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Archive for February, 2007

Not a very productive day

February 27th, 2007 at 02:27 pm

Ugh, I didn't get much done this day. I did finally get the clothes out to the clothes line but not until about 3 PM. I've taken two brief naps today and still don't feel good. I hope I'm not getting sick. That's the last thing I need.

I paid $75 on the $223 T-Mobile bill. It isn't due until March 7 but if I pay it in chunks as I get the money I should have it paid off by the due date which is my goal.

I've stayed home all day (one advantage to not having a car) so I haven't spent a cent. I imagine DH bought lunch but I don't know that for sure. It's almost 4:30 and I haven't heard from him since he left the house at 7:30 this morning. He should come rolling in any time now.

Okay, time for me to nap again! More later.

The coming total lunar eclipse

February 27th, 2007 at 04:58 am

We're digging out the telescope and good camera for the total lunar eclipse. It will occur Saturday March 3 about sundown and will be visible over the eastern Americas, Europe, Africa, and western Asia.

Here's a wiki on lunar eclipses:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunar_eclipse

I think I'd remember if I'd seen one before - somehow I don't think a red moon would escape my memory!

This morning in east Texas & one of my favorite recipe sites

February 27th, 2007 at 04:27 am

It's 42 degrees this morning with a predicted high of 77. I love this weather! By late this week the overnight temperatures will drop and the daytime highs will be in the 60s with upper 30s this weekend. But Spring is almost here so the beautiful temperatures will be more plentiful.

I was awakened at 4:45 this morning by the phone ringing. It was my 22 year old son. On his way home from work his truck had broken down so DH and I threw on some clothes and drove to get him. Poor kid, he was so distraught about it. He had it in the shop when he got this new job two weeks ago and now it seems to be doing the same thing it was doing then. I know the frustration of vehicle trouble!

When we got home DH made his breakfast and I made coffee and started laundry. As soon as it's light enough outside to find my way to the clothes line, I'll hang up the wash. I've swished and swiped the bathroom and stripped the bed linens to be washed later.

If you like to cook simple but tasty dishes and haven't yet done so, peruse
Nancy's Kitchen.
It's one of my favorite cooking groups and the people are very friendly. From the Daily Newsletter Index link, you can read each day's newsletter and that's where the good stuff is.

Tuesday Plans

February 26th, 2007 at 09:12 pm

DH has a wireless job at 8 AM. That should take a couple of hours. Hopefully another one we're waiting to hear about will come to fruition and be installed not long after the first one but we'll see.

I have some things to do around the house, including getting things ready to post for the local Freecycle group's Spring Fling. I'm going to post some Pyrex items and some clothing, cookie jars, and not sure what else. I also need to wash a load of clothes and hang them on the line. Then I need to clean off the porch since I didn't get that done yesterday. I did get most of the bathroom cleaned but still need to scrub the tub so that's on today's list, also.

I think I'll bake some bread and prepare a breakfast casserole for tomorrow morning. DH isn't wild about breakfast casseroles but will eat them now and then and I enjoy preparing them. I like having the leftovers for lunch the next day!

Dinner will be leftovers from yesterday's lunch and dinner. We still have a few chicken legs, some with barbecue sauce and some with teriyaki sauce, and some of the turkey dressing and gravy. I'll prepare spinach and green beans to go with the main dishes.

I have some letter writing to do today so I'll work on that. I need to go through my coupons, too, and see if any have expired.

And last but certainly not least, I need to decide what bills to pay right now. I don't want to spend every cent we have on bill payments but do need to get one or two paid.

Progress, one little step at a time...

A few recipes for homemade house cleaning items

February 26th, 2007 at 02:56 pm

This is a great carpet freshener:

1/2 cup borax
10-15 drops essential oil or fragrance oil (I use Sandalwood)

Mix together in a container with a fork, then sprinkle on carpet. Let sit for 10 minutes then vacuum.

Something like Oxyclean:

1 cup hot water
1/2 cup baking soda
1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide

Mix well.

This stuff is great and even removed old blood stains from a pair of gloves.
Just soak the item in it for 20 minutes to overnight and then wash as usual.
This will not harm fabric like bleach and seems to be color safe, too.

Something like Febreeze:

1 1/2-4 tablespoons liquid fabric softener (any brand and fragrance you like)
25 ounces water
32 ounces spray bottle, new and clean

Mix in a bottle and use as you would Febreeze.

Carpet Cleaner:

1/2 cup liquid Tide
1/4 cup Clorox II
1/4 cup white vinegar

Add this to 1 gallon of hot water in machine.

If you need to pre-treat some areas you can mix this in a spray bottle and spray the area before you start.

Daily After Shower Spray:

Fill a spray bottle almost full with hot water then add:

1 teaspoon borax
1 teaspoon washing soda
1 tablespoon liquid Castile soap (Dr. Bronners)
1/2 cup vinegar

Shake well before using. Make sure you put the hot water in first or it foams a lot. If you can't find the castile soap, try a few drops of Dawn dish soap.

Definitely not a no spend day & good news on the horizon!

February 26th, 2007 at 02:21 pm

The repair on the truck was only $135 instead of being around $700 as we figured. Yippeee! While we were out this morning we bought the double minutes plan for DH's tracfone, finally! Last month we went over the 600 minutes on my T-mobile and we've done it again this month. I don't use the phone much but with our ISP down for 3 weeks, the T-mobile was all we had and DH has been using it for business when we're out on a job so the bill is way too high. Now that he has his Tracfone that should end. We paid $140 for the double minutes plan and that included 420 minutes. Those will last him 2 to 3 months, probably.

