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Archive for November, 2006

Goodwill

November 26th, 2006 at 03:00 am

Last week I hit a small jackpot for my dd. I found her four Laura Ashley sweaters at the Goodwill. My Goodwill has the best stuff. I guess becasue we draw from a nicer area. It is wonderful! They were $14 all together. One was a lambswool sweater. She needs clothes so badly so this was nice.

I see all kinds of folks shopping in Goodwill. It is kinda nice. I plan on using it more and more now that I will be losing weight and needing to update my clothes rather quickly. I am really excited about that. When you are big...... clothes shopping is the pits.
Enjoy your Goodwill or other thrift store.
They are a blessing!

It's starting to look alot like Christmas

November 26th, 2006 at 02:28 am

Had a lovely time visting my parents, my sister and her husband and my two little nephews. It was really relaxing and pleasant. We mostly ate, relaxed, made Christmas ornaments (beaded and painted)
played some games, did a puzzle and read a bit. We also chatted and enjoyed each others company. Just the way Thanksgiving is meant to be.

I did go to one store with my daughter....IKEA. We both love that store.
We found a few great items. I found some tiny glass bowls for syrup that I liked. I picked up some cookies, ornaments, a nice makeup bag set (1.99) CD holders as well. I love to get ideas there as well. I kept the purchases to about 35.00.

Today it was spring like so we hauled out all Christmas decorations and did up the outside. My girls helped and it went up fast. We did the tree as well. My daughter had her two pals sleep over so I had five girls doing it ALL! What a nice treat! They loved putting up the tree and I loved the hum of laughter and giggles. We ordered pizza cause I was too lazy to cook.

I HAVE to look at all my Christmas gifts for my children I have stashed and decide on Monday what I need to finish up doing. I have GOT to concentrate on me a bit and get ready for my surgery. I have some purchases to make. I need to hit the drugstore for some over the counter drugs and other items I will need when I get home. I am not sure about the help I will have so I have to really be organized. Plus I have a lot of info to go thru. I have a tote bag full of papers and brochures on my surgery. It is a bit overwhelming. I just some time to sit and sift thru it all. It is like nesting for a baby......trying to be cleaned, organized and ready. It will be hard but I am going to try to tie up every loose end that I possibly can.

I saw my investment advisor. He is very organized. He is also very thoughful as far as lookng ahead and being conservative. He knows I will some day need this money to live off of. I told him I had an emergency fund and he told me to keep it. Why pay him he said to babysit it.....why incure fees he told me. I thought that was very honest of him. I know my dad thnks the world of him and I do as well. He is pretty humble and not so flashy. He also explains everything to me in english so to speak. So I understand it all. So far I am very glad I hired him.

Well the house looks pretty and very Christmas-ee. I am so glad I am getting things done around here. At times I get very worried about this surgery and other times I can not wait! I am starting to understand the enormous step I am taking. Yet every new journey starts with a small step forward. It really excites me to think of it in those terms. A wonderful journey just for me!
Have a good evening.

Thank you to all the visitors

November 22nd, 2006 at 12:33 am

Just a note to say THANK YOU! to all my visitors! I have reached a milestone of over 20,000 visitors. Thank you to those who stop by all the time, once in awhile and those who have stopped over for a quick read.
I have learned so much from these fellow bloggers! I am humbled and so glad each one of you have visited me. Blessings!!

My Little Miracle

November 22nd, 2006 at 12:24 am

Well I did go to the bank and transfered out of the savings account into the checking. I got really nervous when I saw my balance was around $105.00. I checked it at the ATM. After I got back from the bank-by the way each person working in the bank knows me on a first name basis which is so nice, I think, I ate lunch. I got to thinking and really prayed a bit to de-stress and to let things go a bit. I was so glad to have had socked that money away over time and not frittered it away on stupid stuff. I rememebered the bottle of perfume, the nice coat, the awesome new bedroom bedding and the really expensive earrings I saw in a catalog. So glad I passed right on by those items! Never even thought twice about them! I thought about the times I just put $20 bucks away thinking does this realy make any difference over time??? I thought about all the times God seems to be there when I need him and when I am sailing along, and the times, I ignore him totally. I got the mail and low and behold I received a check from a small real estate transaction that I got half the proceeds from. I get these here and there very sporatically because of my divorce settlement. There it was...the amount needed to cover the cooktop and the car repairs, just about to the penny.

