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Archive for June, 2013

Video Games and Ice Cream Cake

June 30th, 2013 at 09:40 am

Definitely not doing much of anything this week. Too hot to move. I accomplished a LOT of reading yesterday.

It's 1-2 weeks to the kids' birthdays, and I decided we should probably plan something.

I usually don't think much about gifts. The kids get totally spoiled by in-laws, and dh is way more into "gifts" anyway. I was surprised and relieved when he agreed we would get the kids no birthday gifts this year. Phew!! We had bought them sleeping bags very early in the year (wanted them for camp), and dh just handed down his computer to them and bought them a new graphics card. Dh puts more meaning on opening actual gifts on birthdays and holidays. So I was relieved he didn't want to buy more crap just so they would have something physical to open on their birthdays.

BM wants to check out an indoor play place that opened closer to our home. Not as nice as the one they LOVE about 20 miles away, but they have more open play areas and food, so bodes better for an unofficial birthday party. I saw they were advertising cool AC and yadda yadda today, and lord knows the kids could run off some of their pent up energy. So we will go spend a few hours there today. If he likes the place okay, maybe we can do something during the week. Otherwise, it will have to wait for his return from Europe.

I'm fine with dropping in the other place 20 miles away, because the kids love it so much, but they never have any open play hours. Too many birthday parties... I've had miscommunications with them on open hours too, so is really a pain to drive there and find out they are closing in an hour...

So, I hope the closer place appeases him from a "invite a couple of friends and call it a party" standpoint.

LM opted for an at-home video game party. I was able to confirm availability of his best friend, so will plan something for next weekend. We've made ice cream cake in the past, so will look up a simple recipe. It is the only thing that sounds appealing in this heat. It sounds like we can squeeze a simple low-key LM party out of the regular grocery and food budget. BM's might cost a wee bit more if we do the destination thing, but probably the cheapest party year we have had in a long time. Seems to get simpler with age. Less family, less adults tagging along, etc. So, I guess I am feeling relieved how much thought and energy (and $$) I had to put into all this. Phew!

Weather Sucks Big Time

June 29th, 2013 at 08:39 am

I suppose no one really wants to hear it - but the California girl is in the midst of weather blahs. Frown

Camp was totally ruined this year because it rained the entire 72 hours or so that we were there. I suppose it did clear up the last morning so that we had a beautiful drive home...

I saw the entire week was going to be 100F+ degrees, now that we are home. BUT, I just peeked at the weather and it is OMG! Worse than I saw before:



I am just going to cross my fingers that the electricity stays on.

Anyway, so between trying to stay dry in the woods, and now suffering in the heat, it's a little jekyl and hide with the weather.

I am just strategizing how to keep cool. I just told dh that we should probably plan to do some microwave cooking. I've been closing blinds, drapes and doors, so the middle of the house stays a wee bit cooler. Of course, I will be making smoothies and we will be spending our evenings by the pool. (The days are too hot, and there is not much shade by the HOA pool, so kind of useless to go during the day). Who knows how cool and refreshing the pool will even be by the end of this heat wave...

The nights are always the worst on weeks like this. I am not expecting to get a lot of good sleep...

This & That

June 21st, 2013 at 10:40 am

**Two posts for one morning - just FYI if you want to read my last more philisophical post - might be good for newbies.

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**Gearing up for camp. It's a relief to not worry about camp being under 10-feet-of-snow in May or June. I won't have to worry about the mud (tracking it everywhere; driving in it, slipping and sliding our vehicle through it).

We camp annually near Tahoe with parents and some extended family. (It's "Family Camp" where they provide food, cabins, activities for kids). So yeah, I don't have to do a lot to gear up. Dh checked our bug spray and sunblock levels and I noted we need to find our flashlights.

**We bought a new garbage disposal a couple of months ago. Dh feels mostly comfortable with the installation, but had concerns about the electrical side of things. So we just had asked if my dad could help us before or after camp. (He is staying with us the night before, and we will drive him there from our home). In the meantime, the disposal died in a totally bad way. (IT's difficult and it jams at times, but no idea what this latest problem is). So, I suppose the timing will be good. Could be better, but at least it's not like we won't see my Dad for weeks...