There is a bit of good news, though. He did two wireless jobs over the weekend and has at least one and possibly two scheduled for tomorrow so that's more money coming in. I'm taking a bit out of all that comes in and putting it away. No set amount yet - just a little here and a little there. It makes me feel better to have a little bit stashed away. But we absolutely have to get caught up and that's where most of what he gets for the next two weeks is going.

We have plenty of food to last us so that shouldn't be much of an expense. The wireless jobs are all fairly local so gas shouldn't be a major expense, either.

Hey, I think there's light at the end of that long, dark tunnel!

Update on our finances :)

February 26th, 2007 at 06:14 am

Last week DH earned about $1,100 doing the commercial and wireless installs. There aren't any more commercial jobs to do right now but he'll be called if and when more come in. That could be a week or months, no telling.

As for the wireless installations, he should be able to stay busy with those. The pay isn't great but it should be enough to keep body and soul together and allow us to save some money, too. If he gets commissions for sales that would help tremendously! All the details aren't worked out but there's hope on the horizon. Smile

It feels great to have some work coming in and be able to pay bills on time!

Monday morning musings

February 26th, 2007 at 06:06 am

Well, I got up early, made DH's breakfast, cleaned the kitchen, and checked email. DH has a couple of wireless jobs to do today (yaaay, more money!) and I have some things to do around the house.

Laundry is caught up but I'm going to clean the bathroom and the kitchen and work on the front porch a bit.

Dinner tonight will be turkey dressing with gravy, green beans, spinach and salad.

I'm going to cook 5 lbs of chicken today, debone it, and stick it in the fridge for the coming week. We eat a lot of chicken, more than your average bears, I think! We prefer it over most beef and at .49 a lb for whole chickens and .29 a lb for quarters it's hard to beat pennywise.

This week we'll have chicken pot pie, chicken and dumplings and probably some kind of chicken and wild rice casserole. Yummy!

Anyway, that's about it for today...

My food budget is sooo blown this month!

February 25th, 2007 at 09:40 am

We've been doing a lot of commercial satellite jobs and they've taken us far from home. We're generally home each evening but on the road for hours a day. Well, because of that we've spent almost $400 on food so far this month! That might not seem like a lot to some but we generally spend less than $200 a month to feed 4 people so $400 by the 25th of the month, and a good deal of it fed only two people, is just outrageous! We have to put an end to that, period. We can't afford it. I don't think there will be more commercial jobs for awhile so that will solve most of the problem right there. But I need to come up with a back up plan in case we end up doing another one or two or twelve. The money is good so we won't turn them down but we need to not eat out every time we do those jobs!

Anyone have ideas on something to take to eat other than sandwiches?

Free food again! :)

February 25th, 2007 at 09:35 am

DH's aunt and cousin came to visit yesterday and brought us two boxes of food! They must think we don't eat enough, baaahahaha. Actually, they get a lot of poundage and give a good deal of it away and we just happen to be among the recipients.

We got:

6 large cans juice
16 cans of veggies (peas, mixed, carrots, yams)
a large block of Velveeta type cheese
a huge can of cooked and deboned chicken
2 lbs rice
2 lbs instant potatoes
Almost 4 lbs powdered milk
2 lbs macaroni
3 boxes cereal
3 pounds of quick cooking oats
5 cake mixes, including two of those fancy "ultimate dessert" type thingies, which I have never bought or tried before

Most of the stuff is too high in carbs for us to eat often but I do try to use it up. I think some of this last batch is going to the food pantry.

Today for lunch, though, I made homemade macaroni and cheese. DH doesn't eat it and I eat just a bit of it but the 22 year old son loves it so I made enough for him to take to lunch a couple of times over the next week. I think I'll make some goulash for the freezer, too.

Anyway, free food is pretty frugal, eh? Wink

Today's plans

February 19th, 2007 at 06:48 am

Today I'm going to clean the house, cook, wash some clothes and hang them on the clothes line. I have bread rising right now and plan to boil a chicken to be used throughout the week. I also have some ground beef that needs to be used so I'll use some in tonight's main dish. I'll put the extra in the freezer for some later date.

I'm also going to go over the budget spreadsheet again to see what we've spent that we shouldn't have. I know there's something!!

And I plan to clean out the truck. We're doing some commercial satellite receiver installation jobs and when we do that, we basically live in the truck so it's a mess. I need to get it all cleaned out in preparation for the upcoming wireless internet installations we'll do. Woohooo! I think that will keep us busy and keep the bills paid. Smile

Anyway, I have a busy day planned and I hope it's a frugal one!


My spreadsheet is working out

February 19th, 2007 at 05:01 am

The spreadsheet DH helped me make for keeping track of expenditures is working like a charm. Daily, I go through receipts and enter the expense in it, place, purpose, amount, date, method of payment, and it gives me a nice running total for the month. It's very helpful so far, so helpful that I created another one for income! Not that there's much of that right now but hey, there will be and I want to be able to efficiently keep tabs on it. Smile

Finally back! I think...

February 19th, 2007 at 04:29 am

Okay, the connection is back though it isn't the most stable one at this time. The new owner of the ISP is working on things so hopefully they will improve.

In the meantime, I need to get caught up on reading yall's entries. I'm so far behind! I hope I didn't miss anything really good. Wink

Still no internet but hopefully soon!

February 2nd, 2007 at 08:26 am

We still have no internet access but should soon, I hope. I'm checking email from the computer of the friend buying the ISP and he says he isn't sure when the T1 will be put in but he thinks it will be soon. Since he's the buyer, he knows a lot more about what's going on than the rest of us do.

So, we still have no access but I thought I'd check in and say I'm surviving. Barely. Wink

Moneywise, things are tight but they always are! Hope is on the horizon, I believe, though.

More to come later...