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Archive for July, 2011

Today, NSD????

July 29th, 2011 at 08:48 am

Well I have hopes that today will be a No Spend Day. We will have to see, yesterday I went to my grandmothers and packed up another car load of things to take to my house. I did not sort the stuff between the piles into (Aunty, Mine, Dads, and my Brothers) so I will have to do that later.

I am LOW on gas, I am hoping that since today we need to use BF's truck to pick up the furnature that I can delay the gas fill up another day.

This morning at 6:45am the delivery of the fencing matterials arrived. The timing was GREAT, even if since I had only awoken 15 minutes prior I was a little out of it still. They put the cement in the small stall in garage and the other supplies infront of the small stall that we have the mowers and BF's Motorcycle in. It might rain and so now the cement is protected...They were so nice and that was a nice suggestion to make.

I got a cooler full of things from the freezer, actually it included some ribs. I took one pack out to thaw for this weekend. There is more in the freezer but my aunt asked if I would use each item before she either put it in the cooler or moved it to the side of the freezer for someone else to grab.

I passed on the bannana bread, and the frozen rubarb. I ended up with a cooler full of Meat, and two packs of shreaded cheese and a pack of frozen meat ravioli.

Looks like today I will head to my grandmothers and take the furnature back to my place. I hope that we can do it in one trip. Then we can start on the fence.

Yesterday I vaccumed the back room, and sorted some things and of course loaded a car load of stuff. I am hoping that maybe next week will be the final week of actually sorting and removing stuff from the house. I will be out of town, the following week helping the EX move his stuff back to town, so I will not be available to help.

Things still need to be picked up by people they go to, I am picking up 7 or 6 pieces. Truthfully even though everyone seems to be taking atleast one load home (car or pickup) everyday there is not a single room that is cleared yet. This weekend I think is going to be the big clear out of furnature.

There are three groups of items that still need to be sorted...The Christmas Decorations, the tools in the shed, and a closet of (gifts), fabric and lace. The gifts are NEW items that my grandmother purchased over the years or she had people purchase for her so that she had gifts on hand for events/holidays and not need to head to the store to buy stuff. My grandmother was German and so she has a large collection of new and Antique lace.

I will either be spending my weekend putting up a fence or I will be helping clean and load stuff at my grandmothers....Either way a super Exercise weekend. I am going to be tired.

House Cleaning and House Projects (Different Houses)

July 28th, 2011 at 07:57 am

So last night I went over to my grandmothers house. I guess my aunt and uncle were doing some research online and were creep-ed out by some information they found on a set of trunks that my grandparents bought at an auction yearsssss ago.

When they were dividing up the belongs of my grandmother, my uncle got one and I got one (well technically my father got it- but My Father told my aunt ALL he wanted was his fathers gun and the rest of anything he was gifted could go to me or I could get first dibs, or if there was anything I wanted that I could pick it and call it his).

Well my family came to the US years ago, My Grandfather was in WWII in the US Navy. The trunks belonged to an area family and from the data we have found out there is a story of two brothers. One that used his connections to flee Germany when he heard rumors the War was to break out and worked on a Red Cross Boat, and relocated to our state and was imprisoned ONLY because of his nationality until the war was over, but he did NOT want to be in Germany during the War so he had no problems with it. He met his future wife here in town.

His Brother was in Germany during the war, He and the trunks came over long after the war ended. Basically during the time when the US was finally letting the "war criminals" into the country. So my family thinks the two trunks, one looking very much like a Military FootLocker could have been Nazi trunk. Research online has VERY little information on the second brother that died just last year. The small obit of the seconds brothers wife who died in May of this year, seems to give the impression that the family might have been that the second brother and his wife were "the family dirty little secret".

My uncle is going to contact the daughters of the first brother and see if they want the trunks for family history as they are antiques and according to the labels on the trunks the first brother paid the passage for the trunks and his brother and sister to come to the area. The trunks have a Value of $175-$350 as is...If restored they could have a value of $500-$1300.

I think the trunks are interesting. I keep telling myself that maybe he was one of the nazi Soldiers that was forced into the war but secretly opposed the efforts, and did what they could such as give some of their rations to the starving children, or maybe he even saw a few Jewish people hiding out and he pretended not to, so they could keep on hiding.

****
Yesterday I went over to grandma's house and helped clear out some of her non-parishable foods.

I am storing items for my father, my aunt that has been taking care of my grandma these last 6 months, and my brother...My aunt lives out of state and eventually will take the items with her or ship them. My father is planning a road trip two years from now and will take his items then, and my brother comes atleast once a year and can either slowly take them in his luggage or ship the stuff once he is down here to see what I thought he might have attachment to.

So yesterday I brought another car load of things to the house for storing. I helped load items for other family members then I came home.

