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Yet Another Frustrating Delay

December 5th, 2015 at 11:48 pm

The docs were not drawn yesterday.

Two months ago, the buyers were asked to submit photocopies of some bonds they own. They submitted a list instead. They did not follow directions, so that is on them. However, apparently no one at Chase mortgage (their lender) bothered to review the documentation. Until yesterday. So now the buyers must submit photocopies and the bonds must all be verified.

The extent of the incompetence we have experienced during this transaction is unbelievable.

So now we are told it will be next Friday for docs, at the very earliest.

Still Waiting; Holiday Weekend Summary

December 3rd, 2015 at 10:16 pm

We are still waiting for the house sale to close. The most frustrating part for me is I must wait for information to trickle to me and I don't get to ask direct questions of people who can answer them.

But the latest word today is...BF's realtor spoke with a management level employee at Chase (the buyer's lender) and was assured that the docs will be done tomorrow a.m.

So, we will see.

I had a wonderful holiday weekend. My brother and SIL came down and stayed for 3 days, bringing a 13 year old granddaughter with them. My brother has 4 living children (two more were lost in infancy to SIDS). One of his daughters also came down for 2 days, with her husband, their 6 year old son and 3 year old daughter.

And of course my mother and nephew live nearby, and I have my motley crew. Smile

Over Thursday, Friday, and Saturday we ate turkey, played cards, visited, went for walks, went to the movies, and met a grand-niece and her brand new husband (of two weeks!) for breakfast.

It was just a wonderful time, and even though there are many gaps in our family where loved ones used to be, I really felt very thankful.

I enjoy teasing small children to enjoy their reactions. Smile My little 3 year old grandniece made a remark, and I said "I don't know. I'm just a little girl, like you." She immediately replied "Nuh-uh! You're someone's grandma!" in an accusing tone. So I guess I can't pass for 3 anymore.

SnugglyBumps and KissyLips

November 24th, 2015 at 08:20 am

Those are the names BF and I call each other. Disgustingly cutesy, I know. We adopted them early on and they are somewhat tongue-in-cheek. Somewhat. Stick Out Tongue

In the future, I will refer to him as SB. I always feel silly calling him my "boyfriend". He is 54 and I am 48. We're a bit past adolescence.

Signing Held Up Again

November 24th, 2015 at 06:52 am

The signing on BF's house was held up again. This time it was due to the fact that the buyers had deposited money into their bank account. Yes, you read that right.

To comply with the Patriot Act, the buyers went through a process wherein they documented the source of all funds in the account which will be the source of their down payment. They had already completed this process. When it came time to sign documents, it was discovered that they had deposited more funds after completing the process. Well, that means they had to do it again. They submitted the documents Friday, but it takes time for them to be reviewed.

The wife of the buyer couple in particular was very upset as she had wanted to have Thanksgiving dinner in the house.

Word is that it will close this short week anyway, but I will believe that when I have funds in my hot little hand.

Meanwhile, BF has decided to invest 85k of his proceeds into his contractor's next project. He will earn 7.5% on his principal and if the contractor defaults, he will be able to foreclose on the property. Myself, I would just stuff it all into index funds and calculate when I could retire.

Medical Appointment Frustrations

November 19th, 2015 at 04:20 pm

I've had a very frustrating day today. Frown

I've had a small hard lump just under my left armpit for maybe a year, maybe longer. I had Googled and it looked to me like it was a cyst from either a clogged sweat gland or hair follicle. It did not hurt and was just my normal skin color.

Last summer it changed color to red, started growing and began to hurt. I called my primary doctor in July and described the symptoms, they scheduled me an appointment in August.

When I went to that appointment, I was hoping she would just cut it off for me right then. She said it was too large to do in her office, she was referring me to a surgeon. She thought it was a sweat gland or hair follicle problem.

I had to wait through the referral process, but then a surgeon's office did call and said I had an appointment on October 1st. So, I had to wait some more.

