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Bought Town and Country with CASH!!!

January 4th, 2007 at 09:02 am

It's been a while since I've been on but am happy to say that financial goals are still being met. I've been crazy busy getting the house ready to go on the market, which happens Monday. Monday is also when DH and I fly out to CO for a househunting trip. It looks like out move date is February 8th and then we take 5 days to travel across the country to our new home.

I've been doing much better since I started taking Wellbutrin -- I don't think I could have gotten through all this mess as well without it. I'll probably taper off once we're good and settled in out there.

Oh, and DH and I bought a new-to-us van. We took it to GA for the holidays and I am thrilled -- I had no back pain at all! At all! That's unheard of for me. Usually after even 2 - 2 1/2 hours in my Saturn I would have problems.

And we got a great deal. An '05 single owner Chrysler Town and Country with only 18,000 miles on it WITH stow and go seating and lots of amenities for $14K. And we paid cash! WooHoo -- and I even got $1910 trade in value for my '98 Saturn with over 120K miles on it. Of course, we didn't even mention the trade-in until after we had settled on the price. So we only had to pay $12090 plus taxes and fees -- and we had saved $15000, so we still had more money left over to buy a GPS system. Oh, and other places were only offering me $1100 trade in value. I feel great about this purchase -- first time ever feeling good about an auto purchase!

Thrilled, thrilled, thrilled!

Well, I'll check in now and then, but won't have too much time to post on the forums. I hope you're all doing well and having a great 2007!

Boy it's Great to be Debt Free!

(edited to clarify trade in issue)

HSBC is a big problem

September 28th, 2006 at 05:00 pm

I can't log in to my new HSBC account -- AND they sent the customer ID and Password to my OLD address in Georgia, but sent the ATM card and PIN to my NEW (as of last december) address in Maryland! What is up with that!

I confirmed the amounts weeks ago and got all the info in the mail, but every time I try to log in it says "We're Sorry The service may be unavailable. Please close and reopen your browser and try again. If the problem persists, please call....". So I call, because the problem has persisted for DAYS and I'm onl hold forever because I don't have an account number until I can actually LOG ON! So I wait and wait and wait until I get on with someone who can't understand me and then we LOSE THE CONNECTION!

I have an accoutn with ING and it has been so great to use. I'm very disappointed in HSBC and am ready to withdraw the initial deposit and cancel the account altogether. I don't need this headache!


Ode to Ugly Footwear

September 14th, 2006 at 07:28 pm

(To an unaccepting, conformist society)

I can't wear my yellow slippers
Warm as they may be
because my yellow slippers
are not for THEM to see.
They're bright, they're old
they're worn clear through
Just like me, just like you,
My friends of old, to bar the cold;
My Knitted socks -- my Slippers.

I wrote that during my freshman year of college (1991) after my roomie gasped when she saw said slippers! I made a point to wear them every time she was around-- and especially if she had company! LOL

Sorry -- cleaning up a bunch of old files and keep coming across this stuff...

Came across this from December 1998

September 14th, 2006 at 07:04 pm

I was trying to write my annual Christmas letter. I was 25 and really in debt!

Here it is:
Why I Just Can't Die Today
(Not that I'd Planned to Anyway)[b]

My debts aren't paid,
my bed's unmade,
My desk's a mess--
I do confess!

I've dirty shirts
and rumpled skirts,
Dying plants,
Die now--I can't!

I have to get my life in line-
I've got to have a bit more time...
To clean the tub and file my taxes,
Write Christmas cards and fax my faxes...

To call my mother, sweep the floor,
Oil the hiings on my back door.
I'll start today, I really will
Then you can take me, spill for spill.

But I must warn, if you take me "up there,"
I'm a mess, I tell you, so Heaven Beware!

December 10, 1998

Needless to say, I didn't use it in my Christmas cards, but it kinda made me laugh a bit today when I saw it.
Update related to my recent blogs:
I now have an appointment with a therapist for Monday morning at 10:30AM. Tomorrow the movers come for 1000 lbs worth of stuff for DHs apartment. Still tons to do... oh well!

Called for help

September 13th, 2006 at 08:18 pm

Well, I called the Employee Assistance number for DHs work (I remember seeing those flyers on the employee bulletin boards everywhere I worked, but never knew anyone who called them). Nice lady asked me a lot of questions and then gave me the name of a local psychotherapist. So, I'll be calling her office tomorrow morning. I just wonder how soon I can set up and appointment. The movers will be here sometime Friday to load the furniture going to DHs apartment, then its the drive over there to unload all that plus what I carry in the car (1000 lb limit on what the company will move for free -- 1000 lbs really isn't much).

