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Archive for August, 2009

Sweet Corn!

August 31st, 2009 at 06:11 pm

Wasn't there a piece of music with that title? No, maybe that was popcorn? Whatever. I have about 30 ears of ripe corn that need something done with them, I would like to be frugal and freeze them, but I think I am going to chicken out, and take them to work. I put them in the break room for lucky non-gardeners to take. I am on the guilty train today, I have a mountain of garden produce ready NOW, and just not enough time to can/freeze it all. So, I console myself with the thought that someone is benfitting, even if I give it away, at least its not going to waste. This happens every year. I am always agonizing over whether my time is better spent working on some paying project, or spending time, canning/freezing, or some other money saving activity. Because, in the end, there is only so much of me, and 24 hours in every day to go around. Lots of questions, and no good answers. I have many friends who don't do any canning anymore, it is just about as cheap to get the veggies on sale at the discount store, and so much less work. Very true, I know. I guess that I just really LIKE the idea of providing for our family this way. There were many years that I was a SAHM, and this was just what I did, my contribution to the family economy. I did finally draw the line at butchering our own meat tho. It was too much of a pain with 4 little kids running around. So anyway, there will be more sweet corn, maybe next time (like tomorrow) I will get some in the freezer. I really like to can it better, but it takes way more time to process it, than to tuck it into a bag and into the freezer. Uh Oh, Hubby is listening to the oldies channel on the stereo, and YMCA just came on. I am hiding before I end up dancing that (bleep,bleep) dance! Bye.

Sunday, On the Couch Again

August 30th, 2009 at 11:26 am

Sunday is my laid back, random thoughts session. Hmmm....I am overwhelmed with zucchini, good thing cattle like to eat them.....I have been promising myself that I would get to cleaning the sewing room for a month, I did rearrange a couple of spots, but it's staying on the list for now.....I am a big list maker, I have actually made a list of the lists that I had at one time(now that's strange).....I might have the chance to switch from night shift to day shift, I have been kind of mulling it over in my mind, no decisions yet.....It is cool here today (Michigan)makes me think of Fall.....I still have a phone # on my desk for the U-pick strawberry farm, I think that I can safely toss that now.....I am still finding stuff that belongs to DD#1, she and fiancee bought a house and she moved about 6 weeks ago, that is one of the piles in the sewing room.....I just realized that I still have a snowman cookie jar sitting on the shelf, from when I decorated for Christmas last year, maybe I'll stick a punkin on his head and ignore him until it's the proper season again.....I have been considering an indoor clothesline in the sewing room (also known as the downstairs bedroom of our old farmhouse), just a single line, the girls have alot of drip dry clothes (their purchase, not mine)and with the 8ft. cielings, there would be room..... my GF gave me a big stack of books that last time we had brunch, I have been saving them for when the outside stuff (garden, yard work) is done, but they are tempting me.....I did start knitting a hat the other night, I have to have something in my hands when we sit down to watch the local and national news in the evening, the only time I get to pick the channel, there is a group from church that makes hats/scarves/mittens for local charities..... local charities sounds so snooty, make me think of Little Orphan Annie, course, she could have used a hat.....Well, I feel much more relaxed now, better get back to the real world, the dishes are waiting.

Charge It!!!