On Sept 30th, the surgeon's office called to say the doctor would be out of the office on the 1st and my appointment had been re-scheduled for Oct 29th. So, I waited until October 29th.

When I finally had my appointment, there was another patient in the waiting room who was very upset. He had shown up for his appointment but was told his appointment had been moved to a different date and time. He claimed no one had told him. My impression at this point was that the office was not well run. I did see the doctor and I really took a liking to him. He was very no-nonsense, professional and personable. He told me frankly that he could not say for certain what my lump is. He said it was too large for an office procedure and I would have to have a same-day procedure in the hospital. Because of my history, he wanted to see the medical records from when I had my breast lump removed and my thyroidectomy.

Well, that has been a circus. I had Kaiser insurance when I had those two surgeries and have Anthem Blue Cross now. The surgeon's office called to say Kaiser told them I had been their patient but there was no record of my ever having surgery at a Kaiser facility (!). So, I was asked to obtain my records myself. The first batch I obtained did not include the information the surgeon wanted. So, I had to request again. My second request was simply ignored, even though it was submitted in an email. A Kaiser medical records employee stated they probably assumed it was a duplicate request, even though I clearly indicated the first set did not include the pathology and "h and p" records which my surgeon specifically requested. But today, after 2 weeks of my requests, I did finally receive the records.

I was delighted. I faxed the records to the surgeon's office and called to let them know they were coming. (Yes, their preferred method to receive the records was via fax).

Well, a little while ago, the office called to say it's great that I finally got them the records, but the doctor will now be mostly off until after the first of the year. He will have two office days in December, and I have been scheduled an appointment for December 15th. But, that's just for another consultation after he reviews my records. Mad

I want this darn thing OFF. It is growing and it hurts, especially if I accidentally bump it.

I called my insurance to see about getting in to another surgeon sooner. They were sympathetic and explained if I could get in someplace else, I could then call my primary doctor for a referral, and that would be just fine. So I have been calling other surgeons. What I have found is there is no short-cut. I can get an appointment in December, and will likely be scheduled for surgery in January. That's what I have now so is no help at all.

In happier news, the buyers of BF's house have their signing appointment at the title company tomorrow. If that goes smoothly, funds should be disbursed Monday. In that case, I will have the credit card charge for those property taxes paid before I do my month end net worth statement. It will be like it never happened, except for the sweet reward points.

Mortgage Lending Nonsense

October 26th, 2015 at 02:45 pm

Just for giggles, I took a moment to read a junk e-mail I received today. What a sales pitch! The title of the e-mail is "How to SKIP a mortgage payment for no cost!" and begins by lamenting that the holidays will soon be upon us, along with all the stress of how to pay for them. Thankfully, these self-titled "longtime mortgage advisers and consumer advocates" have a "strategic option that could PAY FOR YOUR HOLIDAY SEASON - without increasing your credit card debt!"

Isn't that wonderful? Here is their solution, direct cut and paste:


Current Mortgage:
Two years ago you financed $250,000 at 4.25%
Principal & Interest (PI) = $1230
Taxes & Insurance = $400
Monthly Payment = $1630
Current Escrow Balance ~ $1600
Estimated remaining balance $241,388

You could net approximately $1230 + $1600 = $2830 during the holidays with no closing costs !

Refinance at 4.25% (choose a rate to allow lender to pay all your closing costs)
New Loan is $241,388 plus new escrow account plus one months interest to allow you to skip a month. $241,388 + $1600 (escrows) + $853 (30 days interest) = $243,850 new loan amount

Yeah, I believe I will NOT be taking advantage of their helpful strategy, even though they are "consumer advocates". Rolleyes

Weekly Box of Organic Produce

October 17th, 2015 at 06:56 pm

We decided to join a CSA and get a box of organic fruits and veggies each week.

I was torn between a small very local one and a slightly more expensive larger one. I decided to give the larger one a try first as you do have the ability to customize your box and exclude things you just don't want.

The CSA we are trying is called "Farm Fresh To You".