***
Today I will be emptying some of the food my aunt purchased out of the freezer to bring to my house. She will be staying at my place once the house is almost clear, then she will just go back daily to prep, paint, and repair the house to put it on the market.

Friday my BF and I will be using BF's truck to load the furnature I got.

Friday the Hardware store will also be delivering the fence matterials that BF purchased yesterday so we can fence the backyard. He said he came in right where he had hoped to budget wise for the fence. Not sure what that is...I am not going to ask.

I am broke, and at one point he said he would pay for the matterials since it is for his dog. Secondly I have no desire to fence the yard, I like that not having a fenced yard make the yard look larger. Thirdly, I would prefer a no-maintence 6 foot privacy fence, he would have been happy with a chain-link. But we went the middle road and he went with a wood 4 foot fence that he is going to put 2 foot of lattuce on top of to bring to 6 feet. In the end I think if he frames out the 4 foot panels and the lattuce it will look really nice. He was also planning on getting a doggy door for the sliding door. That way the dog can come and go as she wishes during the day once the fence is up. This is a summer only option BUT it will be nice since it will cut down on accidents during the day during the summer.

Yesterday was a No-Spend day, but I did do extra driving as I drove to my grandmothers house.

Trying to not spend money.....But I do

July 27th, 2011 at 07:24 am

BF was at Annual Training for 2 Weeks, during that time my brother was in town.

My Brother Mowed the grass, and noticed the mower was vibrating ALOT, enough that after a few minutes your hands would go numb.

The next week I mowed the grass, still the same, but when I got nearly done the handle snapped off the mower. The handle part where the top handle part bolts to the lower handle part, well the metal there broke off. I duct-taped the handle to the mower so I could finish the yard.

I told BF about it and basically the mower has a bent shaft and now a broken handle. The mower cost $125 five years ago so I got my money worth out of it.

BF bought a new better mower, we have a very steep hill and so he got a rear wheel drive mower. He got the 5 year extended warrenty. So when all was done we each paid $200.

---

I am getting ready for deployment, and well I need to buy some things. I want to put them off, but really should not.

To Buy:
New PT winter outfit. I have two sets already but they are both Medium. I need a Large or Larger, I am an stress eater. Between stressing about the upcoming deployment, stressing about leaving my son with my ex-husband, worrying about BF running into any issues with the house while I am gone.....AND the death of My grandmother last week. My grandmother and grandfather raised me and my brother so it was like losing a mother not a grandmother.

Well I am now 30 pounds more than what I weighed in December. I am 40 pounds from what I was prior to learning about the deployment.

If I lost the weight I would not need the Winter PT's BUT I am at a point where it took 6 months and alot of stress to put the weight on, the stress is not going to be reduced anytime soon, infact it will get worse before it gets better.

I also need to buy some GOOD sports bra's. So I just need to bite the bullet and get them done. I should buy a set or two of larger ACU's but instead I am doing the pregnancy thing (using a rubber band around the button) to make them larger without going up a size.

I NEED to lose weight. I am hoping once my summer vacation starts that I will be less stressed and be able to avoid food.

Balanced the Checkbook

July 26th, 2011 at 09:28 am

Today I balanced the Checkbook.

I recorded the deposit that will take place on the first and subtracted the deductions that will take place the 3rd, 5th and 9th.

I need to record the Water Bill and Record the Electric gas bill. I am not sure IF I received the Elec/Gas bill yet though.

I transfered money to savings.....I now have $6488 in Emergency Fund once the transfer takes place on the 5th. That means I have 8.26 Months of Emergency Fund in Savings. Only $2,612 to go until I have 12 Months.

I plan to move some of that money into my checkbook as a cushion closer to the start of the deployment. There is always hickups with pay when you start new orders. So I want to have money in my Checking. I also plan on putting money into SDP and it would be nice to already have the money I am going to live off of in my checkbook so my check can all go to SDP.

Right now since my Checkbook cushion of $1677.07 includes Mortgage, Escrow and $ for my Son it is more than my EF since My Mortgage and Escrow had difference EF accounts. I have 3.86 Months of Checkbook Cushion in my Generic Emergency Fund.

I still have approx $350 to last from the 1st until the 15th of August, for Misc Bills.

Gasoline- $80 (this is a high guess since I am off work for 10 day so will either be low due to less driving or higher due to more driving since I am not at work)

My Son's 8th Birthday Pool Party: 8+ kids and Parents plus Family
Pizza - $63.49 (I figure 10 pizzas)
Soda - $10 (8 2liters)
Cupcakes - $20
Ice Cream - $5

It would be awesome if MY Ex would pay some of the food costs since I am paying for the hotel BUT I am not banking on it.

I miss my landline... / Child Life Lessons

July 26th, 2011 at 07:54 am

I hardly ever had any calls on it, I also did not have caller ID but...

It was a secondary phone, so IF I forgot to charge my cell or whatever it was there.

