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Friday Round-Up

June 8th, 2007 at 05:41 pm

Rolled $6 in change this morning and deposited it in the Emergency Fund after work.

Came home from NYC with the worst sinus infection I've ever had. I've been sick all week and seem to be getting worse. I'm now on antibiotics but woke up this morning with very little voice. The family is enjoying that.

Tomorrow there is a motorcycle dice run to benefit Sydney, my cousin's 18-month old daughter that had the seizure. She has been off of life support for quite a while now and is still breathing on her own. Her eyes have begun to respond a bit to light even though the doctors said it would never happen. She's had a feeding tube inserted and the family is either going to bring her home next week or take her to a nursing home near them.

Getting anxious to get that $248 paid to drop our total debt below $70,000.

DS#2 called from camp tonight but a thunderstorm was rolling in and we lost the connection. DH had time to ask him if he was taking his seizure medicine like he should and that's about it.

DS#2's salvage title FINALLY came for his wrecked Toyota so I faxed that right off to the insurance company so they can mail him the check. Maybe that whole mess can be done soon. It's only taken 3 months...

Part-Time Job Offer

June 7th, 2007 at 03:21 am

I stopped in at the library in town last night. This is the library where I was the director before taking the assistant county librarian job. I still do the bookkeeping for them.

It turns out that one of their employees just quit and the librarian offered me the job. It would only be about 10 hours a week at minimum pay. It was really tempting for a while because I'd love to add that little bit to the mortgage payment and pay it off even earlier.

I told her I'd think about it. DH and I discussed it and at first were okay with the idea. Then I got to thinking what it would mean to work 1 evening a week and 2 Saturdays a month. I already feel guilty and uneasy every morning when I leave the kids during the summer and this would mean even more time away. Right now, DH is working every Saturday morning so this would mean even more time without one of us here. The youngest of the kids is 13 so it's not like they're really little and I'd only be 2 blocks away, but still.

I ended up deciding that it wasn't worth the little bit of income that I'd be making. There will be time for that when the kids are all gone. For now, I feel the need to be home as much as I can.

Trip to NYC

June 5th, 2007 at 03:20 pm

I'm back from my trip to NYC.

We had an excellent time. The Book Expo was okay, but not as great as I thought it would be. The librarians that had gone last year when it was in Washington D.C. weren't impressed. There didn't seem to be as many free books for the libraries as there was last year.

We did have a great time sight-seeing though. On Friday we went to Macy's after dinner. I almost bought something, but then thought better of it and put it back. Yeah me! LOL!

Saturday we spent the afternoon touring Central Park. We did pay to take a bike taxi. That cost $50 for a 45-minute tour, but since we had 2 in a taxi it wasn't too bad. And it saved our poor feet, which by that time were getting pretty sore.

After Central Park we took the subway (bought an all-day pass for $7) and went down to see the World Trade Center site.

Then back uptown for Times Square in the evening.

As we were leaving the city on Sunday morning we drove down to Battery Park

and viewed the Statue of Liberty

and did some souvenier shopping.

I managed to only spend $55 of my own money the entire time I was there. I thought that was pretty good. $20 of it was for 2 pair of shoes since I was having problems with blisters from all the walking!

Net Worth Down

May 31st, 2007 at 03:33 pm

Our net worth took a hit this month but it is because we used a chunk of the money we had in savings for home improvements. Necessary repairs that hopefully have added some value to our home.

Getting Ready for NYC

May 31st, 2007 at 03:16 am

I leave early tomorrow morning for NYC, so this is going to be a busy day. I have to go into work for a while today, but I think I'll leave early. I need to get a ton of laundry done, get paychecks ready to deposit and pack.

I got a $200 advance to cover some of my expenses and also have the System credit card for the rest. I think I'll get out $100 of my own money just in case I find something that I'd like to buy, but I don't plan on spending it. I am going to try to find free books at Expo for the family. There should be enough variety that I can find something for everyone.

This is going to be a long and tiring weekend, but it will be fun, I'm sure.

