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Archive for April, 2009

Its been awhile...

April 29th, 2009 at 02:10 pm

Some of you may remember that I said that my job was probably secure so long as my firm didn't go under. Well, the firm is now just the owner and his paralegal (the office manager and one of the attorneys are there a little longer than the rest but that's about it). So as close to going under as a small firm can get (and who knows if it can last even at that reduced size).

So officially I am laid off as of April 30th but am currently at home burning through my PTO (otherwise they might not be able to pay it). I was on my vacation when everything suddenly went south but fortunately I received a call from a former coworker hiring me to basically be part of a new firm composed entirely of my section of the firm. So I still get to work with the people I enjoy working with.

However, since things went south a little faster than people were planning on, we have anywhere from 2-6 weeks before the new firm is up and running. That should give me plenty of time to work on the house. In a week or so I should probably have a more definite idea of what is going on.

I am just glad that we had my husband switch jobs earlier this year. He is already making more at the new job than he would have made at the old one and he is happier to boot.

I still need to paint the kitchen (seriously, this seems to be my avoid at all costs job, I have done tons of other things, I just don't seem to want to start this one) but the windows are in and boy is it a difference. Given that we have no A/C, they are going to be a godsend this summer. With the new windows in, the house only heats up if I open up the door and let the sun beat in on the floor.

Well, I have a room I want to finish rearranging so I am off and running. As to our finances, they are in good shape though the loss of 2 months income will result in a slow down of our pay off but life happens. My scenarios always were more optimistic than reality but that is why they are called goals.

Ready to Begin

April 17th, 2009 at 10:11 am

Starting tomorrow I can begin my project list for the house and get things ready for my week off. I am hoping to get a lot done but am trying to keep my expectations realistic. I figure tomorrow I will start on the kitchen. I have cabinets to line (we have a cork inset), stuff to sort, utensils to organize and edges to tape off for priming and painting. My hubby will be working tomorrow so I can work with impunity since he won't be there (if he sees me working, he instantly sets to work with me, a good problem I know).

The organizational freak in me is looking forward to sorting the whole house (don't really tolerate clutter and believe that if things are cluttered, you have too much stuff not too little space). The bedroom is done but the basement is atrocious because that has been our store all until we have time to sort.

I made lentils and carmelized onions for supper last night and they were fantastic. I am so sick of bread and meat right now that I need dishes that are filling and exclude those two items. Heck I don't even want rice and pasta right now because I am so burnt on the carbs. Will be doing au gratin potatoes this weekend for next week and may even need to do another batch of the lentils. I should also look up bean dishes and make a new one to try. (And yes, we are getting much better about eating at home, finally).

Updates and laughs

April 14th, 2009 at 10:51 am

We are still (mostly) on track with the cash spending and definitely still on track with the debt payoff and the last of the home improvement projects that will cost lots of money.

I am going to be taking a week off and I already have a massive to do list for my week off so that it is productive. Hubby dearest must have been thinking that things were winding down because when he saw the list his eyes got as big as saucers.

I had to chuckle a little because I have known for awhile that the week off won't be enough to finish that list and that I still need to make another list of longer term projects. Most of these projects though are just labor intensive or use items we have already procured. Aka, cheap but time consuming.

As you can probably guess, I am the handyman in the house though hubby has been getting better with practice.

Is it sad that I am looking forward to the week off because I want to have things finished up?

How do you cure your foul moods?

April 10th, 2009 at 10:21 am

I tend to spring clean. Tends to burn off the energy I build as I work myself into a frenzy. I ask because my mood is growing blacker by the moment and blogging and working on paperwork isn't exactly curing it. I wish I was at home so I could scrub floors, work on much needed projects and generally accomplish something with this foul mood.

You should see all the posts I wrote before this, definitely not nice. So what about it, what do you do for foul moods that just won't listen to reason?

4 days without eating out!!

April 9th, 2009 at 09:34 am

and still going. Anyone who has read my food expenditures is promptly dying of shock now. This just isn't like me or at least not like us since we bought the house.

I wonder if this means we are finally settling in and are not feeling as overwhelmed by everything. We still need to tape, primer and paint the kitchen and add the base around the walls in the kitchen but everything else is basically done. (Window guys are coming during my week off). I have a huge list of things to do during my week off and am excited that I will get to finish up projects.

