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Archive for May, 2005

Mulberrys are ripe!!

June 1st, 2005 at 01:50 am

Took a load of garage sale items to school for the school fundraiser. I still have about 5 more loads (at least) in my house to take. I am going to take another load over shortly.

Also took daughter #2 (the one who has been so sick) for another checkup at the Children's hospital in the city. She had one last week, one this week, and now we don't have to go back for 3 weeks. I still have to track all her input and output. She also has to have 12-16 grams of fiber (foodwise) per day, in addition to her medications.

On the way home, we went buy and looked at another farm that we have an appt to see on Thursday night. Looking at the house and reading the description I am not sure. It is very possible there is no heat (or electric) in the house. It appears they heat with wood, and I saw no electrical service, and no spans of electric going from the service pole to the house. Guess I will find out on Thursday. But, it does appear to have fruit trees, and an outside firepit which looked real cozy. It has 20 acres, 2 barns and 2 ponds, and an old fashioned root celler. It is on hilly land, and to pump water from the ponds to the garden spot would be uphill. It is halfway between my work and the girls school, and on the corner of blacktop and gravel. Currently it has horses there, so the fences are in good shape. The price is very very good-for 20 acres, and acutally my housepayment would go down from what it is now, as the interest rate is lower and I would be paying down half of it on the down payment from the sale of my house. But, it will depend on what the house is like.

If we get to the country, I would have to get a small tractor (to mow) and a tiller. But I would not be paying monthly to : city water $40, city sewer $30, trash service $18. I could get back to canning and putting out a big garden and raising our own meat. Not having to pay for meat, fruit and veggies is a huge savings too. I already have the canning jars from when I canned years ago.

When we got home, I checked the mulberry trees, and they are ripening. We picked about a gallon before it got to dark. I pick the trees, the girls pick the ground. The entire time we were picking a bird was going nuts. I am not sure if it was because the cat was with us, or because we were taking 'his' berries. we also got several strawberries out of the patch.

house for sale

May 30th, 2005 at 04:27 am

My house is now on the market. I thought I had found another one out in the country, but someone counter offered and pretty much blew me out of the water. It was in the town that the girls go to school in, about 8 miles from here. I am wanting to get something either there or inbetween there and here, as I work here. That was the first place we saw that we all liked. It was and older farm house with all the orginal old woodwork and the old kitchen. It was already all fenced and in move in condition. Had fruit trees, strawberry patch, garden-everything I have here that I didn't want to leave behind. I have not had anyluck in finding anything else. I did see one listed, but when we went driving to find it, we couldn't. The listing sounds good-its 20 acres, but you never know until you see it. It is either an old listing they forgot to take off the internet, or else the sign is not up. I am going to call about it on Tuesday-I doubt they are open Monday with the holiday. Meanwhile, I am afraid my house may sell before I find something else. I hate to wish bad luck on people, but I am hoping the deal on the first house falls thru so it goes back to me. (Shame on me), Since the interest is lower, my payments would be the same as what they are now at my current home. We need to move to the country so bad..my kids need more running room (as well as all our pets), and I really want a big garden and to do canning again and raise our own meat.

new job this fall

May 19th, 2005 at 03:18 am

Got hired by the local city to teach a class this fall at the park and rec community building. It will be 1 night a week, for a couple of weeks--beginning sewing (hand sewing) for children. I am still working on the project list, but am trying to get 5 simple sewing projects. I am planning on using felt when possible, so we wont have to worry about fabric unraveling. So far I have: #1 pillow or pin cushion, #2 hand puppet (will use button eyes, to teach how to sew on buttons, #3 bandana shirts-take 2 bandanas, sew them together and the sholders and sides to make shirt--BUT I need an alternate idea for "heavy" girls or boys. Still need 2 more good ideas that would take about an hour each. This will be in the fall, before Christmas so that what they make can be used for gifts if they want. Thinking of possibly a 2 peice stuffed animal, but am trying to limit stuffing if I can, as it is messy. Any simple ideas would be welcomed. These will probably be children in the 7-10 age range. For pay, I get a percentage of the class tution, and free use of the pool and all for my family.

lawn mowing after thought...

