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Archive for October, 2007

Haven't Had Much To Blog About

October 23rd, 2007 at 07:42 am

I feel like I go thru weeks where nothing on great interest is going on financially so I get lazy about blogging. Actually, I should find the fact that things are chugging along much more exciting given the fact that this time last year DH was unemployed and we were living off our emergency fund. We still have debt to pay off from his unemployment period but otherwise things are back on track, bills are getting paid, small amounts are going to savings etc. I think the biggest challenge for me is to keep paying in cash for large purchases. I don't mean literally always cash, but putting the money aside before making the purchase. Right now my car needs four new tires sometime in the next few months, and DH's call will need a major tuneup and 2 tires. I have no problem remembering that these things are coming up but I keep having to remind DH and play the budget bully and it is a role that gets tiresome. My oldest DD wants to go for her drivers license soon but we want her to complete a driver's ed course - both for her safety and for the insurance discount. It runs about $400 for the on-the-road portion. His response, just call and sign her up. Mine, after I have the money set aside and by the way I am still trying to put aside money for the tires, tuneup etc. Oh yeah - and the holidays are coming up and I insist on only paying cash for gifts so I still have to deal with that. Her drivers ed might just have to wait a month or so. It is not like we have a third car for her to drive whenever she wants so I am not sure what the hurry is. That is another sore subject. He feels (and of course she adds her agreement - not that she should have a say in it) that we "need" to get a third car so that she will have something to drive. My response - she will have something to drive when she saves up the money and buys it! Argh! And on it goes. Sometimes is feels like I am the only responsible adult in my household. I don't expect it from my 16 yo DD but is it too much to expect from the 44 yo husband?

Yummy Veggie Soup

October 12th, 2007 at 06:44 am

I made some really yummy and really inexpensive vegetable soup about two weeks ago. It was so good and the weather right now is perfect for soup so I am planning to make another large pot this afternoon. It is easy to make and one of those things that you can kind of throw in whatever veggies you have on hand and use up stuff that might have otherwise gone to waste. Another plus is it is low in calories but really filling and healthy - all at the same time. Who could ask for more!
The basic recipe is to take a cup each of carrots, celery and onion and saute in a bit of olive oil for about 5 minutes. Add a clove or two of garlic. Simmer another few minutes but don't let the garlic burn. Then when everything begins to get a bit soft, add chicken stock (a quart or even two, depending upon how much soup you want to make). Also add a can or two of whole peeled tomatoes, but breaking them up with a spoon or your fingers before putting them in along with their liquid. Bring to a boil and add whatever other veggies you want. I used about 1-2 cups of green beans and shredded cabbage - about 3-4 cups. I let this cook a while longer til the beans and cabbage started to soften and then added a bag of baby spinach leaves. My dh and kids took one look and went - EEEW! Their loss and my gain but I will work on converting them anyway.

I Need A Time Machine

October 4th, 2007 at 12:08 pm

These days I feel like I need a time machine. Not to go back or forward in time but to somehow make more time in the day. Primarily, I would like to spend it sleeping but really I always feel like I have so much else that I could/should be doing. I feel like my weekends, which should be spent relaxing and recharging, are spent running kids around and doing things around the house. So, I never quite seem to get to the things that would relax me, the things that I really want to do like sewing, quilting or scrapbooking. And, when I ever do have the time, I don't really want to spend the money on the materials so I am basically driving myself crazy, spinning myself in circles. I feel like my dogs must feel when they try to chase their own tails. Almost got it, almost got it, then they fall over dizzy from trying. Lately I have been wanting to find an extra source of income but that gets me right back to the issue of time. If I don't have enough time as it is, how will I find the time to generate additional income. I am basically ranting to myself here so feel free to ignore. I think it comes down to me just feeling stressed out and stretched at both ends. I really need my DH and kids to kick in and help out more but getting them to do that seems like another whole project that I do not have time for. ARGH! I guess what I will have to do is attack this situation one step at a time. The first step should really be to start with myself and see what I could be doing better. I know I waste time in the evenings. I go upstairs to get the youngest two ready for bed and end up laying on my bed watching TV while waiting for them and almost falling asleep. Once I get into that zone, it is a hard place for me to get myself out of. I think my first step will be to limit the amount of TV I watch to 1 hr a day. That way, if there is something I really want to watch, I can but I will stop the mindless zoning out which puts me into a very non-productive mood. So, tonight, Grays's Anatomy and nothing else. I will see if I feel like I accomplish more and feel less stressed. This other thing I will try to do is analyze the chores I have to do on a regular basis and see which can be turned over to the kids as part of their chores/allowance. Feeling better already. Sometimes a good rant is just what the doctor ordered. But, if anyone has a spare time stretcher that they would like to donate, I'm still interested.

Gotta Love Free Stuff and Halloween

October 2nd, 2007 at 05:50 am

Last Friday seemed to be my lucky day for getting free stuff. My DS (10) won one of the new i-pod nano's with video. He dropped his name in a contest at a local community fair last weekend and was thrilled to find out that he won. I picked it up on Friday. Now if I could just find the time to call Apple Support to figure out why I cannot get it set up, we would be good to go. I also took my car in to my local tire/repair shop for a tire with a slow leak. They found a nail in the tire and patched it for free since I had bought the tire from them. Saved me about $20.00 so I was not about to complain about that.

I also finally finished painting both of my daughter's rooms. I am now being asked by me DD(8) when I will have more time to paint her room and her brother's rooms. I need to get thru Halloween (I usually sew some costumes) and then I can focus on more painting. In the meantime, I am keeping my eye out for good deals on paint. I really like MAB and they usually have a buy one/get one free sale about 2 times a year. I would love to be able to take advantage of that to get the additional paint. If I have to wait, in the meantime I have two bathrooms to paint and already have leftover paint from other projects that I will use for the bathrooms.

I also need frugal ideas for adult Halloween costumes that start with the letter "N". My neighbors host an annual Halloween party that has a different letter theme each year. Last year was "L". I went as a litterbox. I got a flat shirt box, glued kitty litter (yes - clean!) to the bottom, added "molded" tootsie rolls and pinned a stuffed cat to my shoulder. It was really funny and not hard to make. Another neighbor went as a lightening but - she made wings and attached large glow sticks - it was really cute. Others go all out and buy costumes. One year another neighbor who is male and over 6 ft. wore an inflatable "barmaid" costume and definitely deserved to win funniest costume. So, any frugal "N" costume ideas would be appreciated.