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Archive for January, 2010

From almost no debt to massive debt in less than 90 days

January 20th, 2010 at 04:54 am

or massive to us.

I haven't been around much because I got busy with work and other things. Then the man person ended up back in the hospital this past weekend. The stents that were put in back in November were 95% clogged so his interventionist put in medicated stents yesterday. The man should be out of the hospital this morning. I hope.

We have no clue how much this bill is going to be but my guess is it's going to be more than the last one. For one thing, he was in ER for 6 hours then in a room from Saturday evening to Monday waiting to see his physician. Then yesterday they finally put the stents in.

So, before November we had about $300 in debt and now we're probably well over $125,000 in debt. How discouraging. We can either ignore the bills or set up payment plans and I'm sure we'll go with payment plans but we'll probably die still owing on them.

The good news is the man person hasn't had a cigarette since Saturday and realizes this is the perfect time to quit. So, we're both going to quit. The money we save on smokes will help pay for the Plavix he's going to have to take for the next year to two years.

I'll post more later but that's where things stand with me right now.

Me and a loved one!

January 8th, 2010 at 08:02 am

Here is the first picture for the weekly picture taking challenge which I'll now refer to as Me and A Loved One. Gotta call it something so I might as well call it that.

I'm not photogenic at all but oh well!



Me and the man person I love so!



The man and his youngest son.

We got a picture of me and the boy but it's a horribly fuzzy picture so I won't put it up.

But there you have it, my first picture of me and a loved one. Smile

A no spend day, very cold weather, & the picture taking challenge

January 8th, 2010 at 04:38 am

Yesterday was my long a** shift at work (that's what I call it) so I took lunch of leftover crustless spinach and cheese quiche with a small piece of the lower carb faux cornbread I had leftover. I had that for lunch with some ice water and it was very good, indeed.

The man person and I went out for chinese but used our gift certificate which helped us finish the day as a no spend day. Yaaaay!

This morning it's 19 degrees out. Brrrrr! I don't go to work until this evening and then I work only a 3.5 hour shift so I hope to do very little today that involves going outside. I'd like to just stay inside if possible. I don't think any bills are due but I'll look over them and pay any that are, move some money into savings, and do a little more gathering of stuff to sell/give away.

Oh yes, my youngest step son is here so I'll probably put up a picture later of the two of us as part of my picture taking challenge from January 1st! I might even be able to get him to take a picture of me and the man person. If so, I'll share it.

Have a great day, all!

Our 2009 Overall Picture

January 6th, 2010 at 01:21 pm

2009 wasn't a banner year for us but we did get rid of a substantial amount of debt. Unfortunately, we also incurred $52,000 in new debt.

Before the man person's health crisis in November, we had $2000 in debt. After the crisis, we have $54,000 in debt.

Assets equal approximately one third of the debt.

The good news is that we have no mortgage, no car payments, no credit card debt. Almost all of the debt is to the hospital and physician.

So much for 2009. I'm glad it's over and I have high hopes for 2010!

(Insert heavy sigh here)

Drats! I keep forgetting my menu for the week

January 5th, 2010 at 01:26 pm

but here is this week's menu, late.

Sunday night we had Farmhouse Beef Casserole with steamed green beans. It was my first time making this casserole and it was good but I'll make changes next time.

Monday night we had lima beans with the lower carb cornbread I made. It was good and there are leftovers for lunches.

Tonight we're having Turkey Italian sausage and baked cabbage. The man person might have some of the limas with his.

The rest of the week we're having, in no particular order:

Cheese and spinach crustless quiche served with green salad and crispy steamed carrots

Vegetable chicken soup, made with the meat from two chicken legs and quite a few vegetables lingering in the fridge, served with low carb biscuits and butter

Spicy baked chicken served with green salad and stuffed mushrooms

Poor Man's Steak, leftover baked cabbage, and 1/2 a small baked potato each

And that's it for this week - thrifty but tasty and hearty.

Oh, and I only worked 5 hours today but I ran off this morning and forgot my snack so I ended up using $1.50 of my gift card. Other than that, though, no spending so far.

Not really a no spend day but...

January 5th, 2010 at 04:18 am

Thanks for the great ideas for winter comfort foods, y'all. I figured soups and stews would be the favorite and yep, that's pretty much what happened. I love 'em myself, though, and always appreciate new food ideas and y'all came through again.

I wanted cornbread with my lima bean dinner last night but it's too high in carbs so I experimented and came up with a pretty darn good substitute. I used Carbquick and a little bit of a cornbread mix I had lying around and came up with a concoction that actually produced a very cornbread like thing. Yaaaaaay! It's still a little too high in carbs for us to go nuts with but in moderation we should be able to have it once a week or so.

Yesterday four bill payments came out of the bank account but neither of us had personal spending so we sort of, kind of had a No Spend Day! :::insert weak cheer here:::

Brrr! Bad weather coming - what's your favorite cold weather food?

