Monday, May 25, 2009

Oh, Vacation....

Just taking a break from the vacation fun to post. Exactly what, I am not sure, but I feel the desire to watch the letters form on the screen as I type, so here we are.

The weather is beautiful down here, although it was raining yesterday. Raining until we finally went to the store to buy some board games for the kids to play who were stuck inside. After we bought the games, wouldn't you know the clouds broke apart, the sun started to shine, and not a sprinkle since? It's all cool though. We bought CLUE and that is a game we can totally take with us back home and play. Oh, and Hannah Montana UNO. You do get the best of both worlds that way, you know.

The beach is great - although the little one decided today she isn't getting back into the water ever again because it is TOO SALTY. Oh, the horror of salt water in your mouth! Precisely why momma hasn't gotten into the water. That and the fact that it is only 71 degrees. (The water, not the air)

The pool, however, is great no matter how much water gets into your mouth. You can jump off the side and take a noodle into the deep end, even though at 7 years old you still don't know how to really swim because your mother must be neglecting your development. I mean, it doesn't matter that you live in the WIDE. OPEN. PLAINS. Or that there isn't a pool available to teach you how to swim. Mommy dearest is ruining your life by not teaching you how to swim, thus making it impossible for you to get to the deep side without the aid of a floatation device. As the mother, I am totally oblivous to how this is truly affecting you. Hey, I didn't teach your 10 year old sister how to swim either, and she seemed to have learned how just fine all by herself.

Also, both children believe that their mother is trying to rub their precious skin off of their bodies with this horrible invention called sunscreen. It doesn't matter that you see all these people around you with horrifically red skin. Or that your mother says repeatly, "It isn't skin cancer that I am worried about! I don't want to hear you complaining for the rest of the trip about your skin hurting!" This thing called sun screen needs to just go away and you should be allowed to get as burnt as you wish. This is America, after all. You are a free people! (Yes, the 10 year old did tell me this. Oh, if I weren't her mother I would have just laughed and laughed. Instead, I got grandma to hold her down as I lathered the sunscreen on even more. We thought about using restraints, but figured if we did the cops would be knocking on the door)

But really, we are having a great time. It is nice to spend time with my parents and the girls all at once.

Even if on the drive down here my mother called me on my cell phone to tell me that they were not going to try to keep up with me because they didn't want to get a speeding ticket.

I was going 69 miles an hour in a 70 miles per hour zone. On the interstate.

Tomorrow we are going to go watch the sun rise on the beach. It's sure to be beautiful, but that is really way to early for me. Is 7 a.m. too early to take a nap? I sure hope not.........

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Leaving for vacation

Got the rental car. A Mazda 5. It is like a mini-mini van. It's OK and I am sure happy to have a set of wheels I can drive around, but it sure makes me look like a soccer mom. Which is good fun for everyone else to tease me about, but on June 5th, when I get my sexy mom car back I will all the happier.

In other news, I am leaving today for Florida. Actually, I should be leaving in about an hour. Everything is packed, just waiting for the girls to get out of school.

Lucky for me, I don't watch the weather channel, so no, I don't know that it is raining in Florida and its forecasted to rain the first three days we are there. Since it is sunny here, that means it is sunny everywhere, right? Right.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Get into a car accident. Ever. Especially when trying to get out of debt.

Thankfully everyone is okay and no one even sustained minor injuries. But the car? Poor baby.

So, it'll cost me $500 for the deductible. The rental car coverage only covers 80% and only up to $500, so I should have to come out of pocket no more than $150 for that.

Oh and that pesky citation I got from the friendly police officer who was most kind to not mention my awesome High School Musical pajama pants. (Hey, I was just running the kids to school! I had already dropped them off, thank goodness!)

Not really sure how the wreck happened. I applied the brake. The brakes did not stop the car in time. I started to apply them in what should have been ample time to stop the car. When the car wasn't stopping, I pumped them harder. I heard the tires squeeling. At that moment, I knew I was going to hit someone's car - either the one stopped in front of me or the one coming towards me in the oncoming traffic lane. I guess you could say I choose to hit the car in front as opposed to swirving into oncoming traffic.

In the big scheme of things, the damage is not too terrible. My car will go into the shop June 1st (the fastest they can get to it) and should be available for pickup on the 5th.