May 14th, 2005 at 05:28 pm

maybe i should ask the neighbor what she pays him to mow hers, and undercut him by $5 and do it my self..she has a little yard (i am on a triple lot), with no trees (i have a ton of trees) and i could make a little more each week...

saving while shopping and mowing

May 14th, 2005 at 05:26 pm


I had coupons for buy 1 get 1 free I used at Dollar General for White Rain products. I got 22 bottles of shampoo, and got 22 bottles of conditioner free. Their shampoo (full size) is only 75 cents a bottle, but they had a rack in the back of stuff marked down, and had some bottles for 25 cents each (not anymore, I got them all). We have over a year supply now of hair products. they also have some smashed boxes of mr clean erasers for 50 cents a box, and i had 50 cent off coupons. I got a large cartful of stuff, for around $14. including some items for the girls school lunches. Then I went to Aldi's. Plenty of food in the house, but the daughter who has been ill, can only eat high fiber foods now. So, got raw veggies, dip (to encourage her to eat them) cereal and geronala bars. I had to read all the labels to get the high fiber ones. She is supposed to drink pear juice, but all I can find is pear juice by gerber in the little bottles, so i am still looking for it. Also, aldi's was out of stone ground wheat bread, so will have to get that later.
Need to mow now. The neighbors have theres done, and I asked the guy for an estimate on mine. He wanted $60 to mow mine, so I guess I will go save about $58 in mowing mine ($2 is for the gas to do it...)

spent money today

May 13th, 2005 at 02:29 am

Took daughter #2 to the specialist today (insurance covered). Was a quite lenghtly visit. We are trying to control part of her health problems by diet. So, we are having to write down every single item she eats, maintain a certain number of grams of fiber at each meal, record the "output", eat at specific times.... We did stop and eat at Perkins on the way home. I did not take a sack lunch, as I did not know what her new diet would be. He changed her allowed and not allowed foods quite a bit. We go back in 2 weeks. Then if all is well, we will continue every 2 weeks or once a month. We made 1 stop on the way home, and looked at manufactured homes. I found one I really liked. It has as much room as my current home, more storage area and a more sensible floor plan. Now, if I can just find some land in the country. We really want to move out so we can grow more of our own food and our own meat and eggs. It is also is in the right price range.
It is raining out now, so I will not have to water the gardens tomorrow!! Currently I have a strawberry bed, cucumbers, zuchinni, tomatoes, peppers, garlic, onions, basil, parsley, dill, and my flowers in. Still need to plant the sunflowers, squash, more cucumbers and the watermelon.

gardening today

May 11th, 2005 at 04:36 am

Tonight, after school, the girls and I worked in the garden. We planted zuchinni and cucumbers. I turned the compost pile over--I have some really good black dirt in it now, as well as some potatoes that are sprouting in it. I put in 16 hills of zuchinni. I hope I get a ton of them. I like to shread it, pack it up in 2 cup quanities and freeze it. (a loaf of zuchinni bread calls for 2 cups). I also make zuchinni pie-make it just like pumpkin-it even tastes like a light pumpkin. I have used up all the beds, but have more garden I want to put in. I have one sunny spot in the yard that I think I can turn over and add some compost to and put in more--I still have seed left for pumpkin, squash and more cucumbers. I only got 3 hills of cucumbers in tonight. I like to make pickles. I will need to get some landscape timbers-about 8 of them. We are starting to get strawberries--about 2-5 rippen each day. The girls eat them as fast as they see them. When they start coming on some more, I will freeze them. Tomorow I go back to work. I hope daughter #2 makes it ok at school without me. She did real well today-till about 4 p.m. Then she started not feeling well, and had a major temper tantrum. I set up my budget today. Now that I am going back to work, and will be having full paycheck again, it looks like every month I will have $795 leftover. I am glad I had my emergency fund to help, and if my cousin had not sent me a check, I would have really been in trouble. This time, I will put 4 months salary in my EF at least. Then, I will really start hitting the house payment and knock it on down. I now owe just under $50,000 on the house. My Sears card is at zero. I do use it a couple times a year, but pay it off when I get it. I am also going to start doing more on ebay again. I do have some stuff at the local clothing consingment store, and lately I kind of "just trade". I did get some cash from it awhile back, but as the kids grow, I have just applied it as a credit when I get them something.

secret shopper

May 10th, 2005 at 04:56 am

Just read my email. I have been invited to secret shop my local grocery store. I get to spend $10 in groceries-which they reimburse me for, rate the place, and get paid $10 for doing it Best thing is, it is the cheapest grocery store in town, and I can go a long way with that $10 in there. Last time I secret shopped, they put it in my paypal account to reimburse me the same day I shopped, and 3 days later paypaled me the money I got paid to do it. This one is a different company though, so I am not sure how long it will take to get paid.