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**BM's first summer class wrapped up. He will get a "grade," but I don't know when.

Dh and LM did well filling time, waiting, and saving gas. (Probably hardly worth the time to drive home and back, anyway).

This program is at the local University, and meant on some level to familiarize the kids with a University setting. It's interesting because LM has gotten so much out of it, tagging along. He particularly likes the video game room in the student union. $2.50/hour to play - dh obliged him a bit.

They've also been reading a lot and designing LM's board game.

Yesterday dh took some time to run a few errands:

He sold some video games to the used store (they generally take music and games and books). He's got some others to sell on Amazon.

He's got a few books he had been unable to unload, so took them to a used book store in the area. Got rid of a bunch of books in exchange for $5 cash and a couple of books. (Credit would have been better, but we just dont' buy paper books any more. He did pick up a couple of books that he couldn't find at the library; I am sure we will sell them back later).

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In two weeks my baby turns 8. In three weeks my other baby turns 10, and he leaves for England. My MIL must be *freaking out*. It has been like her lifelong dream to take her grandchildren "anywhere in the world" (their choosing) when they turn 10.

Anyway, BM is the eldest grandchild. She has been talking about this since I was like 5 minutes pregnant, so I know she is just bursting at the seams.

As much as my in-laws do love to travel, they have never been to Europe. I find that kind of weird. Surprising... But, I guess it will be quite an experience for them all.

For BM, I don't think we really had any clarity until the past 12 months or so about what he would actually pick.

So, lord knows what LM will decide. The other day we were talking about Italy. (I think it came up because we were eating gelato). A bell kind of went off in my head, well that might be *it* for him. But, probably too early to tell.

Anyway, I just have no idea how I have a 10-year-old. !!

The in-laws don't have particularly deep pockets. They do have a lot of timeshare points and airline miles. I think her offer really reads more, "I will take you anywhere *affordable* for your 10th birthday" than literally "anywhere in the world." Wink I am sure they will be spending money we couldn't possibly justify at this stage in our lives. So, definitely an awesome opportunity for the kids.

A Repost - Frugality is not Deprivation

June 21st, 2013 at 06:16 am

There was a conversation in the forums about the difference between incomes.

I personally can't take these conversations at face value. I know way too many people who make way more money than me, but who do not enjoy any financial edge. Fiscal inefficiency. Maybe it's more obvious in the region we live in; in the situation we find ourselves in. People tend to be very open with me about their finances. (Either asking for advice after knowing us for a long period of time, or just on a professional level - asking for tax advice). So I see real numbers across a wide variety of households.

If I completely exclude daycare out of the equation, I Can still live exactly the same lifestyle as someone who makes $50,000 more than I. With an extra $50k in income, about an additional $25,000 of that would go to taxes; income taxes and social security. In addition, most people around here are paying an additional $2,000-ish per month for their homes. (If I threw in daycare and working expenses I could probably make this a $75,000 income difference. Double the income, same exact freaking lifestyle!! But I am leaving that out because daycare is more a temporary situation).

Anyway, why so much more on the cost of housing? They didn't put money down. They don't have good credit, and so they pay more interest. They pay PMI. They bought higher. Etc., etc., etc. This one particularly stands out because of the comments we have gotten over the years. No one has any idea how we afford our house - they all imagine it costs us 2-3 times as much than it actually does.

This situation didn't just fall out of the sky. We grew up near San Francisco and knew likely 75% of our income would go to afford a roof over our head. We put a heck of a lot of work, effort, thought and strategy to manage housing costs. Definitely a lot of thinking outside the box.

So anyway:

Pay + $25,000 in taxes
Pay + $25,000 in housing costs
= +$50,000 expenses for the same exact lifestyle

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Anyway, here is a re-post of an older blog post of mine, which this all reminded me of:

So, joan asked an interesting question a while back when I mentioned a mix up between us and another family struggling financially. She legimitimately asked if we *looked poor* or could be *mistaken as poor* by the impression we give off. In this case, was just an e-mail mix up.

