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Happy Anniversary!!

May 20th, 2007 at 10:42 am

May 17th was my wedding anniversary. I WOULD of been married for 21 years this past week. It is also the anniversary of my BLOG! It has been ONE YEAR!! Thank you for having me around and for reading what I post. I enjoy writing and I LOVE reading everyone's blogs as well. What a great group of bloggers! Thanks again--

Spending Less

May 20th, 2007 at 10:39 am

Hello frugal friends! Since I am back to working part time I sense that my budget may be better off. Yes I am earning, but I feel somehow that in turn I am spending less. I am not sure why. I am not in the grocery store as much or running little errands. I seem to be saving on gas as well. Working one mile away sure helps. I take my lunch everyday and never buy out of the vending machine. Usually my lunch is pretty humble and not too exciting. I spend nothing on my work clothes. So far I am preplexed but I do think I am saving somehow somewhere. I am still enjoying my job. I have met more folks in management and that has been nice to enlarge my circle of faces around the complex.

I have learned a few lessons as well.
Keep things simple in your house. Some of these seniors have way too many knick knacks and furniture. Some have so much stuff I worry how they might fall. Throw away junk mail and newspapers. Lots of the residences will not throw away old papers and mail--cluttered tables and counters are messy. Smells matter. If you have a pet....take care of it properly and maintain things. Put unopen cat food cans away---it is simply gross. Fresh air is cheap and does a world of good for everything. Open a window now and then. Fresh air never hurt anyone or anyone's home.
Life is what you make of it. You can walk around all grumpy and mad at the world or your circumstances or you can look at things with contentment and joy---the choice is YOURS! Happy people are fun to be around grumpy people are a BIG turn off. Everyone can use a smile or nice words...they are free and easy to share.

I have alot of graduations coming up which means lots of cash flying out the door. I will have to decide the amount and make that cash amount the gift I give across the board. My dd has her birthday in the begining of June so I will hosting a sleepover party for her and her buddies and of course buying her some gifts. She will be 15! So far I have no idea what to get her. I know she has some ideas, I know she wants a purse she has had her eye on. June is tax time for me. I have to pay my taxes soon. It is a pain but I have to do it. The IRS is not something to mess with. So that will be a chunk.

I have my trampoline coming on Tuesday. I cashed out my CD so I have cash to pay the balance, instead of throwing it on a credit card. The kids seem really excited to get it. I hope they have fun with it. It will be takng up valuable yard space in my smaller backyard.

I have been keeping dinners super simple.
It seems to be fine with everyone. I feel less stressed and we eat very well.
My weight seems to have slowed down a bit. I still feel great and have tons of energy. I am glad my job is physical. I just have to watch and eat healthy. I was told this is normal as my body adjusts. My hair is not falling out as much either. I am so glad. It was pretty scary for a time. Things seem to be getting normal as far as hair loss goes. I am still careful whan I wash it and comb it.
My skin is very clear and I have no other major issues as far as health is concerned. I hope to hear about my insurance soon. I re-applied and asked for a cheaper rate. I hope it does not come back higher. I feel I should get a better rate with all the weight I have shed.

I need to look for a dress and shoes for graduation. I absolutly hate to shop.
I hate to try on clothes....even with an 85 pound weight loss.....I still do not have much luck with clothes really looking great on me. I am not sure why. I need someone from the style channel to help me I guess. I will have to grin and bear it----otherwise I will have to show up to the ceremony in shorts and a tee shirt and flip flops!

Have a good Sunday!

Hello Friends

May 13th, 2007 at 05:57 pm

Oh my--I am not too good at writing on a regualr basis. I apologize. Just so busy now that I am working a bit. I am still liking my job and find it very interesting at times. Saturday I had to train to do many jobs as I am the only one around on Saturdays. It was fun ---yet hard work. I felt very responsible to have been given so much so quickly. So far so good. I am looking forward to getting my paycheck with my name on it. I know that might sound lame or silly but it is important to me.