New York City, Here I Come!

May 27th, 2007 at 03:23 pm

Yes, I'm going to New York City! Can't pass up a free trip!

DH will see to everything at home while I'm gone. He'll get DS#2 to the camp he's working at for the summer (a 2.5 hour drive one way) and make sure he has his seizure medicine. He'll also oversee the last day of school and graduation and the parties we've been invited to.

DH is determined that I'm going so I guess I'd better get planning.

Should I Go On a Free Trip to NYC?

May 26th, 2007 at 01:55 pm

I got a phone call at home today from one of the librarians in our system. She offered me her place on a trip to NYC to attend Book Expo 2007. They leave this Thursday! Should I go? Can I get everything ready in order to go?

I'll miss graduation next weekend. We don't have any children graduating this year, but DS#2's good friend is graduating so I wouldn't be here for that.

DS#2 also leaves next Sunday for his summer job so I wouldn't be here to take him. DH can do it, but would he do as a good of a job as I would? LOL! Would he make sure that DS has his seizure medicine to last him all summer? Would he nag him to death up until the final second of saying good-bye to remember to take it every night like he needs to?

Can my family make it without me for 5 days?

It's free, it would be a blast, I'd love to see NYC again...what to do????

Update on Cousin's Baby

May 22nd, 2007 at 06:13 pm

I got this email tonight:

Today they took syd off the ventilator and pulled all her tubes out, except the ones in her
right leg. The only part of her brain stem that is still functioning is the part that tells her
heart to beat and her lungs to breathe. So we are just playing a waiting game for now.

A Little Too Close for Comfort

May 18th, 2007 at 11:31 am

We have a situation in our extended family that's hitting a little too close to home right now.

I've written about DS#2's hemiplegic migraines and seizures. Well, my cousin's 18 month-old daughter had a seizure this past weekend that ended up with her in cardiac arrest for 10 minutes. She was life-flighted to a larger hospital and is now on a respirator. They've done an MRI and she has damage to her brain stem.

The situation is not good and the parents and grandparents are having a difficult time coping, naturally. It's made me more aware of what could happen.

They all could use some prayers right now.

Lost Money

May 14th, 2007 at 11:34 am

Not mine, but DH's. My mom gave him $20 for his birthday yesterday and now he can't find it.

I swear that he and DS#2 are SO much alike. Always losing something and accusing everyone else of putting it somewhere. Then after a bit it will show up exactly where they had it last. It drives me crazy! I'm the extremely organized type so for them to do this just drives me up the wall.

I looked for it today after he left. I searched his shorts pockets that he'd been wearing this weekend but didn't find it.

Before he left he was telling me that he remembers taking it out of the envelope and laying the card on the kitchen counter. I told him he can't possibly remember doing that because I gave it to him in the garage! I saw that he did go to the garage before he left for work so hopefully he found it there. Ack!

Free 2-Day Getaway

May 12th, 2007 at 03:09 am

My boss recently bought a new truck. The dealership threw in a buying incentive of 2 days at a Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott. She knew that she would never use it so yesterday she gave it to me.

It has to be used by October 1st and you have to book 30 days in advance. There are several hotels listed in the 2 states that are closest to us. Now to just decide where and when we'd like to get away!

Catching Up

April 28th, 2007 at 04:13 am

It's been a while since I've been here. Life just seems to not want to give us a break.

DS#2 had another seizure on Tuesday. This time there was no doubt it was a seizure so he has lost his driver's license for at least 6 months. They did another EEG on Wednesday and found seizure activity on both sides of the brain. He goes for blood tests on the 3rd to test his Depakote levels and then we will have a follow-up with the doctor before DS#2 leaves to work at camp for the summer.

I had hope that with all the car accidents we had there for a while that that would be the last punch that life threw us for a while and we could relax. Guess not!

Let's see...financial side of life is going okay. I had to draw out $500 from our EF so that I can pay my insurance deductible on the car, so that's back down to practically nothing. But on the bright side the last Discover Card payment will be made in a couple of weeks. Then I'll snowball that payment to my car payment.