But, I think this is an interesting question. Why, if someone is frugal, are they perceived to be so cheap that they must stick out and have a miserable life? Not that joan was saying all that. BUT, I do find that people treat me VERY different on the internet at times, than they do on real life.

The truth is, we fit in QUITE well. Very well. To the point where most people think we are just rich tightwads. Because clearly it is ridiculous that we would watch our pennies so much. (To most people, they don't seem to understand the cause and effect. I'd sum it up as saving money on stuff we don't care about so we have more to spend on the stuff we do care about).

These are the things people will never notice:

**How much stuff we buy used, hand-me-down clothes, hand-me-down furniture. We are big fans of *barely used* goods. I can assure you that no one would ever know if we didn't tell.

**That we eat most our meals at home.

**I delight in finding birthday presents that look REALLY expensive but only cost $5-$10 (on deep discount, of course).

**That when we vacation we make frugal choices - like drive and stay at Motel 6. No one sees that - all they know if that you went to some exciting destination they couldn't afford (i.e. they couldn't afford flying too and staying at a luxury hotel - usually what that seems to mean).

**That I don't spend a fortune on beauty products. Online this is met with *horror.* In person I am often told, "Well - you are lucky you don't *need* it." As if everyone needs hundreds of dollars of beauty products and spa treatments to pass in society.

I do admit everyone thinks we just buy used cars because we are ridiculously cheap (and crazy). They couldn't possibly fathom how much we save (since we are usually told that *old cars cost more*). At the end of the day, my car doesn't come up much anyway. Few people do seem to notice the car situation. Likewise, the few friends I drive around in my van know we paid cash for it and they can't wrap their brain around that anyway. (We bought the van when my youngest was about one, immediately after my long maternity leave, with dh long-term unemployed. I Got a lot of comments - it never occurred to anyone we bought a used vehicle. I know part of the reason no one can wrap their brain around it is because they all think we bought a brand new $24k-ish vehicle that actually cost us about $12k because it was one-year-old. OF course it would have been ridiculous for us to pay $24,000 cash for a vehicle, at that time in our lives).

I admit we are in a unique position since we moved to a low cost area. So, this translates into maybe owning in a prestigious neighborhood, while having the lowest mortgage of anyone we know. Most assumptions are we are about to foreclose like 95% of our neighbors, that we are rich, or that we made a fortune on Bay Area real estate. The truth is that a $300k house feels extremely reasonable to us compared to what we are used to, and that we put 25% down, never borrowed against the home, and have a low fixed mortgage rate. The home was a lateral move from a $290k-ish condo we made no money on. No one else seems to comprehend how we could not be upside down. To be fair, buying price is ALWAYS assumed to be much higher than we paid. We bought the house because it was an awesome deal. Since it was new construction, we locked the price in much lower to what it was even worth when we eventually moved in. For a while (years), when the models were still open, everyone would comment, "I could never afford this neighborhood" after stopping to tour the models. But they seemed completely deaf when we would laugh and reply, "neither could we at THOSE prices."

Then there is the whole *hubby stays home* thing. No one will accuse us of being poor as long as that is a fact. You have to be lucky and rich to manage that, of course. Do you think all of our Joneses type friends can even fathom living on one income? If I opened up my tax returns I think most my friends would faint dead away. (Because of how low our income is, versus assumptions and expectations).

I think for the most part we can figure out how to have whatever we want, cheaper. Whether it be a good eduction (primary or college), a reliable car, a nice home, or whatever it may be. One interesting thing with the kids is dh's love of video games and the prevalence of them around the house. Yes, I'd think it would probably be ridiculous to give my 5-year-old a brand new Nintendo DS, but both kids have a DS and a PSP at their disposal. Cost? Free. As such, they fit in quite well with all the kids and their new game systems.