Shopped at the WalMart super center on Friday. I liked it but then I found it was so large it almost overwhelmed me. They have the best prices in town...no doubt...I just felt over over overwhelmed by how large it was for some reason! I got my oil changed while I shopped...that was easy and really helpful. Do you do your regular shopping at WalMart? I am on the fence right now if I am going to keep on going there. I will see. The prices were great....maybe the trip will be better next time.

I have to go to a funeral this week. My friend with cancer passed away on Weds. I am glad she is heaven. I was glad I saw her last week and glad they published a beautiful photo of her in the paper. She was a stunning lady with a pretty face and smile.

I hope you all had a nice Mothers day. We went to the mall and purchased outfits for my sons graduation. Shoes, dresses...you name it. We ate in the food court. For the most part we had a nice day. It felt great to get some things purchased and checked off my list.
It is like preparing to go to a wedding. Just lots of details.

I filled up my van this weekend with gas. It cost me around $75. I am so glad I work so close to home. It is awfully expensive anymore. Everything seems expensive to me and at times it is depressing. I feel grateful for what I have. Yet it seems scary to think too far into the future. Being frugal is so important. I tend to spend on the kids and not so much on me. Isn't that the way it is?

It has been a good weekend....have a good Monday!

I am back!

May 8th, 2007 at 07:11 pm

Sorry for not writing for so long.....not exactly sure why but just busy! Hello to all!

I did start my job and so far so good. My first day I was pretty nervous. I seem to be doing ok because the first day I trained under another lady....then the next day I was on my own! I must of done OK. I really like it and enjoy being on my own to complete all my jobs. It is a very physical job.....I am never sitting down for too long. I have been making things work in my home as well. So far so good. It sure is different but it motivates me to be very on top of things and to get things done when I can. It is nice to be busy---time flies when I am working and I never seem to dwell on problems or difficulties. My kids seem Ok with it all as well. One day at a time.

We made a big purchase...a trampoline. I decided to spend the money I had stashed last May. Since we are not going anywhere as far as a trip goes.....I decided to make the plunge and purchase it. So we are looking forward to it. It will be fun and entertaining for everyone. I got a pretty nice one and it is the safest one you can get. I should have it by Memorial Day weekend.

As far as money goes and budget.....I have been staying on track. I hope to keep socking some cash away each month. I am working on lowering my health insurance. I just filled out some health questionnaires, so we will see.

I have lost 85 pounds so far. I feel good. I am going to Goodwill to get a few items as I get skinnier. I taught my youngest how to ride a two wheeler....so I am back riding my bike again. I like it. It is fun and I feel like a kid. Good way to burn off calories.

A dear friend of mine is losing her battle with breast cancer.
She was doing great and then boom....she went downhill. I went to see her Sunday and was basically tramatized at how bad she looked. I tried not to cry at her bedside but did. I was too overwhelmed with grief. It was really hard. I am now trying to remember her when she looked healthy and so full of life. She was a dear. I always liked it when she said to me...."I love you" and she would say it with such meaning it felt so special to have her say that to me. She really meant it too. She leaves behind a hubby and two boys who are still young.

Sunday we are going to hose off the front porch and get all the furniture out there. Soon flowers will be purchased and we will be well on our way to enjoying all things on the front porch! There is no better way to relax!

"a wise man should have money in his head, but not in his heart"

"love is a short word but it contains everything"

"he who does not economize will have to agonize"

"opportunities are seldom labeled"

Menu for the week

April 23rd, 2007 at 08:43 am

Sunday-Chix drumsticks,rice,corn, strawberries or applesauce

Monday
Breakfast-bisquits and jelly
Dinner-slow cooker chix and stuffing, fruit , green beans, corn muffins

Tuesday
Breakfast-hash browns
Dinner-kids eat with dad, no cooking

Weds
Breakfast-waffles, sausage
Dinner- Rigatoni, meatballs, texas toast, sliced apples or salad

Thurs
Breakfast- Bagels or cereal
Dinner- small Pork loin, mashed pot and gravy, freezer bread, corn or beans.