It was a gentle and humble reminder that worry is is very useless and truly it accomplishes not very much. God is good-all the time.

So please know that your higher power or whatever you may call God is there and available. Ready and able.

Happy "be thankful in all things" Thanksgiving......

I Tried

November 21st, 2006 at 02:42 pm

Well I tried as hard as I could to not go into my savings account and transfer money into the checking account.....but I have to today. I am not sure why I feel so guilty or why I am berating myself. I had some emergency expenses in my mind. A car repair bill that slammed me and a cook top purchase. I mean it threw me over the top. I have to pay the guy to install the thing so I am really really not going to make it.

On the other hand that is what the savings account is all about---- emergencies. What is an emergency? When I think if emergency I think of life threatening.
I guess it is life threatening as I do not want to bounce a check or put something more on the visa.

Yes my cooktop is still not in and not much word from the guy doing it. I will make a blanket statement in saying most folks in construction seem to be laxed in returning phone calls. I remember setting up to do some cement work. I got the guy hired and ready to go. He and I discussed it all on my patio. Then he never showed up and I never heard boo from him. Thankfully I never paid him a deposit. I always thought how strange?

Well.. I broke down and bought the DVD CARS. I liked it and the kids liked it. I decided to get it to watch over Thanksgiving with my dad who is a Nascar fan. I think my nephews will like too.
I had a hard time finding it. I found it at Walgreens. They had on hold for someone who never came in for it....so I got it.It was the last copy in the store.

Bought all the things I need to take to my mom's as far as food and fixins. I was at the store pretty early as I was worried it would be crowded later.

I am looking forward to getting my surgery. I am so very ready mentally.
I just want to get going. I think I am going to put up the tree on Saturday as I want to be done with some of these jobs NOW....so I can cross them off my list. Again....my mind is really starting to bend towards the surgery and thinking about that mostly.

It keeps bending towards money things too....this is when I miss being married. It is a large burden at times by myself. But then I am so darn "private" I don't share with anyone else. So it is my own fault in a way.

I will be seeing my investment planner on Friday. He lives near my parents so he has agreed to meet me on Friday to go over my portfolio. I felt a little bad doing it when it is a hoilday but it seemed easier. He agreed so I will see what he has to say and offer. So far I am pleased. Things seem to be growing slowly and steadily. This the money I will need in the future to live off of.
I really need to think about a job in 2007. That job has to wait. First is surgery, recovery and Christmas then getting crazy in January and trying to not spend much for a bit. Hopefully as I get thinner,I will be more apt to get hired somewhere for any job I can get my hands on that still allows me to stay flexible.

Hope you all get lots done today!

Dear Santa - Please bring me a $4000 toy

November 17th, 2006 at 03:46 pm

I am sorry but is playstation 3 really going to nab $4000 on eBay? Never in my life I have seen more news coverage covering this topic! Everytime I heard about this, people camping out and waiting for days for this product...I just cringed. Was it knowing that I only saw pretty much men camping in line.....was it knowing maybe these men gave up sick days to stand in line.....I wondered about their wives or kids, what did they all think of this? Was it knowing that in three months another hotter product will steal our fancy? In our area it has rained since Monday. How miserable. Most of the folks looked like hungry, tired and worn out souls.

I guess we live in a free market society.
We have choices. I certainly was not forced to wait in line. No one made me stand there for days on end. In a way I guess we could look at it as a good thing. I tried to imagine this happening overseas or in the middle east. I remember the drama of the Iraqi people getting to vote....they risked their very lives to be part of history! Freedom can mean life or death.

Freedom comes in many forms and in many degrees. We have freedom to celebrate a religious holiday as we choose. We have freedom to stand and wait for days on end for an electronic item. Those who got a PS3, have freedom to pay for it and keep it or pay for it and re-sell....we have freedom to purchase it or not. We have freedom to spend over and over and go into debt -doing so by our own choosing. We have freedom to live life high on the hog or to save and plan ahead for tougher darker financial times that I predict are just around the bend.

Perhaps at times, we have way too much freedom so lives are detroyed and people go astray.

Freedom is never to be taken for granted. Freedom is to be cherished. It must keep us humbled and grateful at what we do have and in my own personal case, on my knees at times.