I am very close to goal #3 of having our overall debt below $70,000 this year so that's encouraging.

DD#1 is done with her 2nd semester of college. She will begin doing data processing for the summer for a local company in a couple of weeks. DS#1 finishes his semester in a couple of weeks and is coming home and hopefully can get his job back at the grocery store.

Someone Make it Stop!!

April 8th, 2007 at 05:06 am

Accident #4 happened last night.

Recap for those that missed my life of excitment the past month:

- DS#2 was run off the road and ended up in a ditch after having his car for 3 days
- DS#2 had a school bus back over his car on his 17th birthday. The car is totalled.
- I wrecked my SUV on the way to work on Friday

And last night....DD#1 and DS#2 (who have been driving Grandma's car since we're a little short on vehicles right now) drove up to see Grandma (who broke her foot and ankle in 3 places a couple of weeks ago! Anyone else seeing a pattern here?! LOL!). Anyway...on the way home, IN TOWN, a deer ran out from a yard and right into the side of Grandma's car!!! The passenger door no longer opens and it took the mirror off the door.

Will this ever end??? Will we ever get back to a "normal" life?

I'm going to go now and tell DS#1, who is at college, to go hide under his bed for a week or so.

Another Car Accident

April 6th, 2007 at 10:55 am

...and this time it was me with my beloved Equinox.

I decided to head into work early today to get in some extra hours and maybe come home a bit earlier since everyone else has Good Friday off.

Winter had returned to our area and the plows had not been out on the roads yet this morning. I came around a bend, only going 35 mph because the roads were so bad, when I hit a patch of ice and just totally lost control. By the time I landed in a deep ditch I was facing the opposite way of the direction I had been going.

The car was almost totally on the driver side. I had to be helped out of the passenger door by one of the people that were following me. The first thing they asked was if my neck hurt because the impact was so hard.

It's amazing that the car really doesn't look bad at all. The most damage is up front, but it's not crumpled at all like you would expect. The driver's side that it landed on is not messed up at all that we could see.

I am sure I'll have some bruising. I can already feel some aches and pains.

So my car is now keeping DS's car company at the body shop. This will hit our Emergency Fund with a solid $500 punch.

Good news on his though...they did total it but the bus' insurance has decided to give him over $1900 for it. We have no idea why they went from $800 to $1900, but they did!

Pictures of DS's Bus-Damaged Car

March 25th, 2007 at 04:14 am

Here are 2 pictures of the bus damage done to DS's car when the bus backed over him:


The guy that went and picked it up on his flatbed is pretty sure that the insurance adjustor will total it.

Update on GE Refrigerator

March 24th, 2007 at 02:39 pm

Well, it appears that our GE refrigerator might be fixed after waiting 15 months for them to do the repairs ordered by the class action lawsuit! We will know tomorrow when we test out the ice dispenser. I can hear it making ice cubes, at least.

The repairman came today and spent over 2 hours getting the new doors on and all the other things installed. The water is working so far, but I'm not holding my breath. It's always been a toss of the dice as to whether the water would come out when you wanted it or not. We'll see...

DS#2's Birthday, His Car, and a School Bus

March 24th, 2007 at 04:30 am

Yesterday was DS#2's 17th birthday. He just bought a car 10 days ago and has not even made one payment on it yet.

He had taken the car to Vo-tech so that he could replace the brake pads for the inspection he had scheduled for today. At the end of the day he was following the bus he normally rides on out of the parking lot when a kid along the street threw a snowball at the bus. At that point the vehicles were stopped. The bus driver put the bus in reverse to back up and yell at this kid. She did not realize that DS was behind her and she BACKED UP ONTO HIS CAR!!!!!!

DS said at first he thought he hadn't done his brakes right and that it was his car that was moving! Then he realized what was going on. The kids on the bus were screaming at the driver to stop as they watched the car get crushed. It pushed his car back along the road before she realized what was going on and stopped and then drove forward off of his car.