Then we'll spend the night over there, come back home Saturday, have a dinner obligation Saturday night, Sunday DH will leave again Frown, and then Tuesday I head to NC to help out sis and bil move out of their house, then drive to DC to fly out on Thursday to Minnesota -- spend a long weekend there and come back on Monday Sept 25th and then that Friday DH and I take off for a week long vacation in NH. So why do I feel overwhelmed? Yikes!

Okay, so I really want an appointment soon especially if meds are going to be prescribed ( and especially if they'd help!). I hear it takes a few weeks for them to kick in and I don't really want to wait to start all that in mid October when we get back from vacation... ugh. I really don't want to spend the whole vacation crying either -- and it happens spontaneously these days.

I'm worried that she'll want to see me tomorrow though and I'd love to make it through the day without crying, but I know I'll cry if I talk about it again. (I did just talking on the phone with the EA person). It just wears me out so much!

Anyway, I have set my alarm for 8 am, so that way I can call as soon as her office opens and can go if she can see me. I just hope I can get some sleep tonight.

Diagnosis Depression -- Result: Flowers!

September 13th, 2006 at 02:09 pm

Yep. It has struck me now, too. I've been trying hard to fight it, to ignore it, and to ovecome it, but it isn't working.

With DH working out of town full time now, and all the anxiety of an upcoming move with but no certainty of dates except that it will either be before Christmas or before St. Patricks Day. Cross-country. Where I'll be even farther from my home and my family in Georgia.

Where I have no job and haven't had one in a couple of years. And fear of getting a job just to have a job because it could negatively affect what I am offered once we do move and I get hired the company where DH works (and that being uncertain, although quite probable).

Let's just say that living without the lights on for a few weeks probably didn't help much (da*n frugality). Oh, and heredity plays its part, too. Dad has depression (severe, paired with PTSD from Vietnam), Grandmother had mental health issues including but not limited to depression as did aunt on the same paternal side. In fact, all the children on that side suffer from depression. On my mom's side we aren't as sure. Nothing was ever diagnosed anyway.

And now me. It was so hard for me to admit it to my husband. He admires strength and independence - and he doesn't appreciate low-self-esteem or weakness. But of course, he is a wonderful loving husband, and I shouldn't have worried about that, because he knows I am still strong and all of that, I'm just having trouble dealing with a heck of a lot right now. I mean, we haven't even been here 10 months yet! And already to be moving again... sheesh! And I'm the one who really has to deal with all of the moving and financial stuff as he works on the project out of town. He's just beginning to get an idea of how involved it all is. Of course admitting all of this over the phone was difficult too. I don't want him feeling additional stress worrying about this (it's no cakewalk for himeither, being away from me and dealing with all the pressure of a new job), but I need him to know and to be supportive, too.

And he is. He sent me flowers today. He never sends me flowers. Okay, that's not true. He sent me flowers on our 11th monthiversary when we were dating. That was November 14th, 2001. It was so sweet. Of course it made me cry (been doing a lot of that lately). I called his work number, but got the voicemail... he said he had a hard time understanding the message. Oh well, whiel most of my tears are no ones' fault he gets full credit for those. In a good way Smile.

And I have the number for the Employee assistance program so I can get a referral to a service provider here to determine if I just need psychotherapy (that sounds so intense, it's really just "talk therapy") or if I need medication as well.

I didn't want this to be happening to me. I wanted to be strong enough. But I'm being the strongest person I can by seeking help -- because I hate to admit that I am not coping well on my own.

It says "Look sexy naked"

September 4th, 2006 at 10:01 pm

Sorry, I couldn't help it -- that's what the link under my last entry said! Whatever gave them that idea???

Anyway, DH is out of town, so I will go to the gym and work out to try to get to that aforementioned place. Sheesh! But I got YOu looking, now didn't I? LOL

Now I just wonder if Jeffrey or someone is gonna remove this-- it's not my fault --it's some auto-link thing like "what color are your emotions" or whatever that show up on the page...

But it made me smirk, and now, just looking at the word smirk, it made me smirk again. What a funny work, I must really need to go to bed. Smirk smirk smirk...

