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Archive for March, 2009

The stimulus went into effect and as a result, I got my extra $20 for the month in my March paycheck. Thanks, Obama. That’ll really help. What can I get with an extra $20?

1. Someone in another blog mentioned a tank of gas. Not where I live. Gas is about $2.20 a gallon. I can get 9.09 gallons of gas, a little more than half a tank. Good thing I have an economical car!
2. About 3 weeks worth of dog food (big dogs eat a lot!) 
3. About one and one third of a month of water. My monthly water bill is about $15 a month. 
4. About the same for trash.  
5. One meal out at a fast food place.  
6. About half a meal at a restaurant.  
7. 2 pounds of coffee beans.  
8. 5 cups of coffee at the coffee shop (frilly mochas and such, of course!) 
9. 7 1/2 school lunches for my children.
10. 4 gallons of organic milk.  
11. 6 1/2 gallons of “regular” milk. 
12. 8 loafs of bread. 

Thinking, thinking…
a gallon of paint? No.
a new garbage can? Nope.

13. Some new makeup

shoes? No.
medical expenses? No, but…

14. One doctor visit co-pay. 
15. Almost 3 haircuts for my son. Considering he needs hair cuts everything 3 weeks, this takes care of that. hmmm…. 

Ok, so I guess that there are some things that this “extra” $20 could buy and I guess every bit helps, but I hardly call $20 stimulating. Heck, you can’t even get stimulating equipment for $20.  

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So, he contacted the state to get child support lowered. This is all fine and dandy. It is what it is. The state is involved because from day one, he refused to pay child support, thus the need to garnish. Since child support was established and re-established, nearly 7 years have passed. I have a steady income, more than I did 7 years ago, and no longer have child care expenses since my son hangs in my classroom with me after school. That being said, I expected child support to drop. What I did not expect was for it to decrease by 75%. 

Here are some facts:
1. He is a known liar. The first time around, he lied about his income by nearly $20,000.
2. He does seasonal work (construction) so in down seasons, he lives on unemployment. 
3. This is down season which means he is living on unemployment (and it should start picking up again real soon).
4. The state only holds you accountable for 1 month of pay stubs. That being said, as long as he has been on unemployment for about a month, that is the only income that he needs to claim. Not even the 2008 taxes are considered in this.  
5. He is telling the state that he only makes $24,000 a year. In 2002, his taxable income (yep, only his taxable income) was over $50,000. Do we really believe that in the last 7 years his income has decreased by nearly half rather than increase? He has been with the same company for 27 years, working his way up the ladder. 
6. The state calculates parenting time into the figures. The more you see your child, the less you pay. Since the original documents specify parenting time, he is credited for having our son for nearly 100 days out of the year. In actuality, he has not seen our son in over 3 years…since December 2005.  He made plans in Dec 2007 and canceled the night before. He hasn’t called in over a year. Before that, calls were random at best. No Christmas or birthday gifts, let alone phone calls, notes, cards, etc. So he gets credit for seeing his son even though he doesn’t.  
7. I have not been able to find anything that either directly says or implies that layoffs have occurred.  

Looks like I am going to have to hire a lawyer just to make sure that child support is fairly calculated. This sucks. If only I could trust him to be honest, but honesty has never been one of his traits. Had I only realized that before I married him.

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Son – “I’m tired. I wish I could go in the house while you guys finish this.”

Me – “Sure you can. Why don’t you go in my room, lay down on my bed and you can watch some TV and rest while we are finishing.”

Son – “This is TV.”

Me – “Yeah, it’s DIY TV.”

Daughter – “Do it yourself TV?”

Me – “Yeah.”

Son – “No, it’s RBTV.”

Daughter and I – “RBTV?”

Son – “Yeah, Really Boring TV.”

LOL Yeah, he got that one right. We were in our detached bonus room putting shelves together and trying to organize it. Really boring was right. 🙂

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When we moved into this house during Christmas break, I thought it was a great time to fill the UHaul up with items and drop everything off at the Goodwill. Amongst the boxes of toys, dishes, and clothing was our kitchen table from somewhere in the early 1990s, possibly the late 80s. I was so sick of that table and figured we didn’t use it all that much anyways, so why not? 

