail to there! It was kind of strange because it wasn't addressed to the name of the woman that bought our house, but I know she still lives there/owns the house.

I think I am going to lower our Dish satellite down to a smaller package. I think I can save at least $20 a month or more. I'm going to do a bit more research, but looking at their "smart pack" and their "flex pack". It appears both have Fox News and Discovery, the two main channels we watch.

We've started setting our computers to "sleep" mode when we aren't on them. Hoping that cuts down some on electricity usage. Electricity is so expensive here. 

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Took the plunge!

Well, I did it. I asked my boss if I was going to be getting a raise this year! I had mentioned to her last month that I was going to be starting the loan process for the construction loan after the first of the year, so she would be aware employment verification was coming her way soon.  Since I was not at the year end company meeting 3 weeks ago, where bonus checks were handed out, and where they always tell us what to expect for a sales goal and bonus program in the coming year,  I was not sure what/if our bonus program is for 2018. So, I asked about it, so that I could know to include it as part of my salary listed on the application. It's usually a good bet we will get it and I can show from my pay stubs we've gotten in every year past.

She said the bonus program will be the same for next then I decided what the heck - I'm going to ask her if there might be a raise for me this year. What have I got to lose? She can just say no, if that is the answer. But, at least I wouldn't be sitting here for the next couple of months wondering.

She replied back that she is working on reviews and salaries next week, but I'd be safe to list a 3% increase.  Well, that's better than nothing, that's for sure.  I replied back "thanks so much for the info...I just didn't want to assume a raise for this year, since there wasn't one (for me, but I didn't add that) last year".  I was feeling brave, so just thought I'd throw that in there, too, LOL. It has happened before (to 2 employees the prior year) where almost the whole year went by and found out their raise didn't get put through and they got it retro for all those months. Apparently their manager thought she  I'm not expecting that, but if everyone else is getting raises, I at least expect something. I do as good a job as everyone else!

Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! I am ready for this year. It will be a challenge, to say the least. We've spent a quiet weekend at home. Baby, it's cold outside! Yesterday's high was 25. We didn't get the expected 1-2 feet of snow. We got 2 inches of ice from rain! DH was bummed.

Saturday evening our friends and their 2 kids came over for dinner and brought some Papa Murphy's pizza's with them. Yum. It's nice to have pizza when you can't just get it whenever you want, anymore. (well, unless I make it myself). It was the first time friend's wife had been to our house. I left all the decorations up and we left the lights on the house, so it would still be decorated when they came. I will be glad for a bigger house and dining room table in the future, LOL. Adding 4 more people in our tiny house makes it feel crowded. And they are big folks! haha. All 4 of them are very tall and good sized. Their son is in 8th grade and now taller than his 6'3" (at least) dad and a big football player size. I think they should have brought another pizza just for him ;)  Friend, of course had to bring his whiskey and coke.

Neither of us felt like getting all the lights down and decor put away yesterday, so that will be today's chore. We just relaxed yesterday. I went and did some grocery shopping at the store here in town. We haven't felt like driving in this weather to the city, so I just stocked up for the week from this store. Spent $128 but that will get us through the week and hopefully we can go to the city next weekend. Took naps, watched a movie. I read, as a book I've had on hold for a long time, finally got to be my turn. Of course, I did not stay up until midnight, but I made it to 10:30, ha! I've never been a big New Year's Eve celebrator - it's just another day and today have to start remembering to write 2018.

I've also stopped making resolutions years ago. Like whoever sticks to them? LOL. 

Well, off to see if I can get my new Christmas tree back in the box it came in!