Saturday, July 21, 2012

12 in 2012 Update - Late again

Update #5

Somehow I forgot all about this in June, again. So much for me being on top of things.

1. Lose weight - Well, two pounds less than the last weigh in. I stalled on this one. I haven't been tracking what I eat in weeks and weeks. I did well this week by eating more fruits and vegetables. It was easier since the husband worked out of town. There was no rush to make dinner or pleasing others in what was cooked. It was actually a pleasure to cook. 

2. Get to selling - Etsy was a wash. All my items expired. I only sold a hand full of items. I have been seeing a little better on I have done even better on Ebay. Since the beginning of the year I have now sold a total of 50 items. Not bad for the novice. I think I like selling books the best - cheap to find (and I am selling off my years of collecting plus old textbooks) and easy to ship. Media mail is my friend. The husband is even in on the online selling. He keep finding deals and turning them around faster than I do. He is now 7 NASCAR cars deep in his biggest money maker. Of all my goal this is one I want to expand on. It paid for the last vacation and I hope it pays for the next. 

3. Pay off my mom - I had to work out a problem with my payments not showing on the invoices. Then my other aunt sent in a bunch of money. I am down to $300 owed. I am in the home stretch. Now I just have to pay it off and pick her cremains up myself or have a trusted family member do it since my other aunt is trying to cause more bills with her (solo) idea of putting the urn in the ground. I am just trying to keep to my mother's wishes. She wanted to be cremated. She wouldn't want us paying another $900 to open the ground to put in an urn. 

4. Put down flooring - Holding steady at 4 rooms. No new flooring on months. 


5. Paint 2nd bedroom - We sure have a lot of paint accumulated, but no painting yet. The nephew has taken over the room. I still plan on painting it what I want when we get to painting. 

6. Paint and try to start redo on the kitchen - The moving the cabinets idea has been replaced with building all new cabinets. Ten feet of cabinets, with doors. The added costs pushes this project back. But it gives me time to find the Plexiglas for the doors and handles. 

7. Get the shed out of the 2nd bath - The husband cleaned out the bathroom turned shed completely right before the nephew came in May. It is now a boys bathroom, so I don't use it. 

8. Green it up - I am now up to 3 animal planters - the original rabbit (below) who is now pistachio colored, a silver lamb and a pistachio frog from 1978. They all have succulents and aloe. I also have another two plants. They all live by the kitchen window. I am deciding between a spider plant and a fern for the hanging plant I want to put into my orange macrame hanger. 

9. Take care of the finances - Well, as someone may have read on the previous post I completed the bankruptcy. I have a new bank account and I am starting the "paying myself first" plan. I also told the husband that I am not going to be the one who bails people out. I am on time with all my bills. 

10. Do more, compute less - I am still on the computer almost daily. Slow internet is keeping me from it some days. I actually didn't read email for a couple days and didn't know I sold a couple books. I need to check in to know if items sell, but I am reading more. 

11. Downsize - I have yet another box to give away. I am actually parting with some books that haven't sold. I need to make another sweep of the house. The husband thinks my asking for him to go through his drawers is actually a scheme to make him have less stuff. Poor thing. 

12. Sew something - I sewed a pair of pants last week. The husband says he has some things he wants to sew. If I would get off my duff I would be sewing some Christmas ornaments. I worry I don't know what I am doing. 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Happy Birthday Me!

It was a big day out yesterday for the birthday. The husband slept in since his work schedule (overnights) has him all out of whack. I wasn't feeling so great myself.

I wanted to go to Hamburger Mary's. Not too long ago one opened in Jacksonville. I figured the husband would like it since they have big burgers. We also tried the fried pickles, or as they call them, the Brittany Spears. They were great. The burgers were indeed big and tasty. The waitress was awesome. It was quiet in there even with it being a Saturday.

Since we were in Jacksonville we stopped at a couple thrift stores. As what seems to be the usual now, the husband found the most stuff. We were well behaved and only spent $6. He found another NASCAR car to resell. I believe this is number 4. He also found the cutest polar bear to go in his camo bedroom design, right next to the stuffed deer.

I found another interesting old game. Bowl and Score is a a dice game where you try to roll bowling pins. It was from 1974 and was too funny to pass up for $1.

We also purchased the final window AC unit for the living room. Now the house is too cold. The husband is loving it, since he loves to feel like he is in a meat locker. The dogs are in hibernation mode. We were able to turn off the limping along central AC unit and close all the vents. Now to see if the electric bill is better next month.