'spensive weekend

September 4th, 2006 at 08:55 pm

How did it happen? We knew we were having people come in for the weekend, so how did it happen that I had no real food on hand for them? How is it that I ended up spending more than $100 for 3 days? I know part of it was 2 12 packs of beer and 2 bottles of wine, but even that was just $31 (as I type it I want to choke -- we nEVER buy beer/wine, I had no IDEA how $$$ it was!).

But then we had to have OJ (which I didn't have a coupon for because DH and I don't drink juice), coffee (no coupon, don't drink it), cheeses and crackers and pepperoni, salad, chips and pretzels, chicken breasts, hotdogs and buns... UGH! DH and I don't keep snack foods and stuff around because we both do Weight Watchers. So I didn't have coupons for ANY of that stuff. UGH!

At least I found a few sale prices! DH and I got a refund from our GA insurance company becasue they dind't process our homeowners cancellation for the right date of the house sale. So now he wants to add money to the food budget. I think we have enough of our kind of foods to get by without adding to it. We'll still have enough int eh budget to cover milk, bread, eggs... and we'll just have to empty the pantry a bit of some of the stuff that's been there a while. We'll see who wins this one -- (he'll probably get to put the money in, but themn I won't spend it and i'll get to take it out and put it in savings where it reallybelongs -- so hopefully we can both win!).

Anyway... the weekend is over and I can turn the thermostat back to 80 like I usually keep it and I can unplug all the appliances again and keep the lights off. DH loved telling of all my thrifty ways, but the folks just laughed - oh well...

Can I call this a blessing?

August 31st, 2006 at 07:39 am

I just found out my mom and dad in law may not get here until Saturday instead of tomorrow. I love them and I'm looking forward to their visit, but last night I got WAY sidetracked with housecleaning and organizing and didn't know how I was going to have everything done before they got here. Now it looks like I have a reprieve. I only got about 5 hours sleep after being on the phone with a cell phone company's customer service to iron out issues they created on my parents account. I used to work for the company, so I felt the burden to straighten it out. But I wwas dealing with it from 7PM last night until after 1Am when my call dropped (go figure) and when I tried to call back, I couldn't get through.

I got it all ironed out this morning, but that was 7+ hours I wasn't planning on spending doing that. And I had to sit still and take notes istead of scrubbing and organizing and doing laundry b/c A) you must take notes when dealing with customer service, and B) if I move around too much my call drops.

So, we'll have a shorter visit with the mom and dad in law, and that's a shame. But I can go take a quick nap and actually be able to rest a little witout worrying that they could show up early. Ernesto isn't going to let that happen!

And, to be fair, we could really use Ernesto's rain here -- it's been a drought like summer!

PS-- when I wake up I'm gonna Fly like the Flylady's never seen before! WooHoo!

Fighting mad!

August 30th, 2006 at 10:10 am

Okay, I'm going to rant, so if you don't wanna hear that kind of thing, just move on to my Inspiration report.

In July, DH and I stayed at a hotel in Stamford, CT on our way to NH (we stayed free due to accumulated points for business trips). We mistaskenly left the battery charger for our digi cam there. When we realized it, we called, but no one except the head of housekeeping can get into Lost and Found. The day we called was Friday, July 21. Head of Housekeeping (HoH) was out, but they would have her call us before she left for the day. No call.

So, Saturday we called, but HoH is off on weekends. We were told they would have her call us on Monday. No call. I called on Tuesday and was told that she had stepped out, but to call back in 20 minutes. I called 20 minutes later, and magically, she was gone for the day! I was SO frustrated!!! So I spoke with a manager who apologized and said my calls had not been logged properly. Well, I don't care if they are logged properly or not, I just want to find out if my charger is there (by the way, this is a NICe chain -- one of the Hilton brands). She promised to check with the HoH in the AM and she herself would call me the next morning. Of course, she didn't call until 4pm,but at least she called.

She said they didn't have the charger. Not their fault, but I was irritated that it took so many calls for me to find this out, especially when I had to keep calling back instead of them calling me. So she put me on with the general manager. I told him what happened, and he was apologetic. He then offered to REPLACE the charger, jsut because I'd had such a frustrating time with communications. So he told me to email him with the make/model #. (I did not expect this at all as it is not their fault -- maybe DH and I left it elsewhere, or maybe housekeeping didn't see it and the next guest thought it was their lucky day, who knows-- but since he OFFERED, and since I had had such trouble getting the answer... sure, I'll let him replace it).

I looked it up at Radio Shack's website and forwarded the link to him ($31.49 value). He emailed me and said he was having it shipped and included the traking # --Wow, I thought!