They will not deliver to my home (no deliveries in the area) but will deliver to my office. My office is close to the freeway, so I assume that is why.

Our first box will be delivered this Wednesday and will contain:

3 Bartlett pears
1 butternut squash
2 Fuji apples
1 lb green beans
1 lettuce (either green or red leaf)
1 bunch Nantes carrots
1 bunch red kale
1 lb. white potatoes

The base price is $26 but this box is $28.19. When you substitute, they charge by the lb. Our box was supposed to contain red radishes and kiwi. We took them out and put in green beans, pears, and potatoes.

This is the smallest box, they also have 3 larger sizes. We will see how we like the service and quality, then decide if we want a bigger box.

The more local CSA is a bit lower priced, but charge a fee if you have your box delivered to your door, which would make it slightly more. Alternatively, you can pick up your box at a drop off point. There is one just a few blocks from my office, so that would be convenient.

With the more local CSA, you choose either a full share of veggies for $22 or a half share for $17. The full share is supposed to feed 4-5 people for a week, the half share 1-3 people for a week. Then they have a fruit box which is $16 for a full share and $8 for a half share. I have a friend who gets a half share veggie box each week and she says the produce is excellent.

We have agreed that we will do our best to not let any of the expensive organic produce to go to waste.

BF's House Back In Escrow

October 15th, 2015 at 07:10 pm

This has been Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. But for the second time, the house is in escrow. The agreed upon price is 950k.

I have been very surprised by some of the people who have been interested. One man submitted an offer with no financial information. BF told him, via his realtor, that he would not consider any offer at any price without documentation showing the buyer is able to purchase. The gentleman said oh, of course, he would send that right over. After 3 weeks, without ever having submitted any documentation, he withdrew his offer.

Another woman made a "cash" offer. She claimed she had had over 2m in cash in various bank accounts. But alas, she had been the victim of identity theft. Someone had been doing business under her SSN and when she failed to report the revenue, her bank accounts were seized by the IRS. But this horrible fraud was all straightened out now, and happily she has a letter stating her money will be returned to her on a specific date in October. When asked to show that letter, she did produce one. However, it states she has a hearing on that date. You notice how a hearing is not the same as cash? Yeah, I noticed that too. The matter is not resolved at all.

There was another written offer which was too low, so BF declined it. There was no negotiating as the couple had offered the absolute pinnacle of what their lender said they could afford. They are fortunate BF said no. As we all know, spending every last cent the lender will allow is a recipe for disaster.

Hopefully, this time the sale will close without a hiccup. Oh please, oh please, oh please.

Another Offer On BF's House

September 8th, 2015 at 01:38 pm

BF received an offer yesterday, but has not entered into a contract. The offer did not include a pre-qualification letter, and that is a MUST before going any further.

The offer was for 945k and the buyer wants ALL of the furnishings in the house. Not all of the furnishings belong to BF, so he is checking to see how much the true owners would accept to sell. The dining room set is from an actual consignment store, but the other pieces and several decorative items belong to BF's realtor, who had no intention of selling them, she placed them strictly for staging. BF asked if I was against selling his furniture; in truth, I don't care. If it makes the buyer happy, whatever.

This offer is lower than the previous two offers, but BF has gotten himself into quite a pickle and is in no position to pass up any reasonable offer.

So, fingers crossed that this deal will go through. This entire process has been so unbelievably stressful for me, I just want it to be over.

Pet Killing Neighbor is GONE !!

August 15th, 2015 at 12:10 pm

I like my neighborhood so much better now! Smile

I think they must have moved out last weekend when I was in Redding. Today painters are painting the interior of the house, so I Googled and yep, escrow closed this past Wednesday. Yay!