Ha! Apparently, we used the table more than I realized. The worst part of all was that somehow my bed became the new dining room which is really ironic considering I just don’t do crumbs in my bed. On Thursday, I finally found the perfect little table for our home and family. I ordered it and it will take approximately 6 weeks to arrive. In the meantime, my children have talked non-stop about how excited they are to be getting a new table. I find great humor in this. My son literally asks me several times a day, “How long until the kitchen table comes?” Who knew.

 

Our new "breakfast nook"

Our new "breakfast nook"

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If the curtains are closed and you knock on the door and no one answers, don’t keep knocking and then ring the door bell. I swear I’m going to make my dog bite you (as if)! 

Why do the Jehovah Witness people always come early on a Saturday or Sunday morning and insist on someone answering the door? I was taught you knock once and move along. Maybe this religion hasn’t been taught door knocking etiquette. To top it all off, they always seem to show up on the days that insomnia kicked my butt, I was up until 4 or 5, and the whole house is finally snoozing along nicely. Do they have some type of secret sleep radar? 

At my last house, I asked them not to come anymore. They stopped for awhile. Unfortunately, it eventually began again and like I said, they are persistent until you finally open the door. So, I was at the point that I had a plan to open the door NUDE and trust me, that is NOT what they would want. This plan developed because I was in the shower when their ringing/knocking began and it continued until, wrapped in a towel, I finally answered the door. 

In high school, I had an atheist friend who threatened them off with a shot gun. I always had a great image of that one in my head. He was a red head and known to have a temper and strong opinion. His parents were out of town, so there would be no stopping him running down the street, aiming the gun and shouting obscenities. 

Next time, that little old man better not keeping knocking because someone or something will bite him. 

“I’m sorry to bother you so early, but…”  If you are sorry, then don’t do it or is door knocking, waking families up, and irritating the community a part of your ticket to heaven? Argh.

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I feel like the fricken cat lady. It really sucks. I would say that I need therapy, but I really have learned my lesson. These are the animals that reside in my rather small home:

anna-snake

Teenage Daughter & her snake, Sweety

Son & Dog

Son & Dog, Gabby

5 African Dwarf Frogs

5 African Dwarf Frogs (Son's)

A Red Eared Slider (son's)

A Red Eared Slider (son's)

 

An old cat named Grace

An old cat named Grace

Star, the most unphotogenic cat ever

Star, the most unphotogenic cat ever

The Mommy/Daughter Dual, Molly & Karma

The Mommy/Daughter Dual, Molly & Karma

Molly and Karma are a result of me feeling sorry for them, so I took them in. 4 cats in a home is absolutely ridiculous and it won’t happen again. Actually, if my house were larger, it might not matter, but my house is not larger, so I simply feel like a fool. Lucky for them, they are the sweetest cats ever…or at least the mom, Molly, is and they are a package deal. Want some cats? or frogs or a turtle? Hmmm????

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Yippee, the carpet shopping is done!! Holy cow, this spring break was spent doing a lot of shopping. The garage door took a day, the carpet took a day, and the kitchen table took a little over a day! My, my! 

How I spent my spring break:
Saturday – Costco, Mall, grocery store, digging in yard for about 2 hours, Lowe’s for manure and other fun things
Sunday – Finish digging in yard and planting (several hours, 45 gallon container of rocks (rocks dug up!), 4 bags of manure mixed into freshly hand tilled dirt,  approximately 50 plants and bulbs planted
Monday – Garage door shopping, filled out, faxed and mailed child support papers because ex wants to lower child support (this ended up taking FOREVER thanks to a fax machine that wouldn’t work properly and Kinko’s wanting to charge nearly $25!!! to fax 14 pages!)
Tuesday – Clean house, pet errands (pet food, etc.)
Wednesday – Garage people come out to measure, carpet shopping, kitchen table shopping
Thursday –  Laundry, laundry and more laundry, decided on and purchased kitchen table, worked on clearing out bonus room. Now need to go buy more shelves so it can be finished. 
Friday – Carpet shopping all stinking day!! Put solar lights in the yard, work on bonus room a little more. 
Saturday – Return all carpet samples, maybe paint?, not quite sure. So much left to do and quickly running out of time.

It’s funny how teachers look forward to Spring Break not so we can relax, but so that we can get caught up on the things that we simply don’t have time to do during the school year. I wish I had one more week.

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