I remember one day when LM was younger and we were waiting at one of BM's extra-curricular classes. I pulled out a zip lock just bursting at the seams full of games for his Leap Frog. I looked at it, probably for the first time, and thought, "Where the hell did all these games come from?" I had probably paid for just a few games over the years. I was keenly aware that other people must be thinking I was carrying around thousands of dollars of games around, when really it was probably no more than $100 to us.

Anyway, it isn't really hard to fit in. I've got a college degree, a nice home, reliable cars, furniture, appliances, clothing, etc. IT all looks the same as what everyone else has got, for the most part. I can assure we paid very little compared to average for most of the things we own.

So, I had to giggle a bit to myself when joan asked, though I Wasn't surprised at the question. I think if our passions were different, and we didn't have the whole benefit of the low cost of living thing, my experience may be very different. (We maybe would have bought a much more modest home if we didn't perceive this home to be so "cheap." If our passions were not so much on the electronic side, we might not own many of the electronics that make it appear we "keep up.")

I think also we are very moderate. I can think of a few people who are stingy to an extreme. Some have come across very poor when they weren't poor at all. I can't imagine ever being so extreme - in either direction.


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Mr. Money Mustache also says it very well:

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/06/01/raising-a-family-o...

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I think these are important to share for motivation and perspective. Why would anyone be frugal? Because it can be extremely rewarding!

Credit Card Statements

June 19th, 2013 at 07:18 am

I don't particularly look at my credit card statements, because I download everything. So basically, I find statements to be rather useless in this day and age, and for my own purposes.

So these newer disclosures kind of trip me up when I see them:



O.M.G. The balance on this card was about $1,425. (Minimum payment of $25?)



Well, at least my month of Target groceries could be paid off in 5 months. Doesn't sound so bad in comparison.

I tried to look at my CU Visa credit card and I could not access them. I wonder if I have *ever* looked at them???

For reference, I have always carried credit cards for rewards and convenience. I have never in my life charged a penny that I didn't already have the cash to cover. So, these balances are all paid off each and every month. The idea of taking 12 years to pay off one month of expenses makes my skin crawl.

College

June 18th, 2013 at 06:30 am

The theme is college.

BM is taking his first "college class" this week. Thankfully, we were able to get two $10 weekly parking permits (for the two weeks of classes). Dh decided to just take him and stay and wait, since it was enough out of the way. I think more carpool opportunities might open up in the next couple of years. I think the program will generate more interest at the middle school level.

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I think this post might explain why I am a little blase about the cost of college.

I received an article from my alma mater about how they had made the top of the list as far as "colleges with best returns."

31 Public colleges in our state made the list, called the 20-30 Club, because they offer an average annual tuition of less than $20,000 and an average post-college entry-level salary of over $30,000. I think the only reason some public colleges did not make the list (since they are all priced the same at each particular level) is because they were in areas (regionally and/or educationally focused) with lower starting salaries. {Even some comminunity colleges made the list}.

But, the thing was, most the colleges cost $1,000 (community college) or $5,000 (State University) on an annual basis. & the average starting salary was $50,000+. Especially around the region we live in. So, some of the colleges could be in the 5-50 club.

In fact, I am not even sure why they bothered with the 20-30 concept, except maybe just comparative to some national standard. The most expensive public college on the list was $11,000 per year.

So, there you have it, I am not getting worked up about it. Actually, with two kids so close in age, and due to recent college input regionally, I am leaning towards community college for both kids. I am very much a "will cross that bridge when we come to it" type, but also obviously, "plan ahead and keep my ears open." So, it's not like I expect today's college and economic landscape to be the same in another 6 or 7 years. But, I am taking note and just making sure we are prepared as can be.

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I believe we had a no-spend weekend. We hit the pool Sunday morning to give the Dad some peace and quiet. We had the pool to ourselves. It was lovely, and very peaceful.

I did spend some time getting organized and made progress on the kitchen.