What really sucks is that I am leaving Thursday for the vacation with the parents and I am going to have to drive a rental car down there. I did get unlimited mileage, I would just prefer to drive my own car. But alas, I can't due to the thing being all bent up. So I will stop my whining. I am darn lucky I was on a residential street to start with and that I am not a speed demon. It could have been a lot worse. (I hit the stopped car at about 7 miles an hour. Doesn't sound really fast, does it? Well, 7 miles an hour damages the hood, grill, bumper and the left headlight.)

Oh me oh my. What is a girl going to do? I was hoping to be able to make it into the $18,000's by the end of this month, but it doesn't look like that is going to happen now. :( Bummer. At least I don't have to add to the debt, though. Which is always a great thing.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Getting my house ready to rent...

Since I have moved out of my house and into my boyfriend's house, which is now refered to as "our" house, I need to do something with MY house. I have decided to rent it out. I would say it is because of the current housing market, but really, it is more to do with the sentimental attachement I have to my house. It was the first house I ever owned. It was the house I brought my babies home from the hospital to nestle in their cribs. It is the house that has had 7 different kitchen colors since I purchased it in 1998.

Yeah, I kinda miss living in that house. :( Although, fortunate for my boyfriend, I don't miss it enough to keep living there.

So, we have decided that instead of selling the house, we will just rent it out. Which actually could be a great financial move. The house is structurally sound, and most major repairs have been done within the last 5 years. (New roof, siding, A/C work, Appliances)

My mortgage on this house is only $345 a month, which includes taxes and insurance. (I bought the house in 1998, when housing was super duper cheap in this area. It is appraised for almost triple what my purchase price was 11 years ago.) But, as with all things, time has increased not only the cost of owning a home, but rent prices as well. Homes in my neighborhood that are being rented are being rented for between $600-$700 a month.

But, this means that all those minor repairs that I have been putting off because I can live with them and some cosmetic work that needed to be done needs to happen before I can rent out the house. Its nothing minor, really. Actually, watching HGTV shows such as "Design to Sell" has shown me that for a mere $2,000, you can honestly make a huge difference in price. Of course, I am not selling nor do I need to stage the home in order to rent it, but you get the idea.

To be honest, when I moved back into the house after returning from Germany (I rented the house out during that time as well) there were some things I just hadn't gotten around to. Like repainting the bedrooms. Yes, I lived with nail hole patches on my bedroom walls for 2 and half years. No big deal.

So, the last 3 days I have been painting. It looks good. I picked a lovely almond neutral color. Instead of replacing the doors which took a major beating while I was in Germany, I am doing some patching work and painting them all white, to include the closet doors. It is amazing how much better it all looks. I am kinda sorry I put off all the work until now.

But, so far I have spent $200 in paint and supplies. Oh, and carpet cleaning solution. I already own a carpet cleaner, so I am cleaning the carpets myself. I did an outstanding job if I do say so myself!

I am thinking that with about $200 more put into the house, I should be able to rent the house out for $700 fairly easily.

So that is the plan.

* I say I have spent, but I should say my boyfriend has spent. He is such a doll. Now, if he could only spend some money on getting the A/C Fixed!!!!!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


That's the estimated cost of repairing this A/C unit. Urgh.

Come to find out though, after TWO licensed A/C guys from different companies came out to look at it, the unit was improperly installed. Oh, and the home inspector guy? Yeah, he should have totally wrote on the Home Inspection "IMPROPERLY INSTALLED UNIT" or "IMPROPER CLEARANCE" or something to that effect.... not "Water in pan". Duh, that is what the pan is there for!

I am so upset about this I feel like I am about to cry. Although it is not MY house, (meaning, my name is not on the mortgage as of yet) we JUST moved in less than 3 weeks ago. Actually, we are still moving stuff from my house into this house. (Sure, it is taking longer to move, but we aren't paying for a moving truck, moving men, or having tons of boxes once we are done. We are using plastic tubs that we already have, loading them up and emptying them and repeating the process. Not totally fun, but the cost is minimal and we aren't using thousands of trees)

But anyway - neither myself nor my boyfriend have 12 grand to pay for this. Even together, we don't have the money for this. And, with his son coming next month, we are going to have increased expenses of food and daycare for the summer months.

This is just poop. Absolute poop. I guess we need more in our Emergency Funds.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Not even totally moved in yet...

and we are having an Air Conditioning problem.