Cooktop saga continues

November 15th, 2006 at 04:37 pm

Eric my installer would like to look at my new cooktop first, then he may install it on Saturday! I was shocked. Hopefully it all comes together by the weekend. My fingers and toes are crossed.

How is the shopping coming along for Christmas? I got some done the other night while dd was at dance. I still need to crank it up a notch. I do not know about you but does everything look the same? I guess I just have had so many Christmas's I kinda know what works for gifts and what does not. Toys with tons of directions and parts are a no no. I already know I am a bit on the stressed side. It is too much for me usualy between all the other things going on to put an entire something or other together. I do not look at that as quality time either. I use to say have dad put it together. Well I do not have that excuse anymore. Also things that need adult help....strike two. I have learned to be sure if I have found something wonderful for the three girls....get three different colors. Also anything you have to wait for the grass to thaw or it needs to be hot outside.....strike three.....no good again.
So I am looking at games, crafty (easy) items, imagination items, music, and books. Some clothes too.

I have found that when purchasing a gift I have to look at how stessed it may make me. Makes sense.

One item my middle daughter wants is a microphone stand to use with her karaoke system. I just imagine hrs of fun having a show or a band. That is a good purchase to me. I may even get two. We will see. I am not getting a drum set or an electric guitar.

Good luck with the shopping everyone.

What a Day-

November 14th, 2006 at 11:42 pm

Found someone to install the cooktop and exhaust fan. YaHOO! For about $55 an hour as well. He is a person from my old church. I think that is not too bad a rate. Bad news son's car needs some major repair work. I got off the phone with the mechanic and thanked him for ruining Christmas......so to speak. Part of me was dumbfounded......my finances are taking a major hit right now. I guess I am frustrated a tiny tiny bit.

So we live lean for a bit. What's wrong with that? Nothing at all. It is a wonderful challenge to make it work!
I love a challenge.

Took my dd to see the dr.....of course we need some meds. Thankfully the drug store was able to save me about $50! That was nice. They know me so well in there since I seem to be buying meds for my kids all the time.....they were able to save me some money. Plus I had a coupon for saline solution and a drug store coupon that made another purchase free.

have a good evening!

Cleaning up

November 13th, 2006 at 05:00 pm

I am working in the yard today. Raking leaves, mowing, puting summer patio furniture away. I am sadly taking my clothesline down. I noticed the hooks I have in the trees are about grown over!
About every two years I have to put new hooks up. I will miss my line. It i just nott worth it to me do line drying in during the winter months here in the west. I know some of you might--- but then I use my two drying racks inside.

My neighbor has a yard cleaning team in her yard. I will be honest and say I am jealous just a tiny bit! But then I am getting some good exercise and well it feels good to work hard. The leaves seem to get everywhere......they must like my yard.

My friend's mother submitted my name to a state education office for a part time job as a data processor! I was very flattered to know she thought of me!
It is close to school and the hours are totally flexible and of my choosing!---- 16 hours a week. No benefits. Also it is a casual office and no one is there but three other gals. I would sit and put in data gathered from state visits to pre-schools and daycares.
I realistically do not know how that would work with my surgery coming up. I decided to just tell her to put my name in for now and then let the chips fall where they may. I just was so excited that she thought of me. It really made my day.

This will be tough week. I put alot of money into my savings account this month. After I paid most of the bills I do not have alot of "cash" on hand. It is going to be so darn tight! I will get my child support at the beg. of December and that will help. I just have to really watch it thru the end of 2006.

I am going to get my cooktop ordered today and I will have to just make it work. My cooktop is about non functional now. My dad tried to maybe see if it could be fixed but it way beyond that point. Thankfuly I have alot of stuff in my freezer and pantry. For some reason I have alot of green beans. I have some chilli and chicken in the freezer. Plus soups and cheese for grilled cheese. I wil make pancakes as well for breakfast. So we do have enough.

My son wanted a large gift for Christmas so we got it over the weekend. HE IS DONE! So I do not have to come up with some gifts for him. He is getting car washing rags and a pair of camo gloves in his stocking.

So I will be looking for ways to stay encouraged and to not spend this month.
Times like this I WISH I already had a small little job. Then I think it would be so much harder with my surgery I am glad I am not working right now as I can work on recovery and getting on track health wise. I am not complaining!!!!!! I will make it work as I always seem to.