Yesterday was payday. My remote deposit will hit this a.m. and I will pay off the big credit card. That's it until next payday. 1st of the month is all the rest of our financial doings (savings transfers, pay mortgage, and a few little bills I can't charge, and pay off all the small credit cards). I actually don't have anything in my finances "automated." But, yes, it is very simplified.

Summer Doings

June 15th, 2013 at 08:16 am

**School is out - the kids get about 8 weeks of break.

Their report cards were *perfect* and LM wrapped another teacher around his finger. I keep feeling every year we have nowhere to go but down. But for now we still get to ride this wave. I am particularly proud of BM, who after having one teach for *3 years*, changed school campuses (same school/split campus), had a new teacher, and had his class size increased by 50%. Wasn't entirely like going to a new school, but must have felt a lot like it. He did exceptional with all the change.

So the kids asked if they could get some frozen yogurt the last day of school, and we obliged.

The crap they brought home from school this year was insane. I even wonder if the teachers took care of this in the past (or recycled supplies more)? I can't say it would have been my first goal to go through it all BUT we had some friends staying over the following night, so we were already in cleanup mode. So, I am pleased to say we went through everything and it is done.

They brought home about 50 more pencils. O.M.G. Thank goodness I had purged all the "new" and "like new" ones to LM's teacher a few weeks back. Rolleyes

I just need to take the time to freecycle some of this stuff.

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Summer plans?

Well, we have the pool, first and foremost (it's a couple of blocks from our house, part of HOA).

I commented on another blog that we usually have a few memberships here and there (museum, parks, etc.). But, I don't believe we have any right now? I suppose overall have just been too busy to enjoy. I tend to let them expire and then renew when we use them (to lessen the cost over time).

BM only has a couple of weeks of downtime. 2 weeks of summer classes and 2 weeks in Europe. One week at camp.

DH realizes he will have a lot of time with LM so was thinking about what he could do with him. He is going to help him design his own board game. (LM is totally game obsessed and always making up games, so dh will help him realize a game in physical form). There are companies that will print customized board games and stuff, but will probably be more of a card and a dice type game. Which will be easier to just make at home. We can maybe order him some special dice.

In addition, dh is implementing a reading reward system. (He loves to read, but given the choice, he'd just play video games and board games all day, so dh is trying to fool him into thinking it is his choice to read. Versus like forcing him to read every day, which would defeat the purpose if he only views it as a chore).

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This weekend is kind of an organization weekend, for me. I need to complete the downstairs decluttering/cleaning and we need to discuss updating the kids chores and stuff. I just want to make a list of what needs to get done and see where we are at. I am feeling refreshed and motivated because the house is already clean. Phew!!

I took a half day off work on the kids' last day of school, and it just turned out a friend of ours needed a place to stay the next night. But it's rare to go into the weekend with the house SO clean. So I am more energized to do extra chores. I am hoping this is the last weekend of this. Though I like keeping on top of things, the idea of endlessly de-cluttering makes me want to go live in a tent. Big Grin The more I age the more I feel like this. I still can't get over that we have been in such a purge mode since we had kids, and how we still have so much crap a decade later. *sigh* That said, I think it will be 1,000 times easier once the kids are grown and gone. They are just "stuff" magnets - I don't know what it is.

We were just watching some home videos, and the house looked pretty immaculate when the kids were little. I've always been clear that I am not a neat freak in the slightest. The only thing I could figure was that we didn't have such an avalanche of stuff.

Case in point - the last day of school:



So, I suppose it's a silver lining that it eventually will ease up. That eventually mountains of pencils and paper will stop "falling from the sky."

Anyway, when we finish with the downstairs, I will take a break until Fall. Fall will be the upstairs de-clutter. All I have is our bedroom and closet, and some office space I have at the top of the stairs. Dh already hit his room pretty hard to make room for the music equipment, and while at it we will go through the kids' rooms. We generally keep pretty on top of toys and clothes, BUT BM is a little hoarder. There's probably quite a mess in his room. I don't expect the upstairs to be half as much as the downstairs. But, will see!!