January 3rd, 2010 at 08:37 pm

Some bad (for this area) weather is being predicted for later this week. Apparently we're going to have lows between 15 and 20 for a couple of days and the chance of light snow Wednesday night and Thursday morning. Brrr! I don't like that at all, especially when I'm trying to keep the thermostat set at 70! If I could just get the man person to wear his thermals we might be able to save a little on heating.

Weather like what is coming means comfort food is necessary so tonight when I made our menu for the week to post on my cooking blog I figured in some things like stuffed mushrooms and baked cabbage. Both are things that are so very good when the weather is very cold. And they're easy and not expensive at all.

What's your favorite cold weather food and do you have a recipe for it? I'm looking for some new things to try and it would be great if y'all would share with me!

A sneak peek at my new database!

January 3rd, 2010 at 07:29 am

Here are some views of my new expenses database, which doesn't hold much data yet but will as time passes.

Here it is showing all records:



And here's a shot from after I did a find for all records with the category of "Dining":



By the way, that category name will change to "Groceries/Food". I have a few adjustments to make and a little tweaking to do but so far it's working quite nicely!

The Purge 30 in 30 Days Challenge

January 2nd, 2010 at 07:21 pm

I've decided to participate in the "Purge 30 in 30 days" challenge and am pretty psyched about it. I'd already planned to get rid of some things so this challenge helps me get started on that goal.

Most of the stuff I purge will be given away via Freecyle but I might sell a few things, too.

So far this month I've already given away 4 items on Freecycle. If I understand the guidelines, that's 1.5 points per item giving me 6 points as of today.

I'm just happy to be rid of those 4 items!

Shocking news, truly

January 2nd, 2010 at 03:22 pm

I have a cousin, Donna, whom I've never met. Donna is the daughter of my mother's formerly long lost sibling. Some years ago I found this sibling of my mother's and helped get the two of them together for the first time in over 50 years. Mom and her sibling have grown close over the years and as time, money, and health allow, visit one another.

As I said, I've never met Donna but my mother has met her, her husband Will, and their children. Apparently they're very nice people and due to diligence, hard work, and perhaps some luck (or maybe just great decisions), Donna and her husband did well for themselves. Very well - like to the tune of more than 50 million well. They lived a really nice, luxurious life, I think.

I found out today they've lost their homes, business, and just about everything else and Will is trying to find a job. When I asked my mother what happened, all she said was that he had a lot of money tied up in the stock market and "Apparently they made some bad investments."

Bad investments? Wow! What a shock this is to me. It doesn't affect my day to day life but it does affect my mother's sibling's day to day life and for that I'm profoundly sorry. I can't imagine the changes they're all going through and how hard this has to be for their family and I hope for only the best for them.

However, it really makes me not want to run right out there and invest. In fact, it makes me want to run screaming, "Fire! Fire!" in the opposite direction!

How do you deal with the kind of fear and uncertainty of something like this? I don't have a lot to invest but we're too old to lose our butts in the stock market or in any other investment.

Is there a way to invest with some certainty or security, even a little bit, or is that simply impossible in this world? Cash might be king but a house full of it won't help if the proverbial **** hits the fan, you know?

What's a girl to do?

Today's spending - too much! I bought lunch and drinks at work and spent $8.62. Bad Denise, bad! I only work five hours tomorrow but I'm taking food and drink with me.

One smallish 2010 goal met!

January 2nd, 2010 at 02:42 am

Okay, so it's not really that important but still...

I got in from work yesterday to find that the man person had gotten the database started. I've entered the last week of December's bills, payments, and other outgoing money just so I'd have some data in it and so far it seems to work well. It needs some tweaking and adjusting but it will be fine for what we need, I think. He doesn't think I'll keep up with it and he could be right but I think I will. I might need a little prodding here and there but we definitely need a way to keep up with things and I think this is it.

And there we go - one 2010 goal has been met! I had a very simple goal of finding an easy way to keep track of expenses and now that's been accomplished.

It's up to me to actually use it but the man person did his part and that little goal has been met. Yaaah for tiny baby steps!

Non-finance related mission for you all, if you dare!

January 1st, 2010 at 03:19 am

I got this idea last night from the owner of a Yahoo Group I'm in and she got the idea from a blog she read. I really love this idea and thought I'd pass it on here.

Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to be in one picture a week with someone for whom you care. This can be kids, spouses, friends, co-workers, even pets if you like!

I definitely am not photogenic and get a little freaked out seeing a picture of myself but if I did this every week for the next 52 weeks at the end of 2010 I'd have a nice collection of photos of me with people I care about. Even as a self-conscious person that appeals to me... not so much for the photos of me but for the photos of the people in my life. I have few photos of my daughter who died and just two of me with her and a small handful of photos of my sister and again just two of me with her. This is partially because I'm often the one taking the picture and partially because I'm so self-conscious. But that needs to stop.

I don't have kids here and don't even have a pet but I can get pictures of me with the man person, co-workers, my mom and stepdad, friends, etc.

And that's what I'm going to do. I'll even post the pictures here. I think that's a fine way to get 2010 going.

Are you brave enough to join me?