Have a good day!

Happenings

November 11th, 2006 at 09:59 pm

I went to the Hospital on Thursday and did all my pre-surgery tests. Only hang up was my blood pressure was pretty high. So they put me on meds and another check up in two weeks. If I do not get it down I am nervous they will cancel my surgery. I am sure it will go down with medication. It was a LONG LONG DAY! Glad it was over. The nurses and doctors were very compassionate and trusting. I never once felt dumb or below them. I felt like they were really glad we were there. I learned alot but felt overwhelmed on all the info I got about the pre-op and post-op. Lots of papers and booklets to go thru. So I have much to digest. It was nice as I was with a group of soon to be bypass patients like me. We were able to chat and get to know each other. Some of the people were very sick and very -VERY over weight. Some chose to not share their stories. One gal loved to chat....she was the cheerleader. Everyone seemed to have a story, and I felt not so alone. It was good to see others were making a serious choice to do something drastic yet so very needed. We even shared our hopes for the future. Some were as simple as sitting in a chair at a family gathering to going on a ride with a child at Disney. Such simple things. Not one person said they wanted to have a modeling contract. Everyone just wanted to be "normal" it was very sobering and real.

Did more Christmas shopping. My son wants a large item-so that will be his one and only gift. EASY! I am buying alot of little things here and there. Both of my smaller girls wanted suitcases for dad trips so we got those on Friday. I am really making a dent and getting things done. I am so happy about it.

I have had alot of good luck at BIG LOTS. If you need to do some shopping I have really done alot there.

Today my friend took her daughter who is my dd's best friend and some other girls out to lunch for her birthday. I was invited to go to lunch as well. I had a very nice lunch out. Her mom went as well-we talked about all the places we have eaten. I felt kinda funny as I hardly eat out anywhere. Wendy's or maybe Panera's. I guess I just do not get out that much. Part of me is amazed how much eating out some folks do. It sure adds up I would think.

Enjoy your Saturday -It is just miserable here with the cold and so much rain! My yard is suffering-as I can not mow nor get up leaves. Hopefully it will stop and even if it is cold....I can work outside a bit on Sunday.

Thank you!

November 8th, 2006 at 07:20 pm

Just a little bloggy note to say Thank you for the nice comments and good wishes and advice and wisdom about my surgery. I am busy today cleaning up the house and on Thursday I have an entire day of pre-operative testing at the hospital. So will be away from the computer. Again...thank you!

Today I went to the Dollar Tree. I was amazed at the vast amount of nicer Christmas items they have. If you need to refresh some decorations or holiday items...check out your Dollar Tree. That had some cute plastic type Precious Moments Christmas themed plates, cups and bowls. They were cute for girls. I have nephews that would not like those. They would be adorable for little girls. Just alot of nice Holiday items.

I also purchsed some wax paper. Wax paper is handy. I use it for many things.


75 feet for $1.00

I saw the dentist for a teeth cleaning. I had to pay cash since I have zero dental insurance. Thankfully nothing was wrong...my teeth looked great. I took care of all the fillings, root canals, crowns and anything else BEFORE I got divorced. So my ex paid for it all. I kept the dentist busy but it was worth it. I now can say I have pretty good set of teeth and all seems well. I am pretty faithful at brushing with my sonic care toothbrush. I also love the bag of samples! Love the goodie bag.

Have a good day everyone.

Surgery

November 7th, 2006 at 12:59 pm

I have elected to have some surgery. I am having it done on December 7th.
I am having gastric bypass surgery. I am announing it in my blog as it is sort of a coming out month. It has been a long time coming and I am very ready. This has been a personal struggle for many, many, many years. I was able to get into a program that has a great reputation and is right here in my backyard. I have a very good friend who works in the program as a psychologist. She has been most helpful and well.....a huge support to me.

I will be in the hospital for 4 days recovering. My ex has agreed to take our four children while I am there. I will have to rely upon them in some capacity as I recover at home for a time. I told my kids about the surgery yesterday. They seemed Ok with it. My one daugther was a little bummed as she always has a big Christmas party with her girlfriends....so we agreed to go for a party on New Years Eve. I will be back in shape by then I hope. She liked the idea and seemed fine with things. My middle daughter cried as she knows of many parents who have struggled with cancer....so that was her first thought, that mommy had a bad cancer.