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Oh, and I just remembered. LM lost his lunch box. Rolleyes 5 years of school, and I believe this is the first item we lost. (He lost it a couple of times but we found it every other time). IT was bought on clearance for a few dollars, and I have some extras, so we will survive.

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Next post: Spending doings and some college updates. If I get to it...

This & That

June 7th, 2013 at 12:37 pm

Gah, I am so behind on posting. So this post will be a hodge podge...

**Set out a bunch of Goodwill bags on Memorial Day, so that was awesome. Feeling lighter...

**I suppose my declutter efforts were maybe subconsciously spurred. Our recycle pickup will only be "every other week" starting in July. I've been tossing those bags of cans into the recycle bin every week and have one more left. Phew!! (I just threw one in this week but it won't get picked up until Thursday, so two more weeks of a full can??). We have some boxes, but my work has a recycle dumpster, which I suppose we may utilize more with this change. I asked dh to put any boxes we have in the van (over the weekend) and I will take them to work on Monday.

The garage could use a good bicycle and paint/chemical purge. Will aim to get that done this summer. Other than that, there's not a lot and we mostly store cars in the garage. Getting rid of so many bags of cans freed up a lot of space.

**I've still got a big bag of shoes to recycle. We decided that we will be in the general area (or that it's kind of on the way) when we take BM to University summer classes. So, we can maybe get rid of those in a couple of weeks.

**I've arranged for cat boarding while we are at camp. Will see how that goes. I hope it goes well. If it does go well, I will reserve his stay for our October road trip. I am crossing my fingers that he gets along with the other cats. If he does, it seems they don't particularly leave them in their cages (& so the nicer/big rooms would just be a waste of money, unless a cat was particularly anti-social and had to be locked up the whole time).

I don't know if boarding will always be necessary for our June camping trip, but I think it's wise while we are still adjusting to him, and will be a good trial run for checking out the boarding place. I am not really expecting to board him every time we leave for 3 nights.

We left him overnight last weekend and he did fine. Phew!! (I was a little wary of what he would do if he got too bored alone, and we have kind of spoiled him because don't think we had ever left him alone any length of time).

We will have plenty of opportunity to leave him for two nights - that will be the next test...

**Dh is doing the Scholastic thing the next couple of weeks and so we will ply the kids' teachers with tons of gift cerrtificates. (Like worth $150 retail, each). So, not really planning any "end of year" expenditures.

Oh, the school got cheap and cancelled their "last day of school" BBQ. What is that about!?! I totally understand, but think it's a shame that they aren't doing that for the kids. I always went the last day of school for the free food. Now I am thinking I will go because it's just been tradition for so long that I do show up. But we got this nice little note to bring our own food. LOL. I suppose I should just be happy that they are still doing anything. It's a BYO-picnic thing. I am sure that will be fun too. I just wish they would do the BBQ for the kids and forget the parents. The kids always LOVE it. I suppose it's fair enough that we may have 3 times the kids now that we did 5 years ago. We keep adding new classes and grades. The more I think about it the more understanding I am about the situation. We will make it a nice picnic for the kids.

**LM's second grade teacher is so awesome. We got the CUTEST Mother's Day gifts ever. The last couple of teacher tried to do a nice Mother's Day tea or this or that, but it was kind of torture because there was always the kid crying through the whole thing because his mommy couldn't show up. *sigh* NOT exactly fun. Cute in theory, but never fun. So this year I get this "recipe book" put together by the kids. O.M.G. It is hilarious. They wrote down all their favorite recipes off the top of their head and drew pictures. So lots of very cute wording and missed steps, and "serves 100," and hilarious reading.

I tried not to assume too much about all the "Get the pizza out of the freezer" recipes, because my child chose boxed max and cheese for his recipe. Rolleyes

Oh, so anyway, the kids made a joke book for Father's Day. I haven't read through that one yet, but it also looks to be a crackup. These gifts are SO precious!

