Sunday, January 8, 2012

Happy Birthday Gerry!

Today is the birthday of my adored husband.  He got a previously viewed copy of the movie "Across the Universe" the one with all the Beatles music in it.  But I gave it to him a couple of days ago when he asked if we had anything new to watch.  I figured, "It's so close," and he really enjoyed it.  Today we have been watching the truly excellent PBS documentary "Commanding Heights"  Highly recommended!  Right now he is speaking to our daughter, who called for his birthday.  They are having an in depth discussion about writing and research, publishing, self publishing.... as she is also a writer.

Well, today is day 8 of my no drinking year, but I must confess that had I been able to find the whiskey last night, I would have had a bit.  But I could not, so I did not.  Tomorrow is weighing day, and I think I am going to be pleasantly surprised at the number.

How about the price of gas now, huh?  Jake brought us home an exact gallon yesterday for the chainsaw gas/oil mix.  $3.30.  I am determined to keep track of ALL our expenses this year, not just the biggies and then being surprised that small things add up.  I have a subcategory in the Utilities category called "Cost of Making Wood"  Well, with oil having peaked and us still not paying attention to alternatives and sustainability, it is going to get worse.  Not that the prices will NEVER fall, but overall direction will be up, up, and away!

Some may be surprised, if any of you are previous readers, that I have been so quiet about politics, religions, and other truly infuriating curren events.  Rest assured that I am just as opinioned as ever, and I still have rants inside of me that eventually will be written.  I just am tired, and want to focus on my life goals.  And changing people's minds about things they hold near and dear to the views that I hold near and dear, just is not one of those 2012 Life Goals.  I am discouraged about my country, and many of my countrymen, but have pretty much decided to save my limited energy and work on me and mine for a moment.

Back to the documentary.  Good night!

YOU ARE HERE: The Oil Journey (Narrated by Peter Coyote) - YouTube

YOU ARE HERE: The Oil Journey (Narrated by Peter Coyote) - YouTube

Friday, January 6, 2012

What I've done! Another one bites the dust!!!!!

Sorry for the absence.  I got SO lost in Big Love.  That last season was a DOOZY!  So much better than last season.  I was imagining all kinds of different ways the show would end, but I did not see that ending coming.

However, I have not been totally faithless toward my Life Goals for 2012 in the last few days.  Two days ago I had a big shopping day.  Actually, all my shopping days are big ones because we live 10 miles from a small town, 20 miles from a bigger town, and 70 miles to a small city.  So we save up errands until we just can't put them off anymore, then we get a bunch done all at once.  Then I am exhausted and of no use for a day or two.  Well, anyway, I had to get grain for the oxen, horses, and pigs, so of course I also did everything else too.  Went to the computer store to get office supplies for Gerry, and a couple of replacement parts for our laptop.  This stop cost us $160 which was NOT in the January budget.  Spent $50 on groceries and household odds and ends at the Dollar General Market, including turnips that still had the roots and crown.  I plan to plant a couple of them for indoor winter greens, but so far, I have only eaten them!  That was in the budget.  Filled the truck up with diesel, $70 in the budget.  Stopped at the library to order some research books for Gerry through interlibrary loan, and finally got to the feed store, $180, budgeted.

Came home and was VERY prompt about marking my receipts and putting them in the proper envelopes and marking my balances.  In my absence, the mail came and left me a lovely pile of Netflix DVDs, into which I did not immerse myself, right then!  Instead, I visited with my loved ones, consoled my cat (who had evidently decided I was gone for good) and put purchases away.  That night we watched a netflix movie (not Big Love) and when Gerry was asleep, I examined the budget AGAIN to try to figure out where that unplanned for $160 was coming from.  After a couple more hours of tweaking (wrenching) I stopped and THEN I started on Big Love.

