Monday, June 6, 2016

For once, it paid to eat out

We have a favorite restaurant. It's expensive - of course. So it ends up being the celebration spot. We end up going once or twice a year for special occasions. A couple of years ago, we were seated in the section of a server who was fabulous. Without hesitation, Sam took care of DS - cutting his meat while talking to him like a person and not making him feel uncomfortable. The next time we went, we requested him and our evening was just as great. Now he's our go-to guy, even though we only see him every six months or so.

Last time we were there, Sam was talking to DS and asking about his accessibility at home. DS mentioned the ramp to our front door and that because the wood had warped, it made for a bumpy ride which is uncomfortable for him. Just making conversation.

On Friday, this wonderful man showed up at our door with two other workers and announced that they would be rebuilding the ramp. Apparently, when he's not working at the restaurant, he's doing construction work. They spent the bulk of the day Friday and a good part of Saturday working until the rain started. The ramp is almost finished and looks amazing. I knew that Sam was paying these other two guys to work on the project and I asked how much we owed him. He handed me the receipt for the wood and said I only owed him what the materials cost. The rest was on him. Having priced out ramps before, I know this was a gift of a couple thousand dollars. 

We are so very blessed. I cannot wait until we are out of debt and we can pay it forward.


Sunday, May 29, 2016

A HUGE milestone!

Five years and five months later ... and we have paid off just over $100,000!

That number is an actual reduction in debt - we have actually paid way more in interest along the way. But I'm not going to dwell on that.

I am so proud of us. I truly feel like we are conquering the impossible. Thanks to all of you for continuing to encourage me on this journey.


Thursday, May 26, 2016

Excited about a budget-buster!

This was my Mother's Day present from my daughter and son-in-law - our first grandbaby is on the way! This kid is already making waves - he/she is due Dec. 23!


Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Good news, not-so-good news

I got good news yesterday - the pathology report from my thyroid surgery was benign. I'm relieved and grateful.

As for the repercussions of the hail storm, both the roofer and the insurance adjuster decided a new roof is in order. They decided on the final price for such is $9,600. Fifteen years ago, we paid $5,200 for a roof. Hard to believe it's gone up that much. The bigger, more unpleasant surprise, is the deductible. We have a $500 deductible on our homeowners - a privilege I can only presume we've been paying extra for all these years. Yeah, it doesn't count for hail and wind. For damage from those two, the deductible is $1,000. "Most people don't know that," the friendly adjuster says. You think? I am glad we decided to beef up our emergency fund and can handle it without a problem.


Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Hail no!!

I was sitting on the sofa yesterday, minding my own business while recovering from surgery, listening to the thunder in the distance ... And then the rains came. Sort of like I imagine it rained when Noah was watching from the ark. Within minutes, I heard the hail. By this time, I have the Labrador sitting on my lap scared to death.

In all my 52 years, I have never seen a storm like that. The hail - which measured 3 inches in diameter (I checked) - came down hard for about 15 minutes. The yard was a sea of white. And all I could do was watch as the golf balls bounced off the cars in the driveway and came pinging off the roof.

I can't imagine there is no damage to the roof. It was just too severe of a storm. I have a roofer coming Thursday to check it out. If he finds anything, then it will be on to file a claim with homeowner's insurance. The roof is 15 years old, so I guess it wouldn't be an awful thing to have it replaced. I just hate that we had our first claim six months ago because of water damage in the ceiling and here we might have to make a second claim. Always something.

My surgery went well. I had a total thyroidectomy last Wednesday. It took three hours, which surprised me. This was my very first surgery ever. I learned that anesthesia makes me extremely nauseous. Once that passed, I was OK. Pain was minimal. I've started hormone replacement, but am told it takes several weeks for your body to regulate it properly. Meantime, I am tired. So. Tired. I don't like the feeling and I have way too much to do. Anyway, I see the surgeon on Friday and will get the pathology reports then.

For now, I think I'll take a nap ...


Friday, April 15, 2016

Life goes on

Decided it was past time to check in. Life has been going at full speed and it's all I could do to keep up.

The highlights:

- Medical equipment malfunctions. DS's robotic arm had to be sent to Canada for repairs. Without it, among the many things he cannot do is feed himself. That means coordinating his meals - where he will be and who will help. The lift we use to move him to/from his wheelchair also went to kaput. We are still waiting on the part to arrive. Meantime, I scrounged until I found a loaner lift - which also went kaput last week. Sigh.

- We lost our sweet 14-year-old Bichon pup last month. He made it clear it was time and we respected his wishes. I'm still not used to him begin gone and am always surprised when I open the door and no one is there to greet me. RIP, Sammy.

- Looks like I'm heading for surgery in 2 weeks to have my thyroid removed. I've been treated for a year since a routine physical uncovered multiple nodules and hyperthyroidism. The meds aren't working and will eventually turn toxic, so it's time.

- We've put a semi-pause on the debt repayment to add to the savings. (Meaning we are paying minimums, but nothing extra.) As of now, we have $5,200 in regular savings, $750 in savings for vehicle repairs, and $1,100 in the catchall account to cover small expenses outside of the regular budget. It sure is easier to sleep at night with a cushion.

And that's about all the news there is to tell. Happy Spring, everyone.


Friday, February 26, 2016

Dumb, dumb, dumb

Every once in a while, I take a look back at where we were and how we got there. It's not a pretty picture, but it keeps me motivated to stay the course.

A huge amount of our debt is the result of the insane costs associated with having a child with complicated special needs. Necessary equipment that insurance considers "a luxury" (like a bathroom seat and a wheelchair ramp ...). Doctors, hospitals, therapists, caregivers ... they all cost big bucks and while our insurance is good, there are still co-pays, deductibles and denials.

But I can't blame it all on the medical costs. There was a lot of dumb packaged in there. What was the dumbest, you might ask? Well, I asked myself that very question. And, oh my. ...

We bought a dog. And paid for him with a credit card.

Yes, we charged a dog. I can barely type that without kicking my former self into next year.

Who in their right mind would think that's OK? Oh, yeah. We did. I quit looking at past purchases after that. Because that right there says it all.

Life is so much better now that we pay cash. This year, we've even managed to take care of some much-needed and long-neglected home repairs/maintenance. Always in cash. Maybe there's hope for us after all.

Anyone else want to share stupid purchases so I don't feel all alone in this?