Frugal Day and then some

May 10th, 2005 at 04:51 am

62 cents today. Actually I ordered food totaling $2.62 from taco bell, but had a $2 coupon. Then, I was looking over the bills, and a lightbulb went off in my head. I am supposed to have only a $15 copay each time I go to the dr. I pay it with my flexcare medical visa card from work each time I go to the dr. So, why am I paying payments on my surgery from last winter still?? I called the insurance company to ask why--seems they paid a claim of $435 that my dr shows as unpaid. I have paid $135 on this. The insurance company called the dr office and kept me on hold while they called them. Pretty soon, the insurance company comes back on the line and tells me he spoke to Kahty at the dr office, and they are sending me a refund check of $135. Evidently, my payment from the insurance was applied to someone elses account with the same first inital and last name.
Then, I called dishnetwork. I was on the cheapest package they had--60 channels for $31.98. I sent them an email last week, asking if there was anything else cheaper. Come to find out, I can get the local channels only for $5.99, plus a $5 fee for not having a package, plus $4.95 for the second receiver. So, I went that route. That changed my dish bill from $31.98 to $15.98. I was going to do vacation rate, but with tornado season coming, I like the idea of getting the local stations. I can not hear the warning sirens at my house. I ordered some coupons from frugal and free. I got a bunch of white rain buy one get one free coupons. My local drug store has whiterain shampoos and conditioners on sale for 75 cents each, so I can get 20 bottles for $7.50. I also got some shampoo a couple weeks ago when it was on sale at walgreens, and i have a rebate coming back on that -it will about cover what I spent the first time. So, I probably wont need to buy anymore shampoo for the rest of the year--unless I see it marked way down and have coupons again.
Lastly, I went buy a "mini farm" for sale today. If I sold my house for $150,000 (which 2 realitors said would be the correct asking price) I could get this place and owe nothing. I owe less than $50,000 on my current home. This place I looked at is selling for $90,000. The reason it is selling low, is because even though it is in the country, there is a race track about 1/2 mile from it and on Saturdays it is noisy. Since I normally work on Saturdays, and its only 1 day a week, I could handle that for no payments... It is 7.5 acres, and fairly close to my parents-just a few miles away. I am going to call tomorrow for more info on it. It looked good from the outside, but may be junk inside-who knows... lots of room for a big garden and maybe a horse and cow. It also had a couple of outbuildings, one which looked big enough to park my camping trailer in. It is also on rural electric, which is cheaper than town electric, plus you earn dividends back. So, tomorrow I will call and get more info on it. Wed I go back to work, Thursday, daughter #2 goes back to the dr, and Friday I work. Will be strange working, as I have been off with her being sick since March 8.

Frugal Day

May 9th, 2005 at 05:21 am

Only spent 99 cents today, and that was to get the Sunday Kansas City paper-for the coupons. I dont understand why the paper is always 99 cents at walgreens, but $1.25 everywhere else-the $1.25 price is printed on the front even. Walgreens sale this week is not as good as usual. But, with my coupons it looks like I should still be able to get toothpaste free and also deoderant. I really don't need either one, but if I can use copouns when they are on sale to get them for free, I will. They have their all laundry detergent on "sale" 2 for 5.99 or as they put it, buy one at 5.99 and get the 2nd free. But, even aldi and the dollar store beat their "sale" price with their everyday price. Sometimes their sales aren't such a good deal. I washed and hung 2 loads of laundry today. They still are not dry--its been rainy and damp out today. I may have to use the dryer if they aren't dry by morning, as the last load was the girls school uniforms which they will need tomorrow. Made pizza today for lunch. I don't use pizza sauce, but use Aldi's speg sauce instead. It tastes just the same at half the price. I have our lunches all packed for tomorrow--bologna and cheese sandwhiches juice, pudding, green beans, muffins and graham crackers. Usually the girls eat the muffin for their morning snack, and the graham crackers for their afternoon snack. I save old juice bottles, and refill them then freeze them. Buy lunchtime they are thawed out, but still chilled, and it keeps the rest of the lunch cool also.
Daughter #2 has another xray tomorrow, so she will miss part of school again. That means 3 trips back and forth to school tomorrow. Its exactly 8 miles from my house one way to school. Also, another $15 copay for the xray. My house payment was supposed to have come out of my checking account automatically on Friday, and I just checked the bank and for some reason it did not come out. That is odd, I will have to remember to check it again tomorrow.