Humph. When the package arrived and when I opened it, guess what I found?!? My ORIGINAL charger! So it WAS there! Amazing!!! BUT, it no longer works. Now, I'm jsut wondering if it was maybe tampered with because I'd caused so many problems-- I don't know for sure, but, who knows. Anyway, I call the manager, just to let him know I received it and of course I mentioned that I was surprised it was the original and not a new one like I was expecting (since ours wasn't there). And I mentioned that it no longer worked. I didn't request anything, but he told me that if I replaced it and sent him a copy of the receipt, he would reimburse me. (Again, I did not expect him to offer this, but he did, so OKAY, I will take him up on it, especially since I've had so much trouble, yada, yada, yada).

Okay. So I go and buy a new one and send a copy of the receipt to the GM. I emailed him a week later to confirm that he had received it. No reply. I called to see if he had received the receipt OR the email and he had gotten both. He was going to send me a check or gift card. I emailed him as soon as we got off the phone ( like written documentation) and requested it be a refund since I have already bought the charger from radio shack and don't have any other purchases I need from there. No reply. I wait a week and email him again -- basically reminding him that the reason I was contacting him is because he OFFERED to replace it/reimburse it because of a lack of communications where his staff did not get back in touch with me in a timely manner! I also included that once I receive the reimbursement, he won't have to hear from me again, except to acknowledge receipt of the check for his records. NOTHING.

So I call today, and of course, he is at a GM meeting out of town and won't be back until next week. The lady in charge goes on about how the charfer doesn't work isn't their fault -- True, I say, but that's no longer the point. The GM OFFERED to first, REPLACE it since it WASN"T THERE, and then when it didn't work, he was going to REIMBURSE me! So, the latest is that she is going to email him or call him at his conference (she won't give me his district managers name -- not to worry, I can find it) and she will get back to me today. We'll see!

UGH! I hate being lied to. And I feel like that's all I've gotten from this hotel! It's less about the $$, and more about the fact that the whole reason I was getting anything is because they couldn't be bothered to call me back. SHEESH!

Okay, breating in, breathing out. In...Out. Venting is done. Veins popping out of my neck are retracting. Steam coming from ears has successfully de-wrinkled nearby curtains, and fangs and claws have retreated.

Some show, huh?

Flex Spending account...

August 29th, 2006 at 06:56 pm

So, I have just filled out all the forms to get reimbursement for my and DH's over the counter meds and chiropractic adjustments. I hate paperwork - yuck! yuck! yuck!

And I just know they're going to pull something with the Chiropractic. If we went to the chiro. and filed through our employer based insurance, every visit would have been $50 each and re-scans would have been another $50 each. Instead I signed us up for the PCD payment schedule, which is basically a plan that reduces the cost per member. If DH and I get adjusted on the same day then mine costs $35 and his is only 1/2 or $17.50. And rescans are 1/2 price at $25 each.

So I have letters of medical necessity from the doctor and all the receipts and itemized lists of services received. I just hope they don't give me crap about it not being through our "real" insurance. But the total of $987.50 through the reduced payment plan would have equated to $2300 if I'd gone through work's plan. That's a savings of $1312.50 right there that can be used to reimburse all the crazy dental work going on in our mouths.

I just don't want to have to fight with them... I hope I don't have to. Augh -- I hate even thinking about it. Sheesh!

OTC meds added up to $179.34 so far for the year. Mostly sudafed and allergy meds -- oh, and a little cold medicine early in the year. And we're going to run out of FSA money before the year is up. We thought $4000 would be plenty, but this new dentist is great -- very proactive, but it also means a lot of work is getting done and since we maybe moving and we really trust this dentist and like his office, we're biting the bullet (don't let HIM know-- I'm now even supposed to bite into Apples anymore! Wink ). Oh well...

I can hear her now...

August 28th, 2006 at 09:27 am

The one who once revelled in eating the first ripe berry from the branch and having it explode with all its succulent flavor is scratching her way out -- she's rekindling the romance within me, and I am so thankful she is not lost. I can't wait to really get to know her again. I'm sure she's changed and matured a bit, but I hope not too much. I hope not too much.

We are all Connected

August 28th, 2006 at 09:26 am

Beautifully connected. I admit, I'm on a high -- not a hyper type high, but a peaceful high. I have just come from a one hour massage. I had received a check for my birthday from my mother and father in law, and I chose to spend it on a 1 hr massage (for which, of course, I had a 25% off birthday coupon).