Now, I don't know if you have ever been to Southwest Oklahoma at this time of year, but I am here to tell you, it is HOT. As in, it is the first week of May and it was 95 degrees today. I don't care how many windows you open, it is freaking HOT. Ditto for fans. I mean, they help, but it is still miserable.

So, the guy from the Home Warranty place comes out to look at the unit. Oh yeah, he says, this is the house that was DENIED A/C Warranty coverage with the previous owner because of the placement of the A/C unit. (It is in the attic, it can't drain properly and you can't get to it to work on it because of the rafters/placement. Whoever put it in was an idiot!)

He continues to talk to us.... about how the last people who owned the house knew about the problem, were told how much it would cost to correct the problem - who exclaimed there was no way they were paying that much when they were getting ready to move!

So OK... here we go.... there was a home inspection, done through the real estate company. Boyfriend was out of state at time of inspection/sale at a military school. Real Estate company told him everything was fixed. I looked through all of the mortgage paperwork today, and it states that no repairs are needed on the dwelling. No repairs needed my ass.

The unit is leaking. Through the ceiling. The technican guy said last time he came into this house, the ceiling was on the FLOOR. Oh great.

He said something about the quote for the last people was about 12 grand to fix the problem.

Now, I don't know what happened when the house was bought. He needs to look through some more paperwork. He says he does not recall anything about the A/C needing repairs. That is something you kinda remember. Hell, I bought my house 11 years ago and I still remember what three things the inspector said needed to be fixed.

In the meantime, I am sitting in the dark, with two fans blowing on me. I am sure we will figure something out, but this being hot really sucks.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


I have decided to take the girls to Florida with my parents for vacation. Since we live 700 miles away from my parents and rarely get to see them, I feel that is important to make the trip, even if it does interfer a bit with my debt payoff plans. People first, right?

Luckily, I just received $345 in child support from my ex-husband's garnished tax return. This greatly helps me meet my required earnings for the expenses of the month of June, since I will be taking off of work some days and won't have any income.

Also, since I am moving, I went ahead and shut off the cable. This means I won't get billed in the month of May, since my billing date is on the 18th. Actually, I should get some of that money back from the last bill. I have the utilities set to shut off on the 15th, that way we can still see when we are moving, have water and power and steam clean carpets and clean, and have some AC because it is freaking HOT.

But still, this means that my utilities should be lower than what I have budgeted, which would be a huge help as well.

In all, things are still going in the right direction. I may have to slow down speed a little bit, but perhaps not. It really all depends on how much I make the rest of my shifts this month. I am still working towards having my total credit card debt balance down to $18,999. I am just going to have to be more creative than originally thought!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Still moving....

We have been moving about two loads a day for the last few days. Things are coming together. We have the big stuff and most of the kitchen stuff moved in, as well as the majority of the girls' things. (Well, what they want. The rest of it is probably getting pitched out somewhere) We also moved all the Holiday decorations. YaY! Because that is important... having Christmas decorations moved in May. (Really, since they were already boxed and all, it was easy to just grab them and go....)

One of the benefits of moving at a slower pace like this is that we are not living either A) out of boxes or B) with boxes all around. Every time we make a moving trip, everything we bring gets put in its new place before we move on to another load. It is nice to not walk around tripping over boxes.

Plus, since it is a slower process, my mental state can keep up. It isn't as overwhelming. I am not going to lie, Saturday I started having some panic attacks. This is the first time in my entire adult life that where I am living is not MINE.

So, off I go to pack a couple more boxes to move over this afternoon before the big load this evening. (We will move a truck plus a car load after he gets off of work this evening)

Did I mention that I now have a walk-in closet? Yes. How fabulous!!!!!!!!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Starting to move...

Slowly we are starting to move.

Meaning, I have brought some clothes over to the house, as well as some of the girls clothes and toys.

I am remembering how much I hate to move. It is such a non-fun thing to do. And, in reality, this would be my first true move the entire house on my own move. Every other time, the military paid people to come pack everything up, box it, move it to the truck and then bring it all back into the house on the other end of the move. Sure, I unpacked all the boxes, but that isn't so horrible when you haven't seen your stuff for months....

But anyway.... onto the moving. We are not going to be using a packing service, because we don't want to spend the money on moving things a half mile down the road. Which makes sense, but I am wondering if he is going to be able to deal with my whining when it comes down to it.

I certainly hope so.

So now, onto moving a few more things before it is time to get ready to go to work. Blah!