It was a nice day out. The husband was also ran errands with me on Friday. It was the most I will see him since he is out of town all week. I am not used to him being away. We have been together every day for years. Last week when he went out of town that was the first night we slept apart since we were married. This week he is gone all week. In a few weeks he is one for a week again. I am fortunate that this is one of the few times this should come up with his work.

The nephew has done better around the house since we had that "come to Jesus" meeting the other week. He has been cleaning around the house and applying for jobs. The husband is now seeing what I saw, the nephew's slacker ways and lack of motivation. He continues to stay up all night and sleep all day. Still no time frame on getting a job or moving out. The husband doesn't like time frames. The kid needs to get a job doing something, anything. He is gone this weekend, so I have enjoyed the break. It's like having a child around the house who can't do much on their own or make decisions. But he's an adult.

Friday, July 13, 2012


Yup, I filed and completed the process. While I am not screaming it from the rooftops and saying it when I introduce it to people I think it is something to post about.

I never thought I would file for bankruptcy. I prided myself as someone who always paid their bills, who did whatever it took to pay on time. I have taken second jobs. I have scrimped and saved. I am not one to live outside my means. But here I am, a newly bankrupt person.

It all started simply enough, getting a credit card when I started college. I watched that I didn’t owe much on it and used it sparingly. Then I was in my only other serious, long term relationship. I bought a house. I started using the credit card more often. The ex-boyfriend went from job to job. He was often working two jobs, yet I was the one paying the majority of the bills while working and going to school. He went through money like it was water while I was budgeting every penny.

After living together for 5 years and acquiring more and more debt on my credit cards, as well as student loans, he dumped me. Here I was with all the bills on me and I just bought a new dream car (my biggest splurge ever!). I was determined not to lose the house or the car. I was careful with every dollar and took out larger student loans. I was close to maxing out my credit cards, but still made payments every month on time. Over the years the credit cards kept upping the limits.

I finished school. I met the husband and he moved in. He gave me money every payday towards bills while still paying on his house. We were making the same amount. By then I had a $10,000 more a year paycheck. I also had student loans to pay back. I consolidated them to save money.

I had to get a second job again even with a good paycheck and the husband helping out. I kept making payments to the credit cards. By now I was paying half my paychecks to two credit card companies. I plugged along for a few years. Then the husband was suddenly laid off. He went from making as much as me to a short severance and unemployment. After the severance ran out I definitely couldn’t pay it all.

Someone I knew went to a lawyer to file for bankruptcy. They told me about how it worked. It sounded like an option for me. For years I thought if I could be free of those credit cards I would be able to keep my financial head above water. I went to a lawyer to talk about it. I came out knowing that was what I had to do.

The husband got another job, but was making half the money. I could pay every other bill and still eat every month, but there was no way to pay the credit cards. I made up my mind and started making payments to the lawyer. It took a year to pay it all off. I struggled through the mounds of paperwork. I was filing by myself; the husband wasn’t interested because he didn’t have all I had piled up in debt. I still had to give all his financial information.

The lawyer was helpful. I completed the debtor class online. I knew the answers about how to budget and live within my means. I had been doing just that while I was working towards the actual bankruptcy hearing. The credit cards actually stopped calling me once I gave them the lawyer’s information.

I only told a couple friends what I was going through. They still acted a little strange. There is such a stigma about bankruptcy, even from people I know who don’t pay all their bills on time. The people I knew who were going through bankruptcy are still making payments to the lawyer. I have been giving them updates on the process as I go through it. It is nice to have support and understanding from people also going through the same thing.

Today I did the final step, the hearing. Ends up there were a room full of people going through one form of bankruptcy or another. I was nervous at first. Then hearing the people answer the questions I knew what to do when my time came. The hearing portion was the quickest part of the entire process. Now that it is over (well, I have a final debtor class to do online) I feel like my life can go on. 
Now I can look into a second job since there is no limit on how much I could make. Now I can work on paying off the debts I still have (I kept the home and car) and student loans are not included. I am looking into a loan forgiveness program for them.

Also this experience helped the husband talked more openly about his own financial issues in the past. He finally opened a savings account. I have less financial stress. Yes, the husband still makes less than I do, but he has had multiple raises at work since this process started. I helped ease other people’s anxiety about going through bankruptcy themselves. If someone brings up the topic with me I can let them know about my own experience.

Would I change what I did? No. I was so worried when I couldn’t pay the credit cards that I worried I would lose my home. Finding out what my options were eased my worries. I did work hard for years to get what little I have. I will have the house paid off in a few years. While it may be more difficult to get credit in the future I still have what I valued most – home.