August 29th, 2009 at 11:35 am

I remember an old episode of the Flintstones, where Wilma and Betty have gotten the charge cards from Fred and Barney, and they go running out the door hollering "Charge It!" They didn't get ahold of the charge cards very often (nobody called them credit cards then), and they were the key to beautiful, wonderful things that you would never have gotten otherwise. That was probably my first introduction to credit cards. My parents never had any. We were farmers living in a rural area, and even if they had been qualified to get one, there was no place to use one within maybe a 2 hour drive. I don't think that they ever had one until I was grown up and gone. (early 80's) If you needed something, you paid cash, and when you ran out of cash, you quit buying. I have to give many thanks to my parents for that early financial training, I have followed it as faithfully as I could for many years, (ok, not THAT many). So to the real topic of my lament today, Medical Bills. I capitalize because they are a constant source of frustration to me. For years, we didn't have any health insurance, so we were very carefull about Doctor visits, only when we really needed them, and asking about the lowest cost prescriptions, when we just had to have them. And of course, we did have plenty of them with 4 kids. Now we have been covered by Hubbys comapany medical plan for maybe 5 years now, and I know that we pay more now for copays etc. than we ever did before. When we had no insurance, many places would give you a break, now it's like open season. I am always making payments to the dentist, family Dr., hospital for lab stuff, script copays, etc. Just when you get one paid and out of the way, something else crops up. And this is all over and above what they get from the insurance company. Plus, you still have to pay for the insurance itself. OK, enough venting. Back to credit cards, we don't have any. We used to have a Discover card, but we maxed it out at $2500 and it took seven years to pay it off, so we closed it in the middle of all that, and I don't really miss it. We do have a debit card that draws off the checking account, so that works just fine for anyplace that wants a major credit card. BONUS: I get to laugh as I hang up on the all of the telemarketers who call to offer to help you pay off your credit debt. We do have an emergency fund, not 6 months worth of expenses, or even 3, but we have managed to get by so far. So heres hoping that nothing major comes along, and that we have a nice, warm Fall so we don't have to start the furnace anytime soon.

Friday Funk

August 28th, 2009 at 08:37 am

I am tired today. Worked last night, no sleep yet. Well, at least the bill paying went fast (irony there). In went the money, and one check later, it was gone...... auto insurance. Only one mole this week, but he was a porker. Hubby had his Dr. appt. yesterday, 6 more weeks off work. He had a rotator cuff fixed on May 15th. Therapy is going well, just not very quickly. Somewhere I saw a download of 150 things to do with Ramen Soup, I think I might just look around again for that. Summer hasn't been our season lately. Last Summer I was off work for 6 months, this Summer it's Hubby's turn. Well, at least the string beans are done. I froze a 5gal pail of them every day for about 10 days. It's great to have them, but I didn't get much else done between the picking, snapping, blanching, bagging, you get the idea. Now the sweet corn is starting, but I have 35 tomato plants out there, and not a red one yet. I can see it now, if they ripen at all, it will all be at the same time, and I will go down in a river of tomato sauce. There are worse ways to go, I just can't think of any right now. I'm off to suck down some caffeine and do some housework. Toodles...

A Hunting We Will Go

August 26th, 2009 at 05:43 pm

For information, that is, and hopefully some that will save me a major purchase. My electric dryer isn't working the way it should. And hasn't for a while. It's only about 5 years old ,and it doesn,t heat properly. It has been doing this, or not doing it, for more than a year already. I have a trusty repair man, whom I really like, and he has given it his best shot several times. It does not heat right. First the auto sense cycle just wasn't getting the clothes dry, no problem, i used the timed dry. Then it was taking almost 2 hours to get a load of bath towels dry, beyond ridiculous. So he replaced the thermostat, worked for a couple months, back to damp clothes. Then he replaced the timer, even tho I had checked to make sure that 1 hour on timed dry was really running for 1 hour. That didn't help. Then he (bless his soul) took the dryer home with him, which is his shop, (this is a Small Town!) and checked the wiring. Found some loose connections, worked for a couple months, and again, damp clothes! I admit, I do 5 or 6 loads of laundry mostly 6 days a week, maybe I'm just expecting it to last longer than it will, but really! 5 years?! So, I will be spending the weekend surfing around appliance boards, to see if anyone else is having this problem. I really don't want to have to buy another dryer, but it will soon be way to cool for the clothesline. BTW, I LOVE my clothes line! It saves me more than $40 a month not to run the electric dryer, and I just love the way things smell fresh off the line. I'll let you know what happens.

Potholes - Is That China Down There?

August 24th, 2009 at 08:45 am

You know, like the kind your money disappears down, never to be seen again. My DD#1 just moved out, so DD#3 is painting her old room, to move in. It really needs new carpet, it would be foolish not to put it in while the room is empty. Is this in my budget for August? Of course not! Another mole to whack. It's not a big room, so maybe I can get a remnant that will fit, and we will lay it ourselves, so installation is not an issue. One step forward, and two back.

