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Archive for March, 2007

Rain, rain, go away...

March 30th, 2007 at 01:22 pm

I've lost count of how many days it's been raining in a row, and it's supposed to continue through Sunday, at least. Muddy dog and bored girls, who can't get outside to play and bike ride. All I can say is, it's getting old.

Our appliances are being troublesome lately. My husband just replaced a part that broke on the washer earlier in the week, and all was well...until yesterday, when I went to put the laundry into the dryer, and it was all soaking wet, again. So he fixed the washer, again, and all was well, again...until, I put the spun laundry into the dryer. The dryer didn't want to work. Boy, I could hardly wait to tell my husband. I did, and he fixed it, and again all was well in our laundry world. Husband went to bed, before anything else broke down. Whew!

Pretty low-key weekend ahead - two of the girls head out to sleepovers, pizza at the inlaws' tomorrow night, Palm Sunday and the youth fundraiser pancake breakfast at our church (my two middle girls work it, the rest will attend), my oldest works both Sat and Sun afternoons cashiering at her drug store job, and a visit to my mom. Well, relatively low-key... Take care!!

Are the fumes of cleaning getting to me?

March 29th, 2007 at 09:34 am

Yesterday went as planned. My husband headed back to work, and the girls and I were home for the day. I worked on the main floor bathroom. I scrubbed and scrubbed, it's all shiny in there, if I may say so myself. One room down, more to go...always!

We ate a very strong-smelling sweet and sour chicken recipe - a new crockpot recipe for me. Tasty, but the house still smells today. May need to modify that one, or lose the recipe.

Today's agenda includes washing the valances and couch covers in the living room, and generally cleaning up the living and dining rooms. We painted these rooms last fall, so they aren't in too bad of shape, though well lived in. I'm also throwing spaghetti into the old crockpot - that's a tried and true staple recipe for us.

While I won't say that going somewhere, anywhere, wouldn't have been nice for spring break, I also enjoy just puttering around the house, relishing in the time off. Cleaning and caring for what I have, making it so things last longer, just enjoying 'our things' such as they are. It works for me! But then, I think of my girls...not that they say or imply anything. These school breaks really display the haves and have nots though. Even the teachers go places wonderful. Oh, I know to be proud in whatever we do, and I know we can afford what we do over break, but giving the girls some more adventure would be nice. Hmmm - these kind of quandries usually mull around in my head, until some ideas start to form. There may some changes a-brewing... (In rereading this paragraph, I have to wonder is it the girls or is it me feeling the lack?? Ha! Well, it still gets to mull around in my head for a while, either way.)

Take care!

The days keep marching by...

March 28th, 2007 at 10:04 am

March has been crazy! The girls and I have been off this week for spring break, and my husband took vacation the last two days. Yesterday, we went to Como Park and Conservatory (the flowers are gorgeous!), and ate out two nights in a row - yikes! Fun, and not too extravagant (well, for us, yes, but not on the budget.) For the rest of this week, I'm planning on hanging out and cleaning up the house and yard, with whatever daughters are home (See daughters dash quickly out the door!)

I'm pleased to find my mom settling in very well at the new nursing home. The other residents have come to recognize us, and seek us out. I'm not always sure what in the world our big group is talking about at any given time, but there is always a lot of laughing.

On the financial front - Taxes are all done. My daughter only owed to the federal for her 1099 work, and not to the state - yay! Ours resulted in getting a refund from the federal and on our property taxes, and owing a little to the state. We've fiddled with our withholdings, and this is as close as we can get (it would nice to have a little less owed to us from the federal, but it is what is it, as long as we have our four little tax deduction/credits around.)

Our Voyager van needs some repair - winter always takes its toll on our aging vehicles. Our repair guy is gathering parts, and will make the repair this weekend or next week. After that, we'll have him check over the Ford conversion van (our camping van!) for the upcoming camping season. (After this, I have to do some online reservations for Memorial weekend - can hardly wait!)

Don't let me get started on the state of things around the house! Nothing a few (or more!) dollars spent at Home Depot wouldn't cure. A whole lot of living happened at our house, that's all I can say!

Luckily, the rest of our expenses have been stable (some utilities were even down due to a milder winter and concerted effort on our part.) Groceries are still at $200 for two weeks (including non-grocery items and pet food.) We've been eating healthier (whole grains, fruits and vegies, and lots of chicken,) but lots of those things have been on sale. We have a freezer and stock up on the meat. The fresh vegies and fruit haven't been too expensive - and we eat the most perishable during the first week, and the more hardy the second week. The whole grain items are from a bread outlet store - we'd go broke buying that stuff from the grocery store! My goal is to use up some soups and meals frozen over the winter -and clean that freezer up a bit! Do I have a bad case of spring cleaning, or what?!

Take care, and Happy Spring!

A month's gone by...

March 2nd, 2007 at 02:38 pm

I guess this is the once a month way to blog. What can I say, it's been busy!

For the first three weeks, my family was ill in a tag-team fashion. It was an upper respiratory thing that just stuck around. Per a recommendation here, I finally tried a generic form of Airborne, and I'm sold! I wished I had tried it much sooner. I don't get sick very often, but this one really took hold for some reason. We are all well again - yay!

The other thing keeping me busy was finding a new facility for my mom. I got a call from the nursing home social worker a couple weeks ago today, saying that she would be better served in a place that specializes in dementia care. It was such disappointing news, as we've been very happy with my mom's care there. By Wednesday last week, my brother and I had phoned and visited several places. We placed a hold on a bed the next day, and we moved her this past Monday. We are hopeful that this place will work out for her. We've been in the midst of a blizzard the last few days, so I haven't been able to go visit since Monday. I'll head over tomorrow with the family.

Money-wise, I got the taxes done for us, plus part-done for my daughter. Her wages from one of her jobs was done on a 1099, which made her self-employed. A lot of hassle for such little, yet just enough to have to file, wages! Long-story short, after spending phone time with very helpful (really!)IRS people, the fed return is done, and she'll pay in what she owes in April. The state wasn't as helpful, only because I couldn't get through on their helpline (probably due to the storm, and limited staff able to get to work today.) We've changed it with her employer, so that she has the taxes taken out as needed, and she'll get a w-2 next year. Just the state left to do for her, and then I'm done - and none too soon for me!

Weekend plans include digging out the house and driveway, and lazing about at home. Ambitious, I know! Take care!