20 hours later I came back to my real world.  That's an exaggeration, but not by much!  The water heater had remained off for over 2 days, we turned it on and did dishes.  Jake and Gerry cut and split firewood.  I ordered the last Italian textbook I will need for my program.  And some other really cheap books that have been on our amazon wishlist.   The textbook had been sitting in our cart for well over a month, and I was worried that someone else was going to buy it soon.  Altogether, we spent $50 for 5 books.  That is what is so awful about buying from amazon, paying so much shipping per book.   Yes, you guessed it, that $50 was unbudgeted too.  So more hours last night after Gerry went to sleep were spent tweaking (wrenching) the budget back into shape!

Recently, I opened up internet access to our bank accounts and found that the immediacy of seeing those transactions happen has really helped to keep us on track, moneywise.  I used to wait and wonder where we were with the debit card purchases and the checks, and be a bit fuzzy about automatic deposits, until the next statement.  But this really now has the same feel of pulling cash out of the envelopes.  When I make a transaction, I am on tenterhooks waiting for it to show up on the accounts.  I got my first statement (after I opened up the online access, I mean) and glanced at it and realized it was all old news to me. That was a very strange feeling, and I like doing it this way.  I like it better than the cash in the envelopes, because I spend cash SO easily.  A lot of people say that cash is harder to spend, emotionally, but I find it is the exact opposite with me.  Now that I can see the debit and check purchases so immediately, and the direct deposits and payments, I am much happier.  I still use the envelopes, but this month I am using them to hold the different categories of receipts.  Eating out is still on a cash basis, and that works for me. make a short story long, I had been anxiously waiting to see a certain transaction clear.  We paid off our last consumer debt and I have on tenterhooks to see it happen.  Unfortunately, I had to wipe out our $1000 emergency fund to do so, and I am very uptight about that.  But we were just so sick of that debt.  I was obsessing over it.  We have saved over $1000 in interest by paying it off early. Because we paid it, we are so close to living within our monthly income, but not quite, and now we have no savings.  So I am going to be such a monstrous tightwad until our Spring trips begin and I can get money back into that savings account.  Because I also had a $1000 winter hay bill dropped on me that I was not expecting.  We are going to be so tight.

But that 25 percent interest rate loan is gone.  Debtwise, we have a loan from my mom (I guess THAT one is my last consumer debt?) which will be paid off May 2013. Yay!  And 2 student loans, and our mortgage.

Tomorrow is Saturday, Pizza Night?  Sounds great to me!  Tightwad meals CAN taste good! Need to get some more beans cooking in the crockpot, too.  And plant some turnips before I eat them all!

Off to tend fire, and maybe get some sleep.  Good night.

The Easiest, Healthiest New Year's Resolution! - YouTube

The Easiest, Healthiest New Year's Resolution! - YouTube

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Can't really think of a decent title tonight

Which is a bit unusual for me.  It's late, and I am weary.  My cat, Spot, is definitely on the mend, which makes me very happy.  I sewed on a shirt for Gerry all day today.  Reworked the budget tonight, that is what I just finished doing.  Definitely going to be a tight, tight winter unless I find a job.  But if I find a job then I won't have the time or energy to do all this money saving stuff so we will spend more money and it will be a tight winter anyway, with the added bonus of me being tired and bitchy all the time.  Grapple, grapple.

I started on the Italian again today.  I listened to pop music and also language CDs, and I am about to watch a movie in Italian.  For me, that counts, because my ear becomes accustomed to the native sounds, and my eyes become accustomed to the native expressions and gestures. 

3rd day of no alcohol day.  Only 362 days to go!  Am I over the hump yet?
Seriously though, I am not an alcoholic, not going through withdrawals or anything.  I just really like to drink...

On the green front, the water heater never got turned on at all today.  No one thought about it.  The dishes have piled up though, so it will definitely be turned on tomorrow, if we have water again.

Be good to yourself.  I have to stoke the fire, then my movie is calling me.  Tomorrow Big Love is supposed to arrive, I am very excited.  Jake said he would laugh if something happened and they were delayed.  Mean adolescent!  By the way, I really messed up on my netflix decisions, moneywise.  I'll tell you all about it tomorrow.

Chris Martenson, "If we're at Peak Oil we might have 10 or 5 Years" - YouTube

Chris Martenson, "If we're at Peak Oil we might have 10 or 5 Years" - YouTube

Monday, January 2, 2012

Winter is here!