Friday
Breakfast-whatever
Dinner-soup, grilled cheese sandwiches and pizza crescents

Saturday--re-shop!

Great Weekend

April 23rd, 2007 at 08:18 am

Well we had our last dance weekend and it was fun. Nice time! It ended up being frugal beyond my expectations! Saturday-we ate lunch at the place where we performed.....$16 for two. Which is not bad at all for catered on site food service. We had huge salads, waters, a huge fresh fruit cup and a huge cream cheese brownie. My daughter ate her fill. Free program to track dances. Usually these cost around $10 at most events we go to.
Saturday night we ate out for dinner and the wonderful diner we ate it had HUGE protions. So lunch was "free" so to speak as we took home about four boxes of leftovers to recycle for lunches and snacks. I also parked for free as the parking lot had no attendant. I also got free coffee at the hotel because the hotel manager was kinda being nice to us! So I really squeaked by on not much cash outlay.

I grocery shopped on Sunday morning and got that done. So my menu is planned for the week including breakfasts.

My financial planner sent me a confirmation he received my check to invest into my account. So that is handled and taken care of......the money is gone and I can not touch it easily. I feel so good about that. Major accomplishment.

Today I have a physical. My "big" news is I landed a part time job at a beautiful high end local assisted living place near me. I already measured and it is exactly 1.3 miles from my driveway to work! I could walk or ride my bike if I wanted to!!I have had the drug test and now I have to have a physical. It will take a few days to complete the paperwork. I am working in the laundry area...and doing light housekeeping for residents. It is not stressful and the part time hours work with my life. I am nervous and excited to earn a paycheck on my own. For me it is a huge deal and undertaking emotionally. I have not worked for pay since 1989. So a new challenge for me. If it works out great! if not I guess I can give my two weeks notice. I have to now tell my kids. My oldest daughter knows and she was not too happy. No one likes change so I understand her feelings. I work three days 9-2pm and every other Saturday morning. So far I think it should work and again if not....I can always reconsider. My therapist thinks the timing is right and that it may help me to get involved in something beyond my home and four walls. I also have just enjoyed getting to meet new people. It is all good therapy for me. Plus this job is a job involving moving and walking......that is great for weight loss.

The weather is so nice.....a strong breeze is occuring right now. It was very peaceful outside and now some neighbor is using a blower and the whole area is filled with noise! It really irritates me all the yard equipment noise it seems constant! One pet peeve I have around here. I have my clothesline up and running with two loads of laundry whipping in the breeze. They will be done drying in no time. If you don't use a line...get into the habit. It is so wonderfully simple. Last night we went for a walk. I found a wonderful old farm tin bucket with a dent and a tiny bit of old rust in the neighbor's garbage. I brought it home and put an assortment of left over silk flowers in it. It now graces my porch and looks like it is from Country Living Magazine. One man's trash becomes a cute front porch treasure. My porch swing is back to swinging along with the front yard hammock which rarely hangs quietly when school is over for the day. Spring is full of changes!! It is very nice and so welcoming. Change is refreshing. I am looking forward to the many changes and new directions life is taking me.

Have a good day everyone.

A Sad Day

April 17th, 2007 at 04:49 pm

What a terrible event that has happened at VA TECH. My sister teaches in the engineering department at VA TECH. Thankfully she was not on campus on Monday. Our hearts go out to the whole college and town. It sure makes one pause and reflect how fleeting life is.

Not too much to report. I was able to mail off a large chunk of savings to my financial advisor on Monday. That was a relief to do that. Less temptation on my part. I also am re-newing my health insurance. The paperwork seems complicated and yet very vague. I am simply renewing. I am asking for a reduced rate since I had the gastric bypass. I know the rate went up a few months ago across the board.

I had to weigh myself for the paperwork. I have lost 75.5 pounds. I am very happy with my progress. My hair continues to a be a problem for me. It is falling out like I am having chemo. I have been eating as much protein as I can and I am supplementing myself with medication. It is nothing new and many weight loss patients go thru this transition. Overall,I am feeling so good. It is wonderful and I am so glad I did have the surgery, despite the hair loss.