What a good decision. After my post last night, I really slept well. And this morning, I awoke feeling refreshed and excited about the decisions I have made to make a better life for myself.

My masseuse, Janine, was amazing. I could feel the compassion and strength infusing me. I tuned into that compassion and peace and I soaked it all up. I think I spent half the hour just praying; thanking God for never deserting me, and unburdening myself of guilt for being so distant. And the connections I was feeling through Janine's hands and arms and upon myself -- it just made me so very aware of how connected we all are. You and I and all of us, and how those connections influence our decisions, our attitudes, our thoughts, and our actions.

I watched the movie Pay it Forward last week and it feels like an echo of that, what I'm feeling now: connections...connnections...connections

Your posts on my blog influence the way I feel, and react, and respond. Your posts on the threads have helped me save money, and time, and have inspired me to be more attentive to financial matters, and emotional matters; personal and family matters. You make me grateful for all I have, and hopeful for what I will have. Not the material goods, but the peace, and the security, and the knowledge that I can influence other lives.

I feel calm and resolute. I feel joyful in a quiet, whispered way. And I feel grateful. I feel grateful.

Where is the One I used to be?

August 27th, 2006 at 08:33 pm

I get so frustrated sometimes. You know? I've gotten over the part where I beat myself up over wasted money, but now I'm really frustrated by all the TIME that I've wasted. Time wasted watching TV. Time wasted procrastinating. Time wasted doing heaven knows what.

And they aren't things I particularly even care to do, I think it's just habit and of course, it's often easier to do.

Things I wish I spent more time on. Writing. I used to have a knack for words. Poetry spilled out of me. Letters to friends and loved ones were missives ... now... well, I feel like I'm likely boring anyone who bothers. Heck, I'm boring myself most of the time. Forgive me for still writing -- but practice and habit -- maybe it'll bring me back to where my words mean something once again.

I used to feel so inspired! Now, mostly I just feel tired. I'm tired of picking up the same messes DH leaves behind. I'm tired of getting caught up in peoples petty annoyances. I'm tired of feeling bored with my life, and I have GOOD life! I'm just not doing enough with it right now, and that's a shame. I am not working right now, and I know that's part of my little blueness, but it's also a grand opportunity. To write! To draw! To paint! To create! to learn a new skill. To put a puzzle together and frame it, to write letters, real letters to loved ones.

AUGH! Why can't I just DO IT! Am I SO undisciplined that I can't schedule myself an 8 hour day of living!?

This really, really bothers me, but I'm afraid that every time I say I'm going to do better about it, the redundancies and mundane tasks of life interrupt and then I just fall back onto the sofa and watch that darned Erica Kane on All My Children, or I end up on the computer spending an hour or more filling out freebie forms.

Somehow, I have to do better by myself. I deserve it. Freebies are fun and All My Children is mindless, but they don't REALLY matter in the end if my mind is dulled and the art has died within me. I just have to wake her up again. The one inside who once whispered to me in my dreams. The one who was inspired and FELT so much more. The one who wept and laughed and smiled and hugged and loved--daily! The one who read and wrote and played! I want to meet her again within myself, to draw her out. I deserve it! My husband deserves it! And frankly, she's a lot more fun to be around!

And I know that I just have to do it and not let this hope die as I dream tonight. I have to clean the house tomorrow, but she has to be a part of it. She has to be invited, and she just has to show up for me. I have to know that "she" hasn't abandoned me the way I abandoned her.

Heaven help me, I need her.

Making progress

August 27th, 2006 at 10:06 am

Okay, just checking in. I've definitely spent too much time today on the boards already, BUT I did finish 2 units in my current class.

Academic goal: Finish course by Christmas.
On track. I have 3 more units to go and I'm done with this class and then only have 5 classes left to complete the program.

Employment: NA until after the move

Financial: Have 16K in car fund by Christmas.
Will add to car fund on Friday 8/1

House: Have home ready to show by Nov. 1st.
Having houseguests next weekend. May not get to this until after they leave.

Faith: Go to church at least 3x per month, read Bible daily.
Not yet. Slept in today and didn't get to church.

Exercise: Go to gym daily.
Again, not yet. DH is in town and we've been working on house projects

Art: Write or paint at least 2x per week.
Nope. And probably not until after all this family comes in town

Read: 1 non financial book per month.
Okay, I'm doing this one. Still enjoying David Copperfield. It's one of the books that I've had for years and never read. Trying to get through those and library books anbd not buy new ones.

DH just got home from the woodshop. Gotta go fix him lunch. Smile