BF's House Under Contract

June 30th, 2015 at 10:13 am

Well, BF and the interested buyer have agreed on a price and entered into a contract. The escrow is supposed to be 30 days. So, we will see. Smile

MrsM180 and I had a fabulous time in Seattle. We spent one night with my dear friend from childhood, two nights at my aunt & uncle's house, and spent the last day with my niece and her boyfriend. My birth mother lives near her sister and we spent time with her too. We had great visits with everyone and enjoyed some of the local sites. So good to re-connect with loved ones. Vashon Island is certainly lovely. Here is a pic I snapped standing at a window in the guest bedroom at my aunt's place.

And oh happy day, what joyous news! Our creepy neighbor has a "for sale" sign in the yard! Yay!!! Does life get any better than that? Oh please, someone, make an offer.

Offer and Counter Offer

June 23rd, 2015 at 09:32 pm

BF received an offer on his house yesterday for 1.02m. He slept on it and decided today to counter with 1.1m. The signed counter offer will be sent to the buyer's realtor tomorrow.

Keep your fingers crossed. Smile

Fun Weekend

June 22nd, 2015 at 04:17 pm

This past weekend went by in a blur, but it was such fun. Smile

On Friday, BF and I went to a concert. Brian Setzer (of Stray Cats fame) opened for George Thorogood. What a fun show! It was outdoors and the temperature was definitely warmer than I would have liked, but still so fun. Everyone in the crowd was dancing and having a great time. George Thorogood is lithe like a cat, he moves like Mick Jagger. And at age 65, he still has that deep, gravelly, booming voice. BF bought these tickets. After, we spent the night at BF's Davis house (concert was in Lincoln, in Sacramento area). BF bought dinner, too.

Saturday morning we had a nice breakfast at our favorite breakfast spot in Davis (I paid), then headed home. We spent a leisurely afternoon watching Netflix, walking the dogs, puttering in the yard a bit.

Sunday, I got up early, picked up my mom, and we headed to the Alameda County Fair. We met relatives there and just had a great day. Didn't spend too much, we all bring a picnic lunch. Still, $10 to park and $12 to walk in the gates. One of my cousins has a new baby, about 9 months old. What a cutie-pie! I just love when I get to hold and cuddle a baby. It was late by the time I got home.

This week I want to get a pedicure so my toes look cute, and get my eyebrows threaded. MrsM180 and I are heading to Seattle this Friday afternoon.

I dipped into EF and paid my credit card bill in full this month. Even though the interest rate is currently 0%, the very idea of carrying credit card debt again makes me feel ill. I just don't wanna.

Open House Tomorrow; Video of Home

May 22nd, 2015 at 05:29 pm

At long, long last...there is an open house tomorrow at BF's house! I thought this day would never come.

Here's a video the realtor commissioned. It's on YouTube.


There is nothing else to do but wait for an offer. Hopefully, it will be a short wait.

Prom Night

May 10th, 2015 at 01:51 pm

Here is my son, heading out to pick up his prom date.

I've been having a spendy month already. Between prom, bad news from the dentist, and another expensive repair for J's car, I am trying to pinch my remaining pennies. This month I received what I expect is my last child support check. My car insurance premium is due June 2, to the tune of $1587 (6 months). So lots of dollars lining up to leave my wallet as quickly as they can. I believe I will make it through with no debt, but CurveBall is going to be back to square one. Again. These expenses are what CurveBall is for, but I still hate to see it happen. Of course I put them all on a rewards card, but will rely on CurveBall to pay the bill.

I have decided to stop my $50 monthly contribution to E Fund and send it to my car loan instead. E Fund is fat enough for now, I want out from under that car loan.

BF's House Hitting Market

May 5th, 2015 at 12:03 pm

At long last, BF's house is about to hit the market! A drone will be making a video this week, as soon as the link is live I will share it so you can take a tour, if you like. There is an open house this coming Sunday. I am told the asking price is 1.2m. Should I make an offer? Stick Out Tongue

So last weekend as I was enjoying my last naked hot tub weekend in that beautiful pool room, BF was saying that what he would really like for his next house is to recreate that one, on a smaller and more modest scale. Instead of the pool room being in the house, it could be a covered patio. Instead of a pool and hot tub, just a hot tub with perhaps a water feature. Lots of plants, big clear windows on the house so that the view can be enjoyed from the living spaces. I thought about it briefly, and realized, I would just love that. So we talked about if we found an older home with a large lot and the house was shaped and laid out right, we could make it happen.