Just trying to balance things as far as my money goes. It seems to be another tight month. I think alot of bills have hit me like renewals and such. It is just not too fun. I have two more travel weekends for my daughter. Once the travel season is over I should be doing better. This weekend is local so no hotel...in two weeks we have an overnighter out of town. So we will just do our best.

Next big purchases will be summer clothing. We did some over Easter break but need to buy some shorts and tees and then bathing suits. My middle daughter needs tennis shoes. My budget for my own clothes is on hold. Nothing I need to buy.

Have a good evening

"No person is so poor that he cannot give a compliment"

"Don't ask for an easier life, ask to be a stronger person"

"If you can't have the best of everything, make the best of everything you have"

Greetings!

April 9th, 2007 at 06:29 pm

Hope everyone had a lovely Easter. I visited my family and we stayed overnight and drove back on Monday morning. We had a nice visit. My son stayed with his dad. It all worked out very well. It was last minute as I was not planning on going and staying overnight,but my sister was visiting from 5 1/2 hours away. I do not get to see her and her boys too often, so the trip was really a good way to connect.

I had an interesting appointment today. One that in the future I will share but not right now. You'll have to come back and visit my blog to find out.

My kids are home from school all week and then they go to dad's on Friday evening for the weekend. I will miss them! I have had them for so long....I enjoy my time but pine away for them as soon as they leave.

Nothing too new in the finance department. I have had a ton of bills. Things that are re-newals and what evers. So I am trying to balance it all out. I will probably have an expensive week as I am eating out two times with girlfriends and twice with my kids. I keep teling myself it is cheaper than a trip to Flordia! Not to worry. Soon I will have to begin the process of purchasing spring and summer type clothing for my kids. Not my favorite thing to do.....going clothing shopping. I tend to grin and bear it alot. They like it of course.

Have a good evening everyone.

This and That

March 31st, 2007 at 05:49 am

Had a busy week with Dr apts for my kids...nothing big or terrible, mostly check ups and follow ups. My son was diagnoised with some allergies and some asthma. So that proved interesting.

I have our school auction today. Last night I spent time setting up the sale with the many donated items. We had been asking families for weeks to donate things. Some families did and some did not. As we set up a family was helping us. They own a farm. The dad promptly spoke up that he would offer an October hay ride for ten people and apple picking and snacks-kinda of a day on the farm package. It was nice to get that fun donation. There are ways to give right under our noses....things that seems simple or maybe mundane but yet offer a world of difference to some one else. We all have gifts and talents that are perhaps being wasted without use. Something to also be pondering. What gifts or talents do you have to donate or give away? Just a thought I had as we were setting up the auction.

I cleaned out my fridge yesterday. Wiped everything down. I had some expired food which just makes me nuts! I then went shopping which also drives me crazy. Loaded up for the weekend. I planned my shopping differently. I made menus for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the weekend. An experiment of sorts. I have the kids with me this weekend. I enjoy feeding them and making meal time as nice as possible.

My tax person called to say the IRS bounced one of my returns she e-filed due to a SS #-----I am not sure what the problem is. My ex says he did not use any of the children's numbers so we will see. Hopefully this can fixed quickly. I already sent them my tax money.....so I am square as far as money goes.

I bought some rubbermaid organizer boxes this week. Ususally we keep art supplies handy in the family room for school homework. I store things in shoe boxes. Well they are not working out so I splurged on nice boxes with lids and handles. They are stacked in a cupboard neatly and have made things nicer to deal with and store. It was worth the money.

My basement was very very neat for a while...now I got lazy again...so I need to stop down there and put things away before it gets bad all over again. How are your dumping zones doing?? I dump down there. It is a bad habit I cannot seem to totally break. Next on my list when the weather warms up for sure is the garage. I like a neat and very tidy garage. When things are neat I can find things. That means I spend less money buying things I can not find! I have noticed more homes this year with Christmas decorations still up and proudly displayed.....that is another pet peeve of mine! UGH! I am really into making my house look nice on the outside as well as the inside. Right now I have a spring/Easter wreath on the door, easter eggs and a cute little ceramic bunny on the porch chair. It looks freshand colorful. I can not imagine having a dead pine wreath and garland hanging out there. I will be bold and say that is plain lazy to not deal with simple stuff.