Do I feel like a failure because I filed for bankruptcy? Not anymore. While it may not be everyone’s choice it was what worked for my situation. I paid huge companies an enormous amount of money for the privilege of borrowing money from them. I held up my end of the agreement until extenuating circumstances (the economy) wouldn’t allow me. I still take my finances seriously. I still pay every bill every month on time. I know that I will not get a credit card so easily. If I do get a credit card it will be low interest and a low balance, only used on emergencies, plus paid off ASAP.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Turning 40

I don't feel 40 and that is just where I will be soon. I don't think I look 40. I have grey hairs, but not as much as most people. I am not very wrinkly. I am not sure what a 40 year old should look and act like.

So where am at in life at 40? I don't have kids. I have plenty of pets. I am a home body most days. I am knee deep in a "career." I have the husband and family. I tend to have my goofy moments. Other days I feel like I'm elderly.

When I turned 30 I got a tattoo (still my only one) and I quit my job because I realized how miserable I was doing it (customer service for cell phones). I don't foresee anything that dramatic, but if this nonsense with the nephew continues on I may move back to my house to get away from the lazy, mooching hipster.

Just for laughs I googled what "celebrities" turn 40 this year:

Jennifer Garner
Jennie Garth
Gwyneth Paltrow
Ben Affleck
Sofia Vergara

Cameron Diaz
Josh Duhamel
Jenny McCarthy

Carmen Electra

Dwayne Johnson "The Rock"
Maya Rudolph

Jude Law
Rebecca Romijn
Gabrielle Union
Wentworth Miller

Alyssa Milano
Thandie Newton

Selma Blair
Amanda Peet
Jill Scott
Angie Harmon

Eli Roth

Toni Collette

John Cho

Dane Cook
Jennifer Taylor
Wayne Brady
Scott Foley

Amazingly I knew who most of these folks are. They are a diverse group. Some are cool and others I wouldn't want to share the big 40 with. I don't look a thing like them. Maybe if I had a trainer, plus makeup and hair fixing me up. 

I tend to have no luck around birthdays. Bad things tend to go badly - mother forgot, breakup with boyfriend - you know, the usual. 

I saw this and I guess this is uplifting...

So 40 may just be another birthday without excitement. The husband is going to take me out for the day. I told him where I want to eat. It is going to be just me and him. For a change my birthday does not fall on a working day. Yeah! Nothing sucks more than being at work on my birthday when you don't want anyone knowing what day it is. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

the 3rd of july

I was dreaming of not going to work last night. I kept waking up. I felt icky when I woke up. I debated going in and leaving halfway thru. I got dressed. Then I sat down. It’s always over if I sit down. The dogs sure wanted me to stay. I don’t know how much I can get accomplished at work without having anyone come to the office. I am off tomorrow for the 4th. So I stayed home.

Then I thought, what am I going to do for two whole days? The husband is working nights, so he is asleep all day. The nephew is off with friends. I don’t have any major cleaning projects to do. The second bedroom is now occupied. I don’t think I want to take on the filing cabinet.

I pulled up the internet and caught up on my blog reading. I played a mind numbingly simple and stupid game. I turned on the TV and went for the retro stuff. I am watching a story about the people on The Facts of Life. I remember feeling like Natalie and wanting to be cool like Jo.

Then it got to be slim pickings on TV. It is only 11 am. Will I be forced to watch some of the DVR stuff or just delete more of the nephews many, many shows? I ended up watching my recorded old Drag U episodes.

I tried another version of my buffalo chicken sandwich. I crock potted the chicken in buffalo sauce yesterday, but it wasn’t buffalo enough. Last night it was dinner and I added buffalo sauce and ranch dressing. Today I put it on toast and added more sauce. Now that the container of chicken is not filled to the rim I added sauce to it. I hope it gets hotter as it sits.

I decided to read from the beginning the blog Say It Ain’t So. Have I mentioned that I love Rae’s blog? But so does so many. I love the many trips she takes, the great photos, her love of animals, her thriftiness and her & her husband are so dang cute.

Say It Ain't So

That made me think that we need to do way more trips. Right now the husband is on week one of six weeks of working overnights. That means he has only Saturday to travel/spent time with me. I went to and to look for places in Florida. Day trips are the best. I saved some ideas. I reckon I need to dog harder for ideas for when I can’t find anything specific and the husband just wants to drive in one direction. Sometimes that turns out well. Other times it is like driving to nowhere.

Plenty of places to see and lots of places to eat. I am currently pretty broke. The AC is still dribbling out cool air. The husband bought one window AC unit and his Dad gave him the one we used a couple years ago at my house when the AC died. He should be putting them in the window today. I hope he wakes soon. I am bored and lonely L

Sunday, July 1, 2012

A to Z

A to Z about me: 

ANORAK…Do you have a sad side?
Don't we all. I have my moments when I am more sensitive

BODY…What physical attribute would you most like to change?  
If we are talking about something physical we were born with I would say none. If I wanted something changed there are so many ways to do so. I need to work on losing weight. I just like eating so much and I have a sedentary life. 