BF says he can't believe the day is finally here. You and me both pal, I thought. Goodness, it has been a long time coming.

Time to Plan My Exit

March 22nd, 2015 at 10:04 am

Well, once again the nut trees are all in bloom and I cough day and night. Cough until I am dizzy, cough until I vomit, then cough some more. Last year in spring I coughed for only one month and I was euphoric. (Last year was my first spring on allergy shots.) This year it has been almost two months already and the cough is still here. So I don't know if this spring is worse or the shots become less effective over time or what.

Once the cough is finally gone, I will have several months without it until it is time to harvest the nut trees, then the cough will be back.

I am ready to leave this nonsense behind and plan my exit. I intend to list my house for sale next spring come what may. Once it is sold, I will move into an apartment and then begin my long-distance job hunt. If I have to accept a lesser job with a lesser salary, that is what I am going to do.

I am planning to relocate to Reno, Nevada. The high elevation and dry air are exactly what my allergy doctor says I need. The relative proximity is great as I will still be able to visit with my mother. (About a 4 hour drive from Reno to my mom's house). There will be some adjustments, but I choose to look at it as a grand adventure.

BF intends to move with me. Everything is very good between us. He has a part-time job here in my town now. His bridge loan did fund but I was not repaid as the proceeds were much less than planned. He was required to pay 12 months interest up front, which was sprung on him at the last minute. That came out of his proceeds and did not leave him with much. (The first six months is non-refundable, the second six months is). However, the contractor and all sub-contractors were paid in full to date, so the contractor is moving ahead with the last few things. Fingers crossed that the house goes on MLS shortly.

Snaps of BF's House

February 10th, 2015 at 10:38 am

I have been promising these for a long time. Here is a confession: I am not the world's best photographer. I did not even come in second in that competition! And of course, the house is still not done, so it is not staged at all.

Nonetheless, I tried to capture some of the best features and a sense of how the house flows together.

This is the fireplace in the living room. It is between two floor to ceiling windows.

Here is a shot of the living room. See that ladder outside the window? It is the same one as in the shot of the fireplace. The fireplace is just out of range in this shot.

Here is a shot of the front door. We have shifted just a bit to the right from the previous shot. The doorway on the right leads into the kitchen.

And now I've turned 45 degrees, and this is the view from the living room into the pool room.

A shot of the kitchen.

Here is a shot of the sinks and counter in the master bath. This is the same bathroom with the huge oval tub (shared previously) on the raised platform and the walk-in shower for two. The bathroom also features a separate counter with lighted mirror for make-up, his and her water closets, an 80 sq ft walk-in closet, and an area with built in drawers and which could be used for linens or as dressers.

This shot is from the far end of the pool room looking back towards the kitchen. You can see the stairs leading to a room above. There is a bedroom, sitting area, and bathroom tucked away up there.

From the last shot, I did a 180 turn and snapped a shot of the back yard. The field beyond the trees is not part of BF's property.

From Xmas 1996: Picture Updated

December 17th, 2014 at 05:03 pm

I have been enjoying the holiday shots of people's children so much, I thought I would post one from when mine were little. Of course, my pics from this era were not digital, so I had to scan this in. I am afraid I do not have a color scanner. (The kids are dressed in red and white). And of course, it looks like a newspaper photo, which detracts from their cuteness.

But here are my kiddos at Xmas time, 1996. MrsM180 was 6 and J was 1. MrsM180 is making a face because I kept telling her to smile. If I had just let her be, she probably would have smiled beautifully. But I had to keep saying "smile", and she kept trying. J is very suspicious of the entire affair.

I miss the little people days.

If anyone has any tips as to how I could get this looking like a photo, please share!