Sunday Musings - Therapy Time

August 23rd, 2009 at 02:44 pm

So pull up a couch, and listen in as we do some free association. You should know that I get the title of my blog from my 2 best girlfriends. We have known each other for more than 40 years. Oh boy, that cat is out of the bag now. So to those of you thinking that I was some young, hip chick (do people say that anymore?), yeah there was one of you! I could tell... Gotcha! Anyway, we try to get together once a month for breakfst/lunch whatever, and hash out the problems of the world, and our households. We call it girltherapy, very effective, and much cheaper than a real therapist. Wait, wait, another thought floating by..... Mmmmm, I can smell the lasagna that is baking for supper... went to the big craft store tent sale with my Mom and Sis today, we go every Summer, but this year fewer shoppers, smaller clearance selection, and no big discounts. I guess if you can't afford groceries, you don't buy yarn. I spent $12. The groceries are safe for now.

Another Quickie

August 22nd, 2009 at 04:36 pm

My hubby would be so jealous... I had to run to the grocery store this afternoon. I hate making the trip (5 miles to town for me) for just a few items, but tomorrow is DD#1 birthday dinner, and she wants lasagna. I didn't have noodles or cheese. The noodles I could have fudged on, but not the cheese. So since I was going anyway, I picked up a pkg of breakfast sausage, and hot dogs, both on sale, and buns for the dogs. Quick supper of hot dogs and carrot sticks for tonight. Anyway, it cost me $30 and change at the checkout for 5 items! It's no wonder my grocery budget is always giving me fits! I have basically the same amount to spend each week, and the stores are not cooperating! Now granted, I bought the big pkg of hot dogs, so there are lots left, but I have to hide them in the freezer, or they will be all snacked away, and I won't get another meal out of them anyway. Well, at least the BD cake is a mix already in my cupboard, carrot is her fav and I got it on sale weeks ago 10/$10. You win some, you lose some.

The New Financial Reality

August 22nd, 2009 at 04:05 am

I just had to post a quickie this morning. The new financial reality is.... that A girl I work with is getting married next month, and mentioned this morning that she and the fiancee had their engagement party at MCDONALDS! She proudly confided that everyone paid for their own meal, and it was cheap enough all of their friends could come. I didn't know whether to laugh, or feel sorry for her. She seems perfectly happy with the whole deal, so I will go with the chuckles, and a disbelieving little shake of the head. I didn't ask her where the reception was going to be, but just think, they could go really high class, like maybe KFC! In the interest of fairness, I should mention that I eat at both of those establishments on a regular basis, and enjoy them more than I should, as my waistline and cholesterol numbers will attest.

Freaky Fridays

August 21st, 2009 at 04:42 am

With apologies to Mr. Disney, from whom I borrow the title. My bill paying day is Friday, a day that I secretly (or loudly) dread, when we gear up and play financial Whack-A-Mole once again. I told one of my GF's once, that I feel like my budget is a huge Mole game. I have the big hammer, the moles are the bills, and just when I think that I have them all lined up, and subdued where they are supposed to be, they start randomly popping up, and throwing me into a panic. So there I am, pounding away, no time to think, just Whack! Whack! Whack! The big fat mole this week is the farm insurance. If we didn't have to pay for insurance, we could be rich! Farm ins, life ins, health ins, auto ins, that's our biggest expense on a yearly basis, almost double any other category. If I was smart, I would invest in an insurance company, they must be making oodles of money (a lot of it mine!)I am a planner. I love to write out the budget every month, and see where the money is going, I feel powerful! But i'm just a little twitchy about the bills lately. Hubby has been off work since May, surgery, and should be going back in a week or two. And I am really proud, in a way, we managed to get everything paid thru the Summer, and not dip into the savings, yet. so I am "cautiously optomistic" Now I sound like a politician! I'd better go, channeling Walt Disney I could handle, but the other? (Big sigh) Back to the moles.

Loan to the kid? Or not?

August 20th, 2009 at 06:39 pm

Big financial crisis in my house. My youngest girl got a Summer job to save money for a car. She has been a great saver, but doesn't have quite the amount that she wants to spend. So she would like to borrow a few hundred dollars to get the used car that shes been shopping for. So, do we lend to her, or should she have to deal with the budget that she already has. Hubby is on the No side, we didnt lend to any of the other kids, I am leaning towards Yes, I would rather that she had the best car possible. And to be truthfull, we didn't have the money to lend to the other kids, even if they had asked for it. So I don't know which way we will go. Decisions, Decisions!