The car is most likely totaled. It was a '95 Toyota Corolla. He had no coverage on his own car, but I'm assuming since this was definitely the bus driver's fault that the bus garage's insurance will pay him for it.

He bought it for $900 which is much less than book value for it. I'm hoping he gets book value since he has put a lot of work and money into it. That way he can pay it off and also get another car.

What a birthday present!

Registered for Summer Course

March 23rd, 2007 at 02:19 am

I am officially registered to take the summer semester Accounting Applications course that I was supposed to take this semester. I ended up having to drop out of it this semester because I didn't know what was going on with my health and was afraid I wouldn't be able to finish it.

Now that my health seems to be heading back to normal again, I took the plunge and registered. The class starts May 21st and will cover Quickbooks and Turbo Tax. I use Quickbooks every day at work but it will be nice to know more of the ins and outs of it than what I know now.

I must admit it has been very nice not taking a class lately. I've gotten lots of reading done but I'm ready to hop back on the education wagon!

Wills & Living Trusts

March 22nd, 2007 at 05:54 pm

Okay, since I read Suze Orman's Women & Money I've been thinking more about our need to get a will and living trust done. We've been saying for YEARS that we needed to get a will drawn up but I had no idea until I read this book what a living trust even was.

Through our library district we have access to legal forms that you can download and fill out. I looked tonight and they have wills and living trusts. These documents are tailored for your individual state. So I downloaded both but haven't had a chance to look at them yet.

I will have to take a look this weeekend and see what all it entails and do a bit more research.

Peter Pan Peanut Butter Refund

March 21st, 2007 at 03:23 am

I received my refund check yesterday for the 4 containers of Peter Pan that I had that were recalled. I got back $16.45. Not too bad.

Never Buy GE

March 15th, 2007 at 11:05 am

Just wanted to warn everyone that if you buy a GE product be prepared to wait an eternity for service should something go wrong.

A few years ago we bought a Hotpoint (GE) refrigerator. We immediately had problems with the ice dispenser. We would wake up in the morning to find that there was water all over our kitchen floor. The water dispenser worked sporadically. The business that we bought it from came out and repaired it 3 times while it was under warranty. We still continued to have problems.

Finally, we got a notice in the mail that GE had a class action suit against them for the very same problems that we were experiencing. We filed our papers and eagerly awaited it to be made right. That was back in January of 2006. We are still waiting...

Originally we started trying to get it fixed with the original company from which we'd purchased it. 6 months went by and they were still waiting for the parts to arrive. So we contacted another repair shop that was listed in the paperwork we'd received from the class action settlement. 9 months later we're still waiting. The refrigerator doors that were shipped to us are still sitting on the porch, where they've been since November.

The repairman has contacted GE several times telling them that they sent the doors but did not send the ice/water dispenser (which is the problem part!). They have sent him 3 more doors instead!!! So now we have 5 doors and no icemaker unit.

Every time you call their 800 number to speak to them about it you are put on hold for at least 20 minutes and quite often over an hour before you finally get someone, if you don't get boiling mad and hang up first.

I have emailed them and complained about their service and have gotten an email back with the same 800 number to call!!!

I have told them that I am informing everyone I know not to buy their products because they do not back them up. Service is terrible and you might as well say, nonexistant.

Paid Day Off Because of Flooding

March 15th, 2007 at 09:58 am

I got a "free" vacation day today! With all of the snow melting and the steady downpour of rain all night long, roads all around us were shut down early this morning. Here is a picture of what I would have had to drive through to get to work:

Schools were cancelled and volunteer firemen were called home to help with evacuations and putting up signs along roadways.

DH was called home to help. My main problem with that is that his company will not pay him for being called out to volunteer for his community. They use his training that our community pays for when they need him to respond to a medical crisis or fire at work, but yet won't pay him when his community needs him. I don't think that's right. So we'll take a big hit in the paycheck for this week.

Ebay Listing

March 7th, 2007 at 06:33 am

I ordered a new set of Leslie Sansone's walking workouts a few weeks ago and opened all the actual walking workouts, but did not unwrap the toning one. I know I won't use it because I prefer barre workouts.

