Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Groceries

Looking at the flyer from Harris Teeter I may just need to visit there to take advantage of some their sales.  Usually Harris Teeter is higher than other grocers but when they have sales sometimes you can grab a good deal.  They double coupons every day, have super double days and sometimes triple coupon days.

Do you have a set amount you spend on groceries or does your amount depend on what's on sale?

Monday, February 24, 2014

Thank Goodness for my (small) Emergency Fund!

Took my car in this morning and the oxygen sensor was kaput.  Total cost:  $195.26.  Now some of you may say that isn't much and in all reality it isn't but not too long in the distant past, I would've been upset about this but not today because we have the $$$ to pay for it.

MIL update-she was taken off of the ventilator today but the doctor told my family members that this type of epidsode will happen again due to her dementia.  The family needs to decide what to do the next time.  Do they honor her DNR or put her back on the vent.  That is a very tough decision no matter how you feel about it.

Update

my mother in law has been in ICU since early Saturday morning on a respirator.  That's pretty much all we know right now.

Please pray.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Car Trouble aka The Hits Just Keep on Coming

So dh is with his family, in the hospital, for his mom.  I stayed home to take care of things here.  On the way home I notice the check engine light on.  That's just great!!  This really could come at a better time, if you know what I mean.

UPDATE!!! Please Pray for My MIL

My husband got a call earlier that his mom coded.  She is okay now and moved to a room in ICU.  She went into respiratory arrest.  This has happened so many times the last couple of years.  Will try to keep you guys updated.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Dealing with Alzheimers

My mil has Alzheimers.  She has been getting physically abusive as of late.  This is on top of the verbal abuse.  I'm not trying to paint her in a bad way as she does not know what she is doing but this is taking a toll on my fil.  He wants to take care of her.  He does not want her to go to any type of facility. 

I just got a call within the last hour that she was taken to the hospital, unresponsive but she did come to and is having a fit. 

I don't know how my fil takes it.  I think it is affecting his health as well.  He looks like he is just so tired. 

Of course, my opinions don't really matter because she is not my mother.  Having said that, I think everyone needs to what is best for HER and not so much for themselves.  I can only imagine what it would be like to have a parent in an Alzheimers facility but I know what it is doing to him mentally and physically.  He is one tough dude but even the toughest need help.

Please pray for them!!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Show love and concern for those undergoing medical procedures

I read a blogger friend's  blog today.  Her mom had a procedure and she was concerned and nervous even though she is in the medical field.  Well I am here to tell you that NOTHING is ever routine when it happens to you or your loved ones and I know from personal experience.  Let me share a bit:

My mom had Good Pasteur's Syndrome, a kidney disease. She did dialysis daily at home several times a day.  This disease has no cure.  She dialyzed herself wrong onetime and got an infection called peritonitis. She said it was the most painful thing she ever experienced.  She went into the hospital to have her catheter replaced.  A very routine, common procedure.  She had an allergic reaction to the antibiotic given to her in the O.R.  She went into cardiac arrest.  From there she was in a coma for over 2 weeks and then she passed away.  In between, she suffered such massive brain damage that had she survived she would've been placed in some kind of facility.  Each day she would withdraw more and more into the fetal position in her hospital bed.  She was so swollen, almost unrecognizable.  I would not wish this event on anyone.  It was hard to go through and the ONLY thing that got me through was my faith in God and His Son Jesus Christ and my dear husband.   I had spoken to her just the day prior to her procedure.  She said to call her because she should only be in the O.R. just a few minutes.  That was in 1987.  Fast forward to 2000, my father had surgery to remove his colon.  The next day a blood clot broke loose and he had to put on a respirator.  I had to get him to agree to it because he had signed legal documents to not keep him alive, after everything that happened to my mom.  His body slowly started shutting down and he died the next night.    I've been through the ringer when it comes to surgeries and simple routine procedures. 

Never feel bad for being nervous or worried.  That's natural.  That only shows your love and concern. 

If you know of anyone who is going through some kind of procedure or they have family members who are, show that you care.  Pray for them.  Just knowing that there people out there who love you and pray for you is an awesome feeling.   At the time I was going through all this I did not have a blog family that I could reach out to and ask for help. 

Can you run some errands for them?  Can you sit with them at the hospital?  Can you provide food or a gift card to a restaurant?  Provide a cup of coffee?  It doesn't really take much to reach out to others. 

I think this is just way to show hospitality to others.  One of the areas that I hope to improve on this year.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

USA Hockey



 

If Your Finances Were an Olympic Event-What Kind of Medal Would You Win?