I also like the ease of calling 911 in an Emergency, Cell Phone technology for 911 Calls is advancing as more and more people go to cell phones only but it is still a work in progress.

I will be re-installing the landline next fall when I get back from deployment, I would do it now but it seems silly to pay for something that I will not be using for 12 months. I think I might talk to the BF about it.

It might be nice to actually still have a number that is active (my cell will be turned off). BF can monitor the answering machine and tell me IF there are any calls that are a big deal.

A few weeks ago my Ex-Husband took our son out to watch a movie. I ran to the store. I guess I left the front door unlocked. Not really a big deal in our neighborhood and we have a HUGE Dog.

Well my Ex dropped our son off and saw our son walk into the house and was getting to leave when our son ran out in tears. At first my Ex thought it was because he missed him already. Nope it was because he was about to be left home alone (It is really rare for someone not to be home BUT My BF went out for the first time ever with some co-workers, and I ran to the store to try to get some birthday shopping done).

I am not sure IF our neighbors have my cell phone number, I know at one time they had our house phone number. I also don't know if the two neighbors our son spends alot of time at were home so that they could have called me or not had my Ex actually drove away.

Anyway, When I get home from my deployment, I will be installing the landline again. I will also be getting DS a cell phone. The landline will cost $40, the Cell phone will cost $30. The savings of not having him in daycare in the afternoon for 1 and a half hours is $160 once you factor in those expenses.

I will have signs by ALL the household phones that list.

My Work Number
My Cell Number
My Cousins Cell Number
My Cousins House Number
The Neighbors Numbers
My BF's Cell Number
His Fathers Cell Number
911

And the home address and my work address with the time I will be off work and what time I will be home.

I will also have rules listed, like no friends over. No answering the phone for anyone other than family that leaves a message on the answering machine. No answering the door....ETC ETC.

By MY State's guideline next August my son is old enough to be left home alone for a few hours during the day. He is going to LOVE this for trips to the store. I will be able to leave him home when I have to make a quick run to the store and BF is not home to watch him.

I am happy about the money savings (can start applying the saving to his "saving for braces account"), but mostly I am looking forward to him starting to learn skills.

Why is it that children are so coddled now days. Some children are being sent off to college and they have never been left home over night before OR they don't know how to cook because they are not suppose to be near the oven.

I am looking forward to this next adventure. Next year my son will be a latchkey child for an hour and a half during the week.

The following year he will be able to stay home during the day while I am at drill (as long as I am staying in town and it is during the day). More than likely that will mean just Sunday (Since Friday is evening and it is easier to just leave him at the sitter starting Friday night until Saturday afternoon. Also it would maybe once or twice a year since my BF is usually here.

At that age I am also going to start really teaching him. (He currently knows how to fold his own laundry - doesn't do it often) he also knows how to sort the laundry. I want to assign him the job of sorting ALL the laundry and then I would like him to be able to wash laundry.

I will teach him to use the washer, and that way he can pull an load out of the washer when he gets home, put it in the dryer. And he can start another load. Of course I will be helping with the folding and putting away, but I want him to do the loading of the washer and adding the correct cleaners, and loading the dryer and making sure to double check the temps of the washer and dryer.


Eventually my child will learn the following skills BEFORE heading to College.
Staying home alone (responsibly)
Washing Laundry
Cleaning (His Bathroom, His Bedroom, and His Playroom/eventually his office)
Basic Cooking Skills
Automotive - Driving, Maintance
$ Management




Long Nights.... (funeral talk)

July 22nd, 2011 at 06:46 am

All week I have been at my grandmothers house, usually until midnight or a bit later. That is late since this early riser normally goes to bed around 9pm.

My Grandmother passed away Friday at 11am. Her Viewing/Rosary was Monday, Her Funeral was Tuesday. And all week we have been cleaning and clearing out the house. It is kinda crazy at times because of the large numbers of (her) children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren that are helping at one time.

Since three of her children live out of state, if the items are going to be given to them with their input it needs to be done now. Also I read somewhere it is easier to do it earlier when you are still numb, then to do it later when you are sad.

So far except for a little rubbing of personalities it is going really well. I think everyone is taking the high road. I could tell you stories of the actions that would make my generious spirited grandmother Proud.

My grandmother had a practice over the years of writing the name and date of the gift on the gift or on a sticky label on the gift. Her wishes were that if someone gave her or my grandfather something she wanted them to have it back. So that is the first step in the clearing out the house process.

My grandmother and grandfather had 7 children and 25 grandchildren (two of which they raised), and 26 greatgrandchildren. Of the non-labeled items the children are determaining what is high value ($ or emotional), what is medium/low value to them, what is trash. The high value items are what is divided between the children so everyone gets a equal number. They came up with a number system. They put a number 1-7 in front of the item then they draw numbers. They usually do a group of like item things; such as crystal or crosses or lace, etc. If they want to trade they can BUT the numbers is the starting point, so that if you want something you have to trade. Sometimes even if you had prefered something else; you have fond memories of what you got and then they deside they are content. The medium value items are being selected by the children for grandchildren and great grand children. Low value items are being placed in one room for any grandchild or great grand child to select from for themselves.