So I decided this morning to list the toning workout on Ebay. I see that someone else has one that the bids are over $18 already! That would be great to get.

I should list my yoga and pilates workouts that I no longer use too. Any extra income would be nice right now.

Last Weekend's Ambulance Trip

February 17th, 2007 at 03:33 am

DH and I had gone to a church conference to hear a well-known radio/TV personality speak on the middle east and afterwards were to go to a couple's house for coffee. We were just pulling into their driveway when DH's pager went off saying that an ambulance was needed at an address on our street for seizures. We both sort of held our breath when we heard the address, but ours is different by one number than the address given so we figured it was our neighbor across the street.

As we walked into our friends' house they said that her mother said we had just gotten a phone call. I knew then that 911 had been told the wrong address. The caller ID showed that my mother had called. DH called the house and talked to the EMT that was on scene and we took off for home. We made it home in 10 minutes, in what normally would have taken 15-20.

Just as we got here they were bringing DS#2 out on the stretcher. He is 16 years old. DH (who is an EMT) jumped in with the ambulance and I drove my mom and I to the hospital. The paramedics met us halfway and got in and started an IV. DH said that DS quit breathing at least twice on the way there. They had inserted a nasal canula and were prepared to bag him if they had to.

By the time we got to the hospital, he was a bit better. And if that was better, I definitely did not want to see how he had been. DH said that DS would definitely have a bruised sternum because the EMT had to give him a sternum rub to get him to respond at all and really had to use a lot of pressure. DH also had to do the same on the way to the hospital.

At the hospital he was barely responsive. His eyes were rolled back in his head and he could barely squeeze fingers or move his feet to push on your hands. His blood pressure was high and pulse was rapid (over 120). Of course, they asked about alcohol or drugs and we explained that he's had this happen before and that it is a migraine, but I don't think any of them had ever heard of a hemiplegic migraine before. They took blood and tested for all kinds of things, including the alcohol and drugs. All the tests came back normal.

By the time they were done with the CAT scan, which was also normal, he was much better. Within 2 hours of being there he was back to his old self, joking with everyone but very tired. They couldn't believe what a difference a couple of hours made compared to the condition he was in on arrival.

He has a sinus infection so they gave him a Z-pack and told us to follow up with the neurologist on Monday.

The EMTs and ambulance crew were all very concerned. Of course, they all know DS since he's a member and spends most of his time helping out at the ambulance building and firehall. He wants to become a paramedic.

We ended up having the follow-up with the neurologist on the day of the Valentine's Day '07 blizzard! We did not want to cancel the appointment since we really wanted him seen as soon as possible.

The neurologist says that he thinks this was a complicated migraine (hemiplegic migraines are a type of complicated migraines) and that it caused a convulsion this time. He said that the severe chest pain that he experienced this time was from the migraine. Migraines can cause pain not only in the head, but elsewhere in the body.

He is starting him on a new type of migraine/seizure medicine that he is hoping won't have as many side effects for him as the Topomax. He has also ordered a 24 hour EEG to see if he is having any mini seizures that we're not aware of.

He offered to send us to a neurosurgeon to get his opinion on Chiari Malformation but is confident that he does not have that. He said that any time we want a referral to just call. We are waiting on that to see if this new medicine works.

So...hopefully this weekend will be a bit tamer than last weekend!

Still Here...

February 16th, 2007 at 10:32 am

Just a quick note to say I'm still here and still working on whittling down the debt. And still working on getting approval for mine and DH's term insurance. I never dreamed it would take so many months! I got an email that mine is close to being approved and the hold-up with DH's is the driver's report from the DMV. I don't know why that's taking so long!

It is Official...

February 4th, 2007 at 02:10 pm

It was the blood pressure medicine that caused my sudden health crisis in December. I've been off the medicine for over 4 weeks now and feel like a different person.