I would not make the medal podium however I think I would be close to it.  I know there's got to be some gold medal winners out there!!

Go USA beat those rascally Canadians!!!!


Saturday, February 15, 2014

A Couple of Frugal Victories

I'm trying to have a frugal/simple/hospitable year.  I called my cell company and dh called the cable company.  The cell bill should be about $23 less per month and the cable about $35 less.  Over time that adds up!!  I know this may sound like a pittance to some of you but for me these are victories and I am so happy about them.  Some in the frugal/simple world will say they don't have a cell phone or cable.  To that I say good for you but we CAN afford them, at least at this time we can.  If one of us were to be laid off, the cable would be the first to go and we would switch to another lower plan on the cell phone.  The frugal/simple life looks different to each person.   As long as we live beneath our means, save for our futures and also to be able to give to those in need.  I think that is A Wonderful Life!!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Do You Have an Alternate Heat Source?

It's that time of year here in North Carolina where the power goes out.  Actually where we live the power goes out quite a lot.  A fact that amazes me since all the power lines are underground.  If the power is out for an extended period of time it's due to either tornadoes or hurricanes.  In 1996 we were without power for 8 days in September due  to Hurricane Fran.  No air conditioning in North Carolina in September is not a good thing.

Anyhoo.................for some reason we've been getting snow and quite a lot of it, at least it's a lot for this neck of the woods.  Thankfully we've not lost our power but other parts of the county have.  So this leads me to wonder about having alternate source of heat.  We have this little propane heater, safe for indoor use, that heats up to 100 square feet.  Not ideal but it will do in a bind.  At least we will be somewhat warm if we sit directly in front of it.  Guess it's time to add this to the PREP LIST.  Considering a kerosene heater.  Not really excited about that as I can't stand the odor but I understand that has improved?  Also we don't have a lot of storage area in this house.  Practically none for now.  I hope to change that with purging, hopefully being ruthless about that.  LOL

So do any of ya'll have alternate sources of heat?  If so, what?  Do you like it?  What would you do different? 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

No one was harmed in taking these photos!! LOL

Just a friendly little commute home today.  I was NOT driving, just thought I'd let ya know!!  LOL


hmmm..........just where are they going?  that's a field there not another lane

Sideways?



Another Prep Post

Oh my word.  Today has been quite the experience.  Usually the weather people get it all wrong but today they were right.  Snow to arrive around noon.  I look out the window and it is coming down the hardest I've seen in a very long time.  Dh works about 5 minutes from me.  He leaves at 1 to pick me up.  He arrives after 3.  We leave my office and make the less than 10 miles trip home over a 2 hour period.  We have an SUV with 4 wheel drive.  We drove very slow but let me tell ya........I saw cars abandoned in the middle of the street in downtown Raleigh.  Cars all over the place slipping, sliding getting stuck.  It was quite nerve wracking.

When we got home we both were like kids in a candy store we were so happy.

Now we are getting sleet on top of snow and tomorrow morning we are supposed to get more accumulating snow on top of this.  This is North Carolina people, not the Mid West or up north.
I am looking forward to spring.

For now on I will keep at least 1 blanket in my car along with some water and at the very least some granola bars.  Traffic is still backed up all over the place.  It is gridlock now.  I guess I could put some peanuts in there as well, maybe crackers. 

Mother nature has taught a few things today!!



photo courtesy of WRAL

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

I won't make fun of those folks who prep again

Snowmageddon is supposed to arrive here tomorrow evening into Thursday morning.  This time, as I stated earlier, ice is expected.  Since I had the day off and since I haven't prepped us for such possibilities I was driving all around trying to round up some supplies.  Duh, hit me upside the head, I should have been doing this all along.  Pay top price for dwindling supplies.  I read some blogs that the lady preps even though she and her dh are on the tightest of budgets.  This has taught me a lesson.  My head is spinning on just how much I need to change my way of thinking, living and spending.   Lord have mercy!  For those of you who have been doing this kind of thing all along, please don't flame me or give me the "you should know better' because I know I should know better.  Nowhere to go but up from here!  Right?


