The Economy, Finances & That New Thing

As mentioned in my end of the year post, we’ve begun a new venture around here. Actually, more than one, but I’ll focus on one at a time. Here’s how it all happened: As we all know, the economy has been awful and things are not going well financially for many people out there. We, along with many others, have been victims of decreased income, increased expenses and other financial calamities. Now, there are only so many options when the going gets tough and many of the options are less than ideal to put it mildly. In our household we did not have to take any of the really drastic approaches, fortunately. But during the last year or so we started making various changes here and there in an effort to reduce our expenses, save money and do more with less income.

One of the changes we made I have mentioned here; using a Cash Budgeting System along with a Cash Budget Organizer, but this is just one of many strategies we’ve used. Some of the strategies resulted in big savings and others smaller, but when all was said and done we realized we’d managed to shave a very significant amount off our expenses without reducing our standard of living. We then started realizing that a lot of the things we did were quite creative (and to be clear, by “creative” I actually mean creative, not, you know, illegal) and that many folks out there are not aware of some of the simple strategies that can save money, reduce bills and household expenses and allow a person to do more with less income. And they don’t involve crazy, complicated coupon schemes, dumpster diving or eating lima beans every night.

As I started talking to people about this, it became apparent that many of our money saving solutions could help other people who’ve been affected by the economy or simply want to learn how to spend less and live more. It was suggested by friends that I should consider offering my expertise to others who could benefit from it. So without further ado, I’d like to introduce you to:


Went to Live on a Farm

In the early hours of the morning we heard some whimpering. It was not little guy like we thought; a quick check of the monitor showed he was sound asleep. We discovered it was the dog. The Hubby went out to investigate and found him not in his doghouse but underneath the apricot tree in the mud, just laying there. Apparently his arthritis became so bad he could no longer stand or use his back legs at all. We’d seen this coming but had no idea his hips and legs would give out so suddenly. At ten+ years old, Hubby told me that he thought it was his time.

So, at around 5am on a cold, rainy, Friday morning, the Hubby, Teenager and I all got dressed and said our goodbyes to poor Murray. Hubby took him to the vet who confirmed there was really nothing else to do at this point; he was panting and in a lot of pain and putting him to sleep was the best thing for him. When it was over, Hubby phoned to tell me and I could hear sobbing on the other end of the phone. Ironically, Murray was actually my dog and was with me for several years before the Hubby and I even met. But he quickly became “man’s best friend” and Hubby was his favorite. Actually, that’s not entirely accurate since Chloe (the cat) was the closest to him. I mean, the two of them slept together in Murray’s doghouse for heaven sakes. I know this will be rough for her because they were quite an inseparable pair.

Losing an animal is so hard because of course you feel like you’ve lost a member of your family. This has been a tough day. The vet bill to have Murray put to sleep was yet another shocking blow. Of course, it’s the upcoming “kitty therapy” that will really break us.

Rest in peace, Murray. You were a good dog and we’ll miss you.

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General Larry Platt: Pants on the Ground

I’d just like to say I think it’s downright hilarious that this guy has become an overnight sensation for his amusing yet wise words. Because seriously people, pants were made to cover your butt, not let it hang out [with your pants on the ground.] Congratulations to this plucky old guy. Perhaps we could ask him to come up with more amusing little ditties that could solve the rest of societal woes, one by one.




So, I'm out shopping when I see a 30-something man on his cell phone and I overhear the following:

"Oh, ok I guess, how about you?" *voice gets louder* "I said how about you?"

"Nothing much, mainly work."  *voice gets louder* "I said just working."

"Well, she's been pretty moody lately and I'm kind of..." *voice gets louder* "I said she's moody...look Mom, I'm in a store. I'm going to have to call you back"

Life Gets in the Way of Blogging


Why yes, it has been a while since you’ve heard from me. I have the following list of excuses:

A) I’ve been sick. Actually, the whole family has been going through the same darn cold. We’re on the mend now in case you were wondering.

B) I really hadn’t realized how long it had been. I mean, it seems like we were celebrating New Year’s Eve a few days ago, but apparently it was two weeks ago.

C) You know that new thing I told you we were working on that I’d be announcing here at the start of the new year? Well, as things like that often go, it’s taking longer than expected. So I don’t have an announcement yet but we’ve sure been working our tails off (well, as much as possible with being sick and all) over the last few weeks.

D) In the middle of all this, I have not been able to come up with anything to write. Yes, there, I said it. I actually was at a loss for words and had nothing to say. You’ll rarely hear me say that because as those that know me are well aware, it almost never happens.

Once again readers, stay tuned.

New Year’s “Gonna Take a Stab at It’s”: Weight Loss & Fitness Category

We all know how those ol’ resolutions go. We say we’ll resolve to do so and so and that resolve holds out only so long. I try to be realistic. But I also don’t want to just throw in the towel and say I need to do something but I know I probably won’t so why even try.

Now, I know it’s really unique to have a New Year’s goal of weight loss since that’s hardly on anyone’s list across the country, because, you know, most of us are all so thin and in shape. But yes, that is a huge goal of mine as readers already know. I recently went to my Weight Watcher’s meeting after a couple weeks off during the holidays in which I not only fell off the wagon, I did a nosedive off the side and then let it drag me a few hundred yards. Then it backed up over me. It was ugly. And the sad thing is I have no one to blame but myself. I wish I could be smart enough to realize that gaining weight just makes it that much harder to reach my goals because now I have "old weight" to lose; weight I’ve already lost before and have to re-lose in order to get back to losing the rest of it. Well, I’m back on track with a significant amount of determination to see a new number on that scale this year. I'm more than ready to break out of the range my body seems to have settled in. Sadly, that range required the purchasing of new pants which is something I find particularly distressing since the whole idea of losing weight, aka Operation Fit [back into my pants] was to be able to wear the pants I already own, not have to go out and buy new, bigger pants.

In addition to getting back on track with eating habits, the Hubby and I also need to get back to and ramp up our exercise plan as well. I’ve been encouraged by both Hubby and my Weight Watchers leader to do more in terms of 5k’s and other races. I’ve done 5k’s before, but only walking, never running. The Hubby is hoping we can do more with running and actually wants us to do a half marathon; the very idea of which is overwhelming to me. He brings up the fact that if the folks from The Biggest Loser can do it (most of which weigh far more than me) then I should be able to do it. In theory he’s probably right, but I don’t know. Obviously, it would make sense to start with a 5k in which I actually run first before attempting anything bigger. So, we’ll see what I can manage to do this year. I guess what I’m saying here is, I’d like to take a stab at it.