Good News!!

May 8th, 2005 at 12:38 am

Thanks to who ever gave me the stars, and to Princess Perky for the uplifting advice!!!
I opened my mail Thursday night, to discover a check for $1000.00 in the mail. It was from my cousin, who will never realize what this means to my girls and I right now. (Yes , I did send him a big thank you letter!!!). With this and what is left in my savings, I should make it through until I go back to work. The plan was I would return on May 11, but daughter #2's symptoms are returning. She has an order to get an xray here at the local hospital. Twice we have tried, but it was a 2 hour wait, so we came back home. We will try it later before bed-this time I will call first. The hospital is only a couple blocks from my house. We are not sure if she is getting the blockage in her colon again, or if her medications are just to strong. If the blockage is back, we will head back to Children's Mercy. If there is no blockage on the xray, we will cut down on her meds.
Today was the last event at the local Elks Lodge for kids this week. They had something going about every night. Today, at noon they had a free cookout for all local kids and their families. After the cookout, they had an easter egg hunt (yes, in MAY--the orginal one at easter was rained out). Then they had a kite flying contest. My daughters raked in the prizes. Again, just like scout night, hardly any kids showed up, so the prizes were deep. We have about 10 gift certificates for a free dinner from Applebees. Also coupons for free milkshakes at Sonic, free stuff from Mr Goodscents, pencils, candy, gum, t shirts, and a $5 bill, free happy meal cards from McDonalds. With money tight, my kids will eat!!! The lord does provide!
We also went to Walmart. I recharged my Walmart gift card with $50, then got gas on it. If you use the gift card at the pump, you save 3 cents a gallon. I got gas then for $1.94 a gallon. That is the lowest I have paid in a long time. I did not use all the card, but at least I have it. I figure its a waste of gas to park, go in and get the card, then come back out and drive over to the station. So, I just put several gas trips on it. Did a load of laundry and hung it out, or should I saw I hung it in, as my line is inside. I also washed out the baggies from school lunches this week and hung them to dry a well. (Yes, I admit, I am a baggie washer.)

cheap day

May 6th, 2005 at 02:26 am

Spent $5 yesterday-on a rabbit. daughter #1 needed it for her 4H. But, since we already had another rabbit, we already have the food, and a hutch, so it wasnt bad. the other rabbit cant be shown, and she has to have one for her rabbit show coming up in a couple of months.
Spent $2 today. One of the girls got sick at school, (from her cough medicine-upset her stomach) so I took her to the cafe for a sprint. That perked her up enough to go back to school for the rest of the day. Washed one load of laundry, hung it to dry. Watered the strawberries, tomatoes and peppers.