Doctor Appointment updates-aka-I may have some neurological damage

This post may be a long one so be warned.  I had 2 appointments today.  One with my dermatologist and another with a new primary care doctor.  I've left my previous practice.  It was practically impossible to get a "sick" appointment.  They never had anything available with my doc nor any of the other docs.  I can't tell you how many times the last year or so I've gone to an urgent care, at double the copay, because they are always booked solid.  I would call first thing at 8;30 and every appointment would be gone.  Poof!!  The straws that broke my back were once I asked my dh to see our doc because he was constantly getting really bad colds, one after another.  That's not normal.  I said either your immune system has tanked or you could be diabetic.  So dh makes an appointment and tells the doc I would like him to test him for diabetes.  The doc says something like when did I start wearing lab coats?  Fast forward a couple of years, dh goes for his physical since he turned 50 and guess what............he has diabetes.  Now I'm not saying that it could have been prevented but I am saying it would have been caught sooner and dh would have been treated for it sooner.  Then I had this spot under my arm.  Doc tells me I have folliculitis.  I do what he says and for the next 1 1/2 it gets worse.  I start digging around, do some investigating and find a condition that mirrors all of my signs and symptoms.  I go back and ask him to consider this condition.  He tells me nope I don't have that, all I have to do is use some antibacterial body wash and I will be fine.  Hmm..........that didn't work.  So I made an appointment to see a dermatologist.  After a couple of appointments they confirm what I long suspected.  I've been on daily antibiotics for 6 months now and looks like this will continue for a v e r y l o n g time.  So twice my doc pays no attention whatsoever to my concerns and both times I was correct.  So I left my primary care and today saw a new doc.  I explained why I came to see her.  I'm sure she was thinking, 'oh great, I've got a know it all here.  She took her time, asked me a lot of questions.  Did some routine screening stuff, ears, throat etc.    She took one look at my underarm and said "yea I see the scarring".  First look.   But before that the visit took a bit of bad turn I think.  She tested my reflexes and I have none at all on my right leg.  She kept hitting me with that thing and my foot never moved, not even a twitch.  So then she got this device, it looks like a tuning fork.  She would smack it on the table and ask if I could feel vibrations.  I could feel them on the left lower leg and foot but NOT on the right.  So then she got this thing that looks like a plastic needle and poked me with it on several different places.  Did I feel in on the right foot and lower leg?  Nope but I did on the left.   Now here is where I will back up.  I have B12 deficiency that I'm SUPPOSED to take shots.  I've gone through times where I am diligent following the doctor orders then go through times I don't.  I've not had a shot in a very long time.  I have never felt the burst of energy that I was told I would experience.  I am constantly tired, I mean bone tired.  My memory is shot, and dh says he is noticing that I'm stumbling again.  The new doc says this decreased reflex is quite bad and could be damage from the B12 deficiency.  I go for lab work next Tuesday to see how it all works out.  She is checking me for all kinds of things.  My mother suffered and died from Good Pasteur's Syndrome, my dad had chronic thrombosis phlebitis, strokes, heart attacks, ulcerative colitis So you see I come from a great gene pool.  I could use some prayers from ya'll. 
Do you feel this?  ummmmmmmmmm no I don't

Supporting Local Business vs Saving Money

Where do you stand?  Example:  another snow storm is coming this way.  Big difference this time.  Ice is expected.  The news in their attempt to scare the wits out of everyone, is saying to be prepared for power outages.  Well this part of G'town loses power at the drop of a hat.  We have a very small portable propane heater that is safe for indoor use.  It uses the small 1 pound containers of propane, like the ones used in camping. 

I can buy 2 at Target for $5.99.  They are $3.99 a piece at the local hardware store, not a big box.  A family run local hardware store.  Even if you plan ahead, where do you spend your hard earned dollars?  Some say they go where they can save the most $$ while others say they support local over big box any chance they get.

Where do ya'll stand?

Monday, February 10, 2014

Medical Expenses?

I am off tomorrow as I have multiple doctor appointments.  One copay will be $50 and the other $25.  What I want to ask ya'll is this: Do you set aside funds each pay period to pay for these or do you adjust your budget for said pay period?  Say put less in the groceries to make up for the copays?  And I guess I would include prescription costs in this question as well.  I take multiple prescriptions every day.  I just include these in my budget for each pay period.  Should I then include some extra for those times when I get sick?

Thanks for your help!!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

I LOVE LOVE LOVE to read

How about you?  My favorite reads are cozy mysteries.  I guess that started watching Murder She Wrote.  I always wished I was like Jessica Fletcher, solving murder mysteries, while staying alive AND living in a picturesque Maine coastal fishing village.  Ah just thinking about it can be quite calming.

Like I said I love cozy mysteries.  I love the Tea Shop Mysteries, there is a trailer park series, where the sleuth works as a waitress at a diner, of course MSW, The Cat Who series, Leslie Meier books, Amish mysteries, and well there are just a ton I love.  I can have 2 or 3 going on at any time.  When I read I can sometimes imagine I'm there.  It's pretty neat. 