Update: Still not picture perfect, but so much better! Thank you for the technical help, Starfishy!

Just For Fun: The Ghosts of Concerts Past

November 25th, 2014 at 01:19 pm

In my career as a music lover, I have seen the following musical artists in concert:

Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band
Boney James (jazz)
Bonnie Raitt (surprise appearance in Jackson's set)
Brian Setzer & His Rockabilly Riot
Cheap Trick
David Cassidy
Eddie Money
Fleetwood Mac
George Thorogood & The Destroyers
Honeymoon Suite
Hootie & The Blowfish (2 times)
Jackson Browne twice (front row once)
Jimmy Buffett & The Coral Reefer Band
Journey (3 times)
Kool & The Gang
Little River Band
N'Sync (took MrsM180 when she was a 'tween)
Night Ranger
Pat Benatar
REO Speedwagon
Rick Springfield
Styx (2 times)
The B-52s
The Eagles
The Outfield
Three Dog Night
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers (front row)

Some of these cost me dearly; others were very inexpensive (like free with fair entrance). I'll have to keep thinking, I might be missing some.

I've seen plenty of other local artists, who have never charted but nonetheless put on a great show.

How about you? Who have you seen? Spill it!

Musical Artists added after this post was originally published are in red. Just keeping track of additional concerts I have enjoyed.

Discover Bank Offer

November 25th, 2014 at 10:01 am

A few days ago, I received an offer from Discover. Open an online checking account, receive a $50 bonus. Um, yeah, OK. Come to think of it, I would like a free $50. So, I funded that today ($25) and will wait patiently until January for my free $50. It is going to look just smashing when I apply it to my car loan.

My mom came down with a bad cold, so we did not go car shopping or Bingo playing after all. Perhaps the weekend after this coming one.

I love a good concert. I was super excited when one of my all time favorites released a new album last month. I was hoping that meant a concert tour was soon to follow. And, it did mean that! I bought my tickets Saturday to see Bob Seger in March. Can't hardly wait. Smile Treated myself to the new CD too.

I pulled out my most recent paystub to see what I will gross this year. It looks like $54,111.47. My aim is to stash 15% of that in retirement accounts somehow, which means $8,116.72. By the end of the year, I will have contributed 3k each to both my Roth and Simple IRAs. Another $1533 was contributed by my employers to my Simple. That leaves $583.72 to go. Round it up a bit just for giggles, and I intend to contribute $700 to my traditional IRA before the year is out.

Lost My Paycheck

November 15th, 2014 at 11:20 am

I lost my paycheck yesterday. My boss handed it to me about 10:30am as he was leaving for the day. (This was the senior partner. The junior partner normally does this task, but he was on vacation last week).

As usual, I separated the check from the stub, placed the stub in an envelope, which I keep in a file in my desk drawer, entered the amount of the paycheck into my check register, inserted the check into my checkbook, and put the checkbook into my purse.

At lunch time, I went to a CVS to get a passport photo picture taken, went to my allergy doctor for my shot, while there I paid my bill and made my annual appointment at the receptionist's desk, then bought lunch at a nearby Panda Express. At each of those three stops I was in and out of my purse.

Later in the afternoon, when I was doing client banking, I intended to deposit my paycheck while I was there, and discovered that it was gone. Bleah!!

I called all three places, but no one had turned in my lost paycheck.

So on Monday, I get to tell the junior partner what I have managed to do.

Think I Found My Car

October 30th, 2014 at 08:55 am

So over the past few weeks, I have been visiting dealerships and taking test drives. I have driven a new Kia Forte, a new Nissan Versa Note, and a new Ford Focus Titanium. I had planned to test drive a Hyundai Elantra too before I made my final decision.