Every Child, GrandChild, and GreatGrandChild; will receive or has received at least one spiritual item and one special/personal item.

I am basically a runner, which means when something is unearthed, I go to the children make sure it does not have a story (high value) and if none of the children want it for themselve or one of their children (Medium Value) I take it to the up for grabs room. Or if one expresses and interest I put it in with the box of stuff they will be taking to their home. I also keep garbage bags available to the children and run the filled trash bags to the pickup truck that is going to the dump.

My grandmother lived through the depression, so she has alot of things that such as small scraps of fabric or old blankets she kept for some purpose or another which just needs to be thrown out.

My Boyfriend will not come over to the house, He says when his grandmother died alot of the family just went crazy and because greedy. Lots of fighting. Wish he could see the generous spirit with which the process is going for us.

Birthday Pool Party AKA surprise Expense of having a pet

July 21st, 2011 at 01:37 pm

Today I called and booked a room, so I can plan my son's birthday party.

It is a pool side room in a hotel near our home. Cost $91.99 Yep saved $2 because of my military discount. The party will be on Friday, I had wanted it on Saturday but there is a Wedding there on Saturday and so ALL the rooms are booked.

This Weekend I will need to complete the Invitations and get those mailed out. I need to figure out if I want to have it from 5pm-7:30pm or 6pm-8:30pm. It is a pool party and we are going to get pizza, have cupcakes and ice cream cups.

What time would you suggest for the party?

(Okay, my title said unexpected cost of having a pet. Normally I just have birthday parties at my house, BUT this year we have a dog. She is old, and so she has been having a harder and harder time holding her bladder for lond periods. I don't want to her to have an accident during the party. Also she sheds, like crazy. So I can vaccum, swap and mop, and 20 minutes later the floor and rugs are coated in hair. I also am concerned that some of the boys MIGHT get rough with her.)

I don't mind the added expense of having a location party, because it means I am not going to have to spend days cleaning my house, then days cleaning it after. Also my SON, is SUper Excited about having a pool party.

I already bought all the paper and plastic items, I bought some soda, but need to get more.

The Menu:
Pizza (from Little Ceasers $5.99 per Large)
Soda $1.25 per
Water $2.99 a case
Ice Cream Cups(?$)
Cupcakes (Hopefully my cousin will be making them)

Cups, Plates, Napkins - All purchased

I bought my son two lego sets, and one nintendo DS game. I also bought him a 12 inch Angry Birds Stuffed Animal. Everything is wrapped except the angry birds animal which I have not got in the mail yet.

I will stop by work on Friday and fill the cooler with ICE for the water, Soda, and Ice Cream.

I just need to figure out some gift bags, I bought a box of pre-packed cookies, and a box of fruit snacks. I need some small toy or something to round out the gift bag and then I will be done with that.

Any Ideas of the gift bags for the guests?

Itching to refinance again...

July 12th, 2011 at 09:05 am

I am getting that itch to refinance again.

I heard an ad on the radio about refinancing, how a 30 year mortgage is silly. That 15 years is the way to go.

I know this...This is what Dave Ramsey says over and over.

My Story:

July 2010 I refinanced my house, I had just gotten divorced and the refinance was to get my Ex-Husband off the mortgage. I went down in interest from 5.45% to 4.25%, by paying points. I also removed the escrow account from my mortgage so I was no longer loaning the mortgage company $3000-$3500 a year interest free. I got a 30 year mortgage.

It is now July 2011 one year later, I have made approx 10 payments on my mortgage. I ran the figures...Interest rates on a 15 year mortgage are 3.75% for zero points which is only .5 down from what I am paying. That is a savings of $55 per month in interest, it would cut 14 years off my mortgage and my payment would only go up by $300 per month. The closing costs are approx $3,000.

I can afford $300 more per month in mortgage and absolutely LOVE the idea of 15 year mortgage instead of a 30 year. Next year I was planning on paying extra on my mortgage and I was wondering if it makes sense to refinance.

I can afford $600 more in payments per month and still be within the 29% mortgage debt limit.

I just ponder the thought that the savings of $55 per month in interest should count for something even if my payment per month does not go down, since I am cutting 15 years off the loan and 59,850 in payments, and 9,990+ in interest .

What to do, What to do??

PS I ran a mortgage calculator and if I just paid the extra $302 to my current mortgage vs refinancing the difference is a YEAR and spending and additional $14,285.85 in interest.

Sure looks like a no brainer to refinance EVEN if it is not a 1% rate reduction. What do you think?