2nd no spend day

May 4th, 2005 at 03:05 am

Have only spent $8 this month so far. However, Friday the mortgage is due, so this won't last long. I have a room off my kitchen that has a stone floor, 2 stuco walls, 2 glass walls (litterly-glass windows that run floor to ceiling) and a huge skylight in it. It has a built in flower bed along the length of the room, that has no bottom to it--just goes into the earth. I think at one time this room was actually a patio, and then closed in. It also has a water connection in it. I keep a lot of my plants in it, and today decided I am going to dig up all the ivy that is in the flower bed (has been there the 20 years I have been in this house) and put tomatoes in it. I think I can maybe get a longer growing season out of them. The bed is 2 ft wide, and 18 ft long, so I can get several plants in it. If tomatoes dont work, I will do herbs or strawberries. The room is on the south side of the house. It does freeze at night during the winter, but even when it is zero out, if the sun is out, it will reach the 70's in that room. I just hope I can get all the ivy out it is thick and I bet the roots never end on those plants. I did get all the plants I got Sunday in the ground. That gives me a total of 62 strawberry plants now. Some already have green berries coming on. I hope to get enough to freeze and maybe make some jam.
We went to scout night at the elks lodge tonight. was a free dinner for all. only 4 scouts showed up, they were expecting at least 50. so, each kid there won a door prize of a free dinner at sonic and a free cookie at mr goodcents. on saturday the elks are having another freebie--bbq at noon, followed by a kite flying contest, and an easter egg hunt. yes easter--the hunt this year was rained out, and they still had all the eggs. each egg contains at least candy, but a lot will contain prizes and gift certificates. my girls are excited about going. i may take their cousins with us too, as they are about the same age.
seems like when it rains it pours. I have 3 vacumme cleaners. one for upstairs, which broke several weeks ago-i fixed it, and it broke again. now the downstairs one quit today. so, i got out the third one-which had worked fine--(neighbor had it in the trash when they moved--i grabbed it free) and it will still work, but today it started running for about 5 minutes, then it quits. after it cools down, it will come back on. all 3 are the same make and model, so maybe out of the 3, i can rework them to get 1 or 2 of them to work, by parting one out.
went to school with dr #2 again today. she made it through the morning, so our goal for tomorrow is to try and go all day. she is still so tired from her hosptial stay and being sick.

no spend day

May 3rd, 2005 at 03:36 am

Spent no money today. Did get $10 of gas, used the free Walmart card I got thru mypoints. When you put it on a card, you get a 3 cent a gallon discount, so I got 5 gallons of gas free. I also ordered another card off of mypoints as I earned more points. Today was daughter 2's first day back to school since april 8. She did good for 2 1/2 hours, then fell asleep. The dr said to work her back into school gradually-so we went home. She slept all day long till we went to get her sisters at 3 p.m.

free walmart card from mypoints

May 1st, 2005 at 06:34 pm

I am just now getting the mail gone through from being gone to the hospital most of last week. I belong to mypoints, and I had cashed in some points for a walmart gift card. it arrived in the mail while we were gone. I will use it for gas, as when you use these, you get an extra 3 cents a gallon off. that will help a lot. if anyone wants info on joining my points, let me know--i can get an extra 100 points for every person who joins thru me. basically i just take surveys and visit websites to earn the points. you can also get points if you order online thru certain busiesses, which are all businesses i use anyway.
i also went thru my bills for may:
house payment $670
electric $111
water & sewer $ 40
trash $ 16
storage unit $ 70
girls tution $527
dish network $32
cell phone $44
house phone & dsl $75
ozark pioneer $160
gasoline $100
monthly bank fee $7.50
milk & groceries $25.00
auto insurance $275
dr bill for dau $350
hospital for dau $250
grand total $2752.50

I currently have $370.00 in the bank, and $1200 i savings. That means I am short this month 1182.50.
I know I can make payment arrangements on the house phone. I will put the dish on vacation rate, that will be a charge of $5 for June instead of the full amount. I will have to see about withdrawing money from my Ozark Pioneer fund-which is already low as I had to split it with the ex. I can not make payment arrangments on the electric, as it is already on the level budget plan.

Now for the biggest problem of all--Most of my montly bills come directly out of my checking account automatically. So, I dont have the option of "skipping a few" of them this month. I will only write checks for the dr, hospital, milk & groceries, and gasoline. I think I can get thru May--just barely, but, since I go back to work around May 11, my may 20 paycheck will only have 2 days on it. the next check will be june 3.

Next problem, since I will have been off work for more than 30 days, I am losing my insurance at work until July 1. To get state medicade insurance, you have to have been without insurance for 6 months or more according to the state website, so daughters followups will all have to come out of my pocket. i am going to call the state on monday though, to see if exceptions are made for children with a health problem.

If anyone has any ideas or suggestions, I am open to any and all.
i cant drop my dsl--i get it at half rate as an employee, and if i drop it, and add it back-i lose my half rate as they have done away with that as an employee discount--i was grandfathered in on it. plus i am going to try and sell some stuff on ebay also. the girls school tution is not an option either. only 3 weeks of school left, i cant move them to public schools now, and even if i did, i still have to pay the balance-