I loved that Titanium. All of the bells and whistles, so pretty, and it rides so nice. The salesman made me a very nice offer too. The MSRP on the car is 26,685 and he quoted me 21,301. It is a good price, but still more than I want to spend. Also, the car has the dual clutch automatic transmission. Ford has been putting those in the Focus and Fiesta cars since 2012, and there are a lot of complaints and lawsuits over that transmission. Of course, some people have no trouble with them whatsoever. I prefer to just buy one with a manual transmission in the first place and avoid the whole issue. There are no Focus cars with a manual transmission and the other features I want sitting on a lot anywhere in my area. If I have one special ordered, I will not have much bargaining power to negotiate a better price. Paying 26k is completely out of the question.

Last night I was browsing CarMax's website, and I found a 2013 Focus SE with a manual transmission, the navigation, heated front seats, and moon roof which I crave, in my preferred color (dark grey) with only 18k miles. The "no haggle" price is 14,998. This price is much more what I had in mind. The car is close enough to new that it should provide reliable transportation for many years to come. I have already called and they have placed the car on a 7 day hold. I plan to go see it over the weekend, and if it is as advertised, I intend to buy it.

As you might guess, J is thrilled with this news. Wink

I have applied for a used car loan from Wells Fargo, and I can get 3.69% on a 6 year loan. I like the rate, and I want my minimum monthly payments as low as I can get them. I do not intend to take the entire 6 years to pay off the car.

I still have full coverage on the Accord. My car insurance premium went from about $90 per month to about $140 per month when I added J as a secondary driver. (This is with the pay-in-full-up-front discount). It will double when I add another car and J becomes a primary driver. I will have to cover this myself until J graduates, gets a job, and takes over his share of the insurance. OUCH!

So Many Changes

September 2nd, 2014 at 12:14 pm

One day towards the end of last week, MrsM180 announced she and hubby had found a new living arrangement. This was something of a surprise, as I did not know that they had been looking. They are excited and optimistic. I am glad for them, but gosh, I am going to miss them. So will J and our canine companions.

The very next day, BF announced his last night at his house is this coming Wednesday. Beginning Thursday, he will be living full-time with me.

This is a lot of change in a short amount of time for an old girl like me. Wish me luck!

Update: His plans have changed already! The contractor wants BF to stay through the weekend to assist with a few things.

Still Alive and Kicking

April 16th, 2014 at 08:49 am

I haven't been blogging much these past several months, but now that April 15th is behind us, my life is getting back to normal.

My income taxes are all paid. I sent off $1,200 to my Roth yesterday, and $1,533 to my Simple (employer matching). So, I am looking forward to those contributions hitting my accounts. I am getting close to hitting 200k in retirement savings, which is pretty exciting.

I have decided I want to sell my house and leave this area. I am heading to a climate with high elevation and dry air, which is what my allergy doctor says I need. J will graduate from high school in May 2015, and if the housing market is good, I will list my house at that time. Therefore, I intend to spend the next year sprucing up my house as much as possible.

BF has spent the past two months emptying out his house. It is nearly completely empty now, with just a few pieces of furniture, paintings, etc. for staging purposes. With his realtor's help, he has made a list of things which should be updated/replaced, and has signed an agreement with a contractor. The work has already begun. The house will be listed as soon as the contractor is finished. The appraiser has already been out, and his report estimates the value of the home at 816k. The market is very hot in the area, and BF is hoping there will be enough interest that buyers will try to outbid each other.

Do you recall that I lent BF 6k a few years ago? He had a small mortgage and was on the verge of foreclosure. He sold a car, some jewelry, emptied out his last investment account, and was still a bit short to pay the mortgage in full. I lent him the last 6k. When his house sells, I will be getting my money back.

We have talked off and on about living together. At one point, I was all for it. But now, I am uncertain if it is really what I want to do. He says when the house sells, he intends to quit his job and move down here with me. I have warned him that the job market in my city is very different than the job market in the greater Sacramento area. He laughed and said oh yes, he realizes that.

Mr and Mrs M180 plan to move back to Colorado late this summer. So, it will be back to just J and I in my little house, and possibly BF.

Holiday Parties

December 21st, 2013 at 11:42 am

This last week was lots of fun, though busy.