I am almost tempted to artificially extend the no eating out as long as possible to see how long we can get it except I am pretty sure that would backfire (weekends are big for eating out). So I am just going to hope I can manage to repeat this feat next week.

Oh and tonights supper is going to be chicken broccoli cheese and rice casserole. Yummy. Haven't had that in a long while.

Cabinets Finished!

April 8th, 2009 at 07:54 am

And they are gorgeous. It makes a big difference in the kitchen because the lighter wood brightens the room. I will post before and after photos probably this weekend.

Amazingly enough despite all the work going on in the kitchen, for the past two days we have ate supper at home. Hubby's happy because he likes having me cook with him and I am happy because I had no idea I could be so disciplined, lol.

We had cube steak with broccoli and hollandaise sauce last night. Dessert ended up being a butterscotch pudding with dream whip. The night before had been a soft taco night. And tonight, we are doing beer battered chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy and probably corn.

The one thing that gave between the cooking at home and the cabinet installers being here till 6 or later was that we didn't get a run in on either day. Frown So running tonight is mandatory. Fortunately the runs are short and are invigorating for me so I shouldn't have any problem cooking afterwards.

General Update

April 6th, 2009 at 11:42 am

Life is well. The cabinet refacers are currently working in my kitchen and I will have a week off to work on the house coming up in about 2 weeks. Still waiting for the phone call from the window guy regarding installation though he has confirmed that he has the windows now, just have to wait for the crew to be available.

We did our first week of cash and did well and are now on our second week of cash. We will see how well this week goes. We have about $17 left but we did spend Sunday cooking so we should have lots of food to eat. (Ironically, it was groceries that were high this week, not eating out expenses).

As I told my husband, we will see if we stop spending when the cash runs out or if we are like our friend and whip out the ATM card as soon as we run out. I personally think we are going to learn to love the dollar menu this week...

On one hand, I am wondering if I am being too stingy with our budget but on the other, I would like to pay off everything as quickly as possible. Food is an extreme variable for our budget.

Doing the math on my cell phones.

April 3rd, 2009 at 09:29 am

So I have a lovely Excel spreadsheet set up where I know the number of calls, number of days used, and number of minutes used per phone with all the averages as well for the past 18 months.

We are one of those marginal users who never use their anytime minutes but use the mobile to mobile and nights and weekend. So I have been debating switching to a prepaid since we are on the lowest level plan available at the moment.

I am thinking we will eventually do Net10. The reason I say eventually is because its not worth $255 to get out of our current contracts. It basically comes out a wash since the savings would end up only equaling the fee. So in December 2010, I will switch to a prepaid plan (there may even be more options then).

Last time I checked out prepaid it didn't make sense because we were using the phones alot to call each other, but that is starting to go down severely now that we both work downtown. Heck, my boy has two months where he used less than 60 minutes. Though he would be aghast to know that the two most recent months I had used less minutes than he had.

Anyways something for me to keep in mind. I still haven't decided on the DirectTV but that is basically locked in price wise till 12/2009 and another 6 months after before I can cancel completely so we will see. I suspect I will just drop down to internet only and call it good.

No Dryer is Too Frugal?

April 1st, 2009 at 10:20 am

Me? Yeah not so much. Somehow my father and I got on the topic of laundry and I mentioned how rather than going out and spending hundreds of dollars on a dryer, I have a clothes line in my basement and we hang dry everything.

My father chuckled about his too frugal daughter. Is it really that weird that I don't have a dryer? I know the handyman we hired to put our ventilation in was deeply offended that we don't have a dryer but our handymen also liked to live the good life and have much more expensive homes than us.

Its just weird to me that anyone would think I am frugal. I have a lot of toys and I pay for them by not spending a fortune on things I don't care about.

I mean, I knew people who have cars thought it was weird that I lived without a car for forever (and still think its weird that I take the bus instead of the car to work) but a dryer? When did that become a necessity? Am I the only one who grew up with clothes lines (Dad claims mom grew tired of the work after awhile)?

Anyways, I know my dad isn't frugal (my husband was surprised he knew the meaning of the word) but I am a little surprised that so many people think a dryer is a necessity.