Off to make breakfast for my kids. It was nice to sleep in today for a bit. Taking care of myself and getting the proper rest helps me think clearly and be on my best as a mom. As I have aged I find it very critical to be properly rested and not to feel like I have to be supermom. That is why a simple life is often a most rewarding life. Who needs a nap today??? Have a good day everyone!

Wonderful weekend

March 25th, 2007 at 06:39 pm

Had a great weekend with my daughter dancing and doing her National History day stuff. She won for NHD and so we get to drive to our state capital and present it again with other state finalists! What a thrill for her. Lots and lots of work and preparing and it really felt great to see her win. Her dancing went well too...loads of fun.

I enjoyed myself a ton. I was able to talk with other women. I really do no have that much opportunity and it was so worth it. Being part of a group of women is very uplifting and refreshing for me. It is great therapy. The dance moms I travel with are all so nice...it really was great to just have some girl time!

I spent about $100 this weekend. All in all not too bad. Dinner for me and daughter last night and tonight. Two lunches for daughter and some coffee. Valet parking and parking garage fees. Dance program and some candy for dancers. Really....I can not complain.

Ok....I do have one complaint........
My ex never called his daughter to see how her dance went or to see how she placed in her big history presentation. Yes we had fun but I still have a hurt daughter. I refuse to call him....that is his job to call. Sad. Very sad.

How is meal planning going and savings?
I am going to cut a check this week to send off to my retirement fund. It is not tons but it is a large amount to me.
I really want to do this. The less I "see" of it ...the better. So I am looking forward to sending off the money and working my savings account back up again. How do you eat an elephant....? One bite at a time. Sounds simple enough!

I told my daughter no more eating out if possible till next dance weekend in late April. I hope I can really stick to that promise. My son comes home from High School choir trip Monday night....then it is back to lots of eating and grocery shopping with my son back home in the house.

Did everyone clip out the Sunday coupons?
I have been eating so much fresh stuff that the coupons are not too helpful. I still will cut them out as one never knows when they could use a coupon!

I have received alot of free samples lately. I love it! My kids are even into it now...what came in the mail today mom??? It is silly fun that is better than finding a bill in the mailbox!

Need to clean out the conversion van this week, with the shop vac and get in a good car wash in my driveway. Everyone needs to spring clean their cars now. I hope to own my van for many many years. It is big, roomy and I love to drive it! I am trying to really take care of her.

Starting to think about Easter and making an Easter dinner for my children.
I am looking forward to it. It is already blessing me to think we can have such a lovely day together at church and at home around my humble table. It really warms my heart.

"Regret nothing, breathe in the rich blessings of each new day and forget all that lies behind you. Man is so made that he can carry only the weight of 24 hours----no more"

Keeping busy

March 23rd, 2007 at 08:32 pm

This week I paid all my taxes for the start of the year. I make some more payments in June. It was both exciting and scary! I was glad to have completed my taxes with the help of a pro and scary writing those checks out! I am downtown all weekend for a school event my daughter won and a dance competition. Very busy with all that. Since we are local...there is no hotel charges or expenses. So that is good news for the savings meter! I did get called this week for the first time by a store demo company. The date was at a WalMart near me demonstarting diet coke. The date and time were not good for me. So I had to pass on the money. I did tell them to call again. So that was kinda fun.

I had to buy some clothes for my dd as she needed a suit of some sort to do her speech in. We went to TARGET and found a practical outfit for her. It will work for Easter and spring and all summer. I need to do some birthday shopping as well perhaps next week. I will be keeping things very simple and very modest. I know "dad" is going over the top so I am trying to balance the hype.

I need to finish many little items before the weekend starts....I will try to blog more next week.