On Wednesday, I attended the company Xmas party of my part-time job. There weren't many people there I knew, but I had a nice evening anyway.

On Thursday, I met a girlfriend for coffee after work. I hadn't seen her in awhile, and we had a good visit.

On Friday, the "kids" and I went to my mother's. My nephew's step-son was playing basketball in my mother's town, the nephew, his wife, and two of their children came as well. We had a nice time visiting at my mom's house.

Tonight I am going to yet another party, this one in the home of some friends of mine. There will be a white elephant gift exchange, which is always fun with this group.

I redeemed 2500 swagbucks this morning! A sweet $25 mortgage chip is on its way to my Paypal account.

I will work Monday, then have 2 days off! Yay.

Tax Bill

December 12th, 2013 at 08:50 am

Yesterday I set up the 2013 income tax software on my desktop at work. To do a test run, I plugged in most of my tax numbers. Bad news (but not unexpected). I owe $1578 federal. I will get a state refund of about $1000 to help (don't have California software set up yet, so estimating).

I asked my boss to withhold an additional $300 next payday, because that will get my balance due low enough that I won't owe a penalty as well.

I also changed my withholding, so will see a little less take home pay. I will have to jiggle my budget around a little bit.

In other news, I got my eyebrows threaded last night, and they look fabulous. I was overdue, and I have my company Xmas party this Saturday. I can't have caterpillars crawling on my forehead.

Sweet Little Mortgage Chip

October 25th, 2013 at 06:58 pm

This evening, I have an email that Swagbucks has deposited $5.00 into my Dwolla account. I logged in, requested a transfer to my bank account, and was advised the transfer will take 2-3 business days.

Since October is waning, I logged in to WF and transferred $5.08 to my mortgage. (Dwolla gave me eight whole cents during the verification process. So generous!)

Swagbucks just got a whole lot more fun for me. Currently, I have enough to redeem for another $5 Dwolla gift card. That will make a fine little mortgage chip in a week or so.

Tomorrow morning my mom and I are driving north to Redding to visit my niece. She lives in Tacoma, WA but is in Redding for a week or so. We will spend the night and drive home Sunday. Should be a fun weekend. Smile

Courtesy of Monkey Mama...

October 25th, 2013 at 08:37 am

...I will have a lower home insurance bill. Yay!

I received my renewal a week or so ago. As always, the new premium crept up a bit from last time. The bill is $912.

This morning, after reading Monkey Mama's latest blog post, I pulled out my renewal, went to State Farm's website, and submitted a request for a rate quote. I can get the exact same coverage for $695, saving me $217.00 Smile

Since I have an impound account for property taxes and homeowner's insurance, I will not see any monthly savings now. But, when my account is analyzed and adjusted next year, I will enjoy some combination of lower monthly payments and/or a refund.

Heard About Dwolla?

October 19th, 2013 at 11:12 am

I've been doing Swagbucks for a few months now. (CreditCardFree's tutorial from last May is very helpful). So far, I have purchased 1 $5 Amazon gift card for 450 Swagbucks. What I would really like though, is to redeem for cash.

Today I noticed there is a gift card for a vendor called Dwolla. Dwolla seems to be very similar to Paypal. Dwolla does charge a $.25 fee for transactions over $10.

Currently, $5 Dwolla gift cards are on sale for 400 Swagbucks. I bought one. It will take a few days for Dwolla to verify my bank account info, and a few days for my gift card to be available.

Hopefully, one day soon I will have $5 cash in my checking account, courtesy of Swagbucks and Dwolla. It will make a lovely mortgage chip.

Last night, I met a girlfriend I hadn't seen in about 6 months for drinks, dinner, and giggles. I offered to pay. I spent $30 including a generous tip. (The place we like to go has awesome margaritas for $2. Also, the best chips and salsa I have ever had). We had a great time.

Today I am planning to drive up to Davis to see BF. I will spend the night and come home tomorrow afternoon.

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