Seemingly in earnest, finally.  Snow is on the ground, the woodstove is enjoying us crowding up to it, the water froze again.  I have been battling a massive headache with a slight fever and I wonder if it is a sinus issue?  I don't know.

For those who remember me speaking of our beloved shar-pei dogs, Yin and Yang, I must tell you they are no more.  Sadly, after months of peaceful, even affectionate coexistence with our other animals, Yin and Yang decided to play with our ducks.  One duck survived.  We came home from a trip to the nearest town one day last summer to find duck carnage and happy dogs.  Knowing we could not trust them again, they met a peaceful end the next day in my arms.

I now have a cat, Her name is Spot.  She has completely taken over my heart, but unfortunately she has become ill.  Yes, she has been to the vet, for which visit I unhappily spent over $100.00.  She is a fighter, and I believe is recovering, but it has been touch and go for a few days. 2 nights ago, I told my adored husband Gerry that I feared she was dying, but she has hung on and I see improvement now.  She definitely put up a much sterner fight today when I made her take her medicine!

Oh yes, my Goals.

Well, it has been a successful day 2 of no alcohol year!  Which should help the frugality goal and the lose weight goal.  I also found a book on I wanted to buy.  And I did not buy it!  Yay for me!  But I did not exercise at all, did not cook (we ate leftovers, which Gerry cooked)  Did not do dishes (Gerry did dishes)  did not find another "Green Living" idea to implement.  I did turn lights out after Gerry and Jake, because I tend to see that when they- Manlike- do not.  But if I reported everytime I turn off I light I shall become very boring indeed!

I did change my netflix account, so that I am actually paying more this month.  That is because I am going to try to power through my entire queue this next month and then next month either cancel it completely, or take it down to only streaming for $8.00 per month.  I have been more and more unhappy with netflix and am willing to give it up.  I spent much of the last month with my account on hold for 2 reasons.

1.  I needed to free up some money in December.
2.  I wanted to see how I did with being home but not having netflix.  To my surprise, I did just fine.

Honestly, I don't know that I would have brought my account back even now, except that the last season of Big Love is available as of tomorrow and I wanted to see how it all comes out!  Was unimpressed with the show in the last 2 years, especially season 4.  But there is only 1 more season so I may as well finish it!  I also have MANY documentaries waiting for me.  I just have to get them watched and then I can let it all go.

Well, my fire is dying down, so I will say goodnight.  See you tomorrow.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Another Happy New Year, Restarts

I can't believe I have let this blog go for so long.  I certainly never intended to!

Time for a restart, and a redirection. 

For one thing, since soon I will no longer have a minor in my home, I will be more open about being a naturist.  That means that I will be changing this blog to include some tasteful everyday nudity, and as soon as I re-figure-out how, that will be indicated when people try to see what I am up to.  That is, if I ever get any of my loved readers back from my long hiatus.

I don't do well with New Year's Resolutions.  I wonder if anyone ever does?  But I keep trying, like so many.  In an attempt to circumvent my personal history of non-follow through, I am calling my resolutions Life Goals for 2012.  These goals fall into a few broad catagories.

Continue to work toward responsible frugality and debt elimination.
Become near fluent in Italian.
Deepening commitment to "Green"
And the perennial, Lose the extra weight!

For the record, I just weighed myself.  I weigh 91 Kilograms (for US Folk who want to know what that is in pounds, multiply 91 by 2.2     and learn metric!  It ain't so bad, and we have to anyway)

My goal by the end of 2012 is 61 kilograms.

My pledge here is that I shall post, every single day that I have internet access, at least one action to further one or more of the above goals.  Sometimes, an action may further more than one goal, and I'll probably point that out, as I am needing all the pats on my back I can get!  Sometimes an action will simply be a nonaction, when the action I wanted to take but stopped myself from would have been a step away from my goals.

Today, is the first day of a mostly nonalcoholic year.  I will be having a beer from time to time, but no chianti, no whiskey, no margaritas with my mexican meals.

This will help our budget, and hopefully, my waistline!

So anyway, I am happy to be back.  I hope you come back too.