Thursday I have some pre-operative testing for the entire day. Hopefully I will fly thru it with flying colors.

I am very excited and yet very nervous- I know things are meant to be and it will all work out. Unfortunantly my medical insurance is terrible and they will not cover it. I have saved enough money in a special savings account for such a time as this. So I will have to pay for it on my own. As I explained to my mother---- I can pay for this or pre-pay a funeral. I think I would rather do the surgery.

I am excited and yet a little nervous. Risk comes with surgery. I understand the huge change I am about to take.

My plans right now are to finish all Christmas shopping, wrap it and make some freezer meals. Also to see where I may get a little help from some friends. One has offered to drive for dance classes for my one daughter. Plus with the school break there is less pressure for homework and doing so much. Sports are over and so are major projects. Their dad will be seeing them as well, that helps. I have not told him anything. I just said I have a surgery. Part of me got hurt as he never even asked if I was OK. He basically said he could watch the kids but it had to work around his schedule of work ( he owns his own business) and holiday activities. I will be honest and say it sure felt uncomfortable-but that is how divorce works. I guess we move on and begin lives apart and seperate.....treating things as business transactions. So goes life. I am past the hurt and looking forward to a whole new lease on life.

I am excited to look better an feel good health wise. Thankfully I have never become diabetic or had sleep problems or bad knees or a bad back. I feel that was all waiting for me just around the bend. I really hope I learn and grow thru this whole new way of living. It is finally about time.

One of my mottos the last two or so years has been that "God has a plan and a purpose for me." Basically that God is not done with me and he has good things waiting for me. He has things orchestrated to make good experiences come out of bad ones. That thru it all I will grow no matter what. I will learn from it all and become the person He desires me to be. That excites me and propels me to look ahead with unshakable confidence.

Election Day in my State

November 7th, 2006 at 12:43 pm

Today is election day! I am so happy to see all the silly tv ads and ugly yard signs all over the place go by the wayside!

I am so tired of all the phone calls I get thru the day and night. Yesterday I finally stopped answering the phone it got so crazy.

Well if it is election day ---vote and be heard on all the issues. It will be very interesting in my state to see the results.

Pantry and Fridge too!

November 7th, 2006 at 01:40 am

Got the pantry done and the fridge! I feel so much better. I just had been needing to do those jobs! Now they are done for now.

We raked leaves and we have a ton on the curb waiting to be recycled by the city. My blower ended up frying for some reason. I ended up getting a small electrical shock and burn! It was pretty painful and it still hurts. It is on my finger. The extension cord looked very strange with black stuff on it. I decided to pitch it and the blower. I usually have my kids using that and I do not want any of them to get hurt.

Dinner was porcupine meatballs. Boy are they good! My daughter made them since I had to run my dd to dance class. They are thrifty and easy to make.

Went to the kids resale shop to turn in some toys...they are so darn cheap now at that resale shop.. I think becasue of all the eBayers......the prices are just pennies on the dollar now. I took the cash. I still felt a bit ripped off. I went to the half price dollar store and found a ballet calendar and two ballet books for a song for my dd for Christmas. She collects dance books. They are very hard to find it seems.
I found a book I was interested in. My friend is giving me some Beverly Lewis books to read. She has the entire collection. They are books on Amish life
I started one but never got thru it. I hope I have better luck this time.

I heard from my friend who lives in Colorado Springs via email. She goes to the church-New Life- where that pastor was found in a bit of sin. She told me the church is just reeling in devastation. She seems good but hurting. I lived thru something like this as well.....in an old church and it is not fun. I felt sorry for his wife in some sad way I could relate to her pain. It has to hurt......

Life is fragile. People are frail.
Jobs can be here and then gone in a blink of an eye. Marriages are solid one second and then crumbling the next.
Stocks are up and then stocks are down.
Life is fleeting and fast at times. People love you and then they hate your guts. People are human and not perfect. Financial plans are flawed and not perfect. We can only do the best we can with what we have. I do not have all the answers as far as money goes but I AM thankful to be part of this group where I can find support and good counsel.