Do you like to read?  If so, what do you like?  Fiction, non fiction, biographies? 

Cheers!!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Questions about Emergency Funds

Trying to get the EF fully funded.  That is going to take a long time.  I'm okay with that, I think.  I have a question about other items like car repairs.  Does that come out of your EF or do you have a separate fund for car repairs?  What about stuff like appliance repairs?  At this point we do not have funds set up for these things.  I know I know.  Like I've said before, we spent a long time with our heads in the sand.  But I digress.  Do we need to set up separate funds for these items or take the costs out of the EF?

Do you guys use the envelope system?  I've been watching some videos by debtisdum on Youtube.  They use the envelope system and swear by it but having cash around like that would be a huge temptation for me.  It really is easy to rob Peter to pay Paul.  If you use it, tell of your success. 

I guess I'm trying to figure out just how many "little funds" do we need?  We do have a Christmas Club account and a vacation account in addition the EF. 

Any advice would be appreciated.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

How organized are you?


So I started reading The 21 Day Financial Fast by Michelle Singletary.  In the beginning she speaks of a friend who embraced this 21 day fast.  Her friend, Juanita, died in a car accident in 2012.  The financial fast had all her financial affairs in order at the time of her death.  She also had her life in order.  I think this ties in with purging unnecessary things out of our lives.    Here is a part of what she wrote:  "She left a will, life insurance, and the necessary paperwork to take care of her estate.  But there was a higher level of organization in her affairs than I've ever seen.  She not only freed herself from debt, she freed herself from wanting, buying and accumulating too much stuff.
     Juanita left her apartment in an astonishingly organized condition.  Juanita had a place for everything.  She catalogued what was in her file cabinet.  She had a notebook that detailed what was in each cabinet drawer.  As a result, when several of us who were her friends went to pack up her belongings, we didn't have to look through her private papers to be able to label the boxes.  She kept binders of her awards and accolades, etc..........
     Now this I find amazing........"There was not a single junk drawer in her apartment.  There were no stacks of papers on her desk threatening to unleash an avalanche of craziness on the floor.  Nor did she have bags of papers stuffed in corners or in her closets.  She didn't even have a trash can because there wasn't much waste to throw away.  Her closets weren't overstuffed.  Her pantry and refrigerator weren't overstocked with food that would take months to eat or go to waste.  There wasn't a single item in any room that we could tell went unused for very long."

I don't know about you but this does not describe my home at all.  Now maybe you don't want to be this organized or minimal.  I just found it pretty interesting.  It for sure has given me much to think about.  I never thought about someone coming behind me to look for stuff. 

Are you guys this organized?  Do you think this is a bit too extreme? Give reasons for and against.  What helps you be organized? 

This is the Nook cover of the book

Monday, February 3, 2014

The next 2 weeks need to be frugalicious

After paying all of the bills, except for 1.  I haven't got that bill yet but I know the amount.  We then had to pay the plumber because we had a small leak, that thank the Lord, he said could've been a big problem, had to get my car tags and now we are down to close to the bare minimum.  We paid all of these items out of my husband's check and we will have to live on what is left of my check until the 15th.  Now my question is should I transfer money from the EF to pay for the plumber or let it stay as is.  I mean it wasn't exactly planned but I do have some, not much, money set aside for things like this.  
I do need to make a grocery run and sure wish I had Judy here to help me plan and cook like a fiend.  I did actually cook some chicken this past weekend, chopped it up and put it in quart size baggies to freeze to use in casseroles etc.....That is quite the accomplishment for me.  I usually don't do that.
Where do you guys go for recipes that are easy to put together and don't require a ton of ingredients AND that tastes good.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

I'm so glad it's the weekend

End of the month is always chaotic at work, throw in about 4 inches of snow and well these parts of North Carolina go into panic mode.  Employees call in and say they can't make it to work.  Really?  Now if a tree is blocking your way or your road is an ice rink I can understand but not coming to work for 3 days?  I'm not so understanding.  And nothing can be done other than make them use their vacation time.

So today, so far I've done a couple of loads of laundry, cooked up some chicken, chopped it up and put it in freezer bags so it will be ready when needed.  I would love to have a separate freezer but we don't so we can only do so much. 

Watching a bit of the Carolina vs NC State basketball game.  College basketball is a hot ticket down here.  Need to start that whole purging thing I discussed earlier.  DH will be going to Home Depot to get some white trim to finish the painting.

What you guys doing today?