CELEBRITY…Which one would you most like to date and why?  
It is difficult to choose someone since I can find plenty of issues with any celebrity. To date for looks and personality I would have to say Vincent D'Onofrio. 

DEBUT …Tell us about your first ever blog post. What made you start blogging? 
My first blog was ramblings of my day on another blog. That was years and years ago. I wanted to try out the blog thing and I have always liked journaling. Not too many people read it, but it helped me vent. 

ERROR …What’s been your biggest regret?  

I try not to have regrets. I guess I regret not buying an old car I had a chance to. 

FUNNY – who’s making you laugh? 

My clients make me laugh. They make my job interesting.

GRAND…If we gave you one right now what would you spend it on?  
I would buy AC units for the house since we are all melting and give the other $500 to the inlaws towards their well.

HOLIDAY… What’s your favourite destination? 

My favorite destination is anywhere we go on vacation or on our weekend road trips. I can't choose just one. My favorite vacation was New Mexico. That was awesome. 

IRRITATE… What’s your most annoying habit?
I talk too much. I interrupt people. I am having increasing OCD about picking up around the house and the dishes getting done. 

JOKER…Whats your favourite joke {the one that makes you laugh everytime you hear it}? 

The one about the memorist that ends :Scrambled!" It's now our inside family joke. 
KENNEL… Do you have any pets?  
Dogs and cats. Plenty of them.

LOVE…Are you single, married, engaged, living with a long term partner?  
Married 4.5 years.

MEAL… Whats your ultimate starter, main and dessert? 
If we go out the husband's go to starter is fried pickles. I would say BBQ pork is my favorite eating out. Desert would always be ice cream. 

NOW…If you could be anywhere right now where would you be and who with? 
I would be in a very cold air conditioned anywhere with the husband. 

OFF DUTY…What do you do in your spare time?  
I thrift too much. I also watch TV, drive around seeing new places, read and watch movies.

PROUD MOMENTS …What are you most proud of?  
I am proud of what I have achieved - home, work and my degrees. Also that I have a wonderful marriage. 

QUEASY …What turns your stomach?


RELAX…How do you relax?  

Anything that isn't work or cleaning. Watching TV, travel, thrifting, reading. 

SONG…Whats your favorite song of all time?  
I have no favorite. I like so many and sometimes none.

TIME …If you could go back in time and relive it again, when would you choose?  
Meeting the husband.

UNKNOWN…Tell us something about yourself that no one else knows?  
I tried to take an anger management group long before I taught them.

VOCAL…. Who is your favourite artist?  
I don't have a favorite. I do tend toward male singers than female. 

WORK….. What is your dream job, and are you doing it now?  
The husband and I have talked about running an organization if we won the lottery that helps people in the community with a bunch of services... job training, finding jobs, counseling and life skills. We would love to have several businesses that are involved with the organization. I like my job. I think I would like to help more people as well as do counseling.

XRAY…Any broken bones?
I have never broke a bone. I did get my head x-rayed at age 10 when I fell out of the car. 

YIKES…What’s been your most embarrassing moment?

I can't think of the worst one. I guess anything with nudity would be embarrassing.

ZOO…. If you were an animal, which one would you be?

I like buffalo. They are like big cows with more personality. 

Wash Out, Heat Up and Dry Out

The tropical storm wiped out roads. Luckily not affecting me, but some friends.

Clay County engineers and contractors inspect CR 218 west of Middleburg, Fla. Wednesday, June 27, 2012, after the road washed out overnight. Heavy rains from Tropical Storm Debby were the cause of the

It had us lose power at work. Fortunately I am in a building with patients, so I get AC and electricity. Most people aren't as fortunate. I can't do my job the same without computer systems, but we may have to go to the "clients."

Then there was the Saturday morning incident of the nephew's drinking. He decided when he woke to keep drinking. Our adventures were halted. He went from annoying, to obnoxious, to cursing constantly, to emotional, to almost running away and finally to sleep. The day sucked.

Today was spent cleaning the house and doing laundry. I made a deal with the nephew for him to clean the cars. Finally!

Now our air conditioning is on its last legs. I was hoping for one more summer. Now we are planning on a few window units to cool the house. 

It could have been worse. The in-laws lost water again. They have been getting water from their neighbor and then the neighbor's water went out (well). It took days to fix the well. The in-laws are looking for a loan to get a new well dug.