Cleaning the Pantry

November 6th, 2006 at 03:40 pm

I am cleaning the pantry today. One of the jobs I absolutly HATE with a certain amount of passion. I wanted to do it yesterday but frankly I ran out of steam.
One area of concern...cereal. My kids change their minds and get sick of a certain brand so quickly. So I really need to re-evalute that. I also hate my pantry how it is physically set up. I have those awful wire shelves......I am going to sound bad here. I only think a man could of invented these. I really am thinking of putting woods shelves in there as soon as I can. ALso they are so darn deep.....it is really a dumb design. I guess when I built the house 17 yrs ago and I only had a one yr old ....I thought differently. Plus my old house never really even had a pantry-so I was thrilled to get the builders standard wire shelving.

So yes I am trying to work in the pantry and I am hating it that is why I am blogging. Time to crank up the tunes and get r done. Wish me luck----

Outlet Shopping

November 6th, 2006 at 03:32 am

My kids were at their dad's for most of the weekend. I decided to make a trip to the "local" outlet shopping area. It is the typical place you may see off a major highway that is usually in the middle of no where. I thought I could take the afternoon and browse for some deals. Our outlet shopping place is pretty large. There is a large playground and large indoor food court. I did see one large motor coach tour bus as well. I was able to park close so if I had alot of bags I could easily walk to the van and drop off my goodies and head back into the stores. Usually the place ws mobbed so to find a place close by seemed odd. BOY was I DISSAPOINTED!

Half the stores were empty. Most stores were having clearance sales and selling the entire stores. I saw this in the Misaka store and the large bookstore. Everything-including the fixtures were being sold for 40% off. I saw a few make shift stores. I am pretty sure that the biggest sellers on Saturday were the Auntie Em pretzels and candy at the candy store. The Corningware store was also popular to walk thru.

I guess the economy is that bad or people are being much more thrifty. I saw some people with lots of bags but that was very rare. Mostly I saw browsers like me.

It was really interesting to go there.

On the way home I stopped at the Dollar Tree and another wonderful outlet store that has been around for years and years. I found some reasonable items for Christmas stockings.

Grocery shopped today and washed sheets.
Did alot of relaxing. I was able to go to church with my kids....that was nice. Heat is off....I hope to have it off all week since the weather will be very mild.

I did take food for the City Mission to church. We were all asked last week to help for Thanksgiving. I was very sad to see that I was the only person who contributed. In fact no one knew where to put my contirbution, as a bin was not out in the lobby. Finally they found a box hidden away. I thought that was kinda sad. I hope my rather large church family remembers to bring some food.

The economy is very tricky right now.
It seems like everyone is hurting somewhere...somehow. Even outlet stores are hurting. Today, the young man who packed my groceries stood there and complained about his job as he packed up my things. I finally said...."young man...be glad you have a job and take your money and save it....as someday you could have a nice nest egg." I think he thought I was insane.

Things are only going to get tricky and more tricky with the economy. There are no easy politically correct answers. I think we all have to take on some personal responsibilty and yet there are times when we do need to try to lend a hand along the way. Maybe the days of outlet shopping are done. Maybe the days as we knew them are done as well.

15 Items Regarding Finances and Budgetting about me

November 2nd, 2006 at 01:41 pm

1. I used to get the Tightwad Gazzette when first published and I have the entire collection book form.
2. I have a penny jar I start each new year then cash in over Christmas
3. I have a savings account and checking account
4. I do not own a debit card
5. My checks have a kitten design on them.
6. I listen to Clark Howard and Dave Ramsey
7. I own about 15 books on finance related topics.
8. I have an small account with a local credit union here in town
9. I visit, at least on average 5-10 blogs on savings and finances a day
10. I do not use coupons as regualrly as I would like.
11. I rarely go to the mall-maybe once a year
12. I like to shop at WAL MART
13. I sell things at consignment shops.
14. I stop by the Goodwill store once a month.
15. I wash laundry in cold alot and use my clothes line consistently in the spring, summer and early fall.

Ok your turn----

More Gifts purchased

November 2nd, 2006 at 01:59 am

Pack of cool pens
neat gingerbread soup mug filled with bath products (adorable)
Makeup sponges (for dd)
Christmas platter (for wonderful neighbor)
Eye lash curler (for dd)

cataolg Christmas items-
doll/doll clothes in suitcase
game for dd
game for son
game for other dd