**Dh and I made it to cooking school for lunch this week. I lucked out. IT was hard to get into for a while so we kind of gave up. I called Tuesday and asked on a whim if I could get in Wednesday. I could!!! I then asked about next week because I had forgotten some last minute work meeting. They said, "Nope, we will be closed for the semester." Crap!! So we reworked Wednesday. I was a little late and dh had to leave before the check came, and it was a little rushed, but did not want to have to wait until fall. Big Grin So that was our nice last date of the year. I don't think we did many (any?) during tax season so maybe we can do another lunch date next week.

Actually, the food was kind of "meh" on Wednesday. Maybe we won't go the last day of the school year, next time. We theorized they were using up whatever was left in the kitchen. Though dh had some chicken that was *divine.* I had a "meh" Cobb Salad, but the bacon in it was the best bacon I have ever had. So, it was hit and miss like that. Usually everything is so A+. (I only got the salad because the menu didn't really appeal to me very much. I would have gotten the chicken if I knew it was SO GOOD - they didn't sell it very well in the menu).

**June will not be cheap. Correction: July will not be cheap! I have a MRI bill to pay ($1,500) and $600 due to the University for college classes. I will charge them in June and pay them off in July.

I think our cash will tread water if nothing else comes up. But heck, what are the odds of that?

I updated sidebar, and am not feeling terribly enthused with my grand mortgage goals. (Though everything else is well on track - will throw all savings to the ROTHs for the rest of the year to max them out). BUT, the year is young, so I have not given up. I am hoping for some credit card rewards, and so on. Actually, I find that making the goals is often 90% of the battle. With the caveat that they can't be crazy unrealistic goals. But I feel like my subconscious is figuring it out while my realistic brain is feeling very "yeah right..." right now. Subconscious brain usually figures it out.

**I failed on my May declutter goals because I was sick the last week of May? Mostly was in bed for Memorial Day weekend. Last weekend we had a big family thing out of town. This weekend!?! I should probably tackle it and be done with it... Will see.

**I think it's supposed to be crazy hot this weekend. Interestingly, we have had several mild summers. To the point where I don't remember the last time it was 107F, or whatever it is supposed to be. (Though 100+ usually pretty standard summer weather, otherwise). {Yes, our weather tends to run OPPOSITE most the rest of the country, in recent years. So thank you for the very mild summers? Big Grin }

Yeah, I don't know if I will get much done... Might get the heck out of town. This might be a better "go to the beach" type weekend. San Francisco is 30 degrees cooler, at the moment.

Interesting Dinner

June 7th, 2013 at 06:19 am

We had an interesting dinner last night. Sausage-stuffed acorn squash. VERY good! Interesting, just because it was very different - had a lot of different flavors.

http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/sausage-stuffed-acorn-squ...

Squash seems to becoming a large staple in our diet. (Love butternut squash soup, dh has been experimenting with acorn squash of late, and spaghetti squash is one of our more recent finds).

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While sitting here and typing I kicked the cat out of the room because he was so insistent on taking a nap on the keyboard.

So... He instead figured out how to open the traditional round door knob to get back in. OMG. He is quite the little trouble maker. (Dh and I were just talking about this the other day. I said Siamese cats can easily handle lever door knobs - though I have yet to see him try because we don't leave many doors closed in the house. Dh said "at least the theater room has a round door knob." Since the cat seems to have a lot to get into in this room. HA!)

Forgot a Snowflake!

June 1st, 2013 at 06:14 am

I totally forgot in my last snowflake post...

Dh got a $40 credit from Sprint last month. Supposedly they are giving him $40/month for 4 months. Which is unfortunate, because I think this is them unofficially admitting that they expect their network to totally suck for 4 more months. Lip service says we get 4G "tomorrow." (Which is what they have been saying for a solid year).

Anyway, I was assuming we'd split that with my parents, since we split the bill, but dh just pointed out yesterday that's his portion of the bill for crappy service. He's only complained about his phone. He has a point. My dad lives in another city and so is getting 4G already.

So, I will leave that up to my parents, but it sounds like it is probably a $40 snow flake for us. Maybe $160 over 4 months. I will add these $40 snowflakes to the mortgage.