I was searching one day and found the side effects and symptoms of an overdose of Benicar: fast, pounding or irregular heartbeat; joint pain, stiffness, or swelling; swelling of feet or lower legs, flushed, dry skin; general feeling of discomfort or illness; trouble sleeping; bloating or swelling of face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet; difficulty in moving; rapid weight gain; tingling of hands or feet.

All of that was exactly what I experienced.

Well, I certainly got a very thorough physical out of the whole thing: 2 MRIs, EEG, nuclear stress test, etc. I'm good for another 100,000 miles I think!

Good news is that I joined Weight Watchers on-line 2 weeks ago and have already lost 6 pounds and 5 inches around my belly!!! I had told them that the weight gain was really unusual and that most of it was centered in my abdomen. They just brushed me off though.

I guess I really did know what I was talking about.


January 15th, 2007 at 08:28 am

I guess I've sort of been missing in action lately. All I've managed to do is post daily spending.

The reason is that since being given the go-ahead to exericse I've really been concentrating on my health instead of finances lately. Not that I've given up the good debt fight! No way! I've just been spending more time on line reading about stress reduction and natural blood pressure control than blogging about my finances.

I've been off of the blood pressure medicine for over a week now since it took a dive to 85/54 a little over a week ago. The doctor's office said to stop the medicine altogether, except the diuretics, and keep track of it daily like I've been doing. I'm to call them weekly and let them know what it's doing.

So right now I'm controlling it with diet and exercise. I started doing my yoga again today after more than a month and my BP today was 117/75 with a pulse of 68! Very good compared to lately and excellent when you consider that's without medicines.

We are beginning to think that all this (racing heart, pitting edema, high blood pressure, etc) was caused by the blood pressure medicine! The day I quit taking it I immediately began to feel much better. My pulse dropped, the edema started to go away (I lost 14 pounds!), and I just felt much healthier.

So that is my main challenge for this year: get back to my previous good health and slimmer body! Boy, just when you've lost the weight and feel good something's got to come along to mess it up, huh?

Happy Birthday to Me!

January 10th, 2007 at 03:44 am

Today I turn 40. I've taken the day off so I can read and relax as the big milestone rolls on by.

My boss bought me a neck massage pillow and my parents got me an adding machine that I've been wanting.

My Sneaky, but Sweet & Thoughtful DH

January 5th, 2007 at 02:05 am

He really got me last night. It was our 22nd anniversary and when I came home there was a bouquet of 22 carnations in mixed colors. Carnations are my favorite flowers.

He took me to one of our favorite restaurants for dinner and I learned that the idea he had for buying bicycles for our anniversary was something he mentioned to throw me off on what he really had planned.

Some background first: for his 40th birthday last year I saved for months and surprised him with a trip to the Poconos to a Nascar race.

Our anniversary and my birthday are very close, 6 days apart. I'll be turning 40 on the 10th of January. I had told him that I honestly didn't want anything big and expensive because I really want to pay the CC off. So he felt like his hands were tied as to what he could do. Well, he did some good thinking.

He told me last night that our anniversary/my birthday gift is a trip to Mississippi to see my best friend that I haven't seen in 3 years! I can choose any time this year that I want to go. So I'm thinking that we'll go in mid-September or October. That gives me plenty of time to put my ING account to use (thank you Ima!) and save up enough money and incur no credit card debt.

He arranged all this with my friend without my knowledge by emailing her. He was sneaky about getting her email address. He had me provide it when I organized all the financial information just before my visit with the neurologist about the cyst in my brain. He said he wanted her address so he could let her know just in case something should happen. Ha! Keep in mind, he has never met this friend or her husband, so this is really sweet of him.

So now I have a new challenge: to save money for this trip. I set up an automatic transfer for it and will just figure it in with the regular budget.

Now for the planning....

22nd Anniversary

January 4th, 2007 at 08:40 am

Today will be an expensive day. It's our 22nd anniversary so we're going out to dinner and then DH would like us to both get a bicycle so we can ride together for some fun and exercise. We used to do that all the time when we were first married and lived in Virginia. It would be nice to do again now that the kids are old enough to care for themselves for the most part.

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